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 69 shoes so far and read or watched exactly 408 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 Dec 04, 2018

Overall Rating: 9.0 (7 reviews)
  • Provides balanced cushioning, traction that works on all surfaces, and premium BattleKnit upper
  • Especially recommended for explosive and powerful wing players.
Overall Rating: 8.9 (5 reviews)
  • Very supportive leather upper, great traction, and responsive Zoom Air cushioning.
  • Perfect if you like old-school basketball sneakers
Overall Rating: 8.9 (8 reviews)
  • Low-top with eye-popping design, perfectly-balanced cushioning and great fit
  • Best for players looking for flashy, cutting-edge performance shoes
Overall Rating: 8.8 (3 reviews)
  • Improves the already great performance of the PG2 by adding an additional forefoot strap for more lockdown
  • Perfect if you are looking for an affordable all-around performer without any weaknesses.
Overall Rating: 8.8 (6 reviews)
  • Well-rounded performer with great traction, fun cushioning, and excellent fit
  • Works best for quick guards
Overall Rating: 8.8 (10 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.
Overall Rating: 8.8 (4 reviews)
  • Well-cushioned and supportive shoe
  • Great shoe for explosive and heavier players
Overall Rating: 8.7 (10 reviews)
  • Great fit, good traction, and much-improved impact protection
  • Affordable, well-rounded basketball shoe
Overall Rating: 8.6 (8 reviews)
  • Good traction and insanely comfortable cushioning
  • Perfect for players who need maximum impact protection and cushioning
Overall Rating: 8.6 (10 reviews)
  • Bouncy forefoot Zoom Air cushioning and traction that performs even on dusty courts.
  • Affordable all-around performer without any weaknesses.

The 10 Best Basketball Shoes from Nike

1. Nike Lebron 16

Average Expert Rating: 9.0 (see all 7 reviews)
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.
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2. Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro

Average Expert Rating: 8.9 (see all 5 reviews)
The performance retro of the original Kobe 1 Protro turns out to be very divisive. Some reviewers love the retro materials and sturdy feel of an old-school basketball sneaker, while others complain that these are too heavy and bulky compared to current performance sneakers.
Traction and cushioning perform very well and the support is absolutely amazing because of the solid materials used. The fit is more problematic as the leather doesn't conform to your feet as well as modern textile materials do.
If you like old-school basketball sneakers then you will love the Kobe 1 Protro, but if you are looking for a minimal and fast shoe then this isn't for you.
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3. Nike Kobe AD NXT 360

Average Expert Rating: 8.9 (see all 8 reviews)
The Kobe AD NXT 360 is constructed completely different compared to other basketball sneakers on the market: If you take out the drop-in midsole you have a 360-degree Flyknit construction that is extremely lightweight, completely transparent and easily foldable.
The 360 Flyknit material doesn't stretch at all, provides great lockdown and is extremely breathable. The Lunarlon / React drop-in midsole provides some of the best cushioning ever and finds the perfect mix of responsiveness, bounciness and impact protection. If future releases with solid rubber outsoles attract less dust, then the Kobe AD NXT 360 could be the best basketball shoe of all times!
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4. Nike PG 2.5

Average Expert Rating: 8.8 (see all 3 reviews)
The Nike PG2.5 is almost identical to the PG2 but comes with an additional forefoot strap we know from the PG1. This addition improves the fit and support a little bit as it gives you the ability to customize the forefoot to work with your feet. Other than that, materials, cushioning and traction remained unchanged and provide the same great performance that the previous model did! At only $110 retail, you can't go wrong with these!
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5. Nike Kobe AD NXT

Average Expert Rating: 8.8 (see all 6 reviews)
The Kobe AD NXT is a big upgrade over the disappointing Kobe AD. The biggest change is the completely new lacing system. Critics are split on whether it works or not. Some love it, some hate it. Overall, the Kobe AD NXT is a very good overall performer for quick guards. The only downside is the very expensive retail price of $200.
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6. Nike Lebron 15

Average Expert Rating: 8.8 (see all 10 reviews)
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.
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7. Nike Lebron 15 Low

Average Expert Rating: 8.8 (see all 4 reviews)
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.
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8. Nike Kyrie 4

Average Expert Rating: 8.7 (see all 10 reviews)
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.
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9. Nike Zoom KD 9

Average Expert Rating: 8.6 (see all 8 reviews)
The KD9 is a clear step forward for the KD line. All reviewers highlight the good traction and the insanely comfortable cushioning. Some critics even feel that the cushioning is a little too much for a performance basketball sneaker. The one-piece bootie design is a pain to get into and the support features are minimal. Overall a very good performance sneaker that works for all types of basketball players.
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10. Nike PG 2

Average Expert Rating: 8.6 (see all 10 reviews)
The second signature sneaker of Paul George improves on all aspects compared to the PG1. The bigger Zoom air unit in the forefoot provides more cushioning and the traction works better on dusty courts. Lockdown and lateral containment have been improved by the use of sturdier materials and the introduction of forefoot wing-straps.
Overall, the Nike PG2 is a great allrounder without any weaknesses. At $110 retail it is one of the most affordable signature sneakers on the market but performs just as well as much more expensive models.
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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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