The Nike Basketball Shoes Buying Guide for 2020

Nike has become one of the biggest brands in the sports industry. It has come a long way and started as a guy who was trying to sell shoes from the back of his car. He was a former runner of Oregon University and started his business as “Blue Ribbon Sports” in 1962. He, along with his former coach, started experimenting on running shoes and day-by-day they started becoming better at it.

Now we see Nike as a huge professional sporting brand that produces some of the highest-rated running shoes. As evident from its first shoe Cortez (which the company launched after changing its name to Nike in 1978), it has paid special attention to the weight of their shoes and the role that midsoles play in the performance of a runner. Nike was the first company to launch the EVA midsole that gives the runner exceptional comfort and shock absorption.

Another innovation that Nike brought into its shoes was the Air sole design which gradually morphed into an improved version of itself better known as the Zoom Air cushioning – a landmark feature of Nike’s Air Zoom shoes. Today, we have brought you reviews of some of Nike’s best shoes for running which reflect Nike’s dedication to its shoes along with being pieces of remarkable craftsmanship.

Nike Men’s KD Trey 5 III Basketball Shoes

Features

  • High-quality synthetic build
  • Moisture-wicking mesh
  • The flexible foam allows you to have a wide range of movements
  • Highly customizable footstrap
  • Rubber heel counter for additional stability and comfort
  • Zoom Air technology for a midsole or enhanced impact protection
  • Pure rubber outsole
  • Herringbone pattern on the outsole to provide multi-direction traction
  • Highly durable

This model from Nike’s Trey 5 series is probably the best-looking one. This is Nike’s third installment of the series and Nike has overhauled the design significantly to give a much better feel and aesthetic appeal to it. It hasn’t done away with the ruggedness as that is this series’ defining feature, which is the ability to withstand hardcore outdoor play.

The Nike Men’s KD Trey 5 III Basketball Shoes’  high cut design is very similar to the KD 3s as the forefoot Zoom is very similar to the team series. What we like the most about it is the traction. When you wear this, you will instantly realize the unbelievable traction on this thing. The rubber is high quality and undoubtedly it will last very long even after vigorous use.

Reasons To Consider This Shoe

  • Mesh build
  • Foam and fused upper
  • Toe box type strap
  • Pure rubber heal
  • Forefoot Zoom

Aesthetics

The Nike KD Trey 5 III is the very first of its kind in the KD Trey 5 series as it features a high cut design that looks way better than the previous ones. The previous Trey 5 designs were low cut and were really stiff. That rugged and stiff looks still remains on this model but the overall design is a massive improvement as the shoe is not that stiff anymore.

The Trey 5 shoes are very simple-looking with no premium designs, so Nike did some work on the upper and introduced some decent looking prints on it. The toe box strap also gives an additional point for its aesthetics. We can say that is a simple looking shoe with a rugged look that is lightweight and flexible. The various color patterns that are used give a different look to the shoe and takes a little bit away from its sporty look.

Cushioning

We would say that these shoes’ cushioning is average. Just like the other team models, it has a forefoot Zoom Air technology but the midsole is a normal Phylon. Just like the other Zoom Air models, the rebound can be felt only a little while running. It still has good impact protection but it fares low in its responsiveness.

Traction

This is where this shoe stands out. This shoe will cover your movements exceptionally well with the help of the herringbone traction. The grooves on the bottom are very wide so it will also prevent the shoe from gathering a lot of dirt. The whole traction pattern is very tough and will provide amazing traction.

Nike Jordan Men’s Jordan Rising Shoes

Features

  • Pure leather build
  • Durable outsole
  • Supportive midsole
  • Good traction support with Nike midsole

Reasons To Consider This Shoe

  • Great cushioning
  • High-quality support from all around
  • Excellent traction

You will not find a lot of good outdoor-friendly basketball shoes out there. The Nike Jordan Men’s Jordan Rising Shoes are quite something. The Zoom Air technology is an upgraded form of Zoom Air that is felt throughout the midsole. Air Jordan is a very versatile shoe that is a good fit for outdoor players and comes at a very affordable price.

Comfort

So far we don’t have anything major to complain about the fitting of this shoe. It fits just right and has a very soft and comfortable interior. The interior is adequately padded and the ankle collar doesn’t hurt. The tongue also feels very comfortable and it won’t slip once it is fastened.

Cushioning

The cushioning of this shoe feels very similar to the Jordan XXX. The forefoot is very balanced and gives you quite the responsiveness. The rest is not something we would talk about with enthusiasm, but it just works.

In this price, you get responsiveness, stability, and a good tight feel for your feet. Although it doesn’t offer a lot of impact protection, it offers just enough.

Traction

We won’t say that it has one of the best traction but it is not that bad. The traction pattern is very high quality and feels durable and sturdy. It will suit day-to-day outdoor activities the best; however, keep in mind that they are not suitable for indoors. The rubber is stiff and it can slip on polished floors. If you want to get them solely for the outdoors, then they will not disappoint you.

Support

You won’t get better support at this price in any of the other Nike shoes. There are no spots left unattended and it grips pretty nicely. The heel counter and the flywire is supportive enough all over the sole. When combined all together, they make up for the excellent support this shoe has to offer. As a highly supportive shoe, this is the best choice for athletes.

Build Quality

The build quality is more of a budget setup. The upper part is made of synthetic leather. They have used fuse in some areas and the ankle collar is a mesh design. Even though the build quality is a downside for this shoe, the overall comfort level is not that bad. It still fares well in durability, stability, ventilation, and excellent support.

Price To Performance Ratio

If we compare this shoe with all the other budget deals, we would say it is fair enough. It has got a relatively premium quality with a very basic upper and a high performing sole core.

Jordan Nike Men’s Flight 45 High Shoes

Features

  • Hybrid leather and synthetic build
  • Sole made from high-quality rubber
  • Nike High Flight technology for the sole
  • Nike cushioning for impact protection
  • Available in four different colors

The Jordan Nike Men’s Flight 45 High is a mid/high cut sneaker that incorporates Nike High Flight technology. It has great cushioning that protects you from any impacts and a sole that is made up of high-quality rubber. It has a high flex and is lightweight enough to give you excellent mobility. 

Comfort

The Men’s Flight has drastically improved, unlike its previous models. It has a high degree of comfort owing to its excellent cushioning and ventilation. It stays dry and keeps your foot smell-free as well. The midsole is carefully engineered to keep your feet in shape.

Cushioning

Nike has made several improvements in cushioning in this new model. It has a cushioning that is denser and even more responsive than previously released shoes. The problem with the previous gen shoes was that the foam used to bottom out with just about 30 wearings and became less responsive; this makes your feet sink into the footbed and you don’t feel the same experience. However, the foam is denser this time so it will hold on for much longer.

They have also added a grip to the footbed itself so that there are no slippages when you are busy with hardcore outdoor gaming. The grip is very comfortable and feels like it is massaging your foot continuously. The impact protection is smart. It is distributed throughout the shoe that minimizes that overall impact, so this is best for those people who want a lightweight shoe with maximum impact protection.

Traction

These shoes have good traction. They have pressure-mapped traction that is very similar to Adidas’ technology. It mimics the natural motion of your foot by adjusting to the natural contours of your feet and offers you a great deal of stability. While it keeps you close to the ground and gives additional grip, it also gives you a very natural and organic feel that does not limit your movements.

If we look at the rubber, it has some of the best grips a shoe can have. The good thing is that it works just the same on any kind of surface; whether you walk on a polished floor or a dusty courtyard, it will not slip. The outsole is made specifically for indoor games. For outdoor basketball, we would recommend that you order a pair with XDR soles.

Support

We have to say that it offers excellent support when it comes to the fitting of the shoe. It is true to its size but keep in mind that if you are going to play with it, do remember to leave half a toe’s space as your feet will swell if you have a tight fit. It is always a better option to have a bigger size than your true size if you are going to use it to play.

It has a wide fit so if you have wide feet, you will easily get used to this shoe. The grip is phenomenal and it completely locks on to your feet. The adaptive flywire keeps your feet secured to the footbed. The laces are also very snug and do not constrict your movements. The internal heel counter and carbon fiber clips on both sides give good support to your heel. For ankles, it has a high collar which feels secure and comfy, plus it doesn’t restrict your movements and gives you great stability. It will be quite a good experience for you if you try on this shoe.

Build Quality

The shoe excels in its build quality. All your movements will be natural and organic due to its pressure-mapped outsole which adjusts to the natural contours of your foot. It won’t feel too heavy or too out of place. In regards to its durability, we would give it 9/10. We have nothing much to complain about this shoe as it feels natural and everything is just spot on.

Nike Air Force 1 Shoes

Features

  • Impressive durability and high performance
  • Available in different color variations
  • Muti purpose appeal
  • Nike iconic stylish flair

Reasons To Consider This Shoe

  • Can be worn all-day
  • Many color variations
  • Excellent traction
  • Lightweight and breathable

Nike Air Force 1 was launched shortly after its flagship launch of the high top model. This model has stood by its brand name and has become a flagship product of classic Nike’s shoes. The sales for this shoe are still smooth and fans still buy it. Air Force 1 is a range of collections that has won the hearts of people with its innovative designs and a high level of comfort at an exceptionally lower price.

Comfort

The comfort of the classical Air Force 1 shoe depends on which edition you have. The classics have improved over the years and Nike has made some pretty good adjustments to them. We would rate the comfort level as 8/10. If you wear them for a long time, they will start to feel a little heavy; but that is just about it. It doesn’t give you any kind of discomfort during prolonged hours of usage.

The sizing is a little bit wide if you have a narrow profile foot and may feel a little bit flimsy for narrow footers but this isn’t something to worry about as the Nike socks can fix that. Overall they feel very lightweight and comfortable.

Cushioning

This shoe is big and there is a good reason for that. It is stuffed with padding all around it. We won’t say that it is the most balanced approach but considering that the mesh inside will provide good ventilation, there isn’t much to complain about it.

However, we won’t say that special care is taken for ventilation but it’s more than enough where cushioning is concerned. It provides good impact protection, high responsiveness, and a good overall feel to your foot.

Traction

We aren’t a very big fan of this shoe’s traction; it is good, but not great. The shoe is made for everyday use and maybe even for normal running but it may not be suitable for games like basketball. The flat grooves are what concern us; however, surprisingly these shoes don’t slip indoors. These shoes may not be meant for hardcore sports but they are certainly best for everyday use.

Support

These shoes will fit most types of feet but as mentioned before, they have a wide profile so it may feel a little bit flimsy on narrow feet. Overall, it has a nice grip and the flywire goes all the way from the sole to the midsole; the combined effect of these parts gives excellent support to your stature. It is also helpful in maintaining a good posture so it is a good choice for people who are going through foot problems like sprains or fracture recovery phase.

Build Quality

When it comes to Nike products, all you can expect is a high-quality shoe that will stay with you for a long time. It is made of very durable and synthetic material. The shoe is a budget-oriented product so you cannot expect much from it, but its build quality is truly surprising. It can be used rigorously for a very long time.

Price To Performance Ratio

We would say that it is a budget-friendly product and the price is accurately set according to the expectations. With a high performing midsole and a very basic yet well thought out design that is made for comfort and durability, this product is the best in its price.

Nike Kobe IX Elite Men’s Basketball Shoes

Features

  • 100% leather
  • Highly durable outsole
  • Supportive midsole

Reasons To Consider This Shoe

  • Highly durable
  • Pure leather
  • Excellent traction
  • Lightweight and breathable

Comfort

Considering how well the shoe is padded, it will offer a high degree of comfort to you on the ground. With a very supportive midsole that breaks in within just a few days, you are going to enjoy the experience that this shoe aims to provide. We would rate the comfort as being 9/10.

Cushioning

The Kobe Elite has almost the same things going around as the Kobe 8. Kobe is known for its Lunarlon midsole; if you are a fan of that then you will be pleased to know that Kobe Elite features the same. They feature custom cushioning just like the Kobe 8. The midsole is a low profile but if you don’t like it, you can interchange them with the LeBron midsole.

Traction

These shoes have one of the best traction out there. If you compare that with the Air Jordan, this certainly stands up to it. The Kobe Elite certainly deserves to be on the list of the shoes which have the top traction. Although our first choice would be the Jordan XX8, that is like comparing apples to oranges. This shoe bears a strong rubber and the pattern is fit for providing traction on every kind of surface; however, you must keep in mind that the thin rubbers will wear out quickly if you wear them outdoors for playing basketball.

Support

The shoe has good support and there is adequate toe space for your toe protection. We will still recommend that you go for true to size. The length is good and it fits perfectly. The shoes seem a little bulk which we are not a fan of. For additional support, you can use LeBron 11 for a more snug fit but that doesn’t mean that it is not great without the LeBron midsole.

We really liked how it fits on your foot as the lockdown on this thing is great. We especially liked the heel part where it moves your heel with the shoe without any effort. The Flyknit area feels like you have put your feet in socks as it grabs all over your foot. It doesn’t restrict your movements but we felt that the collar height is a bit unnecessary. 

Build Quality

The Flyknit used has some neat carbon fiber panels that go all the way to the midsole. The Flyknit is stuffed by a thin fuse for additional support. One thing we don’t understand is the use of Flyknit with a fuse. It doesn’t make sense to use both Flyknit and fuse at the same time. Maybe they want the shoe to be as versatile as possible to provide a wide range of movements to basketball players as they have also used engineered mesh while still using the fuse.

Overall we think that you will love the Kobe Elite. They have everything that you need and provide excellent traction, good support, some great cushioning, along with amazingly high mobility support. Also, if you need more cushioning you can customize it. It is a high top model, although we would have preferred it more if it was a lower cut as we felt that the extra height is unnecessary. 

Men’s Jordan XXXII 32 BG MVP Black Cement Basketball Shoes

Features

  • Highly durable outsole and midsole
  • Black cement design
  • Nike Jordan iconic flair

Traction

We know that many players expressed serious disappointments over the 30 series as they didn’t have good traction but the 32 revamped the design and the rubber now grips any kind of floor; and when we say it grips, we mean it grips really good.

It has a custom herringbone design which was unsuccessful at first but worked remarkably well in this one. It doesn’t gather any dust and does its job perfectly. If you are playing in a dusty court, you won’t need to wipe it again and again. If you play in a clean court, it will be all rainbows and butterflies.

Both the higher and lower version of the shoe works well but we felt that the lower version worked much better as it tends to use the rubber more and keeps your feet closer to the ground. We would say that we are very satisfied with the traction.

Cushion 

When Nike launched the Unlocked Zoom Air, it was the talk of the day; now with the forefoot segmented Zoom Air on the Jordan Air 32, the heel is fully loaded with cushioning.

It does not bulge out of the shoe so you will not get that responsiveness and feedback from the heel. You will have a high degree of support which was missing in the previous version. The Zoom feels nice and you can feel it when you push against the heel. The overall setup is more balanced as compared to the ones in the past as it doesn’t overdo it. You can be a fan of the large Zoom that is protruding from the sole but for us, it was a bit more balanced approach.

The midsole is stiff. It doesn’t offer that much flexibility but it is very good at being broken in; however, you may have to be patient with it. The Pebax moderator plate is what gives this shoe its stiffness. It is only a matter of time that you will be able to make the plate flexible enough for you to truly enjoy this shoe.

Materials

We have to tell you that the materials used in this shoe are awesome. It doesn’t have the best breathable layers but its not that bad. The previous generation should definitely have included Flyknit. We didn’t find any kind of glue overdo and there is no TPU. It is a simple Flyknit that will keep your foot moving.

Some areas are well-knitted with a stretch while others are knitted tight. The stretched areas are very thick ones. The heel is made up of synthetic leather and is very similar to the previous generation. It adds a lot of strength to the rear and the lockdown is great; however, it is not a premium quality package.

Fit 

The width of this shoe is very narrow and it is a little bit longer than the previous gen. After you break it in, it will feel pretty nice. We would recommend that you go for the true size. The lockdown on this shoe is great while it tends to stretch a bit too much at some parts and too less at some. Flyknit is stretchable and it stretches just enough to secure the laces.

Support

The true fit size shouldn’t give you any problem with support. We think that it offers good support for your ankles and the midsole sculpt on the rear side isn’t clean but is good for lateral movements. The internal heel counter is also made as a separate piece and they do their job well when combined.

Jordan So Clean Sacky Backpack

Features

  • Synthetic build
  • Mesh design
  • Pure rubber sole made from industrial grade materials
  • Mid upper high type midsole
  • Airmax technology for maximum cushioning

Traction

The rubber offers the best traction that is suitable for any type of surface. It performs well on dusty courts as well as polished floors. We have full confidence that this shoe won’t slip. The outsole is tailormade for indoor basketball but it will also work well in the outdoors.

Cushion

While it may not have a nice aesthetic appeal to it but the cushioning especially at the footbed is amazing. The grip also gives extra comfort and massages your feet at every step. The cushioning keeps your feet close to the ground. When it sinks in, it immediately gives a rebound for additional support. It is a great choice for those who want a lightweight shoe with high padding.

Materials

While the materials used may not be that exceptional, the Flyknit works well for basketball players. We are not sure how durable it might be but it looks promising. The Flyknit doesn’t feel cheap, however, it is not that durable as compared to the other materials such as the Hyper Fuse and Foamposite. We would rate it 7/10.

Final Words

Nike is a world leader in making quality shoes and has become a global phenomenon. In this review, we have picked some of Nike’s flagships and have compared their quality against one another so you can have a bright idea which one will best suit your needs and your budget. We hope this article has served its purpose well.

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