In this article, we have reviewed the 15 best basketball shoes to buy in 2019 along with a comparison table and a detailed buyer’s guide in the end for you to decide the best basketball shoe to purchase.
Have you ever wondered why popular basketball players like LeBron James, Stephan Curry, Karim Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant are so cautious when it comes to selecting shoes?
Have you ever thought why some mere shoes which are just another compulsion of a game take huge priority? Well, some of the best basketball shoes are responsible for providing entertainment to every spectator present in the arena. All of the enthusiasm is possible because of these highly optimized shoes which are embarking the game of basketball to a whole new level.
Sure skills play a vital role in the development of anyone’s game but some of the best basketball shoes should also get their credit because without them a player can’t utilize his skills to the fullest extent. Now when we talk about basketball shoes, it must be clear that shoes are not just compulsory footwear in this game.
They make a much bigger difference then you would anticipate. Even a point difference games can be flipped to your side if you are wearing best basketball shoes, so one must never undermine the capability of basketball shoes.
It’s evident fact to everyone that you require a good amount of stamina, sufficient reach and optimal control over the ball in order to master this tremendous sport. There are certain aspects which directly affect these factors and shoes happen to be one of them.
That’s why you should be extra attentive when selecting the pair of shoe for your practice, training or game. With proper shoe, you can propel your game to a never seen dimension and reach the heights which are impossible to achieve in a normal mode.
Your jumping, movement, dribbling, control; every kind of basketball skill has its roots from the type of shoe you are wearing and to manipulate them according to your will, you must assign the suitable type of shoe to your feet.
If anyone wants to excel their performance in this game, their top priority must be choosing the best basketball shoes. Because once you’ve selected ideal shoes for your feet, nobody can stop you from attaining the highest number of points in the game and surpass your opponents.
Apart from enhancing your skills some shoes provide trending fashion styles and lavishing exterior which can make you the center of attraction. So with best basketball shoes, not only you can change your game but also become flashiest fella in the arena.
In this superlative guide of best basketball shoes, we are going to recommend you 15 top notch shoes which will give you an edge over your opponents with their spectacles. We are going to discuss some in-depth features which are essential to the game like traction, fit, support, material, cushioning, etc.
By keeping these features in mind you can make a correct assessment about your basketball shoe. With the precise shoe, you can intensify and make the fun of your game simultaneously.
So without any further a due let’s jump into it.
Best Basketball Shoes 2019
|Adidas Harden Vol.3||4.7/5|
|Nike PG 3||4.5/5|
|Nike LeBron 16||4.6/5|
|Nike Kobe AD NXT 360||5/5|
|Nike Kyrie 4||4.4/5|
|Adidas Dame 5||4.8/5|
|Nike Air Precision II||4.7/5|
|Air Jordan 12 Retro||4.4/5|
|Adidas Marquee Boost||4.5/5|
|Adidas Crazy Explosive Primeknit||4.6/5|
|Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro||4.0/5|
|Jordan Melo M11||3.9/5|
|Under Armour Curry 2.5||4.8/5|
|Jordan Fly Lockdown||4.2/5|
1. Adidas Harden Vol.3 – Known for Comfort
Cited by many as the best harden version from the Adidas, this shoe is an ideal choice for indoor courts. Regardless of whatever position you inherit, this shoe can fulfill your expectations. Providing access to every kind of movement this amazing piece can vary your skills to a great amount and make your game stable.
Upon first glance it is likely to be expected that you won’t find it that good looking but wait, these shoes offer more than what they look. Simplicity can be misunderstood sometimes; you have to take a deeper dive in order to appreciate the depth of something.
Something that only a few people can spot, something that Adidas Harden Vol. 3 possesses.
Let’s start off with its undeniably astounding traction. The consistency of its traction can be spotted with the herringbone structure embossed on the shoe. This structure retains a great amount of area and keeps your feet glued to the ground. With either solid or translucent outsole rubber it defies the laws of physics and makes sure your feet follow the rhythm of your movement.
Making crossovers and quick cuts become as easy as pie once you get the hold of this shoe and immensely increase your potential to create chances. A lateral area on the outer portion of a bottom part gives more stability to your outward movement and makes sure you don’t fall off while making an irregular stance.
Even on the court with no provision of any maintenance these shoe work to their fullest extent.
The point, where it lacks something, is its durability. It isn’t as profound as some other shoes. For proper maintenance of these shoes, you must carry out occasional cleaning. Use them for only a limited period of time to take benefits for a longer period.
If you are planning to use the shoe for a longer time then you should go for Adidas Harden Vol. 2 but the kind of traction this shoe offers gives it a huge edge over volume 2 and other similar shoes.
Cushioning features a full-length boost in a midsole. The midsole is thick which again provides enhanced stability to your movement and makes them firm. Among the three volumes of Harden, this shoe is the most balanced one which makes it one of the best Adidas basketball shoes in a market.
Impact protection, fluidity, and transition are fantastic in this shoe with no flaws. This bad boy is a beast both on and off the field which makes it an ultimate choice for a basketball shoe.
2. Nike PG 3 – Crack the Battle
Nike is known for producing shoes which provide exceptional performance both on and off the field. This monster PG 3 from Nike isn’t any different case.
Like the previous shoe, this shoe portrays a common look but again you don’t need to get disappointed because of that one factor. There are a lot of other remarkable things that this shoe offers. Sure it’s cheap to build quality gets in the way but its protection, impact resistance, and responsiveness make up for its look.
Its softness and support is elegant and makes your movement swift all over the court, irrespective of the type of court there won’t be any deficiency in your calculated moves. With amazing lightness, you can fly like a free bird in the sky.
The moon craters on outsole cover entire area over there. They provide such a smooth and amusing traction that you won’t even hesitate to appreciate it among your friends and colleagues.
The only concern these moon craters propose is that of collection of dust in them. Make sure that court is wiped clean in order to avoid this issue. If the floor is dirty dust particles will get accumulated in those circles and you’ll have to wipe them down in regular intervals which is kind of annoying job.
This also limits its usage to indoor courts only. But apart from that traction is pretty good with a good lock on the floor.
These shoes equip the newest technology of forefoot zoom airbag with lighter foam. This increases the responsiveness of the shoe and provides some nice cushioning effect to your feet. Good spring-like compression can be felt when you press your heel against the floor which gives a soothing feeling.
Along with that impact forces of higher magnitude are absorbed with ease in making various transitions. The timing between bounce and rebound is lesser than expected so extra time is added to your movement. But the kind of bounce it launches is mediocre yet the response makes up for it.
Upon touching the upper of a shoe you might feel it’s a low-quality cheap material with all synthetic material over it but when you wear them, you’re going to feel divine softness to your feet. Although the material on the upper is a bit stiff its flexibility is remarkable, which makes it one of the best Nike basketball shoes.
3. Nike LeBron 16 – Make it Easy
In this list of best basketball shoes, making third entry into the list is Nike LeBron 16. This on-court beast is one of the best Nike basketball shoes. Its incredible performance enhancing elements add implausible momentum to your game.
The shoe proposes balanced support and cushioning but comes at a heavy price. The huge price means that there are no sacrifices, compromises or excuses in the quality of a shoe. This provides a perfect build for a rising and shining player in the field of basketball.
This powerful LeBron signature can become a great asset to your gameplay because of its flexible and perfect fit. Once you wear them on it is completely going to sync it with the size of your feet and carry your momentum in a match.
Although some people have found the fit to be sloppy, claiming that there were some dead spaces in a heel and front foot area which resulted in back and forth movement of a shoe. And because of that occasional fitting of the shoe was required.
However, there is a provision of outer laces which enables you to adjust the fit according to your feet, still, it is not much of a help to some people. But apart from that majority have agreed that its fit is one of a kind.
One of the most striking features of this shoe is it’s gripping on the floor. Traction is just unearthly aspect of this shoe. The deep grooves on its outsole provide a rigid grip to the floor which makes your movement springy and comfortable. This destructive pattern taken entire area sponged beneath it into its lap, leaving no empty spaces and provides complete traction to the feet.
For the outdoor games, the traction is not recommended because there are chances of dust particles sticking to the grooves.
For hard cuts, forceful bounces, quick movements, and instant jumps, this shoe supports all of these props extensively with its amazing lock-in feature that holds the shoe completely for your feet without letting it sway.
A full-length max zoom air setup which is used in Nike shoes is employed for this shoe which provides an optimum amount of cushioning. Even with a large distance between midsole and outsole the distribution of cushioning is equal. This is due to the outrigger which is attached in between them as they help in maintaining the stability.
All of these things make it one of the best basketball shoes currently present in a market and if you are a fan of good traction then you should definitely give it a try.
4. Nike Kobe AD NXT 360 – Play with Perfection
This banger from Nike which is named after legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant is one of the best Nike basketball shoes. Declared by many as best basketball shoe ever made, this piece of beauty is a thing to wear while playing basketball. Accommodating some of the most elegant features, this shoe surpasses many in the market when it comes to performance and durability.
This continuation of Kobe’s legacy has deep herringbone nubs directional type of structure with a translucent glow which gives it one of the best traction offering shoes. Though the collection of dust is still a major issue when you are playing on an indoor court, you’re bound to experience something unforgettable.
Introducing the first ever dual density drop in midsole by this shoe has made it talk of a town. This beautiful feature has impressed players as well as critics of the game. With first ever react cushion, a good amount of responsiveness can be experienced while the shoe is in your feet.
Mostly midpart and outsole provide an optimum reaction to the bounces which is sufficient to cover entire feet. It provides some smooth sensation that you might’ve never felt. Without any lag, you’ll get lighter feet to your feet.
This makes it one of the best cushioning out there.
Its 360 flyknit is incredibly thin which provides optimum ventilation and makes its durability untouchable. You can play for days with it without any issues and get the soft feeling to your feet. With complete containment of your feet inside footbed, this shoe will give you a perfect fit.
5. Nike Kyrie 4 – Turn off the Game
This light and comfortable shoe by Nike are one of the best basketball shoes out there. Recommended by many for premium use in indoor sports, this shoe employs hard hitting and fantastic features.
With optimum support and neatness, this shoe provides optimum performance and helps the player enhance his skills.
A zigzag pattern in the outsole makes up for optimum break when sticking your feet to the floor as well as provides better bounce and response. A full-length multidirectional herringbone pattern which is also embedded within it makes distribution more even.
At the start, you might feel some slippage upon lateral movements but when you get used to it, this shoe will become an ideal choice for you. Also, occasional wiping isn’t necessary at all since accumulation is dust is minimized to a great extent. Overall traction is good but not on the level of other top-notch Nike shoes.
Introducing full length cushioning for the first time in Kyrie which is employed with zoom air unit on the heel provides comfort between bounce and rebound. Absorbing impact shocks and forces also becomes an easy task due to this admirable cushioning.
If you are a player who likes to move via forefoot then this shoe is the as ideal choice, though even if you want to put force on the heel it provides pretty good performance. So if you are looking for a low profile and good response then this cushioning is the one for you.
It’s fitting is perfect but the forefoot area is a bit snug which might be uncomfortable for some for people with wide feet. So it is not recommended for wide feet people.
6. Adidas Dame 5 – Mark your Style
The second entry from Adidas in this list is an absolute monster which goes by the name Dame 5. With its dazzling design, it is all set to captivate the hearts of spectators. If you are a fan of greater hooping then you can select this amazing product from Adidas.
Moreover, you can fly in the court like a bird with its lockdown and support.
With the thick Herringbone pattern on the outsole of the shoe, you will find one of the best implementations of this structure. The right amount of grooves with the correct depth provide amazing traction to the shoe. This also prevents clogging of dust in the pattern but it is still difficult to completely annihilate dust particles from the outsole of the shoe.
At first breaking in might seem a bit difficult but with the progression of time, you’ll encounter amazing grip to the floor.
It has good enough cushioning to provide optimum bounce to your feet. In comparison with Dame 4, they’ve improved the clearance between shoe and ground so that you get a court feel. It won’t be a false claim to say that this is one of the softest shoes you’ll find in the market and one of the best Adidas basketball shoes.
Though there is some lacking in the department of boost which is inadequate for outdoor play the bounce it provides eliminates the need to a boost.
User can select either full leather or mesh and suede combo as far as upper material is concerned. Depending upon your requirement of material you can select either of them.
7. Nike Air Precision II – Follow your brook
Another one from Nike is this splendid footwear called Air Precision II. An extensively improved version of Precision I, this shoe accommodates some of the most precise features you could ever get. Right from its traction to its cushioning, this feature fulfills all essential requirements of an ideal basketball shoe, making it one of the best Nike basketball shoes.
A Phylon midsole is always preferred when you are keen on a good performance and this shoe makes sure that you get the best quality of phylon midsole so that your performance doesn’t face any kind of hindrance. This provides a buoyant cushioning yet soft enough to endure all the impacts effectively.
Delivering a responsive drive is what this shoe inherits and becomes the backbone of your comfort. In the hindsight, the heel is accommodated with an air unit which ensures the weightlessness of a shoe.
Traction is pretty good in this shoe. Not really a standout but good enough to balance your position and bounce both on and off the court. Unlike previous models who employ Herringbone structure, this shoe has a modified form of it which provides multisurface grip.
Moreover making quick and hard cuts along with swift movement becomes easy due to the midfoot midsole of the shoe.
The combination of mesh and foam on the forefoot and midfoot provides enough space to ensure sufficient ventilation. With a half bootie construction it offers, you’ll feel like you are wearing a sock which adds a lightness factor to the shoe. Midfoot containment of this is also improved with dynamic web fitting.
8. Air Jordan 12 Retro – Reconcile your Relaxation
Air Jordan 12 Retro is one of the toughest and solid basketball shoes you’ll find in the market. It is possibly one of the best retro models by Jordan if not the best. With good design and build, it pretty much covers every aspect that an ideal basketball shoe must have.
For the starter, it employs similar herringbone pattern, one on the heel and one of the forefoot. Everything within it consists of solid rubber. The outer periphery is kind of rounded so there are chances of a little slip but you can minimize them by putting all of your force on mid area. Apart from that, it provides a good amount of traction.
A large full-length zoom unit gives a good experience while you’re on shoes. Though it makes a shoe bit heavier compared to other similar models you won’t feel it while you’re on the court. An ideal distribution of comfort from forefoot to the heel will give you an amazing ride and this probably makes it one of the most comfortable shoes in the market.
The breaking in of a shoe needs some time due to its stiff and tough material but leather on the shoe ensures higher durability of a shoe. It’s not really that heavier when you wear it because the pattern on the outsole is thin.
Fit and lockdown are fine and true to the size, though readjusting of laces is required in some instances.
9. Adidas Marquee Boost – Perform Harder
A little high in price but capable of delivering the best performance, this shoe is one of the best Adidas basketball shoes in the market. With a 90s classic look, this shoe is ready to bring nostalgia to you. With optimum traction, unsurpassable response and amazing cushioning this shoe will take your game to a whole new level.
This features a full-length herringbone pattern for the traction. Though, the pattern is a bit different than traditional herringbone due to the introduction of indented circles on the outer sole. Traction slightly varies with the type of court. It will be a bit slippery on the greasy or dirty course but not to the extent that it would harm your performance.
Full-length zoom cushioning as you would expect from Marquee boost is employed in the shoe along with perforation at both sides of forefoot and heel area. This enhances the ventilation of a shoe. The heel provides good protection against impact forces as well as bounce whereas forefoot features a good amount of responsiveness.
As far as material is concerned there is a full mesh upper along with textile and synthetic on the other areas of a shoe. Mesh fuses on either side of a shoe are implanted in order to increase the durability as well the heel side features some nylon type material which provides good support to your ankle.
It runs pretty long so you might have to take a look at a fit. But apart from that fit is pretty good along with the well-characterized lock-on feature. Just a standard lacing system is there but good enough to contain your feet.
10. Adidas Streetfire – Put your Game on Fire
One of the best budget basketball shoes available in the market, this shoe by Adidas is one of the most convenient and economical shoes available right now. Moreover, its usage is not only limited to basketball court but also you can use them casually if you want.
This budget-friendly shoe has become one of the most purchased basketball shoes in no time and people are buying them in bulk because of appropriation of features.
Adidas Streetfire mainly features cloudfoam midsole which is signature cushioning for Adidas shoes. The primary purpose of using this cloudfoam is to embark on the responsiveness of a shoe. With nice bounce and movement, you’ll completely feel comfortable in this shoe. Apart from that, there is an introduction of Ortholite midsole which gives good step-in comfort.
Flex grooves on the outsole with a wavy pattern provide a good amount of traction to the floor. Gripping on the floor is firm and strong because of the solid outsole rubber which is gummy and translucent. Traction is not really stand out compared to other similar shoes but good enough to be used on both indoor and outdoor courts.
Fit is also good enough when you look at its price tag. There aren’t any special features to adjust the fit but there aren’t any issues faced while lacing up the shoe. Forefoot webbing establishes a good lockdown and keeps the foot intact with the shoe. A good cozy effect is also obtained from its woven textile and padded tongue.
11. Adidas Crazy Explosive Primeknit – Leave the Impact
One of the highest rated shoes by many reviewers and employing incredible features, Adidas Crazy Explosive Primeknit is cited by many as an ideal choice for playing indoor basketball. With prime performance in every section and splendid durability, this shoe is a treat to watch. It has the ability to elevate your game to the whole new level with its startling characteristics.
Translucent rubber in the outsole makes this shoe a monster while in the court. With no slippage and skidding, you’ll experience one of the best tractions in basketball. The multidirectional pattern on these will restrict the dust to minimum level hence wiping the shoe frequently won’t be necessary.
As far as the cushioning goes this piece features a full-length boost. There are TPU cages in the heel area that provide softness to the heel as well as good ankle support. The forefoot is enclosed completely in order to stabilize your feet. Though this doesn’t make the contact between your feet and shoe tight. A little channel on the outsole which is a bit chord out also adds comfort to cushioning and extra compression.
Primeknit material which is used in a shoe is the talk of the town. The utilization of primeknit makes this shoe stretchy and increases the flexibility of the shoe. Though the stretch is contained within the limits with some provisions so that she remains in control. Some extra layers are added to certain parts so that you get enhanced protection and durability.
There could be empty space in some areas between heel and midfoot but your fit won’t be affected. You can always adjust the fit because of the extra stretchy nature of the shoe.
12. Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro – Make your Footprints Worth
If anyone asks you to name a basketball shoe that lives up to its expectations, then you can tell him the name of Nike’s Zoom Kobe 1 Protro without any hesitation. This is one of the best Nike basketball shoes in a market and a certain performance enhancer.
The traction of this shoe is just wonderful. It has a herringbone pattern with some diamond-like structure around. With the continuous breaking in of rubber, you’ll get a more and better grip on the floor. This special pattern also corners away dust as soon as sit gets in.
Zoom air unit has some slimming down the road which reduces the gap between floor and outsole. This provides an extra grip and also reduces the overall weight of the shoe. With right cushioning the responsiveness and feedback you get is just amazing.
Traditional leather material completely encloses the feet. There can be a heel slip issues for some people but you can always lace up to reduce it. Outrigger on the side of a shoe does its job and provides good lateral support. In addition, a carbon fiber gives some cradling to heel and midfoot area and also it ensures stability.
13. Jordan Melo M11- Fabricate the Action through Feet
Don’t get deceived that wearing these shoes will make you Melo but certainly they’ll enhance your game to make you a complete player. The price of shoes might be a concern for you but with the type of fit and features it offers, it is one of the best shoes for wide feet.
Right off the bat, the cushioning is supported by exclusive flight plate technology in which a moderator plate is placed in order to stabilize the cushioning effect.
As far as traction is concerned this shoe has some serious provisions for it. The vertical and horizontal wavy structure is an amendment of high grade gripping. Although you’ll have to settle for just indoor courts as the traction is not desirable for greasy and outdoor floors.
As far as the fit and lockdown are concerned, it is true to its size. There are provisions for adjusting the tightness of shoe with the help of its lacing system. The material of the shoe is standard leather at the upper and perforations on either side of the shoe. This increases durability and ventilation.
There are a lot of colorways for you to choose from with some special features.
14. Under Armour Curry 2.5 – Finish it with Pace
With the correct amount of traction and one-to-one fit, this shoe by Under Armour is all set to make a spot in your list of best basketball shoes. With possibly no deficiency in any department, this shoe covers every aspect essential for amazing basketball shoes.
Compared to Curry 1, this shoe delivers enhanced traction. This is possible due to organic herringbone pattern on the outsole which provides a firm grip on the floor regardless of the type of court. Though there is a slight decrease in performance when playing on outer courts.
An improved charged cushioning is introduced in Under Armour Curry 2.5. Great feel and good responsiveness are couples of characteristics that this shoe employs. This is an amazing technology which is capable of converting impact forces absorbed into push-off energy which also isn’t wasted and utilized to produce explosive steps.
Additionally, it helps in obtaining various types of transition when you are making a move.
As far as the material goes the upper uses a Speedform which is lighter compared to most of the synthetics and also provides some good ventilation. This has a textile feel to it which goes right from midfoot to heel area. Upper is not much rigid so there is a good amount of flexibility in it which gives much more freedom to your forefoot.
To make shoe further stable there is a provision of TPU heel cup and midfoot shank.
15. Jordan Fly Lockdown – Feel the Vibe of Victory
Making final entry to the list is an absolute banger known as Jordan Fly Lockdown which is regarded by many as one of the best basketball shoes ever made. This beautiful piece with easily affordable price and phenomenal performance is capable of setting a high standard of your basketball game.
No matter where you’re playing, this shoe is a monster everywhere.
The combination of spiral and herringbone pattern on these shoes makes it a remarkable choice for basketball players. This multidirectional pattern eases your movement; let it be lateral movement or linear movement.
So if you are looking for a best budget basketball shoe that offers impeccable traction in outdoors then this shoe right here is an ultimate choice. The combined pattern along with rubber outsole, make up for amazing prevention to dust particles.
An oval-shaped zoom unit covers forefoot of the shoe. It is kind of traditional but still one of the best cushioning you’ll ever encounter for basketball shoes. Fit is quite long and narrow so always check whether they fit you or not. For the lockdown there is a traditional lacing system, in addition, other various elements are employed in order to provide support and increase the durability of shoes.
Buyers Guide for Best Basketball Shoes
Now that we’ve seen some of the best basketball shoes out there, it is essential that we must know what factors we can look into before buying the shoes. This includes factors that influence your gameplay and factors that affect your performance.
Basketball shoes are more than just footwear that’s why you must be careful while choosing one. These are some of the things you have to take into consideration before purchasing basketball shoes.
Traction in one word can be defined as gripping to the floor, so you can get the basic idea. Traction is by far the most essential characteristic of basketball shoes. Selection of correct traction can make your movement fluid, help you in taking hard cuts, and improve your bounce and rebound and firm grip to the floor.
Traction pattern and rubber on the extreme parts of the outsole mainly determine the effectiveness of provided traction. One of the most used traction types is the herringbone pattern which is almost used is every top-notch basketball shoes.
As far as the rubber goes you can select soft rubber which is preferred for indoors and hard rubber which is essentially used for outdoors.
A second most important factor you have to look into while purchasing a shoe is the comfort it offers. With proper cushioning, you can obtain a convenient cushioning effect to your feet.
The need for cushioning varies with an increase in your weight so one must choose the type of cushioning which pose no issues regardless of one’s weight. When we talk about basketball market, there aren’t one or two cushioning technologies but a plethora of them. One of the most famous is Nike’s zoom air unit which is used in almost every Nike basketball shoe.
In previous days leather was a primary material for the upper of the shoe but with the progression of time use of woven, textile, and synthetics has completely replaced leather. These materials are cheaper in price yet good enough to provide optimum support and make shoes lighter.
Though these materials require some time to break-in but still with all the other aspects of it, these provide better performance than leather. But if you desire enhanced toughness, strength and a bit of throwback to the old times, you can choose leather.
Without a proper fit, you can’t utilize basketball shoes to their fullest extent. Total containment of your feet within a shoe is a must for swift and smooth movement of your feet. If there are any dead spaces, your performance will be severely affected.
We can conclude that when it comes to producing the best basketball shoes, Nike takes the cake. They have advanced so far in terms of technological aspects for basketball shoes that no other brand seems to stop them.
But credit should go to Adidas and Under Armour as well because they too are responsible for producing some great basketball shoes. You can choose any from them the above-mentioned list and it will do the job for you.
And if you are looking for one perfect shoe that covers all aspects, then Adidas Crazy Explosive Primeknit could be an ideal choice.
If you want budget friendly shoe then there is Adidas Streetfire.
If you are a fan of outdoor games then you can always grab a pair of Jordan Fly Lockdown.