Best Basketball Shoes 2018: The Complete List with Reviews

If you are a basketball player you must be looking for the best basketball shoes but at the same time, you are also confused which shoe will fulfill your needs. See there are many varieties of basketball shoes available in the market which offers you the latest features, every company trying to push their boundaries by new innovation, design and shoe configuration.  If you pick the right shoe then it will definitely improve your gaming performance. Basketball shoes, in general, are an exciting type of sneakers which every player should use to maximize their energy and performance. Today we will thoroughly review the best basketball shoes I will also guide you on what things to consider while you are purchasing basketball shoes.

best basketball shoes

You can’t play basketball with normal shoes because its a game and to play basketball you have to run, bounce and do other motion-related things which are quite difficult if you wear normal shoes. Basketball shoes give you protection and reduce stress on your knees they simply fit comfortably and lock down your feet tightly. They also provide support and protect your ankles. So let’s see what are the best basketball shoes available right now.

ProductCushioningWeight 
Performance Men's Crazy ExplosiveBOOST13.89 oz Check Price
Adidas Men's Dame 4BOUNCE12.69 oz Check Price
Nike Kyrie 4 MensZoom Air13.06 oz Check Price
Nike Kobe AD NXT 360Lunarlon & REACT11.08 oz Check Price
Nike Men's Lebron 15Zoom Air & Max Air16.1 oz Check Price
Adidas Harden Vol 2BOOST16.05 oz Check Price
Under Armour Drive 4MicroG13.29 oz Check Price
Nike Air Jordan 32Zoom Air16 oz Check Price

Best Basketball Shoes 2018:

1) Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive:

It is one of the best basketball shoes which I ever purchased in my life. You get everything with this shoes which is needed on the basketball court. The best thing about this shoes is its traction which let you stop without taking a second and you can change your direction easily according to Adidas this technology called Coral Power Traction. The outsole is made from translucent rubber which will make you feel more grippy. I have tried it on a clean court it worked well but if the court is very dirty then you will first have to wipe the court. BOOST cushioning makes you feel more comfortable and gives you extra bounce. Majority of the people claimed that this shoes has great ankle support which is another plus point about this shoes. Its upper section is constructed using Adidas Pimeknit technology, a Geofit bootie right below the Primeknit upper, and an exceptional anatomical lacing system. The Primeknit is very soft and stretchy. The Geofit bootie also feel soft and wraps easily around your feet. After wearing it you will find there is no empty space in the shoe. Overall fit is amazing, according to my experience and other buyers review.

Pros
  • High quality construction
  • Great responsive cushioning system
  • Amazing traction
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Wider feet might have the fitting issues
  • Some buyers found it little stiff and hard to put on

2) Adidas Men’s Dame 4:

One of my current favorites was Adidas Dame 3 till this new version Dame 4 was not released but now I love it more than Dame 3. The upper feel is much improved and softer than Dame 3 you can actually find the evolution of design between them. Much like Dame 3, it wraps up around your foot ensuring that it remains on the footbed. The cushioning is optimized for lighter guards and give you an amazing feeling of court. The traction will take some time to break in but after that, it works great especially on clean courts. The fit is very much snug and gives you amazing lockdown and support. The wildly looking traction is fit for any type of court and situation. If the weather is clean outside then outdoor surface will not create any problem. I think dust shouldn’t be a problem because outsole has really widely spaced grip but small gaps between each thread may collect some dust therefore frequent wiping is required. Bounce is pretty good enough, overall I would say it is a great shoe which performs well in every category – traction, bouncy cushion, support that makes you forget you’re wearing it. It works great for most of the players and different foot shapes, especially for wide foot.

Pros
  • Insane traction
  • Great fit for all types of players
  • Great fit for any foot
  • Great court feel
Cons
  • Traction takes time to break in

3) Nike Kyrie 4 Mens:

Now comes Nike Kyrie 4 which is extremely amazing when it comes to cushioning it is far better than previous models and more comfortable. It provides great impact protection while still offering the same responsive court feel. Nike Kyrie 4 features multidirectional herringbone-like traction pattern. The traction is decent on clean floors and is serviceable on dusty floors but I didn’t find traction so good as compared to old Kyrie models. The look is good and the material used in this shoe does not crease easily many buyers appreciate about that. There is no change in how they fit if you have tried the old models then it is also going to work well but initially you will feel tight in the mid-foot section so don’t worry just give few hours to break in and you’ll good to go. One more important thing to note that the rubber is slightly soft and pliable so definitely it is not for outdoor. After wearing the shoe you can actually feel the wrapping is excellent compared to old Kyrie models. The design of the shoe is such that it can protect you from serious injuries and the wrapping brings a sense of force.

Pros
  • Softer cushioning
  • Great traction on clean floors
  • Support and stability is good
  • Durability is good
Cons
  • Less traction than previous Kyrie models
  • Traction is not so good on dusty floors

4) Nike Kobe AD NXT 360:

This shoe turned out to be an evolution in basketball shoes it features new 360-degree Flyknit technology for the upper. It is pure Flyknit upper means there is no backing materials, no caging, no overlays which allow it to bend like a snowball. The Flyknit because of its nature is very thin, lightweight, breathable and completely transparent you will actually feel like a second skin. If you play in extremely terrible court conditions, then I will not recommend you this shoes but if you play in ordinary court where most of us play then you may get this shoes it will work fine after the traction breaks in. Dust is something which may create some problem but normal wiping will work fine for this shoes and it is very minimal. The drop-in midsole features Lunarlon foam along outer edge which is mainly responsible for its structure and support. Without drop-in midsole, you will not get support but once midsole is in place you will get amazing support. React foam is used at the center of the midsole it is very much soft and springy. Despite its low-top design and flexible Flyknit technology, it provides great support and fantastic lockdown to your feet.

Pros
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Cushioning is very much comfortable
  • The 360-degree Flyknit feels amazing
  • Traction is good
Cons
  • Traction is something like dust magnet
  • Expensive shoes but worth the quality.

5) Nike Men’s Lebron 15:

I found it best than previous models from Lebron series. It works great on all type of surfaces including dusty floors although wiping is still required which is same for the all the basketball shoes out there. This is the first time Nike uses Zoom Air and Max Air cushioning together in their midsole which delivers a ton of responsiveness and comfort to your feet. The outsole is composed of tiny rubber triangles these triangles provides you great traction when moving forward or backward and you have the full ability to stop on a dime. Nike used a material called Battelknit which is very similar to Flyknit but more durable and stronger. This shoe does not need much breaking time because of its premium, stretchy and lightweight materials. There is no complaint about the breathability of the shoes because the material, Battleknit used in this shoes is very much breathable. It has a three-dimensional design which looks great and comes in a variety of colors and style.

Pros
  • Extremely comfortable cushioning
  • Premium materials are used
  • Available in many styles and colors
Cons
  • Stability suffers because high cushioning is used

6) Adidas Harden Vol 2:

It takes Adidas almost 15 months to continue Harden series and finally Adidas released Harden Volume 2 with more improvement in performance than previous Harden version. It provides great cushioning which bigger players always needed there is a dense layer of cushioning in the sole which is the main reason behind its stability and impact protection. The traction is just amazing on clean courts but requires wiping on dusty courts I think that is not a problem because almost every basketball shoes have this issue. The materials used for this shoes is not premium but perform very well and give you all the support which needed in the game. Adidas Harden Vol 2 features full-length Boost which is thickest at the heel area but that doesn’t mean it will give you crazy bounce. In this case, Adidas put more compressed BOOST compound to remove some of the extra bounce and make it more stable and responsive, yet a good bounce is present there. Overall this shoes is perfect for bigger guards and heavier players who want a lot of cushioning and support in their shoes.

Pros
  • Custom lacing system
  • BOOST cushioning
  • Great impact protection
  • Unique traction pattern
Cons
  • Little heavy
  • Works best on clean courts

7) Under Armour Drive 4:

One of the best shoes in my choice, it has traction pattern like herringbone which works fantastic on every surface even outdoor it is the strongest feature of Under Armour Drive 4. It has all the basic features such as heel counter, a torsional shank, a supportive upper and a very stiff & high ankle collar. The material used in this shoe is textile mesh and neoprene and it actually feels good and comfortable when you wear it. The soft mesh covers your toe and external forefoot areas, whereas the inner side of the forefoot and ankle collar are covered by Neoprene which provides comfort to your ankles and let your forefoot move freely. Under Armour Drive 4 whole heel area is featuring MicroG cushioning which provides very good impact protection, stability and feels amazing. If you have wide feet then it works best for you.

Pros
  • No one can beat traction
  • Reasonable price
  • Works well on both outdoor and indoor
  • Suitable for wide feet
Cons
  • Cushioning is very firm
  • Bulky feel and needs more flexibility

8) Nike Air Jordan 32:

Many players were disappointed with the previous versions of Nike Air Jordan 30 and 31 due to bad traction but this version came as a game changer and it actually grips the court very well. Dusty courts may create some problem but not that much if proper wiping is done. The Zoom Air cushioning is present in the heel and forefoot areas with the torsional FlightSpeed plate that smoothens out step transitions, gives amazing stability and activates Zoom units properly for maximum energy return. The material in the upper feels very luxurious probably the best Flyknit than previous models. This shoe fits great after the break-in period. It is very much comfortable, soft feel from the inside and has a proper lockdown. The heel unit is larger and bottom-loaded which is responsible for its great impact protection. But at the same time lacks responsiveness and bounce but after the break-in time, you will feel it a bit more.

Pros
  • Premium materials
  • Cushioning is great
  • Traction is good
  • Excellent stability
Cons
  • Slippery on dusty courts
  • Takes some real break in time

Best Basketball Shoes Buying Guide:

Sole Performance:

Soles play a major role in your game performance. They not only increase your effective speed in less time but also prevent you from serious injuries. If you do not choose your soles wisely then it will adversely affect your gaming performance which can result in slipping or falling on the surface that means it can also lead to the ankle sprains and other kinds on injuries related to sports. I know such kind of things is a nightmare for a basketball player which can actually ruin their gaming career. I always prefer rubber soles which provide great traction and also prevent you from accidental slips. You should also consider multi-directional traction pattern which helps you to build the strong grip and enhance your best moves. There are two main things comes under soles which is outsole and midsole let’s discuss them.

Outsole: According to experts a good outsole referred to those which has a firm grip and a very smooth traction pattern. Many of you must be confused that why I am talking about grip and traction separately let me tell you guys they both are different terms. If you talk about grip it is something which holds you to the surface on the other hand traction is something which decides the quality of the movement in relation to the surface. I hope you understood these terms but one thing will surprise you guys that even they are individual but they should work together in order to enhance your performance. A good grip always allows you to stop moving immediately regardless of your speed and the direction you are coming from. It helps when you are about to reach the hoop and want to go for a shot so a good grip will stop your motion and prevent you from moving any further direction.

Midsole: It is that component which is actually responsible for the shock absorption process, that is the reason it is the thickest and heaviest part of the shoes. Everyone knows that in basketball jumping and running create lots of shock in our body if something is not there to absorb those shocks then it will definitely adversely affect our muscles, joints and bones which may create serious issues not only during the game but in future also. If you ever experienced extremely sore heels after a match it may be because of the insufficient shock absorbing midsole. During the match before encountering a shock, it first moves from the surface to the midsole however shock effect doesn’t stop there that is why insoles have cushioning as well which neutralize the shock effect to the greater extent. For many years shock absorption material was rubber but now many new denser compounds are being created which has more mass to absorb the shock more efficiently and quickly.

Cushioning:

Basketball involves lots of actions and motions which impact both feet and body. Cushioning doesn’t deal with impact directly but they help to neutralize the effect of shock which can’t be absorbed by the soles for some of the reasons. Role of cushioning not only limited to protecting the feet from residual energy but they also prevent your feet against the material of the shoe because your feet during making the movement generate compression energy. Different brands have different cushioning system let’s learn them first.

Nike Zoom Air: If you ever wanted a cushion that springs back you fast so you can actually move faster then Nike Zoom Air cushioning system is for you. It involves pressurized air with internal fibers to make this possible.

adidas Boost: The most innovative technology by Adidas brand, it uses thermoplastic polyurethane that compresses under pressure for better shock absorption and instantly bounces back to its original shape. Basically, the more energy you give, the more you get back from it.

Under Armour Charged Cushioning: It is premier shock absorption and energy return technology. Shoes which uses this feature ensure less impact on each step and bounces back greatly. Athletes may experience less stress on their feet and joints as a result, as well as increased responsiveness.

Jordan FlightPlate: The most enhanced version of Nike Zoom Air from the Nike brand itself.  The FlightPlate main purpose is to increase the responsiveness of Zoom Air cushioning that you can actually feel compressing and decompressing on the court.

Types of Shoes:

Basketball shoes come in three different types which are low tops, mid tops, and high tops respectively. Generally, most of the players used to play with high tops which completely cover their ankle but nowadays low tops are also getting popular among the players but they look like regular training shoes. Let’s learn about all the three types of basketball shoes.

Low Tops: They offer you maximum flexibility and they are lightweight to carry. They are perfect for guards who want lightweight, fast and quick action shoes. They generally don’t stuff with unnecessary bulk.

Mid Tops: As the name suggest they fall between low tops and high tops of basketball shoes. They offer good flexibility, mobility, ankle protection and more stability. They are perfect for those who don’t want much flexibility as much low tops offer but at the same time, they also hate bulkiness of high tops.

High Tops: Peoples are using high tops for decades. High tops provide protection, support and they are nicely cushioned. They are perfect for those who give more priority to support over the flexibility of the shoes.

Ankle Protection:

If you are a basketball player you already know that your ankle is most susceptible to injury when playing such kind of intense game. If you do not play the moves properly it may result in sprain which can limit your playing ability or you have to quit the game for some time. If you have good basketball shoes then it will definitely prevent you from such injuries most of the times but too much ankle support can also restrict your movement and rotation during the game. Ankle support depends on the type of basketball shoe. Basketball shoes come in high, mid or low top option which decides how much ankle support you are getting. The higher the shoe, the more is ankle support because more material will be wrapped around the upper part of your ankle.

Flexibility:

It is one of the most essential features which should be present in your shoe to avoid stress and tension. Always look for those shoes which offer you good flexibility in the soles so that your feet will move naturally when jumping or running. Please keep in mind that flexibility is inversely proportional to support therefore it should not be present in excess or else your shoes will lose its structure and can’t hold your foot properly.

Weight:

It is something that we always look for in a shoe. The heavier the shoe, the more it will slow you down during the match and this fact is true for every ounce added. If you are smaller in weight then you should go with low tops shoes made with thinner materials. You should also try the shoe while making the purchase so that you make sure it is comfortable on your feet.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How much should I spend on basketball shoes ?

See there is no fixed amount that you need to consider while choosing basketball shoes. Its all depend on the type of shoe you want and your affordability. If you want basketball shoes for a competitive league then you can spend nearly 80$ something but again your choice also matter. If you ask me about my choice then I always go above 100$. I don’t know why it is just mental thing or what but it actually satisfy me about my shoes.

2. How important are basketball shoes ?

Many people ignore the importance of right basketball shoes and because of the bad pair sneaker, they led themselves to serious injuries. To reduce the risk of getting injured I always suggest you pick the right pair of basketball shoes. It will not only save you from injuries but you will also notice a difference and feel confident while playing the game.

3. How important is ankle support ?

Ankle support is must when you play games like basketball. The ankle is one of the weakest parts of your body which needs to protect while playing such games where you do activities like running and jumping. Stephen Curry a very good American basketball player almost lost his career because of the ankle injury so you need to learn the lesson from his life and be careful.

4. Should I buy basketball shoes online ?

There is no problem in purchasing basketball shoes online, in fact, it is one of the easiest ways to buy shoes. You can find many variations online in color, brand, type of shoe, price etc. and if you didn’t find your sneaker good then you can easily return them and get your money back or replace it with some another shoe.

5. Which brand should I go with ?

Nowadays many brands are producing basketball shoes equipped with the latest technology and features but still, the king is Nike. Other alternatives to Nike are Adidas and Under Armour, they are also well known for their quality of sneakers. I have used these brand sneakers in past and I am completely satisfied with the quality of the product they offer which worth the money you pay.

6. How to maintain the quality of basketball shoes ?

Best way to maintain basketball shoes is to only wear them during the match. But if you wear them daily then be careful from mud and also try to avoid getting scuffed. When you clean them don’t forget to clean the soles so that traction will be maintained for a long time. If you use leather shoe then there is a special leather cleaner, but water and soap also work fine.

7. Can basketball shoes act as running shoes ?

No, basketball shoes are specifically made for basketball game means they have ankle support and maximum shock absorption quality they can also stop quickly without creating a motion. They are also big and thick so it will not effective when you use them as a running shoe.

8. When should I replace my basketball shoes ?

There is some indication which should not be ignored and you may replace your shoes after that. If after a practice you find your feet are paining then its time to replace your shoes. You may also notice the bottom of your shoes if they look old or worn down. Also if you find that your shoes are not offering the same grip and support which they used to be then again you can replace them.

9. What type of basketball shoe is good for outdoor courts ?

The most important factor which needs to be considered while using basketball shoe for outdoor courts, is to get a shoe which has a great traction because playing on outdoor courts puts more stress on the soles. It would be great if the sneaker has thick rubber and elaborate traction pattern.

10. How to prevent the shoe from smelling ?

This problem is associated with every kind of shoes. But some of the best solutions are to change your socks every time you wear sneaker. If you always wear drenched socks then obviously your sneaker will smell foul. Another best thing you can do is to let your shoes air out in an open area after the practice.

Conclusion:

So today we got to know about the best basketball shoes available in 2018. It took me about 1 week to complete the list after reading users review, personally testing them and writing them for you so you get only the best product on our site. I wrote this article after considering every type of player and their choices like some users want basketball shoes for outdoor, some users want for wide feet, some users want for ankle support etc. so every shoe in the list have their own unique feature which no other can beat. Before purchasing a shoe, you should list all the features on a paper which you want in your shoe and read the experts opinion on them. To ease your work I have also added buying guide for basketball shoes which will help you in choosing the best shoes available in today’s market.