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The Best Men’s Basketball Shoes

Last updated on October 26, 2023
Best Basketball Shoes

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Men's Basketball Shoe

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Best Overall

Under Armour Men’s Jet Basketball Shoe

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Under Armour

Men's Jet Basketball Shoe

We like how the four-way stretch construction of the Under Armour Men's Jet Basketball Shoe give added foot mobility while still offering a high ankle support. The lightweight construction won't have your feet feeling weighted down and the quick-dry materials help your feet stay fresh while you're playing.

Overall Take

Lightweight Basketball ShoeThe Under Armour Men's Jet Basketball Shoe is a lightweight and breathable basketball shoe that offers good support and mobility.

adidas Originals Kids’ Pro Spark Basketball Shoe

adidas

Originals Kids' Pro Spark Basketball Shoe

Overall Take

 Runner Up

Nike Men’s Air Visi Pro Vi

Nike

Men's Air Visi Pro Vi

The breathable mesh bootie inside the Nike Men's Air Visi Pro Vi basketball shoes allow them to fit your foot like a sock. This adds a feeling of confidence that combines with an air-filled heal piece that adds a great level of cushioning for supportive landing after a jump.

Overall Take

Fits Like a SockThe Nike Men's Air Visi Pro Vi basketball shoes fit like a sock but perform like a high-level basketball shoe.

 Honorable Mention

adidas Men’s Explosive Bounce Basketball Shoe

adidas

Men's Explosive Bounce Basketball Shoe

We like the cushioning that is provided in the soles of the adidas Men's Explosive Bounce Basketball Shoe since it eases the impace force on your feet and knees when you land from a jump. The shoes also offer a Geofit technology that helps them mold to your foot for a fit that's snug in the right places but not too tight.

Overall Take

Cushioned SolesThe adidas Men's Explosive Bounce Basketball Shoe is light and supportive with a cushioned sole to save your joints from impact force.

Buying Guide

Using the right tool for the job always helps us do the job better and more efficiently. In the case of playing a sport like basketball, the shoes are the tool and the same philosophy applies. If you have the right shoes for the sport you’re playing and, even more specifically, the right shoe for your body and the position you play, you will be set up well to have healthier feet and the proper mobility to play well. The technology behind basketball shoes has grown tremendously over the past couple of decades and now you can find shoes that not only look cool but fit you and your style of play perfectly.

Basketball shoes can come with high-reaching uppers that lace all the way up to the lower part of the ankle. This style of high-top basketball shoe is less common than it used to be because it limits the mobility of your ankle which can hinder players who are quick and agile like a point guard. However, this high-top basketball shoe is usually ideal for a center or large power-forward who needs the added stability for when he steps on another player’s foot, or even when he does a simple lateral cut but with a lot more bodyweight than most guards. The extra lacing and height of this shoe will keep your ankles healthy so you can keep playing and continuing to grow in other areas instead of constantly nursing twisted or sprained ankles.

“The benefits of purchasing basketball shoes are increased support and stability on the court,” says expert  Stephanie Mansour, a personal trainer. “Basketball shoes are designed for maximum cushion, mobility and ankle support since there’s many forward/backward/side-to-side motions and jumping in basketball.”

A lower shoe offers more ankle mobility and caters nicely to a more agile player in either of the guard positions. The lack of ankle support from the shoe is less of an issue in these players and you can see by watching basketball on TV that it’s now common practice for a lot of players to opt for these lower-topped shoes. If a player is mostly on the wing and does a lot of lateral back-and-forth movements, then a shoe somewhere in the middle might be best so it gives some ankle support but still allows a lot of mobility for the quicker movements.

In addition to the height of the shoe, there are some important parts of the sole to focus on when you’re shopping around. A cushioned mid-sole of the shoe, which is the area around the center of the foot where the arch is, is helpful to players that are doing a lot of jumping. Every time you land a jump, you have a significant force compressing down on the bottoms of your feet. With proper cushioning and arch support, this wear-and-tear from jumping so much will be less noticeable as your shoe is doing a lot of work to absorb that shock before it goes into your feet and knees.

The outsole on a basketball shoe is also an important factor when looking at the overall effectiveness of a shoe. The outsole refers to the hard rubber at the bottom of the shoe and you will want to look at how wide the forefoot is, as the width of these can vary a lot from one brand to another. A wider toe box lets your toes naturally splay out a little bit and gives you a better sense of balance and stability. This helps with general stability of your foot and lets you avoid rolling the front of your foot over, eventually leading to another ankle issue. Having too much room in this wide part of the shoe can also be something to watch out for since you want your foot to be held snugly in place without sliding back and forth inside the shoe.

It’s important to get the right shoe for yourself so you can focus on training and improving other parts of your game. A proper pair of shoes can help you be quicker and healthier or have a more stable footing so you can ultimately have the confidence to play at your highest level.

“If the shoes are more comfortable, you might be able to play longer and even move better because you’ve got the right support,” says Mansour.

Our Expert Consultant

Stephanie Mansour   
Certified Personal Trainer, Health and Wellness Expert

Stephanie Mansour, host of “Step It Up with Steph” on public broadcasting, has been coaching women for over a decade on how to lose weight and make it last. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications with an emphasis on women’s studies and psychology from the University of Michigan. She holds certifications in life coaching, personal training, yoga and Pilates.

What to Look For

  • If you’re into playing basketball, you most likely already watch some amount of professional or college basketball. Try to find a handful of players that have a similar body size and shape that you do and see what shoes they wear. Basketball players at these levels have likely already tried many shoes out over the course of their career and they have chosen to wear the current pair that they have on for a reason. If you’re a point guard or a center, there’s a good amount of players you can watch to get a good idea of what shoes are their favorites and you can use this as a great starting point in a basketball shoe search.
  • When you try on new basketball shoes, you should run around and jump up and down, maybe do a few sprints and lateral cuts in them. A shoe might feel comfortable when you first put it on and casually walk around the store in it, but as soon as you start running and cutting you might find that your toe rubs the edge weird or that the arch isn’t exactly in the right place for your foot. It’s better to be cautious up-front and really try the shoes out before you step foot onto the court.

More to Explore

Some of the original and most recognizable basketball shoes are the Converse All-Stars. Converse began making athletic shoes in 1908 and primarily touted them as being “non-skids” due to having rubber added at the bottom of the canvas shoe to prevent it from sliding around on the court. The Converse All-Star shoes arrived on the scene less than a decade later and quickly took over as the primary shoe for the sport for many years to come.

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