The Top 10 Best Nike Basketball Shoes

Nike – what started off as a tiny importer of Japanese trainers in 1964 is the biggest and most popular sports brand in the world in 2017 with a total revenue of almost $35 billion!

It’s difficult to keep track of all Nike basketball shoes that exist on the market: Nike not only designs the signature models of Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Paul George, but also popular team models like the Hyperdunks, or the Lebron Soldier series; not to mention the wide variety of cheaper budget models.

To get a good idea of all the models on the basketball shoe market I have decided to create a database with all basketball shoes where I could find at least three trustworthy reviews on Youtube or sneaker blogs. In total, I have added 138 shoes so far and read or watched exactly 680 reviews in doing so.

The following list shows the ten best basketball shoes by Nike ordered by their average overall rating. Shoes were last updated on Sep 18, 2020


1. Nike PG 3

  • 8.9 rating based on 6 expert reviews
  • Great all-around performer at a very fair price
  • Versatile shoe that works for all positions

2. Nike Lebron 16

  • 8.9 rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • Provides balanced cushioning, traction that works on all surfaces, and premium BattleKnit upper
  • Especially recommended for explosive and powerful wing players.

3. Nike KD 12

  • 8.8 rating based on 7 expert reviews
  • Great overall-performer with awesome full-length Zoom cushioning
  • A well-balanced shoe that works for a wide array of basketball players

4. Nike Lebron 15

  • 8.8 rating based on 10 expert reviews
  • The combination of Air Max and Zoom provides an insanely comfortable cushioning
  • Works extremely well for big guys that need a lot of impact protection.

5. Nike Zoom Rize

  • 8.8 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • The "takedown" version of the Nike AlphaDunk is a very versatile performer
  • Suitable for all players, especially big guys looking for support and comfort

6. Nike Kyrie 6

  • 8.8 rating based on 6 expert reviews
  • Kyrie's 6th signature shoe is an evolution of previous models and probably the best Kyrie so far
  • Great traction and support with a low-to-the-ground, responsive cushioning

7. Nike Lebron Soldier 13

  • 8.8 rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • The Lebron Soldier 13 provides awesome traction and no real weaknesses
  • A great all-around performer that works very well for heavier players

8. Nike KD 13

  • 8.7 rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • The KD 13 is a great all-around performer with one of the best cushioning setups available.
  • A great pick if you are looking for a comfortable shoe that will also work outdoors.

9. Nike Kyrie 4

  • 8.7 rating based on 10 expert reviews
  • Great fit, good traction, and much-improved impact protection
  • Affordable, well-rounded basketball shoe

10. Nike Lebron 15 Low

  • 8.7 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • Well-cushioned and supportive shoe
  • Great shoe for explosive and heavier players

The 10 Best Basketball Shoes from Nike

1. Nike PG 3

8.9 Overall rating based on 6 expert reviews
Pros:
Great traction
Very supportive shoe
Cons:
Materials feel cheap in-hand
Long break-in period
Traction
9.1
Cushion
9.0
Materials
8.2
Support
8.7
Fit
8.9
Outdoor
25%
What do the experts think?
Sneaker reviewers like almost everything about the PG3 - except its looks. The "moon crater" traction pattern works very well on all surfaces but might take a little while to break in. The Zoom Air cushioning in the forefoot is responsive and bouncy and the foam in the heel provides decent impact protection. Materials feel a little cheap in-hand, but are comfortable on-foot and absolutely get the job done. Overall, the PG3 is a great performer that will work for a wide array of players and comes at a very fair price of only $110.
Available at 4 shops:
Colorways of the Nike PG 3:

2. Nike Lebron 16

8.9 Overall rating based on 8 expert reviews
Pros:
Premium materials
Traction works well even on dusty courts
Cons:
Expensive retail price
Traction
9.1
Cushion
9.0
Materials
9.0
Support
8.7
Fit
8.4
Outdoor
83%
What do the experts think?
All sneaker critics agree: The Lebron 16 is a huge improvement over the XV and one of the best shoes of Lebron's signature line in a long time. The traction works on all surfaces, the cushioning is a little more versatile but still very comfortable, and stability is much-improved thanks to the use of tiny lateral outriggers on the outsole. The Battleknit 2.0 looks and feels very premium and provides great lockdown and containment. Overall, the Lebron 16 is an outstanding performance hoops shoe that is especially recommended for explosive and powerful wing players.
Available at 3 shops:
Colorways of the Nike Lebron 16:

3. Nike KD 12

8.8 Overall rating based on 7 expert reviews
Pros:
Full-length Zoom cushioning
Much more stable than previous KD models
Cons:
Materials could feel more premium
Traction
9.0
Cushion
9.9
Materials
8.1
Support
8.4
Fit
8.4
Outdoor
20%
What do the experts think?
The KD12 is a huge step up from the disappointing predecessors. The full-length Zoom sits directly beneath the feet and provides a ton of response and bounce. The cushioning is a bit divisive, some reviewers are raving about it, others found it to be a bit too inconsistent on dusty courts. The look and feel of the materials aren't very premium, but the performance of the flywire upper is top-notch. The fit should work for most basketball players as it isn't as long and narrow as we are used too from the KD line. Overall, the KD12 is a great performer with outstanding cushioning and no real weaknesses!
Available at 4 shops:
Colorways of the Nike KD 12:

4. Nike Lebron 15

8.8 Overall rating based on 10 expert reviews
Pros:
Extremely comfortable cushioning
Premium materials
Cons:
Stability suffers due to high cushioning
Traction
8.2
Cushion
9.8
Materials
9.3
Support
8.1
Fit
9.0
Outdoor
8%
What do the experts think?
Shoe reviewers almost unanimously call the Lebron 15 the best Lebron signature shoe yet. The combination of Air Max and Zoom provides an insanely comfortable cushioning that works extremely well for big guys that need a lot of impact protection. The new premium Battleknit upper is very comfortable and provides excellent fit and containment. The only slight downside is the traction which needs a while to break in and has slight problems with lateral cuts. Overall, this is the perfect shoe for heavy and powerful guys looking for maximum cushioning and comfort.
Available at 1 shop:
Colorways of the Nike Lebron 15:

5. Nike Zoom Rize

8.8 Overall rating based on 3 expert reviews
Pros:
Super bouncy Zoom cushioning
Very well-fitting shoe
Cons:
Slight lateral support issues in the forefoot
Traction
8.8
Cushion
9.2
Materials
8.7
Support
8.3
Fit
9.0
Outdoor
50%
What do the experts think?
The Nike Zoom Rize is a new medium-priced Team model and a takedown version of the more expensive Nike AlphaDunk. The traction works very well on clean courts, but on dusty courts, you will need to wipe from time to time. The huge 10mm Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot is super bouncy and comfortable but doesn't give you a ton of court feel. The materials start off a little stiff, but they provide a lot of lockdown and loosen up quicky. The support is great in the heel and midfoot but multiple reviewers mentioned slight issues on quick lateral cuts. Overall, the Nike Zoom Rize is a very versatile basketball shoe that performs well in all categories.
Available at 4 shops:
Colorways of the Nike Zoom Rize:

6. Nike Kyrie 6

8.8 Overall rating based on 6 expert reviews
Pros:
Amazing traction
Nike Zoom Turbo cushioning
Cons:
Runs smaller than other Kyries
Traction
9.0
Cushion
8.8
Materials
8.5
Support
9.0
Fit
8.7
Outdoor
13%
What do the experts think?
The traction of the Kyrie signature series is always great, and the Kyrie 6 is no different as you get amazing stopping power in every direction. The Phylon cushioning in the heel of the Kyrie 6 feels a lot softer than in previous models and the Zoom Turbo in the forefoot has a nice bounce to it. The materials are soft, comfortable, and provide a lot of support and lockdown for quick moves and crossovers. Overall, the Kyrie 6 feels like an evolution of the Kyrie 5 with a lot of small improvements that make up a great shoe - probably the best Kyrie so far!
Available at 8 shops:
Colorways of the Nike Kyrie 6:

7. Nike Lebron Soldier 13

8.8 Overall rating based on 4 expert reviews
Pros:
Awesome traction
Very supportive
Cons:
Cushioning could be more comfortable
Traction
9.4
Cushion
8.3
Materials
8.8
Support
9.0
Fit
8.7
Outdoor
83%
What do the experts think?
The laceless Lebron signature model is very well-received among sneaker testers. The upper material is comfortable, durable and provides a ton of lockdown, in part because the straps do a great job and never come undone. The simple solid-rubber herringbone traction pattern is deep, attracts very little dust and works well - even outdoors. The cushioning is a little bit divisive, some like the forefoot and heel Zoom units, others would have preferred a more comfortable setup. Overall, the Lebron Solider 13 is a great allrounder with outstanding traction and no real weaknesses.
Available at 4 shops:
Colorways of the Nike Lebron Soldier 13:

8. Nike KD 13

8.7 Overall rating based on 5 expert reviews
Pros:
Comfortable full-length cushioning
Great traction indoors and outdoors
Cons:
Materials could be more premium
Traction
9.1
Cushion
9.8
Materials
7.6
Support
8.2
Fit
8.6
Outdoor
67%
What do the experts think?
The nicest part of the KD 13 is the full-length Zoom Strobel which provides one of the best cushioning setups in basketball. The traction pattern does a good job in all directions and is tough and thick enough to last outdoors. The materials are thin, lightweight, and perform well but the quality doesn't feel premium in-hand. Support comes from the wide base and good fit however the minimal upper doesn't provide as much lockdown as previous KD models. As for most KD models, the fit of the KD13 is very comfortable if you have regular or narrow feet, wide-footers should go up half a size or look elsewhere. Overall, the KD 13 is a great basketball shoe with outstanding cushioning.
Available at 8 shops:
Colorways of the Nike KD 13:

9. Nike Kyrie 4

8.7 Overall rating based on 10 expert reviews
Pros:
Improved cushion
Fair price
Cons:
Less traction than previous Kyrie models
Traction
8.4
Cushion
8.7
Materials
8.7
Support
9.0
Fit
8.9
Outdoor
67%
What do the experts think?
The Kyrie 4 is the best overall performer of the Kyrie signature line and works well across all categories. The cushioning is much more comfortable than in previous models and provides great impact protection while still offering responsive court feel. The engineered mesh upper and suede feel comfortable and supportive and provide a great 1:1 fit - there is no heel slippage or lateral movement. The traction doesn't quite live up to the levels of the Kyrie 3 or 2 but is still decent and requires minimal wiping. At $120 retail, this is a great pick for everybody that is looking for a well-rounded basketball shoe.
Available at 1 shop:
Colorways of the Nike Kyrie 4:

10. Nike Lebron 15 Low

8.7 Overall rating based on 3 expert reviews
Pros:
Comfortable cushioning
Awesome materials
Cons:
Inconsistent traction
Traction
8.7
Cushion
8.0
Materials
9.0
Support
8.5
Fit
9.3
Outdoor
25%
What do the experts think?
The Low version of the Lebron 15 comes with a slightly altered cushioning setup that is still very comfortable but a little more responsive than the high top version. The traction pattern of the Low is very similar and works great for linear movements but not as great for lateral cuts. The Battleknit upper looks awesome and is very durable and supportive. Overall, this is a great shoe for explosive and heavier players who need a lot of support and cushioning but like the look and feel of a low-top sneaker.
Available at 1 shop:
Colorways of the Nike Lebron 15 Low:

5 Reasons to buy Nike Basketball Shoes

1. Great Fit

Nike has been in the basketball shoe business forever and they have really perfected the fit of their shoes in my opinion. All versions of a specific model run similarly long and wide. That means if last year’s Kobe model fit you perfectly in size 10, then it’s highly likely that the next model will too!

There is no need to find a sneaker store to try on each pair. I bought Kobe models online for years on and never had any problems, the same can’t be said about every shoe brand!

2. Your Favourite Basketball Player is with Nike

Most of the great basketball players have signed a signature deal with Nike. If you’re a fan of Kyrie Irving, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George or Kobe Bryant then you’ll definitely want to go with Nike and rock their latest signature models.

3. Great Tech

Nike has always been a driver of innovation in the world of performance basketball shoes. The debut of Nike Zoom Air revolutionized the cushioning of basketball sneakers in 1995 and even over 20 years later it’s still the most responsive cushioning system on the market!

Nike Zoom Air

4. The Iconic Swoosh

There is no denying that Nike makes some of the best looking basketball shoes on the market. Phil Knight bought the design of the now famous Nike swoosh for an incredible $35 from design student Carolyne Davidson – that’s got to be one of the best investments of all time!

5. There’s a Shoe for Everybody!

Nike releases so many basketball shoes – they truly have a model that works perfectly for every type of basketball players. Big and heavy guys pick the Lebron 15, quick guards the Kyrie 4 and if you like cushioning and have narrow feet then the KD X is perfect!

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