5 Best New Basketball Shoes in 2024

Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic on
5 Best New Basketball Shoes in 2024
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If you want the latest releases of Nike, Converse, Adidas, or Under Armour, you come to the right place. In this special collection, we’ve rounded up and tested the best new basketball shoes out there. Check these parts of the web from time to time as we constantly update this section for new offerings.

Every year, new signature shoes of NBA Superstars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and James Harden, to name a few, are released by major brands. Hoops fans await their arrival and even make their pre-orders months before their actual release date.

To help you decide which new basketball shoes are perfectly suited to your needs, we’ve reviewed several models and highlighted our top picks for your quick reference.

How we test basketball shoes

To identify the best model for a specific category, we put each model to an array of mechanical tests in the RunRepeat lab. As a team of wear-testers, we also go to work by determining the shoes’ on-court performance, fit, ankle support, and comfort by playing several games of basketball, both indoor and outdoor.

Our methodology specifically includes:

  • Buying the new basketball shoes for testing using our own money. This keeps our reviews 100% objective and free from bias.
  • Wear testing each pair playing actual games of hoops. After that, we record our first-hand experience.
  • Cutting the models open in our lab. We carefully examine their essential parts such as the midsole construction, energy return, upper durability, support, and traction, among others.

Best new basketball shoes overall

What makes it the best?

Newly released basketball shoes are all great, but the Nike LeBron NXXT GEN still managed to rise above them all because of its speed-oriented design that highlighted an effectively reduced weight and surprisingly firm midsole. We were also extra thankful for this shoe’s torsional rigidity that kept us safe from painful twists and instability.

Being a LeBron, we expected the NXXT GEN to be quite heavy. Our jaws dropped when the weighing scale reported its weight to be only 13.12 ounces or 372 grams, making it even lighter than the 13.65 ounces or 387 grams average. The reduced weight allowed us to speed up our runs.

We believed that LeBron shoes are always cushiony. But this belief changed when we played in the LeBron NXXT GEN. Its tooling actually felt firm and reactive! Our HA durometer in the lab pegged its softness to be 30.6, which is higher (hence firmer) than the 27.9 average.

We felt so protected from twists because the shoe’s base truly felt firm and stable. We manually assessed it in the lab, and it indeed showed quite a resistance. It earned a 4 out of 5 from us for torsional rigidity.

The shoe’s ventilation, though, was quite a bummer. Our smoke test showed that the upper material couldn’t let the smoke nor air pass through, and it earned only a 2 out of 5.

Pros

  • Top-notch traction
  • Lightest LeBron shoe (as of 2023)
  • Nice bounce in the forefoot
  • A fine balance of court feel and impact protection
  • Effective foot containment
  • Very comfortable wraparound feel
  • Quality materials
  • Standout design and colors

Cons

  • Surprisingly not for wide feet
  • Still kinda expensive
Full review of Nike Lebron NXXT GEN

New basketball shoes with the best traction

What makes it the best?

Among all the basketball shoes that have recently been released, it’s the Adidas Harden Vol. 7 that delivered the most consistent bite on the court. This Adidas hoop shoe also provided a lot of outsole and toebox durability, making it such a suitable option for outdoor use.

The outsole of the Harden Vol. 7 is covered with a pattern that effectively delivered a strong multidirectional grip on various surfaces. Stopping on a dime was never a problem for us.

We performed a Dremel test on the outsole, and we were amazed at how durable it is. Our 22 seconds of high-pressure drilling only resulted in 0.5 mm damage, making this shoe twice as durable as the typical outsole that gets 1.1 mm of damage.

Speaking of durability, the toebox is also worth noting. Our twelve seconds of Dremel drilling on it barely left a dent, and it garnered a solid 4 out of 5 from us for durability. The toe-draggers are just so happy to have found this Adidas shoe.

Breathability is an issue for the Adidas Harden Vol. 7, though. It only got a 2 out of 5 in our breathability smoke test.

Pros

  • Super amazing traction on dustless courts
  • Heel-to-toe transition is smooth
  • Well-pronounced court feel
  • Fairly dependable impact protection
  • Comfortable and supportive heel area
  • Very good overall containment
  • Laces offers exceptional lockdown
  • True-to-size fit
  • Easy to put on and take off

Cons

  • Ventilation has to be improved
  • Shoe is on the heavier side
Full review of Adidas Harden Vol. 7

New basketball shoes with the best cushioning

Nike G.T. Jump 2
90
Great!

What makes it the best?

True to its name, the Nike G.T. Jump 2 really knows how to maximize your jumps. We are in awe of its innovative cushioning setup which loaded our takeoffs with the most explosive power! Not to mention its fantastic impact-absorbing qualities upon landing. We are convinced that this shoe is a treat for bigger players whose playing style involves lots of jumping blocks, dunks, and jump shots.

Pros

  • Extra powerful energy return
  • Outstanding impact protection
  • Dependable grip on clean courts
  • Solid support and stability
  • Very secure foothold
  • Highly breathable upper
  • Fits to a T

Cons

  • Zero court feel
  • Not for outdoor courts
  • Heavier than average
Full review of Nike G.T. Jump 2

Best new basketball shoes for outdoor courts

What makes it the best?

There are just a lot of things with the Nike Cosmic Unity 3 that make it the best pick for outdoor use among all the newly released basketball shoes at this time. Besides its totally hard outsole rubber, we also appreciated its capacity for great foot containment and stability. To be more specific, its heel counter felt really stiff and its base was largely resistant to twists. 

The outsole of the Cosmic Unity 3 protected us very well from feeling the pressure from pebbles and other debris on outdoor courts. Our HC durometer pegged its hardness at 86.5 while the average is only 81.5

Upon wearing the Cosmic Unity 3, we already felt the stiffness of the heel counter and base delivered. We assessed this shoe in the lab, and the shoe got a 4 out of 5 for heel counter stiffness and torsional rigidity. There was no way that our feet could ever escape this basketball shoe’s clasp. We also loved it that we never had to worry about wobbliness even for a second.

If there was one thing that we would change about the Nike Cosmic Unity 3, it would be its weight. At 15.66 ounces or 444 grams, it’s way heavier than the 14.22 ounces or 403 grams average.

Pros

  • Perfect for outdoor courts
  • Outstandingly durable
  • One of the most stable shoes
  • Wide platform
  • Very secure lockdown
  • Reliable traction on all courts
  • Breathable enough
  • Sustainable materials

Cons

  • Firm sole with poor impact protection
  • Heavier than average
  • Break-in needed
Full review of Nike Cosmic Unity 3

New basketball shoes with the best value

Nike Ja 1
88
Great!

What makes it the best?

The Nike Ja 1 is affordable at $110 a pair (average is $134), yet it offers the best value among the newly released basketball shoes because of its amazing upper durability, dependable torsional resistance, and unwavering support.

Our Dremel tests in the lab became laughable when they did not even leave a significant mark on both the toebox and the heel padding. Given such results, we are left with no other choice but to give the toebox and the heel a perfect 5 out of 5 for being amazingly abrasion-resistant. 

Torsional rigidity is another aspect that the Nike Ja 1 perfected. It did not give us any reason to worry about twists and even slips. It’s truly deserving of the 5 out of 5 that we gave after giving it a nice twist in the lab.

When it comes to lockdown, this new Nike shoe is not to be discounted. Its upper material and heel counter work together to keep the foot in place no matter how intense our movements are. The stiffness of the heel counter got a rating of 4 out of 5 after it showed resistance to our aggressive test squeezes.

We just didn’t like that this shoe needed some serious break-in time. We would have appreciated it more if it were a shoe that we could use straight out of the box.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

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