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The criteria section has also been re-looked at and worked on, giving you more in depth detailing and selection factors. The most recent update reflects 's most popular and functional basketball shoes with specific descriptions on their design, features, and functionalities. An updated research criteria provides further buying advice at the time of selecting basketball shoes, as well as valuable insight on the functioning of basketball shoes.

Basketball shoes, in general, are an exciting type of sneakers, seeing that shoe companies are constantly working to push boundaries by technological innovation and exciting new designs. Staying relevant today means utilizing various materials such as flywire technology, specialized leather, mesh and more, but also giving a lot of attention to shoe configuration.

Additionally, basketball shoes serve for more than just on-court performance, seeing that they are one of the most popular styles of athletic shoes found on the streets. Famed and sponsored basketball players such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose all worked with leading shoe companies in order to create some of the most famous basketball shoes in history. These collaborations are exciting and fresh, seeing not just high-quality shoes designed by professional players in order to achieve their maximum on the court, but they also include fun colorways that make these models unique and highly popular among sneakerheads.

In this list, we take a look at the top fifteen best basketball shoes available for purchase in , and evaluate the important aspects and values of each of these models in order to help you choose the pair of basketball shoes that will serve you the best — whether you want to rock them on the court, or display them as part of your b-ball shoe collection. There you have it, our top 15 list of the best basketball shoes currently available for purchase. All of these basketball shoes are incredible and show that shoe technology will continue to evolve. From the LeBrons to the Jordans, to the Durants, there really is no wrong choice, however, all of these models feature aspects which might make them the right pair of basketball shoes for the type of player you are.

How good a pair of basketball shoes is will greatly depend on the soles. Not only will a pair of high quality basketball shoes help to improve your performance with more effective speed, but they can also help prevent injuries. A shoe without a good pair of soles can lead to slipping and falling, or can result in ankle sprains that can have a significant impact on your game and career as a professional basketball player.

A decent outsole must count with two things; a steady, firm grip and smooth traction.


In simple words, the grip is what allows you to hold yourself onto the surface, while traction is what determines the quality of the movement in relation to the surface. Despite being two individual things, the grip and the traction must work together to deliver an optimal performance. A cheap outsole will be defeated by your momentum, ultimately resulting in slippage or lateral swinging. In order to get a clean shot, any lateral impulse should be neutralized; you only want to move in a vertical dimension when going for the shot to obtain the most accuracy. Some shoes will grip efficiently to the floor when taking a shot or going for a cross-over but will fail to grip when performing quick and continuous movements.

Variations of rubber, such as vulcanized rubber, have a slightly stickier surface and helps control fast and forceful motions. Midsoles are the component responsible for most of the shock absorption process. From the moment of impact, the shock moves up from the surface. The first obstacle it will encounter is the sole, which is why it absorbs most of it. For many years, the default material for shock absorption was rubber, but new compounds are being created more and more by incorporating synthetic materials and options. These compounds are denser, meaning that they naturally contain more mass.

By having more mass, these materials absorb shock more efficiently.

Any shoe that is meant for an impact sport should count with enough cushioning. Basketball involves a large variety of very different movements which generate compression of the foot against the materials of the shoe. The cushioning materials found in your pair of basketball shoes also prevent your feet from damaging themselves against the materials of the shoe.

The exteriors of basketball shoes are made to be tough and durable, and this often means that they will be too rough on the feet unless covered with a layer of protective cushioning. This can prevent damage caused on the feet, and will increase the level of comfort you feel when playing. Made of soft, comfy materials;, it will most likely lack the structure and support you need for a sport like basketball. As with any pair of shoes made for performance, basketball shoes need to feel comfortable enough on your feet so as not to distract you from the task at hand.

This includes a proper fit, as well as features designed to keep you feeling pleasant no matter the wear time. These features can be found both on the inside and the outside of the shoe, so make sure to carefully look at your preferred model before purchasing. Here are some aspects that you should consider:.

Look for add ons such as a sockliner or a soft interior fabric to maximize the level of comfort you feel when you put on your basketball shoes. It is important that you also consider the width and length of the shoe, as both of these will be a huge determining factor. A shoe that is too loose will allow your foot to slip around; a shoe that is too tight will cause friction and irritation and can affect circulation.

If you really want the sole of your foot to feet good, then it is necessary to check out what the midsole is made of and how thick and bouncy it is. If you shoe lacks any bounce then you will have a stiff feeling that hinders your mobility. Too much bounce, and you lack that close to the ground feel that gives you maximum control.

The heavier the shoe the more it will slow you down, and this is true for every added ounce of weight. The bigger you are, the more you can go up in weight, but be conscious of how the shoe feels on your foot because as each minute on the clock ticks by that shoe will feel heavier. Nothing takes away from your level of comfort quite like an on court injury, so help prevent that by opting for a shoe that gives you support where you need it most.

If you have had prior ankle injuries , look for a shoe that gives you a tighter fit up top and supports you. Basketball is a tough sport, which means that your feet will get hot and sweaty real fast. In order to minimize the risk of skin irritation and blisters occurring, opt for shoes which are breathable and allow for good airflow. Mesh or synthetic materials are great options, and they will often have the advantage of moisture wicking properties. Do note, however, that these materials lack structure and support. The best basketball shoes will have breathable panels in areas where heat concentrates most, such as the sides of the shoes, the top of the foot and the toe box.

Needless to say, an optimal fit is required in order to play basketball comfortably. The ideal fit is one that compresses your feet slightly in order to provide support, leaving just the slightest gap of space between your feet and the shoe that allows you to put them on. Another key element in determining the fit are the laces which need to be strong and dependable, making it possible for you to get the most support out of a pair of basketball shoes. The flexibility of a basketball shoe is not an element, but rather a feature that must be present in each element of the shoe separately.

When shopping for performance shoes, you must make sure that the frame, upper build, and the sole are flexible enough to practice sports with. Flexibility is the very base of most motions you can possibly make with your feet, and if your shoes lack it, you are opening yourself up to stress and tension, especially in the arch of the foot. Look for basketball shoes that offer flexibility in the soles, which will allow your feet to move naturally when running and jumping.

This is a feature that, like many others, should be present but not in excess. The flexibility of a material is inversely proportional to its support; meaning that as a shoe material gets more flexible it starts to lose its structure and fails to hold the foot in place. As a basketball player, you probably know this better than any other athlete. Ankles are very susceptible to injury when playing an intense game.

One wrong quick move with a lack of protection can put you at risk for a sprain that could severely limit you during the game, or potentially keep you from playing for awhile. A great basketball shoe will work to protect you from such injuries through features such as a high top, a well-molded collar or even a sock bootie. Support should only act as a feature that prevents your feet and ankle from assuming unnatural positions that may be hazardous injury-wise, or simply uncomfortable. Too much ankle support will prevent you from rotating freely and will considerably hinder your dribbling ability.

Basketball shoes come in low, mid and high top options, and the option you choose will affect how much support you will be getting in the ankle area. The higher the shoe, the better the ankle support, as you will have more material wrapped around the upper part of your ankle, which generally can be tightened or fastened to give you the right fit. The position you play will also make a big difference when it comes to which style you should choose, as each offers its own unique set of characteristics.

For positions that need more support, generally, because they need quicker pivoting for blocking, etc, a higher topped shoe is going to really allow you to move with more security and stability. When you need to be quick on the court, a low top will be lighter and give you more speed, and will also be a great option if you want moe more height on your jump. Normally, performance shoes have a standard level of arch support which generally suits people who have no arch issues.

Users that suffer from arch conditions such as flat feet or high arches, experience a considerably larger amount of stress on the arch — especially when performing sports. The best choice, regardless of what your feet anatomy is, is to purchase customized insoles. In general, this is something all users with arch conditions must do, as they are unlikely to find a pair of basketball shoes that suit their specific condition. Even if the generic arch design of a shoe fits your anatomy, the best way to go is with an insole that perfectly supports the exact shape of your feet, including the arch.

This is even more important in practices as active and forceful as basketball. Can basketball shoes make me jump higher? Compared to some other types of shoes, you might find that basketball shoes allow you to jump higher. But in the end, the height of your jump comes down to the strength of your calves and legs. Can I casually wear basketball shoes on a regular basis?

Yes, you can wear basketball shoes casually. When do I replace my basketball shoes? A strong indication you should replace your basketball shoe is if you find that your feet are starting to hurt after practice. You also may notice the bottom of your shoes starting to look old or really worn down. Wearing basketball shoes that no longer offer the right support and grip can lead to injury. Do basketball shoes make good running shoes? Basketball shoes are specifically designed to give ankle support and maximum shock absorption to help with swift side to side movements along with quick stop and go movements.

How to keep basketball shoes clean? However, if you do wear them daily, watch out for mud, and be cautious of how much they get scuffed. For a shoe that has leather, you need a special leather cleanser, but water and soap work fine for all other basketball shoes. What kind of basketball shoe do I need for outdoor courts? Playing basketball on outdoor courts puts more stress on the soles of the shoe. Expand Most Recent Updates.

May 16, By Tenby Lloyd:. Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation Mid 4. Designed for the type of play that makes Kyrie Irving stand out, the latest shoe in the Nike Kyrie line is a flexible yet supportive basketball shoe made for quick cuts and smooth gameplay. Expand to see more Flex Groove Outsole What makes this outsole different from any other on the market is the zigzag cutout that was incorporated to allow for maximum flexibility that does not sacrifice traction or support.

Curved outsole edges allow for smoother transitions without losing your grip on the court. Responsive Cushioning These shoes feature a Nike Zoom Air cushion in the heel that not only absorbs shock but minimizes fatigue without losing control of the forefoot. The upper is made out of equally soft mesh and suede that work together to provide you with a supportive and stable shoe that keeps your ankles protected throughout the game.

Cost and Value The Kyrie 4 ranks slightly below average regarding cost compared to the other models on this list. Made out of responsive rubber, it will also prove its worth during dynamic lateral movement. Forgefiber Upper Using TPU-covered textile fibers and heat pressing them allows for this shoe to have an upper that is both flexible and supportive.

Cost and Value Ranking high on this list when it comes to price, the Harden Vol. Although some cheaper models may work just as well as this shoe, you will definitely want to get your hands on these if you are a fan of unique looking kicks that come in several fashionable colorways. The high performance and comfort are expected with the hefty price tag. Lacks in flexibility for some users Works best with very clean courts.

When a professional basketball player and a reputable sports equipment brand come together, great things can happen. One of these things is the Kevin Durant series, and the freshly released tenth edition beats all of its predecessors. The KDX is exactly what you would expect from your dream basketball shoes; the right features to perform at your best, and a design that is impossible to not stare at. The soles of these basketball shoes are made with an ultra-flexible sole that allows your foot to move naturally. A thick heel area cushions with each hard landing, while the thinner forefoot gives you more control over your game.

Zoned Flyknit Upper The upper of these shoes were made to give you the best possible combination of comfort and support that are highly adaptable and that will hug your feet to provide a superior fit. With plenty of breathability and a sock-like feel, these shoes will feel good on even for prolonged periods of time, while the thick oversized laces give lateral support seeing that they cover even the sides of your foot.

Cost and Value Most users who opt for the Kevin Durant X fall instantly in love with this pair of shoes. This is mostly due to the way in which the Air Zoom cushioning provides a good balance between shock absorption and control, while the whole wearing experience is made better by a good upper construction and the ease with which these can be put on and off. Air Zoom cushioning Tongue and heel pull tabs Thick heel and thin forefoot sole Multi tractioned rubber outsole Zoned Flyknit upper.

Viewed by some as inferior to its predecessor Some users found it too heavy. During any given quarter of the academic calendar, approximately 11 sports are in-season although various sports' schedules span multiple quarters. Subjects were selected from a pool of undergraduate athletes that were currently participating in a varsity sport at Stanford University.

The full roster of men's and women's sports whose main competitive season occurs during the collegiate winter quarter from January to March, when this study was initiated, received a general solicitation email. Inadequate numbers, such as only 1—2 athletes per sport, would not be sufficient to draw generalized conclusions from because each sport investigates specific athletic performance measures not comparable across sports. Next, a detailed screening questionnaire was administered to athletes who responded to the solicitation email inquiring about their current and past medical health as well as sleeping habits.

Subjects were excluded if they had existing injuries that prevented them from regular practice or games. Subjects were also excluded if they had a history of a sleep or psychiatric disorder, took medications with sleep related side effects, or had illicit drug use or other health concerns. Finally, athletes were excluded if they no longer had interest in participating, or were unwilling to or did not feel that they could comply with the study's protocol after the details were explained to them.

The Stanford Panel on Human Subject Research approved the study and written informed consent was obtained from all subjects. Subjects maintained their habitual sleep-wake patterns for a 2—4 week baseline period during the NCAA basketball season and stayed within the limits of 6—9 h of subjective sleep time each night. Subjects then extended their nocturnal sleep duration for 5—7 weeks during which they obtained as much extra sleep as possible with a minimum goal of 10 h in bed per night.

The baseline and sleep extension periods occasionally varied in length across subjects because of the academic schedule. Some subjects were allowed to enroll slightly later due to changes in their academic courses and schedule at the beginning of the quarter, which coincided with the study's initiation.

During sleep extension, subjects were assigned final exams on different days which prevented some subjects from continuing the sleep extension protocol. These slight variations in subjects' schedules resulted in the differences in baseline and sleep extension periods.

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A regular sleep-wake schedule was strongly encouraged as well as daytime naps. Sleep duration, athletic performance, reaction time, daytime sleepiness, and mood measures were recorded throughout the baseline period and sleep extension. Subjects were required to sleep alone in their regular bedroom, except when traveling, during which subjects shared a hotel room with another teammate but slept in separate beds.

Subjects were also required to refrain from alcohol and caffeine consumption throughout the study. The study was terminated when subjects could no longer obtain additional sleep each night or the academic quarter which they were enrolled in the study ended, preventing them from continued participation. Subjects frequently traveled to compete at other universities throughout the study which occurred during the regular NCAA basketball season.

Travel duration typically was 3—5 days, occurring once to twice a month. Subjects traveled by bus and plane often within Pacific Standard Time zone, and occasionally crossed into Mountain and Central Standard Time zones. Most trips included travel to play games at 2 universities in different cities within the same state. The team's travel schedule included fluctuating times for flights, bus rides, practices, games, and team meetings. Consequently, subjects had less control over their sleep-wake times when traveling and thus frequently had atypical sleep-wake schedules for these 3—5 day periods.

When subjects were not able to obtain 10 h of nocturnal sleep due to travel, they were encouraged to nap during the day. To monitor daily sleep-wake activity, actigraphy was utilized in addition to subject reported daily sleep logs and journals. Actigraphy is an accepted method used to quantify sleep-wake activity based on subject movement. The raw actigraphy data 1-min epoch length was reviewed to remove periods of device malfunction. The nocturnal sleep and napping periods were manually determined from subject recorded sleep journals.

Nocturnal sleep was defined as the period between subject reported bedtime and awakening time. Manually setting the nocturnal sleep periods to account for time zone changes during travel was also performed. Actigraphy sleep data was scored by a validated proprietary algorithm within the commercial software Actiware software, Philips Respironics, Andover, MA.

Subjects reported sleep-wake activity in sleep journals including time in bed, awakening time, minutes awake during the night, and hours napping during the day. To assess the level of daytime sleepiness and monitor changes in mood states, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale ESS 16 was administered during the baseline and at the end of sleep extension, while the Profile of Mood States POMS 17 was recorded weekly.

The ESS measures sleep propensity on a 0—3 scale in 8 standardized daily situations. Possible scores range from 0 to 24, with higher scores reflecting greater sleepiness. The POMS questionnaire is a psychological assessment commonly used to monitor and compare distinct mood states. Subjects report on 65 identifiable mood states over the previous 7 days, which are categorized into 6 mood subscales: The POMS questionnaire was hand-scored. Indices of athletic performance specific to basketball were measured after every practice to assess changes in performance.

Practices were typically in the afternoon and athletic measures were correspondingly recorded typically between The indices measured, including a timed sprint and shooting accuracy, were chosen because of their routine use during most practices and strong reflection of individual performance in basketball games. The first athletic performance measure was a timed feet sprint baseline to half-court and back to baseline, then to full-court and back to baseline and was timed after each practice by the same person. The second and third performance indices were free throw and 3-point shooting accuracy.

Specifically, shooting accuracy was assessed by a subject's successful attempts of 10 free throws 15 feet and 15 three-point field goals 5 in the right corner of the court, then 5 directly facing the basket, and finally 5 in the left corner of the court. It is important to note that the official men's NCAA 3-point field goal line was extended from 19 feet 9 inches 6 subjects to 20 feet 9 inches 5 subjects from the basket starting in the — NCAA season.

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In addition, subjects' subjective mental and physical well-being were assessed after every practice and game by soliciting how they felt during the practice or game on a point rating scale. The PVT is a standard measure of reaction time and is commonly used to monitor changes in performance.

Subjects responded to the stimuli by pressing a button on the PDA using their dominant thumb. Due to differences in each subject's daily schedule including academic classes, practices, and team meetings , subjects aimed to complete the 2 PVT trials during the same 1-h periods each day e. On days that subjects were traveling, PVT trials continued to be conducted during the same 1-h time intervals based on the time zone in which subjects were located. Subjects also completed an additional PVT trial during their weekly meeting with study investigators.

Subjective and objective sleep times were examined during the baseline and sleep extension periods. Total sleep time included nocturnal sleep as well as daytime naps. The initial 2—4 week period established baseline measures of sleep-wake activity, athletic performance, reaction time, daytime sleepiness, and mood. Sleep times during sleep extension were compared to the mean sleep time for each subject to determine the change in sleep time.

Fixed-effects linear regression models examined the association between the day of the study and outcome measures including total sleep time, athletic performance measures, mean PVT reaction time, ESS, and POMS global and subscale scores. These models were necessary to compare outcome measures during baseline and sleep extension due to the repeated measures testing of individual subjects.

All baseline data considered as day 0 for outcome measures were incorporated into the regression analysis. Descriptive statistics for baseline and sleep extension periods are reported for all outcomes, with P-values determined using the regression models. There was no adjustment for multiple comparisons.


In total, 13 men's basketball players responded with interest, and ultimately 11 healthy undergraduate students aged 18—22 y on the Stanford men's varsity basketball team mean age Two were excluded because they were unwilling to or did not feel that they could comply with the protocol. Table 1 lists subjects' demographics and demonstrates no statistically significant difference between basketball players who enrolled in the study and those who did not participate, with the exception of weight.

Body mass index, which accounts for both height and weight, was not significantly different between the 2 groups. Total daily sleep time increased from baseline to sleep extension according to both objective actigraphy and subjective sleep journals Table 2. Objective sleep time increased during the sleep extension period compared to baseline by Subjective reports of total sleep time were significantly higher than actigraphy sleep time during both baseline and sleep extension.

During sleep extension compared to baseline, subjects demonstrated improved PVT performance during daily and weekly testing Table 3. Nearly all other PVT performance measures showed a significant improvement following sleep extension, notably a decreased number of lapses and daily minimum reaction time. Figure 1 presents the change in evening PVT mean reaction time during the sleep extension period compared to baseline. Change in mean daily evening PVT during sleep extension compared to baseline. Improvement was observed in all indices assessing basketball athletic performance Table 4.

Sprint time significantly decreased from baseline to the end of sleep extension Subjects experienced a significant improvement in shooting accuracy, with an increase in both successful free throws out of 10 shots 7. Individual athletic performance measures are reported on a case-by-case basis for all subjects in Table 5. The subjective ratings at baseline revealed a difference in mental and physical well-being between practices and games 6.

Change in feet sprint time during sleep extension compared to baseline. These changes in the ESS scores indicate a substantial reduction in levels of daytime sleepiness. Although all POMS subscale scores demonstrated improvement, the marked changes in POMS vigor, fatigue, and total mood disturbance are particularly impressive. In this study, subjects from the Stanford men's varsity basketball team experienced significant improvements in specific indices of athletic performance, reaction time, daytime sleepiness, and mood after sleep extension over 5—7 weeks.

While many variables such as nutrition, conditioning, and coaching certainly contribute to athletic performance outcomes, sleep duration has not been directly studied as an important factor. To our knowledge, this is the first such study. Further understanding of the effects of sleep on athletic performance could benefit athletes at all levels. Indirect evidence has shown previously that sleep may affect athletic performance, based on observational or retrospective examinations of circadian rhythms and circadian disruptions. These studies have demonstrated effects of circadian rhythms and suggest a negative effect of traveling between multiple time zones on athletic performance.

Although the East Coast games were played at night, West Coast teams had not yet adjusted to the 3-hour time difference, and thus perceived the games to be closer to the late afternoon West Coast time, which has been suggested as a more optimal time of day for peak performance. Following extended sleep, subjects also notably increased their speed resulting in faster sprint times 0. The improvement in sprinting after obtaining additional sleep is consistent with the Waterhouse et al. This is similar to the nonsignificant changes in cognitive performance tests seen after 4 days of extended sleep.

In contrast, the present study involved a much longer period 5—7 weeks of sleep extension and found a significant increase in PVT reaction time. It is likely that a longer period of sleep extension is crucial to obtaining significant PVT and other performance improvements. We conducted this study under the assumption that the vast majority of collegiate athletes carry a sizable sleep debt due to chronic sleep deprivation.

The total nightly baseline sleep time during this study 6. This further supports the findings of Roehrs et al.

It is unclear whether this period of sleep extension eliminated all sleep debt. Without utilizing an MSLT, it is very difficult to determine whether objective sleepiness, and thus sleep debt, was completely eliminated. Nonetheless, the length of sleep extension in this study and the findings of decreased ESS scores indicative of reduced levels of daytime sleepiness suggest that subjects substantially reduced their sleep debt. Future studies could possibly utilize longer sleep extension periods.

It is possible that at some point athletic indices, reaction time, and mood scores would no longer improve. As with most sports, an athlete's mental approach is crucial for both training and competition. With an increase in total sleep time, subjects reported an improved self-perception of performance during practices and games. Subject testimonials corroborated these rating scores and suggested a subjective quicker physical recovery, improved weight training and conditioning, and fewer injuries. These findings suggest that obtaining extra sleep likely has beneficial effects on overall well-being and the mental approach to athletics.

Further research can examine these findings in more detail. A common assumption in most sports is that athletes become increasingly tired and fatigued throughout a season.