The 6 Must-Have Basketball Shoes For Kids

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Basketball is a sport loved by many and by all ages. Even though kids nowadays are so immersed with technology, some still do have time and passion for the sport. These kids practice at indoor courts, inside their houses which they probably use the good old wall-mounts, or they probably practice outdoors in your driveway or street basketball court. No matter what environment they practice in, it’s important to buy them the proper attire for said environment. As parents, we may not know that much about the specific shoe types and where they’re supposed to be used (indoors or outdoors), especially if we aren’t sports fans ourselves. Luckily, it’s not that hard to understand the different types of shoes so we can guide our kids in choosing the right basketball shoe for them. If we are successful in this, you’ll notice a difference in how they play their game. Similar to the professional NBA athletes, they sign contracts with companies that specialize in designing shoes for different kinds of sports because they want to use shoes that cater to their playing style. That’s exactly why we need to buy the right shoes for our kids. Before we know it, they’ll be as good as the amazing point guard Stephen Curry or like the king himself, LeBron James. This is why we are gladly introducing you to our list of the best basketball shoes for kids! You may scroll down further to see a more detailed review of each shoe.

1.  Air Jordan XXXII by Nike

  • 4.5/5 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. PG 3 by Nike

  • 4.5/5 rating
  • Top: Low
  • Signature: Paul George
  • Lockdown: Lace-Up
  • Colorways: Black, Blue, Grey, Orange, Red, Silver, White
  • Released: 2018

3. D.O.N. Issue #1 by Adidas

  • 4.5/5 rating
  • Top: Low
  • Signature: Donovan Mitchell
  • Lockdown: Lace-Up
  • Colorways: Black, Green, Grey, Orange, Red
  • Weight: 426g
  • Released: 2019

4. Curry 7 by Under Armour

  • 4.4/5 rating
  • Top: Low
  • Signature: Stephen Curry
  • Lockdown: Lace-Up
  • Colorways: Black, Blue, Grey
  • Weight: 374g
  • Released: 2019

5. LeBron XIII by Nike

  • 4.7/5 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

6. Zoom KD 12 by Nike

  • 4.3/5 rating
  • Top: High
  • Signature: Kevin Durant
  • Lockdown: Lace-Up
  • Colorways: Black, Blue, Grey, Red, White
  • Weight: 439g
  • Released: 2019

6 Must-Have Basketball Shoes For Kids

1. Air Jordan XXXII by Nike

5/5  Overall Rating

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


crossSizing selection is limited
crossIn the beginning, the Flyknit material is too tight but loosens after a few runs
crossSome claim that this shoe is too tight and not wide-feet friendly
crossHeavy and bulky
crossCushioning 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 are 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. Right off the bat, kids will love this. I’ve never seen a kid whose face doesn’t brighten up when they hear the legend’s name, so it only makes sense that they get super hyped with a Jordan shoe.

2. PG 3 by Nike

2. PG 3 by Nike

5/5  Overall Rating

tick The circular patterns on the outsole provide excellent traction
tick Suitable for outdoor use
Shoes are comfortable to wear. Very breathable and lightweight.
tick Lockdown and support on this shoe is very good. Feet will not slip off of the shoe easily
tick Foam on the midsole is lighter and softer compared to its predecessor
tick Heel provides excellent impact protection
The material for the upper is really soft and provides ample support
tick Zoom unit feels bouncier than the PG 2

crossMaterials look and feel cheap
crossSome complain about the shoe’s look, looks cheap
crossFoam is prone to wear and tear
crossSnug fit on the forefoot

What do most people think of this product?

Paul George is a veteran All-Star who wants to become a more efficient athlete. He still wants to perform at his elite level without having to to waste extra energy. That’s where the shoe designer, Tony Hardman, came into the picture and designed the perfect shoe that will meet the needs of George. Tony and his team adhere to three principles in making the PG 3: Shed What Is Unnecessary, Make Every Step Matter, and Remember Where You Came From.

The shoe features a ½ bootie construction, a lighter foam midsole, ripstop collar, and a circular traction pattern which are known to have a very nice grip. The designer explains the function of each feature: the shoe being lightweight suits his style of play which means George can easily maneuver on-court and make quick movements both defensively and offensively. Then the soft foam on the midsole and the Zoom Bag will help George become faster and generate more speed.

To further talk about the cushioning and its function, the light foam midsole is paired with the Zoom Air bag which was also used in the previous PG model. According to the veteran player, he received more response from the new cushioning. Moving on to the traction, it was stated that the circular traction on the outsole was inspired by Moon craters. This has an increased multidirectional grip on any type of surface.

The fit on these shoes are true to size but some have claimed the forefoot area has a snug fit. We suggest that wide-foot wearers try these shoes in their local shoe store to get a better and more accurate fit. The ½ bootie construction helps with the lockdown of the foot. If you take a close look across the forefoot you’ll see free floating synthetic wings that further lock in the foot.

The materials of the shoe are responsible for reducing its overall weight. A combination of mesh and synthetics were used for the shoe’s upper. The tongue is integrated into the rip-stop collar which makes room for support without jeopardizing agility.

When it comes to the style of signature shoes it’s always the most fun part to talk about since it often talks about the athlete’s past or the journey they had to go through to become who they are today. For Paul George, the several numbers seen on the outsole trace back to his past. It symbolizes his birthday, jersey numbers, number of tattoos are some of the things that represent his life and these are located on the inside of the circular traction pattern of the PG.

Overall, the shoe performs really well despite criticisms on its look and cheap build. This lightweight shoe is perfect for all types of players out there and it will definitely be great for kids to have a kick-start on basketball shoes. Some kids may be overwhelmed with the heaviness of some shoes, so the PG 3 is the perfect choice for a lightweight shoe. Traction is great and cushioning is light and responsive.

3. D.O.N. Issue #1 by Adidas

D.O.N. Issue #1 by Adidas

4.7/5  Overall Rating

tick The majority of consumers claim these are a great pair of basketball shoes at an affordable price
tick Offer great comfort
Great for outdoor use
tickA lot has claimed that the traction performs well in clean courts
tick Kids love the colorways of these shoes
tick The materials give great performance and sport a really nice look
tick The Bounce cushioning is excellent. It provides impact protection, court feel, responsiveness, and bounciness
tick Despite being a low-top shoe, the lockdown is excellent

crossSome users
have experienced slippage during the break-in period
crossHeel cushioning feels chunky
Midfoot is a bit tight
A lot are disappointed with the traction. 
crossWearers need to constantly clean the outsole
when playing on dusty courts
crossDoes not really provide too much grip 

What do most people think of this product?

Donovan Mitchell named these shoes the D.O.N and this is based on his positive outlook in his career. These three letters mean “Determination Over Negativity”. We believe that that has a really big impact on aspiring players, especially kids. He specifically stated that he wants D.O.N. to be a symbol on his sneakers that relay an important message to people who love to play the sport and the message is he wants people to believe that they can do anything, no matter who they are or where they came from.

This shoe features a Bounce cushioning, a herringbone pattern on the outsole, and a lateral propulsion clip. Another feature that stands out with this shoe is its price point which is arguably one of the cheapest basketball shoes in the market. Donovan specifically worked with Adidas to make the price tag on these shoes as affordable as possible. This is because he wants the majority of people to have the opportunity to purchase a basketball shoe. Goes to show how Donovan truly cares about those who can’t afford $200 dollar shoes. Accessibility of these shoes is a major thing for most consumers.

The cushioning on the D.O.N. Issue #1 is called Bounce and this is placed on the midsole of the shoe. It provides decent responsiveness, bounce, impact protection. Also, the wearer will feel comfortable once they slip their feet inside the shoe. As for the traction, the outsole has this multidirectional herringbone pattern that offers increased grip when quick movements are made on-court. However, the traction on these shoes is not all that great. Wearers have to constantly clean their outsoles because it attracts dirt easily. To lock-in the foot securely inside the shoe it makes use of a lace-up closure and a propulsion clip for lateral stability.

The fit is true to size and is a comfortable fit on most feet according to consumers. The material that makes up the shoe is textile for the upper and this is a lightweight mesh that offers breathability inside the shoe.

The interesting thing about the style of this shoe is its Spiderman-esque theme. The tongue and toe box have this spider web stitching on it which is why it sort of resembles Spiderman’s theme. There are also custom codings on the shoe that symbolizes Donovan’s journey to becoming a successful NBA star.

Overall, we love Donovan’s concern for people who can’t afford expensive basketball shoes. The accessibility of the D.O.N. Issue #1 is a pro that lots of consumers will absolutely love. We assure you that the affordability does not sacrifice the shoe’s performance. The features are decent and overall performance is great. Kids would definitely love the Spiderman-ish theme that this shoe has and without a doubt, the colorways will attract the attention of children.

4. Curry 7 by Under Armour

Anta Light

4.4/5  Overall Rating

tickThis shoe is considered to be the best model in the signature shoe line since the Curry2
tick Very durable pair of shoes
tickTraction on these shoes are excellent
tick The cushioning has been improved
tick Lockdown and support are very good
tick This fits better than Curry 6

crossSome have complained that the cushioning feels too firm
crossMaterials that make up this shoe aren’t premium

What do most people think of this product?

Another shoe from Stephen Curry’s signature line would be Curry 7. If you loved Curry 2 then you’ll definitely be fond of its successor. The Curry 7 is a low-top basketball shoe that features UA HOVR, Micro G, and a new flexible plate to give players stability, explosiveness, and energy return. Leon Gu, Under Armour’s designer, has combined two cushioning technologies on this shoe, the UA HOVR foam at the top and Micro G at the bottom, and these two are balanced on a flexible plate. This is also the first type of shoe to have the Micro G cushioning.

If you’ve had bad experiences with unresponsive shoes then you’ll like the features that the Curry 7 has. This is because this shoe uses a combination of both UA HOVR and Micro G which provides the player an excellent amount of energy return and responsiveness. The roles of both cushioning are as follows: Micro G is for responsiveness and the UA HOVR is for energy return. This is what Curry exactly wants on his shoes, says the designer. If you’re wondering what the flexible plate is for, it’s used for balancing the two cushioning materials and overall stability (according to Stephen’s needs).

Traction won’t be a problem for this pair of shoes because of the durable rubber outsole and decoupled heel. This actually makes for a good outdoor shoe! The heel keeps you from slipping and adds stability to your motions. In terms of lockdown, the lacing can be customized to your preferred fit. Comfort and support are to be expected from this shoe, and we have the decoupled heel to thank for that. The outsole has adaptive herringbone traction patterns that grip on the floor of the court. The lacing system can be tailored to your preferred fit. The padded heel and ankle collar are added for increased comfort and support.

The materials that make up the shoe are translucent layers of synthetic leather, mesh, and TPU skins. The combination of these materials reinforces the shoe’s zonal areas. In turn, that adds to the stability, comfort, and mobility of the player. As for Stephen, these are essential for him in order to be at his peak performance on-court. The Curry 7 is also equipped with an internal counter which provides stability and step-in comfort. Basically, this shoe is very stable since almost every material that makes up this shoe provides just that.

One interesting factor to this shoe is the pull tab. Why? Well, that’s because when Stephen was involved in the designing process of the shoe the designers added three characters that represent Stephen’s children. They were placed on the pull tab and these characters are a wolf, a unicorn, and a butterfly.

Overall, this shoe was designed specifically for point guards. Stability and impact protection is a plus on the Curry 7. Let’s not forget the combination of two cushioning, the UA HOVR and the Micro G. Expect to play at your top performance once you wear these pairs of shoes on-court. If kids love Curry then surely they also admire Klay Thomspon! These are incredible players that belong to the powerhouse team, the Golden State Warriors.

5. LeBron XIII by Nike

4.5/5  Overall Rating

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

cross Some people find this shoe to be uncomfortable
crossFor 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
crossFor those who have narrow feet, the shoe may not be so snug on the feet
crossThe Hyperposite materials make it hard to tie or change the laces of the shoe
cross Shoe design is too excessive (too many layers, collar is high)
crossBulky 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!

6. Zoom KD 12 by Nike

Zoom KD 16 by Nike

4.3/5  Overall Rating

tick Outsole offers excellent grip and on-court and multi-directional traction
tick This shoe has more support compared to its predecessor
tick Does not require any break-in time
tick Lightweight feel on the feet
tick Excellent containment and lockdown
tick Fits true to size (materials are very snug on the fit)
tick Zoom Air cushioning is super bouncy and responsive
tick Extremely comfortable shoes 

crossOutsole attracts dust but doesn’t affect the grip of the shoe
crossSome stated that the materials could’ve been better
crossSome say that the look on the KD 12 does not come up to par with the KD 11
crossSome players claim that the shoe runs narrow at the forefoot 

What do most people think of this product?

Kevin Durant is a name that is widely known in the industry of the NBA. An explosive player who’s difficult to rival on-court. A factor that contributes to his greatness would have to be his shoes which are designed to fit his style of play. The KD 12 by Nike features a broken-in comfort, excellent lockdown, highly responsive cushioning, and lightweight flexibility.

The highlight of the KD 12 would probably be the ultra-responsive cushioning. Usually, Nike’s basketball shoes use conventional strobel boards. For those of you who may not know what a strobel board is, it’s basically a fabric or non-woven material used to finish the bottom of a shoe upper. Now, they used a Zoom Air unit in place of the strobel boards and this has drastically improved the bounce of the shoe. This would make players soar high and reach the 10-foot hoops in courts. The full-length Zoom Air unit follows the shape of the foot and delivers better heel-to-toe transition.

In terms of the traction, this shoe features a translucent rubber outsole that comes with a fingerprint-like pattern. This rubber outsole was designed as it is to deliver sufficient traction on-court.

The shoe fits true to size, despite it looking a bit narrow on the forefoot. We suggest you order this pair with the actual size of your foot. The lockdown uses Quad Axial Flywire cables. These provide excellent lockdown and containment, so you don’t need to worry about your feet slipping off the shoe. Another thing about this shoe is it doesn’t run low, this is because Kevin Durant himself has experienced slippage with low-top shoes according to Leo Chang, the Nike Basketball Senior Creative Director. That’s why the shoe was designed to have a mid-to-high top cut.

Compared to the previous models in Durant’s shoe line that have low-tops, this model is different because he wanted to change them to have better performance on-court. The new aesthetic equates to better performance overall. Other details that this shoe has are a large iconic Swoosh on the lateral side and KD branding on the heel and tongue tab.

Overall, this is a well-rounded shoe that is adored by its performance and comfort. It features a new-found cushioning and snug materials that boost performance. Needless to say, KD 12 is superior to its predecessors and is regarded as one of the best basketball shoes in 2019.

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