The Best Team Basketball Shoes of 2018
Take on the 2018 basketball season with this year's top team shoes.
Raise the bar this off-season with a shoe tailored to your training style. If you find yourself doing more cardio, then a lighter, hybrid training shoe may be a better fit. If your workouts are more dominated by power or Olympic lifts, then deciding between heel height and shoe stability could be the difference between you and your next PR this off-season.
Nike has a few trainers that cater to any training style, and with the unveiling of the all-new Nike Americana Pack — a collection of red, white, and blue colorways — you can get after it this summer in patriotic fashion.
Struggling to hit your next PR? Many big lifters find themselves stuck at the same weight, but the right lifting shoe is often the game-changer to help you get past your wall.
The Nike Romaleos 3 features an improved, lightweight, honeycomb heel that reduces weight without giving up heel stability. This hollowed heel helps make the Romaleos a lightweight option that mimics the comfort of a trainer. In fact, without insoles, it weighs in at around 12 ounces — roughly the same as lighter training models without elevated heels.
These lightweight features may have you wondering if the shoe is sacrificing some stability. Rest assured, the same lightweight material that refuses to compress under even the heaviest deadlifts — a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) heel — is trusted by pro athletes on the platform every day.
The shoe locks you in with a rugged, seatbelt-like midfoot strap and the trusted Flywire cables you’ve come to expect from Nike trainers. Insoles are also a critical factor when evaluating the stability of a lifting shoe, so the Romaleos gives you two — a firmer one for competition and a softer one for training. This gives you the option to leverage its lightweight characteristics with a softer training sole, and put up big weight when it counts with the firmer, competition sole.
Elevated heels help increase your ankle’s range of motion by increasing dorsiflexion at the ankle. This allows for more depth when you dig deep on the platform for your next squat. The standard height for a lifting shoe comes out to .75” and the heel height of the Nike Romaleos falls at .79” — an ideal height for most high bar and low bar squats that also helps keep the torso upright.
The Metcon 4 is equipped for almost anything a routine training day or practice may throw at you — sled pushes, rope climbs, burpees, box jumps, cleans, agility drills — you name it, and the Metcon 4 keeps up. Flexibility to bust out short runs between lifts makes the versatility packed into this shoe hard to rival.
The Metcon 4 boasts a drop-in midsole, a firm heel that brings you lower to the ground for lifting, and enough cushioning at the forefoot for cardio and training. Sitting low to the ground with a 4mm offset, the new Metcon provides a stable platform for adding in some weight during workouts. The TPU used in the heel, also found in Romaleos, provides the grit you look for in a strength shoe to make some progress with the barbell for next season.
The Metcon 4 checks off a lot of boxes by allowing you to cross-train, lift, and bust out short runs of up to 100 yards. A breathable upper and Nike Flywire work together to keep the weight off for runs, while also locking you down from laces to midsole.
When it’s time to get vertical, an upgraded, lightweight heel clip minimizes drag against the wall for exercises like handstand push-ups. The bottom of the shoe uses a high-traction, tri-star pattern for precise grip both on and off the squat rack. And if it’s time to climb, the same grippy material wraps high near the center of the outsole to help you finish strong up the rope.
Some trade in comfort for stability with training shoes, but the Nike Metcon 4 keeps your feet cool and comfortable through even the most grueling practices. It accomplishes this by using a soft and breathable mesh around the heel and ankle. So when it’s time for a quick run, avoid making pit stops at the gym bag to swap shoes simply because the pace of a workout changes. If you want to keep your workout moving, grab a pair of Metcon 4’s to help you finish strong this season.
The Nike Free x Metcon is the best of both worlds, combining the comfort and breathability of the Nike Free line and the durability of the Nike Metcon line.
A training shoe with the comfort of a Nike Free couldn’t possibly hold up in training, right?
Don’t let the cushion and comfort fool you into thinking this shoe can’t handle lifting and agility drills — it’s stable in the areas that training demands most. Much of its durability comes from the triangle midfoot wrap: a reinforced rubber that wraps from the bottom of the ankle to the outsole for protection while racing up the rope.
The Free x Metcon also uses Nike Flywire — long fibers that support the shoe in key points of pressure. The mesh on the shoe’s upper works in a similar way by reinforcing key areas where training demands the most impact, and staying light and breathable where it doesn’t. This mesh combats these stress points with a durable TPU lining: the same material used to withstand the massive weight put on the heels of the Romaleos.
The sole of the shoe adopts some of the Nike Free’s forefoot flex grooves, but keeps things rugged at high-impact areas like the toe and heel. The toe of the shoe is made up of a stiffer material that provides great stability when driving up the toe during burpees, or quickly changing direction laterally. The same material is applied to the heel of the shoe to make it durable enough for some lifting — even the WOD.
From a comfort-fit bootie down to a flex-grooved outsole, the Nike Free x Metcon raises the bar for comfort in a training shoe. With the ability to take these on a run of up to 1 mile or 20 minutes on a treadmill, you get more freedom than any training shoe we’ve ever seen. If you need heavy cardio in your workouts, then gear up with the Nike Free x Metcon and hit the ground running.
Whatever your training needs, picking up a training shoe tailored to your workouts will give you a solid finish to any season. Check out the entire Americana Pack at eastbay.com.
Take on the 2018 basketball season with this year's top team shoes.
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