10 Best Nike Basketball Shoes in 2021
Come on and slam, and welcome to the jam! Basketball, one of the most popular sports in the game right now and with good reason. Going hard in the paint requires talent and pure athleticism, two key ingredients that every professional player will possess. Being kitted out in the right gear is always going to help you in your performance — ask any player in the NBA, and they’ll tell you the same thing. Nike, one of the leading heads in the world of sneakers/shoes have provided quality for the better part of 50 years, showing no signs of slowing down. In 2017 alone, Nike turned over total revenue of almost $35 billion.
They specialize in some of the most popular basketball shoes out in the market right now and are continually coming out with new products on the regular! Not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place! We consider ourselves avid basketball players as well as sneaker-heads so you can count on us to provide you with a definitive list of Nike branded basketball shoes that you can try out for yourself on the court. You will see a drastic improvement in how you play should you take our advice, we promise you that!
The list you are about to read is in no particular order, meaning you can read it at your own pace and skip some of the options if they aren’t for you. We’ve tried to make a very diverse list here for you all, featuring both male and female shoes to make this article as accessible as possible. We are a small team made up of both male and female members, so it only made sense that we appeal to the majority rather than a specific demographic!
Related: Best Nike Jordans in Review.
View the Best Nike Basketball Shoes, Below.
- NIKE Men’s Free RN Running Shoe
- NIKE Lebron XIV Mens Basketball Shoes
- Nike Women’s Flex Experience Run 7
- NIKE Women’s Revolution 3
- NIKE Women’s Tanjun Running Shoes
- Nike Men’s Revolution 4
- Nike Men’s Swift Running Shoe
- Nike Womens Air Zoom Pegasus
- Nike Women’s Downshifter 8
- Nike Men’s Kd Trey 5
1. NIKE Men’s Free RN Running Shoe
The first shoe on our list here is arguably one of the most versatile. Free running shoes have been optimized to allow you to travel across multiple surfaces with the greatest of ease. The synthetic sole makes for a very comfortable fit. A breathable shoe, the kind that will allow you to move from one end of the court to the next in an instant. The natural movement of the shoe is one of its greatest strengths. It’s a lightweight shoe too, which makes it very freeing.
Why We Liked It: The lightweight design of this shoe makes it one of the very best, usable in a lot of instances that aren’t limited to basketball.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. NIKE Lebron XIV Mens Basketball Shoes
Any fans of Back To The Future out there? These shoes look like they’ve been ripped straight from the movie itself. Lebron has had a lot of career-defining moments, but signing a deal with Nike for his own line of shoes might be his best. If you are looking for something outlandish, then you’ll find that this is the shoe for you. Available in two distinct colors, the XIVs have been designed specifically for basketball, with a gum sole that is bound to give you great hops!
Why We Liked It: One for fans of Lebron and fans of shoes that don’t fit the mold of the status quo.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. Nike Women’s Flex Experience Run 7
The first female pair of shoes in our list here, the Run 7s is one of the most consistent pairs out in the market right now, made from synthetic materials that make for a supportive fit. Inside the shoe, you’ll find comfort in excess, comfort that will only see you ballin’ for hours on end with no signs of slowing down! A lace-up pair of shoe available in a rainbow of different colors, you’ll find that these shoes are durable as they are consistent, that’s the Nike guarantee!
Why We Liked It: Run for days on end with these highly rated running shoes from Nike; perfect for on and off the court!Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. NIKE Women’s Revolution 3
Something a little more durable than the previous entry into our list here. The Women’s Revolution 3 is a lot more durable and sturdier compared to some of the other female shoes in our list here. Again made out of synthetic materials, this shoe can take a lot of punishment and can dish it out in equal measure. A lace-up pair with a lot of attitude, that’s how we’d have to go about describing this pair to anyone not in-the-know!
Aside from being ergonomic, the shoe does exceptionally well on the basketball court also!Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. NIKE Women’s Tanjun Running Shoes
We go back to basics with the halfway point here. Nike’s Tanjun running shoes are an excellent example of less is more. There isn’t anything overly flashy with these shoes, but once you get them on your feet and start playing, you’ll see just how great they are! We nicknamed these ‘the chameleon’ as they passed a lot of our tests with flying colors. Complete with a heel height of 1-inch, you’ll find that these shoes only get better in time, which is incredible when you think about it! Available in various colors also!
The Tanjun Running Shoes are perfect for allowing your feet to breathe when out running, which will only let you run faster and for much longer.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Nike Men’s Revolution 4
Another great shoe to own for any basketball enthusiasts out there. The Nike men's Revolution 4 is a masterclass in sneaker design, a clear standout for anyone looking at purchasing a rather basic shoe, one with a lot of character. The knitted design here makes for a genuinely relaxing fit, one that will have you dunking threes in no time! The gum rubber sole allows you to soar to great heights from a standing position. No heel on this one makes your steps a lot more responsive also, so make every movement count!
We found that the Revolution 4 was very useful in running across different terrain, it is also very comfortable to move around in given the padded support within the shoe.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. Nike Men’s Swift Running Shoe
Arguably the most appealing shoe in our list here, one of the most striking shoes around come to think of it, regardless of the basketball uses. It’s a toss-up between this shoe and the Lebron shoe earlier for the best-looking shoe in our list here. Yes, this is a running shoe primarily, but it also lends itself pretty well to certain activities even — basketball for example. Again fitted with a gum rubber sole, you’ll find that the flat heel allows you to control how you react a lot easier when out on the court.
The locked in feel from this shoe does a great job in adding to your runs oddly enough, be sure to check them out for yourself!Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Nike Womens Air Zoom Pegasus
Ironic how you’ll actually fly with the same majestic grace as Pegasus when wearing these shoes isn’t it? There’s a real reason why these shoes have such a reputation, and that comes down to just how effective they are outright. The color schemes featured on these shoes make them a clear visual standout from all others featured here; some like the colors/patterns and some don’t, we personally love them as it really breathes life into these shoes the moment you look at them. The fabric outer layer makes for a very comfortable fit too, the kind that will sit rather comfortably over your foot!
This shoe is optimized for durability. This is a running shoe that will last years if you look after them, tuned correctly for ankle support!Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. Nike Women’s Downshifter 8
Coming in at the second to last spot is the Downshifter 8s, one of the newer products to hit the Nike line in recent years. These lace-up pair of shoes standout in the same ways that some of the more outlandish shoes do here, although the design here is a lot more contemporary. Synthetic materials are used in this shoe's makeup, not only allowing for a comforting feel but a lasting feel at that. The material very rarely stretches once it's on your feet and you are moving around, which is definitely helpful when playing some b-ball!
The fact that this shoe is so comfortable and very rarely stretches out of position, is just a testament to the work put in from the designers!Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. Nike Men’s Kd Trey 5
The final offering in our list here is one of the more consistent basketball shoes we’ve come across. Yet another synthetic shoe we know, but what this one does differently is it holds its shape despite the intense amounts of pressure that is being placed on the shoe outright! This is a lace up shoe, one that comes with a rather large synthetic sole, the kind that can allow you to jump great heights rather easily if you have the ability. The classic black and white design is in full effect here, an iconic look!
A classic design complete with modern features for every aspiring basketball player to thrive in!Check Price on Amazon ➞
Nike Basketball Shoes Buyer’s Guide
Welcome to the buyers guide section, a section where we will be covering some of the questions you might have after looking at some of the products above. We’ll be discussing how we ended up with our list here as well as a few additional pieces of info that should hopefully help you in choosing the right pair of Nike basketball shoes for you!
Coming up with our List
We came up with the idea for an article on the best Nike shoes to play basketball in while we were on the court ourselves. We play pretty regularly and have gone through enough pairs of shoes to know which are good and which are intrinsically bad. Nike has always been there for us when we’ve tried an Under Armour shoe or something from an Adidas line. Personal preferences will always help you out in these situations, but in our opinion, if you play basketball, then Nike should be the brand you represent.
Once we had all agreed to come out with the article you’re reading right now, we then set our sights on surrounding ourselves with other like-minded individuals who were going to help us establish a base. Our team consisted of around half a dozen individuals, all worked just as hard as the other in researching and testing out these Nike basketball shoes. We scoured the world wide web/countless magazines to comprise a list of some of the best shoes around.
It was hard not to play biased when some of these shoes we actually own for ourselves, but to keep the integrity of the article, we measured every shoe just the same using a rough set of guidelines that we outlined beforehand. Nike themselves have a brand deal with Lebron James, which made it very easy for us to find some of the highest rated Nike Basketball shoes, but in the end, we ended up with one Lebron pair in our list.
In total, we must have had a rough list of around 30 shoes once we had finished the research part of this project. Cutting the fat was our next course of action. We did this by eliminating shoes that were too similar to some of the better shoes in a similar line. What constitutes better comes down to many considerations that someone might have when purchasing a pair of Nike shoes with the intention of playing basketball in them; the price, for example, is one consideration!
15 products remained once we finished this process, 15 products that were incredibly difficult to sift through, so we did the most responsible thing after that and purchased all of them to test them out firsthand. We must have spent over $300, we did this for your benefit we promise (although we did keep a few pairs for ourselves). Each shoe was tested not only on its attributes/features, but it was physically tested on the court by some of our very best.
We do know a few semi-professional players, so we asked them to help us with this task. We asked them to run around the court as well as do a few layup shots to get a feel for the grip/traction of the shoes to see how well they performed. We asked for a complete rating out of 10 once each shoe was tested. The scores were then tallied and then compared to all the other shoes in the list, this allowed us to finalize our offerings to the set you see above!
The Style Factor
There is a running theme with all of the shoes you see in our list above, all of them have a certain level of quality control in how they look. We understood that customers are looking to flex when they are on the basketball court. Thankfully, most Nike shoes are made with the utmost quality, meaning if it seems the part, it more than likely has all the attributes to make it an all-round quality basketball shoe.
Nike is known for making some of the most stylish shoes in the world right now, let alone those that are catered towards basketball specifically. Their designers have had their head in the game for quite a while now, so you know that the durability is there and these shoes aren’t just for show. The amount of checks that these shoes go through also is incredible, which gives you an idea on the number of checks/regulations that these shoes cover before they end up on the shelves.
How to Clean Basketball Shoes?
Most basketball shoes are machine washable, in fact, most Nike shoes are machine washable. If you find that you’re unsure, then you should check the label of your shoe or look online just to make sure. The material of your shoe will always dictate how you can clean your shoe outright. If water merely runs off the shoe, then you’ll find that specific wipes/brushes can be used to keep your shoes in check. Always check your labels before you go about cleaning, these shoes can be expensive.
If you find that you are still with questions on this, then there are plenty of internet sources for you to check out that go into a lot more detail on the dos and don’ts when cleaning your shoes. We’ve glossed over this topic in the interest of time, so if this is a primary concern for you then know that there is plenty of additional information out there when it comes to cleaning your Nike basketball shoes (or any pair of shoes)!
How to Break in Basketball Shoes?
The simple answer to this question it just to wear them frequently. Just because you are going to wear these shoes for basketball does not mean that they are limited to just that. Wear them around your home or when you are shopping for example. The longer you wear the shoes, the faster they will break in to fit your feet. Remember not to overdo it. Wearing your shoes for long spaces of time can cause the quality to wither. Once you have broken your shoes in, you should then only wear them for physical activities.
How Should Basketball Shoes Fit?
This will come down to personal preference and that alone. We personally like wearing basketball shoes that are a little tighter than the average pair so that we have a lot more traction on the court. Having a tighter fit is known to be a lot more responsive in comparison also. Those that like wearing bigger pairs find that they are a lot more comfortable to wear. If you are going to use these shoes for only basketball then we’d say go with a tighter fit, your performances will significantly improve we promise you!
Keep your Nike basketball shoes fresh by keeping them in dry spaces after use. You should be cleaning them every couple of weeks to make sure they don’t smell/look dirty. Most shoes are machine washable, be sure to check the label to see if your shoes comply with washing machines.
Did you know?
Nike was originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports, a somewhat popular distributor of athletic shoes and gear (now known as Asics). In 1971 the name was changed to Nike and would later proceed to take the world by storm!