As a youth basketball coach, I often get asked by players and parents about what the best basketball shoes are. The answer to that is not really that easy. Especially with kids it’s going to be about what their favorite NBA players are wearing.
The good thing is that pro players will generally wear sneakers that are suitable for extreme pressure helping them protect their feet and ankles at the same time. But not everyone is willing to spend the money on the very latest fashion items.
That’s why we’ve put together this list. To help you find a suitable pair of shoes for playing ball indoors and outdoors. You’ll find something suitable for every budget and they are all designed to provide enough ankle support.
That is one of the demands I put on all the players. With ankle injuries being the most common in basketball, there really is no reason that you shouldn’t be protecting that part of your body.
Our Top 10 Best Basketball Shoes Recommendations
Over months of research and talking to players we have been able to create this list of the ten best options available right now. All you need to do is pick your budget and find a pair you like the look of. So, let’s dive right into the basketball shoe reviews.
4.5 / 5
For Amazing Cushioning
4.5 / 5
A Cool Classic Design
4.5 / 5
For Excellent Ankle And Heel Support
4.0 / 5
Cheap Sneakers That Look And Work Well
4.0 / 5
A Cheaper Option To The Latest X Model
4.0 / 5
Great Overall Foot Support
4.0 / 5
One Of The Best Ankle Support Options
3.5 / 5
3.5 / 5
No Ankle Support
3.0 / 5
Professional Quality With Excellent Ankle Support
For Amazing Cushioning
A Cool Classic Design
For Excellent Ankle And Heel Support
Cheap Sneakers That Look And Work Well
A Cheaper Option To The Latest X Model
Great Overall Foot Support
One Of The Best Ankle Support Options
No Ankle Support
Table of Contents
- 1 Product
- 1.0.1 1 – LeBron Soldier 10: Professional Quality With Excellent Ankle Support
- 1.0.2 2 – adidas Performance Crazy Explosive: For Amazing Cushioning
- 1.0.3 3 – Air Max Audacity: A Cool Classic Design
- 1.0.4 4 – Under Armour Drive 4: For Excellent Ankle And Heel Support
- 1.0.5 5 – Champion Men’s Inferno: Cheap Sneakers That Look And Work Well
- 1.0.6 6 – Lebron Soldier IX: A Cheaper Option To The Latest X Model
- 1.0.7 7 – Under Armour Clutchfit Drive: Great Overall Foot Support
- 1.0.8 8 – Nike Hyperdunk: One Of The Best Ankle Support Options
- 1.0.9 9 – adidas Performance Crazy Bounce: Superior Traction
- 1.0.10 10 – NIKE Air Behold Low Basketball Shoe: No Ankle Support
- 1.1 What Features You Should Focus On
- 1.2 The Benefits Of Insoles
- 1.3 The Importance Of Jump Technique
- 1.4 The Coolest Jordan Sneakers
- 1.5 Conclusion
1 – LeBron Soldier 10: Professional Quality With Excellent Ankle Support
Since the 80s, the basketball shoe market has been flooded by player branded products. When you think of it, Michael Jordan shoes are still being released today and players still love to buy them. While some of them don’t always look like something you might wear, there is one thing you can be sure of. They will feel and work amazingly well.
The same has been the case with legendary NBA star LeBron James. The sneakers he wears are incredibly cool. And if they can stand up the stresses he manages to put them under then they’ll work just as well for any aspiring amateur.
But what exactly is so great about these ones?
The first thing we have to point out is the exceptionally good ankle support. Pro NBA players fear foot and ankle injuries more than anything. They are the most common type of injury and have cut many careers short. The high top and designated straps on this Soldier X model work very well to give your ankle more support. It’s as good as it gets without using a brace.
The straps are very easy to adjust to the right level of tightness around the front, heel and ankle. This can even be done quickly during a timeout without having to make major adjustments.
To help protect your feet from strain and soreness you’ll also notice that the ball and heel of your foot will have very thick cushioning. This reduces the impact from the constant sprints and hard landing from a height.
One of the most important features for any player is how well the shoe will grip the floor. The last thing you want is any kind of slippage. Fortunately, that’s something that Nike have spent a lot of time on, as the soles of this product have a multi-directional design to maximize traction.
In true LeBron fashion, you’ll also get a huge amount of color options to choose form. Whether you want to make a fashion statement or just match them up to your team colors, you will find a cool design.
Before you order, just note that sizing does run a bit on the narrow side. If you have a wide foot, then you might want to go a half size up.
- Exceptionally good ankle support
- Great cushioning in heel and ball area
- Sole is designed to give maximum traction at all times
- Easy to adjust straps even in the middle of a game
- Available in lots of different colors
- Sizing is a little narrow
- Getting the straps right takes a bit of getting used to
2 – adidas Performance Crazy Explosive: For Amazing Cushioning
For maximum bounce from your basketball shoes, you shouldn’t look further than this Adidas product. It’s called “Crazy Explosive” because that’s exactly what you get. The entire cushioning sole design has been extensively researched to come up with a product that gets you airborne quicker and higher.
Just looking at the photos, you can see that the sole is very thick at the heel. This is where the majority of the boost cushioning is. From the moment, you put these on you’ll get that bouncing feeling. This helps you get more air time, but also reduces the strain on your feet. Even in tough training sessions and games you will notice less fatigue in your feet.
The high-top design helps to give you some ankle support. It’s not as good as the LeBron option above. But it’s a whole lot better than no support at all. Don’t rely on these if you have had an ankle injury though. Nothing will be able to replace the support of a designated brace.
The materials used are very light and breathable. You’ll hardly notice you’re wearing them and the ventilation will keep your feet cool and reduce the amount of sweating.
Unlike many other sneakers out there, you’ll see that the lacing design is quite unique. There are not that many overlaps and the loops are a lot further back than usual. This helps you to tighten the shoes a lot more to give you better foot support.
On the downside, you need to know before ordering that the sizing runs a bit small. You might want to get a half size bigger than you usually wear. You’ll also need a bit more force to pull them off as they really are naturally very tight.
- High top design provides plenty of ankle support
- Very lightweight materials
- Cushion design helps you get more air time
- Unique lace design provides added support
- Amazing color design options
- Sizing runs a bit small
- Tight fitting makes them a bit awkward to get out of
3 – Air Max Audacity: A Cool Classic Design
It’s hard to believe that Air Max shoes have been around for 30 years. The first ones were introduced in 1987 and there have been dozens of them since then. The idea was an immediate success and it worked so well that it hasn’t really changed so much over the years.
Essentially, there is a large air cushion built into the heel to absorb the impact from running and jumping. Different shoes will have different size windows that let you actually see the air cushion, which is a very cool and unique look.
In this Audacity model, you’ll notice that the Air Max windows wraps the whole way around the heel. You can essentially see the entire cushion in action, which looks really cool. And you also get the option of some great color designs. Some of them are pretty out there to help you stand out, but there are subtle designs as well.
There is a sleeve built into the shoe that gives it a very snug fit that’s almost like wearing a sock. And with the light weight, you’ll barely notice you’re wearing them.
Specifically, for basketball, you want to have two things. Firstly, a lot of grip on the court, and you get plenty of that. With a zigzag sole design, you will have traction no matter what direction you move in. Secondly, you want to have some ankle support as well. These aren’t the highest sneakers out there, but you’ll get some decent protection to prevent injury.
It’s not enough support if you’ve suffered an injury. But in that case, you should be looking at wearing a brace rather than relying on shoes. Before you order a pair, you should note that they are quite tight fitting. If you have a wide foot, then it might make sense to go a half size larger than normal.
The other thing to note is that the ventilation could be a little better. If you prefer a shoe that has maximum breathability, then maybe a different option on this list will work better for you.
- Internal design provides for a very snug fit
- Superb grip thanks to the zigzag design of the outer rubber sole
- Air max sole provides exceptional shock absorbing for more comfortable feet
- Good ankle support through higher sides
- Available in lots of cool colors
- Fitting can feel a little tight
- A little more ventilation would be good
4 – Under Armour Drive 4: For Excellent Ankle And Heel Support
A relative newcomer to the basketball footwear market is Under Armour. But just like with every other sport they have entered, the products they bring are exceptionally good.
One of the most standout features on the Drive 4 model is the materials used. Practically the entire upper part is made with a breathable mesh type material. This keeps your feet cool and dry and reduces the discomfort from excessive sweating.
Despite having such light ventilation material, you won’t find them lacking in support. First of all, there is a high top that can be tightened to provide very good ankle support. Of all the shoes on this list, this one is right up there to help you avoid injuries.
But there is also a unique heel support design built in as well. The idea of this is to keep your heel in place and thereby stop the entire foot from slipping or sliding. For a basketball player that is a huge advantage. Fast and aggressive changes in direction won’t result in the shoes feeling uncomfortable or strange.
The soles are designed to give you great traction on both indoor and outdoor courts. And this actually works very well. Many other similar products end up only performing OK on both, and most players end up getting separate shoes.
We also like the design and color range available. They are sleek and stand out enough without having that outrageous look that has become common. And similar to Nike shoes, Under Armour are trying to create a unique look for the sole area that really makes them recognizable.
Before you order, just be aware that sizes run about 1/2 size small, so just go up a bit to get maximum comfort.
- Very breathable light weight design for maximum cooling effect
- Extended ankle support helps protect from injury
- Heel support design keeps the foot in place and reduces movement in the shoe
- Great grip for indoor and outdoor courts
- Some nice and sleek color options
- Sizing runs quite small
- Laces are a bit difficult to pull tight, but they then stay tight
5 – Champion Men’s Inferno: Cheap Sneakers That Look And Work Well
If you’re on a limited budget or just want a sneaker for occasional use, then this Champion Inferno is going to be your best bet. They look very cool and come in a few color options to choose from. But looks are only part of the deal.
The upper part of the shoes is made of a mesh type material that will provide a lot of ventilation. This is important for both training, games and just messing around with friends. The more you can cool your feet the less sweating you’ll have and the lower the chances are of chaffing and blisters.
The collar area is high and padded. Those are great features to keep you protected from several types of injury. First, there is protection from ankle roll that can result in sprains, torn ligaments and fractures. But you can also end up with injuries from other people’s feet accidentally bumping into yours, which can be rather painful.
The soft cushioning of the sole is surprisingly comfortable even for long training days and game time. The last thing you want is for early fatigue to hit your feet. It’s painful and very frustrating to your performance.
With features like this, you really won’t find better value. There are a few cheaper products available, but you will end up sacrificing functionality and they simply will not last or hold up to the pressure on the court.
There are two main downsides to consider. If these bother you then you really have to start looking at a higher price tag. Firstly, the insole is a little bit on the thin side. This means there isn’t a huge amount of arch support.
And the sole won’t give you the best possible traction. It’s too much of a hybrid between indoor and outdoor that fails to fully deliver on either.
- Upper mesh material provides great ventilation to keep your feet cool
- The collar area is padded to protect the ankles from injury
- Excellent value for money
- Very cool looking design
- Great comfort even after wearing for long periods of time
- Traction could be better
- Insole is a bit thin
6 – Lebron Soldier IX: A Cheaper Option To The Latest X Model
Another excellent choice with some amazing design options is the LeBron 9. If you can’t afford the 10s at the top of this list then this is a great choice to make. There isn’t a huge difference to the newer version, with the main exception being the amount of foot and ankle support you get on the newer ones.
If you’re carrying an injury or want to keep your ankles protected then it might be worth spending the little bit extra.
As you would expect from a professional shoe, you will get the absolute maxim traction. This is the case both indoor and outdoor, which gives you great flexibility. Even on outdoor courts, you will also notice that the sole is very hard wearing.
The built-in strap system doesn’t just look cool. They are placed in a precision way to ensure that your feet and ankles have maximum support and protection. The main difference to the new version is that there are 2 straps compared to the 3 you would get on the Xs.
Practically all the upper material is made from breathable mesh. This has a huge cooling effect even when you’re training hard or into an overtime period. Your feet will feel so much more comfortable when the sweat can escape easily. Nothing is more annoying than hot feet on a court.
Nike have also implemented the Zoom Air sole technology. This maximizes the bounce while keeping the thickness to a minimum. Because your feet will be closer to the ground, you will have more stability especially in very fast moves and changes in direction. It’s an ideal solution for basketball players.
What should also be no surprise is the huge amount of color choices. Some are pretty in your face, but it’s a cool statement to make when you walk on the court.
The main downsides are that the strap have limited adjustability. It might look like you can highly modify them but it’s certainly not as good as with the new models. You might also find it a bit of struggle to get into the tight fit. And if you wear an ankle brace then you’ll definitely need to go a size up to fit in.
- Exceptionally good traction indoor and out
- Great support for foot and ankle
- Tons of breathable mesh material to keep your feet cool
- Cushioning from Zoom Air helps to limit heavy impacts
- Huge amount of color and design options
- Limited adjustments to straps
- Tight fitting makes it difficult to get in and out of
7 – Under Armour Clutchfit Drive: Great Overall Foot Support
If you’re looking for some really good internal foot support then Under Armour have the solution with this Clutchfit model. The internal sleeve is like an extra sock supporting your entire foot. It is comfortable but will feel a bit tight at first. If you have a wide foot then you might need to go a size up as there is no room to spare.
The tongue is designed to mold to the shape of your foot. This reduces the risk of pressure points and chaffing. It’s the last place you want to have a blister or cut. However, both the tongue and the Clutchfit inner sleeve have one downside. It reduces the ventilation by a lot.
So, you trade a cool breathable design for more physical support. If you’re worried about injuries more than hot and sweaty feet then it’s still a good choice to be making.
The sole design brings you a lot of cushioning effect that gives you maximum bounce. And this is achieved without making the sole exceptionally thick. Some basketball shoes out there increase the thickness but that reduces stability. With this UA option, you get stability and bounce.
Traction on indoor and outdoor courts is very good. Not quite up there with the Nike LeBron, but it’s certainly not far off. It uses a similar zigzag design that really helps to provide traction no matter what direction you’re moving. This is very important for fast moves.
You also get a huge choice of color options with some really cool ones available. There was certainly no lack of imagination on the design team.
The tight fit and lack of ventilation are the only downsides. But as mentioned those provide benefits that might be important for a lot of players.
- Excellent internal sleeve gives maximum support to your foot
- Tongue is designed to better mold to your foot shape for a more comfortable fit
- Cushioning sole reduces impacts and gives a lot more bounce
- Zigzag outer sole design helps to give more traction no matter what direction you move
- Very cool color design choices to match any gear
- Feels tight for wide feet
- Not enough ventilation
8 – Nike Hyperdunk: One Of The Best Ankle Support Options
The name might be a bit of hype, but this is a very cool and effective shoe created by one of the most popular brands. If you can’t dunk then this model will probably not help, only lots of practice and leg muscle work will get you there. But that doesn’t mean this product underperforms.
The number one stand out feature about the Hyperdunk is the very visible ankle support. If you have had ankle injuries then it’s going to be a weak spot. And without some support it will continue to be a high-risk area for you. Because these have a very high top design they will fully encase your ankles.
Because you want to be able to get maximum traction on all surfaces and in all directions, you’ll be glad to know that Nike have added the very effective herringbone sole design. No matter how fast you’re moving or want to change direction, you’ll be able to rely on them to work perfectly every time.
One of Nike’s latest technologies is the Zoom Air cushioning. It’s somewhat similar to the Air Max, but a bit more effective. Essentially it provides the same bounce but with a thinner sole. That gives you the added bonus of more stability. Two bonuses out of one feature!
The mid-sole section is very soft and supports the arch exceptionally well. If you suffer with pains in your feet after training and games, then this is probably exactly what you’re missing. That soreness can also lead to early muscle fatigue which reduces your performance.
If you want to be fashion conscious as well, then you’ll be delighted to see the 30 different color designs available. You can quickly match them up with your favorite gear or your team outfit. In true Nike fashion, there are also some outrageously cool colors.
There are two downsides that you need to be aware of. First of all, the added heel and ankle support comes at the cost being a bit heavier than the majority of other options. It can be a price worth paying though. Also, the heel support is quite stiff and will require some breaking in. This can take a couple of training sessions where they don’t initially feel perfectly comfortable.
- Superb ankle support with high top collar
- Great traction in all directions with herringbone outer sole
- Zoom Air cushion in heel and forefoot for better cushioning
- Soft midsole protects and supports the arch
- Nice selection of color options
- Quite heavy due to the high-top design
- Heel stiffness requires breaking in
9 – adidas Performance Crazy Bounce: Superior Traction
Another very good options from Adidas is this Crazy Bounce one. Now, if you want maximum performance and bounce effect then option 2 above (Crazy Explosive) will be the better one. But it is a bit more expensive. For a lower budget though this will work really well.
The design of the sole will create a huge amount of bounce. This will cushion even the toughest impacts and protect your feet from strain and injury. The cushioning is provided all along the foot and you notice this as soon as you step into them.
When you look at the heel pictures you will notice a very distinctive crisscross design. This helps to secure and protect the ankle. And if you’ve ever worn an ankle brace then you will recognize the design. As a result, both your heel and ankle are protected to help prevent injury.
Looking at the pattern on the outer sole you can immediately tell that it will have a lot of tracking. The zigzag pattern helps to provide grip no matter what direction you want to move in. Sudden and fast changes in direction are no problem, and you won’t have to worry about slipping or sliding.
The entire upper part of the shoes is made from a lightweight knitted mesh material. This makes it very breathable to help keep your feet dry and cool. Despite it being very light, you don’t have to worry about a lack of support and tightness. It’s tough material that wraps around your feet perfectly.
The placement of the laces is also provided to help you tighten the shoes to the maximum. The better you can keep the shoe in place the less chance of movement in them. As a result, you reduce the risk of friction and even blisters which would become very painful.
The downsides with these Adidas is that it can be quite tight to get into. You won’t be able to just slip into them, but that has the benefit of great ankle support. Also, the mid sole section could be better designed to support the arches of your feet.
- Excellent bounce feel from heel to toe cushioning
- Good ankle support to protect against injury
- Unique sole design provides excellent traction
- Very light knitted mesh provides excellent ventilation
- Lace feed design maximizes overall foot support
- Mid sole doesn’t provide enough support
- A bit tight to get on
10 – NIKE Air Behold Low Basketball Shoe: No Ankle Support
As a basketball coach, I’ve seen too many foot and ankle injuries. They happen time and time again. And in so many cases they could have been totally avoided with better footwear. This Nike option is quite popular, but we wouldn’t recommend them for anything more than light training or gym work.
The reason is that there is basically no ankle support at all. Why it is being advertised as basketball sneakers is beyond me. It’s something that none of the kids I coach are allowed to turn up with.
On the plus side, you do get an excellent outer sole that provides very good grip on all types of surfaces. This is something that Nike has perfected over the years. The ventilation is also reasonably good. And with the lack of ankle support heat can easily escape to keep your feet cool.
The front part of your feet will be well supported through the sole design and lacing. This is designed to promote a better movement of the foot from heel to toe, and provides for great tightness. You won’t be complaining about a loose fit or slipping sensation while running and jumping.
The other thing to keep in mind is that the sizing runs very small and tight. You should definitely go at least one size up. And if you have a wider than average foot you’ll even need to go a full size or more up.
Overall, it’s a comfortable pair of sneakers, but not suitable for basketball players. Buy them for the gym or running, but avoid them on a court.
- Great traction especially on outdoor courts
- Good ventilation through well placed mesh
- Lacing provides good support
- No ankle support
- Did we mention: No ankle support
- Sizing runs very small and narrow
What Features You Should Focus On
Comparing products from different companies is never an easy task. They all tend to use different terms to describe exactly the same things. And what most basketball shoe reviews get wrong is to clear up that confusion.
What we have done in the above list is give you all the features and described them in a way that allows you to better compare them. You will know exactly what you’ll get and how well or not the shoes will perform.
If you want to understand what features you really need to focus on then this section will help you a lot. We list out the main things that you should focus on to make sure you get the best possible pair of sneakers that don’t only look great, but will you be a better player.
As youth coach, I don’t allow any of my players to turn up to training or games unless they have basketball shoes with ankle support. The reason is that foot and ankle injuries are among the most common for both amateur and professional players.
The injuries can be devastating and really cause a problem even for kids who have dreams of playing college or professional ball. But with a little bit of careful buying you can reduce the risk by a huge amount. That always starts with your footwear, but I also try to convince all my players to also wear a support brace as well.
When it comes to buying your shoes, you have to factor in two things. Firstly, how much support is built right into the shoe. The better that is the less risk of injury you have. Secondly, if you’re going to wear a brace, then you will need find a shoe that is not too narrow. And you have to go a size up to allow for extra space.
Fortunately, the majority of the models that kids want to buy are commonly worn by professional players. And they have a huge interest in making sure that they avoid injury. That’s why you’ll notice that all the above recommended products have plenty of support.
No matter whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor basketball shoes, traction will be one of those things that you simply cannot ignore. This essentially refers to how much grip the shoes will have. If they are going to be likely to slip on different surfaces, then you could be in trouble.
Not only will your game not be up to full performance. But you also increase your risk of injury. Imagine landing from a tough rebound battle and one of your feet slips. In that moment, there is a lot of downward force onto your legs. If you don’t end up on firm footing you can quickly end up twisting joints leading to torn ligaments and fractures.
So, you always want a sole design that gives maximum grip in all directions. This is generally achieved with a type of herringbone design. But some companies have also come up with other unique ideas.
If you tend to play indoor and outdoor ball, then you also want to make sure that you find soles that provide great traction on both types of courts. For some products that doesn’t work out so well and they end up not performing great on both. That’s not a good situation to be in.
In all the above reviews, you will find information about the traction on different surfaces. This is a very important feature to focus on.
Keeping your feet dry and cool is very important in such a physically demanding sport. Your feet are in constant action and they will sweat a lot. The best way to deal with that is to have a shoe material that is like a knitted mesh.
This helps with air circulation that dries the sweat and cools you’re the skin in the process. Some shoes will have additional support for the feet and this ends up being like a second pair of socks. What you have to understand is that such features will come at the expense of less ventilations.
It might be a price worth paying if you need the extra support. But in many cases, going for the lightest possible material will work so much better. What you need to do is take a close look at photos and see whether there is a mesh type material.
Also pay close attention to the tongue and whether that has ventilation built in as well. This is a large area covering the top of your foot. Added ventilation here makes a huge difference.
One final tip when it comes to keeping your feet cool, especially outdoors in summer:
Don’t buy completely black sneakers!
They attract the sun and absorb far more heat, making them extremely uncomfortable.
This is an area that a lot of player completely over look. It’s the part between the forefoot, or ball, and the heal. The design of this area should support the arch of your foot to help reduce pain and fatigue. In the long run a lack of support here can lead to planter fasciitis.
This is actually a pain in the heel due to excessive strain on the ligaments connecting the heel bone to the toes. These ligaments support the arch and the pain involved can range from moderate to very bad.
It can severely hinder your ability to train and play ball. So, you should avoid shoes that have little to no midsole supports. If you do find that the support isn’t good enough then you can get insoles to help deal with the problem. We have a section on this further down on this page.
Yu might think that very tight shoes can be a problem. That they will become uncomfortable and even result in pressure points or blisters. But in fact, the very opposite is the case. If any part of your foot has a tendency to move within the shoe, then that will result in friction and soreness or blisters.
The best way to avoid this is to find a product that perfectly shapes to your foot. And once you tie up the laces, it will feel like there is no wiggle room anymore. Of course, this should feel completely uncomfortable or like your blood circulation is being cut off.
The advantage of this is also that the entire foot has much better support. The pressure in this part of your body is huge. And the bone structure and joints really need as much support as possible to avoid repetitive strain or injury.
So, when you think that a pair of sneakers are too tight, then ask yourself if there is enough room to wiggle your toes. I that’s the case then tightness is probably an advantage.
The Benefits Of Insoles
What I have seen a lot with young kids, especially boys, is that they will tend to go for cool basketball shoes from a looks perspective. And they tend to be OK with less comfort and overall foot support. If your son or daughter has a pair of sneakers that you think don’t have enough support, then insoles is a great option.
But the same is the case for mens and womens sneakers. Not all of them will provide maximum support, especially in the midsole area. Lack of support here can lead to plantar fasciitis, which has symptoms of pain in the heel area. The cause is related to excessive strain on the ligaments that connect the heel to the toes.
These ligaments also support the arch of the foot and the pressure of basketball training and games can become too much.
If you invest in a decent pair of insoles then you can solve a lot of foot strain problems. That strain will also be an issue for early fatigue which is the last thing you want while you’re on a court.
If you play a lot outdoors on very hard court surfaces, then it becomes especially important to soften the blows. Good soles will take care of a lot of the impact, but they are mainly focused on the forefoot and heel areas. What insoles add to this is a further and even disbursement of the impact so that there is less chance of a single point of pressure.
If you’re in doubt whether you need them, then just go ahead and try some out. They certainly won’t do you any harm.
The Importance Of Jump Technique
One important factor to consider when you’re choosing your shoes is the type of jump technique you have. Essentially there is the one leg and two leg jump and different player positions will use those techniques more prominently.
It’s not to say that all players in one position always use the same technique. But if you were to analyze and count the times certain techniques are used, then you will see a pattern.
Knowing your most common playing position and paying some attention to the way you play and jump will help a lot in finding the right shoes.
Here is some help for you to figure that out.
Point and shooting guards will often be approaching the basket at speed and use that speed to get airborne faster and higher. The jump technique is one leg and it is very powerful. Small forwards and sometimes power forwards will also use that approach dependent on the game play situation.
If this is the dominant way you jump then a thin sole will be what you want. This will help you to have more stability and balance during the lift off phase.
The center position is usually close to the basket and little more than a few steps are usually taken before they go for a rebound, dunk or jump shot. In most cases that would be a two leg jump to get more force behind it. Forwards will also often be battling for rebounds in the same way.
If this is your common position then a thicker sole for weight impact absorption is needed. Because you more often get airborne from 2 feet, balance will not be such a huge issue. But you’re likely to be taller and heavier than a guard player. And that means more impact forces on your feet.
Basically, you then want to make sure you get maximum bounce to soften the impacts.
The Coolest Jordan Sneakers
If you’re lucky enough to have some mint condition Jordan’s from the 80s and 90s, then you could be sitting on a big payout. But let’s face it, if you played ball in the 90s and had Jordan’s then you most likely wore them a lot. And the likelihood that you still have them is very slim.
Here are three Air Jordan’s that you might want to splash out on, but you’ll need quite a budget. Of all the basketball players shoes out there, they are still the most popular, even though Michael Jordan has been retired for a very long time.
Nike Air Jordan 7 Retro
Of all the retro Jordan sneakers out there, these are the ones we find say 1980s the most. But that doesn’t mean they are in anyway old-fashioned or uncool looking. Quite the opposite is the case. The color design is absolutely amazing. And of course, it has the very prominent Jordan logo on the side. There will be no mistaking what these are.
The good thing is that they have the high-top design that does a great job at protecting the ankles. Michael Jordan was no stranger to ankle injuries, and a few of these almost ended his career early.
The lacing is great and does a pretty good job at supporting the overall foot. Where you will find them lacking a bit is in the sole design. Especially around the midsole. The support for your feet here is not that great. And a lot of the more modern options above will work much better.
Also, there is not a huge amount of ventilation. If you played in the 80s and 90s, then that’s something you probably experienced a lot. But it can be quite hot in them. Overall, they are nice to wear and play in, but if it’s top performance you’re after, then maybe get one of the above recommendations.
Air Jordan 12 Retro “Flu Game 2016”
The 12’s start head more into the style that has been common since the late 90s. The red and black design is very cool and really stands out on a basketball court. If you like to make a statement and not have the same sneakers as everyone else does, then this is a great option for you.
The design and setup is typical for basketball players shoes of that era, with the lacing being the most typical. It’s a simple and tight design that does a pretty great job at supporting your feet.
But it does make it a bit awkward to loosen fully to get in and out of. And you’ll also notice that there is very little mesh material. Chances are that you will find these very hot compared to anything else you have worn in the last 20 years.
It’s a bit of a shame really, because the overall ankle and foot support is pretty decent. One idea would be to use these for outdoor playing on cooler days heading into autumn or in early spring. Then it could actually be a bonus to help keep your feet warm.
Air Jordan 11 Retro Low
This is a pair of shoes that we just absolutely love the styling. They are not really suitable for playing ball, but they look just amazing. The metallic gold band just stands out so much that you just cannot ignore they are there.
Of all the cool basketball shoes out there, these really are the coolest. But, only wear them for hanging around and walking, and maybe to go for a run. The low design just doesn’t give enough ankle support to be worn for any heavy training and game play.
They are probably also one of the lightest options, but that is really not good enough a reason to be wearing them for training. The good thing is that the sole design is excellent for cushioning the impacts. And the midsole provides great support to the arches of your feet.
These are also one of the first Jordan’s to really change the way the lacing was designed and connected. You can see these designated loops, rather than holes in the leather. The result is a much easier way to loosen and tighten them.
Essentially, at this stage you should know exactly what you’re looking for. Dependent on your position and jump technique, you want to focus on the thickness of the sole. And the more ankle support you can get the better. It might sound silly, but foot injuries can have you sidelined for months.
The best basketball shoes on the above list will all work excellently well to give you that support. There is something there for every budget range so there really is no reason to not head over to Amazon and check out which ones are available on sale.