This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which cheap basketball shoes are best?

Basketball shoes provide some of the best cushioning when playing on basketball courts. The sole, fabric, weight, and other factors of these shoes help you keep your footing on courts while helping you stay explosive. Not having the proper type of shoes when playing on a court, can result in slippage and injuries. If you’re looking for a lightweight and breathable basketball shoe, the Nike Men’s Air Precision II is the top choice. 

What to know before you buy a cheap basketball shoes

Type of basketball shoe

The three types of basketball shoes are low top, mid top, and high top. Low tops tend to be lighter on weight and less restrictive on the ankle, providing slightly quicker movements and a better range of motion in the feet. Lows are the most used type as basketball players prefer to have the lightest shoes possible. However, low top sneakers don’t have any ankle support. High top sneakers provide the best ankle support out of all the three types, but they can be the heaviest type. Mid top sneakers provide good qualities of both low and high top sneakers, as they’re light and provide adequate ankle support. These may be the safest type of shoes to go with when first starting out in wearing basketball shoes. 


When playing in basketball leagues, it’s best to have shoes that match your playing style for your position. The five positions in basketball leagues are point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. If you’re playing the point guard and shooting guard positions, you may want a low and lighter shoe so that you can move as quickly as possible. Midsoles tend to be a good option for small forwards as they can provide good stability when playing in high contact areas, but still keep you light. If you’re playing the power forward and center positions, high top shoes may be the best type of shoes to go with because you’re playing in high contact areas of the court, having to work for rebounds, close shots, and more activities that require stronger support for your lower legs. 


The two common types of basketball shoe soles are rubber and synthetic. Rubber soles are highly flexible and provide a great grip on the court when playing. However, these soles tend to be heavier than synthetic soles. Synthetic soles replicate rubber soles, except that they are generally lighter than natural rubber and may be water and dirt-resistant when playing on different types of courts. Synthetic soles tend to be not as flexible as rubber, but some people prefer less flexibility so that the shoe is more stable. 

What to look for in quality cheap basketball shoes

This section should detail the primary features available in different models of this product, both fundamental features and optional features (upgrades). On average, expect to have three to six features. If there are a few key players that are synonymous with the product type (e.g. with smartphones, there is Apple and Android) — cover their key points of differentiation.

Foam insole

Foam insoles provide excellent comfort when playing basketball, where different brands will have their own signature type of foam. Shoes that use memory foam will be able to conform to the size and shape of your foot. 


If you want even more stability when playing on the court, shoe straps can make shoes provide a tighter fit on your feet. If the strap is located in the ankle area, it will provide more ankle stability. Some basketball shoes may even have no laces and simply use a strap, which can be preferable for some who don’t want to tie laces. 

How much you can expect to spend on cheap basketball shoes

Cheap basketball shoes are meant to be affordable, so they generally shouldn’t cost more than $100. You can find quality basketball shoes from $50-$100, where shoes in the $75-$100 range may have more features such as straps or a more breathable build. 

Cheap basketball shoes FAQ

Do basketball shoes make you jump higher? 

A. Basketball shoes do not make you jump significantly higher, but lighter shoes can make movements such as jumping feel easier, just not necessarily making you jump higher.

Is it OK to run in basketball shoes?

A. Basketball shoes are great for running on basketball courts but should not be used for running on other surfaces. Most basketball shoes don’t have soles durable enough that can withstand the impact on surfaces such as outdoor terrains and running tracks. 

Can you wear basketball shoes with jeans?

A. When dressing casually, basketball shoes can complement your outfit well. They’re comfortable to wear, and many shoes are fashionable to wear with a variety of styles. Wear basketball shoes to your preference. 

What are the best cheap basketball shoes to buy?

Top cheap basketball shoes

Nike Men’s Air Precision II NBK Basketball Shoes

Nike Men’s Air Precision II NBK Basketball Shoes

What you need to know: Using synthetic and rubber materials, this cheap basketball shoe will provide great traction on the basketball court. 

What you’ll love: Features a soft fabric lining that allows the shoe to be highly breathable. The rubber sole provides great grip on the basketball court. 

What you should consider: The outer material of the shoe doesn’t fare well against moisture. 

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top cheap basketball shoes for the money

Under Armour Men’s Sc 3zer0 Iii

Under Armour Men’s Sc 3zer0 Iii 

What you need to know: One of Under Armour’s top affordable basketball shoes, this shoe is easy to slip on while staying secure on your feet. 

What you’ll love: The shoe uses an upper synthetic fabric that keeps your feet secure while being breathable. The foam inner sole provides great cushioning when making impact with the court. 

What you should consider: The heel of the shoe may be too high for some. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

adidas Men’s Harden Stepback

adidas Men’s Harden Stepback

What you need to know: Using a synthetic sole, this shoe is highly durable and will last throughout many basketball games. 

What you’ll love: The back heel piece of the sneaker keeps the back of your foot stable. The lightweight build keeps your movement as quick as possible. 

What you should consider: The shoe is not as flexible as competitors. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

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

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.