We spent 10.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what basketball players think:

5 reasons to buy

  • The large-volume Zoom Air unit feels terrific, nearly all testers exclaim. According to them, the Zoom unit is bouncy, pretty responsive, and has excellent impact protection.
  • Like the LeBron 16, most reviewers are declaring that the Flyknit upper feels great on foot. They claim that the materials are soft, flexible, sturdy, and supportive.
  • The Nike AlphaDunk is a solid basketball shoe for bigger players, a good number of owners report. They claim that these Nike sneakers have excellent support and lockdown.
  • A few users are happy that these high-top basketball shoes from Nike are quite easy to put on.
  • At least a couple of testers are satisfied with the AlphaDunk’s traction on the court.

3 reasons not to buy

  • These Nike basketball shoes have terrible traction, a lot of players complain. According to them, the translucent rubber outsole attracts a lot of dust that is quite hard to wipe off.
  • These high-tops from Nike feel heavy, bulky, and clunky, several players gripe. They claim these the Nike AlphaDunk feel like Timberland cleats.
  • The midsole feels chunky, a few testers observe.

Bottom line

It would seem that the AlphaDunk is only designed for players who live above the rim. The shoe’s high-top design offers excellent lockdown and ankle support. At the forefoot, the large-volume Zoom unit provides a lot of bounce and impact protection. However, it seems that the tread pattern and chunky midsole doesn’t provide the needed court feel.  At $180, the Nike AlphaDunk is a tough sell. Unlike the PG3, these basketball shoes are not that well rounded; they seem to cater to a specific type of player.


Top: High
Lockdown: Lace-Up
Price: $180
Colorways: Black, Orange, Pink, Silver
Small True to size Large
Tight Loose
Neutral Stable
Warm Breathable
Firm Plush
Durability 8/10
Comfort 7/10
Traction 7/10
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Expert Reviews

Experts are basketball players, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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80 / 100 based on 5 expert reviews

  • 95 / 100 | MARKCHES | | Level 5 expert

    It is really worth it. With the materials that you'll be getting — the Flyknit upper with the nubuck heel patch and the amazing cushion setup. This huge double-stacked Zoom unit.

  • 74 / 100 | The Sole Brothers | | Level 5 expert

    Especially for 180 bucks, don't get it. It feels like a boot.

  • 74 / 100 | RicheeKim | | Level 5 expert

    It's just not worth it in my opinion. I would say go for the Zoom Rize. You get pretty much everything this shoe has to offer.

  • 76 / 100 | SneakerGearz | | Level 3 expert

    If you're looking for a max cushion setup and you're a bigger guy and you like a little more of that stiffness, again, that's what we got in the LeBron X, maybe this is gonne be nicer for you but overall, even at 245 I felt the Zoom Rize was just a little bit better.

  • 81 / 100 | Beware Bow | Level 1 expert

    If you wanna be in a dunk competition and you just wanna do dunks, this is probably the shoe for you.

  • First look | The Sole Brothers

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The Nike AlphaDunk is the ultimate weapon of powerful players who rise above the rim. Pulling together the best Nike technologies, these high-top basketball shoes are engineered to withstand the bangs and bruises of playing in the paint.

“The AlphaDunk began from a study in jump height,” Nike Basketball Senior Creative Design Director Ross Klein explains. “We began to consider what would happen if we bring our most responsive technology, Zoom Air, to the entire forefoot to cover the full motion of a jump, from load to launch. What could it do?” 

The Nike AlphaDunk boasts the highest stacked Zoom unit ever to generate push and ensure engagement during takeoff. A re-engineered Flyknit upper provides a sock-like fit that is both strong and flexible. 

“We wanted to ensure durability for athletes working in the key,” Klein continues.

Cushion. The Nike AlphaDunk boasts a Zoom Air unit that extends under the ball of the foot to the toes. The large Zoom unit keeps the foot engaged with the cushioning until the point of liftoff. At the heel, a foam midsole provides added cushion during hard landings.

Traction. These high-tops from Nike feature a durable rubber outsole with a fingerprint-like traction pattern that provides grip on the court.

Closure. The Nike AlphaDunk’s high-top construction is designed to keep the ankle firmly in place. An external heel cup helps stabilize the ankle.

The AlphaDunk features a Flknit upper that offers a sock-like fit. These basketball shoes also utilize a traditional lacing system with Flywire cables to keep the foot locked in. A padded inner collar provides added support for the Achilles tendon.

The Nike AlphaDunk boasts a re-engineered Flyknit construction that provides both flexibility and strong support where you need it. Along the upper, added thickness enhance durability without the excess weight.

Its engineering defines the AlphaDunk. These basketball shoes feature a large, visible air unit at the forefoot to provide high-fliers an aerial advantage. At the top of the shoe, a textured upper solves for abrasion.

These high-top Nike basketball shoes are currently available in the following color options:

  • Black/Photo Blue-White ‘Pure Magic’
  • Metallic Silver/Hyper Royal/Red Orbit ‘Dunk of Death’
  • Racer Pink/Volt/Black ‘Hoverboard’

Nike AlphaDunk ‘Dunk of Death’

The ‘Dunk of Death’ colorway is a nod to Vince Carter’s dunk over 7-foot-2 Frenchman Frederick Weis. These Nike sneakers are dressed in the colors of Team USA with insoles that read “Dunk of Death.”

Nike AlphaDunk ‘Hoverboard’

This special edition colorway takes inspiration from the movie Back to the Future 2. Details include an arrow graphic on the right shoe and an embroidered “LOB” on the left shoe. The insoles also come with “Library of Bounce” and “Imagination” graphics.

Nike AlphaDunk ‘Pure Magic’

Feature a Magic-themed color scheme, the ‘Pure Magic’ colorway pays tribute to Aaron Gordon’s All-Star dunk.