When you’re on the hunt for the best basketball shoes, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out which pair works best for you. Here, we’ve narrowed down some top picks to help you find a new fave, whether you need something that won’t hinder your quick moves when shooting hoops or simply want something well-balanced for versatility.
Best Basketball Shoes: High-Tops
High-tops offer a lot of lower leg support and extra padding, so they’re the ideal basketball shoes for men who play as Power Forwards or Centers. As such, you’ll get a lot of cushioning and ankle protection from high-top basketball shoes. They’re the heaviest type of men’s basketball shoes, but their increased cushioning is necessary to absorb all the shock from the jumping that Power Forwards and Centers do on the court.
1. Nike Men’s LeBron 17 Basketball Shoe
Having the largest Air Max heel unit on a LeBron James sneaker thus far, the Nike LeBron 17 offers excellent impact absorption and maximum cushioning. These Nike high-tops also give you added bounce thanks to the two Air Zoom Pods at the forefoot. Meanwhile, you get a good amount of breathability with its KnitPosite upper. For a high-performing shoe that offers great support — even for heavier players who want something more comfortable — you can’t go wrong with the Nike LeBron 17.
2. Adidas Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe
Another top-notch pick is the Adidas Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe, which is comfortable as it is functional. Its ultra-responsive cushioning integrates Adidas’ energy-returning boost technology to make jumps much more forgiving on your knees and long games less taxing on your feet. Additionally, its lacing system keeps things feeling lightweight and gives you a good amount of support. Without a doubt, these are one of the best basketball shoes out on the market worth checking out.
3. Under Armour Men’s Curry 2.5 Basketball Shoes
Channel Stephen Curry with the Under Armour Men’s Curry 2.5 Basketball Shoes. These Curry basketball shoes feature a high-top cut made to protect your ankles, while their synthetic upper provides a snug and secure fit. Meanwhile, its Charged Cushioning midsole absorbs shock and converts it into a responsive burst, allowing you to move quicker on the court. You’ll have no problem cutting through opponents either thanks to the multi-directional traction pattern on its herringbone outsole.
4. Reebok Men’s Royal BB4500 Basketball Shoe
Go for a classic look with the Reebok Royal BB4500. These Reebok basketball shoes feature breathable leather and a mesh upper to ensure comfort and ventilation. Padding in the shoe tongue and collar keeps things extra comfortable as well. If you want basketball shoes that are sleek and immensely comfortable, then the Reebok Royal BB4500 is exactly what you’re looking for.
5. Nike Air Jordan 34 Basketball Shoe
There’s a reason why Air Jordans are so popular among basketball players and sneakerheads alike. They’re a classic in the world of men’s basketball shoes. The 34s, in particular, are the lightest Air Jordans so far thanks to their aerodynamic build. You’ll get some interesting colorways with them as well. The hollowed-out design not only reduces the Air Jordan 34’s weight in general, but it also gives you a look into its Zoom Air cushioning that gives a more springy feel to your step. Overall, the Nike Air Jordan 34 is a superb all-around basketball shoe that can take your game to the next level regardless of what position you play.
Best Basketball Shoes: Mid-Tops
Though mid-top basketball shoes for men are ideal for Small Forwards and Shooting Guards, they’re a versatile and well-rounded option that anyone can benefit from. They provide more protection than low-tops but at the same time, they’re not as restrictive as high-tops either. All-around players who prefer quick movements while battling with rebounds will find mid-tops to be a great middle ground for them.
1. Adidas Men’s Dame 5
The Adidas Dame 5 offers excellent traction that works just as well outdoors as it does indoors. Ample padding gives you a more secure fit, while its full-length Bounce cushioning provides great impact protection. Furthermore, it has a mesh and textile upper for adequate breathability. You even get some fun colorway choices to help you stand out on and off the court. Being such an impeccable all-around contender, it’s clear that the Adidas Dame 5 is one of the best basketball shoes that delivers on quality and performance.
2. Nike KD 12
A step up from its KD 11 predecessor, the Nike KD 12 is a great performer that offers solid support. Its full-length Nike Zoom Air cushioning provides bounce and response, and in terms of traction, its rubber outsole is consistent and gives you a firm on-court grip. Despite its simple design and construction, the KD 12 remains durable and will get things done right out of the box.
3. Nike Jordan Why Not Zer0.1 Men’s Basketball Shoe
Don’t let the unusual look of the Jordan Why Not Zer0.1 turn you off from its capabilities on the court. It’s one of the best basketball shoes for men when it comes to being an all-around option that offers a ton of support and caters to a variety of play types. First off, its wide base makes for great stability. Additionally, you get a very locked-in fit with its compression-molded Phylon heel bucket. This lockdown is further improved upon with an inner bootie construction and a hidden lacing system that gives you a customizable fit.
4. Adidas Men’s Cloudfoam Ilation Basketball Shoe
You really get your value for money with the Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation Basketball Shoe. They’re the best basketball shoes for when you want something of premium quality without having to break the bank. Its midsole and sockliner make use of Cloudfoam cushioning technology, which means you get the utmost comfort in a lightweight body. Well-built and durable, these Adidas basketball shoes will be worth every penny should you decide to pick them up for yourself.
5. ASICS GEL-Spotlyte Retro Basketball Shoe
If you’re a fan of the retro look, why not try checking out the ASICS GEL-Spotlyte? These mid-top basketball shoes for men have a more unique look compared to other basketball shoes out on the market. Though they’re made from suede, they’re durable and provide great ankle support with a mid-top silhouette. There’s no denying that the ASICS GEL-Spotlyte Retro is sturdy, comfortable, and versatile enough to be worn even off-court. You’re sure to get a bang for your buck with these basketball shoes.
Best Basketball Shoes: Low-Tops
While high-top basketball shoes for men are meant to provide more stability and protection, low-tops are ideal for mobility and sharp movements. For players like Point Guards who need to be quick on their feet, the lightweight build of low-tops makes them the best basketball shoes for their play style.
1. Nike Zoom Freak 1
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s signature basketball shoes may have a low-top cut, but they do a fantastic job at keeping your feet snug and secure. The Zoom Freak 1’s internal bands will keep your feet contained, while its padded collar helps with overall lockdown at the heel. You also get two Zoom Air units stacked in the heel for extra cushioning as well. If you’re looking for a good starter pair of kicks, the Nike Zoom Freak 1 are one of the best basketball shoes to jump start your collection with.
2. Adidas Men’s Harden Vol. 4 Basketball Shoes
Previous shoes in the James Harden line already featured a low cut, but the Harden Vol 4. differs in that the ankle collar sits a little higher this time. This ultimately improves stability and provides better protection compared to its predecessors. Though these men’s basketball shoes make do without the Adidas Boost cushioning, they instead utilize Lightstrike cushioning as a lightweight alternative. When it comes to lightweight basketball shoes that are well-rounded in performance, the Harden Vol 4. will be the one for you.
3. Puma Palace Guard Sneaker
Another retro sneaker that performs nicely on top of looking good, the Puma Palace Guard is a great value for money. The materials of these Puma basketball shoes feel high-end, with a durable outsole, a puffy shoe tongue, and a padded sock liner. It comes in colorways that are retro but not outdated, so you can easily take these men’s shoes to the streets for more casual wear as well.
4. Li-Ning Way of Wade 7
Li-Ning might not be that big of a household brand in the men’s basketball shoes market but you’ll be surprised with the quality of some of their best basketball shoes. The Way of Wade line is known for their unique designs and the Way of Wade 7 is no exception. For starters, they’re good basketball shoes for guys with wide feet due to their wide, roomy base. The Way of Wade 7 also has solid traction that’s tough enough even for outdoor play. With its striking colorways, the Li-Ning Way of Wade 7 is an eye-catching option for guys who want a premium pair of basketball shoes that won’t let you down.
5. Adidas Crazylight Boost Low
When it comes to the best basketball shoes with a low cut, the Crazylight Boost Low from 2016 are arguably the ones to beat. The Boost cushioning on these shoes is extremely responsive and it runs true to size so the lockdown is amazing as well. Moreover, its traction is incredible, giving you that much-needed grip on outdoor courts. Whether you’re a big fan of low-tops or are looking to expand your collection, the Adidas Crazylight Boost Low are great basketball shoes that will elevate your performance on the court.
Best Basketball Shoes: Outdoor Play
Not all basketball shoes are suitable for the outdoors. When it comes to the best outdoor basketball shoes, you’ll want something with incredible traction to support you on outdoor courts. Outdoor basketball shoes can vary in terms of cut, so you might find an assortment of high-tops, mid-tops, and low-tops when you’re on the hunt for the best outdoor basketball shoes.
1. Nike Men’s LeBron Soldier IX Basketball Shoes
The LeBron Soldier IX lies somewhere in between a high-top and mid-top, offering fantastic support and comfort. Its strap system on the forefoot and ankle keeps your feet secure without being restrictive. Additionally, it’s equipped with Zoom Air units for responsive cushioning that absorbs shock and gives you a comfortable fit. The LeBron Soldier IX’s outsole also features a multi-directional traction pattern, so you’re sure to get a fantastic grip on a variety of surfaces.
2. Nike Men’s Air Shake Ndestrukt Basketball Shoe
One significant detail that you might notice about the Nike Air Shake Ndestrukt is its traction pattern. These cool basketball shoes have a notably wide herringbone pattern, which means they’ll grip well on virtually any sort of court surface. These basketball shoes for men might be a bit tough to break in at first, but you’ll soon find that its high-quality durability will last you multiple wears. This is one of the classics that has been around since the 90s so you can bet this is a true performer that you can rely on for tough games.
3. Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 2
A notable feature of the ClutchFit Drive 2 is its incredible support paired with a relatively lighter feel compared to other basketball shoes. This is all thanks to Under Armour’s Charged foam technology, a firmer but lighter cushioning system that is more responsive. Combined with MicroG tech in the sockliner, you get that perfect balance of soft and firm cushioning for comfort and stability. Additionally, a fuse overlay provides more support, making these basketball shoes more versatile for a variety of player positions. They’re especially great for bigger players with their spacious fit, while the reliable traction will keep your feet secure on the court.
4. Adidas Men’s Pro Bounce Madness 2019
With the Adidas Pro Bounce Madness 2019, you get both a sleek design and high-quality performance altogether. Its high-cut, lace-up upper gives you an ample amount of ankle stability. Meanwhile, its Boost cushioning provides impact protection and responsiveness. The herringbone pattern on the outsole keeps dust and debris accumulation to a minimum, so they don’t get in the way of the traction. Ultimately, if you want a good mix of power and speed, opt for the Adidas Pro Bounce Madness 2019.
5. Under Armour Curry 3Zero 2 Basketball Shoe
There’s no denying how great this pair performs when worn. A mix of MicroG and Charged cushioning provides a substantial amount of impact protection and makes these shoes comfortable even off-court. The traction pattern on the Curry 3Zero 2 covers every direction, so you’re assured of stability on any surface you play on. It has a snug, secure fit so you might want to get a pair that is a couple sizes bigger to ensure it wears comfortably. As such, the Curry 3Zero 2 is a good buy if you want basketball shoes that perform well and are great to play in.
The market for basketball shoes remains to be vast, so it really all boils down to your play style and personal preferences when deciding on which pair of kicks to start with. The right pair of shoes should help enhance your skills and performance in the game.
Not really into basketball? You can check out our recommendations for the best walking shoes if something casual is more your pace. If you want something a bit more tough and rugged, we’ve got you covered as well with these best boots that will elevate your style.