The best basketball shoes to buy in 2021


It started with two words. “basketball addition” [sic] was the groundbreaking statement Kanye West tossed to his legion of Twitter followers in July 2018. While far from his most philosophical tweet, it was the one that made sneaker enthusiasts enraged with excitement. He was of course referring to the latest Yeezy sneaker line, confirming two-year-old rumors that he was working on a basketball shoe, which will be released in 2019.

Is this the first time that a luxury brand without a sporting pedigree has turned to the basketball silhouette? Of course not. Off-White, Fear of God, Hender Scheme, Valentino, Berluti and Buscemi are just a few of the names that have made them in recent years, none of which are under £ 500. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. There is nothing that fashion has not appropriated. Can we even call them basketball shoes when they don’t have the technology to make them wearable on the court? Who knows.

Michael Jordan, 1998Michael Jordan, 1998

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What we do know is that there is no other sport that has such a hold on fashion, and in particular the sneaker industry. The Air Jordans have dominated the sneaker game since the first pair was released in 1984 and are arguably responsible for the market as we know it today, as well as the popularity of sponsorship deals. In 2017, Jordan brand’s wholesale revenue was $ 3.1 billion, so it’s no wonder fashion brands are keen to cash in.

And then of course there is the question of style. Just as many people buy basketball shoes to be worn off the court as they are on the court, and for good reason. Forget today’s chunky sneakers, basketball shoes were the first statement sneaks, and some of the most iconic sneaker designs ever to originate in hardwood – we’re talking Converse All Stars, Nike Air Force Ones, Air Jordan 1s. Naturally, they pair well with streetwear inspired looks, bold colourways working with bold logo tees and chino pants or wide leg jeans; while all versions in muted black or white can complement more minimal outfits. And their popularity is also expected to increase.

Enter Kanye and his plans with Yeezy’s big exit. Is 2019 the year of the basketball shoe? The Chicago native has been on the ball so far in his designer life – he’s been a major catalyst for trends in long tops, oversized jackets, and chunky sneakers, after all. Until then, here are some of the best basketball shoes you can buy right now, in terms of style, performance, and affordability.

The best fashionable basketball shoes for men

Nike Air Force 1 Mid

The OG basketball sneaker. Yes, the Converse All Star was the first and remains a style classic, but the Air Force 1 really revolutionized the athletic shoe market. And yet, due to its popularity today, people too often overlook the roots of the AF1’s hardtop. While it wouldn’t hold up as well today in terms of performance as it did when it launched in 1982, the Air Force 1’s classic design ensures that its styling play is unprecedented.

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Nike Air Force 1 Mid

Air Jordan 3 Retro

Air Jordans are often reissued but regularly sold out, which means you have to act fast if you want a pair in a wearable color. These 3 feature an iconic design, emulated by many, improved by none, and are available in white with a subtle baby blue sole – mimicking the colors of the University of Jordan in North Carolina.

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Air Jordan 3 Retro

Converse All Star Classic High Top

Like the Air Force 1, the widespread popularity of the All Star means that the shoe’s original purpose is often overlooked. It was primarily a basketball shoe, but today it is a wardrobe staple. Wear it with anything – from your tracksuit to your suit – and it will do.

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Converse All Star Classic High Top

Fear of God high top basketball shoes

Despite a totally unoriginal design that borrows heavily from the AF1 and the ’80s Converse weapon, these Fear of God sneakers still demand a price tag of £ 800. Why? Because fashion. They are, naturally, made from high quality calfskin and are hand assembled in Italy, but more importantly, they signal the next potential direction of luxury sneaker.

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Fear of God high top basketball shoes

Hender Scheme MIP-01 Knee High Shoes

Rather than trying to stray from its design inspirations, Japanese brand Hender Scheme offers full replications of all of them’s most famous sneaker styles – three guesses as to what this one turned to. Constructed from a beautiful vegetable tanned leather and with all the branding removed, it looks more like a work of art than a basketball shoe which is reflected in the price.

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Hender Scheme MIP-01 Knee High Shoes

Best performance basketball shoes

Kobe AD NXT 360

Considered by some to be the best performing basketball shoe of all time, this 2018 addition to Kobe Bryant’s signature line was a triumph. It looks unconventional – more like a running shoe than a basketball – but has all the NikeThe latest in technology, including a next-generation Flyknit ‘360’ upper, React and Lunarlon foams integrated into a midsole and a unique wrap-around translucent sole. This essentially results in a shoe that feels like a second skin, while providing the cushioning and support of a shoe that is twice the thickness.

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Kobe AD NXT 360

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 MVP

Adidas is falling behind Nike in sales of basketball shoes, but these are models like the Harden Vol. 2 which boost the stock of hoops of the German brand. Designed to celebrate the MVP season of its namesake James Harden, this black, gold and blue edition of Vol. 2 features a sock-like interior that will fit the wearer’s foot, a custom lacing system, and Adidas’ patented Boost sole, which means they’ll be as comfortable on the court as they are. outside.

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Adidas Harden Vol.  2 MVP

Nike Zoom KD11

Flyknit might be the most important new shoe material in recent memory, given that it appears on seemingly every new shoe. Nike trainer these days. It is used to full effect on the KD11, the latest shoe in Kevin Durant’s signature line. It’s light, comfortable and flexible, and while not the easiest to wear off the court in this color, it offers a pleasant wool-like texture that complements a more casual outfit.

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Nike Zoom KD11

Under Armor Curry 5

Stephen Curry single-handedly put Under Armor on the map. The NBA All Star and all the good guys went from Nike at UA in 2013, and has effectively doubled the brand’s revenue since then. The Curry 5 is the latest and greatest performance shoe made by the company – it’s lightweight, features a knit upper to hug the foot, and Anafoam cushioning for smooth landings.

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Under Armor Curry 5

Best outdoor basketball shoes

Nike LeBron Soldier XII

An outdoor basketball shoe requires supreme cushioning and thick rubber soles for the tough concrete of local courts. These LeBrons deliver just that, with their full bouncy Zoom Air unit in the sole, a durable tread and a crisscross strap providing secure lockdown on the top of the shoe.

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Nike LeBron Soldier XII

Jordan Fly Lock

The Jordans haven’t always been the cheapest shoe, but these aren’t going to break the bank, under £ 100. Not only will they be working on the hardtop – their integrated Zoom Air unit guarantees that – they will also be working off the pitch. Jordan’s classic red and black color and futuristic design pair well with a t-shirt and jeans.

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Jordan Fly Lock

Adidas Dame 4

A style that’s easy to wear both off and on the court, Damian Lillard’s signature is a bestseller for Adidas and it’s easy to see why. They tick off the current obsession with basketball shoes – a sock-like upper construction – but, especially for strapping outdoors, they feature chunky rubber soles, which almost pass for a chunky coach style.

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Adidas Dame 4

Best Cheap Basketball Shoes

Nike Kyrie Flytrap

A simple, high-quality pair that will serve you well indoors and out. Designed for fast and agile players, the textured knit upper and Zoom Air cushioning are a comfortable combination, and the all-black color scheme ensures they’re harmless for a post-game trip to the pub.

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Nike Kyrie Flytrap

Under Armor Curry 3ZERO

While not the prettiest, these AUs are a steal for under £ 35. For that, you get a shoe derived from the signature Steph Curry, complemented by a subtle ‘SC’ branding on the tongue. He is a solid all-round artist who is sure to impress.

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Under Armor Curry 3ZERO

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit

This pair benefits from ZoomX cushioning and Flyknit for good forefoot support – two things typically reserved for shoes well outside this price range. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love gum soles?

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Nike ZoomX Best Basketball Shoes

Nike Air Force 1 Bottom

Coming to ten pounds cheaper than the mid-range (think beers), the Air Force 1 low is a design classic in its own right. It paved the way for many chunky low top sneakers and continues to be a staple over thirty years after its release – wear it with jeans, joggers, t-shirt, sweatshirt, the choice is yours. .

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Nike Air Force 1 Low

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