7 Best Basketball Shoes For Men, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic on
7 Best Basketball Shoes For Men, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Given the popularity of the NBA and its roster of star athletes, basketball is a sport more readily associated with men than women. Hence, it comes as no surprise that shoes and other apparel created for this sport have the male anatomy in mind.

In this article, we take a look at the most suitable shoes for men. They are the ones that truly made a mark after testing more than 400 shoes from big sports brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour.

Of course, this does not mean that there are no women’s basketball shoes. Female fans are as real as their male counterparts, and their needs deserve unique attention. We have a separate page for the best basketball shoes for women.

How we test basketball shoes

It is important to keep our reviews as free from bias as possible. Here’s what we do to stay objective:

  • We buy the shoes using our own money. No sponsorships. No X-deals. We are as much consumers of these shoes as you are.
  • We test the shoes in actual games; not just mere footwork tests/training.
  • We are a group of testers here, so our experiences are diverse. You’d know who reviewed that because we keep our author bios open.
  • We do our research. In addition to our own reviews, we also get the inputs of users and experts from all over the net in order to come up with a numeric CoreScore for your easy reference.

Best basketball shoes overall for men

Nike KD 14
Nike KD 14

CoreScore

93
Superb!
4.7 / 5 from 132 users
91 / 100 from 14 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Great cushion and feel
  • Great ankle support
  • Strap makes feet feel locked down
  • Looks really cool
  • No heel slip

Cons

  • Stiff out of the box
  • Needs wiping off for traction
  • Runs hot

Verdict

Kevin Durant as a basketball player is one that you simply can’t overlook. He is fast, he scores, and damn he is tall! He is such a good team player as well who does a good deal of everything. If he is a shoe, then nothing represents him better than the Nike KD 14. 

This shoe is just among the most supportive basketball sneakers we have on the market. The materials and the shoe structure all work together to deliver a type of lockdown that gives no room for second thoughts. We can really say that this one is really made for players who are agile and quite simply hard to contain.

Speaking of agility, don’t think that the good containment that it offers was at the expense of mobility. No, this was not the case at all. We were still able to move fast. We were still able to respond quickly to the opponents’ antics. Indeed, if you want to really break free on the court, this one should be what you should be wearing.

Now, if there’s something that we should complain about, it would be that this shoe needed to be broken in. But which shoe doesn’t? This issue was not a dealbreaker, and it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for you.

Nike KD 14 full review

Best men's basketball shoes for grip

Under Armour Curry 8
Under Armour Curry 8

CoreScore

89
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 317 users
89 / 100 from 13 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Great traction for indoor court
  • Low to the ground cushioning
  • Nice fit
  • Stable cushioning
  • Weighs lighter
  • Breathable

Cons

  • A bit tight
  • Not for outdoor play
  • Too elastic upper
  • Break-in period

Verdict

Many basketball players regard the traction as a basketball shoe’s most important aspect. Being a quick guard himself, Stephen Curry is definitely one of those players. His regard for traction is very evident in his Under Armour Curry 8, which is touted to have a hall-of-fame grip!

Truly, we were able to stop on a dime as we pleased. We didn’t even have to second guess our moves because we were just so sure that the traction got us covered in all directions. There were no slips or instability whatsoever. Dust was not even a problem! There was absolutely no need to wipe. Playing in the Curry was just pure fun!

Besides a truly commendable grip, this shoe also delivered a nicely snug fit but still with lots and lots of ventilation. The materials felt premium and were soft enough to not cause any form of discomfort. We could literally wear the Curry 8 all day! 

Did we already mention that this shoe felt super light? No? Well, this one was so light it felt like we didn’t have anything on! Yet, this does not mean that support wasn’t there. In fact, we couldn’t praise Under Armour and their team of designers for making sure that our feet were securely contained.

Under Armour Curry 8 full review

Best basketball shoes with best cushioning for men

Nike Cosmic Unity
Nike Cosmic Unity

CoreScore

91
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 116 users
90 / 100 from 20 experts

Pros

  • Top-tier cushioning
  • Consistent traction both on clean and dusty surfaces
  • Supportive once broken in
  • Grippy outsole
  • Wide feet friendly
  • OK for outdoor use
  • Sustainable materials
  • Awesome looks
  • Soft, snug fit

Cons

  • Break-in period needed
  • Not so breathable

Verdict

Basketball shoes are either plush or firm, and there seems to be no in-betweens. The Nike Cosmic Unity, however, changes this. This Nike shoe delivered a perfect blend of impact protection and court feel, serving the needs of both big men and quick guards. Indeed, this shoe is versatile enough to suit all positions.

Besides an all-around midsole, this shoe also delivered dependable support and stability. The commendable cushioning system, once again, helped with this. Specifically, the foam rises up to the sides, forming some sort of side walls that caged our feet and stopped them from sliding laterally. 

The Cosmic Unity basketball was also constructed with a wide base,  which  greatly helped in maintaining balance even during the most intense sprints.

The more sociable among us were indeed happy with the premium materials  that compose the upper. They really felt super comfortable; it was as if the shoes were made specifically for our unique feet. It also looked quite nice, and we didn’t have problems matching it with our casual outfits. 

Though this shoe was not able to provide perfection, it surely delivered on the aspects that matter. Of course,  its topnotch cushioning takes the center stage.

Nike Cosmic Unity full review

Best Nike basketball shoes for men

Nike PG 5
Nike PG 5

CoreScore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 640 users
88 / 100 from 20 experts

Pros

  • Highly-cushioned
  • Superb traction
  • Looks great
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Feels pretty rigid
  • Runs small
  • Tight fit

Verdict

A highly-cushioned basketball shoe, the NIke PG 5 offers players a solid platform for jumping. This would be a good shoe for a big or power forward who likes to stay in the lanes and remain on the block. Aside from the pleasing looks, the Nike PG 5 offers great value for money.
Nike PG 5 full review

Best basketball shoes with best support for men

Nike Kyrie 7
Nike Kyrie 7

CoreScore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 738 users
90 / 100 from 11 experts

Pros

  • Remarkable lockdown
  • Super comfy
  • Feels light
  • Stable even during lateral movement
  • Durable
  • Breathable
  • Good value for money
  • For players of all levels
  • Feels springy
  • Easy on/off
  • Many color options

Cons

  • Break-in period needed
  • Slightly slipped when rocking backward

Verdict

Besides a more pronounced court feel, guards like Kyrie Irving need really good support. This where the Nike Kyrie 7 excels in.

When we first wore the seventh Kyrie, we were so amazed at how perfectly well the fit was. The materials felt durable and they really followed the unique shape and contours of our feet. This type of fit alone would have given us enough support.

Yet, the Kyrie 7 offered more. Wing-like features on the forefoot delivered more containment; so did the material that came up from the sole, making some sort of cage that really held our feet in place. The wide base also contributed to a stabler feel.

To make this guard shoe even more palatable, the very good support is complemented by springiness, which of course helped propel us to the basket. The midsole is also soft enough to make prolonged sprints and direction changes as protected from fatigue as possible.

Even with all that goodness, the Nike Kyrie 7 still managed to have a really low weight. We didn’t feel it weighing down our movements. It was so light that only a few minutes into the game, we felt like the shoe became an extension of our anatomy.

Support is definitely one thing that you just gotta love about the Nike Kyrie 7, but it surely is not the only one.

Nike Kyrie 7 full review

Best value basketball shoes for men

Under Armour Spawn 3
Under Armour Spawn 3

CoreScore

86
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 306 users
90 / 100 from 2 experts

Pros

  • Phenomenal traction
  • Balanced midsole
  • True-to-size fit
  • OK for outdoors
  • Feels really light
  • No break-in needed
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Cheap-feeling materials
  • Lateral instability

Verdict

If you believe that a basketball shoe has to be expensive to be good, then you really have to reevaluate your beliefs. The market is replete with cheap options that are good performance-wise, and the Under Armour Spawn 3 rises above them all.

This US shoe gets  the top place because of its highly commendable traction. When we heard that this has a “freaking phenomenal” grip, we were skeptical. But when we played in it, boy, we were all floored. “Freaking phenomenal” is still an understatement. This was simply up there with the Kobe 9 when it comes to traction.

This shoe also courted our glee with its incredibly balanced Micro-G tooling in the midsole. Big men, guards, everyone in our team cannot complain because this just delivered an out-of-this-world balance of impact protection, court feel, and responsiveness.

Given all the goodness that we just described, it’s easy to imagine this shoe to be both heavy and bulky. But this is really not the case. In fact, we felt that this is among the lightest low-tops. It also has a very streamlined look that made an impression on even the most fashionable bloke among us.

The fact that this was durable enough to withstand rigorous outdoor use made this our easy favorite. We didn’t want to look any further. With the UA Spawn 3, all our needs are satisfied. Without breaking the bank, mind you!

Under Armour Spawn 3 full review
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.