Basketball is a game that doesn’t require a lot of equipment, but the most important thing that every basketballer needs is a quality pair of shoes. Regardless of your skill level or how long you’ve been playing the game, it just can’t be played the right way without footwear made specifically for balling, and it’s a purchase that should never be avoided.
Choosing a pair of basketball shoes is no easy feat though, with literally hundreds of different styles and a whole range of brands on the market. If you’re new to the sport especially this can be even more overwhelming, and making your way through all of the features and specifications is downright confusing.
This buying guide was created to make the process easier and ensure that choose the best basketball shoe to suit your needs. We consider the fit, features, price, and style so that you can walk away with the perfect footwear to improve your performance and make the wonderful game of basketball even better.
We can show you what features matter and what ones are optional, as well as our picks for the best basketball shoes on the market. Whether you need help for flat feet, ankle support, comfort, agility, or style, there’s bound to be a shoe that will deliver it, and help you perform better than ever before next time you’re on the court.
Our Picks for the Best Basketball Shoes
Our top choice for the best basketball shoes on the market today is the Adidas Men’s Crazylight Boosts. These shoes have everything you could look for including serious traction, a comfortable fit, and the style that Adidas is known for. There are so many options for designs and a range of sizes for men, so they’ve really thought of it all.
These shoes are made with comfort in mind and they have a textile lining, padded back collar insert, and jacquard upper to ensure it. They promote stability on the court with a molded TPU heel cup and eyestay piece as well as improved midfoot strength to keep you steady, so if you need some help with your balance they’re definitely the way to go.
The best thing about these shoes is they’re made with the patented Boost energy returning technology. This means a faster response time on the court regardless of what you’re doing. As basketball is a game of speed and quick thinking, this is the most important benefit you could hope for when looking for a shoe. This feature alone makes it our top choice for the best basketball shoe for guards as well, helping you to move as fast as possible.
While they do have a lot to offer, the Adidas Crazylights aren’t the best basketball shoes for wide feet and they could even be a little uncomfortable at times. One of the most common complaints about these is that they’re incredibly narrow and really only suited to people with narrow feet. Trying to wear them if you usually have a larger fit will only cause discomfort, so you’re better shopping for something made specifically for this shape.
If you get them in the smaller size, they’re the best basketball shoes for under $100 by far. Larger sizes can cost up to $130 which is still pretty good value for a quality brand like Adidas, so either way, you’re getting a bargain as long as you can guarantee your foot will suit the narrow shape.Overall, these are the best choice for a basketball shoe to suit all types of players. They give an incredible boost to your performance, are comfortable to wear, and are incredibly priced for something by this famous brand. The Adidas Crazlight Boosts are a versatile men’s basketball shoe that meets all of the requirements and are definitely our favorite choice so far.
2. Nike Kyrie 5
Nike is the biggest name in basketball shoes by far and the Kyrie 5 is their collaboration with the great Kyrie Irving. These shoes are all about comfort and they’re perfect for basketballers who always felt their regular shoes were lacking in support. Available in both men’s and women’s sizes, they’re some of the most stylish basketball shoes around.
Nike knows a thing or two about making basketball shoes and it’s evident with all of the cool features these come with. The Kyrie 5 has amazing foot cushioning which actually curves with the outsole to give all over support, and you’ll be able to feel it from the toes all the way through to the heel. These are the best shoes for ankle support because of this so if you’re someone who’s suffered injury or pain before, you’ll want to get these on your feet.
The best thing about these shoes is the use of the Nike Air Zoom Turbo which is their patented technology made for response time. You’ll be as agile as possible on the court and without feeling weighed down like some other shoes when they focus more on the outsole. They’re great for fast direction changes and quick movements, which is something we all do when we play.
Last update on 2019-11-18 PST - Details
The Kryie 5 shoes are made with Nike’s special Venus Flytrap design, intended to keep your feet firmly in place. While they do just that, some reviewers found it was a little too tight and ended up feeling restrictive. There wasn’t a lot of room for movement and after some time it felt uncomfortable, so this is probably a design feature that worked against them.
Other noteworthy features include the engineered mesh upper that gives breathability and the padded collar. this specifically protects your Achilles tendon which can become a nightmare when you play basketball, so it’s good to see that Nike has addressed this common issue for the sport.These are priced pretty reasonably for a Nike shoe but still more than most on the market, retailing at around Price not available depending on the size and style you choose. If comfort is where you’re lacking most and you need support and speed on the court, you’ll really love everything that the Nike Kyrie 5 has to offer your game.
When you think about basketball, Kobe Bryant and Nike are two of the first names that probably come to mind. It stands to reason then that any collaboration between them is probably going to ideal for this sport, which is where the Nike Mamba Rage men’s basketball shoe comes in. The Mamba Rages are high-performance shoes better suited to those who know how to play the game and they have a serious price tag to meet these expectations.
Last update on 2019-11-18 PST - Details
Nike designed the Mamba Rage with Kobe and it’s for serious basketballers. Everything from the lightweight design and low-cut profile to the Flyweave upper and unique micro-tuned sole proves that they’re for professional athletes, so if you want to take your game to the next level these could be the way to do it.
The best thing about the Nike Mamba Rage basketball shoes is found on the insole and outsole. Firstly, the insole is made with Lunarlon which covers the entire length so you’re able to get a dynamic but soft cushioning with every movement. Secondly, the outsole has a special traction pattern that means you’ll be able to grip any surface with ease, so indoor or outdoor play is possible. These are often considered some of the best basketball shoes for flat feet thanks to these features, so add them to your list if you have this special requirement.
4. Conkafoe Basketball Shoe
When you’re just learning to play basketball and not ready to go all in with an expensive pair of shoes, there are still some options available. The Conkafoe Basketball Shoe available for men and women, and come in a range of colors and designs to suit your personal taste.
The Conkafoe Basketball Shoe has a wearable rubber outsole with a pattern designed to help you gain traction on the court. They feature a cotton and mesh lining so they’re pretty comfortable where it counts and you’ll get decent breathability and flexibility thanks to the softness of these materials.
What customers loved best about these basketball shoes was how they performed for the price. The EVA midsole helped with a cushioning effect and absorbed some of the shocks but they were able to provide a pretty good response time when quick movements were needed. Although not up to par with the more expensive sports footwear brands, they performed surprisingly well for the cost and were a great entry-level choice for beginners.
On the downside, these are lightly cushioned only and not really as durable or bulky as you might expect from a basketball shoe. Some reviewers ended up wearing them as casual everyday shoes as they started to play ball more and found the need for something a little more expensive and up to the task at hand.
The Conkafoe Basketball Shoes come in sizes from 5 in women and 4 in men, through to 15 women and 11 men. Having both men’s and women’s options and so many sizes was a welcome change, so they’re truly gender neutral shoes. The design comes with a high ankle for protection and they’re great for more than just basketball, with people running, cycling, playing tennis, and going to the gym with their Conkafoe shoes in tow.
If you want something cheap that’s still going to serve you well on the court, the Conkafoe Basketball Shoes are an ideal option. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and enough to get you started, but as your skills progress and you start playing basketball more often, there’s a good chance you’ll be needing an upgrade.
Basketball Shoes vs Regular Shoes: What’s the Difference?
Basketball is a sport like no other, and our shoes need to be able to meet its unique requirements. There are fast passes, far shots, quick breakaways, and a whole lot of running in this special sport which is why you need a shoe that’s been made specifically for it. You’ll move a lot more than regular sports and be required to think quickly, and you want to make sure your shoe doesn’t hold you back.
People often wonder if they can wear any old sports shoe or sneaker when playing basketball, and you probably could. However, they’re not going to be designed for the game and they’ll only end up hindering your performance, causing a lot of discomfort and making for a pretty miserable experience out on the court.
Generally speaking, basketball shoes are usually heavier and they might come with a higher ankle than most. They need to offer additional ankle support, give you good traction on the court, but also offer a better energy response time so you can move quickly. Standard sneakers don’t offer these things and are better suited to different surfaces and for general activities like running or walking.
A dedicated basketball shoe doesn’t have to cost more than a standard running shoe, so there’s no need to sacrifice one for the other. Most athletic brands make specialized basketball shoes with the unique features that this sport requires without costing more, and these days there are so many different options to choose from.
The Features to Look For in a Basketball Shoe
There’s no such thing as the best basketball shoe ever because every player is unique in what they required from their footwear. In general, a basketball shoe should be durable and comfortable while providing traction on the court and allowing for fast response time. However, there are other features you’ll need to make sure you can tick off when choosing your next shoe.
Which Type is Best?
There are three main considerations you’ll have to make when choosing basketball shoes and each one comes with its own advantages for the game depending on your position and movement. Low top, mid top, and high tops are the main categories these shoes fall into, so here’s how to know which type is best for you:
A Must Have For Comfort, Agility, and Stability
Just as you wouldn’t play golf without golf shoes or train for a marathon without running shoes, so too should you never play basketball without the right footwear. These days it’s more affordable than ever to invest in a pair of basketball shoes and there’s no need to opt for the famous and more expensive brands if you don’t want to.
A good pair of basketball shoes should be the right fit for the game but it should also fit your personal needs. You have to make sure your footwear is a perfect size, helps you in areas where you’re lacking, and provides you with the support and comfort that’s required for this popular sports game.
The noticeable difference that a quality pair of basketball shoes can make to your performance will surprise you and it’s something that no player should be without. Whether you’re a professional athlete or total beginner, your basketball shoes will be your greatest ally when you get onto that court.