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Best Basketball Shoes for the MONEY: 6 AWESOME Cheap Models

If you think about it, each year we keep getting better basketball sneakers at lower prices. Competition is becoming the main factor between brands and it’s awesome for us who buy the shoes. But after so many releases in 2015, 2016 and 2017 it can be challenging to choose one good performer, especially if you’re on a budget. That’s why I made this fresh, updated and optimised list of the best basketball shoes for the money.

Here are six best basketball shoes for the money that are all amazing performers, they’re comfortable and have very affordable price tags.




Best Basketball Shoes for the Money: Light 'Em Up 2

This is a phenomenal deal. No one ever expected some random budget shoe from adidas priced AT 80 DOLLARS to perform this good. Versatility, performance, comfort, everything is there. And you spend a fraction of how much today’s “mainstream” shoes cost.

My Rating: 9/10 | Price: $80 | Weight: 13.75 oz | Type: Mid Top

The Light ‘Em Up 2 has full-length BOUNCE cushion and the upper is engineered mesh with textile.

The most attractive thing about the shoe is its all-around performance, simple as that. Every area works well and nicely with each other. They’re really comfortable once you break them in, traction’s awesome and not sensitive to dust at all, BOUNCE is good as always and while there isn’t a ton of support (D Rose 7 level type of support), there’s still plenty for just about any type of player.

Just make sure to go half a size down since they fit a bit long. Extremely similar to the D Lillard 2.0 which also fits long.

Best Place to Buy: AMAZON




Best Basketball Shoes for the Money: D Lillard 2.0

Yeah, the just mentioned Lillard 2 takes my second spot. I’m gonna say this. This is the best performing shoe of 2015 and out of this list. Why it’s not #1? It’s because the Light ‘Em Up 2’s are $80 and these are $105, so while the Light ‘Em Up’s aren’t as amazing, they’re much cheaper and the performance difference isn’t that huge.

My Rating: 10/10 | Price: $105 | Weight: 15 oz | Type: Mid Top

The Lillard 2.0 has the same full-length BOUNCE cushion, SprintFrame for midfoot support, TORSION SYSTEM for torsional support and a Continental Rubber outsole for great durability outdoors.

These have zero problems. These don’t even have any minor problems. Cushion, traction, support, materials, comfort – everything is there at their top levels. And these are great for outdoors. And you get everything at $105. You won’t get this deal from 2017’s kicks.

Make sure to check out THIS guide of the shoe’s material differences depending on the colorway. This way, you’ll know what’s the best option for you!

Best Place to Buy: AMAZON | EASTBAY



Best Basketball Shoes for the Money: Prime Hype DF 2016

Nikey has been putting out some quality budget shoes lately, and this is the top example. Has everything a player would need, plus a bit more. And the price is insane.

My Rating: 8.5/10 | Price: $90 |  Type: High Top

The Prime Hype DF 2016 has a Dual Fusion cushion setup (a dual-density Phylon midsole), Flywire cables for lockdown and the upper is mesh.

For such basic tech specs, this thing performs great. I didn’t feel like I was playing in a “cheap” or “underdog” shoe. That cushion setup was actually pretty soft, comfort is there, so was the traction. There isn’t much support but the shoe is pretty mobile and I barely felt any restrictions/annoyances while doing quicker moves.

For 90 bucks, it’s difficult to find any better.

Best Place to Buy: AMAZON



Best Basketball Shoes for the Money: Mamba Instinct

This is a very successful upgrade from the Mentality II. Not much has changed but the changes were enough to make me call this one a great performer. It’s a perfect shoe for a lighter, more low-profile guard.

My Rating: 9/10 | Price: $100 | Type: Low Top

The Mamba Instinct has a removable Lunarlon midsole for cushioning and the upper is Flyweave with Fuse.

So if you’re one of those quick, light, low to the ground type of players, this is a fantastic option on a budget. Kobe and Nike really nailed this time. The cushion is super minimal but it’s extremely responsive and provides tons of court feel while still offering a tiny bit of impact protection. Traction is great and you can take these outdoors too. Support is killer in all ways and that’s a usual for Kobe’s line.

The upper is premium Flyweave with Fuse reinforcements for extra durability. And this is awesome for a $100 shoe.

Best Place to Buy: AMAZON | FINISH LINE



Best Basketball Shoes for the Money: Zoom Live 2017

A low top that hits all the marks in the right places. I think Nike really nailed their formula for that cheap but quality low top. And the Zoom Live 2017 is an excellent example.

My Rating: 9/10 | Price: $100 | Weight: 12 oz | Type: Low Top

The Zoom Live 2017 has a Phylon midsole along with a ZOOM unit in the forefoot for cushioning. The upper is mesh with Nylon backing it up and Fuse on high-wear areas.

Once again, I think these are best for the “low to the ground” style guard. The cushion setup is once again minimal and responsive, traction is awesome and it’s fine for outdoors. I had no problems with support, even for a low, and they’re definitely comfortable after a short break-in period.

Best Place to Buy: AMAZON | FINISH LINE



Best Basketball Shoes for the Money: HyperLive

I call this one the Zoom Live’s older brother. They have a similar compact look, they’re lows and they perform really well at a great price. The only major difference is this one’s a bit older.

My Rating: 9/10 | Price: $100 | Weight: 12 oz | Type: Low Top

The HyperLive has a Phylon midsole for cushioning, Flywire cables for lockdown and the upper Breathe Tech mesh with Fuse for durability.

If you liked what you read about the Zoom Live 2017, then you’ll like these too. Awesome traction’s that’s outdoor-friendly, a very minimal & responsive cushion setup, awesome support and a fit that’s really snug but pretty comfy after a break-in period.

Can’t go wrong with these if you’re that type of player.

Best Place to Buy: AMAZON | FINISH LINE


Alright, that’s all for now! Hope you found the list useful! Maybe you’re gonna get one of these?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these shoes. Maybe there’s a question in your head?

Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Best Basketball Shoes for the MONEY: 6 AWESOME Cheap Models”

  1. Jack says:

    So bad you didn’t pick another great bang for the buck, Nike Infuriate! You must check this bad boy!! Loll

    1. Julius Kralikas says:

      I didn’t test them, perhaps I will!

      1. Jack says:

        I just saw the review….it was amazing! thank you!

        1. Julius Kralikas says:

          Glad you liked it!

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