The 5 Must-Have Basketball Shoes In 2020

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Basketball is a fun and competitive sport.

It drives you to become a better player each and every day. For some, it’s just a hobby, a sport they play during the weekends. Then there are the serious ones that practice every second of every minute of every day. People like this want to be equipped with the latest and best sportswear and tools for basketball to flourish in the sport and become a great player overall.

The equipment that aspiring basketball players need includes a basketball hoop of course. It could either be an in-ground, portable, or wall-mount. Then there’s the ever-reliable sportswear which is also a big factor in boosting the level of how you play your game. This allows you to move freely and it should feel cool and have enough room for you to jump, run, and do all sorts of rapid movement. If you really want to have a full-on experience of what NBA players have then you can also sport an NBA jersey with the team of your choice. If that boosts your confidence in playing the game then by all means please do so.

Our main star for this article of course would be basketball shoes. Basketball shoes are key to giving any player, be it beginner or pro, good performance when in-game. These shoes specially made for basketball are designed to give you a better feel when running, a noticeable boost when you soar high like Michael Jordan, and overall support for you as you play the sport. It’s important to take note that there are various brands you can choose from and shoes like these have different styles and ergonomic designs to showcase. Some notable individuals even own and run their own shoe lines such as Jordan, Kobe, Harden, LeBron, and so much more. Also, most of these are sponsored by either Adidas or Nike.

This is why we are gladly introducing you to our list of the best basketball shoes in 2020! You may scroll down further to see a more detailed review of each shoe.

How To Select The Right Basketball Shoes For You

We know you’re excited to go out and buy shoes and try them out on the court but before you do that, there are some factors you have to consider before committing to cop the pairs you want. It all has something to do with your fit, the durability, traction, support, comfort, and lock-down. Refrain from basing your purchase on only the appearance of the shoe. This is a common mistake that people make, especially children. So let this be your guide in searching for the right basketball shoes for you.

Fit

We consider this to be the most important factor in choosing the right pair of shoes. Even though the shoes you want look good, if they don’t fit you properly then there’s really no sense in purchasing it. It’ll make you unhappy and you’d be wasting your money on a pair that you can’t even comfortably wear on the court. Basketball is a very demanding sport and it requires your whole foot to function properly in order to play well. Shoes that don’t fit you will damage your feet, ankles, and knees. So in order to prevent injuries from happening then consider fitting the shoes first and then buy them.

If the shoes are too loose then you’re susceptible to twisted ankles and a damaged knee. A shoe that’s too tight on the other hand will result in injury on the toes. We highly recommend that you purchase a pair of basketball shoes in person rather than buying them online. This gives you a more accurate fitting and you can test them by walking and jumping in the store.

Durability

Buying a pair of shoes that will last a long time is an ideal thing. Serious ballers need a shoe that can withstand the demands of the sport. In basketball, seasons last months, and if your shoe is made out of cheap materials then expect to have a lot of foot and knee injuries. As we’ve said, looks aren’t always everything. Your shoe may look badass and give that swag vibe but the question is, are they made of durable materials? Looks won’t take you far when it comes to a heated game so be wary of that. Shoes become less safe as time goes by, the initial benefits you get from the shoe such as the fit, support, and the absorption begin to fade. When you decide to cop another pair of shoes, make sure to buy durable ones.

One good material we would recommend you check out is Nike’s new and improved version of the FlyKnit: the BattleKnit. This material gives a nice hug on foot but it doesn’t restrict your movements as it offers flexibility and it moves with the foot for an explosive and excellent response.

Traction

This talks about the grip on the sole of your shoes. This plays a big factor for a player when playing on the court. You’ll notice the difference in your performance if your shoes don’t have the right traction. Traction is responsible for giving you acceleration to your speed. This makes you move quickly in-court as well as giving stability in your stance. The absence of traction would ultimately mean no speed, power, and agility.

Support

The key to searching for a pair of shoes is finding the perfect balance between support and movement. You have to make sure that the ankle has enough room to move, so look for shoes that don’t have overbearing ankle support. We recommend you purchase athletic tape since this is the best way to add support to your ankles.

Comfort

If you want to make sure that the shoes you’re going for provide comfort, it’s best to fit them in person rather than taking your chances through online shopping. Comfort is an essential factor you must take seriously because if you wear uncomfortable shoes during the game, it’s going to take our mind off of playing because of how bad it feels on your foot. We all know that basketball requires 100% of the player’s focus, so keep in mind the comfort that you’ll get from your pair of shoes.

Price

The price tag is everything when it comes to buying the right pair of shoes. Inexpensive shoes are commonly thought to equate to poor quality. While that may be the case sometimes, the same concept applies to expensive shoes. Pricey shoes don’t always mean that they perform super well. The majority of these high-end shoes are priced like this because they were made by iconic people and the purpose behind the existence of these shoes is mainly for a status symbol rather than actually using it for sports, specifically basketball.

You can still find great shoes at a decent price point or you can also invest in expensive ones, just make sure they fit you well, provide enough traction, have good durability, support, and give a comfortable snug on your foot.

Overview Of The Must-Have Basketball Shoes In 2020

1. Air Jordan XXXII by Nike

  • 5/5 rating
  • Top: Mid
  • Signature: Michael Jordan
  • Lockdown: Lace-Up
  • Colorways: Black, Blue, Grey, Red, White
  • Weight: 454g
  • Versions: Pre-school, Grade-school
  • Released: 2017

2. Kyrie 4 by Nike

  • 5/5 rating
  • Top: Mid
  • Signature: Kyrie Irving
  • Lockdown: Lace-Up
  • Colorways: Black, Blue, Gold, Grey, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
  • Weight: 370g
  • Versions: Women’s, Pre-school, Grade-school
  • Released: 2017

3. Curry Two by Under Armour

  • 6/5 rating
  • Top: Mid
  • Signature: Stephen Curry
  • Lockdown: Lace-Up
  • Colorways: Black, Blue, Grey, Pink, Red, White
  • Weight: 369g
  • Versions: 2.5, Pre-school, 2.5 Grade-school
  • Released: 2015

4. Harden Vol.2 by Adidas

  • 8/5 rating
  • Top: Low
  • Signature: James Harden
  • Lockdown: Lace-Up
  • Colorways: Beige, Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Purple, Red, White
  • Weight: 524g
  • Versions: Pre-school
  • Released: 2018

5. LeBron XIII by Nike

  • 7/5 rating
  • Top: High
  • Signature: LeBron James
  • Lockdown: Lace-Up, Slip-On
  • Colorways: Beige, Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Purple, Red, White
  • Weight: 454g
  • Versions: Low grade-school
  • Released: 2016

5 Must-Have Basketball Shoes In 2020

1. Air Jordan XXXII

Air Jordan XXXII

5/5  Overall Rating

Pros:
Looks are amazing according to many consumers
Very comfortable to wear on and off the court
The balance and cushion of the shoe is superb
Materials are high-end
Traction is more than excellent
A lot of buyers have no complaints about this shoe
Flyknit material offers very good lockdown
The material of the shoe allows it to mold to your foot nicely
Absence of internal slippage

Cons:
Sizing selection is limited
In the beginning, the  Flyknit material is too tight but loosens after a few runs
Some claim that this shoe is too tight and not wide-feet friendly
Heavy and bulky
Cushioning feels stiff, requires some time to break in


What do most people think of this product?

This has got to be one of the best additions to the legendary Air Jordan line. It’s made out of premium materials that perfectly balances modern innovation and heritage-inspired style. It goes beyond the luxurious design and is a great pair of basketball shoes overall. In terms of the material, the Flyknit upper is paired with high-quality leather for enhanced support and flexibility while the mid-top collar enhances lateral stability. It’s equipped with the FlightSpeed technology which allows you to shift your weight on the hardwood floor of the court and take flight like the iconic Michael Jordan himself.

The cushion on this shoe is seen on the heel and forefoot and uses a low-profile Nike Zoom Air unit which offers protection from impacts and lightweight responsiveness. The newly improved FlightSpeed technology is placed over the Forefoot Air bag in order to maximize responsiveness. The moderator plate of the FlightSpeed distributes the compression force. This means you get to do springy moves all over the court.

The solid rubber outsole of the shoe has a fresh traction pattern to prevent slipping when you’re on the court. The blade-like shapes on the shoe that spell out the XXXII are designed that way for added grip. The fit on this Air Jordan runs true to size, and both normal and wide foot players are advised to order these pairs based on their foot’s actual size. We recommend you do the fitting in person just to be sure that you get the right fit.

For the newbies out there, the lockdown is also referred to as the lacing system of the shoe. The Flyknit upper is integrated by the lacing system which provides comfortable support and distraction-free lockdown. The materials that make up the shoe is made from premium stuff, they made sure to construct the Flyknit material in areas where support and stretch were needed the most to enhance the performance of the shoe. It gives a perfect snug to your feet, it’s lightweight and has breathable comfort. Compared to previous Air Jordan’s, this one has a much more flexible upper. The role of the said flexible upper is to reduce any stiffness on the forefoot.

Overall, this is indeed a very popular shoe and many professional players out there have proved that the Air Jordan XXXII provides the best performance any baller could ask for.

2. Kyrie 4 by Nike

Kyrie 4 by Nike

4.4/5  Overall Rating

Pros:
Shoe is very breathable
Design is very much appreciated by many
Consumers love the traction on this shoe
The materials of this shoe do not crease easily
They do not get dirty easily
Provides good ankle support
Breathability is good
The provided cushioning is very much appreciated by wearers
Lots of consumers say they’d recommend this shoe to others

Cons:
Does not perform that well outdoors
Some claim that their feet hurt after playing just one game
Need some time to break in (if you don’t break in these shoes your foot will suffer)


What do most people think of this product?

This is the fourth shoe addition to Kyrie Irving’s signature line. Benjamin Nethongkome is the brilliant lead designer for Irving’s shoe line. Irving even made a statement that Ben is the one who helps him “bridge the gap between his game and technology”.

The cushion on this shoe is solely focused on the midsole. This part of the Kyrie 4 is entirely made out of cushion. Nike uses Phylon as their go-to cushioning material, however, the cushioning on this shoe is a type of foam that’s lighter and a bit thinner. This gives the player a better feel of the court. When we look at the heel we see the Zoom Air unit. This plays a major role in enhancing responsiveness and providing impact protection.

The powerful traction that many wearers come to love comes from the outsole of the shoe. The multidirectional herringbone on the outsole is both aggressive and traditional. Another great thing that adds to the traction is the zigzagging pattern in the middle of the outsole. This also allows for more flexibility, which is an essential thing to have in-court for both professional athletes and casual players.

This has a one-to-one fit based on the construction and materials that make up the shoe. Since this shoe is designed to cater to Irving’s play style, it requires a lot of support on the foot. The lockdown on this shoe adheres to those and it provides the required support by having a jagged teeth pattern that extends from the outsole and cages the forefoot. This keeps the foot in place while the player does a lot of aggressive movements. If you’re worried about your feet slipping out of the footbeds, don’t be, because this shoe has internal counters which will prevent that from happening. Located at the upper are the Flywire cables which give the mesh a better grasp on the foot.

The construction of the shoe uses mesh for the forefoot to provide secure containment and a soft feel. Then the majority of the whole shoe is made of leather. With the help of the Flywire cables, it gives a nice fit and figure-hugging shape to your foot. The highlight feature of this shoe would definitely be the jagged teeth design. This is actually inspired by the Sydney Opera House since Kyrie Irving is Australian by birth.

Overall, if you idolize Irving and want to support his signature line of shoes then go ahead and try these out. These are definitely a cop to enhance your play style and overall performance when in-game.  You can sport these shoes with an NBA cap if you plan on wearing something casual.

3. Curry Two by Under Armour

Curry Two by Under Armour

4.6/5  Overall Rating

Pros:
Traction is superb
Great for casual and high-performance players
Has a balanced platform
A lot of wearers claim that the shoe feels very light when worn
Regardless of outdoor or indoor play, the grip on the shoe is consistent
Very comfortable
Charged cushion technology makes you jump really high
Upper is thin, hence, there no heat build-up and moisture dries quickly
Heel-to-toe transition is smoother compared to previous models

Cons:
Some complain that the sole is not durable and it breaks down easily
Not recommended for outdoor use
Some say the Charged cushioning is stiff
Not much impact protection
Ankle support is not that strong


What do most people think of this product?

Curry Two is the second model in Stephen Curry’s signature shoe line. Manufactured by Under Armour, this shoe features a herringbone, Charged cushioning, and a great-fitting SpeedFoam upper. All these combined, it creates a solid shoe. Since the year 2019, Curry has had six Under Armour shoes made, and arguably, people claim that this model, Curry 2, has better traction than that of the newer models.

Stephen Curry loves the Charged cushioning on this. Then there’s even foam in the middle and this foam technology converts impact to push-off energy which allows the wearer to charge with explosive steps. If you’re a fan of stability then this shoe has what you want, all thanks to the slightly extended outrigger, it adds stability to your feet. Another cool thing about this shoe is its midsole is divided into three sections for a smoother heel-to-heel transition.

An organic herringbone pattern is present on the Curry Two which is positioned in the outsole. Due to the thick and multidirectional lines, it results in a better and consistent grip. This shoe can be used for both indoor and outdoor use, however, if you’re sensitive about maintaining the longevity of your shoes, then it’s best to use them indoors.

The fit on this shoe stays true to size, so if you previously owned an Under Armour basketball shoe then you can go with the size on that. You will not encounter any problems with your feet slipping out of the shoe because the one-to-one fit and external TPU heel counter will keep your foot in place. Another feature that assures the stability of your foot is the midfoot shank which locks in said stability while the wide lace holes grasp the foot completely.

The Curry Two is praised for its breathable and light constructed feel, and we have the SpeedForm material to thank for that. This has a textile-like material that covers the midfoot to the heel and it’s joined to a synthetic material on the toe box. In terms of ankle support, you won’t have to buy an ankle brace because the upper provides enough support and flexibility to accommodate an ankle brace. After a few wears, the shoe molds to the shape of the foot. The TPU heel cup and midfoot shank provide added stability and there’s the Charged cushioning in the midsole as well.

The aesthetic of this shoe heavily focuses on the textures of the SpeedForm and the synthetic material. If we take a look at the medial side of the heel, we can see that there’s a phrase written on it that says, “I can do all things..” This is a nice added touch on the shoe and gives the wearer some sort of confidence in themselves while they play the sport. Curry’s initials, “SC”, are positioned on the tongue and the lateral forefoot as well. The Under Armour logo on the other hand is seen on the lateral side of the shoe, the midfoot shank, and the tip of the toe box.

Overall, if you primarily play indoors then this shoe would really suit you. The features of the shoe are superb, except for the Charged cushion which is kind of stiff. Moreover, this shoe is perfect for fans who idolize Stephen Curry.

4. Harden Vol.2 by Adidas

Harden Vol.2 by Adidas

4.8/5  Overall Rating

Pros:
Cushioning is fantastic. Keeps foot and legs comfortable for a long period of time
Upper is very comfortable
A lot of players claimed that they did not experience any joint pains with this shoe
Balance and support make scoring effortless
The ForgeFiber technology on the shoe makes it very durable (did not see any wear and tear even after five months)
Adjustable lacing system conforms to any type of foot be it narrow or wide
Thanks to the midsole base it makes the shoe very stable
The Vol.2 model is much more snug compared to its predecessors
The customizable lacing system keeps the foot locked down

Cons:
Wearers only reap the benefits of the shoe if used on clean courts
Outsole rubber does not give any squeaky noise
Some players don’t like the external heel cup’s look because it looks “alien-like”
Some claim there’s a pinching sensation at the midfoot because of the elastic band


What do most people think of this product?

This shoe was designed to cater to James Harden’s main moves which are namely the Step-back, Euro-step, and Jab-step. Secure lockdown, forefoot confinement, and the plush cushioning are all present in this shoe, and we have the thick Boost, ForgeFiber mesh, and adaptive lacing system to thank for that.

The Harden Vol.2 is indeed an upgrade compared to its signature model predecessor, the Harden Vol.1. Vol.2 has a thicker Boost cushioning which provides comfort and responsiveness. The midsole is wider than the upper which makes for a stable base for the foot and enhances overall foot containment.

To many people, it would seem that they’re just random patterns clustered together. However, the shoe designer, Rashad Williams, says that the fractal patterns have a purpose. He has observed how Harden plays and the small patterns on the shoe are designed as it is based on where James puts pressure on his foot. The outsole’s traction extends to the external heel counter. The grooves on the shoe do not run deep, so it’s safe to say that these pairs of shoes won’t last long for outdoor use.

The fit on the Harden Vol.2 runs true to size, however, the midfoot area feels narrow due to the elastic band. Although, it will stretch after breaking it in. To be safe, just stick to the standard basketball Adidas basketball size. This shoe uses an adaptable lacing system. The full cleatie upper adds to the totality of the lockdown which would ensure the foot stays in place. The elastic band on the midfoot makes the shoe snug on the feet.

The upper is made out of neoprene and mesh cleatie. These materials provide flexibility to the player and keep their foot intact. Then another layer of materials covers the shoe’s internal cleatie. The forefoot is made out of a type of mesh that’s stitched alternately with threads called the ForgeFiber. These threads are coated with TPU and are stitched to the mesh which makes room for support and flexibility in targeted areas, in turn, it reduces the shoe’s weight. The tongue is made out of mesh as well which makes it breathable and offers great ventilation. The midsole has a thick cushion called the Boost.

This is a low-top shoe that has an Adidas Equipment logo on the heel. The signature three stripes that represent the Adidas brand are located on the lateral side of the forefoot. The James Harden logo is displayed proudly on the tongue.

Overall, Adidas has decent basketball shoes, especially this one. The traction on this shoe is a disappointment to some wearers, but nonetheless it’s still a pretty solid shoe

5. LeBron XIII by Nike

LeBron XIII by Nike

4.7/5  Overall Rating

Pros:
The cushioning on this shoe is better than its predecessor
The Zoom Air cushioning provides smooth flexing for the foot
Built for big players
Heavy-duty shoe
Padded upper conforms well on the foot after a couple of wears
The height of the collar does not hinder mobility
Phylon foam compliments the Zoom units
Performs great for both indoor and outdoor courts, be it clean or dirty

Cons:
Some people find this shoe to be uncomfortable
For those who have wide feet, the shoe may feel tight and pinch on the nerves because of the Hyperposite sitting on top of the midfoot
For those who have narrow feet, the shoe may not be so snug on the feet
The Hyperposite materials make it hard to tie or change the laces of the shoe
Shoe design is too excessive (too many layers, collar is high)
Bulky shoe


What do most people think of this product?

The LeBron 13 by Nike features a multidirectional linear traction pattern located on the outsole, a hexagonal Zoom Air cushioning at the midsole, and a Hyperposite mesh with fuse overlays in the upper.

This is the 13th shoe in LeBron’s signature line and it features a hexagonal Zoom Air system which is similar to its predecessors. One of Nike’s best cushioning technology has got to be the Zoom Air system because it gives wearers a better court feel while providing a responsive base. This model differs from the LeBron 12s because instead of having six hexagonal Zoom Air pods in the forefoot, the designers made four smaller units around the bigger hexagonal pod. This bigger pod is located underneath the ball of the foot. It was placed here since the ball of the foot and the heel are the main zones that need protection from impacts. The sole does not lay flat as the hexagonal pods protrude. This assures the players that the Zoom Air units are the one that comes in contact with the ground.

What makes up the traction for this shoe is the thick bar-like patterns. This pattern makes sure that landings made on other areas of the foot will be supported by a sticky grip. While these shoes are advertised to fit true to size, this is a different case when it comes to wide-foot players though. This is because the Hyperposite mesh material can cause the shoe to feel narrow. Keep in mind though that every player has different foot sizes so if you want to make sure that this shoe will fit you or not then it’s best to try them on personally. The Flywire mesh with fuse overlays, and the Hyperposite material laid on specific areas keeps the foot contained.

The LeBron 13s upper has an inner one-piece cleatie and a top layer of mesh and fuse. In between these layers are Flywire cables that greatly help with the overall lockdown of the shoe. Non-fused areas provide breathability and ventilation while fused areas add durability to high-wear areas such as the midfoot and toe rand. The Hyperposite materials can be seen on the medial and lateral sides. They’re more than just designs, they protect the wearers foot and the mesh upper. Lastly, the midsole uses Phylon to house the Zoom Air units and support the weight of the player.

The style of this shoe is more focused on being a bulky one rather than sleek. It gives a futuristic vibe because of its bulkiness and the way it’s designed with geometrical shapes. The high-cut and Hyperposite pieces on the upper contribute to the bulky look.

Overall, this shoe has great features, the hexagonal Zoom Air cushioning and the Hyperposite upper being the highlight of the shoe. Players who aren’t fond of bulky and excessively designed shoes won’t like this one. However, for those who like this kind of shoe plus the bulkiness, this pair of shoes would be a match made in heaven!

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Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones

My name is Aaron and I am the owner of Make Shots. On this site, I discuss the most frequently asked basketball questions and give my opinions. My love for basketball started in 2010 and ever since I have fallen in love with the sport.
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