Every basketball player knows what they put on their feet will have a big impact on their game. The shoe choice is important, and there are many questions surrounding the purchase of the right pair.
Are they the right size? What areas of the shoe should I focus on while shopping? Which brand makes the best basketball shoes and how much should I spend?
While it is usually very time-consuming to compare and research basketball shoes on your own, that’s not the case if you refer to our guide.
Here, we break down the basketball shoe buying process and highlight 15 of the hottest pairs that you can slip your feet into right now. Read on to see which kicks made the cut with our experts.
Top 15 Basketball Shoes Comparison Table
Pre-Game: Basketball Shoe Buying Breakdown
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to finding basketball shoes for your feet and your game. You can’t just base your decision off one thing (well, you can, but we don’t recommend it)! It’s good to know the different things that make up your potential basketball shoe and how it plays a part in your game on the court.
What is it you need to know? We are going to break it all down for you in this section!
All basketball shoes are not created equal. They are created with specifics in mind. One of the first specifics to consider is what type of player you are on the court. Are you more of a power player or a fast player? This will be a factor in what basketball shoe may be the best for you.
- If you’re a Power Player, you should look for maximum cushioning and stability that’s going to protect your foot each time you jump to shoot or rebound the basketball; this may require you to opt for a heavier shoe, but the plus is you’ll get the benefits you need.
- If you’re a Fast Player, you should look for a lightweight shoe. It will have moderate support, cushioning, and flexibility along with keeping you light on your feet. Fast players typically lean towards a lower cut basketball shoe.
- If you’re an All-Around Player, you should look for shoes with moderate ankle support and cushioning. The all-around player is going to have the most options to choose from because they’re looking for the most traditional shoe type and almost all type of shoes fall into the categories they need.
Basketball is a game of cutting, stopping, slashing, and other quick movements. It is extremely important for a player to make these type of moves without the fear of sliding – and this is where finding a basketball shoe with great traction comes into play.
Basketball shoe companies have gone above and beyond to create the best possible traction patterns to give basketball players the highest amount of grip possible. This high-level traction (or grip) allows players to cut faster, change directions in an instant, and stop on a dime.
In other words, traction can make or break a shoes’ on-court performance. It’s not something that visually stands out, but it has a big impact on the way you can play your game. Whether it’s a new shoe out of the box or one that you’ve got all broken in, if the traction isn’t giving you the grip you need to make moves on the court, you may consider another pair.
Cushioning is crucial for all types of players – it doesn’t matter if you’re a bigger player, a player that logs forty minutes a game, or an older player that needs something easy on the joints. When it comes to putting your foot into a basketball shoe, it’s all about what type of cushion your foot is going to have while you go all out on the court.
Because there is so much diversity among basketball players, you’ll find diversity in cushioning as well. With so many brands to consider, it’s good to know what sort of cushioning system is in their shoes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top basketball shoe brand’s cushioning.
- Nike Zoom Air – Picture a cushion that springs back fast so you can move faster and that’s Nike Zoom Air. Its cushioning combines pressurized air with internal fibers to make that highly responsive spring back cushioning.
- adidas Boost – Boost combines the performance benefits of soft cushioning and responsiveness to create a cushion that gives wearers an experience unlike any other. Basically, the more energy you give, the more you get back from Boost.
- Under Armour Charged Cushioning – This piece of technology is a two piece system that couples a soft, plush layer of foam on top of a layer of thick, firmer foam for the critical combination of support and comfort.
- Jordan FlightPlate – Since Jordan shoes are also a Nike brand, this cushioning has double the firepower. The FlightPlate technology serves to enhance Nike Zoom Air. The plate is sandwiched below the Zoom Air cushioning. The pressure of the Flight Plate against the Zoom bags helps create a new level of responsiveness and cushion that you can feel on the court!
How a basketball shoe on fits on your feet is another important. Ultimately, above all else, it needs to fit correctly on your foot. Here are the two most important things to consider when you’re figuring out the right fit:
- Broad Toe Box – Give those toes some breathing room! If your shoes are too shallow, it can cause pressure on your toes which can lead to a number of things: blisters, callus, ingrown toenails, and bruised toenails. All of which cause discomfort and can have a negative impact on your performance.
- Thumb Space Clearance – Not only do you need room for your toes to spread, but you also don’t want your toes to be rubbing the end of your basketball shoe. Because of this, a good rule to follow is to giving yourself a thumbs worth of space. When you try on the basketball shoe be sure to stand up and check to see where your toe is – once you feel your toe put your thumb on the shoe to see if it passes the thumb space test.
For women basketball players: if possible, avoid buying men’s basketball shoes. Men’s basketball shoes are built with a wider frame than women’s which means they aren’t ideal for women’s feet. With that being said, we understand if you prefer men’s shoes, but our recommendation is to stick with women’s basketball shoes to better meet your needs.
Selecting a basketball shoe that provides your foot with support is crucial. Basketball is a game of cutting and jumping which requires maximum support, especially for your ankles. If you’re a basketball player with a history of weak ankles or in general, want to keep your ankles supported to avoid a future injury then move this category to the top of your priority list.
Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries in basketball. For the best support, you should avoid low-cut and mid-cut basketball shoes; this may be minimizing your options when it comes to finding great shoes, but it is for a good reason. You will still be able to find a great basketball shoe that meets your needs – and you need a high-cut style. This type of style will limit ankle movement which should increase ankle support and lower risk of injury.
No one shoe can prevent an injury, but the additional support does reduce the amount of stress on your ankle and the wear and tear on the joint. Whether you are a young rookie or an aged veteran, it’s always smart to consider your options when it comes to your health and longevity – and it starts with your feet and the support your basketball shoes provide while you’re on the court.
Style is the last thing you should consider when you’re looking for shoes, but honestly, it is always one of the first things we look at when shopping. To help you not fall into the style trap, we have a few pieces of advice:
- Just because you like the way it looks does not mean you will like the way it feels on your foot. Ultimately, style isn’t going to help your game, but having the right shoes for your playing style and foot shape will.
- Don’t get distracted by brands, advertisements, athlete endorsements, and all the glitz and glamor; this is how the big companies are trying to reel you in to buy their shoes.
- If you have to have the stylish shoe, consider buying a pair of shoes for the court and another pair for the daily grind. By having that stylish pair to put on after the game, it can help you stay focused on the buying the right basketball shoes for your feet to have on during the game.
15 Best Basketball Shoes Reviews
Now that you know everything to look for while you’re out shopping; let’s take a look at some of the best basketball shoes out on the market.
1. adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive – Best Performance Basketball Shoes
If you’re looking for the shoe above all shoes, look no further. The adidas Crazy Explosive is the shoe that has been created to meet everyone’s needs on the basketball court.
The traction on this shoe is one of the best – letting you stop on a dime and go in any direction at any time on the court. adidas calls this technology Power Coral Traction which can best be described as a topography map. It was inspired by the coral reef, and when you look at it you can’t help but see the similarities. The outsole is a translucent rubber that allows you to feel more grip than usual. It works well on a clean court, but may require a couple of wipes if the court is heavy on dust. If you’re thinking about playing in these outdoors, don’t do it.
Not only that but the BOOST cushioning gives it the utmost comfort so while you’re making all these cuts; you’re feet are still going to be comfortable in the shoes. The Crazy Explosive provides good impact protection and heel to toe transition; not to mention how responsive it is to your movements on the court.
If you’re going to go with these shoes, stick with your true shoe size. If you have a narrow foot, in which case you should go half a size smaller. The inner bootie in the shoe takes up any potential dead space the shoe has which makes the shoes fit like a glove.
The support won’t go unnoticed by your foot either. It’s not the most supportive shoe on the market, but it still gets the job done. The wide, flat, stable platform gives your foot the support it needs to go all out on the court, but if you’re needing ankle support, we would suggest wearing ankle braces with this shoe.
Style, or visual appeal of these shoes is your personal preference – whether you like the style or not – the shoe feels great on your feet. If you’re leaning towards the latter, rest assure the shoe does perform better than it looks.
Conclusions About the adidas Crazy Explosive
The Dame 3 is one of the most complete shoes on the market. It performs well in every category and is so versatile that it can be worn by any player regardless of size or shape.
The traction used on the Dame 3 should have you covered for any move you can think of, and if you have watched Damian Lillard, you know he is making moves all game long. It uses a blade traction which offers multi-directional coverage, and it works beautifully. If you’re coming off curls, making a lot of cuts, or penetrating to the basket, then the Dame 3 traction is what you want to make sure your feet aren’t slipping. As far as traction goes, the Dame 3 is as good as it gets.
Bounce cushion adds a spring to your step while still giving you plenty of court feel. If you’re looking for that court feel, but still want a little more cushion than some other shoes offer (Steph 3 or Kyrie 3), then you should seriously consider the Dame 3. The good news is that this shoe isn’t just suitable for guards, but also for bigger players!
Sizing for this shoe is true to size, but if you want a snug fit then consider going down half a size. Wide footers should go up a half size. One thing everyone should love is that there are plenty of lace holes on the Dame 3, which means everyone should be able to find a lacing style to fit their foot. If you get this shoe and complain about the fit, be sure to try the different lace holes before you give up on it.
The support features in the Dame 3 are what you expect in a basketball shoe: TPU midfoot shank, internal heel counter, great lockdown, and a nice stable platform to work with on the court. One of the most enjoyable parts of the shoe’s support is the midsole. This area of the shoe cradles the foot, making it feel as if you and your shoe are one.
Conclusions About the adidas Dame 3
It was breaking news when James Harden decided to leave Nike to sign an insane contract with adidas, but basketball shoe lovers rejoice with his first signature shoe, the Harden Vol 1.
The traction used on the Harden Vol 1 was specifically designed for James Harden and how he moves on the court. Based on pressure mapping of his foot during his many stutter steps and toe drags, the pattern centers on a circular point under the ball of the foot and spreads out from there. The traction on the shoe is great! The shoe packs a lot of stopping power and only collects minimal dust which you can fix with a quick wipe while you’re playing.
Harden Vol 1 features BOOST cushioning and it’s lower than ever; this means you might not be feeling that bounce back as strongly, but you’re still getting the greatest amount of impact protection possible. You’ll get all the court feel you could want while still being protected underfoot.
Sizing for this shoe is true to size, but sizing can vary, so it’s best to make sure and try them on before you purchase. The midfoot feels narrow, and then the shoe widens out in the toe box. If you don’t like the feel of dead space at the end of your shoe, then you might think about going down a half size. Once you get the right size, the lockdown in these shoes is good especially after you break them in.
The support features in this shoe all work well together. Along with a great fit, these shoes sit very low to the ground. Because of this your natural balance isn’t thrown off when you put these shoes on and lace them up. Plus they have a wider platform which only enhances the stability and support of the shoe. The one area that could be of concern is the arch support because it is high so it might take a couple of times wearing the shoe to get used to it.
Conclusions About the adidas Harden Vol 1
Steph Curry’s latest shoe puts together an excellent combination of infinite support and total control. You can’t go wrong with a shoe that gives you a feel for the court while not weighing you down.
The Curry 3 features a simple herringbone pattern with thin grooves, a pivot point in the forefoot, and a hard rubber compound. The traction is great and makes for an amazing experience indoors if the court is on more of the clean side. If the court is a little dusty, the outsole does attract a lot of dust that requires frequent wiping to get it out of the grooves. When there’s dust on the outsole, you will experience some slippage so keep these puppies as clean as possible. Other than that, if you’re a player that uses jab steps, v-cuts, step backs (plays like Steph Curry) then you’re going to love the responsive traction the Curry 3 gives you on the court.
Charged is the kind of cushioning Curry likes in his shoes. It doesn’t have as much responsiveness and cushion as some other types, but Steph prefers no bounce or pillow in his shoe; he wants a court feel so that he is ready for quick crosses and releases. One thing about this type of cushioning system is that coming off screen for a quick shot feels natural and solid since there’s no bounce feeling. In other words, if you’re a player that uses change of direction to get past your opponent, this cushioning is a great match; but if you need more impact protection because of weak knees, you might want to pass on the Curry 3 and keep looking.
The fit on these shoes is true to size although narrow, some regular feet, and players like a snug fit may feel better in a half size down. Lockdown in the heel is excellent because of the padding and lacing system the Curry 3 uses. The only downfall with fit is that it doesn’t really conform to your feet.
The Curry 3 offer provides an ultra-lightweight support with features such as the carbon fiber wings on the heel. These wings provide extra security to make sure your ankle isn’t going anywhere. If you do wear ankle braces, the heel area should accommodate a number of braces, but it is solid enough that some players didn’t feel the need for additional support.
Conclusions About the Under Armour Curry 3
5. adidas Performance Men’s D Rose 7 – Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes
This is the new signature shoe of Derrick Rose – and it pulls out all the stops. It is strong in all categories that a basketball shoe should be strong in, but it comes down to what feels most comfortable on your foot, and with the D Rose 7 you should definitely try on before you buy.
The traction used on D Rose 7 is beastly. It’s supposed to be inspired by the Great Chicago Fire so it has thick rubber and herringbone flying in every direction. It doesn’t attract dust, so you never have to wipe your shoes, and it doesn’t matter if you wear it on an indoor or outdoor court – it works on both. It doesn’t matter how hard you stop and go or make cuts; you’re going to be able to stop on a dime and change directions. If you watch DRose on the court, then you’ll notice how hard he cuts sideways, so you know he needs serious grip on those lateral moves.
The D Rose 7 includes a full-length Boost cushion, so it basically feels the same as the Crazylight Boost 2016. You’re going to get a protective setup that gives you court feel without sacrificing protection. What it’s not going to give you is that bouncy feeling, so if that is what you want, then check out the adidas Crazy Explosive instead of the D Rose 7.
Sizing for this shoe is true to size, but it does run narrow. If you have a wide foot, then you should definitely try a pair of these on to make sure that they fit you correctly before you purchase them. If you get the right fit, then you’ll have a solid lockdown so that your foot won’t slide around while you’re on the court.
The support is one of the best features about the D Rose 7. From the stable base, you start out with to the outrigger, torsional, springplate, lockdown wings, and snug fit. It even has padded ankle collars that are thick, but contour to the ankle naturally; this provides you with great ankle protection. You aren’t going to worry about feeling unsupported in this basketball shoe.
Conclusions About the adidas D Rose 7.
6. Nike Kyrie 3 GS – Best Nike Basketball Shoes
The Kyrie 3 is the newest model of Kyrie Irving’s signature line. His shoe doesn’t have breathtaking technology, but it definitely gets the job done. Ultimately that’s what you need in a shoe – it isn’t about the frills but what feels right on your feet and fits your game, and if you’re the type of player looking for a shoe built for sharp cuts, then be sure to take a close look at the Kyrie 3.
The traction used on Kyrie 3 is herringbone, and it’s top-notch. This traction pattern is used on the whole outsole along with two multi-directional pods in the forefoot. The goal of the pods is to allow the wearer to grip the court while changing directions, and the herringbone traction covers the linear movements. The one area you will have to get used to is the “X” placed between the two pods. It doesn’t feel as aggressive as the rest of the outsole; it is weird at first, but the more you play, the less you’ll notice that feeling.
The Kyrie 3 only has cushion in the heel with a Zoom Air unit. It’s going to be a little stiff when you first get them, so allow some time to break them in. For those of you who want cushion or if you have knee or back issues, this probably isn’t right shoe for you since the cushion is minimal.
Sizing for this shoe is true to size, but basketball players with wider feet may feel like the shoe runs narrow. If you have wide feet, try going up a half size. The lockdown is great from heel to forefoot so that you won’t have to worry about your foot moving around in your shoe.
The support features are pretty basic in the Kyrie 3. There’s an internal shank plate for torsional support, internal heel counter to keep your foot in one place, and a rounded outsole. There is one downside to the support, and that is the toe. The tip of the toe is very hard, which means if your toes move to the end of your shoes, you will be met with a brick wall, and that won’t feel great while you’re trying to win a basketball game.
Conclusions About the Nike Kyrie 3
This is one of the best low top basketball shoes on the market. adidas created a complete package of a basketball shoe with the Crazylight Boost Low. If you’re scared of playing in a low top, but want to give it a try, pay attention to this review.
The traction used on the Crazylight Boost Low is some of the best on the market. No matter how hard you cut or stop, the Boost Low’s traction is going keep you from slipping and sliding on the court. The outsole has a herringbone pattern that resembles a tire tread and is made out of a hard rubber compound. This traction pattern doesn’t get clogged up while you play, which means that on clean or dirty court; the traction is still great.
Crazylight Boost Low includes a full-length Boost cushion. adidas put a ton of Boost pellets in the midsole which gives you that bounce you’re looking for in a cushion but paired with the midsole that absorbs impact. If you’re a bigger or more veteran player (older), this might not be the best option for you because even though there is cushioning it does still feel firmer which can be hard on the knees.
Sizing for this shoe is true to size, but it is narrow at the base. If you typically wear a wide shoe, then you should think about going up a half size or skipping this as your go-to basketball shoe. One area that you need to pay attention to is the heel. If you don’t try before you buy to ensure that the size is right, then you may experience heel slippage. We suggest trying on the shoe in the store before you purchase so you can be certain you get the correct size.
The support is still present even though this is a low cut shoe, and the two big keys to support are the Boost cushion and the fit. The Boost cushion plays a big part in support of this shoe by creating impact protection and responsiveness without sacrificing stability. However, the cushion and shoe can’t offer the maximum support if you get the wrong size. Without the right size, you’re looking at heel slippage or your foot moving in the shoe while you play which could have a negative impact on the court. If support is a big priority for you, then be sure to take the time to try on these Crazylight Boost Lows to ensure you’re buying and playing in the right size for you.
Conclusions About the adidas Crazylight Boost Low
Nike’s signature shoe is a great option for all players. It doesn’t offer groundbreaking technology like some other shoes on the market, but it’s going to offer the most tried and true tools for any performer.
The traction pattern used on the Hyperdunk is better for durability and stopping power. The rubber pattern on the outsole looks like blades and is made for multi-directional movement. There are open windows under the balls of the foot, which you would think would cause problems, but it didn’t. In fact, it makes the traction even more consistent. On a clean court, you can stop pretty hard and fast, but if the court is more on the dusty side then you won’t stop as quick. Because it is dustier, you’ll have to clean your shoes more often.
Hyperdunk 2016 is made with Zoom Air cushion technology. You can find one Zoom Air unit in the heel and one in the forefoot. With this type of cushioning, push-offs were quick, landings were solid, and no pain or impact felt on the back. The responsiveness is great because there isn’t any lag time waiting for the shoe to recover for your next jump. This feeling is exactly what Zoom was designed for – quick from the push and HD hit the nail on the head.
The fit on these shoes is true to size. When they’re on your feet, you don’t even have to lace it tight to get that locked in feeling like you do with some other shoes. On top of that, your foot is going to stay in place because the ankle padding is dense and wraps perfectly around the ankle and heel. For any basketball player that’s a great combination.
All the features for a good, stable shoe can be found in the Hyperdunk. It has a wide base, adjustable lacing, midfoot shank just to name a few. This shoe gives you all the security of a high top, but the flexibility of a low top.
Conclusions About the Nike Hyperdunk 2016
Like Lebron, this shoe does everything well. It was made to fit the King and his game; you can see and feel that in the technology and features the Lebron XIII offers.
The traction used on Lebron XIII is hex pods throughout the outsole with large bars that acted like herringbone. The large bars are implemented in multiple directions for coverage no matter which way you’re moving. On clean or lightly dusted courts, these shoes were very consistent with no issues.
Zoom Air Hexagon cushions make the Lebron XIII feel nice on your feet. It has hexagonal zoom pads – three pods in the forefoot and one in the heel. These two zones cover a big amount of space not to mention they’re 13mm thick – which is thick. You will definitely feel that extra bounce, explosiveness, and impact protection while you’re out on the court.
The fit on these shoes is true to size, but as always make sure you get the right size for you. For basketball players with high arches, you will most definitely want to try these shoes on first because the layer of shoe that sits on top of the midfoot has zero stretch and could be the downside for some. The shoes will feel awkward when you get them on your feet but once they are broken in be ready for a great basketball experience.
The Lebron XIII’s features have a positive effect on their support. These shoes sport a wide base that feels stable, and since the base is wider than the upper, it cradles the foot nicely. The Lebrons offer plenty of flex and mobility, but you never feel it stretching. You’re able to make plays on the court without feeling like you are stuck in one spot.
Conclusions About the Nike Lebron XIII
This is the 9th signature shoe of Kevin Durant. It features the most advanced technology on the market, and with a cutting edge cushioning system, the KD 9 enhances responsiveness and control for versatile play.
The traction on this shoe is deceptive – if you look at the outsole you’d think the KD 9 wouldn’t be great, but it is the exact opposite. It doesn’t matter what condition the court is in because the honeycomb pattern keeps you covered in all directions. In fact, there are times when the traction is too good. As far as durability goes, the rubber on the outsole does start showing signs of wear so it shouldn’t be your first option for outdoor games.
The full-length Max Zoom cushion is amazing – smooth transition, ultimate impact protection, and ultimate responsiveness. The KD 9 cushioning is everything you’d expect and more. The best part is that not only does it have the benefit just mentioned but it still retains its mobility. Which means all positions are able to wear and enjoy these shoes. One thing to note is that the lateral forefoot section will collapse a bit if you land on it. When jumping, try not to land on the lateral section of your forefoot. Sometimes you can’t help it because you are in the middle of the game, but avoid it as best you can.
If you’re going to go with these shoes, be sure to try these on in store before your purchase because you may have to go down half a size. They’re a little hard to get on your foot, but once they’re on you are locked in perfectly. The lacing doesn’t move much, so if the size doesn’t fit you perfectly, then you may have some minor heel slippage. This shoe is definitely made for a more narrow foot; meaning wide footers should think twice before purchasing. If you wear ankle braces, bring those with you to the store, as well. That’s the only way to ensure the KD 9 will work with your braces.
The KD 9’s support is riding on one thing, and that is the overall fit. We stressed trying these shoes on in-store before you take them home because the fit is so particular. If you get the wrong size in any way, then their on-court performance will suffer. However, if you feel the shoes fit you perfectly, you’ll end up with a shoe that offers a solid fit with plenty of mobility without lacking support.
Conclusions About the Nike Zoom KD 9
This shoe’s claim to fame is its part in being the shoe that Lebron wore when he won Game 7 and brought the title to Cleveland. If you’re a big basketball fan, you know exactly what game we’re referring to.
The traction pattern on Lebron 10s is a bunch of squares and squares inside of squares. The traction is decent, but if you’re a guard who likes to make hard cuts and crossovers, this shoe isn’t for you. It is going to shine for bigger players or players with a more straightforward style.
Two bottom-loaded Zoom Air units make up the Solider 10s cushion – one in the forefoot and one in the heel – and it has an injected Phylon midsole on the top. The heel to toe transition is decent, and the cushion is responsive, but some players couldn’t even feel the Zoom units. Some even said that the bottom of their feet hurt after wearing this shoes to hoop in; this is definitely an area to keep in mind as you’re looking for the right footwear.
The fit on these shoes is true to size, but getting your foot in the shoe is the real trick, but once you are past that, part the sculpting and interior padding will form around your foot. The straps tighten nicely around the ankle to keep it stabilized, and the middle strap pulls the foot straight into the heel of the shoe. One of the positives about having no laces is you can quickly and easily readjust the fit instead of having to loosen all the laces and retie your shoe.
One thing you can always count on when it comes to a Lebron shoe is the support – and this shoe is no different. The look of no laces is deceptive because you would think the shoe doesn’t hold your foot in place but it’s the exact opposite. The internal structures, padding, and molding make sure the foot is kept in place with very little movement.
Conclusions About the Nike Lebron Solider 10
If you’re a big fan of the Black Mamba and looking for a low cut basketball shoe, you’ll like these shoes, too. You will forget you’re even in a low cut shoe with all the support you feel when you get the Kobe XI Elite Low on your feet.
The traction used on Kobe XI Elite Low is inconsistent and probably the weakest part of this shoe. Not to say that it doesn’t have traction because it does, but it could have better traction. The outsole does collect quite a bit of dust so be sure to wipe these shoes not only while you’re playing but even when you’re done playing and taking them off.
The Kobe XI Elite Low has a full-length Lunar foam and integrated heel Zoom which makes this midsole cushion very comfortable. Based on cushion feel alone, you might want to play in this shoe every day. With the Lunar forefoot design and the Free-inspired grid, your foot moves more naturally, which is nice on the court.
Sizing for this shoe is true to size, but the Kobe line in generally does fit slightly narrow so be sure to try the shoes on before you purchase. One piece of advice is to re-lace the shoes to make them fit you better – brand new shoes are going to be stiff and simply laced for looks alone so take the time to re-lace them according to your foot.
The support of this shoe comes from the actual fit of the shoe which is why getting the right size is critical. With the right size and the support features of the shoe like the Flywire integrated as the lacing mechanism, you won’t be shifting or sliding around while you’re out there playing. The materials they use for the Kobe XI gives you a direct one-to-one fit. You’ll have a solid court feel which helps in your naturally stabilizing yourself. These shoes may be a low cut, but they don’t feel like it, and you definitely won’t question their support.
Conclusions About the Nike Kobe XI Elite Low
If you’re looking for a capable performance shoe on a budget, then this is the shoe for you. Under Armour has created the ClutchDrive 3 as a value shoe that still offers great performance technology without breaking the bank.
Traction on the ClutchDrive 3 is surprising – it is herringbone and covers the entire outsole. Not to mention it is flat and appears to have no bite ability. When you put this shoe on your foot and step onto the court, you will be shocked at the amount of stick it has to it. UA strategically placed diamond shaped inserts in the outsole to provide ultimate traction control, which it accomplishes greatly on both indoor and outdoor courts.
ClutchDrive 3 combined two worlds together in the cushioning of this shoe – it has Micro G in a layer sitting on top of a Charged in the heel. It’s a solid setup for responsiveness; it’s just not that soft when you’re on the court. This cushioning is probably best for a guard that is looking for a cushion that is minimal but responsive which is the feel you get in the CD3.
The fit on these shoes is true to size and are pretty comfortable. It does feel like a more tight fight with a sturdy upper, so if you prefer softer materials, this might not be the shoe for you. When you put this shoe on you will experience a very locked in, snug fit.
If there’s a downfall of the ClutchDrive 3, it might be the lack of support. Forefoot, midfoot, and the heel have no support issues, but when it comes to the ankles, the CD3 only provides adequate support. If you wear ankle braces, you should be okay, but if you like to go without braces or have ankle injury prone, you should probably look for a different shoe.
Conclusions About the Under Armour ClutchDrive 3
Nike released the Zoom Ascention as a budget friendly option for Swoosh lovers. If you’re a loyal to brand type basketball player, in need of something easy on the pockets, be sure to check this shoe out.
The traction pattern they used is flat herringbone on a rubber outsole. The downside of this particular shoe is that you have to play a few times before the traction becomes reliable. Overall, the traction does perform well on the court and is the highlight of the shoe. The rubber Nike used is quite thick which means this shoe can be used on an outdoor court. If you’re looking for a shoe to use for pick-up games at the park, take a look at this one.
Nike Zoom Ascention has Zoom cushioning in the forefoot as well as a Phylon midsole that runs full length which a pretty basic Nike setup. You do have to break in the Phylon to feel the Zoom, but after a couple wears the shoes start to get a little more bounce to them. Even though it’s a basic setup, it still gets the job done. You’ll be able to make quick cuts, jump, sprint, and land on the basketball court. Not to mention, you get a good court feel with this cushion, but if you’re looking for more cushion and impact protection, this isn’t the shoe for you.
Sizing for this shoe is true to size, but it does run a little long and narrow. The fit is another strong point for the shoe because there is no dead space in the toe area with the upper sitting over the toe which gives the shoe a nice and supportive feel. The Ascention features a half-bootie construction that keeps your toe to about midfoot locked down. The fit is inconsistent, so you may find yourself re-lacing your shoes to get a better fit and other times the fit may feel great.
The support is definitely the downfall of this shoe. Much like the soft upper of the shoe, the support is soft, too. You’ll feel some heel slippage, and that is noticeable while you’re on the court. When the shoe stops, your foot will keep going which does happen in any shoe but other shoes include technology that is designed to prevent your foot from moving. Unfortunately, the Zoom only has a soft mesh upper to keep your foot in place – and it doesn’t. Anyone that plays basketball knows this isn’t a good feeling and could lead to rolling your ankles.
Conclusions About the Zoom Ascention
15. Nike Jordan Men’s Air Jordan XXXI – Best Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet
Jordan Brand is already iconic, but when you put the Jumpman and Swoosh onto one shoe, it can be hard to look past the glitz and glamor – good thing we did that for you.
The traction on Air Jordan XXXI is not bad, but it’s not great, either. The best way to describe it is inconsistent – traction is provided by a translucent rubber sole. If you’re playing on the cleanest floors, you’ll have a great time, but if the floors are dirty, then you’ll have to wipe your shoes often to get decent traction. You can even take these shoes outside, but keep in mind they will have a shorter lifespan after playing on asphalt.
When you get this shoe on your feet, you’ll feel the full-length Zoom Air providing cushion, activated by a FlightSpeed plate. This technology helps further compress the airbag, which gives you more of a responsive bounce under your foot. While this sounds great, it does take a couple of days to break them in to be able to feel the FlightSpeed at work but once you do you’ll experience great court feel, responsiveness, and lateral support.
The Air Jordan XXXI shoes fit true to size. Because of the woven materials, these shoes are a great option for wider feet. It’s very difficult to find a shoe that will accommodate a wide foot – but these do! Players with narrow or regular feet must try these on before purchasing because there might be too much extra room inside.
The support is good but not outstanding. The support mostly comes from the fit and the synthetic heel which should keep your heel locked in; this is great because it shouldn’t turn over when you’re on the court. Another strong point of support is in the ankle as AJXXXI has a well-designed ankle collar to provide that extra stability.
Conclusions About the Air Jordan XXXI
The downfall of the Air Jordan XXXI is traction, and when it comes to basketball shoes, traction is important. Not to mention, there are tons of basketball shoes with better traction available. If you want to stick it out with these Jordan shoes, we suggest playing indoors on the cleanest courts possible. Be prepared to wipe and clean often.
Everything else about the shoe is great, but the inconsistent traction can definitely play a big role in this shoe’s ability for on-court performance.
Game Time: Finding the Shoe That Fits Your Game
Before you go out shopping, the biggest question that you need to answer is what the most important thing is for your game when it comes to a basketball shoe?
Create a list of what you want out of your shoe and make sure your list compliments the way you play on the court. If you already have a basketball shoe in mind then do some research to see what others have to say about it; more specifically, find out what they didn’t like about the shoe. When you research beforehand, you know what to pay attention to when you’re actually in the store trying different shoe models.
There are many brands with athlete endorsements, but overall you should make sure that your basketball shoes fit right and are comfortable on your feet. Pack a pair of game socks, ankle braces if you wear them, and enjoy looking for your new basketball shoes!