6 Best Cheap Basketball Shoes, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2022

Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic on
6 Best Cheap Basketball Shoes, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2022

Getting more for less is always appealing. Because of this, brands such as Adidas, Under Armour, and even industry leader Nike make cheap basketball shoes available for everyone.

We have reviewed over 70 shoes under $100 to find which ones have the best performance in this price range. And we were surprised to find that in some aspects, these shoes come very close to their more expensive counterparts.

How we test basketball shoes

The best cheap basketball shoes among all these are then determined by ranking them according to their Corescore. A corescore is an aggregate numerical assessment that is based on reviews by players, expert reviewers, and even ordinary users. We spent hours scouring the web for these.

To create the list below, we got the ratings and opinions of 109 experts and about 12,400 users. Their views and comments were posted on social media, video hosting websites, retailer sites, and other platforms.

Best cheap basketball shoes overall

Adidas Pro Model 2G
Adidas Pro Model 2G

CoreScore

91
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 3,167 users
89 / 100 from 5 experts

Pros

  • Superb comfort on & off the court
  • Clean & classic look
  • Reliable traction
  • Great cushioning
  • Excellent lockdown
  • Good for casual wear
  • Great for guard positions

Cons

    • Needs break-in
    • Narrow toe box

Verdict

With its reliable grip that works well on any court condition and the comfort it brings, the Adidas Pro Model 2G is well-received by basketball players, especially those who play the guard positions. Many are happy that this updated pair looks and performs just as well as the original, Adidas Pro Model. Fans are delighted that these retro basketball sneakers are a steal for their price.
Adidas Pro Model 2G full review

Best Nike cheap basketball shoes

Nike Mamba Focus
Nike Mamba Focus

CoreScore

88
Great!
4.7 / 5 from 2,549 users
77 / 100 from 6 experts

Pros

  • Durable
  • Responsive midsole
  • Premium-looking materials
  • Satisfactory support and lockdown
  • Delivers a minimal feel
  • Great for casual wear

Cons

  • Insufficient traction
  • Stiff cushioning
  • Cheap materials

Verdict

While the Nike Mamba Focus' offers premium-looking materials and sleek style, its cushioning, fit, and traction fell short in delivering what wearers expected from it. That said, basketball fans agree that this footgear is not worth having, unlike the Nike PG3 and the Adidas Dame 5, which delivers better results and retailed near the Mamba Focus' price point.
Nike Mamba Focus full review

Best Jordan cheap basketball shoes

Jordan Westbrook One Take
Jordan Westbrook One Take

CoreScore

89
Great!
4.6 / 5 from 379 users
93 / 100 from 4 experts

Pros

  • Good containment
  • Durable
  • Awesome for casual wear
  • Impressive traction
  • Dope vibes
  • Nice bounce
  • Fits true to size
  • Great for advanced guards

Cons

  • Not the best impact protection
  • Not for outdoors

Verdict

As one of the best bang-for-buck basketball shoes of 2020, the Jordan Westbrook One Take doesn't disappoint. With its responsive forefoot cushioning and aggressive traction design, many basketball players reported that this shoe is quite fun to play in.
Jordan Westbrook One Take full review

Best Adidas cheap basketball shoes

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #2
Adidas D.O.N. Issue #2

CoreScore

86
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 6,282 users
85 / 100 from 8 experts

Pros

  • Lasting comfort
  • Impressive materials
  • Forefoot responsiveness
  • Heel impact protection
  • Reliable containment
  • Modern style
  • Low price

Cons

  • Has to be broken in
  • Inconsistent traction
  • Not for outdoor use

Verdict

The Adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 is a good follow-up to the successful Adidas DON Issue #1. This shoe is actually "a surprise hit" for players especially since it is still priced at a fairly affordable 0. This basketball shoe delivers in terms of comfort, support, and style. There are issues, but they seem like ones that disappear once the shoe gets broken in. Compared to other basketball shoes, this basketball sneaker is already a good catch.
Adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 full review

Best low top cheap basketball shoes

Puma Palace Guard
Puma Palace Guard

CoreScore

85
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 1,643 users
88 / 100 from 1 expert

Pros

  • Quality
  • Excellent value for money
  • Super premium
  • Fit perfectly
  • Great style
  • Super durable outsole
  • Quite comfortable

Cons

  • Feels a little heavy and bulky

Verdict

Most buyers think that these retro basketball shoes are straight-up fire. From the materials down to the smallest detail, Puma got everything right. These Puma shoes from the late ‘80s even feature a few updates for added cushioning and comfort. Simply put, the Puma Palace Guard OG is retro at its finest. For just 90 bucks, you won’t find anything better.
Puma Palace Guard full review

Which basketball shoes are considered “cheap”?

Here at RunRepeat, we consider “cheap” the bottom 25% based on SRP. Out of the bottom 25%, Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour offer the most number of cheap shoes.

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What makes up the top cheap basketball shoes

Generally, cheap basketball shoes are made from materials that are less expensive and far more common than the ones used on more expensive options. The table below summarizes some of the most commonly used materials across brands.

 

Material

Description

Cushion

Old Cushioning Technologies

Cheaper basketball shoes make use of old technologies. A good example is Nike’s Air technology, which is light and comfortable.

EVA Foam

Closed cell ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer foam or EVA is among the most commonly used material for midsoles primarily because it is durable, water-resistant, and comfortable.

Upper

Synthetic fabric

The upper of cheap basketball shoes also need to be durable, hence synthetic fabrics are usually used.

Artificial rubber

The upper material is sometimes reinforced or infused with much cheaper artificial rubber such as neoprene to ensure comfort.

Best basketball shoes for less

Cheap basketball shoes, even the best among them, can be classified into three categories. You can easily remember them with this acronym: NOT Expensive.

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Non-signature models are not less pricey simply because no big name is attached to them, so there is no need to pay a premium for that personality’s brand. 

Shoe models, hailed and sought after during their time, will eventually be replaced with newer and touted to be innovative ones. But new is not always better; older models, even with their price cuts, can still hold their own on the court.

Brands, in their efforts to appeal to a much wider audience, purposefully produce basketball shoes that are cheaper. They are often referred to as takedown models.

Cheap signature basketball shoes

To widen their reach, some basketball stars work closely with brands to come up with their own takedown basketball shoe releases.

LeBron James. Aside from his main LeBron line, which released its 17th shoe in 2019, The King LeBron James also has a takedown line known as the Soldier, which already made its 13th release in.

Kyrie Irving. Besides the main Kyrie line, shooting guard Kyrie Irving also has a series of budget basketball shoes called the Kyrie Flytrap. As of the first half of 2020, it made its third release.

Kobe Bryant. The late Kobe Bryant also drops budget-friendly basketball shoes every now and then. The Nike Mamba Fury is the first one to release since his death in January 2020. 

When you go for less pricey signature basketball shoes, always consider your style of play. If you are a big man who takes on the center and power forward position, you’d need a shoe with more cushioning. LeBron’s basketball shoes can help you with this.  

However, if you are a guard who needs a more pronounced feel of the court, Kobes and Kyries are what you need.  Otherwise, you can go for cheap basketball shoes with great traction and court feel.

When is the best time to buy cheap basketball shoes? 

Basketball shoes can also come significantly discounted; if you know when to shop for them, that is!

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Buying at clearance sales are among the most obvious ways to get basketball shoes at significantly discounted rates. Clearance sales usually happen right after big events when retailers scramble to bring their inventories back to normal.

Speaking of big events, the retailer’s anniversary day or week is usually a period of generous discounts, especially for their loyal customers. Celebrations that push people to shop such as Christmas also bring prices down. 

You can also get basketball shoes for less upon the release of a new model in a basketball shoe line. The price of the one that the new release replaces will surely be brought down to entice buyers to at least consider buying it.

Author
Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.