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 3 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.

  • 9.1 rating based on 1 expert reviews
  • The shoe performs well in most aspects but isn't a huge improvement from last year's model.
  • Best for quick players who need the cushioning to take care of their legs.

  • 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.

  • 8.5 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • The Jordan Jumpman 2020 feels like a cheaper version of the excellent Air Jordan 34
  • A great overall performer that comes at a very affordable retail price

  • 8.4 rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • Russell Westbrook's third signature shoe is still very flashy but feels a lot less bulky than the predecessors
  • Works great for explosive players who like to stand out on the court

  • 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 5 expert reviews
  • Zion's first signature shoe is a solid all-around performer.
  • A very versatile shoe that will work for most players.

  • 7.4 rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • The Jordan One Take 2 does not live up to its predecessor.
  • Only recommended for players who need an affordable option for primarily outdoor play.

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 3 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. Jordan Jumpman 2021

Performance Rating:
9.1
The shoe performs well in most aspects but isn't a huge improvement from last year's model.
Overall rating based on 1 reviews
Pros:
Cushioning is responsive but bouncy
Materials performed well
Cons:
Bit of a downgrade from the 2020 model
Traction pattern could be better
What do the experts think?
Most reviewers agree that the materials of the Jumpman 2021 feel and work surprisingly well despite being a bit of a downgrade from the previous year's model. Depending on your playstyle, the responsive but low-profile cushioning may or may not suit your game. Reviewers also agree that the fit is exceptional. There were no issues with the support of the shoe. The upper, toe box, and heel counter do a good job of keeping you secure. Overall, the Jordan Jumpman 2021 is still a pretty good budget model if you can get your hands on a pair.

3. 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!

4. Jordan Jumpman 2020

Performance Rating:
8.5
The Jordan Jumpman 2020 feels like a cheaper version of the excellent Air Jordan 34
Overall rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Very comfortable cushioning
Affordable retail price
Cons:
Slippery on dusty courts
What do the experts think?
The Jordan Jumpman 2020 looks like a budget version of the Air Jordan 34, but is the performance comparable? The traction is really squeaky and performs great on clean courts, but tends to attract a lot of dust on dirty courts. The Phylon cushioning in the heel is soft and comfortable while the forefoot Zoom gives you nice bounce and responsiveness. Materials are what you would expect from a budget model - they don't feel premium in-hand, but they absolutely get the job done! Overall, the Jordan Jumpman 2020 is a performer without real weaknesses and a great deal at a retail price of only $110.

5. Jordan Why Not Zero.3

Performance Rating:
8.4
Russell Westbrook's third signature shoe is still very flashy but feels a lot less bulky than the predecessors
Overall rating based on 5 reviews
Pros:
Big Zoom Air unit in the forefoot
Less bulky than previous models
Cons:
Lateral sliding on dusty courts
Materials don't feel very premium in-hand
What do the experts think?
Russell Westbrook's third signature sneaker is still as flashy as his playing style, but how does it perform? The traction gets mixed reviews: critics liked it on clean courts, but lateral cuts can be problematic on dusty courts. The forefoot Zoom Air unit gives you a smooth and responsive ride and the foam in the heel provides solid impact protection. Materials don't feel or look anything close to premium but they get the job done performance-wise and are less bulky than in the previous models. The support & lockdown are really good thanks to the traditional lacing system, midfoot strap, and huge Achilles pillows. Overall, the Why Not Zer0.3 is an evolution of Russell's signature series and will work especially well for explosive players looking for a nicely-balanced sneaker.

6. 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.

7. Jordan Zion 1

Performance Rating:
8.0
Zion's first signature shoe is a solid all-around performer.
Overall rating based on 5 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.

8. Jordan One Take 2

Performance Rating:
7.4
The Jordan One Take 2 does not live up to its predecessor.
Overall rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
The upper is well ventilated
Solid fit
Cons:
Cheap materials compromise the support
Inconsistent traction
What do the experts think?
When it comes to traction, reviewers were split on their opinion of how consistent the shoe performed. It played well enough on indoor courts, but it wasn't spectacular. Cushioning on the One Take 2 is stiff and a bit too high off the ground for a guard shoe. However, the top-loaded Zoom unit in the forefoot does provide a little bit of extra bounce. Fit is the most consistent aspect of the shoe. Going true to size caused no issues. The materials are not the best quality, but they do a decent job in terms of performance. They're lightweight and breathable. Although the Jordan One Take 2 is not as good of a performer as its predecessor, it's still a decent shoe considering the price of just $100.

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