There is nothing worse than playing basketball with the wrong pair of shoes. Though trying to find the best basketball shoes for your style of play can be a real challenge. Although some players can get away with a generic basketball shoe and get good results, it is typically better to have a shoe that is designed for your foot and your unique movement.
If you’re a point guard, then you need a shoe that will handle fluid movements and quick cuts. Shooting guards need a little extra durability for those perimeter shots. Guards and centers need durability and support as they crash the boards or sky upward for an alley-oop.
So let’s break it down to your style of play to discuss the type of fit and the key attributes your basketball shoe should have. From there, we’ll look at the various categories of shoes that are available right now so you can match fit and attributes to your budget. That way you get the comfort, support, and traction you need for your practice and play.
Key Attribute #1: Lockdown
If you’re role is that of a defensive enforcer, then you’re going to be running almost constantly when you’re out on the floor. Whether you’re shooting back to prevent a fast break or you’re going to start one yourself, you need to have basketball shoes that are not going to rub on your feet as you move.
Rubbing basketball shoes equate to blisters on the feet – especially around the big toe. No one needs that.
So if you’re a distributor or a facilitator on the floor, look for a pair of basketball shoes that will lock down on your foot. The arch of your foot should be supported and comfortable. Your toes should be able to wiggle. There should be enough traction for you to make a tight cut with ease.
Just make sure the shoes aren’t too tight on your foot. That can start a whole other set of problems for you.
Key Attribute #2: Scoring
You can plan out a play to give you a scoring opportunity. You can also take immediate advantage of a defensive mistake to score a basket. Since you never really know when an opportunity will arise or what type of shot you’ll need to make, players who are focused on offense need to have an all-around shoe that focuses on traction, lateral support, and cushioning around the heel for those acrobatic shots.
Arch support is the key to unlocking your potential for scoring with the basketball shoe. You need to have a foot support within the shoe that matches the shape of your foot to have the right lateral support for a quick slashing cut. Orthotics can be put into a shoe to compensate, but that’s not as effective as having the foot support built into the shoe itself.
Key Attribute #3: Power
Being a power player in basketball means that you need speed, jump support, and extra protection around the balls of your feet. When a power player jumps, they use the front part of their foot to take off. Landing typically occurs around the ball of the foot to the heel. Top-rated basketball shoes will put in extra support for lift near the front, but provide added support for the landing near the back.
This type of basketball shoe also needs to fit well. Loose shoes are going to create raw skin and blisters for the power player. If the shoe is too tight, a tough landing could result in a broken foot. So look for shoes that give your foot enough space to breathe, but don’t allow you to move your foot around within the structure of the shoe itself.
Key Attribute #4: Post Play
If you tend to work the post as part of your game, then you need to have a special type of basketball shoe. Post players need more ankle and heel support in their shoes because they are consistently backing down a defensive or blocking them out. Well designed basketball shoes will also give post players some lift support for those moments when there is the opportunity to block a shot or two.
Look for basketball shoes that have advanced traction and soles that focus on the heel of the foot. Mid-tops or high-tops tend to provide the better ankle support that is needed. You’ll also want the shoe to be responsive, so there should be a little flexibility in there. Not too much, but more than a point guard would want in their shoe.
Key Attribute #5: Defensive Specialist
Some players focus on scoring. Others focus on playing some lockdown defense. If you have someone in practice who always seems to stop the offense on those 2-on-1 or 3-on-2 drills (or that is you), then they are your defensive specialist. They need to have a basketball shoe that can support their need to always be on the move.
The key to a good defense might be to establish and maintain a tall vertical posture, but the defensive specialist is also always on the move. They are fighting through a pick, shouldering off a cut, or working for a window to strip the ball. Their shoes need to be immediately responsive and this comes through all-around support.
How to Tie and Lace Your Basketball Shoes Properly
Many basketball players don’t give a second thought to how they tie or lace up their basketball shoes. They just throw them on, just like any other shoes they might wear. That is a mistake.
The design of a basketball shoes is dependent on it being laced up and tied properly. No matter what your style of play might be in this fantastic game, shoes that are not properly tied are going to get you into trouble.
Here is what you are going to want to do to make sure that your shoes are on properly.
- Lace them properly. All of your eyelets should be used on the shoe when lacing up. Pull the laces through the first set of eyelets near the toe, pulling the laces upward on both sides to make sure you have equal lengths. Then use a criss-cross pattern through each eyelet, checking for equal lengths after each set.
- Start a Reef Knot. Once your shoes are laced up, you’re ready to start a reef knot. Cross the left lace over the right one, then pull the left under the right. Pull the laces firmly up against the shoe.
- Begin the loop. Make a loop with the left lace, holding the bottom of the loop between your first finger and thumb. Then circle the right lace around the bottom of the loop on the left. Tuck it under to create a second loop. Then pull each loop firmly until you have a tight knot.
- Double knot your shoe. Double tie your laces so that you’re not stuck needing to tie your shoe in the middle of a practice or game.
If your lace loops can touch the floor, then your laces are too long for that shoe. You can triple knot them to reduce the risks of tripping in that moment, but then look for shoelaces of the right length to support your game.
What Are the Best Expensive Basketball Shoes?
These limited edition shoes give you just the right amount of support. They also make a unique fashion statement. The shaft of the shoe measures about 5” from the arch, giving you a stable and supportive foot placement every time. It’s a leather and synthetic combination that is durable, comfortable, and enough traction to post-up every time.
These leather basketball shoes have a nice rubber midsole with an Air-sole unit for added comfortable. They are a high performance shoe with a herringone pattern that gives you the traction you need for a quick slash to the basket. Multidirectional changes are simple and easy with this highly durable shoe.
If those nursing shoes turned you off from the Curry brand, this design will bring you right back. These synthetic shoes are surprisingly light on the feet, but don’t compromise your ability to make a quick cut. Your takeoffs are quick, yours ups are solid, and you’ll be able to beat the defense consistently when you’re wearing them.
If you get hot feet while playing, then consider the mesh and foam design provided here. You still get the multidirectional support that you need, but with a fabric and leather combination that gives you lightweight support. The midfoot strap is a nice addition to give you more of a locked down feel as well.
These basketball shoes look so good, you might not even want to wear them during a game. Your feet feel like they’re on clouds when you are wearing them, giving you the power to take off on demand. Whether you need to sky upward for a dunk or you’re trying to make the referee throw both hands up in the air, these shoes get the job done.
Here Are the Best Cheap Basketball Shoes Under $100
These synthetic basketball shoes give you a nice combination of leather components to give you some structure while keeping the shoe surprisingly lightweight. It features a full EVA midsole, delivering a comfortable ride that will help you develop more chances to convert an And 1. The one-piece solid rubber outsole is durable for this price point, while the added collar foam increased the support you receive around the ankle. Good for lateral and medial support, these shoes can help you develop moves that will break ankles with regularity.
You’ll want to make these your game day shoes only, but it’s a small investment to make. The boost technology that has been incorporated into these shoes gives you a remarkable amount of cushioning so you can focus on the highest verticals possible. The textile lining is super comfortable and won’t make your foot feel sweaty after an hour of hard game play. Give these shoes more energy and you’ll receive more support in return. The rubber sole gives you the right amount of traction and the Xeno upper keeps your foot stable and comfortable, no matter what moves you might throw out.
These synthetic and mesh shoes feature a durable rubber sole that will have you cutting a drive to the hoop with regularity. There’s enough padding in the shoe so you can go up for that wicked 3 whenever the urge strikes as well. It’s a standard lace-up design that is featured with this shoe, but it still gives you a secure fit. The sneaker sits right up on the ankle, giving you a nice amount of support there. It even includes a padded collar that won’t rub funny on your foot.
Your opponents aren’t going to miss you when they see you wearing these shoes out on the court. Of course, all they’re going to see is a blue blur speeding by them, but they still got to see your skills. The no-sew design does have some challenges for players that are constantly cutting and moving, but it also provides a superior level of support for players that are always in action. The shoe is surprisingly lightweight as well and the traction is one of the best you’ll find in any category. Give them a try and you won’t be disappointed.
This textile and synthetic combination provides a lot of foot support for a very low price. It has the same herringbone outsole traction features that the most expensive basketball shoes have today. The leather upper has a mesh-infused design that keeps the foot breathing, even in a hot gym. It’s a basketball shoe that can take on high-abrasion situations, yet still offer stability and support with its mid-cut design. If you want to have the best basketball shoe that gets all of the basics right, then you’re going to want to give this shoe a try.
What Are the Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes?
The amount of cushioning your foot receives with this basketball shoe will make you want to wear a pair all day long. The shoe is nice and flexible, which is needed for many outdoor courts. It’s also incredibly durable as a shoe with its molded collar and flexible upper, letting you play in a wide variety of conditions. If you tend to play with an ankle sleeve or brace, you’ll have enough room to accommodate your equipment with this shoe’s design as well. Lace them up and you’ll have your new favorite pair of shoes.
This is an outdoor basketball shoe that gets all of the basics right. It sits a bit low on the ankle, but it gives your foot the support it needs. Don’t fall for the temptation to avoid lacing up the shoe at the final two spots on the collar. You’ll want the extra support for the drives to the basket on an outdoor court. We found the fit to be spot-on from a sizing perspective and you’ve got numerous design options from which to choose. If you can only buy one set of basketball shoes this year, these might be the shoes you’ll want to get.
The molded synthetic upper wraps very closely around the foot, giving you a fit that is precise and almost feels like a custom shoe. The external PU shell also adds to the durability of the shoe and the support that your foot receives. The traction is great for composite courts and you might get away with some gym work as well. If you need a shoe that gives you locked in stability, this is the shoe that you’re going to want to have.
This is one of the most versatile outdoor basketball shoes that you’ll find on the market today. It’s one-part fashion statement, thanks to its bold colors and graphic treatments, but it’s also one-part comfort. You’ll feel an excellent performance supporting your foot with every step you take and every move you make. Wear them on the court so you can take your game to the next level, but wear them off the court as well and you’ll receive compliments everywhere you go. Just make sure you don’t tell people the price you paid for them, okay?
These unique basketball shoes will definitely make an impression out there on the outdoor courts. The fit is a bit different around the ankle, as it kind of wraps around and underneath the ankle, but sits up higher along your Achilles. The foot support is nothing short of awesome, while still providing your heel with the impact cushioning that you’re going to need for dunks or post-up play. Grab these shoes and your game will experience a positive impact – and your basketball skills might see a positive impact too.
What Are the Best Kids and Youth Basketball Shoes?
These shoes are wide enough to prevent tightness that can cause injury, but there is still a strong level of compression and support. The built-up rubber outsole gives you plenty of stability for driving or setting picks, while the padded insole gives the foot enough cushioning that growing feet will stay comfortable. It features a standard lace-up design with a mesh upper that allows the foot to breathe at all times. Rubbing along the heel just doesn’t happen, but there’s room for the toes to move
These fantastic basketball shoes give kids the all-day support you want them to have. The mesh upper keeps the shoe very light and airy, while the impact cushioning allows players to focus on their game. The flyweave construction keeps the shoe very light, yet still offers a lockdown feeling that keeps the foot secure. Flywire cables along the forefoot help to keep the shoe stabilized, even if a hard cut is being made. Kids who take their game seriously will want to take this shoe seriously.
Why should kids need to settle for an inferior shoe just because they have a smaller foot? This traditional basketball shoe design proves that this doesn’t have to be the case. The full-length EVA sockliner keeps the foot comfortable, while the compression molded EVA foal midsole offers just the right amount of cushioning support. It’s a one-piece rubber outsole that struggles to keep up with the pace of all-day wear, but is perfect for basketball practice and those all-important game days.
What stands out about this youth basketball shoe is its heel and ankle supports. The shaft of the shoe measures about 4.75 inches from the arch, giving you a high top sneaker with a faux leather upper that keeps the foot nice and stable. Kids have three different designs from which to choose, each with a rubber sole that will give them the traction they need to put down the moves they’ve been practicing. A built-in torsion system gives the shoe some added flexibility as well, helping each child maximize their footwork.
The phylon midsole for cushioning on this shoe, combined with its deep flex grooves, give it a large natural range of motion. For kids that are always active on the court, the herringbone traction will combine with the other features to give them a stable platform for any footwork they need to get done. Establish a defensive position, make a drive to the basket, or post-up with ease with the supports of this synthetic and mesh shoe. It really is one of the best value purchases that you’ll find online today.
About the Best Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet
Playing basketball with flat feet can be an uncomfortable experience, especially if you do not have the right shoes to support your game. The right pair of basketball shoes can alleviate most of the problems that you’ll encounter if your feet have low or fallen arches.
Basketball shoes for flat feet are going to provide you with extra support around the arch of the foot. Arches are the shock absorbers of the foot, helping to soften the blow that occurs as you’re running down the court. With low arches and no shoe support, you’ll feel the impact in your calf and knee every single time.
This causes most basketball players with low or fallen arches to over-pronate. The foot will roll inward as it hits the ground, which means the basketball shoe must support this natural foot action in order to provide the traction that is needed.
If you’re not sure if you have flat feet, there are some tests you can do at home to determine if you may need this type of basketball shoe.
- Footprint Test. With a wet foot, step down on concrete, a wood floor, or some other surface that will leave your footprint behind. If you have low or fallen arches, then the footprint will look more like a pancake. Higher arches will leave a thin strip of a footprint between the heel and the toes.
- Shoe Test. People with flat feet tend to wear their shoes unevenly because of the tendency to over-pronate. If the shoes wear more on the inside than the outside, then you could face this issue.
- Tiptoe Test. If you suspect a flat foot, then try the tiptoes test. Stand on your toes as tall as you can, like a ballerina. If you see an arch form, then you may still have flat feet, but they are flexible. If an arch does not form, then you may need medical orthotics in your basketball shoes.
About the Best Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet
If you have wide feet, then finding a basketball shoe that doesn’t scrunch up your toes is incredibly important. When pressure from the shoe is placed along the sides of the foot, it can negatively affect the bones in that foot in a variety of ways. You may have a bunion begin to form if the pressure is placed around the joint of the big toe.
The metatarsals of the foot can even break if too much pressure is placed on the side of the foot.
Since most people tend to have their feet fitted with one of those sizing machines, called a Brannock Device, at the local shoe store instead of by a professional fitter, it is up to you to determine if you need to have wider basketball shoes.
Here are the telltale signs to watch for.
- Your foot is hanging over the edge of the shoe’s platform.
- Your regular shoes cause redness or blisters form after wearing them all day.
- You feel pressure along the top of your toes, which gives you the pins and needles feeling of something “falling asleep.”
The bottom line is this: if the basketball shoe platform feels good, but the upper feels too snug, then you’ll likely benefit from a wider shoe. Each shoe brand is a little different in sizing, however, so always try on each shoe from a different brand to make sure you’re getting the correct fit.
About the Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support
Ankle support in a basketball shoe often makes people think of a high top shoe. Although this is generally true, there are other factors that a great shoe brings to the table so that your ankle gets the support that it needs.
There are three primary reasons why you might want to consider basketball shoes that rate well for ankle support.
- You’ve had multiple sprains on the same ankle and it is now unstable, often rolling on you whenever it encounters an unstable surface.
- You have been diagnosed with arthritis in the ankle or another inflammatory condition which affects the joint.
- You have a flat foot and aren’t wearing supportive shoes for that condition.
The top-rated basketball shoes for ankle support will provide you with a greater level of lateral-side stability. This means it will provide resistance against the foot trying to collapse toward the inside, preventing the joint from rolling, spraining, or worse.
Ankle support also comes in the form of stable arch supports. When your shoe is able to support your natural arch in a comfortable way, it creates a stable planting experience for all of your common basketball moves. This will also prevent the ankle from attempting to collapse in the middle of a movement.
What Are the Best Shoes for Point Guards?
These basketball shoes put all of the support into the places where PGs need to have it for playing basketball. An external heel counter and internal shank also promote a greater level of stability and support. Add in the innovative bear-trap lacing system and there will be a locked-in fit that will promote better traction during the transitionary moments of each game.
These shoes feature a perforated textile and synthetic upper that keeps your foot breathing. The full-length ADIPRENE+ gives point guards an optimized cushioning experience, allowing you to move with ease or go up for the occasional rebound. The shoe locks down nicely over the tongue and supports the ankle and heel in a superior way.
These shoes are a reincarnation of a classic, but you still can’t really beat what it can provide. If you are a high performance PG, this is the high performance shoe that will give you the multidirectional traction that you need. The leather is strong, but supportive of the rubber outsole and overall lockdown that you get when this shoe gets tightened up.
The air mesh tongue stops the top of your foot from sweating. The Cloudformsockliner keeps your foot comfortable. All in all, this shoe feels very light on the foot, but moves and adapts to what you need it to do on the court. The full grain leather upper withstands a lot of abuse, so you can focus on getting your job done.
The visible air unit in the heel of this shoe allows you to have extra cushioning whenever you need to make a quick move to the basket. The collar design gives you a proper fit around the foot, while the sole gives you the grip and traction you need to make that defensive stop. It’s a great all-around shoe that will support your game in many different ways.
What Are the Best Women’s Basketball Shoes?
These basketball shoes get all of the basics right. The leather and lightweight synthetic overlays let you have the medial and lateral stability you need on the court. Cushioning and support is supplemented by the compression-molded EVA foam midsole that conforms around your foot once you lace the shoes up. It features a full-length, one-piece rubber outsole that has a multi-directional traction pattern so you can throw down a move and drive to the hoop with ease. Lacing comes all the way up the tongue for even more support as well. Fit is as expected.
These affordable basketball shoes for women will give you a retro style and a comfortable gel support system. They’re also surprisingly lightweight, considering the amount of leather that is incorporated into the design. The sole of the shoe gives you a nice bit of traction out on the court while supporting the arch in all of the right places. Choose your preferred color combination and you’ll be able to dominate with your skills out on the floor. Make sure the shoes are laced up tight to prevent heel rubbing.
We really appreciated the stability and support that the design of this shoe is able to provide. The bear-trap lacing system connects the tongue for a really locked-in fit, allowing you to move with confidence without rolling the foot. Traction is what you would expect it to be, with the rubber sole moving with you to prevent slippage. The upper of the shoe flexes and stretches as you move, making sure that the foot is always supported. If you’re tired of foot or ankle pain after you practice, grab these shoes and your feet will likely feel better the first time you wear them.
These are great shoes for women who want to fully support their arch and ankle at the same time. Not only do you have the classic lace-up pattern along the tongue of this shoe, but you also have a dual strap around the ankle for added support. It’s also a good shoe for those who might need to wear an ankle brace on a regular basis. The sole of the shoe is somewhat flat compared to other basketball shoes, but this doesn’t affect the traction at all. If you want a shoe that provides an optimum fit, consider this one.
These Under Armour shoes feather a synthetic leather upper with a molded foam heel, giving the foot a comfortable and supportive structure for high court movement. Perforations are engineered in the heel and the forefoot to increase the breathability of the shoe as well. The full-length EVA sockliner keeps your foot from feeling wet if you’re playing in a hot gym. The main feature of the shoe, however, is the Micro G foam, which lets you cushion your landing or have an explosive takeoff with regularity. If you need a strong shoe to support your game, you’ll want to consider this option right now.
What Are the Best Low Top Basketball Shoes?
The energy that this shoe can provide is surprising. It also provides a locked down feeling despite its minimalized lacing pattern. It’s a lightweight shoe that gives you extra cushioning on the heel so your heels and knees don’t feel so bad after a game of fighting for rebounds. Choose your preferred color or pattern and be ready to fall in love with these shoes.
These synthetic basketball shoes feature a hyperfuse construction that gives the wearer a superior level of breathability. Solarsoft foam is also included, providing a maximum level of comfort for practice and play. The midsole is nice and flexible, offering your foot a drainage point if you tend to sweat a lot. Give them a try and we think you’ll love how they feel.
These are great basketball shoes from a low-top perspective for one reason: looks. Sure – you’ve got the traction that you need. You’ve got the comfort you want. But how can you ignore the zig-zag shaped sole? Or the flashy black upper that lets your foot breathe? Or the comfortably padded tongue and collar that supports your foot? You can’t.
These full-grain leather basketball shoes feature the classic logo with a traditional design. The polyurethane with air-sole unit is encased in a chrome TPU window, complimented by the herringbone pattern, so you get to have the traction that you need for any scenario. Put these basketball shoes on and you’ll never want to wear another pair.
This is another lightweight basketball shoe that is surprisingly supportive. The stability and speed that this shoe is able to provide comes from a unique design that offers a supportive chassis for the foot. It’s a bonded synthetic shoe with leather and textile components that will have you moving as well on the court as you feel wearing the shoe.
Here Are the Best Nike Basketball Shoes
These shoes are a nice fit for those who have wider feet. They’re also a good match for players who need a little more support around the ankle. You’ll have plenty of traction with this shoe, but there is enough cushioning and support for post-up play as well. If you’re tired of shoes that underperform, give this shoe a try today.
This shoe is the traditional Nike basketball shoe. It features the classic partial bootie construction, giving you the easy-on experience that you sometimes want. A traditional lacing pattern allows you to lock the shoe down tight, yet the breathable mesh upper keeps your foot feeling comfortable all game long.
These shoes have a nice mid-foot strap to give you some extra support where you need it the most. Lacing is minimal with this design, but you also have a strap near the ankle for additional support. The mesh upper keeps the shoe light and breathable, while the rubber pods give you a superior range of motion.
These full-length mesh bootie basketball shoes are one of the lightest that you’ll find from the entire Nike series of basketball shoes. The Zoom air units in the heel and the forefoot give you low-profile cushioning, while the hook and loop closure locks your foot down tight. If you’re tired of heavy shoes, grab these today.
These shoes give you the classic Jordan experience. It all begins with the encapsulated air sole unit that gives you lightweight cushioning without interfering with your traction. There’s enough room for your foot to move, but you’re still locked down enough that you feel supported in all of your moves.
Here Are the Best Adidas Basketball Shoes
These textile and synthetic basketball shoes give you high top support, but the lightweight experience of a low top. The shaft measures approximately from mid top to arch, giving you comfort that surrounds your entire foot. Whether you need a shoe for all day wear or for a critical game performance, these shoes will fit the bill nicely.
These leather basketball shoes are a sturdy presence out on the court. They’re built for players that focus on their athleticism with every move they make. If you’re the type of player who is always active on the court, then the support you’ll receive with this shoe is going to be something you’ll always want to have.
These leather and synthetic basketball shoes feature a comfortable textile lining that makes the shoe perfect for all-day wear. Mid-foot integrity is maintained with the unique torsion system of this shoe. The shaft measures 2.7 inches from the arch, letting you have an almost customized level of support. It’s a great shoe at a better price.
These shoes are perfect for those who want to take their game and their basketball fashion to the next level. Lacing up front is minimal, which is nice for players who don’t like that locked down feeling on the front of the foot. You still receive the ankle and heel support that you need during a tough game. The fit is spot-on as well.
If you need a maximum level of ankle support with a basketball shoe, then this is the one you’ll want to look at first. Although the lacing doesn’t go all the way up the ankle, you’d never know it by the way the shoe fits. There is also added heel cushioning within the sole of the shoe and a solid traction pattern that will let you move with ease on the court.
The best basketball shoes will support your game, keep your feet happy, and let you dominate the opposition. Grab your pair before they disappear and it will be an investment that you’ll never regret.