Best Basketball Shoes: Top 5 Hoops Sneakers Most Recommended By Experts

There’s good reason that basketball is one of the most popular sports for Americans of all ages to play. The sport requires very little equipment (or gear) to get started, other than a ball, hoop, and the best basketball shoes to support you and your game! And there’s good reason to get invested in basketball, especially at a young age.

In addition to the cardiovascular benefits, one recent study shows the sports is beneficial for building stronger bones in children! Youth athletes who play multidirectional sports like basketball, instead of unidirectional sports like track, are able to build stronger bones that decrease their risk of bone injury in adulthood.

Additionally, a benefit of the sport for the kiddos is prevention of mental health problems. In fact, a new study shows children who play team sports such as football and basketball are less likely to suffer mental health problems. Conversely, researchers found that youngsters who only play individual sports – such as tennis, golf, or gymnastics – are at greater risk of mental health issues than kids who don’t play sports at all.

All that said, whether you’re playing for the first time, a street ball legend, or a veteran of the sport, your shoes are an incredibly important part of your game! StudyFinds is here to help you find the best basketball shoes, at least according to the pros. For our report, we visited 10 expert websites to see which kicks were most frequently recommended across these sites. Did we miss your go-to court shoes? Let us know in the comments!

Basketball players around a basketball
Basketball players around a basketball (Photo by Xiaolong Wong on Unsplash)

The List: Best Basketball Shoes, According to Experts

1. Nike LeBron XX (20)

The Nike LeBron XX (also known as the LeBron 20) debuted just months ago and according to Sports Keeda, “has already become one of the most beloved shoe models.”  It was no surprise that the LeBron XX was at the top of our list.

multi-colored basketball shoe
Nike LeBron XX (20)

The low-cut shoe, named after one of the greatest basketball players of all-time (and no, this is not a debate of MJ vs. LeBron!), was noted for its comfort for people with any size foot.  The XX feature a “flexible, lightweight, and breathable knitted fabric, giving your feet more space to sit comfortably,” says RealSport101.

No detail was too small for the LeBron XX, with Weartesters mentioning that the shoe’s grip was a “beast.” The aforementioned low cut, in combination with carbon fiber shanks in the midfoot, and additional heel support allow greater flexibility and explosive movements for basketball players of any age.

According to Designer Scene, “The LeBron 20 is stylistically different from the previous Nike LeBrons in that it has a lot more understated design, yet its performance is still as strong as ever. It meets the needs of athletes who wish to move quickly on the court as well as those who need a lot of impact protection. The fact that this shoe has the look for off-court use is already a plus.”

2. Nike KD 15

The Nike KD 15, named after current Brooklyn Nets Superstar Kevin Durant, were also highly recommended by the experts. The KD 15, unlike previous KD models, was also a low-cut shoe. This shoe was consistently praised for the technology upgrade within the shoes.  These upgrades include “a full-length Zoom Air Strobel unit and a Cushlon foam midsole for enhanced cushioning while playing” according to Complex.  The full-length Zoom Air Strobel were consistently mentioned in reviews, with Weartesters commenting that the Air Strobel “feels like springs under your feet.”

black and multicolored Nike basketball shoe
Nike KD 15

The KD 15, much like the LeBron XX, was also praised for its comfort. Design Scene notes that the cushioning within the KD 15 feels “responsiveness, bounciness, and impact protection in a special unique way. The fabrics are comfortable to play in and properly adapt to your feet.”

3. Jordan 36

The Jordan 36, which are named after Hall of Famer Michael Jordan (no, we’re STILL not debating MJ vs. LeBron) were also highly regarded by the experts. The Jordan 36s received high praise for the “cutting-edge technologies” they provided, according to Design Scene. Much like the KD 15s, the Jordan 36s are equipped with the full-length Zoom Air Strobel within the midsole that is supplemented by a Zoom Air unit extending from the forefoot.

multi-colored blue green basketball shoe
Jordan 36

But the Jordan 36s don’t stop there. In addition to the Air Strobel, they feature a phylon midsole, eclipse plate, and leno jacquard weave. All of these additional features provide an incredible level of cushioning, traction, and superior fit.  HighSnobiety firmly agrees, saying that the jacquard weave “offers a lightweight yet durable ride.”

The Jordan 36 was a clear top choice by the experts, with WearTesters calling is “one of the best performance models of the year.”

4. Under Armour Curry Flow 8

Coming up next in the list of top basketball shoes are the Curry Flow 8’s, named after Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry. The Curry Flow 8s are much different than the prior shoes for one main reason – they contain zero rubber.  Don’t let that discourage you, HighSnobiety notes that “Curry Flow 8 promises the best ride yet with a fully rubberless build that goes big on cushioning for a zippy, fast-reaction game.”

black and white basketball shoe
Under Armour Curry Flow 8

Fast reaction is a critical element of Steph Curry’s game, so it’s no shock that quick movement and flexibility was a necessity from the shoes. RunRepeat did not hold back in their praise “If you want a basketball shoe that will help you feel surefooted when stepping on a banana peel, this is it!”

The Flow 8s were noted for their comfort, cushioning, and support they offer your feet and ankles in side-to-side movements. These shoes, unlike others, were also recommended for outdoor usage for those who might prefer to hoop at the local park.  If you’re looking for “all-around comfortable, versatile basketball shoe that will serve you well whether you play indoors or outdoors,” as Active mentions, then this is the shoe for you!

5. Kyrie 7

The Kyrie 7s, named after Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, round out the top five list. Much like the other shoes, the Kyrie 7s were highly rated for their design, cushion, comfort, and flexibility. Starting with the design, Highsnobiety finds that the Nike Kyrie 7 “boasts a typically bold set of colorways with subtle personal detailing throughout.”

basketball shoes, white and navy blue
Nike Kyrie 7

But looks are only a small part of the equation for what makes the Kyrie 7’s a great shoe.  The Kyrie 7s feature a 360-degree traction pattern, extra cushion support, and an Air Zoom Turbo Unit. Dunk or Three writes about the Kyrie 7’s “Not only does it have a strong zoom unit that runs throughout the entire model, but the padded collar gives extra support to your Achilles tendon.

Your Achilles isn’t the only thing that would be protected by the Kyrie 7s, according to experts. “We can highly recommend it for the nimble players who perform plenty of side-to-side movements and appreciate that extra ankle support,” says RunRepeat.

You might also be interested in:


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.