Top 5 Basketball Shoes for Performance

Anyone who’s spent time playing basketball knows the struggle of a bad pair of shoes. From the blisters to the ankle pain, the lack of mobility is frustrating for your performance and painful for your body.

Having a nice pair of comfortable and affordable basketball shoes is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

It can be hard with so many brands and styles of basketball shoes on the market to know which shoes will improve your game and which are just for style and fashion. Here are the top 5 basketball shoes for enhancing your performance.

1. Adidas Crazy Explosive Shoes 

These shoes are designed to get you off the ground. With their lightweight design, jumping higher and running faster will feel natural. These shoes come with adidas’ patented boost™ technology, which is a hypersensitive cushioning that increases the quality of your moves.

The tight rubber sole and textile lining will make this one of the most comfortable wears you’ll find, perfect for long hours at the basketball court. And the sharp graphic design (in dozens of colors) will make sure you’re never bored of these shoes’ tight look.

Pro tip: prices can range dramatically (between 50-150) depending on the day. So make sure to get you keep an eye out for the best prices.

2. Nike Zoom Ascension

Nike is known for having some of the best basketball shoes on the market. The Zoom Ascensions are no exception. The key asset of these shoes is their traction, real high quality support for making cuts to the basket.

You might want a pair of Zoom Ascension if you’re a big defensive player - as its wings at the outsole are perfect for frequent side-to-side movements. Even if you prefer the offensive side of the court, the Zoom Air will give you that low-profile, highly responsive feel.

The shoes also sport a durable upper mesh for hours of indoor or outdoor play. Best of all, these are some of the best bargain performance shoes you’ll find, going for less than 100 dollars.

3. Under Armour Curry 2.5

The Under Armour Curry 2.5 took the quality of its predecessor, the Curry 2s, and gave it a high tech upgrade. The Curry 2.5 adds a full-length mesh upper with a flexible plastic coating. It's also got asymmetrical lacing just like the adidas Harden Volume 1.

The tread pattern underneath is crafted to eliminate sliding on even the dirtiest of floors. That being said, this shoe is ideal for indoor play. You’ll continually surprised at how pillow soft the sides of these shoes are.

While there is an newer version of this line, the Curry 3, they are not as good for performance due to a lack of impact resistance and the inferior fit compared to the 2.5s.

4. Nike Men’s Hyperfr3sh

Another great basketball performance shoe from Nike is the Men’s Hyperfr3sh. It’s constructed with a partial bootie, so that it can be slipped on and off easily. They also have a removable insole for further customization.

These shoes are similar to Nike’s uber-popular Hyperdunk series, only lighter weight. The foam sockliner makes it ‘wear all day’ comfortable. But rest assured, your performance won’t take a hit either, as these shoes are designed for a crisp, light spring in your step.

As with all performance basketball shoes, finding the right fit is critical. These shoes seem to run a bit big, so you might consider going down half a size from what you usually wear.

5. Adidas Harden Vol. 1

Many basketball shoes endorsed by players are good for show and bragging rights, but fall short on the performance part. The adidas Harden Volume 1 (designed for Houston superstar James Harden) doesn’t fit this stereotype at all. In fact, these are some of the best low-top performance shoes you’ll find anywhere.

These shoes feature asymmetrical, diagonal laces, and for a good reason. The slanted design secures your foot in a way that normal laces just can’t.

Your feet will thank you for these shoes independent toe cap, made of premium leather. While it may seem like a minor detail, proper toe flex like what these shoes provide are critical for your range of motion and for avoiding blisters.

Just like with Crazy Explosive series, these shoes feature adidas’ boost™ technology, only with this pair, the shoes are lower to the ground for a secure yet explosive feel on every step.


Finding the perfect pair for you can be difficult. The best advice we can give is to go to your local shoe place and try on the ones out our recommendations we gave above. Then for the ones that seem like a right fit for you, price check online to get yourself the best price.

Everyone’s playing style and preferences are different. But with these 5 top notch selections, you should see yourself having your best basketball performances in no time.