In this article, we have reviewed the 10 best cushioned basketball shoes along with a comparison table and a buyer’s guide to help you decide the best pair of basketball shoes for your flat feet.
Comfort is an integral part of basketball, that’s why the selection of best-cushioned basketball shoes should take utmost priority. They say better comfort, better performance and it implies to every other sport, not only basketball.
But when we talk about basketball the comfort factor plays a very vital role and affects the game extensively. Regardless of what type of court you’re playing, the comfort that a shoe should provide must be top notch, so that your game is not hindered in any way.
Some of the best-cushioned basketball shoes have added amazing benefits to the performance of world-class players like LeBron James and Michael Jordan. They say their shoes have a huge part in boosting their skills and the element of comfort is a game changer for them.
With the help of optimum cushioning from the shoe, various factors like bounce and rebound, hard cuts, dunking, sprinting, dribbling are greatly enhanced and they affect the overall gameplay. It’s no brainer that shoes hold the kind of importance in basketball which is equivalent to that of the bat in cricket or shoes in soccer that’s why one must never undermine the capability of shoes.
Cushioning is one of the most underrated aspects get looked down many times because in people’s mind traction is still a primary requirement.
Though, the cushioning holds as much as important as that of traction that’s why you must select shoes that provide the best quality of cushioning before you go onto the court. These are 10 best-cushioned basketball shoes.
Best Cushioned Basketball Shoes
|Nike LeBron 15||4.5/5|
|Adidas Marquee Boost||4.7/5|
|Adidas Harden Vol. 2||4.5/5|
|Adidas Pro Bounce Madness||4.1/5|
|Adidas Dame 5||4.6/5|
|Nike PG 3||4.4/5|
|Nike Kobe AD NXT 360||4.6/5|
|Jordan Why Not Zer0.1||4.2/5|
|Nike LeBron 16 Low||4.7/5|
|Adidas N3xt L3v3l||4.3/5|
1. Nike LeBron 15 – Turn the Game On
For the players who are bulky and prefer to play aggressive basketball, this beautiful piece by Nike is here for you. For the big guys who want to dominate the sports with astounding agility and movement, you can put these shoes in your feet right away without any hesitation.
Though it comes with a bit pricey tag for what it is, this is the kind of deal you cannot turn down if you are fond of premium comfort. This super solid shoe will start its effect immediately once you gear it up and take your performance to the whole new level in no time.
The crazy cushioning setup it employs is amazing. Huge zoom units which are loaded on the bottom provide quality impact protection. These are spread all the way from forefoot to the heel section of the shoe. Though you won’t feel the bounce once your feet are in them, this is due to the coverage of phylon on the bottom.
But you don’t have to worry about it because even if you won’t feel it the bounce is there, and not only some regular bounce but an accelerated bounce. At a rocket speed, you’ll be launched into the sky upon jumping, that’s the kind of bounce this shoe can provide.
The only concern is the responsiveness of a shoe. It’s not bad but it’s not astounding either. This is probably due to the thick outsole on the shoe. But on hindsight, you’re getting a great amount of impact protection which is a win-win situation for you if you’re large in size.
The max pillars on the heel are accountable for good compression. This helps in enhancing heel to toe transition.
The upper is made up of flyknit which gives a very soft feeling to your forefoot. A good cozy feel can be obtained once you wear the shoe because the material is premium. The stretch on ankle makes this shoe easy enough to put on so there aren’t any issues in putting on shoes.
Overall the shoe provides nice cushioning with its air max zoom unit and it is recommended for big guys. Though this deal is a little expensive the perks it offers is insane.
2. Adidas Marquee Boost – Boost up Your Battle
Second entry to the list is a shoe by Adidas known by the name of Marquee Boost. This shoe right here is not only one of the best-cushioned basketball shoes but also one of the best basketball shoes of all time.
With a retro style of the 90s, this shoe has set high cushioning standards for basketball shoes. Its crazy responsiveness is largely appreciated by critics as well as users unlike the previous shoe mentioned in the article. And to add more to the benefits, it provides cozy comfort to your feet with its amazing cushioning, making it one of the best-cushioned basketball shoes.
The ridiculously good comfort in the shoe is so soothing that you’ll feel like you’re flying in the thin air. The full-length boost that the shoe employs provides amazing cushioning to your feet. The boost is just in a range, not too low and not too much.
It’s just perfect.
The thickness of the boost is varied from the heel to the forefoot. There is more thickness on the heel side so you’ll get more impact protection there with more enhanced bounce. On the forefoot, it’s thin so you can expect some lightness in that region but regardless of this, you’ll get godlike responsiveness.
The compression in the heel needs some improvement but it’s not really bad when you’re on the court.
The material on the upper feels like plastic but upon wearing the shoe, it is very soft. It’s not premium but you can get the good court feel once you immerse your feet in them. It could feel more rigid and course from outside but trust me the comfort level of your feet will be greatly enhanced with the help of this material.
There are fuses on the various sides of the shoe which takes out the concerns of ventilation. Good air circulation is there so the overall comfort will reach new heights along with the cushioning.
The fit of the shoe isn’t really wrong but the material gets stretchy as you keep using the shoe, though not to a great extent. That’s why you must be careful of a fit whenever choosing the shoe.
3. Adidas Harden Vol. 2 – Set your Charm
Another top class shoe for the big guys. Though people with lesser weight don’t feel much requirement of optimum cushioning in case of bulky guys, it is an essential aspect. Adidas Harden Vol. 2 fulfills that requirement and produces one of the best cushioning you’ll ever see in the field of basketball.
With added depth to the comfort, you’ll get unearthly cushioning to your shoe as well as other various comfort-boosting factors. Though you’d see many people complaining about the traction of a shoe it’s cushioning that overshadows that nuisance and makes this shoe one of the best-cushioned shoes of all time.
The thick full-length boost which covers the outsole of a shoe is better than the previous model of the same. There is a boost on the side as well which might seem kind of odd to some people as it adds more weight to the shoe but the main aim of this provision is to establish a cushioning not only on the bottom but also on the sides as well.
Apart from that it also prevents sliding off of your shoe from the sides. So these walls come pretty handily when you’re in the last few minutes of the game when everything is going at double speed.
The cup on the heel side is very useful too. It provides sufficient compression so that bouncing is not more than what you desire. It also helps in making a smooth heel to toe transition. The court feels obtained is super cool and softness is just ridiculously good.
One of the critics of the shoe appreciated the softness of the shoe and claimed it was one of the best he has seen for a basketball shoe.
Moving onto the other comfort factor apart from cushioning which is material. Well, there is Forge Fiber upper with the TPU coated fibers on the side of a shoe. This material is pretty rigid and tough but at the same time flexible and soft enough to make your feet comfortable.
For the lateral support, there are cross stitches on the upper along with three stripes that provide additional support. So overall if you aren’t particularly a fan of traction then this shoe could be an ideal choice.
4. Adidas Pro Bounce Madness – Bounce with Manism
Get ready to experience some of the best bounce in the sport of basketball with this amazing introduction of bouncy shoe known by name Adidas Pro Bounce Madness. From the name itself you can get what this shoe is all about. Its epic bounce is cited by many critics and users as one of the best they’ve ever experienced.
This shoe is essentially designed for people who want enhanced bounce to their feet and if you’re one of them, then you won’t regret purchasing this banger from Adidas. Its comfort, support, style is top notch along with amazing lightness it offers.
There’s a lot to talk about this shoe but first of all, let’s get into its cushioning. They have mentioned it employs a flexible bounce midsole which is first of its kind. It’s probably derived from that bouncy feature of the shoe so you can expect some dope bounce in this pair of a shoe.
The amazement of the bounce can be speculated from the center of a heel which is very firm. So the more amount of force is projected on the center means you’re likely to get more bounce than what most of the shoes offer. On the circumference of a heel, there aren’t any impacts so you’ll feel more lightness in that region.
Bounce on the forefoot isn’t really bad but not like the heel section. Though, you’ll get good responsiveness with ultimate protection. For the people who like putting more effort on the heel, this shoe can be an ideal choice but if you’re more oriented towards leading from the forefoot, well it’s still a good deal.
The material is kind of like textile mesh, not really a premium but it does its work. Its comfort and cozy which is more than enough for this kind of shoe. There is a counter on the lateral side which is translucent and it helps in maintaining your line of movement.
Internal heel counter and TPU’s also add extra support to the shoe. The laces are pretty cheap, so you might have to make a compromise in that section. The tongue is large enough to contain your feet so the bounce is not compensated anywhere.
5. Adidas Dame 5 – Damn Stylish
Another entry from Adidas in this list of best-cushioned basketball shoes is Adidas Dame 5. Named after famous basketball player Dame Lillard, this shoe will enhance your overall performance so that you can play like Dame.
You’ll get the exact features which are mentioned in the description without any cut corners which is one of those most reliable factors of the shoe. Cited by many as the best game ever, this shoe is a treat for people who are looking to immerse their feet into the madness of comfort.
The overall design, build, and style of the shoe are just outstanding which makes it one of the best-cushioned basketball shoes of all time.
Right off the bat let’s focus on its cushioning. Just like previous models, it features full-length bounce cushioning. The outsole is pretty thin on the heel side so you’ll get some good bounce and compression in that zone which will optimize making jumps and also ease you in making cuts.
Furthermore, your heel to toe transition will be enhanced. Forefoot doesn’t offer much but the thin outsole gives a good amount of responsiveness which is sufficient for most of the users.
On the outlook, it might not seem like a shoe which would give you a court feel but upon wearing them you’ll realize how great of a court feel they provide. So the overall cushioning is outstanding with amazing impact protection, bounce, and movement.
Next up is a material which encompasses the upper of a shoe. It features two different materials, the first one is on the forefoot which is more like textile and adds great lightness to the shoe.
But on the heel, the material is pretty cheap quality and there are high chances of dust getting accumulated over that section. The leather on the shoe is also a great asset as it prevents water from affecting the shoe. Hence you can play with these shoes on outdoor courts as well without any nuisances.
Overall this shoe is amazing if you’re fond of some nice cushioning and the best thing is it comes at a pretty low price so it’s not really a bad deal.
6. Nike PG 3 – Fix Your Fashion
If you’re a fan of Nike then you might be very well aware of PG series from them. Named after Paul George, every shoe in this series is increasing the overall quality from its predecessor and this shoe is no exception.
The main aim was to reduce weight as much as it can be reduced and Nike has succeeded in doing so. The softness and lightness, these are the two factors around which this shoe revolves, along with enhanced cushioning effect.
Good balance of every essential aspect for a basketball shoe makes this bad boy one of the best-cushioned basketball shoes you’ll find in the market.
As we are talking about shoes that excel in cushioning, this shoe right here is equipped with a light foam midsole which is intact with forefoot zoom airbag, same as that of PG 2. Paul George says that cushioning in this shoe is better than the previous models, possibly because of this new combined cushioning technology.
It is really soft compared to phylon which adds nice comfort to your feet. Compared with PG 1 and PG 2, the compression on the heel is greatly improved and furthermore, the stretch on that region is also enhanced. This makes heel to toe transition easier as well as provides good impact protection.
On the forefoot, there is a provision for zoom air unit which doesn’t offer much. But there is good comfort because of the foam present in here. In addition, there is also a little bounce and rebound which gives good support to that of the heel side.
The upper of the shoe features a combination of mesh and synthetics leading to an ultimate reduction in weight which was basically the main aim of this shoe. The tongue is stretchy well to make lock-in good enough for you and carries your momentum without making any compensation.
The material might seem like low quality when you touch it but once you wear shoes, you’ll feel the glory of this magnificent footwear. An ultimate lightness and softness will be experienced once your feet are in the shoe and you’ll be able to fly in the court just like Paul George.
7. Nike Kobe AD NXT 360 – Next Gen Shoes
On Mamba Day which is a day when Kobe Briant said farewell to basketball and delivered one of the most epic performances in the history of basketball, this shoe was released. This goes on to show that this shoe right here is kind of like a farewell to Kobe, so you can anticipate what kind of features it will employ.
To carry on the legacy of Kobe and pay a tribute to the legend, Nike has put everything to make this shoe one of the best-cushioned basketball shoes ever made. Applying many new technologies to this model, this shoe has become a big sensation in the world of basketball.
It features a drop-in midsole which is actually an insole and you can just put it inside the shoe whenever desired. First time ever they’ve provided reaction cushioning with the drop in the midsole which is good for restoring of energy. Though it’s not 100% reaction still you can feel it on the center since outer perimeter is of Lunarlon.
Since the midsole is right underneath your feet, you’ll get quick bounce without any lag which is better than full-length zoom unit that most of the shoes employ. This drop-in midsole makes a lot of difference as it provides amazing impact protection, great stability and optimum responsiveness to your feet.
It’s lightweight and gives great court field. This feature of the dual-density drop-in midsole has made this shoe one of the best cushioning setups ever in the basketball shoes.
The material on the upper is 360 flyknit. Now the significance of a flyknit material can be established with its ventilation capability. Since the material is super thin, the circulation of air becomes pretty easy and it increases the overall comfort of this shoe by Nike.
Even for the lockdown, there is a special feature of 360 foot-wrapping fit which completely encloses your feet and doesn’t compromise your movements. This also ensures the good gripping connection between the floor and the drop-in midsole, so that there aren’t any issues of slippage of the shoe.
Overall if you’re keen on wearing the best-cushioned basketball shoes, then you shouldn’t have any second thoughts before buying this masterpiece by Nike.
8. Jordan Why Not Zer0.1 – Win it Out
One of the best recommendations for both indoor and outdoor courts, this Jordan Why Not Zer0.1 has provided some impressive performance in every section of a game. Upon looking on its features you’d arrive at a point and ask yourself, “why not purchase this shoe?” such as the capability of this piece of Jordan.
Everything is amazing about this shoe, from traction to material to the fit and most importantly the cushioning is some of the best you’ll find in the market. Even in the style department, this shoe doesn’t hold anything back as the mirror image colorway of the shoe is astonishing as well as pleasing to the eyes.
Cushioning setup is a top feature of this shoe as it features full-length zoom air unit. But the only difference is that it is bottom loaded hence you won’t feel it under your foot. Though it is only applicable on the heel portion of a shoe, so if you’re a player who likes playing on the heel, then you’ll have to reconsider before making a purchase.
But apart from that, you can definitely feel the zoom unit on the forefoot. Phylon is present in very less amount between the zoom unit and your foot, this is due to the cutting of midsole and the forefoot. This absence of phylon gives nice bounce to the forefoot, so if you’re a player of the forefoot, you are going to have an advantage in a game.
The bounce is not only present when you’re jumping at one point but it can also be felt while you are in motion, making your movements.
Now the material is a combination of plastic and synthetic. Though there is a little mesh down under most of the material is plastic on the upper. Now upon touching from the outside, you’ll get some rigid feeling but on the inside of a shoe, there is a lot of comforts.
The material isn’t much standout but the containment of the shoe is top notch because of the fusing of textile and synthetic skin. For further containment, a bootie construction is provisioned in the shoe which gives you a sock-like a feel.
9. Nike LeBron 16 Low – Make Your Goals High
The shoe which is inspired from the rookie season of LeBron James is set out to change the standard of shoes in the sport of basketball. LeBron always cared about cushioning of the shoe as he knew cushioning holds equal importance as other aspects of the shoe.
That’s why this shoe is designed to fulfill those requirements and provide a world-class cushioning. This shoe can be a stepping stone for you and could be a turning point in your journey of becoming pro of this game. Since there is really little to complain about, you’ll get this shoe as a great deal while you go on a court to play basketball.
The cushioning setup in LeBron 16 Low is similar to the LeBron 15 but the only difference is that the whole setup is more stable in comparison. This is due to the extra provisions which are done around the area of the zoom air unit. The midsole has been dropped by some amount so that your foot retains a good amount of stability while in action.
In addition to that, the midsole is extended right up to the outrigger of the shoe. All of these provisions make the entire cushioning suitable for any type of feet and the great thing about cushion is that it’s amazingly bouncy. You won’t get this kind of bounce in any other basketball shoe. This is probably due to a lot of improvement made in the air zoom unit.
The material is kind of similar to LeBron 15 with the mesh/textile on the upper. It doesn’t do much but you can get the good soft feeling to your feet upon wearing them. You can’t really call it premium but its enough to provide sufficient ventilation to the shoe and keep things going.
For putting in a shoe you can stretch the collar as much as you want as the material on the collar is super stretchy and will easily contain your feet regardless of its size. Furthermore, you can use the heel pull tab to extend the heel outwards to put on your feet.
For the lockdown of a shoe, you can use the ultimate custom lacing system that this shoe inherits which will keep your feet inside the shoe.
10. Adidas N3xt L3v3l – Play with Grace
And the final entry into the list of best-cushioned basketball shoes is none other than this product N3xt L3v3l from Adidas. Known as the first ever laceless basketball shoe, this piece right here has achieved the peak of cushioning.
Combined with the newest and tested elements which are essentially designed to enhance your performance, this shoe delivers everything you’d expect from an ideal basketball shoe. The amazing thing about this shoe is that its design is so simple yet elegant and aesthetically sound that you’ll fall in love with its structure on the first look.
This is probably a stepping stone for Adidas in the field of laceless shoes.
The cushioning of this shoe is equipped with newly established Lightstrike foam. Though they haven’t mentioned what kind of thing is that but on the outlook, it seems nice. Two things you need to know are that shoes are very light in weight, like really light.
Secondly, when you start breaking in the shoe you’ll get that extra bounce on the foot. There isn’t any relevant reason for this extra bounce but you can speculate that this Lightstrike foam could be responsible for it, or maybe they’ve just added more layers of foam.
As far as the impact protection goes, it’s not on par with some of the best other shoes have to offer neither its too low. It lies in the middle of it and it is good enough to protect your feet of impact forces.
The material on the shoe is primeknit which is spread across the shoe. The material feels good both from outside and inside so you can feel an optimum amount of comfort once your feet are inside of the shoe. Its stretchy which is a good thing as more flexibility is added to the shoe for premium fit.
You can stretch the material at tongue and at the heel side to put in the shoe without any difficulties. Even in making turns and lateral movements you’ll get the same amount of comfort when you’re standing stationary.
For the lockdown as mentioned above, there aren’t any laces. That’s why there is a locked-in feature which is supported by Primeknit upper and sculpted TPU banking barrier. Main aim to deliver this kind of fit is to enhance the movement as well as provide a snug fit.
Overall the cushioning, material, traction and fit are great. This shoe doesn’t really lack in any department and is possibly the future of basketball shoes.
Buyers Guide for Best Cushioned Basketball Shoes
Now that we’ve seen 10 best-cushioned basketball shoes, it is essential that one must know what important factors one must consider before purchasing shoes for playing basketball. It doesn’t kill to have some research done before making a selection.
You must be aware of what your comfort zone is and what kind of cushioning is desirable for your feet. Only after that you can make a correct assessment of a shoe and get an incredible feel to your feet while you entertain spectators with your skills.
Usually, whenever we are making a selection, we consider primary factors like traction, cushioning, fit, material, lock-in, and style but in this section, we are particularly focusing on cushioning of the shoe, so we will only see sub-factors of cushioning.
Type of Cushioning
There is a variety of cushioning available in the market. Some of them are conventional and some of them are exclusively designed for a particular brand. Two of the most famous types are Zoom air by Nike and Boost by Adidas.
The zoom air unit is a set of fibers which are pressurized in air, hence the name air zoom unit. The main function of this type of cushioning includes good energy restoration, optimum bounce, and rebound, good impact protection, etc. These are mostly used inexpensive shoes by Nike like LeBron or KD series.
Boost cushioning of Adidas includes hundreds of micro thermoplastic urethane pellets which are fused with the help of hot steam. These pellets are soft yet springy enough to provide sufficient bounce to you. Good responsiveness and quick movements are some of the primary functions of this kind of cushioning.
Apart from these two, there is other conventional cushioning like phylon which is lighter compared to other cushioning. Also, Ethylene and Vinyl Acetate is one of the famous foam-based cushioning which is used in a lot of shoes.
People who play with forefoot must be careful in selecting the shoe. Usually, forefoot cushion must have good responsiveness since a lot of movements are incepted from the forefoot. Also with the good cushioning at forefoot making hard cuts and lateral movement becomes easier.
Heel cushioning must satisfy two things; good impact protection and bounce. If you’re a player who relies on the heel and these two requirements are fulfilled then trust me, you’re going to produce magic on the court.
In this way, you can make a proper selection of best-cushioned basketball shoes whenever you go to purchase them. If you can spend more dimes than your budget then you should definitely go for Adidas Marquee Boost, but if you’re a little tight on budget and require some good cushioning then you can count on Nike PG 3.