The Best Basketball Shoes (2021 Reviews)

Andy Shandling
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Believe it or not, there are a lot of differences between basketball shoes. In fact, if you’re looking for the best basketball shoes for your specific requirements, it can be a pretty tough job.

There are hundreds of different options, ranging from low-cost bargain steals to ridiculously overpriced “designer” shoes that are anything but practical.

To help you, I’ve researched the top rated basketball shoes for 2019 to find out which models actually have serious longevity, performance, and comfort.

So, if you’re ready to drop some cash on the latest and greatest basketball shoes, scroll down to see my recommendations for the top five best basketball shoes for 2019.

NameCategoryProduct
Nike Men's Air Versitile Ii Basketball ShoeBest OverallNike Men's Air Versitile Ii Basketball Shoe
adidas Performance Men's Crazy Bounce Basketball ShoeBudget Pickadidas Performance Men's Crazy Bounce Basketball Shoe
Nike Men's Air Versitile Ii Basketball ShoeUpgrade PickNike Men's Air Versitile Ii Basketball Shoe

1. Nike Men's Air Versitile Ii Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10

Nike Men's Air Versitile Ii Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Lightweight mesh materials
  • Breathable and flexible
  • Great traction on all surfaces

If you like to play all court basketball, then you need to get the Versitile II from Nike. The shoe has a close to the foot fit to help you as you run, jump, and pivot your way to the basket. The padded liner will also help make you comfortable for long-duration play.

The shoe is a combination of both and compromise, which makes it suited for an array of court situations. It has the sticky traction for outdoor playing surfaces, which is good for the transition game. However, it also has solid support, which will work well for you as you’re on the move inside.

The traction in the shoe is loud and ideal for outdoor courts. You won’t slip as you play on indoor courts because the outer sole is super sticky.

2. adidas Performance Men's Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10

adidas Performance Men's Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Lightweight but still durable
  • Snug-fit collar for a comfortable wear
  • Good ankle support
  • Laces are easy to tie
  • Good traction on the sole
  • Can be worn for a long period (long-durability)
  • Great price
  • Reinforced fabric toe cap

Cons:

  • The fit can feel a bit too snug for some
  • Lacing system can feel a bit cumbersome

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3. adidas Men's Dame 3 Basketball Shoes

Our rating: 8 / 10

adidas Men's Dame 3 Basketball Shoes

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Pros:

  • Stylish design
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Rubber outsole for traction
  • Durable
  • Comfortable fit for players

If you’re looking for some of the best basketball shoes, look no further than the adidas Dame 3. They beat their competition in terms of style and design, as well as comfort and performance.

The low-top silhouette is designed for agility and off-the-bounce footwork. It offers a great fit due to its compression sockliner. Thanks to its silver and shadow-gray detailing, these shoes look stunning and classy. The upper is made from synthetic leather and mesh to provide durability and breathability.

The forefoot has adidas adiPRENE cushioning for shock absorption and for providing players the extra boost they need for explosive power. The midsole is made of duratek with a molded sockliner for comfort. The torsion system is great for reducing foot fatigue and keeping your ankles stable. The heel’s internal TPU plate increases stability and control.

4. adidas Men's Rise up 2 Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

adidas Men's Rise up 2 Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Durable upper materials
  • Anti-friction lining made for breathability
  • Solid rubber pods for excellent stability
  • Rubber outsole for extra grip
  • Light and flexible sole for comfort
  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor use

Adidas is one of the most popular sportswear manufacturers, and it knows when it comes to designing well-made and durable versatile basketball shoes.

The ultra-popular German brand makes the ultimate court shoe next to the Jordan Brand and Nike. The most notable and unique feature to this shoe is the rubber pods on the outsole. They serve as an excellent tool to make cuts when you have to maneuver past defenders and finish on the rim. Thanks to them, you’ll have an easier time cutting and finishing on the court.

The upper is made from polyester and fabric materials. They’re durable and will withstand an extremely high level of abuse. For the lining, they made use of synthetic leather that’s excellent for breathability. As you can imagine, as soon as you start sweating while playing hoops, your feet need an opening to breathe. Furthermore, they didn’t forget about the midsole, which is composed of rubber and EVA foam. This combination is extremely durable too.

5. Under Armour Men's Jet 2017 Basketball Shoe,

Our rating: 8 / 10

Under Armour Men's Jet 2017 Basketball Shoe,

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White/Gold/Black, 6.5

Pros :

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • 5-inch outsole
  • EVA midsole
  • Lace-up closure.
  • Padded collar
  • Rubber outsole.
  • Flex grooves for a natural, dynamic range of motion.

6. Nike Men's Zoom Devosion Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 7 / 10

Nike Men's Zoom Devosion Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Great for narrow feet
  • Stable midsole
  • Comes in a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from

The Nike Men’s Zoom Devosion Basketball Shoe is a good pick for basketball players of all levels thanks to its durable build and excellent traction and stability capabilities.

The Devosion provides a better fit thanks to its top-notch fit, which secures your foot around the footbed without making it feel restricted.

Everything you need is there – the innoFIT upper is built to fight moisture, the perfect amount of cushioning helps protect your feet on the court, and the shoe is lightweight and comfortable.

7. adidas Performance Men's Crazy Bounce Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 7 / 10

adidas Performance Men's Crazy Bounce Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Have a well-padded leather upper
  • Warranty coverage
  • What people like about the shoe: Very comfortable, sturdy, maintain traction on the court, great looking, and true sizing
  • What people don’t like about the shoe: Not basketball shoe, shoes are not leather, some shoe laces broke easily, not good ballerina shoes and so on

The new Men’s Crazy Bounce Basketball Shoe from adidas is designed for explosive agility on the court. These shoes have a stretchy synthetic leather upper and a lateral pivot pad with X-LITE rubber for great ground feel and traction.

The shoes feature a lightweight breathable textile lining and a foam-padded tongue and collar for a snug fit. They have a rubber outsole that’s not only durable, but it also helps improve grip and adhesion. The Crazy Bounce Basketball Shoes are a perfect choice for those who want a lightweight shoe that’s going to help them explode off the court and shoot hoops like a pro.

8. adidas Men's Explosive Bounce 2018 Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 7 / 10

adidas Men's Explosive Bounce 2018 Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Sticky rubber outsole
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Perfect combination of a clean and cool look with performance enhanced high-top design

Cons:

  • Two straps can sometimes feel restrictive
  • Sizing runs a bit small

This new version of the AdiZero line has a modern high-top design with a cool but classic look that you can rock on-court or off.

It was created using the same innovative SPRINTFRAME technology that was the base of the high-performance AdiZeros. The support provided by this system is enhanced by the midfoot strap, while the traditional laces are not forgotten and they improve the lockdown.

The outsole is one more thing to highlight here, as it uses non-marking TPU and rubber patches to offer excellent traction and grip.

9. adidas New Men's Mad Bounce Basketball Shoe Grey/White 13

Our rating: 6 / 10

adidas New Men's Mad Bounce Basketball Shoe Grey/White 13

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Pros:

  • Using adidas Primeknit material for the construction of this shoe
  • Lightweight and breathable upper
  • Has Adiprene cushioning for improved comfort and performance
  • The shoe is suitable for most kinds of sports
  • Reasonable price

Cons:

  • Struggles with lateral movement when playing intense games
  • May experience slight discomfort during some initial uses

If you are searching for the best basketball shoes that give you the best value for the money, look no further. The Men’s adidas New Mad Bounce Basketball Shoe has a good mix of comfort, durability, and style so that you can play at your best. This shoe has an innovative Adiprene midsole and an upper made from Primeknit to provide you with comfort, breathability, and durability.

It has a midfoot lockdown that can provide you with support, so you don’t have to worry about your feet moving around inside the shoe and causing you discomfort during a performance. The shoe is known for its high-performance and stability. It has a rubber outsole, so you can wear it on many different types of surfaces, and it has rubber pods for traction. Overall, this shoe will make a good addition to your basketball shoes collection, and you can wear it whenever you need to take your game to the next level.

10. Champion Men's Black Men's Rematch Basketball Shoe 7.5 Regular

Our rating: 6 / 10

Champion Men's Black Men's Rematch Basketball Shoe 7.5 Regular

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Pros:

  • Spacious toe box for lots of toe splay
  • Wider than average outsole

Cons:

  • Hard to find exact fit
  • Little flexibility in the ankle

The Champion Men's Black Men's Rematch Basketball Shoe looks a lot different than the pictures. They look like they are made extremely well and the black-on-black color scheme is great.

The uppers are very smooth suede and feel sturdy. The tongue seems to be reinforced with mesh material.The ankle part is made of padded mesh and feels like it would offer decent support. There is no hard plastic or stiff material in the ankle. The laces are great. They are thick, long and extra-cushioned.

I've talked a lot about comfort with this shoe, and for good reason. Even though wearing these for a few hours may feel like it'll be really comfortable overall, it'll take a few days (or at least a few hours) to break them in and really feel the comfort.

11. Nike Men's Air Versitile Ii Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 6 / 10

Nike Men's Air Versitile Ii Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Lightweight mesh materials
  • Breathable and flexible
  • Great traction on all surfaces

If you like to play all court basketball, then you need to get the Versitile II from Nike. The shoe has a close to the foot fit to help you as you run, jump, and pivot your way to the basket. The padded liner will also help make you comfortable for long-duration play.

The shoe is a combination of both and compromise, which makes it suited for an array of court situations. It has the sticky traction for outdoor playing surfaces, which is good for the transition game. However, it also has solid support, which will work well for you as you’re on the move inside.

The traction in the shoe is loud and ideal for outdoor courts. You won’t slip as you play on indoor courts because the outer sole is super sticky.

12. Nike Men's Lebron Soldier 10 SFG Shoe

Our rating: 6 / 10

Nike Men's Lebron Soldier 10 SFG Shoe

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Great for stunts, quick moves, and tricks
  • High-quality materials and stitching

Cons:

  • Some users say it runs small
  • Poor ventilation
  • Flimsy outsole

The Nike Men’s Lebron Soldier 10 SFG is one of the best basketball shoes you can find in the market today. It comes with high-quality materials and outstanding stitching that “ even under intense pressure – should hold up extremely well. The shoes are incredibly lightweight; therefore, you can move quickly on the court, whether you’re playing as a point guard or shooting guard.

The cool thing about these shoes is that they provide extreme flexibility. Therefore, you can put some serious pressure on them as you’re jumping for rebounds, fighting for loose balls, or doing some fantastic ball tricks. The materials are so light that you can easily forget you’re wearing them … even if you spend long hours training or playing. Once you lace them up, they are quick to break in.

This pair is specifically designed for basketball players, so they fit like a glove. Whether you play in the low post or in the high post, you’ll be able to move easily.

13. adidas Men's Cf Refresh Mid Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 6 / 10

adidas Men's Cf Refresh Mid Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Traction outsole
  • Good cushioning
  • Easy to grip
  • Barefoot feel, unlike most basketball shoes
  • Stylish design and good looks
  • Affordable

The Men’s adidas Refresh Mid Basketball Shoes are one of the best basketball shoes you’ll ever find, and a great shoe if you’re a casual or veteran basketball player.

The mid-cut design is great for ankle stability and improved grip, while the cushioning offers excellent comfort when you make hard cuts with your feet. These shoes come with a wide outsole, a traction pattern on the bottom, and a rubber midsole. The nylon and fabric upper mesh makes them breathable and easy to clean, especially after a sweaty practice or game.

There are no-sew overlays that create a comfortable wrap around your foot, and an injected foam insole for the bulk of the impact absorption. The cushioned collar is designed to offer a locked-in feel and help with stability.

14. Nike Men's Hyperdunk 2017 TB Basketball Shoe Midnight Navy/Metallic Silver/White Size 15 M US

Our rating: 6 / 10

Nike Men's Hyperdunk 2017 TB Basketball Shoe Midnight Navy/Metallic Silver/White Size 15 M US

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Pros:

  • Extra cushioning placed in the midsole
  • Low-profile packaging
  • Lightweight
  • Relatively more affordable
  • Great fit

The Nike Hyperdunk 2017 shoes are one of the most performance-based basketball shoes on the market right now. They come equipped with a powerful cushioning system and a low profile height to keep you comfortable and stable when you play.

The shoe has been designed with a hard rubber outsole and with the ability to move quickly in a multitude of directions. There is not a lot of weight to the shoe, making it a very maneuverable choice for basketball players. They also look great with their overall simple, clean design.

The inner-lining of the shoe is very responsive, which provides you with great energy transfer. The whole shoe is very breathable, so your feet will stay at the right temperature throughout the entire game. There is an extra tongue support so that you do not feel any pressure from the shoe. It also has a very supportive ankle collar that keeps you in the right situation even during the most heated games of basketball.

15. adidas NEO Men's CF Executor Mid Basketball-Shoes

Our rating: 6 / 10

adidas NEO Men's CF Executor Mid Basketball-Shoes

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Pros:

  • Great shoe for all-around use
  • Breathable mesh and vamp with a comfortable feel
  • Rubber outsole for durability
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Great performance
  • High traction

Runner-up:

This classic shoe from adidas is a way better choice than a lot of other options out there. The upper is made with breathable mesh and a comfortable feel. The heel is reinforced with a thick layer of rubber to increase durability. Vamp and toe box are made from sturdy materials to provide support as well as shield your feet from the elements.

The outsole is made with rubber to ensure durability and help you maintain strong traction on the court. The midsole contains EVA foam, molded under the midfoot section to provide comfort and a locked-down fit. The React foam-cushioned sockliner holds your feet in place to prevent any injuries.

16. Under Armour Boys' Grade School Mid K Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 6 / 10

Under Armour Boys' Grade School Mid K Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Lightweight – built with sturdy mesh upper
  • Highly durable

With several basketball footwear options and tons of brands to chose from, where does the UA Boys’ Mid K fit in? Is it the right choice for your young player? Let’s take a closer look.

One of the main things we really loved about this particular basketball shoe was the fact that it was so lightweight. That’s important for players who are still growing – they need to be able to move as fast as the other guys, but there’s no need for extra weight that they don’t need. This shoe is super lightweight, but yet the upper is made from sturdy mesh that keeps everything supportive. It doesn’t feel like air at all and it’s tough enough with a little bit of flexibility for comfort.

17. adidas Men's Explosive Flash Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 6 / 10

adidas Men's Explosive Flash Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Adequate traction
  • Lightweight

Traction is very important for a basketball shoe as it’s the shoe’s main contact point with the court. This is why we chose one of the most popular basketball shoes available out there, the Adidas Men’s Explosive Flash Basketball Shoe … which is one of the most popular basketball shoes of the last two years.

This shoe offers excellent traction due to the full rounded outsole that has a similar pattern to what you find on tennis shoes.

The midsole is very light and has a special, soft-shell material. The entire shoe is rather lightweight, in fact, coming in at only 8.7 ounces, plus it’s priced very modestly.

18. Nike Men's 852431 High-Top Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 6 / 10

Nike Men's 852431 High-Top Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Excellent grip and traction
  • Well-made design and durable
  • Breathable

Cons:

  • No laces
  • Too narrow for those with wide feet
  • Heels can be soft

As a basketball player, one of the most important gear pieces you need is a pair of good basketball shoes.

Choosing the right basketball shoe to meet your needs is essential and will depend on your playing position (forwards, centers, and guards), your preference in terms of traction, grip, cushioning, and support, and your shoe preferences (high tops, low tops, lace ups, slide-on sneakers, etc.)

One of the best basketball shoes you can find on the market right now is the Nike Men’s 852431 High-Top Basketball Shoe.

19. Under Armour Men's Curry 3 Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 5 / 10

Under Armour Men's Curry 3 Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • One of the lightest models on the market
  • Low-profile design with a dense foam outsole
  • Breathable upper complete with pinhole texture + solid traction
  • Well-cushioned for ankle support
  • Low-profile look with very clean branding

Cons:

  • Very narrow design can be uncomfortable for wide feet
  • Some people said the shoe runs small by half a size

(2016 Release)

UA has made a serious impact in the basketball footwear industry, and it's because of models like the Curry 3, which is a shoe that performs like Under Armour has always said it would.

The upper on the Curry 3 is made of soft, synthetic material held together by Flywire cables. They're equipped with a lacing system that incorporates Under Armour's own brand of Micro G fabric. The result is a material that offers great softness and elasticity, which you'll really notice when you're toeing off.

20. Under Armour Men's Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 5 / 10

Under Armour Men's Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Does not wear out quickly
  • Good basketball shoe for low price
  • Comfortable

The newly updated Men's Team Drive 4 from Under Armour is one of the best basketball shoes on the market, especially considering its price and perks. It's got a versatile design and a lot of technology that helps deliver a reliable experience both while shooting hoops and running.

This UA offering comes in a solid black color. The shoe has a synthetic mesh body, which looks great. Moreover, it is a great breathable option for warmer weather conditions.

The midsole of the shoe consists of the UA Charged cushioning system for extreme comfort and shock absorption. Where the foot bends, the cushioning left by the Flywire tension cables provides amazing comfort.

21. Under Armour Men's Jet Mid Basketball Shoe

Our rating: 5 / 10

Under Armour Men's Jet Mid Basketball Shoe

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Pros:

  • Good quality
  • Ventilation
  • Comfortable
  • Can withstand wear and tear
  • Reliable rubber sole
  • Good traction

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for wider feet
  • Can cause blisters

Built for players who are in it for the long haul, the UA Jet is a standard model that you can use for even the most intense of competitions, ranging from 3-on-3 streetball to full court indoor games.

Not only is it promising durability – even with the use of the standard rubber outsole – it’s also super lightweight and comfortable, thanks to the responsive type of cushioning used on the bottom. This is great for those overused basketball-playing knees and helps improve your vertical leap.

Then, there are the external vents on the shoe that make it incredibly breathable and lightweight to wear.

22. Nike Mens Kyrie 3 Hight Top Lace Up Basketball Shoes

Our rating: 5 / 10

Nike Mens Kyrie 3 Hight Top Lace Up Basketball Shoes

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Pros:

  • Lightweight design – 10.9 oz
  • Open mesh upper that’s breathable for training in hot environments
  • Padded collar for a comfortable secure fit
  • Traction is very good on dry hardwood
  • Good cushioning
  • Nice style

Kyrie is one of the most popular basketball shoe brands worldwide, and for good reason. They are just as comfortable and supportive as they are stylish. The Kyrie 3s are no exception, and they’re a fantastic choice for players of all kind, whether you’re a beginner or you’re a seasoned veteran.

These shoes are lightweight to the point where you might even forget you’ve got them on when bouncing up and down on hardwood.

The only downside is that the toe box isn’t quite wide enough for comfort if you have wider feet. However, if you have a narrow-width foot, these shoes should be comfortable enough to keep you playing all day. As with most basketball shoes, you should expect to feel some ankle and arch support, so they’re a good option for people with flat feet or feet problems.

23. Nike Mens Air Versitile Basketball Shoe Cool Grey/Pure Platinum/Wolf Grey/Black Size 11 M US

Our rating: 5 / 10

Nike Mens Air Versitile Basketball Shoe Cool Grey/Pure Platinum/Wolf Grey/Black Size 11 M US

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Pros:

  • Very stable
  • Articulated midsole
  • Excellent traction-outsole
  • Breathable mesh

Cons:

  • Poor cushion
  • Lightweight shoe (not meant for heavy lifting)
  • Narrow toe box
  • Not for heavier players

This lightweight model is one of the most affordable basketball shoes on the market. The high-performance design featured an articulated footbed for lightweight support, maximum stability, and comfort, making this pair great for quick movements and quicker reaction times.

The midsole is articulated for a somewhat comfortable ride, and it also features a die-cut sockliner. Together, these two make for decent impact protection. The shoe also features a lightweight, durable build, with solid traction and responsive cushioning ideal for fast players.

While most players love the pair for its lightweight build and excellent traction, opinions are divided when it comes to its cushion. The midsole is a little too soft for some people, but some find the level of cushioning adequate. The one thing about this pair that not everyone is happy about is the narrow, tight toe box. This can make your feet feel cramped. However, some players’ feet might feel fine in the shoe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best basketball shoes in 2021?

This is a difficult market to penetrate because you have an amazing array of options to choose from. However, generally speaking, Nike dominates this field. It makes great shoes that are extremely comfortable, have great traction, and leather upper on the jogging and basketball shoes, giving you all the support you need. With all that, it is light and clean design that enhances your game performance and appearance.

Other good brands of basketball shoes are adidas, Under Armor, and Reebok. All their shoes fit the specific needs of basketball players, providing excellent flexibility and traction while also keeping the feet cool. Under Armour has a very good line of basketball shoes. They fit well and are very comfortable. Their prices are accessible for most people.

Whichever brand you choose, look for shoes that are flexible, have a good-looking design, and are lightweight yet hold your feet in just the right place.

What are the best basketball shoes right now?

Nike Zoom Kobe VII. In 2012, Nike released a brand new line of basketball shoes called the Hyperdunk series. However, they are only mostly available in varying colors. There are no clear kinds of Hyperdunks. But in 2013, Nike released several of the Hyperdunks in different colors and they created a whole shoe line which is called the Zoom Kobe VII. The Zoom Kobe VII has several colors like purple, red, black, grey, white and some combination of them. This color gives you several options for the season and every time when you play basketball.

What shoes do NBA players wear 2021?

The Air Jordan XI is the current shoe worn by the majority of NBA players.

For some dunks, Shaquille O’Neal wears the Reebok Answer IV.

Kobe Bryant is known for changing his shoe color during the season. The currently popular shoe is the Nike Zoom Kobe I but Bryant frequently switches to the Kobe IV.

Since Air Jordans tend to be expensive, the more modestly priced Kobe shoe is usually a better choice for youth players.

What basketball shoe has the best traction?

Firm ground traction is all about the technology of the shoe. It is made for very heavy workout and it is very thick and gives a better knee support than most shoes. If you are facing a performance floor, then it is very important for you to wear a good traction basketball shoe.

The best traction performance basketball shoes also helps in reducing the possibility of sprains and irritation of the ankle area. They are also very good for improving your shoes while walking around the court.

Best traction basketball shoes also have good arch support and strong ankle support. The shoes are also made of very strong materials and they generally have a full length external cushion.

The shoe also provides a lot of padding below the foot area which reduces impact and protects your feet from the impact of any hard object while playing basketball.

You can get the best performance basketball shoes with great traction from a good brand like Nike, Mizuno, Reebok and adidas.

Conclusion

Let’s be clear – what constitutes the best basketball shoe is a matter of opinion and depends in large part on what kinds of basketball positions, style, and playing environment you are looking for in a shoe. We believe that both of the picks on our list meet the needs of the majority of players in most situations, and we hope this guide has provided you with the criteria to help you figure out how to solve your shoe dilemmas yourself. Most importantly, regardless of the shoe selection you make, we hope you were able to take away a few good ideas on how to find the best shoe for you on any budget.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Nike Men's Air Versitile Ii Basketball ShoeBest OverallNike Men's Air Versitile Ii Basketball Shoe
adidas Performance Men's Crazy Bounce Basketball ShoeBudget Pickadidas Performance Men's Crazy Bounce Basketball Shoe
Nike Men's Air Versitile Ii Basketball ShoeUpgrade PickNike Men's Air Versitile Ii Basketball Shoe