I’ve put together the list of the 10 best Nike basketball shoes. Just straight up best-performing sneakers on the court that are very well-rounded, comfortable and just trustworthy.
Only the newer shoes will be featured here. Believe me, that’s for the better. I’ll keep this short because there lots of shoes to talk about – and some of them will have their own reviews by me. Also, the budget won’t be a factor here – performance is all that matters (not the price). If you’re looking for extremely cheap shoes, check THIS out.
Alright, here are the 10 best Nike basketball shoes!
I. KOBE 8 SYSTEM ELITE
Being still the best Kobe signature so far, it’s one of the best Nikey’s basketball shoes ever created, at least in my opinion. Simply put, all performance aspects are just killer. These are pricey, but worth it in the long run.
TECH: They got a full-length Lunarlon midsole and ZOOM AIR units both in the heel and forefoot areas of that midsole. Then they have FLYWIRE for lockdown, a carbon fiber heel counter and a very light mesh upper.
PERFORMANCE: Cushion – superb. Bouncy and still provides court feel. Traction – awesome, both indoors and outdoors. Support – incredible, plus that carbon fiber heel plate. The upper material – extremely light, pleasant and actually quite durable for its own kind. They fit true to size. That’s how a shoe should be made.
II. KOBE 8 SYSTEM
So yeah, I said price doesn’t matter here. The shoe is almost identical to the one above, but costs $60 less and has just SLIGHTLY fewer tweaks.
TECH: The exact same stuff. Only the heel counter is from TPU instead of carbon fiber. And the mesh is a bit weaker.
PERFORMANCE: Probably a bit weaker in terms of support (maybe…), but still a killer option.
III. LEBRON SOLDIER IX
My Rating: 9.5/10 | Weight: 14.7 oz | Type: Mid-High Top
Hands down the most successful LeBron’s shoe ever. And yeah, these do beat every LeBron’s main signature (non-Soldier) in my opinion. And they’re cheaper (but again, that’s not a factor at this time).
TECH: ZOOM AIR units in the heel and forefoot areas and FLYWIRE cables for enhanced lockdown & containment.
PERFORMANCE: Cushioning is very solid and fits both guards and bigger players. Traction is really badass – super durable and made both for indoor and outdoor players. Support – this is the big one, incredible support that feels like nothing else thanks to those straps. And the upper – very comfortable and breathable, though not that durable.
IV. LEBRON XI
Another LeBron’s signature, probably not as remarkable as the Soldier 9, but these have their own advantages for a different type of player.
TECH: Full-length ZOOM AIR midsole for cushioning, FLYWIRE cables and a very sturdy HyperFuse upper.
PERFORMANCE: Excellent cushion that fit bigs best (absorbs impact, bouncy, but not a lot of court feel), Traction – very good, though not the best for outdoors. Support – unbelievable, I’ve never seen a shoe that has so much focus on support. Upper – almost pure HyperFuse, so not a lot of mobility, but amazing durability and support.
V. KD 5
So this is a pretty dated model, I’m not ever sure if it’s 2013 or 2012. But anyway, the best KD signature out there, that’s pretty close to the KD 7. Awesome for any type of player.
TECH: Air Unit in the heel and a ZOOM AIR unit in the forefoot. The upper is pretty much all Fuse.
PERFORMANCE: Really great cushion for all types of players (good court feel and some impact protection). Traction – excellent, just not the best for outdoors. Support – pretty much great in every way with plenty of features. Upper – it’s so thin and light that it feels SUPERB. And because it’s Fuse, it’s also durable.
VI. KD 7
Another Durant’s signature. It’s a newer one, so a bit newer tech, but performance-wise, probably SLIGHTLY behind the KD 5, at least for my play style.
TECH: Phylon midsole and ZOOM AIR units in the heel & forefoot for cushioning. FLYWIRE cables for lockdown and containment. Mesh upper.
PERFORMANCE: Cushioning – great and extremely comfortable for bigger guards, feels very balanced. Traction – solid both indoors and outdoors. Support – very great and not compromising any mobility. Upper material – feels awesome and lightweight, though players that are fans of Fuse won’t like these. Lots of breathabilities and no break-in time needed.
My Rating: 9.5/10 | Weight: 13 oz | Type: Mid Top
This was a seriously unexpected shoe that came out to be an awesome option for guards. Very well-balanced AND well-priced.
TECH: Unlocked ZOOM AIR units in the heel and forefoot areas. HyperFuse and mesh upper.
PERFORMANCE: Cushioning – the highlight of the shoe. It’s amazing what ZOOM AIR can do when done right, best fits any type of guard. Traction – awesome, though questionable outdoors. Support – some support, but definitely not a lot of restrictions, so players within need of support won’t like these. Upper – comfortable and balanced, no complaints.
My Rating: 8.5/10 | Weight: 12.4 oz | Type: Low Top
So yeah, the 2015 version is probably a bit behind the 2016 one, but this one is less focused on guards, but more on everybody.
TECH: ZOOM AIR units in the heel and forefoot areas, FLYWIRE for lockdown and Fuse with mesh upper.
PERFORMANCE: Solid-ish cushioning, it’s fitting for every player though. Traction – awesome both for indoors and outdoors. Support – decent, not for players with a need of strong support. Upper material – pretty good option that fits most people.
IX. LUNAR HYPERDUNK
The oldest shoes of this list, but definitely NOT the weakest ones. Hyperdunk’s are known to be one of the most trustworthy shoes on the market and this is a true example.
TECH: Lunarlon cushion in the heel and forefoot, FLYWIRE cables and a mesh upper.
PERFORMANCE: Cushion – definitely good for a bigger player, even for a smaller one. Traction – good, just not recommended outdoors and pretty sensitive to dust. Support – plenty of that for any playstyle. Upper – it’s great and well balanced for pretty much anyone.
Last on the list is the Hyperdunk 2014. Again, another solid all-around performer that does just about everything right.
TECH: Lunarlon cushion in the heel and forefoot, Dynamic FLYWIRE, and a mesh & HyperFuse upper.
PERFORMANCE: Cushioning – pretty much the same as the 2012’s. Traction – sick! Support – once again solid. Upper material – super flexible and mobile for HyperFuse.
XI. NIKE KD X
The Nike KD X made its debut in 2017 and since then it has issued 17 releases, the latest being “City Edition 2” which came out in April 2018.
Nike KD X’s upper is constructed of Flyknit, that’s why it feels light and allows ventilation and flexibility to the foot. Responsive cushioning is provided by the full-length Zoom Air, which also returns energy impact to the foot. This shoe is perfect not just for indoor hard courts, but also for outdoor courts, thanks to its good traction.
Most people love almost everything about this shoe, from its appearance (it is notable for its unusual lacing system) down to the more technical aspects of it.
XII. NIKE LEBRON 15
Users love at how incredibly comfortable, light, flexible and mobile the Nike LeBron 15 really is. One of LeBron James’ latest signature sneakers has continued to fly off the shelves since it was unveiled last March 2018. The cushioning is a combination of Zoom Air (heel, forefoot and midfoot) and Max Air (heel) sitting atop of a thin midsole for ultimate responsiveness.
Meanwhile, the upper is made Battleknit construction – a more durable version of Flyknit that provides a seamless combination of strength and flexibility. It also uses Flywire cables, where the lace loops are connected so that the shoe easily provides total and reliable lockdown when the laces are tied and tightened.
XIII. NIKE LEBRON SOLDIER 12
Nike Lebron Soldier 12 is a series heavily-strapped sneakers. The latest iteration feature the same look-and-hook straps for a dependable fit and lockdown, so that your foot won’t get loose, saving you precious seconds on the hard court floor.
The two separate Zoom Air units give a great combination and balance of cushion and stability. The pliable rubber outsole with classic blade pattern provide good and effective traction.
Alright, that’s it! Once again, sorry if it looked very short or boring, but I really just wanted to state the main facts you need to know. I do have some reviews for the newer shoes, check those out if you’re interested.