Aaaaah, the famous question in the basketball world: what are the best basketball shoes? I’m actually really excited and happy to talk to you guys about this, ’cause I have some thoughts. 😀
So today we will be discussing what’s wrong with the phrase “the best basketball shoes”, explaining how to fix this phrase, giving some insight about the different types of players, player styles and shoes. I will also be recommending the best shoes for certain types of players.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH “THE BEST BASKETBALL SHOES”?
Simple. There is NO best basketball shoe. There never was. This may sound obvious and silly for an experienced ball player, but quite the opposite for just a casual one.
If you’ve ever heard this phrase from someone, that’s because they meant the shoe was the most POPULAR or the most HYPED or ANTICIPATED.
But in terms of a best PERFORMING basketball shoe to play in, there’s no best model. Why? Because every single one of us is different.
Stick with me and I’ll talk about some more interesting stuff further on.
HOW TO FIX THE PHRASE
It’s just as simple as changing “the best basketball shoe” to “the best basketball shoe for …….“.
Replace the dots with guard, center, heavy player, light player, 7 ft player, explosive guard, shooter and so on.
After you start thinking around this fixed phrase and replacing the dots with YOUR criteria, continue reading.
SO WHAT ARE THE BEST SHOES FOR ME?
Everyone is completely different and everyone has a different play style. A guard-oriented shoe can’t suit a center’s needs and vice versa.
That’s why you should first figure out what is your play style (it would be very weird if you play basketball and don’t know your play style). Then you should understand the shoe’s tech and decide what suits you best. Then you need to choose your shoes depending on how often you get injured. Low tops, mid tops or high tops. Then there are all these different materials that suit everyone differently.
So to sum this up, here the main aspects you should consider before choosing your best shoe:
Position: Basically consider it like this: are you a guard, a forward or a center?
Guards have the biggest shoe selection today. Most of the major brand’s footwear is actually meant for guards. A guard’s shoe should have very good fit, foot support and durability. It should also be quite light and cushioning should be as responsive as possible.
Check my top recommendations for the best basketball shoes for guards right here.
Bigger players like small forwards or power forwards will need a balanced package. Something that has support, stability and a good balance between softness and responsiveness.
Check out my recommendations for the best all around shoes of 2015 here.
Lastly, big men like centers will need something with good impact protection and bouncy cushioning. Then the shoe should be a high top or a mid top. I don’t want to expand too much here.
Check out my picks for the best shoes for big men right here.
Your weight and height: Big players will need more softness and impact protection. Small, light players will need more responsiveness and court feel.
Prefered cushioning technology: Cushioning is the #1 thing you should look at before getting a shoe. Nike offers ZOOM AIR or Lunarlon cushioning. adidas uses BOOST, BOUNCE or adiPrene+. Air Jordan uses ZOOM AIR or FlightSpeed. Lastly, Under Armour uses Charged or MicroG.
This may seem really complicated for someone.
Fear not, I have a page explaining shoe technologies in a very basic, easy to understand manner. Check it out here.
Material preference: This completely depends on personal taste. If you like soft, loose and light materials then go with mesh, woven, knit etc. If you’re more of a fan of harder ones then go with leather, Fuse, suede or nubuck.
I really can’t recommend one over the other since it’s different for everyone. Just know that softer materials are a lot lighter, softer and usually more comfortable. They have zero restrictions. The downside is they are not as durable as harder materials.
Harder materials are more durable, tight and heavy. They are a lot less flexible, but they offer better support and containment. Go with them if you roll your ankles often.
Sure, you could just go blind and buy the most popular shoes, but to get the most out of your cash, you should really think about this.
I have a completely separate section for the best shoes in various aspects. Go there and find your criteria. Right now, there are articles for the best guard, big men, budget, low top and mid top shoes.
BEST SHOES SECTION
Currently, people are saying that the Air Jordan XX9 is the best shoe EVER. Again, that’s a false statement since there’s no 1 best shoe. But I can agree that they’re really really good. I have a review of them, so check it out if you’re interested.
MY FAVORITE SHOE
My favorite shoe right now is the adidas D Lillard 2. It’s one hell of a basketball shoe, let me tell you that. But again, that’s for me. If it’s good for you, you’ll have to figure that out for yourself.
The selection is simply mind-blowing these days. Browse through all the shoe reviews and pick one you like!
Here are the other sneakers that are considered heavy favorites (and trended in social media for a while):
NIKE LEBRON 15
ADIDAS HARDEN VOL. 2
ADIDAS EXPLOSIVE BOUNCE
AIR JORDAN XXXIII
NIKE KD X
So there you have it. There’s no best shoe and there never was. It all depends on your preferences. To wrap it up, these are the things to consider before buying:
Position, height and weight, preferred tech and preferred materials, ankle height (low top, mid top or high top).
Stick to these criteria, read reviews and get informed. Then you’ll be able to find the perfect shoe.
I hope I gave you some insight about choosing the best basketball shoe FOR YOU. It’s a difficult thing to explain in one post, but I hope you got the whole point. If you found it helpful, go ahead and share it so other people will learn too!