4 Best Nike Basketball Shoes in 2023

Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic on
4 Best Nike Basketball Shoes in 2023
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When it comes to sports footwear, Nike leads. This holds true even in performance basketball where the brand and its subsidiary Jordan hold more than 80% of the market. This makes quite an extensive range to choose from.

Some models come with extra cushioning, some have outstanding grip, and some provide the most secure lockdown around your ankle. On top of that, you can also find those all-around performers that successfully blend all of the above.

To help you find the right option, we have reviewed over 100 basketball shoes and selected the cream of the crop.

How we test basketball shoes

The best Nike basketball shoes are 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. 

For the list below, we were able to survey more than 930 experts and more than 64,000 users.

Best Nike basketball shoes overall

Nike Lebron 20

What makes it the best?

The LeBron 20 definitely looks much more toned down, so it is visually different from the previous Nike LeBrons; yet, players note that its performance is as big as ever. It serves the need of not only players who want a lot of impact protection but also athletes who want to be agile on the court. It's already a bonus that this shoe has the looks for off-the-court action.


  • Amazing overall performance
  • Great traction
  • Tremendous impact protection
  • Pronounced court feel
  • Dependable bounciness
  • Comfortable upper
  • Incredible foot containment
  • Stylishly streamlined looks


  • Not for outdoors
  • Has to be broken in
Full review of Nike Lebron 20

Today's best price

Any color
White/metallic gold/black/univ (DJ5423100)
Orange (DJ5423800)
901 olive/brown-white (DV1193901)
Red (DV1193600)
Light silver/hyper royal-lemon chiffon-safety orange (DJ5423002)
Black/university red/universit (DJ5423001)
Green (FJ4955300)
Multi-color/Multi-color (DR8784900)
More colors

Best Nike basketball shoes for outdoor court

Nike KD 15

What makes it the best?

The releases from the KD line are hits, and the Nike KD 15 is not an exemption. This basketball shoe energizes every step without forgetting to protect the feet from impact upon aggressive strikes and hard landings. Dust is also not going to be a problem, and the grip is indeed consistent even on unkempt floors. Its collar is not as high, but the curved structure of the heel locks in the foot extra securely. It's apparent that a lot of careful thought was poured into the design process of this Nike offer.


  • Consistent grip on different surfaces
  • Dust-resistant outsole
  • Plush and protective foam
  • Bouncy midsole
  • Secure heel counter
  • Well-ventilated upper
  • Feels light
  • OK for outdoors


  • Not for wide-footers
  • Lacks flexiblity
Full review of Nike KD 15

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Any color
Wolf Grey/Wolf Grey/White (DO9826001)
White/white-black-royal tint (DC1975101)
Multicolor/multicolor (DO9825902)
Light orewood brown/metallic g (DV1199100)
Action Grape/White/Black/Pink Foam (FN8010500)
Game Royal/Game Royal/White (DO9826401)
Black/University Red (DC1975003)
900 multi-colour/multi-colour (DO9825900)
More colors

Best low top Nike basketball shoes

Nike Zoom Freak 4

What makes it the best?

The Nike Zoom Freak 4 is a worthy follow-up to the Freak 3s because of the noticeable improvement that it brings. It brings out the best in players who do a lot of rebounds and fast runs to the basket because of the high levels of energy that it returns with every step. It's pretty safe to say that this basketball shoe from Nike is worth every penny spent on it.


  • Noticeable upgrades
  • Amazing grip on indoor courts
  • Dust-resistant outsole
  • Smooth steps
  • Pretty good court feel
  • Dependable impact protection
  • Jump-improving bounce
  • Reliably supportive structure
  • True-to-size fit


  • Not ideal for outdoors (but OK)
  • Not for bigger players and wide footers
  • Cheap-feeling materials
Full review of Nike Zoom Freak 4

Today's best price

Any color
Grey (DO9679001)
White (DO9679100)
Black/Black/White (DO9679002)
600 university red/white (DO9679600)
Game Royal/White-game Royal (DO9679401)
Midnite Navy/White (DO9679400)
Ironstone/Cobblestone/Sail/Orange Trance (DJ6149003)
White (DJ6149100)
More colors

Best value Nike 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
Black/white-university blue (DM0825001)
White/Metallic Silver (DM0825102)
Hot Punch/Laser Orange-Oxygen Purple-Pink Foam (DM0825600)
Cool Grey/Glacier Blue (DM0825004)
Black/Wolf Grey/White/Black (DM0825002)
003 cobblestone/ironstone/magic ember/black (DM0825003)
Sail/smoke grey-rattan (DM0825100)
White (DM0825101)
More colors

Comparison of the 4 best Nike basketball shoes

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Users rating
Best price
# of colorways

What sets the best Nike basketball shoes apart

Nike dominates the basketball market definitely not by chance. It offers a good deal of innovations that help with performance on the hard court. 

Many of the proprietary technologies featured in Nike basketball shoes debuted in running shoes.






Polyurethane pouch filled with dense gases, achieves that feeling of comfortably ‘walking on air’

Zoom Air

Air unit with tightly stretched tensile fibers knit inside it for a more perfect balance of responsiveness and impact protection


Special foam, bouncier and 30% lighter than phylon 


Air packets that are put directly beneath known pressure points for a more targeted and efficient cushioning


Special lab-produced foam that is both soft and responsive



Suspension-cables-like wires on both sides, cradling the foot and holding it securely in place especially during motion


Digitally engineered knit that is light, form-fitting, and seamless


Flyknit innovation for LeBron James that becomes increasingly stiff at the midfoot where stability is most needed


First used on LeBrons shoes, this is basically Flyknit infused with heat-molded yarn that makes it more durable and supportive

Beyond technologies: Other factors to consider

Apart from technologies, other factors play important roles in ensuring your enjoyment of Nike basketball shoes

Playing style

Expectedly, many of the top Nike basketball shoes are from signature lines dedicated to some of NBA’s most prolific players like guard Paul George and power forward Kevin Durant. This should make choosing the right shoe easier. Shoes from signature lines are sensitive not only to the star player’s personal preferences but also their playing positions.


According to Basketball Reference, Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James are versatile players who can handle almost all playing positions. We can expect their shoes to be as flexible as they are.

Style and aesthetics

Nike basketball shoes are as pretty as they are high-performing. They will be of use even when you are off the court. 

Low or high, know what you want. High-top basketball sneakers are espoused by players like LeBron James. Low-top basketball shoes are worn by many of Nike’s NBA stars, the most prominent of which being Kobe Bryant. Wanting one collar length over the other is just a matter of preference. 

Know your color. Nike basketball shoes are available in thousands of colorways. Many of them commemorate important events or holidays such as Black History, Christmas, Easter, and the NBA Championships. There are also colorways that reference the lives and careers of their signature athletes. 

To know more about the general steps to consider when buying basketball shoes, read our detailed buying guide.

Indoor or outdoor? The sturdiness test

The basketball shoe industry in general is largely driven by the NBA. With this, Nike releases basketball shoes that are deliberately for indoor hooping on a well-kept hard court.

You need to know how to assess a shoe’s outdoor playability before you use it on asphalt or any other type of outdoor court. Here’s how you can assess the shoe:


Get the best Nike basketball shoes for less

The top Nike basketball shoes are going to be even greater if they are NOT expensive.

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Non-signature models are not expensive simply because no big names are attached to them. 

The price of older models are deliberately brought down in clearance sales. Remember, the presence of a newer option does not automatically make older models less effective. They still have the technologies that make them desirable.

Even within signature lines, Nike develops takedown models to appeal to a wider audience. These basketball shoes are cheaper because they use non-premium materials. LeBron’s Witness line and Kyrie Irving’s Flytrap series are examples of takedown signature releases from Nike.

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.