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 87 shoes so far and read or watched exactly 501 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 Jun 13, 2019
Very supportive leather upper, great traction, and responsive Zoom Air cushioning.
Perfect if you like old-school basketball sneakers
Great all-around performer at a very fair price
Versatile shoe that works for all positions
Provides balanced cushioning, traction that works on all surfaces, and premium BattleKnit upper
Especially recommended for explosive and powerful wing players.
Low-top with eye-popping design, perfectly-balanced cushioning and great fit
Best for players looking for flashy, cutting-edge performance shoes
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.
Great overall-performer with awesome full-length Zoom cushioning
A well-balanced shoe that works for a wide array of basketball players
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.
Great fit, good traction, and much-improved impact protection
Affordable, well-rounded basketball shoe
Well-cushioned and supportive shoe
Great shoe for explosive and heavier players
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
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.
Best Deals for the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro:
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.
Best Deals for the Nike PG 3:
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.
Best Deals for the Nike Lebron 16:
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!
Best Deals for the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360:
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!
Best Deals for the Nike PG 2.5:
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!
Best Deals for the Nike KD 12:
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.
Best Deals for the Nike Lebron 15:
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.
Best Deals for the Nike Kyrie 4:
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.
Best Deals for the Nike Lebron 15 Low:
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.
Best Deals for the Nike PG 2:
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!
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!