The Best Basketball Shoes – 2016 Review

“We reviewed the most important aspects when selecting the best basketball shoe. We took into consideration materials, shoe cut, traction and price.”

Best Overall Pick

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There are dozens of basketball shoes out there, and most customers get spoilt for choice on what brand to buy. We selected the best basketball shoes examining some standard features in them for example, the material of the shoes, technologies of the shoes, material of the shoe, outer and inner construction, traction pattern, shoe’s cushion and level of skill the player has. Below are the top three basketball shoes in different categories we examined.

Introduction to Basket Ball Shoes

Basketball plays an important part in a game. Over the years, there has been a steady improvement in the construction of this type of sportswear.  Various companies have come up with many brand names, with some even adopting famous basketball player’s names, endorsing them as brand ambassadors. Note that a good pair of basketball shoe will go a long way into preventing injuries while improving your overall game performance.

When it comes to selecting basketball shoes, there are some standard factors to examine, irrespective of the player’s level of skill. They are the inner and outer construction of the shoe, which significantly contributes to your overall game performance in the first place. The shoe ought to handle a rigorous game for example high jumps, quick side-to-side movements involved in the game as well as abrupt taking off, landing and stopping.

We have designed a guide for the top 3 basketball shoes that will up your game. Thy comes with different features making it necessary to examine each pair before settling on one as your favorite shoe.

Best Overall

Nike Jordan Men’s Air Jordan Retro 10 Basketball Shoe

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Embrace some old school Jordan heritage with the New York City Men’s Air Jordan Retro 10 NYC Basketball Shoes. It was designed to celebrate the great city of NYC and some of Michael Jordan’s achievements during his playing time. From the overall shoe’s construction, this shoe is a testament to somebody who many considered the GOAT (Greatest of All Time).

The rubber outer sole of this Jordan lists one of Jordan’s accomplishments for each year he was in the NBA. It ensures that your feet are planted firmly on the court, and if you are a bit heavy on your feet, rounded edges of the outsole got your back. They lower chances of you slipping or losing balance.

The midsole is a lightweight Phylon sole that allows the wearer to take off during the game. It also acts as a continuous air bag and feels amazing. The elastic band lacing system and the right sleeve offer a superior fit.

The heel pull-tab and padded collar offer easy on and off access so you can fit up for the game faster. You need not use a double sock or an additional insole to solve the sizing issue. To fix the extra space if you got a small foot, you may need to tie them tighter.

Its midfoot and heel lockdown are excellent. As expected with a blend of leather and synthetic based sneakers, the leather stretches a bit to cover up the minimal synthetics in the shoe.

Air Jordan Retro 10 are on-court tanks. They offer great support, exceptional cushioning and comfort making them a fitting, lightweight basketball shoe, worn by a wide variety of players and positions.

Most Popular

Adidas Performance Men’s D Rose 773 IV Basketball Shoe

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Adidas has dominated the court shoe game for decades and D Rose 773 IV Basketball Shoes. They feature some new Adidas technology, Bounce Technology. Bounce Technology is an upgrade from the EVA/Adiprene+ used in the previous versions of the 773. The Bounce midsole provides that cushioning needed in a basketball shoe and gives a nice responsive ride. It is huge for Adidas as it gives them a solid second cushioning option.

The upper body made of textured synthetic leather in the toe box along with mesh panels along the midfoot of the shoe. It also has a good padding along the tongue to prevent any pinching in the upper ankle area. The two straps found towards the back of the shoe lock down your feet when you make those sharp cuts to the basket. The quarter and heel collar webbing enhance the shoe fitting.

Its traction is solid, gripping the floor on clean and mildly dusty court floor. Most customers have like to hear a squeak as they play, claiming that it give them some mental reassurance. The good about this shoe is its overall upper construction. It enhances the shoe’s fit so you will not feel insecure once while playing in this shoe.

Best Budget

Under Armour Men’s UA ClutchFit Drive II Basketball Shoes

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It is probably the lightest and hip looking basketball shoe brand. Under Armour Men’s UA ClutchFit Drive Mid, strongly recommended for athletes and for people who enjoy a more active lifestyle. Under Amour used their then-new technology ClutchFit on the upper full-length.

Its traction pattern offers straight performance. The multi-directional setup gives enough support no matter what direction you plan or do no plan to take. Additionally, the wraps up on the midsole of the medial forefoot allow more coverage on hard cuts and quick cutbacks.

Under Armour’s trademark, the ankle-hugging sleeve provides extra support. The snug or “second skin” adds to the light overall weight of these shoes giving the basketball players an extra speed needed to win the game. There is a fuse overlay which gives that supportive feel that bigger players need on court. UA ClutchFit also has an upgraded heel cup adds lateral stability to keep your foot from shifting off the foot bed. The other cushioned landing of this stylish model offers super extra comfort hence reducing the strain on the feet after a tough game.

This shoe uses a mesh that is just as flexible and at the same time not as conforming to your foot. The materials do not rub, pinch, or stab to move freely without any restrictions. With this extraordinary design guarantees, lightness of these Under Armour shoes. 3D molded custom tongue forms around your foot and ankle for an enhanced fit.

Best Basketball Shoe Summary

When selecting the right basketball shoes, it is natural for you to buy a shoe from a reputable brand or shoemaker. Some shoemakers who have established themselves as leaders in the basketball shoe industry. There are also wide varieties of signature models so that you can choose your shoes according to your preferences for teams and players as well.

You may not have an incredibly good basketball shoes but always keep in mind that the classic and reputable brands such as Nike, Under Armour or Adidas, will probably have the right shoes to meet your athletic performance as well as personal taste.

Read on to learn more about basketball shoes in our buyer’s guide. It will help you settle on the best basketball shoe, which means not only will your shoe game be up but also your overall performance improved in the end.

Basketball Shoe Buyers Guide

Determine your Skill of Play

Just like any shoe, different basketball shoes suited for different levels of skill of the game. For example, a player with the all-around type of the game  is required to have a shoe with a unique combination of cushioning and traction force. It prompts the players to consider the outer sole of the shoe. Outer soles must be of a high-quality rubber material with excellent grip patterns.

A player who adores fast game playing style requires lightweight shoes with a good outer shoe profile. They need shoes with a lower cut shape design to give more stability during a quick run on the court. Lower cut shoe configuration provides better stability, enabling the player to make an efficient run while also dribble in the court.

For aggressive players, they need shoes with more cushioning and more traction force. Carefully check the midsole configuration, technologies, and its material to get the best cushioning. Some brands like Nike give latest technologies like Nike Air in the midsole to give best possible cushioning.

Overall Construction of Shoe

Upper Part of these shoes provides protection and keep players stable during a basketball game.

Material- A top -quality material like leather costs more since it is durable. However, some are not breathable in nature so they may not maintain the freshness of shoe during intense gameplay. Today’s manufacturers are producing the upper material, coming as a blend of leather and synthetic mesh.

Closure systems: Basket shoes come in different closure systems. There are those that use the laces closure system. They are the most common closure systems giving perfect lacing system and excellent stability to players. Players are at liberty to become flexible by either loosening or tightening the shoe as per game’s need.

Some shoes come with straps that wrap around the upper arch. It is a perfect way of giving protection to the ankles against rollovers while giving players more stability. Shoe designers are offering a combination of laces and straps.

Midsole- This part absorbs shocks from the body weight and impact forces. It is a layer between upper and outer sole. The midsole, made of EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate), compressed EVA, PU (polyurethane) or a combination of all these materials. Some brands do most of their research on midsole material and come up with the latest technology in the midsole, occasionally. EVA gives lightweight cushioning material, but a player needs to compromise on durability while of another hand, PU (Polyurethane) offers excellent cushioning and provides the best durability.

Outer sole- It should be durable and perfectly shaped with a good gripping pattern to provide you best traction force. Most of the basketball shoe come with the herringbone pattern, which optimizes the traction force required in the basketball game with motion control factor. The outer surface of the shoe must be flat for providing basketball player stability and control.

Shoe Cut

It is important you determine the shoe cut that is most comfortable for your feet.

High-tops- They are best in giving players maximum ankle support, with around 70% choosing this shoe cut. It is also a preferred choice for power players and all-around.

Mid-tops- If speed is your greatest asset in this game, then a mid-top cut is your preferred choice. They come to right at the ankle level.

Low-tops- Few players wear low tops for regular play, as they do not offer built-in ankle support. However, they are lightest shoes in the market.

Traction Force from Shoe Sole

It is a critical parameter as it is the force behind a generation of motion between a body and a court surface or any tangential surface. Traction force gives the player a better movement and speed in the game. Players need to select the shoe by optimized traction force.

Technologies in Shoe

To stay relevant in the basketball shoe making industry, different makers are inventing the new and latest technologies in basketball shoes. They include;

  • Under Amour’s Charged Foam Technology, that is a little firmer than Micro G. It sacrifices plushness for responsiveness, which is perfect for quick guards who need lots of lateral movements and quick cuts around the court.
  • Adidas’ Bounce Technology, an upgrade from the EVA/Adiprene Plus used in the previous versions of the 773. It offers exceptional shock absorption on the heel after making a jump during the game.
  • Nike’s Zoom Air Technology delivers a low-profile feel and responsive cushioning with every step.


These shoes are expensive, and it is advisable to live within your means.


  • Improves footwork movement within the Basketball court.
  • Ideally designed shoe outer sole can improve the traction force. Thus it can improve the player dribbling skills.
  • High-quality upper materials of basketball shoe enhance the breathability of the shoe by which player feels refreshed during long basketball games.
  • Well, cushioned midsole provides shock-absorbing ability hence avoid the injuries during intense play.


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