Not long after the invention of basketball itself, basketball shoes came along in 1917 to offer players the best performance possible on the court. Basketball shoes continue to get better with every pair that hits the market.
If you’re serious about playing basketball, it can be a big help to have a great pair of shoes. With the twists, turns, sprints, and jumps you’ll be making during the game, the comfort and performance of your feet will make a big impact.
In this guide, we’ll list the top 5 basketball shoes for comfort and performance.
Why Buy Basketball Shoes?
Although you may be tempted to use running shoes when playing basketball, they’re not the best choice.
Ordinary sneakers and running shoes don’t offer the level of support that basketball players need to play their best. Your shoes need to have plenty of ankle support and traction and should be made with stability in mind.
Jumping, sprinting, and making quick moves can be tough to do. If your shoes don’t grip well enough or don’t provide adequate support, you could get hurt.
Basketball shoes also need to have cushion, but too much of it could lead to worse movement when on the court. A great basketball shoe will be made with an ideal combination of traction, cushioning, and support so that you can perform well during a game.
Using running shoes or ordinary sneakers when playing basketball could lead to poor performance and even injuries. It’s best to use dedicated basketball shoes if you want to stay safe and play well.
Best Basketball Shoes
Although there are a lot of basketball shoes available, some stand above the rest. Here are the best basketball shoes for comfort and performance in 2023.
1. Adidas Dame 8
The Adidas Dame 8 is Damian Lillard’s signature basketball shoe and is one of the best options for players today. The shoes feature a comfortable and responsive design that offers players high performance on the court.
Keep in mind that this shoe has a bit more cushioning than average, as far as basketball shoes go. This can be helpful if you want to prevent foot pain but may make it harder for you to sense the details of your feet’s movements compared to other shoes.
Another great perk of this shoe is that it’s made partly with recycled materials, so it’s a great sustainable choice.
2. Air Jordan 7
The Air Jordan 7 basketball shoe is a retro basketball shoe that was introduced in 1992. Although the shoe isn’t as popular as other Jordan basketball shoes, they offer quite a lot to players.
The Air Jordan 7 is one of the best of the earliest shoes in the Jordan family and offers great performance along with good cushioning, support, and traction. These shoes also offer a pretty good amount of ventilation as well.
Air Jordan 7 shoes won’t let you down. The shoes are pretty impressive and offer a well-rounded level of performance and comfort, so you’ll be able to play your best on the court.
Although they’re older shoes compared to other options on this list, don’t underestimate them. They’re still a great choice for basketball players who want to perform their best.
3. Nike Cosmic Unity 2
Coming from the iconic Nike brand, the Cosmic Unity 2 shoes offer great features that set them apart from alternatives. These Nike basketball shoes have a full-length Zoom Strobel that provides improved stability and helps to reduce the amount of foot fatigue you feel.
The lightweight materials of the shoes work well and allow plenty of movement, but the shoe still offers comfortable padding and support as well. Additionally, you’ll also find that these shoes can work well if you have wider feet since they aren’t very restrictive.
As an added bonus, these shoes are also made with more than 25% recycled materials. If you’re looking for a sustainable option, they’ll be a great choice.
4. APL Concept X
If you want to be ready to jump while playing basketball, the APL Concept X shoes are a great choice.
These shoes feature a high-cut design which gives you plenty of ankle support. The shoe also boasts a maximum level of cushioning and shock absorption, so you’ll have plenty of comfort when jumping and moving. Another perk of this shoe is that it’s very lightweight, so it won’t weigh you down or inhibit your maneuverability at all.
While these shoes are pretty pricey compared to other basketball shoes that are out there, they’re well worth it if you want to have the best shoes possible when playing.
5. Jordan Luka 1
The first in a signature line by Jordan Brand for Luka Dončić, the Jordan Luka 1 basketball shoes are a great choice for players.
These shoes offer an impressive level of grip and protection while also remaining breathable and comfortable. You’ll get a high level of impact protection when using these shoes and will be able to move and jump to your full extent. You’ll get a high level of responsiveness and support, and the shoe’s lightweight materials won’t weigh you down too much.
If you prefer responsive performance, then these shoes will be a great choice for becoming more agile and facilitating movements while out on the court.
Improving Your Game With Basketball Shoes
If you want to have the best basketball shoes possible when playing the game, you need to make your choice carefully. Whether you choose a classic shoe such as the Air Jordan 7 or a newer option such as the Jordan Luka 1, each of these shoes will help improve your performance.
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