The Best Jordan Basketball Shoes

The Air Jordan 1 is the most iconic basketball shoe of all time and started a signature line that is still going strong today – more than 35 years later! Today, Jordan Brand is generating over $3 billion in revenue per year, accounting for 8% of Nike’s overall sales.

While a large part of this revenue comes from re-releasing older Air Jordan models like the coveted Air Jordan 11 “Concords”, Jordan Brand is still releasing some of the best performance basketball shoes on the market.

In this article, we are going to focus on the currently available Jordans that perform the best on the hardwood.

Best Jordans Shoes to Play Basketball in:

  • 9.1 rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • The latest Air Jordan mainline signature model is, once again, a top-performing shoe.
  • Great for players that are looking for a top-tier performance basketball shoe.
  • 9.0 rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • An update to the Jordan 34 that performs just as well if not better.
  • The perfect shoe for players of every position who want a premium experience.
  • 8.4 rating based on 7 expert reviews
  • The Jordan Zoom Separate is a great option for specific types of players.
  • Best for forefoot heavy players that need the cushion.
  • 8.3 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • Russell Westbrook's fourth signature shoe is a pretty good all-around performer.
  • Great for players who like forefoot Zoom and don't make a lot of lateral moves.
  • 8.0 rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • The Jordan One Take 3 delivers quality performance for the Westbrook budget line.
  • Anyone looking for a price-conscious shoe without sacrificing anything performance-wise.
  • 8.0 rating based on 7 expert reviews
  • Zion's first signature shoe is a solid all-around performer.
  • A very versatile shoe that will work for most players.
  • 7.8 rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • The Jordan Why Not .5 implements a solid cushioning setup.
  • Players that enjoy the feeling of forefoot Zoom.

Best Jordans for Basketball

1. Air Jordan 36

Performance Rating:
9.1
The latest Air Jordan mainline signature model is, once again, a top-performing shoe.
Overall rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
Absolutely no issues at all with the traction
Cushion feels amazing
Cons:
The outsole can be a tiny bit unsteady
They fit narrow and snug
What do the experts think?
The Air Jordan 36 continues the recent trend from Jordan brand and picks up right where the last two models left off. The traction is phenomenal. It performs well on both clean and dusty courts. All reviewers agree that the cushioning used in the 36 performs amazingly, but they also agree that the Air unit protruding from the outsole is unnecessary. The fit is snug and narrow, so if that's not your cup of tea, consider sizing up. Materials are slimmed way down this year. They make the shoe lightweight without sacrificing much in terms of comfort and durability. The surprisingly strong upper and the outsole materials wrapping upward towards the midsole make the support in this shoe solid. Being the latest signature shoe in the lineup, the Air Jordan 36 delivers and is yet another high-quality performance basketball shoe.

2. Air Jordan 35

Performance Rating:
9.0
An update to the Jordan 34 that performs just as well if not better.
Overall rating based on 5 reviews
Pros:
Awesome cushion setup
Very supportive
Cons:
Rubbing around heel/arch
What do the experts think?
The traction on the Jordan 35 is similar to the 34 and performs just as well. You will get consistently great grip and stopping power - just don't ruin them playing outdoors. The addition of a large volume Zoom Air unit in the heel makes the cushion of this shoe even more comfortable and responsive. The materials are premium and have a good mix of old school and new textile materials. They are breathable and don't need breaking in. The support is even better than the 34 and has nice lateral containment, stability, and ankle support. Overall the Jordan 35 is an awesome performer that lives up to the hype and the expensive retail price!

3. Jordan Zoom Separate

Performance Rating:
8.4
The Jordan Zoom Separate is a great option for specific types of players.
Overall rating based on 7 reviews
Pros:
Forefoot support is outstanding
Great cushion toward the front of the shoe
Cons:
Materials are not of the best quality
What do the experts think?
The Jordan Zoom Separate is the latest budget-friendly model in the Jordan brand lineup. It has grippy traction that plays well on most court surfaces. Cushioning is the aspect of the shoe that stands out the most. The air unit in the forefoot makes this shoe great for forefoot-heavy players looking for impact protection. Materials aren't the most durable, but they get the job done. These are supportive and stable underfoot. The wide base of the shoe and outrigger helps, and the lacing setup allows for extra customization. As a whole, the Jordan Zoom Separate is a strong option to consider for anyone on a budget. It'll be a favourite for players that move a lot on the front of their feet since the cushioning caters to that type of playstyle.

4. Jordan Why Not Zero.4

Performance Rating:
8.3
Russell Westbrook's fourth signature shoe is a pretty good all-around performer.
Overall rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Solid support
Bouncy forefoot cushioning
Cons:
Inconsistent traction
Materials could be more premium
What do the experts think?
The traction on Russell Westbrook's 4th signature shoe is decent on linear moves but has trouble on lateral movements. Overall it is pretty inconsistent especially on dust. The cushion features super bouncy double-stacked Zoom units in the forefoot. The court feel isn't great but still good enough. The wild mix of different materials doesn't feel very premium to the touch but they conform to your feet well and get the job done performance-wise. Go true to size and you should get a comfortable fit with minimal dead space in the toe box. The support is great all-around and has you covered for lateral stability and containment. Overall the Why Not Zero.4 is a solid performer, with the only downside being the inconsistent traction.

5. Jordan One Take 3

Performance Rating:
8.0
The Jordan One Take 3 delivers quality performance for the Westbrook budget line.
Overall rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
The traction is nice and grippy
Lightweight and responsive feeling shoe
Cons:
Snug and narrow fit
What do the experts think?
The traction performs much better than expected for a budget model. It bites nicely on clean courts and handles dust well on dirtier courts. Minimal wiping gets the job done. Reviewers were also pleasantly surprised by the cushioning in this model. The forefoot Zoom unit makes the shoe fun to play in. Although the materials feel like plastic, they do not hamper the shoe's performance at all. The shoe also has no issues with support and lockdown. It provides solid lateral containment while still feeling stable. The Jordan One Take 3 is a perfect example of a budget model done right.

6. Jordan Zion 1

Performance Rating:
8.0
Zion's first signature shoe is a solid all-around performer.
Overall rating based on 7 reviews
Pros:
Large outrigger & very supportive
Well balanced cushioning
Cons:
Materials feel a little cheap in hand
Padding on the tongue is a little lacking
What do the experts think?
At Duke, Zion Williamson once destroyed a shoe in-game when his foot ripped through the upper material. The Zion 1 comes with one of the most extreme lateral outriggers ever in a basketball shoe to prevent another accident like this. The traction pattern is very sticky on clean courts, but is a little bit of a dust magnet and needs consistent wiping on dirty courts. The cushioning is well-balanced with a soft foam midsole, Air Strobel, and forefoot Zoom unit. It's not overly bouncy but provides impact protection and feels very smooth when transitioning from heel to toe. The materials are thin, soft, and get the job done but they definitely don't look or feel premium. Overall, the Zion 1 is a solid and affordable first signature sneaker that works for all player types.

7. Jordan Why Not Zero.5

Performance Rating:
7.8
The Jordan Why Not .5 implements a solid cushioning setup.
Overall rating based on 4 reviews
Pros:
Zoom unit feels nice
Cons:
Poor performing traction
Quality of the materials
What do the experts think?
Russell Westbrook's latest signature shoe is held back by its poor traction. Reviewers agree that it just doesn't grip well. Its cushion could be the one saving grace. The forefoot Zoom feels bouncy and provides a nice ride. Reviewers also agree that the quality of the materials isn't the best, but it doesn't hinder performance whatsoever. The fit conforms to your foot once you've broken the shoe in. There are also no issues with the support and lockdown, and the shoe feels stable laterally. Overall, the Jordan Why Not .5 has everything you need in a performance basketball shoe except the traction. It could be much better if it gripped the court consistently.

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