Each year dozens of basketball shoes are released offering improved tech elements with new and impressive colorways. While it’s great to have options, sometimes it’s overwhelming when looking for the best ones to play in. To help guide you on your search we created a list of the top basketball shoes.
Nike LeBron 18
18 silhouettes later and the LeBron signature shoe series continues its run of excellence with the LeBron 18. LeBron is making a strong push for his next MVP and fifth title this season, and the 18 is pushing to stake a claim as the best basketball shoe available. The 18 features a full-length Zoom Air unit running from the heel to the forefoot. This cushioning system is tuned for speed so you can get up and down the court all game as quickly as possible. The shoe also features KnitPosite 2.0, offering you a lightweight, breathable feeling with some stretch, so you’re comfortable. There are other nice touches on the shoe, including several Air units in the tongue for 360-degree comfort of your foot. There is also molded TPU heel counter that stabilizes your foot when you’re generating force.
Under Armour Curry 8
After a lost 2020 season (and a lost year for humanity), Steph Curry is back, fully healthy, and looking to carry Golden State back to the playoffs. If he’s going to do that, he’ll need help from the Under Armour Curry 8, the latest silhouette in his signature shoe series. With a sleek new design that features bootie construction, the shoe is easy to get in and out of and gives you a sock-like fit. The shoe features new UA cushioning that is lighter and bouncier than previous iterations to keep you in the flow of the game. The UA Flow outsole provides the finishing touch by offering superior grip so that you can cut off-ball with confidence and more easily relocate for threes and jump shots.
adidas Harden 5
As James Harden settles into life in Brooklyn with two other superstars, he’s doing so in the adidas Harden 5. The shoe has many of the features you’ve come to expect from adidas basketball shoes. There is Boost cushioning, created by fusing energy capsules together, giving you the dynamic power you need to get to the rim. There is a Lightstrike midsole that’s light and comfortable, so you can move around the court with ease. To finish it off, the midsole and upper are merged seamlessly together by adidas Futurenatural, enabling you to freely move in every direction.
Nike PG 5
Paul George is off to a fantastic start this year after last season’s playoff disappointment, and he’s balling out in the all-new PG 5. George has always had a smooth, buttery game that takes advantage of his slippery athleticism rather than brute force and power. Designers at Nike have done an excellent job building a shoe that complements George’s game. It features a lightweight, full-length Air Dot Weld Strobel to provide all-world cushioning and support. It was designed to be as flexible as possible to make transitioning from offense to defense more seamless. The lacing system has been reworked so that the laces themselves do a better job holding your foot in place over the footbed. Throw in a multi-directional traction pattern, and the PG 5 shows why it’s one of Nike’s most popular signature shoes.
Russell Westbrook has teamed up with another superstar shooting guard in hopes of making a push to the Finals. In his first year at Washington, Westbrook is rocking the Why Not Zer0.4, the latest silhouette in his signature line. These shoes feature double-stacked Air Zoom units in the forefoot of the shoe to optimize the energy return Westbrook gets as he explodes to the basket over and over again. They also provide the elite responsiveness and cushioning that he craves. The rubber outsole utilizes a data-informed tread pattern that keeps you lower to the ground and ready to change direction at a moment’s notice.
Basketball is back. Down in Orlando, Florida, 22 teams are vying to solidify their place in the playoffs before making a push to what will go down as the most unique Finals ever. This season has been full of twists and turns, but one thing remains constant. Giannis Antetokounmpo is incredible, and Milwaukee is an outstanding team. Somehow, Giannis, the reigning MVP, has managed to be even better this season, and he’s hungry to lead Milwaukee to its second-ever championship.
Basketball will undoubtedly look different when play resumes in late July, and players will have to adjust to new living situations, pregame rituals, and court set-ups. On top of all of that, Giannis will be adjusting to a new shoe. The Nike Freak 2 will be launching on July 25, and while in normal times that would mean waiting until next season to debut the shoe, in this crazy world, Giannis will have the chance to show it off in the upcoming playoffs.
The Nike design team wanted the Freak 2 to be for every type of player: guard, wing, or big men. They accomplished this by shifting the Zoom Air from the heel to the forefoot and adding even more cushioning. With both Zoom Air and cushioning, the energy and power are harnessed with every move you make and returned right back, so you can go harder, longer.
To increase stability in the Freak 2, a molded, durable TPU piece on the side of the upper. This helps support and contain your foot through all motions such as spin moves and euro-steps. In addition to the added support, designers decided to split the outsole of the shoe in two. This keeps the shoe light and flexible, so it doesn’t feel like you’re running up and down the court with bricks on your feet.
Coming off a highly successful signature shoe launch with the Freak 1, it was always going to be a challenge to top. However, Nike, like Giannis, somehow came back even stronger with the Freak 2. Make sure to visit eastbay.com on July 28 to snag a pair for yourself.
The smartest basketball shoe in Nike’s lineup went back to school and has returned even smarter. After the Nike BB Adapt made headlines last year for its intelligent lacing system, Ross Klein, Senior Creative Director for Nike Basketball, and his team set out to update Nike’s famed cushioning system, Nike Zoom Air. Basketball continues to evolve every day, and it’s important to have a shoe that can hold up to the rigors of a full season and help players maximize their game. Enter the Nike BB NXT.
Updating the Nike Zoom Air cushioning wasn’t going to be simple. Many people might have said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” What Nike has a keen understanding of is that eventually, Zoom Air was going to become outdated. Rather than waiting for that to happen, and then going in to make changes, designers were proactive about creating the next era of cushioning for their athletes.
In the BB NXT, it all starts with exposed Nike React foam that sits underneath the heel. It provides a soft, responsive feeling every time your heel hits the court. The foam also helps lessen the blow anytime a player may accidentally land heel first from a fall. It can be easy to overlook the back part of the foot as a place that needs cushioning, but it’s vital to create a holistic cushioning system.
Sitting underneath the balls of your feet are two Zoom Air units. That’s right, two. Their job is to continually absorb all the pressure and energy athletes put into each step and then deliver it right back as efficiently as possible. This will alleviate much of the strain that is placed on your legs throughout the game and should help maintain good energy until the final whistle.
The upper is made with a lightweight mesh that will keep you flying up and down the floor. There is a tactile, textured print covering the upper that gives athletes durability and support in key places. The Nike design team also added some support by placing a thin plate just above the React foam that provides some torsional rigidity. This ensures that when you push off your foot won’t slide over the outsole of the shoe.
All these tech features combine to create one of the most advanced shoes in Nike’s lineup. The BB NXT will be launching everywhere on July 28, so make sure to snag a pair for the upcoming basketball season.
a reason athletes like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving trust Nike
with the design of their shoes and apparel. Nike has long held a reputation as
one of the most innovative sport companies for athletes everywhere. 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.
a city to represent and show out. Distinct designs for Atlanta and Chicago flex
each city’s cultural ties to basketball. With a simple, clean design for
Atlanta and a brash, loud design for Chicago, these t-shirts are sure to make a
statement. If you’re looking for a little southern flavor, apparel inspired by
San Antonio and Phoenix will be arriving soon. With heavy use of blues,
oranges, and yellows, this part of the collection is bold and colorful.
off your outfit by matching your City Exploration t-shirt with a pair of shorts
from the same collection. With similar, complementary designs, no one will ever
accuse you of clashing. These aren’t just off-court shorts – they are made with
lightweight knit fabric that has the same Dri-FIT technology that Nike uses in
a lot of its performance apparel.
to turn some heads? The Flight Exploration will be sure to draw attention to
your style. Bold, bright colors are emblazoned across the front to give it a
unique, bright look as summer approaches. The Flight logo is stitched onto the
bottom part of the jacket and a giant “F” takes up most of the front.
you’re going to get the jacket, you need to get the pants to match. They’re
made with nylon to keep them light and flexible, and there’s a mesh lining that
helps wick away sweat. The pants and jacket were inspired by the iconic 90s
Flight Series, and are designed to have a loose, oversized look that pays
homage to the decade.
the best compliment you can give a piece of apparel? That you never think about
it after putting it on. Whether it’s arm sleeves, shorts, or jerseys, you don’t
want to have to think about what you’re wearing on the court. This is
especially true for compression shorts and tights. The Nike Pro ¾ Compression
Tights are perfect for wearing on the court. The fabric wicks away sweat to
keep you comfortable and cool, while a higher waistband creates ease of
movement and offers a nice level of support. All of these components come
together to create tights you can put on and forget about.
Nike Sports Bra is a must-have for every practice, workout, or game day. A
racerback design allows natural movement while a snug fit gives athletes the
support they need throughout the game. Even off the court, it’s perfect for
your workout whether it’s arms, legs, or abs day.
are usually the last thing anyone thinks about when putting together a fit or
getting ready for the game, but a good pair of socks can make a big difference —They
keep you comfortable, protect your feet from calluses, and make sure your feet
stay cool and dry. These are all things the Nike Elite Crew Socks do well, and
with a wide range of colorways, it’s easy to match your uniform.
players can have a surprising amount of gear they need for each game. A good
backpack is a necessity to organize your life and the Nike Hoops Elite Pro
Backpack is designed with ballers in mind. Its main compartment can fit up to a
size 15 shoe and there are plenty of other pockets for you to store other
most important thing for any basketball game or season is a good pair of shoes
that you feel comfortable in and that complement your game but with so many
different models and brands finding the perfect pair can be difficult. A great
place to start is by browsing the shoes the pros trust on the court. You might
want to start with the Jordan Why Not Zer0.3, Nike Kyrie 6, Nike PG 4, Nike
LeBron 17, or the adidas Dame 6. The all-new KD 13 will be arriving in April as
well with a brand new cushioning system and traction pattern. As you browse
eastbay.com, make sure to look for the Pro Approved badge on items to know
exactly what the pros are wearing on game day.
The best basketball shoes are the ones that deliver a high level of performance and also have a range of interesting, flashy colorways. What’s even the point of having the best performing shoes if they are boring to look at? For your convenience we have assembled a power ranking of the dopest colorways Eastbay has to offer.
There may be no bigger holiday in the world than the Chinese New Year, and Steph pays homage to that with this colorway of the Curry 7. Though most of the shoe is a dyke blue gray it can be forgiven thanks to the watercolor style pink lilies that cover the heel and wrap around the sides. Absolutely exquisite.
The DON Issue #1 has been crushing the colorway game so far. The “Stealth Spider-man” is no exception. Lime green is a tricky color to pull off, because if used wrong it can look atrocious. The adidas design team did a good job using it sparingly as more of a highlight element. The largest chunk is found on the outsole where it’s mixed with black to give off a nice lava lamp vibe that wraps around a little. The green is also used a little on the trim of the shoe, the propulsion plate, and the logo on the tongue. Set against a black upper the green really pops, bringing this seldom-used color scheme to life.
Lots of people love “Friends,” but Kyrie loves it so much he got a tattoo celebrating the show on his arm. So, it isn’t surprising he would also dedicate a colorway of the Kyrie 5 to the show. The shoe uses colors from the opening credits on the outsole and lacing system to contrast the black upper. Kyrie’s name is spelled out below the swoosh in the “Friends” font, and there is a third eye on the back of the heel (because of course there is).
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s success on the court has landed him his own signature shoe and they haven’t disappointed. Recently released was the “Roses” colorway. It is predominantly white, which gives it a cleaner, classier look. What really makes the shoe stand out, though, are the colors the designers picked to complement the white. The backwards swoosh is a metallic gold that brings a muted, calming presence to the shoe. The outsole is a bright red and there are several red accent marks on the tongue to really bring the shoe to life.
Many of the KD 12 colorways are monotone, so this ‘Youtube’ colorway is a nice surprise even if white is one of the primary colors. However, there is an excellent balance of both the white and the red to keep the shoe bright but not overbearing. The small black elements on the heel and tongue are a nice point of contrast. This is most likely the best colorway of the 12 so far.
The purple and black color combination is criminally underrated. Look no further than Baltimore for an example of how cool this combo looks when done right. This colorway is part of adidas’s Marvel Pack and is easily the big winner. The textured elements that serve as a shout-out to Wakanda are visible without being overwhelming, and though the purple feels underserved the use of a matte finish keeps the shoe understated but powerful.
James Harden is the face of Houston’s franchise and his Harden 3 “Team History” colorway pays homage to the all teams he’s played for. There are callouts to his high school team, a Sun Devil for Arizona State, and a wonderful use of old-school Houston logos. It is reminiscent of graffiti on a wall, but because many of these smaller callouts feature the same color pattern (gold, orange, maroon red) it blends together well. The all-black midfoot strap helps break up the callouts and is a nice visual reprieve.
Dame and adidas have had some interesting collaborations on the Dame 6. First was “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and now we have one with Pusha-T. A soft blue pairs well with the orange and white to give off a springtime vibe. Dame’s initials and birth year grace the side of each shoe while Pusha’s are located on the heel. There is a blank place near the toe for you to sign your own name making the shoe your own.
Kyrie has one of the more impressive collections of colorways and one of the top ones is the “Have a Nike Day.” The denim color and texture pairs well with the white to give a clean, fresh look. It also has some nice subtle color elements such as the paint splatter on the tongue and the rainbow of colors on the outsole that wraps up the side of the shoe. The element that ties everything together is the 3D “Nike” on the heel of the shoe that really pops against the denim.
is a lot of retro happening in the league right now. Throwback jerseys and
courts are everywhere, but the best so far is the ‘Mailman’ colorway of the D.O.N
Issue #1. A soft purple exquisitely blankets most of the shoe with small
touches of orange and powder blue. The mountain range on the side of the shoe is
perfect, full stop. To fully tie the shoe together, a postage stamp sits
prominently on the back half of the shoe. This colorway fully deserves the top