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

PG 3 Best Basketball Shoes

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

BestBasketball Shoes 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 6

Best Basketball Shoes Kyrie 6

As Kyrie Irving begins a new chapter of his career in Brooklyn, designers at Nike went to work and created the next chapter in the Kyrie signature shoe line. Irving is a unique player, relying heavily on deception and shiftiness to create space to get off his shot or to get into the lane. His extraordinary style of play requires an extraordinary shoe.

Nike’s design team went to work this summer and implemented several key changes. To create a more secure, locked-in a midfoot strap was added. The Zoom Air Turbo unit was adjusted to curve and sit under the ball of the foot to engage more often on drives to the basket. Unsurprisingly, the design team stuck with the lightweight foam midsole, guaranteeing a smooth heel-to-toe transition and limiting the pounding on your knees and feet.

Probably the most important aspect of the Kyrie 6 is the traction – If Irving doesn’t have faith in the grip of his shoe, then he becomes a much less effective player. The Nike team stuck with a wrapped outsole so Irving can continue to attack regardless of the foot angle. In a change up from the traditional herringbone pattern, the 6 features a multi-angle blade pattern made to grip the court in all directions. When asked about the outsole, Irving said, “The 360-degree traction on my foot, it really tailors to my game. It gives me an advantage out there on the floor.”

Curry 7

Best Basketball Shoes Curry 7

As Steph Curry transitions into the latter half of his career he needs a shoe that is tailored to the way he plays today. Since the Curry 1 was introduced five years ago, the line has evolved to better enhance Steph’s game year after year. Now the 7 promises to be the best shoe yet.

Curry’s jitterbug game, filled with quick cuts and subtle hesitations, meant there was a need for top-grade stability and excellent grip. One unique aspect of the shoe is how the Under Armour design team decoupled the heel to create better base stability. A plate located in the midsole adds support and strength while still maintaining flexibility. The outsole is blanketed by a traditional herringbone pattern, giving Curry a trusted traction pattern that provides maximum grip.

Under Armour took a two-pronged approach to cushioning with HOVR and Micro G technology. HOVR provides responsive cushioning that protects your legs from the repeated pounding they take throughout games. Micro G tech is focused on giving you an explosive first step so you can go from a standstill to a full sprint faster than ever before.

The Curry 7 doesn’t skimp on comfort, either. Foam padding can be found in the heel and collar to protect the back of your foot, and an internal sleeve counter eliminates the need for you to break in the shoe. The 7 keeps the synthetic leather, mesh, and TPU skins combination to preserve the level of breathability you’ve experienced the past several shoes.

Check out eastbay.com to find these shoes plus 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 *

Gear Up Featured Image 2

Top Nike Basketball Apparel

As spring and summer approach, Eastbay has put together a list of Nike apparel that's perfect to hit the court in while maintaining your style off it.

Q&A with Catalog Cover Artist, Destyni Swoope

Find out more about our March cover artist, Destyni Swoope, as we talk about Eastbay, her art, and women’s empowerment.


An Oral History of One of the Greatest 2v2 Games Ever Played

In honor of President's Day we tell the story of a forgotten day in American History. An oral history of an iconic 2v2 game between some of this nation's great leaders.


Ready for the Spotlight: The PG 4 is Ready to Shine

Paul George is home in Hollywood and the PG 4 is ready for it's time in the spotlight with a completely reworked design that is perfect for modern basketball.

Best Basketball Shoes Feature Image

Best Basketball Shoes

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

History of Jordan Featured

The History of Jordan

Take a stroll down memory lane with Eastbay's history of the Air Jordan line. We chronicle the stories behind the first 15 Air Jordan's ever made.

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 Hammell of Nike Stories as he chats with Nick DePaula about their shared sneaker passion and reminisces over old Eastbay catalogs.

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.

See More