To achieve the best experience while playing basketball, you need to wear a shoe that’s both comfortable and performs well. So I picked the best basketball shoes to play in, which means they’re comfortable, but also perform well.
The best basketball shoes to play in are the shoes that are very comfortable, even during long matches, have a great one-to-one fit, solid ventilation and also perform well (traction, cushioning…). I will feature six shoes from the most recent years (2014-2016).
AIR JORDAN XX9 LOW. I realy don’t know what it is, but the low version of the XX9 feels just better. It’s kind of lighter and molds to the foot a bit more firmly, resulting in a snug fit. The XX9 mid is awesome, but the king for me is the low top.
Biggest reason for that is definitely the upper, which is made out of the one and only Performance Woven. SUPER light, stretchy, soft and has solid ventilation. It’s also surprisingly durable for a soft material. Then you got some interior padding, which is a nice touch. Seriously the best experience of putting a shoe on for the first time.
As for performance – well there’s a reason why I gave it a 9.5/10. Traction – amazing both indoors and outdoors, cushion – a great versatile setup not just for guards, support – pretty incredible for low’s featuring Flight Web.
2. AIR JORDAN XX9. Of course the famous AJ XX9 had to be in the list, and for a good reason. It’s one of the most (if not the #1) versatile shoes ever, comfort and performance-wise. The Air Jordan XXX comes close, but a lot of people are having problems with it.
My Rating: 8.5/10 | Price: $185 | Weight: 12.7 oz | Type: Mid Top
Regarding performance, again pretty much the same stuff as the low. Traction is great both indoors and outdoors. There’s a ZOOM AIR unit in the forefoot, which is soft and responsive and then there’s Phylon foam in the heel. Support is awesome even with that soft upper, along with solid containment. The XX9 Low had some minor tweaks, which I think helped me decide what’s the #1 pick.
3. ADIDAS D LILLARD 2.0 BOOST PRIMEKNIT. The standard Lillard 2.0 is hands down my favorite shoe of 2016 so far, and this Primeknit version of it makes for an ideal choice for those that are looking for a balance between comfort and performance.
My Rating: 9/10 | Price: $120 | Type: Mid Top
The upper is, well, Primeknit. Comparing it to the XX9’s Performance Woven, Primeknit is a bit lighter, a tad bit more flexible, but it’s definitely not as durable. That’s the only drawback. Regardless, the comfort on these is just as incredible. Primeknit is known for that and fans of soft shoe uppers will absolutely love these.
So the Lillard 2.0 Primeknit has BOOST cushioning (the regular version has BOUNCE instead), which is really well-balanced. Traction pattern is Continental Rubber, so really awesome outdoors too, as well as durable. Support is everything you need – a supportive fit, TORSION SYSTEM for arch support and SprintFrame for midfoot support. Hands down the #1 choice for any guard.
Best Place to Buy: EASTBAY
4. NIKE KD 8. In my opinion the most successful KD shoe out of all. Big thanks to the recent tech. A very smart low top choice and a very versatile one. Keving Durant is a big dude – so don’t think the shoe is JUST for guards.
My Rating: 8.5/10 | Price: $180 | Weight: 12 oz | Type: Low Top
The upper is Flyweave, which is similar to all those soft upper setups (Primeknit, Woven…). I think Flyweave is really the “in-between” version – not the softest, not the firmest. Still, super comfortable, lots of ventilation and a proper fit.
For performance, you got full-length ZOOM AIR cushioning with very good responsiveness, solid traction in all conditions (not good outdoors though) and wicked support for a low top. Seriously, Nike has been killing it with their low top support setups.
5. NIKE LEBRON SOLDIER IX. This is an interesting one. I’m picking this one just because the amount lockdown and containment this shoe offers is CRAZY. You can’t even feel uncomfortable when your foot is fully locked in, stable and contained like that.
My Rating: 9.5/10 | Price: $130 | Weight: 14.7 oz | Type: Mid-High Top
The upper is mesh, so it’s a bit more durable and firm than soft materials. Mesh is known for excellent ventilation. The biggest drawback of the shoe is actually putting it on – very annoying. But that aside – amazing in all ways.
Support is what truly makes the shoe shine. You got a snug fit, FLYWIRE and those straps for 360 degree lock-in. Crazy. Then there’s durable traction and balanced ZOOM AIR cushioning. It’s cool that even a guard could wear these.
6. UNDER ARMOUR CURRY TWO. Last on the list, is the famous Curry Two. Just a note, there’s a low top version, so check that out if you’re more into lows. But yeah, another pleasant experience both comfort and performance wise.
My Rating: 8.5/10 | Price: $130 | Weight: 14 oz | Type: Mid Top
The upper is synthetics paired with Under Armour’s SpeedForm. Truly the highlight of the shoe. A very balanced material with pretty good ventilation and durability. It’s made to adapt to your foot, which it does nicely. Fit could feel kinda weird for some people, but you get used to it and then it feels very nice.
Traction is awesome, then you got Charged cushioning which is pretty firm, so it’s a guard’s setup. And then support could be concerning for some people because of the very loose ankle collar. Don’t buy this if you want max ankle lock-in. Other than that, the shoe plays well.
QUICK NOTE: I’ve made a brand new, updated list of this type not long ago. I suggest you check it out HERE for different, newer shoes.
Alright, that’s it for this post, I hope I helped you out! If you’re still not sure which one to go with, just hit me up with a question! I’m always curious to what you have to say.