Best Basketball Shoes Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide

Investing in the best basketball shoes is something that is highly important if you are planning to take up basketball as your profession. The reason is that this is a sport that demands quick faction and fighting from you when playing. You will have to engage in a lot of jumping, running and stopping and all these activities can cause a strain on your knees, ankles, and feet if you do not have the right pair of the best basketball shoes. A well-designed pair of shoes can surely improve your playing performance to a great extent and with a wide range of styles in which these shoes are available in the market, not just on the court, they can be used off the playing court as well. The first and foremost thing you will have to remember in shopping for the shoes is that you choose the one that will rightly meet your style.

Best Basketball Shoes

A small history of basketball shoes:

You might be surprised to know that the best basketball shoes were developed right from the Converse Chuck Taylor variants. These variants were utilized from the early 1920s and they were being used until around 1960s. To ensure the best protection, comfort, and performance for the players, many companies have come up with different types of basketball sneakers. When you take the case of the 1970s, some basketball players, who were successful in the sport, started to endorse some brands and they put their signatures on signature models, which turned out to be highly beneficial for brands to reach out new and upcoming players.  Some shoes were standing as examples of functionality and fashion like the Air Jordans. As the best shoes come in different styles and colors, they are popularly used off the court.

Tips to choose the right basketball shoes:

Every player, regardless of whether he is new to this sport or whether he is experienced, looks to shop for the best basketball shoes. It is true that a new pair of shoes will improve your performance and will also improve your look, besides protecting you against injury. But, if it does not fit you properly, you cannot get even a single benefit out of this long list of benefits. Even, an unfit pair of shoes can be harmful to you as it can increase the chances of sprained ankles and many other injuries. So, when shopping for the best shoes for basketball, you are recommended to make the following considerations:

Comfort:

Most first-time buyers are generally attracted to the appearance of the pair of shoes. But, more than appearance, comfort is the aspect that should be given the best focus. Some shoes will give a natural feel on the feet, which is a clear indicator of its performance when you are engaged in serious gaming. When shopping for the basketball shoes for men, you should first check whether it is comfortable to wear, otherwise, better go for another pair.

Fit:

Fit is something that has close connection with that of the comfort level. There are chances that you might feel comfortable enough with a shoe, but if it does not fit properly, you cannot concentrate on your sport. A good fitting shoe is something that should provide you some space at the point of the toe. The space between your finger and the edge of the shoe inside should be at the size of a thumb’s width. If the toe and the tip of the shoe are close to each other, it can cause discomfort and even injury at the time of the game. In addition, the shoe should be roomy enough to provide space for the foot placement in a natural manner.  In general, the best basketball shoes are created with varied widths to provide space for changes in the feet of the people. If there is more space in the sides of the show inside or when you can feel considerable movement of your foot, it is better to look for a different pair.

Tops:

When it comes to the effects of the shoes on your playing ability, the level of material left near the bottom part of the foot and also the cut of the shoe can have an impact. When talking about shoe cut, there are three major types and they are high-top, mid-top and also low-top. Here is a description of these types of shoes:

  • High-top: In the case of the best high top basketball shoes, the material of the shoe lengthens upward and covers around the bottom part of the foot. This will provide additional support to the users. In general, larger players opt for these types of shows as they look for stability when they struggle for rebounds. As compared to other cuts, these shoes are heavier because of the additional material used on high-tops.
  • Mid-tops: These shoes can be stated as all-round shoes for basketball players. The reason for the same is that these shoes provide some ankle support similar to that of high-top variants and will also ensure better flexibility. If you are looking for a balanced playing style, you can go for shoes under this category.
  • Low-top: In the models coming under this category, you will find that the shoes are cut low ample to permit the free movement of the foot. This type of sneaker can be the best choice for players looking for better agility and speed and they can be the best choice for guards. Even though these shoes are known for their ability to enhance quickness, they increase the probability of rolled ankle. So, even the best low top basketball shoes should be used with the utmost care at practice or play sessions.

Zippers, straps, and laces:

Among these options, shoes with laces are common among basketball players. However, some also opt for those with straps and zippers. Most high-top alternatives come with straps to grip the shoe in a secured position against the ankle. Even, in some shoes, it will be possible to find straps as replacements to laces. In addition to laces, some shoes will have zippers or even zippers alone. In the case of the ones with straps, they typically clasp with a Velcro material.

Material:

The material of the shoe is an important consideration in the process of selecting the best basketball shoes. Some of the materials used are canvas, synthetic leather, & leather. Even, there are shoes that come with a mixture of synthetic leather & other materials to ensure durability. Canvas is mixed to bring in breathability to the shoes, thereby reducing the moisture and sweating while in use. It is better to make sure whether a shoe that you shop for has canvas material to ensure ventilation. The reason is that during extended playing and practice sessions, your foot might become wet and warm if you choose a pair of shoes without any mesh or canvas and is completely closed.

best shoes for basketball

Cost:

Of course, regardless of whether you look for the best cheap basketball shoes or otherwise, the cost is also an important consideration in the selection of the right pair of sneakers. They come in varied price ranges. When you opt for a pair that has gained endorsement from an established player, you should be paying more. Also, when you opt for popular brands, you will be ready to pay more. In addition, if you focus on style aspect, you should be ready to pay more.

Go through reviews of the best basketball shoes:

Reviews can be of great help to you in the selection of the right pair of shoes. It is better to have a look at both user-generated and also professional reviews. When you look into the reviews from athletic sites, you will be in a position to get an insight into the materials and composition of the shoes. On the other hand, only the user reviews can help you get a better understanding of the comfort and durability of the shoes for long-term use.

Buying decision:

It is always better to attempt a pair of sneakers prior to shopping. But, when you shop online, it is better to check whether the site has a dependable return policy. Dependable sites dealing with basketball sneakers offer return transportation on new sneakers bought from them without any cost. But, the thing to remember here is that most return rules do not conceal shoes that are worn outside or look like having been used for a number of times. Even, you can compare different shoes and try them out in a physical store and then can place your order for the same size and model online as you can save on online shopping.

Size:

Most websites dealing with the best shoes for basketball have the device to measure the width and length of the foot before beginning your shopping. If you do not have an idea about the size, you can use this tool to know the exact size that you should try out. Also, the thing to remember here is that one size from a manufacturer that fits you perfectly might not fit when you shop for the same size from another manufacturer. So, trying out the shoes before shopping can be the best idea.

Durability:

Among the many considerations, durability is a crucial point to consider. Of course, you will not be interested in investing in a pair of shoes that will wear out within the initial few weeks of heavy usage. So, durability is an important point to consider.

Outsole:

Selecting the best basketball shoes with excellent traction has turned out to be easy these days. But, ensuring that the outsole can play on different surfaces is yet another crucial story to consider. The rubbers employed in the case of performance shoes are present universally and they meet to particular courts, whereas back some decades ago, sneakers for basketball were able to withstand a wide range of surfaces. So, carefully evaluate the thickness of the rubber, its pattern and also its softness when you shop for a new pair.

Cushion:

You should consider the comfort level of the shoe as well. Of course, it is true that it is hard to select a pair, which is not with the present day technology. Nevertheless, there are varied characteristics that come with varied sources of cushion and it actually narrows down to the one that you opt for. A couple of best choices available are air-based cushioning and foam cushioning and the important difference among the two is their level of responsiveness.

The air-based cushions are generally more receptive as compared to the foam-based alternative, which means that they yield a bit of energy that is employed. Foam cushions are turning out to be better responsive with the preset renditions, but they will not maintain the responsiveness for long.

This means that how frequently you wish to switch your shoes gets into play here. In case, you are an individual, who purchase a fresh pair of sneakers one in a year, you can go for the one with air cushion since it will stay longer, but in case you will be moving to a new pair once in every few months, you can choose the ones with foam cushion.

Trying on:

When you attempt a pair of sneakers from a store, it is better to put both shoes on and lace them up. Then, just move around the shop. When walking you should check whether the shoes give the comfort and they should neither be tight to move nor be loose to get off the foot when walking. Make sure that the material does not fold and rub on the edge of the toes. If the point of the shoes touch the edge of the toe, it is better to try out a different model.

To know whether you will feel comfortable with the shoes when you are engaged in serious sporting, just get a moderate test drive. Hop around with the shoes and you can also try a full jump to make sure whether the shoes are secured. You can slightly jog around to make sure that there is no discomfort during these movements. If a pair is comfortable and snug when you are slightly jogging and jumping, there is a very good opportunity that it will suit for sporting on a full game.

basketball sneakers

Check quality and prices:

It is true that the quality is something difficult in judging in a store. You can judge the quality only when you wear the pair for one or two times. But, you can check whether the stitches are in place and they do not look awkward. More importantly go for the basketball shoes for men from a dependable brand like Reebok, Fila, Adidas, Nike, Puma, etc. Make sure that the pasted portions of the shows should not give an appearance as if they can easily get off. Also, make sure that both shoes in the pair have a uniform look.

Similar to other fashion items, the cost is not eternally the symbol of quality in the case of sneakers as well. Some expensive shoes wear out easily, while there are also best cheap basketball shoes in the market. However, the price is generally the gauge of a good sneaker. Many of the shoes that are costly are coming at that rate for a reason. Yes, they are well-designed and engineered and they come with state-of-the-art cushioning technology, sturdy construction and also firm support.

Know your playing requirements:

Most basketball players require some level of flexibility, support and cushioning. You can choose the best basketball shoes with these features on the basis of following conditions:

  • Consider whether you are a speed sportsman or a power player
  • Whether you are a defensive or an offensive player
  • Whether you frequently assist or make direct plays on the field

It is true that cushioning is something important for each and every participant of the basketball gameplay. On the other hand, flexibility and support are trade-offs as a show with more flexibility typically offers lesser aid and vice versa. So, on the basis of the style of your playing, you should choose between support and flexibility.

The weight of the shoe:

This is yet another factor that can have an effect on your playing ability. If you are an individual, who frequently make aggressive shots, it is better that you should not go for the pair with heavy weight. If you find that the weight of the shoe is not specified in the box, you can ask for the same from the sales executive to decide on the purchase.

Select the ankle height:

In general, experts recommend that basketball players, who hold a particular position, should choose their sneakers on the basis of their role in the team. For instance, all-round players, who play casually, should look for a normal sneaker that will help them to handle all situations in the field. The best high top basketball shoes might not the best fit for individuals, who will have to move quickly on the field. The reason is that running with the high-top shoe is not an easy task and so they can choose either mid-top or even low-top shoes. In the case of players, who take up many roles in the gameplay, they should be opting for mid-top shoes. In the case of individuals, who will have to face a number of stop-and-start actions, can choose high-top alternatives. These shoes can also be the ideal choice for players, who frequently play in small courts or half-courts as their requirement to run will not be that much great in these fields.

A step-by-step guide to choosing the best shoes for basketball:

With these tips given, you might have some level of idea on how to choose the best basketball shoes. Now, here is a step-by-step guide that will help you in ending up with the best pair of sneakers:

Step 1:

The first and foremost step is that you should get your foot gauged competently from a sport store. Even though you might be aware of the size, it is better to get measured. The measurement will help the sales personnel to bring you the right sizes and also he/she will be in a position to help you guide on whether a wide fit or a narrow fit shoe will suit you.

Step 2:

The second step is the selection of the kind of basketball sneaker on the basis of your playing style. In the case of all-around and quick players, it is better to ensure that they choose a lightweight shoe with moderate cushion, support, and flexibility. On the other hand, in the case of power players, they should choose heavier shoes with utmost cushion and stability.

Step 3:

Also, as the next step in your selection process, you should select the pair that will bring you the level of guard required. For the utmost ankle support, you can choose the best high top basketball shoes. Some players opt for mid-top and the best low top basketball shoes as they are less limiting.

Step 4:

The next step is to go through the sole of the shoes. You should be selecting the sole that satisfies your requirements. The outward part of the sole would have been made out of rubber in a pattern that will provide better grip to the floor and offer grip. Some sneakers come with heavier soles just to meet the requirements of hard and fast players.

Step 5:

Final and the most important step is that you should check whether the shoe that you have shortlisted fits you better. You can check the length by pressuring with your thumb between the edge of the shoe and the largest toe. It is better to ensure that there is little space that nears the dimension of your thumbnail. Also, ensure whether the thickness of the sneaker gives you a snug feel, but it should not be too tight. Even, when trying on the shoe, just take a small run around to make sure that the heel of the shoe does not slide through the back.

With these things known about the basketball shoes, let us get some understanding about low-top basketball shoes here:

basketball shoes for men

Is it safe to use Low-Top basketball shoes?

Shoes, in general, follow some fundamental guidelines and trends for different sports. In the case of baseball, players generally go for shoes with cleats that are friendly to the grass. In the case of basketball, most players traditionally opt for high-top shoes as they come with threads that can effectively clasp the court. The thought of players is that high-top alternatives can effectively prevent injuries to the ankles. On the other hand, the best low top basketball shoes are known for their safety feature.

Why choose low top shoes?

Apart from offering a better modern appearance as compared to traditional high-top shoes, low-top alternatives are of lightweight and they help with gaining additional tempo to the court. The great thing about low top sneakers is that they are nearly 20% lighter as compared to high-tops and so they will prevent fatigue. This means that you can spend more hours on the playing field as you need not have to do hard work to raise your feet.

Are there any issues with low-top shoes?

The best high top basketball shoes provide better support for unexpected turns and also during on-the-go landings. But, you cannot expect this to happen in low-top alternatives. With the ankle injuries that are common, most professional players keep themselves away from low-top alternatives. This is a common issue faced by players playing in pick-up games and local leagues.

How can high-top shoes help?

As mentioned earlier, high-tops are heavier as compared to low tops, but they are known for their extra benefits. In the case of sudden changes in the directions during game plays, these shoes are sufficiently high to bring ankle support.  In addition, they come with better cushioning and support inside, which means that they will help with preventing stress fractures, also issues like plantar fasciitis. Even though studies show that ankle injuries are equal in number both in high and low top shoes, but most of the experienced players argue that the chances of injuries are higher in low-top as compared to high-top.

Make it safe:

It is true that there are no ways in which you can entirely prevent injuries to ankles when playing basketball. However, taking some safety measures when you use low-top alternatives will surely help. Experts recommend ankle braces that come with a slightly higher as compared to high-top sneakers. One more option available for you is to tape your ankles to offer additional support as you hop and implement quicker ceases and starts. In case you decide to move with tape, you can use sturdy athletic tape, backing for ankle by covering the tape under the foot and also around the ankle.

With these considerations, many players have a doubt as to whether they can use their running shoes for playing basketball. Let us explore the answer for this query here so that if you have the same question, you can get the answer:

Can I use running shoes when playing basketball?

The answer to this question is that yes you can. The reason is that similar to that of the best basketball shoes, the running shoes are also designed to be used on hard surfaces. But, the actual query here is whether you should be using running shoes for basketball considering the undesirable effect on comfort, safety, and performance. In case, you wish to both play basketball and run using the same set of shoes, you can choose a cross-trainer.

The design of running shoes:

In general, a thin material is used for creating running shoes and so they are lightweight. These shoes are generally designed to provide cushioning to the foot when reaching the floor and they are created with the objective of providing better flexibility to the user. The running shoes generally give a feeling as if you have not worn anything on your foot. The feature that makes running shoe ideal for basketball is their best cushioning in the sole.

Risks:

Players are recommended to choose the best basketball shoes because using inappropriate sneakers can carry the risk for their safety. It is stated by experts that poor shoes used for playing basketball can lead to issues with ankle, hip, leg and even lower back. When you continue to use the running shoes for basketball, these issues once they start can become serious.

The design of basketball shoes:

When you hold the best shoes for basketball by the side of running shoes, you can very well see the dissimilarity. When the running shoe will have a light and smaller look, you will see that the basketball shoes are relatively bulky, stiff and tall as well. You will also find that the sole is thick and rigid and ankle is high. This means that the basketball shoes are designed to help you with your performance on a regular basis. You can start your gaming without pressurizing your feet and without turning the ankle when you choose the best shoes that are especially designed for this sport, rather than using a regular running shoe.

Considerations:

Reports state that nearly 68% of the NBA players utilize high-topped styles of shoes for their basketball gaming, while a hardly 10% of them use low-style alternatives. Even, their shoes are not similar to that of running shoes as their soles and sides are more durable and stiffer. If you are concerned that the heavy weight of basketball shoes prevents you from engaging in serious gaming, you can go for lightweight alternatives that are especially designed for basketball players.

In short, selecting the best basketball shoes is not a tough task anymore. With this guide, let your sport-shoe selection turn out to be best. Best wishes for you to move on with your sporting spirit!