7 Best Cheap Basketball Shoes in 2023

Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic on
7 Best Cheap Basketball Shoes in 2023
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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 tested and reviewed over 30 shoes under $100 to find which ones have the best performance in this price range. Our takeaway? Lesser price does not equate to lesser quality. We were actually surprised to find that in some aspects, these shoes come very close to their more expensive counterparts.

Best overall cheap basketball shoes

What makes it the best?

Out of all the cheap basketball shoes that we played in, we consider the Nike Air Max Impact 4 our best bet. For one, it is truly big on comfort, and we never wanted to take it off in any of our games. It also delivered a lot of flex and amazing durability for outdoor use. The average price of a basketball shoe is $134, but this one we got for only $90. Definitely a steal!

The comfort that this shoe delivered came from a lot of factors. The notable ones are the soft underfoot cushioning, its relatively light weight, and fairly breezy upper. Our HA durometer estimated the softness of the midsole at 25.5 while the average is 27.9. According to our weighing scale, this shoe is 1.6 oz or 45g lighter than the typical hoop shoe. Finally, the upper got a score of 3 out 5 for breathability after a smoke was conducted on it.

Using a digital force gauge, we discovered that bending the Air Max Impact 4 to a 90-degree angle required only 34.7N of force. The typical basketball shoe puts up considerable resistance until 41.9N is applied. The shoe’s flexibility allowed it to move with the natural flexions of our feet.

To the touch, the outsole already felt sturdy. We confirmed this initial assessment using readings from our HC durometer in the lab. The Air Max Impact 4 sole durability score is 87.5, which is significantly higher than the 80.3 average.

It just has to be noted here that this shoe doesn’t hit the ground running. All the goodness that we just described could only be enjoyed after going through a break-in period.


  • Traction is consistently good
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Decent impact protection
  • Comfortable and well-ventilated upper
  • Dependable foot containment
  • Great for outdoor use
  • Value for money


  • Needs to be broken in
  • Not for wide-footers
Full review of Nike Air Max Impact 4

Today's best price

Any color
White (DM1124100)
Black (DM1124006)
Black White (DM1124101)
Black Anthracite Off Noir (DM1124004)
Black White Bright Crimson Wolf Grey (DM1124002)
Black (DM1124001)
Bleu Marine Doré (DM1124401)
Ashen Slate Citron Tint Football Grey (DM1124400)

Cheap basketball shoes with the best traction

Nike Ja 1

What makes it the best?

The anticipation for Ja Morant's first signature shoe with Nike is pretty much justified. The Nike Ja 1 is a total performer that suits different kinds of players: from guards who appreciate a lot of energy return to heel strikers and bigger men who need good impact protection. It's also comfortable enough to be worn off the court. You can really maximize the money spent on this hoop shoe.


  • A true bang for the buck
  • Amazing grip on the court
  • Quite a supportive ride
  • Pretty comfortable wraparound
  • Great plushness around the heel
  • Good forefoot bounce
  • Durable structure
  • True-to-size fit
  • Stylish look


  • Cheap-feeling materials
  • Still has to be broken in
Full review of Nike Ja 1

Today's best price

Any color
Ember Glow/Blue Lightning/Light Silver (DR8785800)
White (DR8785100)
Phantom/Action Green/Action Grape (DR8785001)
400 cobalt bliss/citron tint/hot p (DR8785400)

Cheap basketball shoes with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

Up to a certain extent, the LeBron Witness 7 is practically just the Nike LeBron 20 made less pricey and more suitable for outdoor use. From aspects that are truly important such as traction and cushioning down to matters that are only peripherally valuable such as looks, you can count on the LeBron Witness 7 to deliver.


  • Highly effective traction
  • Impressive impact protection
  • Optimum comfort
  • Breathable upper
  • Reliable heel lockdown
  • Good lateral stability
  • Great outdoor option
  • Fashionable design


  • Lacks court feel
  • Poor upper durability
  • No outriggers on the sole
Full review of Nike Lebron Witness 7

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Any color
003 grey fog/cobblestone/laser blue/hyper pink (DM1123003)
001 black/bright crimson/alligator/barely volt (DM1123001)
Black (DM1123004)
Fuchsia Dream/Sail/White (DM1123500)
White (DM1123100)
Black/University Gold-lilac (DM1123002)
Bright crimson/arctic orange/magic ember/cave purple (DM1123600)
Black (DM1123005)
More colors

Cheap basketball shoes with the best support

What makes it the best?

The Nike Precision releases have always satisfied those players who are on a budget, and the Precision 6 is not an exception. This budget shoe from Nike delivers on aspects that matter when it comes to performance. It's even comfortable enough to be worn the whole day without much issue. Indeed, you will get your money's worth with the Nike Precision 6.


  • Effective grip on clean courts
  • Very comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Wide and stable base
  • Good ankle support
  • Nice court feel
  • True to size
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transition
  • Totally lightweight
  • Breathable upper
  • Really affordable
  • OK for outdoors


  • Dust-prone outsole
  • Little impact protection
  • Upper lacks durability
  • Not for wide-footers
Full review of Nike Precision 6

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Any color
Black (DD9535002)
Black (DD9535001)
Black White Iron Grey White (DD9535003)
Grey (DD9535008)
Black/White/Black (DD9535007)
Phantom Iron Ore Black 004 (DD9535004)
Black/Metallic Gold (DD9535005)
Phantom Metallic Gold Team Red (DD9535006)
White Midnight Navy Univ Gold (DD9535101)

Best cheap baskteball shoes for outdoor courts

What makes it the best?

The Adidas Harden Stepback 3 is good news to those who want to perform beastly on the courts without slashing their pockets too much. This shoe's got the chops needed for fast and decisive movements toward the basket, making it a good partner for players who want to take the offense to the next level. It is arguably one of the best picks in its price range.


  • Excellent bite on the court
  • A lot of court feel
  • Good energy return
  • Comfortable wraparound
  • Sufficiently supportive
  • Ergonomic design
  • Fast break-in
  • Value for money


  • Not for outdoor use
  • Dust-prone outsole
  • Cheap-feeling materials
Full review of Adidas Harden Stepback 3

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Any color
Limmag Negbás Negbás (GZ7241)
Core Black/Cloud White/Core Black (GY8630)
Ecru Tint/Altered Amber/Magic Lime (GY6415)
Black/Dash Grey/Carbon (GY6416)
Team Solar Yellow/Team Shock Pink/Core Black (GY8634)
Oxiver Narhaz Casbla (GZ7240)
Ftwbla Narhaz Tincru (GW4215)
Core Black/Gold Metallic/Core Black (GY8631)
Bliss Pink/Team Real Magenta/Clear Pink (GY6417)

Cheap basketball shoes with the best durability

What makes it the best?

The Under Armour Lockdown 6 is among the cheapest models from the brand. Even though it doesn't scream performance, the shoe has all the basics to assist a player who is only trying their hand at basketball. Considering that you can get this shoe with a good discount these days, it is practically a free pair of entry-level kicks! And if it doesn't work for basketball, you can still wear this looker out and about.


  • Affordable
  • Good impact protection
  • Wear-resistant materials
  • Lighter than average
  • OK for the outdoor court
  • True to size, good fit
  • Suitable for all-day wear
  • Stylish appearance


  • So-so grip
  • Dull cushioning
  • Not very supportive
  • Lacks breathability
Full review of Under Armour Lockdown 6

Today's best price

Any color
Black (3025616001)
Red (3025616600)
(500) Nebula Purple/Sonar Blue/Orange Blast (3025616500)
(400) Downpour Gray/Black/White (3025616400)
(004) Black/Gray Mist/Lime Surge (3025616004)
White (3025616101)
(102) White/Bubble Peach/Black (3025616102)
Black (3025616003)
300 Verde (3025616300)

Best cheap lightweight basketball shoes

What makes it the best?

The Nike Giannis Immortality 2 is a pleasant surprise for players who are fast and quite shifty on the basketball court. Many say that the whole design of the shoe is all about speed and control. It's good that many are going to experience the goodness that this signature shoe offers because of its fairly affordable price.


  • Really good traction
  • Quick-feeling cushioning setup
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Very lightweight structure
  • True-to-size fit
  • Upper offers next-to-skin comfort
  • Good for outdoor use
  • Affordable


  • Not enough impact protection
  • Dust-prone outsole
  • A bit unstable
Full review of Nike Giannis Immortality 2

Today's best price

Any color
Green (DM0825300)
Black/white-university blue (DM0825001)
White (DM0825101)
003 cobblestone/ironstone/magic ember/black (DM0825003)
Hot Punch/Laser Orange-Oxygen Purple-Pink Foam (DM0825600)
Sail/smoke grey-rattan (DM0825100)
Blue (DM0825400)
Black/University Red/Wolf Grey (DM0825005)
More colors

Comparison of the 7 best cheap basketball shoes

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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.


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.





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.


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.


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, the King LeBron James also has a takedown line known as the Soldier.

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!


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.

How we test basketball shoes

Our mantra for our shoe reviews is honesty over freebie. So, for all the shoes we tested, we make sure that every penny we use the buy them comes from our own pockets. This way, we can be more straightforward about our feedback.

In testing the shoes, we do it two ways: wear testing and lab testing. We play in all the shoes for a substantial amount time before reporting our likes and dislikes. We also take them both indoors and outdoors for a wider array of observations.

After that, we summarize our thought about our experiences, and then we proceed with more data-seeking inside our lab. We measure different aspects, such as durability, weight, and flexibility. We also tear the shoes apart, giving us an absolute view of every component.

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.