Best basketball shoes


Professional basketball players may endorse certain shoe models, which drives up the price considerably.

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With the right basketball shoe, you’re likely to notice an improvement in your game. You’ll have more support for your feet and ankles, giving you a higher level of performance.

What’s even better about basketball shoes is that they’re stylish enough to wear off the court, too. Besides looking cool, they can provide all-day comfort for almost any activity.

To learn more about what to look for when shopping for basketball shoes, keep reading our buying guide, which includes a few reviews of our favorites at the end. For the best mix of price, performance, and style, we like the Nike Air Precision NBK Basketball Shoes.



  • Low-top: The upper cuff of a low-top shoe sits below the ankle, so it doesn’t provide any support for the ankle. Instead, it gives the player the greatest freedom of movement versus other types of fits. Players with no ankle problems can wear this type of shoe successfully.
  • Mid-top: With a mid-top fit in a basketball shoe, the top cuff sits in the middle of the ankle joint. It gives the wearer a little bit of ankle support while allowing some freedom of movement. Players who have occasional problems with ankle sprains can wear a mid-top shoe.
  • High-top: A high-top style of basketball shoe has a tall area at the top of the shoe that gives players the maximum amount of ankle support. Players who frequently have ankle problems want a high-top shoe, even though it restricts ankle movement.



Synthetic materials in a basketball shoe provide the highest level of support and stability. They give you the freedom of movement you need to play the game at a high level.

Manufacturers also use leather and canvas when constructing basketball shoes. These materials allow for a lower-priced shoe than synthetic shoes. Canvas shoes have very little stability, so they may be better worn off the court.

Closure design

The majority of basketball shoes use the traditional lace-up method of tightening the shoe on the foot. This allows the wearer to create a fit as tight or loose as desired. Some shoes include a Velcro strap at the top of the shoe. This secures the shoe to the foot and covers the knot in the laces so it won’t pull loose during play.

You may find basketball shoes with Velcro straps across the entire shoe instead of laces, but you can’t make this style of shoe as tight as one with laces.


The outsole is the bottom portion of the basketball shoe. It often uses rubber or a synthetic rubber with a textured pattern imprinted on it to provide the greatest level of grip with the court surface.

A wide and flat outsole gives the player a nice level of balance when jumping or making the sudden movements required in basketball.


The least expensive basketball shoes cost $25-$75 per pair, but they don’t provide maximum support for the foot and ankle. For highly cushioned and supportive shoes, expect to pay $75-$300 or more per pair.


Q. Do I need a different type of shoe for outdoor basketball vs. indoor basketball?

A. Asphalt and concrete courts are tough on shoes. For this reason, you may not want to wear your most expensive shoes when playing outdoors.

Q. Are basketball shoes only for basketball players?

A. No. Some people like the style a basketball shoe provides for everyday wear. Basketball shoes may work for other sports played on a hard surface, like volleyball or tennis.


Top basketball shoes

Nike’s Air Precision NBK Basketball Shoe

Nike’s Air Precision NBK Basketball Shoe

Our take: A great-looking shoe with an excellent level of performance from a trusted brand.

What we like: Nice cushioning properties, especially in the shoe’s heel area, for a full day of playing.

What we dislike: Seems to fit a little tight around the top of the shoe.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon 

Top basketball shoes for the money

Under Armour’s Lockdown 4 Basketball Shoe

Under Armour’s Lockdown 4 Basketball Shoe

Our take: Affordable shoes that feature breathable materials throughout their construction to cut down on odor and buildup of sweat.

What we like: Several color combinations available. Inexpensive shoe. Yields a good level of traction.

What we dislike: Sizes are a bit off from expectations.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

Adidas’ Performance Cloudfoam Ilation Mid-Basketball Shoe

Adidas’ Performance Cloudfoam Ilation Mid-Basketball Shoe

Our take: Comfortable, even though it carries a below-average price point for a basketball shoe.

What we like: Attractive shoe with a style that works nicely on or off the court.

What we dislike: Seems to fit a bit narrower than expected.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

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Kyle Schurman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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