Adidas Basketball Shoes

The Best Adidas Basketball Shoes

In recent years, Adidas sneakers have become more and more popular. Collaborations like Kanye West’s Yeezy line or Beyonce’s take on the classic Superstar are selling out in minutes and the Boost cushioning technique has redefined comfort in performance shoes. So it’s no wonder that Adidas is gaining market share every month and growing much quicker than Nike or any other big footwear company!

But Adidas is not only producing hot lifestyle sneakers, they also make some of the best performance basketball shoes on the market and signed NBA stars like James Harden, Damian Lillard, and Donovan Mitchell to represent the brand.

Starting in 2017, I have analyzed all competent performance reviews that I could find on sneaker blogs or Youtube channels (1037 in total!) to create a best-of list sorted by average critic rating.

The following list shows the five Adidas basketball shoes that received the best average rating:

  • 8.7 rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • Damian Lillard's 7th signature shoe is a significant upgrade over last years model.
  • A perfectly balanced shoe that fits any position or player.
  • 8.4 rating based on 7 expert reviews
  • One of the best Harden models to date
  • Great shoe for fans of the full-length Boost setup
  • 8.4 rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • The D Rose 11 is a solid all-around performer with nice cushion and traction
  • Great for wide footers or those who prefer a roomier fit.
  • 8.3 rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • The Adidas Exhibit A is a solid new entry into Adidas's non-signature basketball shoe lineup.
  • Great for players that have a quick and shifty play style.
  • 8.3 rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • The budget model Harden Stepback 2 is arguably better than the signature Volume 5.
  • Best for guards or wings who want court feel and don't need a lot of compression.
  • 8.3 rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • A solid budget shoe and an improvement over the D.O.N. Issue #1
  • Players looking for a very supportive shoe with good impact protection
  • 8.2 rating based on 7 expert reviews
  • Trae Young's first signature shoe provides some of Adidas's best cushioning.
  • Fans of Trae Young that are looking for a comfortable cushion setup.
  • 8.0 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • The Adidas D Rose Son of Chi features good traction and solid support.
  • Players with quick playstyles and don't need lots of impact protection.
  • 8.0 rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • The D.O.N Issue #3 is a dependable shoe with solid materials and great traction.
  • Best for players looking for a responsive and lightweight shoe.
  • 7.9 rating based on 7 expert reviews
  • Damian Lillard's latest shoe is fun but inconsistent.
  • Recommended if you play on clean courts and looking for comfortable, supportive shoes.
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The 10 Best Adidas Basketball Performance Shoes

1. Adidas Dame 7

Performance Rating:
8.7
Damian Lillard's 7th signature shoe is a significant upgrade over last years model.
Overall rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
Balanced cushioning
Solid traction indoors and outdoors
Cons:
Not the most premium materials
What do the experts think?
The traction on the Dame 7 performs well - significantly better than the 6. Good news if you play outdoors a lot: the outsole is made of very durable rubber and performs well on the blacktop. The Lightstrike foam cushion setup is also an upgrade over the 6 and is a good balance of impact protection, court feel, and responsiveness. The materials are of decent quality, well ventilated, and get the job done performance-wise. The support offers good lateral stability and containment but the low cut doesn't provide any additional ankle support. Overall, the Dame 7 is a great all-around performer - especially for the price!

2. Adidas Harden Vol. 6

Performance Rating:
8.4
One of the best Harden models to date
Overall rating based on 7 reviews
Pros:
The traction is better than last year
Full-length Boost midsole is plush
Cons:
Materials don't feel premium
What do the experts think?
The Adidas Harden Vol. 6 is a much-needed improvement compared to Vol. 5. Reviewers agree that the traction performs very well, and is minimally affected by dusty conditions. Adidas's Boost foam makes a return on this year's iteration, and the shoe feels responsive. The court feel on the shoe is also fantastic. The materials start out stiff, but they quickly become foot-conforming and comfortable. The fit is also much more forgiving than previous Harden models. Most reviewers had no issues with the sizing. When it comes to the support and lockdown, the materials and fit combine to keep your feet secure no matter what movements you're making. Adidas returns to their roots with the full-length Boost, similar to the Harden Vol. 1, and they've revitalized the Harden lineup with the release of the Harden Vol. 6.

3. Adidas D Rose 11

Performance Rating:
8.4
The D Rose 11 is a solid all-around performer with nice cushion and traction
Overall rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
Comfortable cushion
Very good traction
Cons:
Unorthodox fit
Materials could be better
What do the experts think?
The traction pattern is very similar to the D-Rose 7 which had some of the best traction ever. The D-Rose 11 will provide great traction indoors and outdoors after they break in a bit. The cushion features a good implementation of full-length Lightstrike. You'll get a nice balance of cushioning and impact protection with a bouncy heel and a firmer forefoot. The materials are nothing special and feel a little flimsy and cheap but they get the job done performance-wise. The D Rose 11 runs a half size big and reviewers noted a wide roomy fit in the forefoot. A great fit for athletes with wide feet, but if you have narrow feet you better stay away. The support provides very good lateral containment and stability, but there is no real ankle support. Overall, the D Rose 11 is a solid performer that's especially recommended to wide footers.

4. Adidas Exhibit A

Performance Rating:
8.3
The Adidas Exhibit A is a solid new entry into Adidas's non-signature basketball shoe lineup.
Overall rating based on 4 reviews
Pros:
Lightweight
Has everything you need for support
Cons:
Stable cushion sacrifices impact protection
What do the experts think?
Reviewers agree that the traction on the Adidas Exhibit A is very reliable. It performed consistently on both clean and dusty courts while needing only minimal wiping. The Lightstrike cushion leans more towards the firm side of things, but it is lightweight and responsive. There's a small amount of impact protection in the heel, but the setup is clearly catering towards players the favor court feel. The materials perform well on the court, they are comfortable and feel good to play in. Support in the ankle area of the shoe is a strong point. Coupled with a wide base for lateral stability, the Exhibit A is a very supportive shoe. Overall, Adidas has delivered a solid performer with the new Exhibit A. It features everything you could want for traction and support. On top of that, it's built well and positioned at a great price of just $110.

5. Adidas Harden Stepback 2

Performance Rating:
8.3
The budget model Harden Stepback 2 is arguably better than the signature Volume 5.
Overall rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
Great fit
Nice materials for the price.
Cons:
Minimal impact protection
Some heel slippage
What do the experts think?
The traction on the Harden Stepback 2 is pretty similar to the Volume 5, but performs better. The outsole is durable enough for outdoor use as well. The cushion setup features Bounce and has great responsiveness and court feel. There isn't much impact protection or compression though. The materials are really nice for a budget line shoe and feel great on foot. The fit runs slightly large and it is recommended to go a half size down. The overall fit is great partially due to the half bootie construction. The support performs well for the most part. The lateral containment and stability are solid, but reviewers had some issues with heel slippage when breaking these in. Overall the Harden Stepback 2 is a great performer, especially for the price!

6. Adidas D.O.N Issue #2

Performance Rating:
8.3
A solid budget shoe and an improvement over the D.O.N. Issue #1
Overall rating based on 4 reviews
Pros:
Very supportive
Solid cushioning
Cons:
Inconsistent traction
Bulky and heavy
What do the experts think?
Reviewers found that the traction is somewhat inconsistent and doesn't bite well on all surfaces. The outsole isn't very durable either. The cushion setup is bouncy and responsive with good impact protection. The court feel isn't great though. The materials are durable and thick, but kind of bulky. Overall, they are comfortable with good padding but don't conform to your feet very well. The support is great and the highlight of the shoe. You will feel very locked in with these! Overall the Don Issue #2 is a solid budget performer with great support and good traction.

7. Adidas Trae Young 1

Performance Rating:
8.2
Trae Young's first signature shoe provides some of Adidas's best cushioning.
Overall rating based on 7 reviews
Pros:
One of Adidas's better cushion setups
The materials are sturdy and comfortable
Cons:
Lack of lace loops
Inconsistent traction on dusty courts
What do the experts think?
Trae Young turned a lot of heads with his play during the 2020-2021 NBA playoffs. He also happened to debut his first signature shoe during this playoff run. Now that the shoe is available to the public, reviewers agree that the traction is inconsistent. One mentions that the shoe picks up a lot of dust on dirtier courts. All reviewers agree that cushioning is the best part of the shoe. The combination of Lightstrike throughout with Boost in the heel keeps the shoe low to the ground and comfortable. The materials used provide structure and help the shoe feel sturdy around your foot. If you can get a pair in the right size, there shouldn't be a problem with the fit. One thing to note is that there aren't many lace loops on the shoe; this makes it hard to customize the fit. Support and lockdown get the job done when it comes to Trae's first shoe with Adidas. Overall, the Adidas Trae Young 1 is a fun shoe to play in as long as you stick to playing on cleaner courts.

8. Adidas D Rose Son Of Chi

Performance Rating:
8.0
The Adidas D Rose Son of Chi features good traction and solid support.
Overall rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Traction is consistent on all surfaces
Supportive and low to the ground
Cons:
Materials aren't the best
What do the experts think?
Adidas's latest D Rose shoe, the D Rose Son of Chi, Is a solid performing shoe at a great price of just $100. The shoe has traction that performs surprisingly well on all surface materials. It feels great to play in. Adidas uses Bounce cushioning in this model, and reviewers agree that it feels responsive. The impact protection is adequate but could be better. It doesn't use the best materials, but they get the job done. The fit feels snug since the materials don't stretch much. The lateral support in the shoe is very sturdy. There are no issues with stability either. One reviewer did note that this may not be the best shoe for those preferring mobility over stability. Overall, the Adidas D Rose Son of Chi is a good option in the budget-friendly price range.

9. Adidas D.O.N Issue #3

Performance Rating:
8.0
The D.O.N Issue #3 is a dependable shoe with solid materials and great traction.
Overall rating based on 5 reviews
Pros:
Traction grips well indoors and outdoors.
Comfortable materials.
Cons:
Heel slippage.
Not much impact protection.
What do the experts think?
The traction on the D.O.N Issue #3 is the best and most consistent part of the shoe. The rubber is thick, and the pattern is wide, which helps the shoe grip well on most surfaces. The cushion is full-length Lightstrike, and it feels very responsive. It also feels light when on feet. Reviewers agree that the D.O.N Issue #3 features comfortable materials that don't need any break-in time. The support and lockdown of the shoe seem consistent laterally. However, the consistency can vary depending on your size when it comes to heel lockdown. Overall, the Adidas D.O.N Issue #3 is a steady shoe with consistent traction, but make sure to get the right size.

10. Adidas Dame 8

Performance Rating:
7.9
Damian Lillard's latest shoe is fun but inconsistent.
Overall rating based on 7 reviews
Pros:
Bounce Pro cushion is great
Very supportive
Cons:
Traction is inconsistent on dust
What do the experts think?
The latest entry in Damian Lillard's signature shoe line with Adidas, the Dame 8, features a new cushion setup. It utilizes Bounce Pro, a cushion that is a pleasure to play in and feels great underfoot. When it comes to the traction, the Dame 8 is too inconsistent. Dust is a big problem for these. The materials are light and feel comfortable on foot. Make sure to get the right size as the fit can be tricky for those that prefer a snug fit. The support and lockdown are also not an issue at all for these. Overall, the Adidas Dame 8 has a few pros going for it, but it doesn't quite live up to the performance of some of the earlier models in the lineup.

The Top 3 Reasons to buy Adidas Basketball Shoes

1. Boost Cushion Technology

“Boost is life!” If you have watched as many sneaker review videos as I have, then you are probably familiar with this phrase. The Boost cushioning technology was released in 2014 and provides unmatched comfort while still remaining responsive enough for high impact sports like basketball. Check out this video to learn more:

WHAT IS ADIDAS BOOST...

2. You’re a fan of James Harden, Damian Lillard or Derrick Rose

Adidas doesn’t have the number of stars under contract that Nike has, but they feature two of the most exciting players in the NBA right now:

James Harden is one of the most efficient scores in today’s games and has led the league in scoring for three consecutive seasons from 2017/2018 to 2019/2020

Damian Lillard is one of the best playoff performers of this era highlighted by his insane, series-winning, buzzer beater against the OKC Thunder in the 2019 playoffs.

Derrick Rose, the 2011 NBA MVP, is not the same player anymore after many injuries, but his shoes are still some of the best performance sneakers available and very popular in China.

3. You want to try something new!

Maybe you are just tired of wearing the same Nike models every year? Try something new and exciting and switch to Adidas sneakers for a change! The laceless Adidas N3XT L3V3L 2020 stands out on any court!

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