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 99 shoes so far and read or watched exactly 540 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 Aug 24, 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.
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
Great fit, good traction, and much-improved impact protection
Affordable, well-rounded basketball shoe
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
Great bang-for-your-buck model from the Kyrie signature line
Works best for narrow-footers looking for a good allrounder with responsive cushioning
Great court-feel, lockdown, and stability.
Works best for quick guards who prefer court feel over impact protection
The second Puma basketball shoe of 2019 is a solid all-around performer
Worn by players of all positions in the NBA
The 10 Best Basketball Shoes from Nike
- Nice leather materials
- Very durable
- Very heavy
- Fit can be problematic
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:
- Great traction
- Very supportive shoe
- Materials feel cheap in-hand
- Long break-in period
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:
- Premium materials
- Traction works well even on dusty courts
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:
- Additional strap provides more support
- Great price
- Impact protection in the heel
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:
- Full-length Zoom cushioning
- Much more stable than previous KD models
- Materials could feel more premium
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:
- Improved cushion
- Fair price
- Less traction than previous Kyrie models
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:
- Great herringbone traction
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.
Best Deals for the Nike Kobe 4 Protro:
- Very good traction
- Great materials
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!
Best Deals for the Nike Kyrie Low 2:
- Great ankle support
- A lot of court feel
- Traction takes a while to break-in
The latest shoe in the Kyrie signature series is very similar to previous shoes in the series. It focuses on support and court-feel and gives you the ability for quick crossovers and creative attacks of the basket. The new Nike Zoom Air Turbo cushioning remains firm and is clearly optimized for court feel - if you are looking for comfortable shoes with a lot of impact protection, then you won't be happy with the Kyrie 5. Overall, this is a very supportive shoe that works best for guards looking to imitate Kyrie's playing style.
Best Deals for the Nike Kyrie 5:
- Comfortable fit
- Works outdoors
- Firm cushioning
- Materials feel cheap in-hand
The Uproar improves on the Puma's Clyde Court Disrupt solid comeback to basketball shoes. The traction isn't perfect but works on all surfaces - even outdoors. The fit is very comfortable and supportive, there is absolutely no side-to-side movement or heel slip! Materials differ from colorway to colorway and could be a little more premium considering the $130 retail price. The Puma Uproar's cushioning is firm and not very comfortable but provides a ton of court feel.
Overall, this is a shoe that stands out from the crowd, provides solid all-around performance and can be worn by players of all positions.
Best Deals for the Puma Uproar:
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!