Best Basketball Shoes

What is the Most Popular Basketball Shoe?

Basketball shoes are one of the essential gears, they are not only used for protection, but they also add speed and improve mobility of the players on the court. This significantly affects their performance.

If you have ever owned shoes that were not ergonomic, then you know just how painful and hard it can be to use such sneakers. Such gear poses a danger as you can easily break your ankle. It is, therefore, important that every player uses the right sneakers.

So, you need to buy brand new pairs of basketball shoes, but you are not sure which one to purchase because there are so many options out there? Don’t worry that is typical among players.

In this write-up, we will break it down for you and review the best five sneakers you can buy today! Your satisfaction is our first priority, and as such, we have conducted in-depth research on each product, and where necessary, we did physical testing.

You can be sure that every shoe on the list is worth every single penny in your pocket. Take time to carefully peruse the entire article to get the most out of it.

Best Basketball Shoes

Air Jordan 34 -TOP PICK5 out of 5 stars
Adidas Harden Vol.34.8 out of 5 stars
Under Armour Curry 3Zero 34.7 out of 5 stars
Nike Lebron 174.6 out of 5 stars
Nike PG 34.8 out of 5 stars

1. Air Jordan 34

The Air Jordan is by far the best basketball sneakers in terms of performance, and it is also our best pick. Its design is fantastic. The traction of the sneakers is unmatched; with the herringbone pattern, there is no chance of sliding on the court.

In the midsole, there is a hole whose function is not only for aesthetic purposes but also to reduce the overall weight.  This is an essential feature to factor in as the Jordan 34 is one of the lightest basketball sneakers ever made.

Light shoes are excellent because they do not drag your legs down because of the weight. Another great feature is that they are highly breathable. The upper material comprises of meshed material to allow air to flow inside the shoe, minimizing sweating.

The cushioning is very responsive and will always give you the boost you need. The shoes are also durable; the upper sides on the fore-foot region is made of TPU, which is durable to withstand all the side to side movements. 


  • It is highly breathable.
  • Traction is excellent.
  • Soft and responsive cushioning.


  • It is highly-priced.
  • It is not the best shoe for outdoor courts.

2. Adidas Harden Vol.3

There are nice details on these shoes, such as the signature on the toe vamp region and the Adidas logo on the lateral side. All these make this shoe looks fabulous, and as a result, they can also be worn outside the court as a fashion wears. 

One unique feature of the Adidas Harden Vol. 3 is the full-length boost cushioning that is well balanced for maximum protection from impacts. The material is super lightweight, and this greatly improves the performance on the court.

The vamp region consists of netted material that makes it highly breathable at the same time, reducing the overall weight. The traction is excellent even in a poorly maintained court thanks to the herringbone traction pattern.

Another great feature of the Harden Vol. 3 is that you can customize the laces; you could decide to only tight the lower foot region or the upper region depending on your preference.

The heel counter and tab are highly raised; this offers the great heel support and eliminates any possible sprain injuries on the region. Also, the area is sculpted on the inside to fit the heel properly, to prevent it from slipping. 

As far as performance goes, you can rely on these sneakers to handle all the stress in the court without stretching with time, as many shoes are prone to.


  • It is made from ultra-lightweight materials.
  • Stylish design and features nice details.
  • It has a well-balanced full-length boost cushioning set up.


  • It easily picks dust from the ground.
  • The raise heel support often pulls down socks.

3. Under Armour Curry 3Zero 3

This is perhaps the most modish sneakers for basketball. You will like them the moment you lay eye on them. The Curry 3Zero 3 is available in different colors and sizes to fit players of any shoe size. 

The entire upper side is made of synthetic leather that is sturdy and highly durable. Also, the forefoot region is netted for a couple of reasons. First is to maximize the airflow inside the shoe and second to reduce the weight.

The back heel region features Micro G foam, which is soft and very responsive; this is essential as it always gives you the power to make explosive jumps and reactions. The outer sole covers the entire length and is just of the right width.

Your feet won’t be too high up or too low off the ground. The herringbone traction pattern allows the sneakers to have maximum grip. Another interesting feature that the heel region is very short; this has its pros and cons.

The advantage is that it gives your ankle and heel more room to move freely, and the disadvantage is that it is prone to sprains because both the ankle and heel are not firmly supported. The lacing system makes it easy to tie shoelaces.


  • Variety of color options.
  • It has amazing traction.
  • It is light in weight.


  • There have been cases of ankle sprains because the shoes are low cut, and this allows the ankle to roll easily.
  • It has a poor grip on the outer edges.

4. Nike Lebron 17

These sneakers have always felt overwhelming, and that makes sense because they are designed for heavy players who weight about 265 pounds. It felt like much for normal guys, but recently Nike has made some of the most user–friendly Lebron shoes ever.

The significant feature of the sneaker to note is that it has the largest air max unit of about 270. Your feet will be extremely high off the ground, but you will get used to it. That brings us to the cushioning, with such a huge air unit; you will be greatly protected from heavy impacts upon landing. 

The external heel cap is made of high-grade TPU material to lock down your heel, thus preventing injuries. Also, the material used is of quality grade; you will use this sneaker for a long time without replacement.

Unlike many shoes that are only recommended for indoor courts, the Nike Lebron 17 can also be used in outdoor courts. The sole does not pick up dirt particles and ensures that the grip remains at its best.

The Nike logo on the heel counter makes it look more stylish. The sneakers are also very flexible, and the translucent spongy rubber material at the foxing regions will provide you with the power necessary for explosive reactions.


  • It does not pick up dust particles.
  • It is made from top-grade materials.
  • The cushioning is comfortable.


  • The lacing system makes it hard to tie laces.
  • The sneakers are quite heavy.

5. Nike PG 3

Another great basketball performance shoe is the Nike PG 3, which was inspired by the legend George’s moonshot. As far as durability goes, you can be assured that they will last longer.

The upper part is netted; this makes it breathable, allowing air to flow inside the shoe to minimize sweating and bad odor that comes from wearing shoe wears. On the inside, the sneaker is very comfy due to the springy zoom air unit, which is highly responsive.

The excellent traction property is a result of the multi-circle traction pattern inspired by the moon’s craters. You will be able to make instant turns on the court and change direction instantly without sliding away.

The Nike logo on the lateral side of the midsole makes it more visually appealing. The outer sole is made of soft and very responsive premium rubber, to give you some boost while jumping to make that dunk. 


  • Excellent traction.
  • The soft foam cushioning is very responsive.
  • The upper shoe material is perforated to allow airflow inside the shoe.


  • Shoelaces untangle now and then.
  • It is not the best shoe for outdoor courts.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing Basketball Shoes

Every year big brands like Nike and Adidas produce many basketball sneakers series, and at the moment, they are all over the market. This brings us to the obvious challenge; selecting the right pair from a wide array of options available.

You might think that it is a simple task, but that is not the case. If you are a fan of basketball and are looking to buy a pair of sneakers for looks, your job might be easy. You just have to walk in a shop and select the one that looks more stylish, and that is it.

On the other side, as a player, you need to factor in many features like traction, cushion, and material, just to mention a few. This is because every small detail affects the performance of the sneakers.

The sprain is also one of the most common injuries in basketball where the ligaments tear in the joints. To avoid such painful injuries, you need to have great shoes designed to cushion and support your ankle region properly.

Remember, not all sneakers have such design; in this section, we will discuss all important features in sneaker and their uses. 

Traction and Balance

Traction is one of the key aspects to consider while purchasing b-ball sneakers. Traction increases performance by minimizing slipping. While traction is good, too much of it can be dangerous and can result in injuries. 

Using footwear with low traction will make your game hard; with constant slipping, it is going to be impossible to make sharp cuts.

Treads play a significant role in ensuring that a shoe has the maximum grip needed. Some of the commonly known tread patterns include; herringbone, spiral, zigzag and hexagonal pattern.

A good performance shoe is the one that provides you with the right balance even after a long period of intense usage. Some of the material used in making the outsole tends to wear out unevenly, leading to instabilities, avoid such footwear.

For increased balance, the base of the sole also needs to wide. This increases the surface area for toppling. The larger the bases of the sole, the harder for you topple over and fall.  It is vital to mention that majority of sneakers are made to be used inside courts.

This means that if you use them in the outside court, they won’t last long. You, therefore, have to look for the ones with thick outsole meant for outdoor games.

Comfort and Cushioning

The inner cushioning of a shoe and the comfort it offers is another key factor because, in a basketball game, you would need to spring and run around for 12 minutes each quarter, which is not easy. The shoes you wear should be designed to make this a little easier for you.

Some matches can last up to two hours because of the breaks and penalties, but you will have your shoes on the entire time. This means that the shoes have to be very comfortable and the cushioning soft so that it gives you an easy time out on the court.

When you are in comfortable shoes, all the focus will be on the game, and you will forget about your feet and just concentrate on winning the match, which will increase your chances of winning.

Uncomfortable shoes could be disastrous in a game. They will make you lose some focus on the game because of your feet’ unpleasant state; it might result in pain, which will reduce your performance since you will reduce your foot movements, which could cost your team the match.

Position and Playing Style

The position you play determines the type of shoes you wear; although there are usually five positions, there are four categories of players on the basketball court. We have finesse, post power, and slasher. 

Finesse players have the ball in their possession all the time; they often operate from the periphery of the court to hit a jumper. Such players require comfy sneakers with excellent ankle protection. 

Slashers also require shoes with the best ankle protection with raised heel region to properly hold their ankle in to secure position and posture. Powers are usually massive and weight an average of 200 pounds or more.  

They require a shoe that can handle their weight; such footwears needs to have a thick cushioning and durable midsole. I hope you get the idea here, evaluate your court position, and determine the perfect conditions for the appropriate shoe.

Budget and Performance

The price of the shoes is also important. You should get a pair of shoes depending on the amount of money you have at your disposal. This ensures that you don’t squeeze everything out of your account.

Good quality products are expensive. Some are of good quality but at a fair price, but most cheap products are bound to be of low quality. So get a pair that is of a price reasonable to you but check the quality.

In terms of performance, the shoe should be designed to be ‘breathable’ in that it is netted or meshed so that it keeps your feet fresh and comfortable. The shoe should also be light, this will make your movement on the court a lot easier, and your legs won’t tire out easily.

The shoelaces are also an important part of a shoe’s performance. Some shoelaces can get untied because of the movement. This is not good because constantly tying the shoes will distract you, and you might trip on the lace and fall, which would lead to some serious injuries. The laces should remain tied and tight throughout the game.


Basketball needs you to hustle, which means that you will be needed to constantly run around the court, whether you are attacking or defending. This means that you need durable shoes that can handle the pressure of constant movement and stoppings.

If the sole is of low quality, they will wear out, which will be problematic for you. You will constantly slip, and stopping suddenly might be a problem when you are defending or even attacking. You might even fall and seriously injure yourself.

Durable shoes will take care of you on the court for a long time. You will not need to repair the shoes, and repair can be costly constantly. If the shoes are of poor quality, you would have to replace them every few weeks or so, which will be a serious inconvenience.

It gets worse if you are using an outdoor court. Your shoes will wear out very quickly, or the intense friction coupled with your weight and quick stopping will cause the shoes to tear now and then. So make sure the shoes are high quality to save you the trouble of expensive maintenance.


The most effective to support an ankle is by use of athlete tape. If this is not working, you can always use a pair of shoes designed with a feature to support your ankle, which usually has raised the heel region.

Ensure that whatever the shoe you decide to go with, firmly support your ankle while giving you enough space to freely move the legs.

Upper, Middle or High

Basketball sneakers come in three height; high, mid, or low, and each is appropriate to different players.   High foot wears have the upper wrapping around your ankle region to offer an additional layer of support and steadiness.

 The upper fabric on mid sneakers covers only a section of your ankle, thereby providing some support but not as effective as the high shoes. The low shoes are specifically built for speed and steadiness, although they have reduced ankle protection.

Visual Appeal

While choosing basketball shoes, it should not always be about how they are made and how they look. They come in different colors and designs. Keeping in mind that you will use for months, you want to get something that you won’t get tired of staring at it.

Be sure not to compromise the performance because of looks. The shoe also needs to be performing well and offering you the protection you need.

Customer Review

When it comes to the best basketball footwear, customer reviews are essential. It is always good to know what others think about a particular product you want to select. One way of doing that is by checking the manufacturer’s site and read the review section.

You will find unbiased information from customers who have hard first-hand experience with the items. By going through this section, you can learn and know what to expect.  

Also, you could ask your friends you train with, and ask for some advice. All these will prevent you from that hassle of having to repack the products and shipping them back because you don’t like them.

Conclusion – Best-Rated Basketball Shoes

Modern-day basketball designs have greatly improved the performance of many players. Every year there is a release of new sneakers with more exciting features that assure players of their safety and excellent performance. 

Any shoe is perfectly fine for any type of player; it just depends on personal preferences. The general rule is that the shoes you want to buy need to have all the safety and performance features most of them have.

The Air Jordan 3 designed factored in all the safety features, and its performance is unmatched; that is why we are highly recommending them to anyone looking for new sneakers.

The traction is excellent, and the cushioning is made using a very soft rubber, which makes it very responsive, thus giving you boost and, at the same reducing impact upon landing. The sneaker will handle the fast, sharp cuts in the court, thanks to the sturdy outsole.  

Generally, they are light in weight, allowing you to run while wearing them easily. Also, it is breathable, and this is necessary for aeration. The upper of the sneaker features a durable TPU material that will last for months. Order your pair today and see your gameplay improve.

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