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 113 shoes so far and read or watched exactly 595 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 01, 2019

Overall Rating: 8.9
  • 8.9 rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • The huge Max Air unit in the heel and 2 Zoom Air units in the forefoot provide crazy cushioning.
  • Top choice if you are looking for a comfortable, supportive shoe with a ton of impact protection.
Deals from $199.99
Overall Rating: 8.9
  • 8.9 rating based on 6 expert reviews
  • Great all-around performer at a very fair price
  • Versatile shoe that works for all positions
Deals from $79.99
Overall Rating: 8.9
  • 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.
Deals from $100.00
Overall Rating: 8.8
  • 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
Deals from $119.99
Overall Rating: 8.8
  • 8.8 rating based on 5 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.
Deals from $129.99
Overall Rating: 8.8
  • 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
Deals from $104.99
Overall Rating: 8.8
  • 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.
Deals from $109.99
Overall Rating: 8.6
  • 8.6 rating based on 6 expert reviews
  • A solid performer that started the low-top trend in basketball shoes
  • A very versatile shoe that will be most appreciated by players who had the OG Kobe 4
Deals from $174.99
Overall Rating: 8.6
  • 8.6 rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • Great bang-for-your-buck model from the Kyrie signature line
  • Works best for narrow-footers looking for a good allrounder with responsive cushioning
Deals from $85.00
Overall Rating: 8.5
  • 8.5 rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • The first Kobe model with the FastFit lacing system
  • Great shoe for quick, low-to-the-ground players who are into futuristic looks
Deals from $159.99

The 10 Best Basketball Shoes from Nike

1. Nike Lebron 17

8.9 Overall rating based on 4 expert reviews
PROS:
  • Insanely comfortable cushioning
  • Premium upper materials
CONS:
  • Steep $200 retail price
  • Heavy
Traction
8.3
Cushion
9.5
Materials
9.4
Support
8.8
Fit
8.6
Outdoor
25%
The Lebron 17 is one of the most expensive basketball shoes on the market, does it justify it's $200 retail price? Reviewers' opinions on the traction were split: the Solebrother called it "god-levels" especially on a translucent rubber pair while Nightwing2303 didn't like the white solid rubber, even on clean courts. The cushioning, however, was loved by everyone. A huge Max Air unit in the heel is combined with Zoom in the forefoot and they provide a ton of impact protection and bounce. The new Knitposite upper material is thick, soft and comfortable - but it gets pretty hot after a while. Overall, the Lebron 17 is a great performer, especially you are a heavier player looking for a comfortable and supportive shoe.

2. 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%
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.

3. 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%
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.

4. 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%
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!

5. Nike Kyrie 6

8.8 Overall rating based on 5 expert reviews
PROS:
  • Amazing traction
  • Nike Zoom Turbo cushioning
CONS:
  • Runs smaller than other Kyries
Traction
9.0
Cushion
8.8
Materials
8.6
Support
9.0
Fit
8.6
Outdoor
13%
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!

6. 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%
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. 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.

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%
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.

8. Nike Kobe 4 Protro

8.6 Overall rating based on 6 expert reviews
PROS:
  • Great herringbone traction
CONS:
  • No full-length Zoom
Traction
9.0
Cushion
8.0
Materials
8.2
Support
9.0
Fit
8.5
Outdoor
25%
The Kobe 4 started the low-top trend in basketball shoes and is the second shoe of the Kobe Bryant signature line that got the Protro treatment. Even though Nike promised full-length Zoom in this updated version, they disappointed by keeping it OG with Zoom in the heel and simple Phylon in the front. The old-school herringbone traction pattern still works like a charm and needs very little wiping - even on dusty courts. The synthetic leather and plastic overlays with Flywire cables perform well but feel a little cheap compared to modern knits materials. Overall, the Kobe 4 Protro is a very solid performer, but there are very little improvements compared to the original Kobe 4 and the retail price of $175 is very steep.

9. Nike Kyrie Low 2

8.6 Overall rating based on 5 expert reviews
PROS:
  • Very good traction
  • Great materials
CONS:
  • Stiff cushioning
Traction
9.2
Cushion
7.6
Materials
8.8
Support
8.8
Fit
8.6
Outdoor
30%
The Kyrie Low 2 offers amazing traction like we are used to from the Kyrie signature line. Cushioning also follows the trend of this signature line and is very stiff and responsive. If you need a lot of impact protection - keep looking. The materials are surprisingly premium for a retail price of only $110 and feel soft, flexible, and supportive. For a low-top, the Kyrie Low 2 offers a lot of support and stability which stems partially from the great fit. Overall, the Kyrie Low 2 is a great performer without any real weaknesses!

10. Nike Kobe AD NXT FastFit

8.5 Overall rating based on 4 expert reviews
PROS:
  • Amazing Traction
  • Easy FastFit lacing system
CONS:
  • Expensive retail price
Traction
9.4
Cushion
8.3
Materials
7.8
Support
8.0
Fit
8.8
Outdoor
33%
The Kobe AD NXT Fast Fit is one of the most futuristic-looking basketball shoes in a while, but how does it perform? The best feature of this shoe is the amazing nub traction pattern that really bites the floor and allows you to stop on a dime. The React drop-in midsole provides balanced cushioning but works best for players who are low-to-the-ground and prefer court feel over impact protection. The upper materials are super thin and comfortable but could feel a little more premium and provide more support. Overall, the Kobe AD NXT FF is a great performer, especially if you can get it at a discount from the whopping $200 retail price.

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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