As a basketball player, one of the most important aspects of staying on the court and avoiding injury, aside from a long stretching routine, is the footwear.
I have spent more than 20 years playing basketball. In that time I’ve used a wide range of different basketball shoes.
The style of the shoe is no longer as important as the fit and comfort, however, nowadays top sneaker brands have mastered sneaker design and safety. Below are some of the best basketball shoes available for men.
- One of the game’s most popular superstars during the last half of this decade, Steph Curry, has released a shoe for hoopers of all ages. The Under Armour Men’s SC 3zer0 offers a trendy stylish option with extra support for your ankles, a cause close to Curry’s heart as he has suffered from ankle trouble for most of his career.
- The Nike Men’s Mamba Rage offers one of the best low top options for players who prefer a bit more flexibility in their game. While low top sneakers seem to contradict traditional opinions about not wearing low tops to play basketball, several NBA players have chosen these over a high top shoe.
- Another option with an added layer of ankle protection and beautiful design is the Adidas Men’s Dame 5’s. These sneakers’ extra lace hole at the top of the shoe gives the ankle added support and is a great choice for men with wider feet.
Who Should Get These
These basketball shoes are ideal for serious hoopers but would also be considered smart options even for the “weekend warriors” that play once or twice a month.
At the end of the day, a comfortable and reliable basketball shoe is imperative not only for your feet’s safety but also for your individual performance.
Have you ever played basketball with older sneakers with less than optimal traction or spotty ankle support? It isn’t fun and leaves you worrying about rolling your ankle or sliding all over the court. Another huge aspect of the game is the ability to sky-high for a rebound with the proper cushion so that you aren’t nervous with every jump.
Top Picks of Best Basketball Shoe for Men
Under Armour, one of the more recent players into the basketball sneaker game, has been gaining steam on the market and it really started after Steph Curry signed on as one of their top stars. His shoes for Under Armour have been consistent in quality and this newest installment is no different.
What We Like:
- The molded heel cup on all Under Armour footwear to help keep your heel secure in the most rigorous situations.
- Maxprene technology on the upper part of the shoe that provides “maximum comfort and breathability.”
- The sole that mixes Micro G foam and Charged Cushioning for the blend of soft comfort and explosive return while playing.
What We Don’t Like:
- The look of Curry’s shoes has come under some scrutiny in the past and this is no different. Most of his shoes are an acquired taste when it comes to the look and style.
When it comes to design and performance, you can’t go wrong with the Nike Men’s Mamba Rage, or “the Kobe’s” as they are often referred to in basketball circles. The shoes are lightweight and offer optimal support aside from the fact that they are low top options.
What We Like:
- These shoes are sharp! They are sleek, stylish, and contain some small intricacies that make these sneakers stand out from the pack.
- The unparalleled innovation offered with the design and microtread traction.
- One of the lightest shoes on the market, you will effortlessly float around the court.
What We Don’t Like:
- The shoe is infamously narrow in the middle of your foot. They have been known to loosen once they are properly broken in but could still result in some discomfort during early use.
Damian Lillard’s reputation as one of the most dynamic superstars in the NBA continues to grow. While many players seem to get noticed at a higher volume, Lillard’s consistency and durability have forced people to take notice. Dame is a player’s player, and his shoe is no different. This is the 5th edition of Lillard’s signature shoe and it does not disappoint.
What We Like:
- The ideal combination of leather, rubber and suede (yes, suede) for a classy looking shoe
- A mid foot barrier alleviates any doubt while you cut or change direction on a dime.
- Maximum traction offered due to the herringbone outsole.
- Lightweight and highly cushioned thanks to the Bounce midsole.
What We Don’t Like:
- The design is a bit bland and shows traces of other brand shoes(some old Jordan designs come to mind).
Best Men’s Basketball Shoe: What to Consider
The average distance run during an NBA game is around 2.5 miles so cushioning and comfort is a huge priority. An extremely comfortable shoe, with the combination of a quality sock like the Under Armour Phenom Twist 2.0, lets you compete in regular high-level games for a year without thinking about your next sneaker.
The other thing to remember when dealing with shoe cushion is that everyone’s feet are different so be sure to try all of these shoes on before taking someone’s word on how comfortable a shoe can be. For example, on the court comfort can vary tremendously between a 6’0” point guard and a 6’11” center.
Read More: Best Cushioned Basketball Shoes
If cushion is #1 then a close second will always be support. Oftentimes ankle support gets all of the attention because of the high volume of rolled and sprained ankles in the game, but don’t sleep on equally important aspects of the foot, like your heel, which should not shift around but should stay put and avoid excess movement.
Ok, so we know the basketball shoe we choose is going to provide the right amount of cushion and support for our feet. Whether you are a Nike, Jordan, Adidas, or Under Armour person, there are countless options for a quality shoe that look the part. Now let’s pick one that doesn’t get us laughed off the court by our friends!
Useful Tips and Resources
You can never have enough added cushion in your basketball shoes, and a great way to add more to your already existing shoe are insoles. Your best bet for top insoles is the Physix Gear Sport Insoles.
After using these for the past year, I have still not found a negative about them. Their arch support is unmatched and the non-slip function is key. A pet peeve of mine is that once you insert an insole, you notice it constantly. These are different. And they will improve your performance and comfort after just your first wear.
- Best Basketball Shoes for Big Guys
- Best Street Basketball Shoes
- Best Lightweight Basketball Shoes
- Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support
The comfort and security of your feet are your number one priority when you are playing basketball. These three shoes are a great start towards finding your next basketball shoe and changing the way your view athletic shoes altogether.
Have you found a shoe that you just can’t hoop without? Let us know about it below in the comments!