The Very Best NIKE Basketball Shoes of the Modern Era

From various signature lines to budget shoes, Nike really has it all now. With that, two things become clear. One, a casual buyer doesn’t even have to look for other brands since the selection is so massive. Two, it can be really tough to choose the ONE sneaker that fits you and your playstyle best. That’s why I picked out the very best Nike basketball shoes that all should do the job for you.

Six shoes that all shine in comfort, performance, tech specs, quality materials and a reasonable price. Here are the best Nike basketball shoes!


MY #1 RECOMMENDATION

LeBron Soldier IX: Side

LEBRON SOLDIER IX

One of the most versatile and just overall killer shoe in all areas from Nikey. It’s difficult to pick out a drawback when you put on a shoe, feel super locked-in and comfy and don’t feel like putting on anything else.

My Rating: 9.5/10 | Price: $130 | Weight: 14.64 oz | Type: High Top

The Soldier IX has ZOOM AIR units in the heel and forefoot for cushioning, Flywire cables for proper lockdown and the upper is nice mesh with Fuse in on high-wear areas.

The latest Soldier 11 comes close but doesn’t top the greatness the 9 really is. ¬†I mean everything about it is great and would fit pretty much any kind of player, guard or forward. And that’s not usual to LeBron’s both signature lines. The cushion is soft and responsive, traction’s killer and awesome for outdoors, support is literally insane with all the features (major props to the straps) and while the upper is pretty basic, it does cut down the price and

The cushion is soft and responsive, traction’s killer and awesome for outdoors, support is literally insane with all the features (major props to the straps) and while the upper is pretty basic, it does cut down the price and they still feel great.

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MY #2 RECOMMENDATION 

HYPERREV 2016

HyperRev 2016: Side

Not many expected this one to be such a cold blooded performer. For $110 at retail, it’s hard to find something better. This is very balanced guard’s shoe that does absolutely everything a guard would require from his footwear.

My Rating: 9.5/10 | Price: $110 | Weight: 12.98 oz | Type: Mid Top

The HyperRev 2016 has ZOOM units in the heel and forefoot areas for cushioning, while the upper is also mesh with Fuse.

This is seriously a king of Nike’s budget models, well at least one of them. One of most comfortable cushion setups I’ve ever tried, along with killer traction and just overall a great fit.

The support/lockdown aspect comes down to preference since this is focused more on mobility/comfort than on pure support/lock-in.

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KOBE XI EM

Kobe XI EM: Side

This one doesn’t come at a low price but it actually lives up to the price and promise, if you’re willing to spend that much. If you are, you’ll be rewarded with comfort, performance and quality tech & materials.

My Rating: 9.5/10 | Price: $160 | Weight: 11 oz | Type: Low Top

The Kobe 11 EM has a removable Lunarlon midsole with a foam pad in the heel for cushioning. They also feature Flywire cables for that sweet containment & lockdown and the upper is engineered mesh with Fuse.

They fit just right in my opinion, so as the cushion which is that perfect point right between court feel and bounce. Traction is AMAZING and one of the least sensitive outsoles I’ve played in, like ever. It’s also great for outdoors and the support is on point for a low top. You’d ask why can a low top provide support? Try them on and you’ll see.

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KD 9

KD 9: Side

My favorite KD shoe of all time so far. This just screams comfort, freedom, lightness, and softness. And those are just one of most pleasant words to describe a good shoe.

My Rating: 9/10 | Price: $150 | Weight: 12.04 oz | Type: Low Top

The KD 9 has a full-length ZOOM AIR cushion setup, along with a separated forefoot unit. The upper is pure Flyknit at its best.

One thing that everybody talks about when the KD 9 is brought up is the addictive cushioning. And I agree with that. It’s as close as it can get to a perfect bouncy setup if you prefer that kind of thing over responsiveness and court feel.

Traction is amazing, these aren’t too hard on support but they offer you a secure fit without compromising mobility. And don’t take these outdoors since the outsole and the upper aren’t durable.

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PG1

PG1: Side

I admit I had low hopes for Paul George’s first signature sneaker. And I was wrong. Very wrong. The Nike PG1 is a great overall shoe that offers performance, comfort, and simplicity for a quick guard. All for a very affordable price.

My Rating: 9/10 | Price: $110 | Weight: 13.05 oz | Type: Low Top

The PG1 has a ZOOM unit in the forefoot along with a Phylon midsole for cushioning, Flywire cables and the upper is mesh & Fuse in the front, nubuck in the back.

So if you’re one of those light, quick, explosive guards that need lots of court feel, responsiveness, and support, these ones are for you. A very minimalistic cushion setup that works, great traction and killer support. Wouldn’t take these outdoors but other than that, they’re fine.

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AIR MAX INFURIATE

Air Max Infuriate: Side

Oh man. Where to start with these. Someone in the comments actually wanted me to check these out. These things cost a mere $80 and for that, you get SUPERB value. Huge shout out to that special someone who recommended me the Infuriate.

My Rating: 9/10 | Price: $80 | Weight: 12.24 oz | Type: Low Top

The Infuriate has a Phylon midsole with an Air Max unit in the heel for cushioning, Flywire cable system and the upper is soft mesh with Fuse.

Put this at the top of your budget shoe list. Seriously, everyone should do it. Solid fit, the cushion feels pretty basic but definitely not bad, the traction is great and it’s great for outdoors.

Support is on the lighter side and very athletic & heavier players wouldn’t like these too much.

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Alright, that is it! My golden list of Nikey’s basketball sneakers! I hope you found it useful.