Best Basketball Shoes

Each year dozens of basketball shoes are released offering improved tech elements with new and impressive colorways. While it’s always great to have plenty of options it can sometimes be overwhelming when looking for the best shoes to play in. To help guide you on your search we have created a list of the top basketball shoes. One of the great things about the shoes on this list is they come in many different team colors so you can represent your school.

PG 3

With the 3, Paul George wanted to get quicker, faster. Nike’s design team knew the best way to accomplish that goal was to make the shoe one of the lightest available. One of the first things they did was combine the tongue and collar to reduce unnecessary bulk. They went with a mesh upper because it is the lightest material available that still has enough strength to hold up in high intensity basketball games. It also provides the best breathability, allowing the heat a way to escape so you don’t feel like you’re walking on hot coals at the end of practice or a game. Despite wanting to cut as much weight as possible designers made sure not to skimp on any cushioning. On the ankle there is a padded collar that protects and comforts your achilles. The ½ bootie construction has proven popular thanks to the way it wraps your ankle making it feel more like a sock than a shoe. It also really helps with securing your foot so that as you cut, jumpstop, and backpedal your foot won’t slide around in the shoe. There is also iconic Nike Zoom Air in the forefoot to provide that signature responsive cushioning. Many signature shoes now find subtle ways to work in storytelling aspects about a player’s career and family – the PG 3 is no different. One of the ways he paid homage was in the traction pattern which favors dozens upon dozens of tiny circles instead of the traditional herringbone pattern. They are a reference to the craters on the moon which is an ode to the NASA station in his hometown of Palmdale. It also serves a practical purpose of allowing smoother multidirectional cuts.

KD 12

As Kevin Durant transitions from Golden State to Brooklyn, his shoe has undergone a radical transformation making it one of the most technically advanced shoes available. Where many signature shoes have Nike Zoom Air in the forefoot or under the heel the 12 features full-length cushioning molded to follow the shape of your foot. This means that with every step there is cushioning protecting your foot from heel to toe. Designers also took the unique step of stitching the cushioning directly into the upper rather than having it sit in foam. This allows it to respond to the force you exert much quicker. Designers also added an additional Zoom Air bag in the heel of the shoe to give you extra cushioning. All this bounce meant there was a need for a strong containment system. That’s where the four-way, directional Flywire cables come in. They are strategically placed giving you targeted support so you can simply lace up and go. What’s also nice is the cables only respond to motion so when you are sitting or standing still, they relax giving your foot room to breathe during down time. Breaking in a shoe is often one of the most frustrating parts of getting new shoes. To help with the breaking in process the KD 12 uses multiple layers of mesh for the upper and reduces the amount of backing material so the shoe is nice and flexible the minute you pull it out of the box.

Kyrie 5

There is perhaps no player in the league more eccentric than Kyrie Irving both on and off the court, and his shoe reflects that. The Kyrie 5 has some of the most interesting, visually appealing colorways available. From the “Have a Nike Day” to “Friends,” Irving has made his shoes some of the most recognizable on the hardwood. None of those colorways would matter though if the 5’s performance on the court was underwhelming. Players are getting faster, stronger, and quicker. This puts an onus on designers to build a shoe that can withstand the rigors of some of the greatest athletes in the world. In Irving’s case his world-class agility and handles presented the challenge of making sure he has grip when he’s contorting his body and feet in unnatural angles to slither around defenders. What designers came up with was an outsole that wraps up and around so that no matter how extreme an angle your foot is, you can still maintain some amount of traction. The cushioning system is outfitted with Nike Zoom Turbo, a newer more advanced form of cushioning. It runs the full length of the shoe and will follow the shape of your foot. When constructing the containment system, designers took inspiration from the Venus Flytrap. Using Flywire cables, they targeted the midfoot as the best, most efficient place to put the overlay. So now when you lace up before practice or a game, the overlay system locks down so you can go 100% without worrying about flying out of your shoe.

Curry 6

Perhaps no player has changed the way we think about / play basketball more than Stephen Curry. In order to match his electric style of play Under Armour created one of their most innovative shoes yet. Instead of laces they chose to go with a wraparound lock-in cable that works with your foot to keep you locked in. By going laceless it provides a more consistent, locked in feeling. Designers also ditched the common mesh upper in favor of a fully knit one, but created a rear panel using open mesh allowing air to flow in and heat to cycle out much easier. The UA team also took an unconventional route when it came to designing the outsole. They went with a split outsole to try and increase the amount of court contact thus decreasing the chance you slip. Inside the shoe is Under Armour’s patented cushioning technology, UA HOVR. Running the full length of the shoe, it matches your energy giving you an explosive return to keep you going all game long. It was also designed to give players a zero gravity feel so there is nothing weighing you down. There are some smaller additions that make a significant difference in the biggest moments of games. UA inserted a speed plate that runs the full length of the shoe. Its purpose is to make sure you’re naturally on your toes at all times, so that you aren’t caught flat-footed in key moments. To give you a boost of stability and support an external heel counter was added to give some stiffness to the back part of the shoe. Check out eastbay.com to find these shoes and more as well as all the apparel and equipment you need to dominate this season.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Jordan Bred Featured Image

Back in the Spotlight: The Jordan Retro XI ‘Bred’

One of the most iconic basketball shoes ever is back. The Jordan Retro XI 'Bred' returns this winter just in time for the holidays.

Basketball Gift Guide Featured Image

Best Basketball Gifts this Holiday Season

Gear up for season by browsing our guide of all the top gifts for basketball players. Whether you're taking the court yourself or shopping for another athlete in your life these gifts are sure to please.

Eastbay Colorway Power Rankings Featured Image

Best Basketball Shoe Colorways: A Power Ranking

With tons of fantastic, interesting colorways it can be difficult to find the best pair of basketball shoes. That's why Eastbay created a power ranking focused on the best colorways.

A Look Back: Q&A with ESPN’s Nick DePaula

Take a look back with Drew Hammel of Nike Stories as he chats with Nick DePaula about their shared sneaker passion and reminisces over old Eastbay catalogs.

Best Basketball Shoes Featured Image

Best Basketball Shoes

Your guide to the top basketball shoes available, so you can take the court this season prepared to show out.

A Look Back: Back to school in the late ‘90s

Take a look back with Drew Hammell of Nike Stories and check out some of the freshest back to school kicks of the '90s.

Hottest Jordan Summer Releases Feature

A Look Back: The Hottest Jordan Summer Releases

Take a look back with Drew Hammell from Nike Stories to view old Eastbay catalog pages showing some of the hottest Jordan summer releases from 1997-2003.

Jordan Shoe Feature Image

How Women Can Find Jordan Shoes In Their Size

Everybody wants a fresh pair of Js. The problem, if you’re a woman, is that the sizing can be a little bit tricky when it comes to Jordan shoes. So let’s break it down.

The Freak 1: Giannis Antetokounmpo’s First Signature Shoe

The Prince of Milwaukee finally has his own signature shoe, and we have a full breakdown for you.

AAU Apparel Gear Guide Mobile Spotlight

Best Basketball Apparel For AAU Season

With the approach of AAU season Eastbay has put together some outfits to help you look fresh and achieve peak performance.

AAU Shoes Guide Mobile Spotlight

Best Basketball Shoes for AAU Season

It's time to raise your game this AAU season and Eastbay has a guide of the best basketball shoes to take your game to the next level.

BILLA jersey image


Get prepared for this year's Ballislife All-American game with Eastbay's pregame coverage.

See More