Let’s address those comfort and luxury lovers in the hoops world – let me bring you my personal picks of the 10 most comfortable basketball shoes you can get right now. But hey, it wouldn’t be a list of mine if I didn’t explain some things first.
HERE’S WHAT’S INSIDE
So, I’ll first discuss some important things that are need-to-know, then I’ll quickly break down what actually makes a shoe a treat to wear & how you can use this information for your upcoming purchases.
I’ll then go over what went into the process of selecting these particular shoes in the list, as I believe that insight will also be valuable to you.
And finally, we’ll go over the shoe list, quickly breaking down each one: what makes it stand out fit and comfort-wise, what the shoe packs for the price, and also detail some stuff you might want to know before buying (with possible drawbacks as well).
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
- The Confusion of a Break-In Process
- What Makes a Shoe Ultra Comfy
- How I Chose the Shoes
- The Shoe List: 10 Most Comfortable Picks:
- My Top 3 Personal Favorites Comfort-Wise:
- Looking for More?
THE CONFUSION OF A BREAK-IN PROCESS
Patience is your only weapon!
The first thing you absolutely should be aware of is every single basketball shoe needs a different amount of wearing time to break in.
That means the materials used are gradually stretched out and adjusted to your foot shape better, more rigid components (midfoot shanks, heel pieces, etc.) soften up as well as the midsole’s foam fully kicks in.
Soooo many people tend to overlook this and put their new pair of shoes away thinking they’re all kinds of stiff and annoying. While that might be true for some, it’s usually a gradual process that you need to be patient to overcome.
Of course, different types of materials soften up and break in at different rates but even the sturdiest of builds should eventually break through and provide the full experience you deserve. Provided you get the size correct for you, most shoes will feel at their peak 1-2 weeks in.
Some less common cases can take longer than that but that’s only for full-on leather shoes or something of that nature.
Today’s modern use of materials is continuously erasing the need for a break-in process completely: the use of lightweight mesh, textile, knit, and other synthetic compounds have become the standard, for better or worse.
So bottom line – stay patient and don’t get fooled by the first impressions of wearing a hoop shoe. Give it some time, play in it even if it doesn’t quite feel right. If you’re still feeling stiff and uncomfortable after an unusually long period of time – only then it might mean the shoe’s not for you.
WHAT MAKES A SHOE ULTRA COMFY?
Heads up: several factors go into it
So you might be thinking: “Really? Should I REALLY know this stuff rather than just getting an expensive pair that people have recommended and reported as being comfortable?”
Well, that will depend on your needs but for someone who’s not only looking to get a comfortable & quality pair of basketball shoes but also get some insight on how to actually differentiate a “common” pair and a very comfortable one, this one’s for you.
YOU NEED TO HEAR ABOUT THIS
Now, let’s get realistic here. You’re not ALWAYS going to hit the nail in the head. All the knowledge and research just sometimes won’t match up with the actual on-foot experience. Your foot shape and how it molds to the shoe will be a huge factor.
I’ve had times where a shoe I thought was going to be godly for my feet turned out to be a huge disappointment. Chances are, that might happen to you as well.
HOWEVER, I believe you should still know some stuff before going into pure luck mode. It will make a difference and if not take out the guessing game entirely, it’ll at least increase the chances of you picking the right pair.
Let’s break those down…
I. THE FIT
It all starts with the correct fit. It is your ultimate foundation to a performance-friendly and comfortable shoe on the court (and not only). The shoe MUST fit exactly how you like it, or at least very close to that. Some people prefer a roomier fit with a little bit of space at the front, while others prefer a very snug, one-to-one type of fit.
Whichever the case may be for you, we need to make sure the shoe doesn’t bring up any issues such as heel slippage, weak foot containment, or just comfort issues such as pinching or excess fatigue for your feet.
Obviously, it’s virtually impossible to know these things without having the shoe but that’s where the shoe reviews come in. Make sure to check out a dedicated shoe review where you usually can get information on how it fits for a regular/narrow footer as well as recommendations to which size to go with if you’ve got a wider foot.
II. THE UPPER MATERIALS
The upper materials & the way the upper’s built will be among the biggest factors you can actually feel comfort-wise while playing. Now as all things, some of it will come down to your personal preferences. Perhaps you prefer a classic leather or nubuck shoe rather than a modern knit based design.
Regardless of that, there are certain tendencies in upper materials used by brands that have proved to be the most comfortable for most. Knit based uppers usually bring a “premium” feel to a shoe, provided it’s done right.
Lightweight synthetics such as textile and mesh are also very pleasant for the foot but the implementation itself is equally as important as the material. Take the Jordan 35 for example.
It uses a series of new-school synthetic textile pieces along with genuine leather/suede to form a very nice mixture that both plays well and feels extremely comfy.
Once again, shoe reviews along with your personal preferences will define this one. I’m personally a fan of a reinforced knit design, where TPU, nylon, or Fuse glued within a knit makes for a both strong and comfy upper.
I also love a proper combo – mesh & a raw material (leather, nubuck, etc.) usually brings me the best vibes comfort-wise.
III. THE CUSHIONING SETUP
The big one. The shoe’s midsole & other implemented cushion tech will absolutely define how comfortable the overall experience will be while actually moving.
Step comfort, overall stability, underfoot softness, heel-to-toe transitions, spring back effect upon impact: all these factors are determined by the shoe’s cushioning and it’ll GREATLY define how comfortable it is to play in it.
Of course, you might prefer a specific type of cushion setup but for those who are just looking for a solid well-rounded shoe that’s seriously comfortable, there are a few cushion compounds used by brands that achieve this.
Firstly, the midsole itself will greatly affect the comfort of a shoe. Phylon is the most common one used by Nikey, while Cushlon, Lunarlon & React are the pricier options.
Be aware though, there’s no real way to guess the quality of a midsole strictly by its name. I’ve played in plenty of Phylon midsole shoes that feel insane. So shoe reviews are your weapon here.
And if we’re talking specific cushion tech, adidas’s Boost is usually the main attraction. Bounce is a cheaper alternative by adidas that’s not as bouncy or soft but still achieves a good balance. Nike’s/Jordan’s full-length Zoom Air or unlocked Zoom Air units are also insanely comfortable if implemented correctly.
Under Armour’s Micro G is undoubtedly also a very fun foam compound to play in.
IV. THE ADDITIONAL STUFF
And then there are some additional things that aren’t critically essential to a comfy shoe but can surely come as a nice bonus for that luxury feel.
Internal padding is always very much welcome – soft pillows cupping your achilles was never a bad thing. A lightweight shoe is also a nice bonus – feeling heavy-footed is something you don’t want.
The tongue of the shoe actually makes a difference too – a nice & soft tongue that’s large and made of a quality material can help both comfort-wise and ventilation-wise. Slap a cheap, thin tongue on a shoe and you end up feeling weird, even with possible pinching to your shins. Yes, that was a LeBron 18 reference.
The construction of a shoe can also make a difference. I personally prefer a traditional tongue & lace construction. There are also half-bootie options or one-bootie options (the whole shoe is one continuous piece with nothing separated in between).
HOW I CHOSE THE SHOES
A consumer-friendly take on a basketball shoe list
I believe it is important for you to know what exact factors went into the selection process. I tried my best to put together a practical, varied list that caters to different people with different needs & preferences.
Let’s go over those right now.
I. DIFFERENT FOOT SHAPE, DIFFERENT BALL GAME
Just as a heads up first, this is not going to be a list devoted specifically to people who have some sort of foot condition (e.g. plantar fasciitis, overpronation, etc.) as it’s very tough to cater to absolutely everyone’s needs.
But you’re in luck – if you’re one of those people who have a rather unusual foot shape that could be problematic to fit certain shoes, or perhaps your foot is still in the process of rapid growth, I do have a few shoe lists devoted to those people. Check ’em out below!
- Best Shoes for Wide Feet
- Best Shoes for Flat Feet (plantar fasciitis)
- Best Shoes for Kids
- Best Shoes for Teenagers
DISCLAIMER! If you’ve got wide feet though, you will get some good options here as well, as I’m a very prominent wide footer myself, so all the shoes listed are in fact compatible for a wider foot.
I’ll do my best to highlight the shoes that I think will be wide and/or flat foot-friendly based on my own and other’s experiences, so keep an eye on that. Even though your best bet will still be the appropriate list above, I won’t leave you hanging!
II. COMFORT MUST NOT COME AT A PRICE
Remember, no matter how comfortable it is, a basketball shoe should still do its job – supplement a player’s game with performance, security and reliability. All of the shoes in the list do stand out comfort-wise but they’re all excellent performers on the court too.
Traction, effective cushion, all-around security, durability, and value for the money are not forgotten here. Gone are the days where we would usually need to choose between comfort or security. It’s 2021. We need both.
III. SHOES WERE PUSHED TO THEIR LIMIT
No shoe was left untouched – I’ve personally been playing in all of these for at least 2-3 months, mostly outdoors. I’ll leave links to full reviews of each shoe. If you don’t see a review for a particular shoe, that means I’m still in the middle of testing it but I’ve got a solid enough opinion to put it on the list.
IV. THE LATEST & GREATEST ONLY
I’ve restrained from picking older releases simply due to practical reasons. All shoes in the list are a few years old at most – you’ll still find them at the most popular sports retailers & find a good variety of sizing/color options.
Good luck with that if you’re looking for a 2012 Hyperdunk.
V. NO PARTICULAR ORDER & REGURARLY UPDATED
The list is shown in no particular order. I’ll also give my 3 personal favorites comfort-wise at the end. Those always bring a smile to my face and bring that FUN factor if I’m starting to miss it while playing.
Also, be sure to come back here occasionally! I’ll do my best to track down new shoes and update the list with better options accordingly. Think of it as your go-to cheat sheet for many years round!
A TREAT TO WEAR: 10 PICKS
Let’s break down the shoes, noting what made them so comfy & breaking down possible issues or things you should know before getting them
I. ADIDAS HARDEN VOL. 4
Comfort Rating: 9 (Overall: 8.5)
FULL REVIEW 💰 $130
WHY IT’S SO COMFY
The Harden Vol. 4 is the definition of a compact, nifty little low top done right. It comes in two upper variants: a knit & synthetic leather combo or a mesh & synthetic suede combo. I’ve played in the knit version and it’s awesome – it’s soft and comfy but the overlay pieces are enough to keep things structured and secure.
A super wide & flat platform that promotes stability and a one-to-one fit are the two pillars of this shoe’s fit. It might not be the lightest adidas shoe but it sure as hell feels like one of them.
My foot was nicely cupped by the midsole, providing a very secure feel, and the amount of silky-smooth internal padding around the ankle area is crazy. I don’t know why more shoes don’t do this but I’ll take every bit of it on the Harden Vol. 4, thank you very much.
A Lightstrike midsole is used for cushion and even though it’s not the bounciest or mushiest setup, it does a damn good job keeping things quick & low to the ground while still retaining moderate impact protection and excellent step comfort. I think it’s a near-perfect blend for most guards.
THINGS TO NOTE
Most people should go true to size with these, even wide footers due to that super wide platform. If you prefer a roomier fit as a wide footer – you might get away with going up 1/2 a size but do that at your own risk since I haven’t tried that personally.
One little issue I’ve had initially was the midfoot elastic band causing discomfort almost every time the shoe flexed. The tighter I laced them up – the harder the band dug into my foot. While it was fairly bad at first, that went away about a week in of playing.
The shoe is definitely wide foot-friendly. For flat footers, you might get away with it as there’s some torsional support here and the tooling’s almost entirely flat.
II. NIKE AIR ZOOM BB NXT
Comfort Rating: 9 (Overall: 8)
FULL REVIEW 💰 $180
WHY IT’S SO COMFY
The Air Zoom BB NXT sure does have a long name but these caught me off guard. I’ve learned about them a little late but I’m glad I did. If we’re talking pure comfort and the fun factor (along with sold all-around performance and an outdoor-ready outsole), these are one of the best options.
The shoe’s main attraction is the cushion packed inside. A dual-layered React midsole along with a React insole, as well as 2 huge forefoot Zoom units. This makes up for one hell of a session. And one hell of a price tag.
High leapers and athletic guys who like a proper bounce behind their movements will especially enjoy these. Lots of bounce and impact protection is an understatement here.
Despite having one of the most ridiculous cushion setups Nikey has put out recently, the anatomical build of the shoe’s tooling, a nice lightweight textile upper, and strategically implemented support features still kept me fast and secure.
The ride will be quite high with these but React is known for retaining super quick foam rebound, so you’re not a slow big man all of a sudden – despite not having any real direct court feel, I think it’s still a fairly versatile setup.
THINGS TO NOTE
Most people will be okay going true to size, including wide footers. Though if you prefer a snug, one-to-one fit (which is pretty much how it’s supposed to be due to the thin nature of the upper), going down 1/2 a size is also an option.
There’s one issue that seems to be present for most people who tried the shoe, myself included. The one forefoot Zoom unit on the right side tends to contort too much (a.k.a. over-compress) once enough pressure is applied, causing some movements, especially lateral ones, to be unstable.
You could develop a habit of not putting pressure on that pod specifically but that’s not going to work for everyone. Linear-dominant and overall less shifty players should mainly be looking at this shoe.
Going back to versatility – if we’re talking ideally, light, shifty guards who play below the rim still might want a firmer, quicker ride but that’s up for you to decide what you prefer.
III. ADIDAS DAME 5
Comfort Rating: 9.5 (Overall: 9.4)
FULL REVIEW 💰 $115
WHY IT’S SO COMFY
The Dame 5 is easily one of the best shoes of 2019 and still proves to be among the most versatile, no matter how you are, how you play, and where you play. And with that, they also happen to be among the very comfortable bunch, relying on a one-to-one fit & superb security without compromising your experience.
It all starts with the simple stuff. While nothing truly stands out here, the fit is the biggest treat for the Dame 5. It’s as close to a true 1-to-1 as it gets, as long as you get the size right for your foot. Part of that feeling is due to the tooling – my foot is sitting inside the midsole, so it’s very nicely cradled, making things stable and giving you that sense of security.
And then there’s the generous amount of internal padding in a form of a soft fabric. Not as much as on the Harden Vol. 4 but those things set a pretty crazy benchmark. There’s more than enough of it on the Dame 5.
Bounce is used for the midsole, and while the ride is not as springy as on the Zoom BB NXT, it’s nicely balanced and step comfort’s still there.
The upper comes in two options: a full-on leather variant or a mesh & synthetic nubuck combo. I have the mesh option which I’d say is the best choice pure comfort-wise.
The synthetic leather on the other variant is still fine and would be considered more durable but the lightweight mesh at the front and nubuck at the back nailed it for me in terms of balancing both security and comfort. The mesh variant also breaks in quicker and it’s more breathable.
THINGS TO NOTE
Most regular/narrow footers will wanna go down 1/2 a size, as just like many other adidas shoes, these run a bit long. For wide footers like myself, I’ve gone true to size and the fit is nothing short of solid. If you can live with having a tiny bit of room for your toes.
These are also outdoor-ready, even if you get a translucent rubber pair. For flat footers though, I’m really not sure on this one. Torsional security is great but the tooling isn’t flat. Bounce foam doesn’t move too much so you might feel some discomfort with these.
IV. NIKE KOBE A.D. NXT 360
Comfort Rating: 9.5 (Overall: 7.8)
FULL REVIEW 💰 $200
WHY IT’S SO COMFY
One of the first shoes to offer 360 degrees of Flyknit all throughout the upper and it’s on the Kobe A.D. NXT 360. Talk about modern design trends – this is it. And fortunately for us, I have to say it’s not a fluke.
It feels just as good as it sounds. And if I had to describe the weight sensation of the shoe, feather-like is the best way to do it.
So the shoe features Flyknit, Nike’s structured knit material. It goes all the way around the build, fitting your foot like a compression glove. It’s awesome. The rear portion of the shoe features a more structured, thicker knit while the forefoot area contains a super thin, minimal knit. I personally loved it and it brought no issues security-wise.
The cushion setup is no slouch either – a drop-in midsole containing a layer of React and another layer of Lunarlon. The end result is what you expect from a Kobe shoe: an extremely well-balanced ride that’s quick, retains court feel, and still provides excellent underfoot comfort.
THINGS TO NOTE
Don’t take these outdoors often. In fact, completely staying away from the blacktop is probably the best idea. The outsoles burn off rapidly on these. While the traction itself is good, you don’t want your $200 blown in a couple of months.
True to size is going to be the staple for most people. Even wide footers. You can thank 360 degrees of Flyknit for that.
V. PEAK TONY PARKER TP7
Comfort Rating: 9.5 (Overall: 8.8)
FULL REVIEW 💰 $109
WHY IT’S SO COMFY
Once again, I’m a bit late to the party as Tony Parker’s seventh shoe with PEAK was my first TP shoe. As long as you steer away from the mindset of “Nike is king”, you’ll be well on your way to uncovering some fantastic gems in the sneaker market. And often, for almost half the price.
The TP7 is a very comfortable shoe to play in and its TAICHI cushion setup was the biggest factor. I think this falls into the Zoom Rize category where there’s no real way to describe the awesomeness without actually trying them on.
But my best explanation would be either Boost times two or a next-gen take on Nikey’s Lunarlon. Okay, that might’ve not explained much for some but this midsole is so much fun – can’t get that one wrong.
Ridiculous bounce, each step felt like a building addiction – all while keeping things stable due to the foam caged in TPU and fast due to the nature of this foam. You really have to try it – it’s among the PEAK of “fun” cushion setups.
The upper might not be as exciting but it’s still great – a thick but soft knit is used in the middle while surrounded by a synthetic that feels like soft leather. A great overall fit, almost no break-in time required & wide footer-certified.
THINGS TO NOTE
The shoe might not widely be available in the U.S market as it’s an overseas brand that’s making them. I did see a few options online though, like famujisneaker.com or peaksportsusa.com. The shoe is also ready for outdoor action as it’s built well & the outsole is using durable rubber.
VI. NIKE LEBRON 17
Comfort Rating: 9.5 (Overall: 7.3)
FULL REVIEW 💰 $200
WHY IT’S SO COMFY
LeBron’s shoes come at a price. A hefty price. But if you value having a “premium” product and enjoy the flagship tech & materials offered on his signature line, the 17th LeBron should impress you.
While it’s now a year behind the new LeBron 18, I think the 17th shoe still offers value, especially in the comfort department. It fits well, it’s great for wide footers, there’s plenty of internal padding and the higher cut ankle collar doesn’t get in the way.
But the shoe’s cushion setup is what makes a great shoe a mad comfortable shoe that’s great. Forget about low to the ground with these. Forefoot Max Air pods, heel Zoom Air pods, and a soft Phylon midsole will make you feel like you’re running on clouds.
If you’re aiming for a one-sided setup that’s all about comfort and tons of cushion underfoot, this one’s for you.
The upper is also impressive – Knitposite is what they call it. It’s a premium knit material reinforced with TPU for structure and durability. It wraps around the foot nicely and retains solid security due to other support features implemented. Something the LeBron line is consistently succeeding at.
THINGS TO NOTE
I did have some consistency issues with the traction. Sometimes the outsole fails to catch the floor as strongly as I’d like it to – the separation between the forefoot & heel sections of the outsole might have something to do with it.
And just as the Kobe A.D. NXT 360 – I’d stay away from outdoor games if possible. At least keep it to occasional. The rubber used here sticks nicely but it’s definitely among the softer compounds.
VII. AIR JORDAN 34
Comfort Rating: 9 (Overall: 8.4)
FULL REVIEW 💰 $175
WHY IT’S SO COMFY
Easily one of the best shoes of 2019, the AJ 34 is a beast on the court but it’s also made with comfort in mind. The new era of Jordan performance shoes is here – this is not the typical bulky, heavy, and stiff stuff you’re used to seeing in the past.
Starting with the cushion – forefoot & heel Zoom units along with a very plush Phylon midsole are offered and technically it shouldn’t feel this awesome. But it does. It’s not THE bounciest ride, nor the softest BUT it offers a perfect blend of everything, making it both very comfortable and incredibly efficient.
You will feel fast AND bouncy. You’ll get tons of impact protection AND you’ll retain a little bit of court feel. All that while staying stable, secure, and light on your feet. The most versatile ride out of the whole list in my opinion.
If this setup was all that was needed to make these feel like this, I’m pretty sure the market is not doing us the justice we deserve. There are a handful of setups that sound awesome on paper but feel nothing near what the AJ 34 packs.
And then there’s the upper which is made out of a few synthetic pieces. But underneath them is Performance Woven – AJ’s flagship woven material that strategically stretches when it needs to, and stays tightly together when the movement requires such. It’s every bit of awesome.
THINGS TO NOTE
All foot shapes – true to size is your best option. The woven layer stretches out according to your foot and the upper layer also budges. This is also a great option for those with flat feet – torsional support is fantastic here and the base is flat & wide.
The cushion setup doesn’t over-compress, it’s nicely contained so you should be able to avoid the discomfort. As for outdoor play, I think the rubber is on the middle ground. Definitely not an outdoor model per se but should last longer than an average modern indoor sneaker.
MY TOP 3 FAVORITES
The three shoes that especially caught my attention: comfort for days!
I. ADIDAS CRAZY EXPLOSIVE 2017 PRIMEKNIT
Comfort Rating: 9.5 (Overall: 9)
FULL REVIEW 💰 $150
WHY IT’S SO COMFY
Let’s begin my personal top 3 starting with adidas’s 2017 hit – the Crazy Explosive 2017. Especially the Primeknit version, even though the regular mesh option is also great comfort-wise. These are still in my regular rotation along with just a couple of other models that are 3+ years old.
You might’ve heard about Boost. You know, the insanely efficient foam compound that brings blazing-fast energy return, unrivaled impact protection, and comfort for days while staying relatively low to the ground and offering a little bit of everything no matter the play style.
Well, this is STILL my favorite implementation of Boost by adidas. If bounce is not what you’re looking for but instead it’s BOUNCE that you’re after – you’re in luck. You gotta try Boost at least once in your life and for basketball, I think 2017’s Crazy Explosive is a great start.
And if you can, get yourself a pair of the Primeknit version if you want the maximum experience. Sure, you won’t have the opposite experience going with mesh but nothing really beats adidas’s Primeknit when it comes to pure comfort. The PK version is also slightly lighter and even quicker to break in.
THINGS TO NOTE
True to size is recommended for all foot shapes. These are also very durable despite the nature of the upper, at least if we’re talking about the outsole. My Primeknit pair does have some visible wear & tear but still nothing that would be deal-breaking. I think that’s pretty impressive for a knit shoe.
Also, the shoe comes in four different versions. You can get a low-top or a mid-top and both variants come in a mesh or a Primeknit upper. Nothing different performance-wise, you just get that sock-like compression around your ankle if you get the mid-top shoe.
II. CURRY 8 FLOW
Comfort Rating: 9.5 (Overall: 8.3)
FULL REVIEW 💰 $160
WHY IT’S SO COMFY
The newest shoe on the list, Stephen Curry’s 8th signature shoe that debuted along with his personal Curry brand. So, Curry 8 Flow. Not Under Armour Curry 8 Flow. Although both are technically still true.
Regardless, this is probably the most unique feeling low-top I’ve ever played in and I’m super excited to see where the line goes next. It’s the lightest feeling shoe I’ve probably ever tried, the minimal knit upper wraps around my foot like a glove.
If we’re talking about an extension of your foot – I think the Curry 8 nailed that down. It’s almost tough to step into anything else after this one, just because of the minimal feel these bring. The entire lower portion of the shoe is a single piece – foam is used instead of traditional rubber and that’s why the shoe is as light as it is.
The Curry 8 has a one-bootie construction, so there’s no tongue as the whole shoe is stitched as a single piece. The ankle collar feels like a compression sock and the shoe is extremely easy to put on. This stuff feels like a performance slipper. Don’t ask me to elaborate on that point.
And of course, we’ve got Under Armour’s brand new Flow cushion. If you take adidas’s Bounce and make it lighter but slightly softer, this would be it. I usually prefer setups with a bit more cushion but I still loved the ride these brought.
Low to the ground, fast and there’s just enough cushion underfoot to keep things pleasant. Perfect for a shifty guard, a shooter, or even certain guys at the small forward position.
It looks like we’re really pushing the boundaries of how comfortable a shoe can be while still keeping a baseline level of security. Excited for the Curry 9.
THINGS TO NOTE
True to size is recommended for regular/narrow footers. As for wide footers, this can vary. I personally went true to size and even though they fit pretty tightly, it’s right on the limit for me. My toes and sometimes the lateral portion of my foot tends to come into contact with the shoe but not on a level where it’s deal-breaking.
So, very prominent wide footers can go up 1/2 a size but I’d recommend ordering a couple of pairs just to be sure. For flat footers, I wouldn’t recommend these just due to the flexible nature of the shoe and the platform being slightly curved.
And you can take these outdoors! Some might say it’s the best traction ever. Well, before jumping to my own conclusions, I’ll say that it’s at least durable. We’ll discuss more in the upcoming review.
III. NIKE LEBRON 18
Comfort Rating: 9.5 (Overall: 8)
FULL REVIEW 💰 $200
WHY IT’S SO COMFY
LeBron’s latest sensation – the LeBron 18 is the definition of “you get what you pay for“. If you’re looking for comfort and premium qualities, that is.
Aside from being a very well-rounded performance basketball shoe, its over-the-top cushion setup and upper make it among the most comfortable pair of clouds to wear. I mean it. The cloud thing, I mean that as well.
The big one is the cushion setup: a full-length Zoom unit, a Max Air unit in the heel, and a fat Cushlon midsole. How much is too much? I don’t know but along with the PEAK TP7, this is as close as it gets I think.
Bounce for days, unrivaled softness upon every step, and tons of impact protection even for the heaviest of individuals. Despite this ridiculous setup not having any real court feel, the ride felt stable and not as slow as it might sound. Of course, the lightest of guards might want something faster but that’s up to you.
Next, there’s the Battleknit 2.0 upper. It’s a knit enforced with tons of glue for durability and structure. While it might not feel like a knit to the touch, it plays very nicely, wrapping around your foot in a secure, cozy manner. Once again, LeBron’s shoe line is the GOAT in making a knit both comfortable AND durable.
And then there is the cherry on top of the cake. Tons of buttery-smooth internal padding, a wide & flat base for stability, a pair of high-quality insoles that add to the stepping comfort. Insane stuff.
THINGS TO NOTE
The shoe did bring a few little issues that may or may not be throw-offs for some. The tongue used is a super cheap feeling, thin piece of synthetic that can sometimes dig into your shins. If you’re wearing thicker, higher cut socks though, you should be fine.
There’s also some talk about the shoe’s lateral protection. While the overall support on the LeBron 18 was great, lateral containment could be a concern for the shiftiest players out there. My foot almost slid out of the footbed during side steps or quick cuts at times.
While that might be something I can work with, it might be just enough to keep certain people from getting the shoe. If you’re laterally dominant, your game is based on aggressive off-ball movement or you’re just shifty like Kyrie, this might not be the best option.
Most people will be okay going true to size with these, including wide footers.
Let’s dive deeper for those who want more
That’s a wrap for the guide and shoe list but I hope your journey of basketball shoe knowledge doesn’t stop here! I’ve got plenty of other guides & shoe lists that attack different topics that might prove useful for some of you. Check ’em out below!
Also, be sure to come back here as well as I’m always looking to update & improve guides like these with new shoes. Who knows, maybe this list will look entirely different by the end of 2021.
But I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Did you try any of these and possibly had a different experience? Maybe you’ve got a question I haven’t yet answered here?
Leave a comment down below and I’ll get back to you as quick as I can!
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