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The Best Men’s Basketball Shoes

🕚 Updated August 2022

Ready for your first alley-oop or to master your spin? Both basketball feats require shoes that give you some air and a responsive sole for quick movements. Here are some pairs we recommend.

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  Top Choice Best for Budget Most Size Options Premium Choice Best Low-Top Shoe
Streetball Master High Top
Men's Basketball Shoes
Men's Lightning Basketball Shoes
Men's Basketball Shoes
Men's Court Vision Low Sneaker
Our SummaryA basketball shoe with a wear-resistant EVA outsole and traction design for outdoor terrain.These basketball shoes offer an affordable option for players who like colorful designs.These non-slip sneakers feature reflective silk for safe nighttime basketball.The well-known embroidered Jumpman symbol distinguishes these classic, much-envied basketball trainers.A retro, low-cut basketball sneaker for looks and hook shots.
ProsThick, EVA RB outsole, deep traction, built for asphalt and cement, high-top upper with stabilizing interior, sole-parametric design enhances grip.Breathable mesh upper, rubber, shock-absorbing outsole, wide toe box offers balance and a sturdy base, bold designs.For indoor and outdoor games, good movement, durable rubber outsole, STA anti-rollover design at the sole's forefoot for anti-slip.Classics, Nike Air sole for optimal cushioning, indoor and outdoor, stylish for every day, perforated upper for extra breathability, embroidered Jumpman.1980s look, thick laces, Swoosh design, firm upper, rubber outsole for traction and durability, original pivot circle traction design.
ConsLess cushioned.Bolder designs.May wear out quicker than other shoes.Don't fit wider feet well.Lack arch support.
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The Best Men’s Basketball Shoes

African American teenage boy tying his shoe laces on a basketball court.

Buying Guide for Men’s Basketball Shoes

A man wearing basketball shoes sits on stairs.
Krasovski Dmitri/Shutterstock.com

Why buy men’s basketball shoes?

The reasons for buying a pair of basketball are endless. Maybe you want to collect them, wear them as everyday shoes, or use them for multiple athletic endeavors. In terms of the game, you want to buy basketball shoes because they are designed for basketball performance. They’re built to offer foot and ankle support, maximum balance, and traction.

What should you look for when buying men’s basketball shoes?

  • Fashion: If you’re a basketball fan, you need no guidelines here. But if you’re new to basketball or are buying a pair as a gift, know that the look of basketball shoes is important but depends on the person. One practical question to consider is what you want from your shoes. If you prioritize function over fashion, look for the design and material that offers the optimal performance for your ball style.
  • Sole: A good pair of basketball shoes will have an outsole made of rubber or a synthetic blend for ideal traction and rebound. Look for traction patterns like zigzags, hexagons, or circles for a non-slip grip. EVA foam can offer the cushion you need for jumping and running.  
  • Multipurpose: Some basketball trainers feature components that make them a go-to for multiple activities, like running, walking, or tennis. This type of shoe tends to have extra mesh for better breathability. Still, they have the same stabilizing characteristics, such as STA anti-rollover molding around the forefoot.

What should you know about the upper part of the shoe? 

The upper section of basketball shoes entails the height profile around the ankle. There are high-tops, mid-tops, and low-tops to choose from. Players decide in part on aesthetic as well as practical ankle support. With less support around the ankle, low-tops offer more room for quick movements—agility and speed. High-tops enclose the ankle completely for the greatest level of support, and mid-tops are a happy medium. The upper also involves the shoe’s closure, for example, straps, laces, or zippers. We review only shoes with laces here, but you can consider other options to find the best fit for you.

Our Picks for the Best Men’s Basketball Shoes

Top Choice

Peak Streetball Master High Top

A basketball shoe with a wear-resistant EVA outsole and traction design for outdoor terrain.

Pros: For those who love a game of pickup on outdoor courts, the Streetball Master may be worth a look. These shoes feature a thick, EVA rolled rubber outsole with deep traction for durability on asphalt courts. This model has an upgraded formula for increased resistance to cement and other hard surfaces. As high-top basketball shoes should, the Streetball Master features a stabilizing interior for supporting the foot and ankle during quick, lateral movement to reduce sprains and strains. There’s a hot-melt (PP) film over the upper, woven material for comfort and support. A sole-parametric design enhances grip and adds anti-skid and wear resistance.

Cons: If you’re interested in extra-cushiony shoes, you may want to consider a different shoe.

Bottom Line: This is a great pair of basketball shoes for indoor and outdoor games, particularly stellar for your neighborhood’s outdoor court. Its built-out sole can take a beating.


Best for Budget

ASHION Mens Basketball Shoes

These basketball shoes offer an affordable option for players who like colorful designs.

Pros: These offer all the qualities you want in a pair of basketball shoes: an upper with breathable mesh, PU leather molded quarter panels, and a rubber, shock-absorbing sole. The all-important rubber sole that defines basketball shoes gives grip when weaving through opponents to pass or position yourself for a shot. Together, the outsole and wide toe box give you better balance and a sturdy base to spring from.

Cons: If you prefer a sleek, sharp look, check out the other basketball shoes we review. In terms of fashion, the ASHION has loud colors and bold designs.

Bottom Line: Basketball shoes are known to be expensive, but the ASHION makes a satisfactory alternative. Plus, they have multifunctional value for other sports and activities.


Most Size Options

Peak Men's Lightning Basketball Shoes

These non-slip sneakers feature reflective silk for safe nighttime basketball

Pros: Like the Streetball Master High Top, these non-slip basketball shoes offer all the quality material, stability, and good looks. The distinction is that these pairs are made for indoor and outdoor play. They’re low-profile and feature a cartoon logo of the famous Louis Williams on the top of the tongue for fun. With a durable rubber outsole, they perform well on cement, rubber turf courts, and indoor courts. That’s stability, cushioning, and durability, all in one shoe. This pair is an anti-slip shoe featuring an STA anti-rollover design at the sole’s forefoot.

Cons: Some users say the shoes wear out quickly.

Bottom Line: Not only do the Peak Lightning shoes perform on indoor and outdoor courts, but they’re also awesome for outdoor running, gym exercise, and everyday living. The reflective silk feature even makes them a safe option for playing at night.


Premium Choice

Nike Men's Basketball Shoes

The well-known embroidered Jumpman symbol distinguishes these classic, much-envied basketball trainers.

Pros: Here they are, the best-known basketball shoes ever! These classic men’s basketball shoes feature the Nike Air sole for optimal cushioning for pickup games on the court or street—or just for wearing around. They feature a mix of leather and synthetic materials and a perforated design for extra breathability. The cherry on top is the recognized embroidered Jumpman on the heel and tongue for distinction.

Cons: Nike shoes tend to fit narrow, not wide, feet more comfortably.

Bottom Line: The reputable Nike brand impresses again with these basketball trainers. The simplistic style and multiple color options create a fashion statement not to overlook.


Best Low-Top Shoe

Nike Men's Court Vision Low Sneaker

A retro, low-cut basketball sneaker for good looks and hook shots.

Pros: Inspired by the look and style of 1980s basketball shoes, these genuine and synthetic leather Nike shoes have a convincing throw-back appeal. No detail has been overlooked, from the thick laces and Swoosh design to the firm upper and stitched overlays. The rubber outsole, or cup sole, supplies traction and durability for your choice of activity. You’ll even find the original pivot circles on the sole.

Cons: It’s worth noting that these are flat shoes. They’re not meant to offer much arch support.

Bottom Line: People often say things were better made in the old days. That may or may not be true, but these Nike retro sneakers speak the truth about ’80s basketball shoe fashion. They look great!

Final Thoughts

If you’re putting yourself out there to try a new sport, are a passionate basketball player, or just like the image, you deserve a quality pair of basketball shoes. Find a solid pair among our top picks.

Britta Kallevang Britta Kallevang
Britta is a professional writing tutor and freelance writer that is trained in journalistic, technical, and creative copywriting. At LifeSavvy, she researches products, writes about the items, and shares what she's uncovered with readers. Her writing is comprehensive and sometimes a bit silly. Read Full Bio »
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