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The Best Basketball Shoes to Buy: List + Advice

Best Basketball Shoes to Buy

The Best Basketball Shoes to Buy

Whether you’re new or a veteran, the concept of buying the perfect basketball shoe is daunting. How do you even begin to think about the best basketball shoes to buy? After all, there are a ton of things to consider.

What brand are you looking for? Boost or Zoom? How about traction pattern? Are you into the performance woven uppers or more about that OG leather build?

Check out the one and only list of the best basketball shoes to buy:

1. Nike LeBron XV “Four Horsemen”

nike lebron 15 four horsemen

An elite shoe on sale might be the best way for us to kick off this list. The LeBron line consistently delivers designs that are all about protection and support. Leading up this latest in the line, each LBJ signature is about the ultimate in cushion and technology.

The LeBron XV is a testament to this thanks to its woven upper – a first in the LeBron line – and beast of a midsole. The outsole’s traction is nearly elite as well. To top it off, this color scheme is a beautiful use of the multicolored motif we see on Nike runners from time to time.

2. Nike PG2 “The Bait”

Nike The Bait II Olive Obsidian

Nike’s work with Paul George’s signature sneaker is one of the things hoops fans are grateful for. With the descent of Kobe, we often spend time in the initial days wondering who replaces him. So far, Nike sticks with Kyrie as their main Mamba replacement.

But, their PG work continues to quietly maintain solid sales numbers. Not only does it come with all the features a basketball shoe needs – durable upper, lateral support, great impact protection, sticky outsole traction – it also comes at a pretty fantastic price.

3. adidas James Harden Vol.2 “Mystery Ink”

adidas harden vol.2 mystery ink

This one may come across as a bit patriotic. Take the opportunity to celebrate James Harden’s remarkable MVP season with his latest signature sneaker! The Harden Vol. 2 is an underrated model that comes with a ton of promising features.

The upper is in a build that features the brand’s “FORGEFIBER” material. Similar to Primeknit, it’s a lightweight and breathable option that doesn’t sacrifice on durability. Other highlights include full-length Boost on the midsole, lateral caging similar to the Lillard 4’s, and some solid traction.

4. Nike Kyrie 4 “Red Carpet”

nike kyrie 4 red carpet

Speaking of Kobe retiring, Nike is lucky to have Kyrie Irving on their roster. Long before Kobe calls it quits, the brand’s Irving wears are flying off shelves. The Kyrie 4 is proof that the man is up to the heavy task of taking Mamba’s place.

This is, by far, the best rendition of the superstar guard’s signature line. The Kyrie 4 brings back all of the wonderful things from previous models – strong traction, low profile, great colors – and adds an improvement via the cushioning set-up.

It’s encouraging to see the direction Nike is taking with Kyrie’s line. Try these out in this bold scheme for a budget-friendly on-court option. If you’re a stickler about buying straight from the source, the best place to buy basketball shoes is going to be the official Nike website.

5. Nike Zoom KD 11 “Still KD”

Nike Zoom KD 11 Black

The KD signature line continues to crush it. After the KD 9’s groundbreaking changes, it starts to seem like the Swoosh is done innovating for a while. After a bit of a lackluster release of the KD 10, this latest in Kevin Durant’s line brings some serious power.

The shoe’s upper sticks to the one-piece approach, wrapping your foot in a supportive Flyknit layer. The highlight of this release, though, will be what’s under your feet. There, we see the incorporation of Nike’s React tech – its latest in impact protection – coming together with the usual Zoom coverage.

This colorway represents your best neutral option thanks to a mostly Black aesthetic, making it one of the best basketball shoes to buy for any style. It’s also the only one on Nike’s site that hasn’t completely sold out!

6. Under Armour Curry 4 Low “Merlot”

under armour curry 4 low merlot

Under Armour knocks it out of the park with this one, and it’s critical. Flashback a year or two ago, and Curry’s line of sneakers with the brand is struggling. After a heck of a start, seemingly selling out every colorway of the Curry 1, things got a bit dicey with the following models.

The Curry 3 just doesn’t quite capture imaginations as much. Enter the Curry 4, a monumental move back to the elite basketball shoe consideration. Microfiber uppers and a knit inner sleeves hold your foot in place with cozy support.

The traction pattern on the outsole helps to amplify those stop-and-start moves. Finally, a combination of Speed Plate, as well as EVA, serves as all the impact protection you’ll need.

7. Air Jordan XXXII “Finale”

air jordan xxxii White/Black/Court Purple/University Blue

No list of the best basketball shoes to buy is complete without a mention of Jordan Brand (check out their latest releases right here). Here, the latest in the flagship performance model takes on a distinctive scheme. The visuals aside, this is a solid option from a practical standpoint.

The Flyknit on the upper really does its job in containing your foot and keeping it flexible for all of the changes of pace on the court. Aiding in that support effort is a lacing set-up that loops directly into the woven upper.

Additionally, underneath your foot sits a Flightspeed plate and full-length Zoom coverage. If nothing else, the colorway alone is worthy of consideration. The photography of Sneakersnstuff here makes them a strong vote for the best website to buy basketball shoes.

A word of advice

Rather than thinking to yourself, “what are the best basketball shoes to buy?” we recommend you delve a bit deeper. What is it that you value in a shoe in the first place?

While you wonder about this, we’ve put together this list of some of the best basketball shoes to buy, regardless of your budget or preference. Despite this list, the most important aspect of buying a basketball shoe is simply knowing what you’re looking for.

Before buying anything online, go out and try a few on at your local sneaker store. You should try to get a good feel for different sorts of tech and uppers. Otherwise, terms like “Flyknit” and “Boost” are meaningless.

After you know what you’re looking for, come back to this list and pick out what you’ve got in mind. We’ve made sure to include something for every style of hooper!