Top Basketball Shoes


Believe it or not, there’s quite a big difference between the top basketball shoes and regular sneakers. While shoe aficionados and connoisseurs have long known this, the average person who’s just beginning to delve into the world of sports-specific shoes may not know that.

Heck, most people don’t know that. But it’s important to know if you’re going to be shopping for basketball shoes—especially if you or your child is going to be actually using them to play competitive basketball.

Top Basketball Shoes

Nike Men’s Lebron Soldier IX Basketball Shoe

Nike Man’s Lebron Soldier IX features hexagonal-patterned treat that provides the wearer with top-notch multidirectional grip and traction, ensuring your shoes can keep up with your game. Rubber soles are the mainstay in many shoe types, but here they work as a great medium for the hexagonal tread to do its thing.

Lateral support is provided by Flywire cables that are integrated with the midfoot strap. The result is a lighter form of lateral support that still does the job, but provides easier movement and more comfort.

The Nike Men’s Lebron Solider IX Basketball Shoe features an upper construction of mesh, keeping your feet cool and comfortable, without sacrificing performance.

What we like

My favorite thing about the Lebron Soldier IX shoe has to be the hexagonal tread. People forget how important tread is when it comes to basketball, but really, it’s one of the most important things to look for in the top basketball shoes, because you’re doing a lot of quick movements on a slick playing surface.

You need that level of innovative tread to support you, which is further helped by the awesome ecoupled rubber pods. I would say these are easily the top basketball shoes when it comes to best soles and tread; you get a great range of motion with this shoe, and the mesh and straps keep everything comfortable.

Plus, obviously, the shoes look dope, and while style isn’t everything, these are some killer shoes. And they come in so many colors, the shoe geek in you will be overfilled with joy by all the options available.

What we don’t like

I think the zipper could be improved upon; also, the sizing runs a little small. It’s annoying when shoes don’t run true to size, but if you plan ahead, you should be able to manage it.

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Nike Men’s Lebron XIII Basketball Shoe

The classic rubber soles and mesh uppers are nothing new, but as they say, if it works, keep it. The rubber provides excellent grip while the mesh allows your feet to breathe. This is why these two basic construction elements have endured for so long—they just work.

Nike’s Zoom cushioning is extremely thin; because of the thinness, your foot is closer to the ground, allowing you to feel the surface below with more sensitivity. This, in turn, allows you to perform better when making fast stops and starts. Moreover, the Zoom Air cushions are very durable so they can stand up to wear and tear.

There are two larger Zoom Air units on the Lebron XIII’s, with one being under the first metatarsal head (first met head) and the other one under the heal. The other four Zoom Air units are spread along the four foot outside and around the first met head, which enhances your ability to respond quickly in a fast-paced game.

The Zoom LEAP system is related to the Zoom Air units, however, as the name suggests, LEAP provides the wearer with increased propulsion capabilities so you can make those high jumps. Nike’s Flywire cables work well to add structure and comfort while securing your foot in the shoe.

What we like

The first thing I noticed about the Lebron XIII’s when I moved in them was the high level of balance and the sensitivity my feet felt with the ground below. I felt like I could move really well, and I think that is due to the Zoom Air units, which I am a fan of, because of the great experience while wearing them.

I would say these are the top basketball shoes when it comes to that surface connectivity you need to really step up your game. Overall, I think the XIII’s are a comfortable shoe with a modern look.

What we don’t like

These shoes run a bit narrow, so if you have a wide foot, it may not be the best thing for you. But for those with an average-width foot, they will likely find the narrower fit to be more supportive than tight. So, while I kind of wish it was made more with an average foot in mind (which was likely their intention, but the execution didn’t go down), I think this will only be a detriment to those with wide feet.

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Nike Hyperdunk Men’s Basketball Shoe

Nike Hyperfuse is a construction material for the upper where they hot-melt a base of synthetic material, a core of mesh and a top layer of Thermoplastic polyurethane film to create a durable upper construction that requires less stitching, more structure, all the while being more breathable.

Lunarlon is a type of cushioning from Nike that features a foam core encased in a foam carrier. According to Nike, Lunarlon is 30% lighter than Phylon cushioning, while relieving pressure on your feet by more evenly distributing force. This protects not only your feet, but it also protects all the joints they are connected to in that sort of chain reaction way that often occurs with sports injuries.

The intelligent materials the Hyperdunk 2014’s are designed to allow them to be ultralightweight while maintaining durability and support. The rubber soles on the Nike Hyperdunk 2014 Men’s Basketball Shoe have great traction thanks to the uniquely patterned tread.

What we like

I’m a fan of the Hyperfuse construction. It really is comfortable and keeps your feet cool. These are definitely some of the more comfortable basketball shoes out there, period. And they are indeed lightweight, so if a heavy shoe is one of your major pet peeves, this might be a shoe for you to consider.

What we don’t like

Once again, these shoes run a bit small and/or narrow. If you have wide feet, keep that in mind. Also, if you have other Nike basketball shoes, consider the size you wear in those when shopping for these as a starting point.

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Adidas Performance Men’s D Rose 6 Boost Basketball Shoe

The stability cage allows you to make quick cuts like a pro thanks to its ability to keep your foot locked in place, providing ultimate stability and a sense of assuredness while wearing them.

The Boost technology in the D Rose 6 Boost creates a sort of energy reservoir that’s quickly returned to the wearer to boost their energy and the movements that come from that boosted energy, increasing overall performance.

The synthetic soles may be a shop for basketball shoe aficionados, however, they provide great traction on the court, ensuring there’s no skid and your stops are on point. The D Rose 6 Boost Basketball Shoe features a classic high-top design, comprised of both natural and synthetic materials, which makes these shoes feel as good as they look.

What we like

The D Rose 6’s look great and give major traction on the court. I actually do like the Boost technology while surprised me; I’ve heard some guys say they think it slows them down, but I personally haven’t had this problem. I feel lighter, faster when wearing these.

What we don’t like

They take longer than usual to break in, which sucks, but once you do, they’re comfortable and perform great.

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Under Armour Men’s UA ClutchFit Drive II

Under Armour’s ClutchFit technology ensures a better fit and feel on your foot by acting as a “lightweight second skin”, according to UA. People don’t think about fabrics and materials having memory, but they do. The intelligently-designed charged cushioning on the Drive II’s absorbs midsole impact, preventing strain and injury, and then converts that energy from the impact into energy that the cushion can use to provide you with the extra charge you need to do your thing on the court.

The Micro G sockliner technology holds your feet firmly in place while gently cushioning them in the process for the best fit and feel possible. The 3D molded tongue on Under Armour’s basketball shoes adapts itself to the shape of your feet, providing an overall better fit.

The soles are rubber—the classic material of choice—and feature a herringbone tread, which allows you to have a feel for the court, leading to an ultrafast reaction time from you, upping your game in the process. I would also consider the ClutchFit Drive II to be the best outdoor basketball shoes on the market.

What we like

The Drive II’s feel like a lot of thought has been put into the design. The adaptive moulded tongue feels great and you feel like your foot is really secure in the shoe.

What we don’t like

My only real dislike with these is that they’re less breathable than some of the other basketball shoes out there. Also, as with most of the shoes on the list, they run narrow and a bit short, so size up.

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Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe

The Boost technology in the Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe not only cushions your feet, but the energy absorbed by the shock absorbing cushions is returned to you, boosting your performance, hence the name.

The new lace design puts less pressure on the laces, ensuring they last long and providing more comfort to the wearer. The interesting thing about these rubber soles is that they have a sort of unique topographical tread as opposed to more common tread types like hexagonal or herringbone.

These shoes feature adidas’s Xeno light-responsive technology, which means that a flash of light, like from a camera, will cause the deceptively subdued material to become iridescent for as long as it’s exposed to light. Moreover, the iridescent pattern responds and changes as the angle of light does, so it’s not your old-fashioned iridescent shoe from the ‘90s.

What we like

The Xeno uppers are pretty cool and the Boost tech is definitely a pro, in my opinion. The new laces were needed and the improvement is real; overall, a cool shoe, period.

What we don’t like

The downside of these is that they seem to be more vulnerable to wear and tear than the others on this list, which sucks because the Xeno uppers are a big draw for a lot of people. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s one of top basketball shoes on the market.

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Top Recommendation

There can be only one winner even in a great roundup of the top basketball shoes and that winner is easily the Nike Men’s Lebron Soldier IX Basketball Shoe.

They easily beat the others when it comes to the high-quality hexagonal tread of the sole, as well as the comfort and cushioning aspects. You get great movement with these and they just look awesome. Also checkout more Nike basketball shoes here.


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