If I say budget shoes, you picture cheap, bargain bin shoes you get at the flea market outside of the city. Which is wrong, since you don’t have to go at buying kicks with the mentality of spending less or saving money. You can definitely find a great pair of basketball shoes, that is game ready for under $100.
What I like to call “spare shoes,” for when your main pair breaks down or if a homie needs to borrow some kicks. There is always a good reason to have a reliable extra pair. And just because you are spending less doesn’t mean you’re going to get a lesser shoe.
I have spent more than 20 years playing basketball. In that time I’ve used a wide range of different shoes. There are plenty of quality shoes under $100 price tag. Find a pair you can trust and keep one handy so you won’t get caught lack’n in a shoe related emergency.
Who Should Get This
Any serious ballplayer should have at least two extra pairs of shoes, ready to go. Whether they be practice shoes, backup shoes, or backup of backup shoes, you need another pair.
A basketball season is long and hard, especially hard on your shoes. You can reasonably go through a pair a season if you’re really on a grind. An emergency shoe can get you out of a tight spot if you find yourself with a broken shoe during a game.
Not just you, it’s always possible that a teammate is going to forget their shoes. Now you can be the smart guy that packed an extra pair of game shoes. Prepared to be the hero of the forgotten shoe situation.
There are lots of high priced, top name brand shoes out there that may be really tempting, but you don’t always need to spend a fortune on your shoes.
You really just need some that are comfortable, perform well and are durable. If you normally spend a lot of money on a good pair of high-performance shoes, you may want to keep your expensive shoes to wear on indoor courts only or to use for games only.
It’s never a bad idea to have a backup pair or a pair to wear on outdoor courts or even to use just for practice. If you do want to go with a second pair of shoes, it is a good idea to find a good quality, reasonably priced shoe like the ones we have listed here.
Top Picks of Best Basketball Shoes Under $100
Note: due to the pandemic, some products may be unavailable for a short period of time and the prices may vary slightly as well. We try to keep them up to date the best we can.
1. LeBron Witness IV by Nike
There is so much to love about this shoe, I don’t even know where to begin. First of all it looks fantastic, I feel like anyone could rock these kicks day to day. And just cuz’ they look fresh, doesn’t mean that they slack on the court.
The LeBron Witness IIIs are game-time shoes, in-door and out-door this shoe will hold up. I also don’t think I’ve ever seen better breathability in shoes for a long time. With the price-tag on these kicks, there is no reason everyone should have a pair.
What we like:
- Looks great, wear it with anything non-formal.
- Might even get away with wearing formal attire.
- Great traction on all kinds of courts.
- Durable in all the places it needs to be.
- As breathable as you can get a shoe.
- Light and low-top, ideal for quick guard play.
What we don’t like:
- Fit can run small and narrow for some ballers, get a size bigger than your true fit.
- More mobile than stable, something to keep in mind with explosive cuts and changing directions.
2. Curry 3Zero by Under Armour
As the captain of Under Armour basketball, you know Steph Curry is going to get some bomb shoes. The 3Zero line is no joke, and can be one of the top 10 guard shoes on the market. The entirety of it, is that these are shooters’ shoe with terrific balance and impact cushion. With the design process of this shoe being led by one of the best 3-point shooters the league has ever known, you can feel the streamline focus with every jump shot.
What we like:
- Amazing balance and cushion, give your jump shot a good pop and an even better landing.
- Great traction on any court, in-door or out-door.
- Top-notch ankle support without hindering movement allows for your agility to fire on all cylinders.
- Designed to allow for a foot brace to be worn while in the shoe.
- Breaks in as easy as a shoe can.
What we don’t like:
- Built for the guard position, so it won’t be a great shoe for bigs and centers.
- Has okay foot protection, so try not to get stepped on.
- Susceptible to picking up dust, might want to have an extra towel to wipe down the sole.
3. Nike Men’s Low-Top Sneakers
The Trey 5 VI signature shoe of Kevin Durant. Another shoe built for the scorers out there, designed to run downhill at full speed, then stops at a dime. These feather-light shoes will keep your fancy footwork butter smooth. As good as these shoes are, they do NOT have great ankle support for lateral movements, so you may suffer on defense or explosive changes in direction.
That being said, these are a comfortable shoe and will feel great out of the box. The knit finish won’t protect you in aggressive rebound situations but will keep these shoes well ventilated through the fourth quarter.
If you’re in the market looking for a shoe for a younger, you should really consider this pair. The knit will allow their foot to grow, and they probably wouldn’t mind wearing these shoes day-to-day. Since young ballers feet will grow quite fast, you’ll want a more cost-effective shoe that you can depend on. The reason being you will probably be buying one or two pairs every year till their feet get to full size.
What we like:
- Feather light for sensational flight.
- Built for players with smooth handles and quick footwork.
- Comfortable shoe that ventilates properly.
- Available in some really cool colorways, take these kicks to the streets and be ready to wipe up all the
- drip from your swag.
- Ready to play out of the box, nearly no break-in needed.
- Great at fighting court dust.
What we don’t like:
- Less than decent impact protection.
- Strap does not provide much or any actual lockdown, but still can hold down your laces.
- Knit body could suffer from a beating.
- Don’t expect a lot of protection from being stepped on.
- Less than stellar lateral support.
4. Pro Bounce Low-Top by Adidas
This shoe has something for every position on the court. Speed, agility, toughness, scoring, driving have it all and do it all in the Pro Bounce. These are hooping shoes, no-nonsense, straight to court business shoes. In my opinion this is “the bar” of shoes. Anything less than the Pro Bounce is a bad shoe, and anything better than Pro Bounce is a good shoe. Although it is not a signature shoe, Adidas has made a habit of releasing top-notch performance shoes with generic names.
Available as a high top. For the added ankle support. I suggest these for big men, or forwards who will need the extra ankle protection when going up for aggressive rebounds.
What we like:
- Great traction, no need to worry about dust.
- Deep grooves in the sole, perfect for out-door courts and holds up great on indoor courts.
- Amazing cushion technology, movement feels really smooth and fluid, while providing a lot of value to jump shots in the bounce and impact.
- Very little break in time, one practice or just a day walking around will have these shoes feeling game ready.
- Great lateral support.
- Any player or any position would do well in this shoe.
What we don’t like:
- Mesh material does NOT feel high-end.
- As far as comfort goes, this shoe is NOT a frontrunner.
Best Basketball Shoes Under $100: What to Consider
I’ve said it many times, just because you are looking for a cheaper shoe, does NOT mean you need to get a cheap quality shoe. No need to look off brand, or dip in the bargain bin. Trust in the big brands to keep their manufacturing integrity top notch. Even at a lower price point.
Comfort and Break-in
More than likely, your spare pair needs to be ready at a moment’s notice. Meaning this spare pair should feel good to play in right away. Ideally, you want a pair that feels great right out of the box, but that may not always be the case. So a shoe that is easy to break-in would be the next best choice, you would want to take two or three practices to break in a new shoe. Then just keep it in your locker or training bag until you need it.
To help prevent injuries, you want to have a shoe that has good support. Many shoes do not provide the level of support that you need. Look for ones that provide good arch and ankle support. You also want to find some that have good all-around support so that your feet do not slip around inside the shoe.
The shoes you buy should be durable and made to last. Look for a shoe that will hold up to intense play. If you will be using them to play on outdoor courts, you want something that will hold up to the elements.
You don’t want your shoes to slip and slide all over the court. You need good traction to make cuts and quick moves. Low-cost shoes often have soles with poor traction. You will want to make sure the ones you buy have decent traction.
Style is last on this list because it is not really important to the performance of the shoe. With that being said, you don’t want to have a shoe that is embarrassing to wear. This will hurt your confidence and may affect your play on the court.
- Cheap Basketball Shoes Under $30
- Best Basketball Shoes under $50
- Budget Basketball Shoes Under $60
- Affordable Basketball Shoes Under $70
- Best Basketball Shoes Under $200
Useful Tips and Resources
If you’re getting shoes for backup purposes, be sure you break them in beforehand. You don’t want to be on completely fresh shoes for a game. Two or three practices, along with some walking around should do the trick.
Basketball shoes are a very important piece of equipment for playing basketball. Once you have found a good shoe, you want to make sure that you tie the shoe correctly. Tying the shoe correctly will provide you with the best comfort and support. It will also help to prevent injuries.
Check out this video for tips for tying and lacing your shoes properly.
When you’re in the market for basketball shoes never cut quality for cost efficiency. Every shoe on this list is a respectable shoe that will last and treat you right. The cost of one of these shoes is negligible to the importance they will have on the road, when you get into a shoe related emergency.