Best Youth Basketball Shoes Reviewed & Rated

Choosing a good pair of quality basketball shoes can be tricky, because the right pair can help players advance their play on court and decrease the likelihood of foot or ankle injury; this is why most basketball shoes are expensive and in limited supply. Due the technology and craftsmanship that goes into creating these shoes, the average pair will range from $100 to $150; if you like the high end styles, you could be handing over more than 200 bucks. Whatever the price tag, as a minimum level make sure the shoe you want has good ankle support, durability and traction.

Featured Recommendations

Nike KD 8
  • Nike KD 8
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Nike Flyweave
  • Zoom Air unit
  • Price: See Here
 
Adidas Cloudfoam ILation
  • Adidas Cloudfoam ILation
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Mesh tongue
  • Synthetic Lining
  • Price: See Here
 
Adidas Performance Isolation 2
  • Adidas Performance Isolation 2
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Torsion System
  • EVA midsole
  • Price: See Here

Identifying the playing style is also of vital importance, because it can determine which type of sneaker are the best suited for you. Post players play a physical game, so they require ankle stability to handle the high frequency jumping and physical contact. High tops are best suited to Post players as they provide the best ankle support, however, they tend to be heavy and can affect a players speed in dynamic turn over situations.

Low-top basketball shoes really work for someone in a ball handling position such as point guard, as they’ll be expected to make fast breaks as part of their role, as well as pushing the ball up the court. All-around players might be better suited to mid-top’s, as these offer better ankle support then the low tops, but aren’t bulky like the high-tops.

 

10 Best Youth Basketball Shoes

 

1. Nike KD 8

Everything about Nike KD 8 is designed for lasting comfort.
The incredible Flyweave construction made it’s debut with the more expensive air Jordan, however unlike the air Jordan, the KD8 has a full length cushion making this a much better shoe on the court. Designed to be lightweight and flexible, so if you move quickly this shoe will support your every decision.
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Articulated Zoom Air System
Nike KD8 has an articulated, full length zoom air unit that responds and adapts, feeling super springy and explosive without becoming unstable.

Incredible Traction
The modified herringbone traction system looks like it’s been designed by boffins from the future and will stop you from sliding across the court.

Cost and Value
These have many of the features you’ll find on shoes with bigger price tags. That’s why Nike KD8 tops the list. It an all-around shoe that performs superbly, looks great and wont let you down.
Pros
  • Rubber Sole Traction
  • Articulated Air Cushioning
  • Flyweave Material
  • Form Fitting Upper for Support
  • Flywire cables
Cons
  • Fit – try on first in case you have to go up half size.
  • Durability – rubber sole means potential durability issues

2. Adidas Cloudfoam ILation

What’s great about these shoes is that they can be worn effectively on court for serious games and off-court for general playtime.
The subtle styling is basketball influenced with classic perforated upper detailing, whilst the Cloudfoam insole technology gives padded support for competitive time on the court and in the playground.
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Cloudfoam technology
The cloudfoam technology supports your heel and arch, surrounding your foot in comfort. This means you play harder for longer without developing achy feet.

Subtle style – big game
Whilst many of the new and expensive basketball shoes veer towards big bombastic styling, these shoes are subtle and cool enough to be worn during any time of day.

Cost and Value
These are a sturdy pair of shoes on low price tag, for active sporty boys who play rough. They’re heavily basketball influenced so look great on court or in the playground.
Pros
  • Synthetic leather and mesh upper
  • Cloudfoam foot bed
  • Rubber outsole for grip
  • Supreme comfort textile lining
Cons
  • Durability – Stitching may come loose after heavy use
  • Can size up quite big – Check before buying

3. Adidas Performance Isolation 2

One of the most successful shoes from the Adidas range. This is due to the quality craftsmanship that goes into every shoe and a host of technology designed with balance and comfort in mind. This is a shoe for kids who want to hit the court hard but play in comfort.
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Traction and performance
The traction pattern on the sole of this shoe is designed to increase your grip on the court. This increases your agility and dynamic movement, due to reduced slippage.

Cushion material
The Torsion System is an arch support system allowing the forefoot and rear foot to move independently, helping your foot stay stable and secure without restricting movement.

Cost and Value
Cheaper then most of the shoes on this list yet packed with features, this shoe is a serious choice for those looking for stability, arch support and comfort without the high price tag.
Pros
  • Non marking technology
  • TORSION® SYSTEM mid foot tech
  • EVA midsole for added lightweight cushioning
  • Sturdy construction
Cons
  • Soles are made of rubber and therefore may come apart after heavy use
  • Basic plastic style look

4. Jordan Nike Air 3 Retro

4. Jordan Nike Air 3 Retro
To understand why kids and adults alike buy into this brand you’ve got to understand the legacy. Michael Jordan is considered the greatest basketball player who ever lived, he’s the third richest African-American in USA and he owns his own team in the NBA. But are his shoes any good? In short – yes!
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The Fit
The areas covered with eyelets are a snug fit. You experience a thoroughly locked down shoe from the mid foot to the heel which is important when performing at pace.

The Style
You can’t talk about Jordan’s without mentioning the style. Originally released in 1988 and designed by Tinker Hatfield but back here with a fresh new look.
If style is your game on the court, these are for you.

Cost and Value
Not the cheapest shoes on the market but arguably the coolest. Complete with a sock-liner to provide a comfortable lining whilst decreasing heat build up through friction, these shoes have plenty for fans and serious players.
Pros
  • The Jordan Jumpman logo
  • Durapontex sock liner
  • Rubber non-slip sole
  • Top quality style
Cons
  • Because of the popularity of the shoe, make sure you buy from a reputable retailer to avoid purchasing a fake
  • Tight fit may cause pinching, ensure you try before you buy

5. Under Armour Jet Mid

5. Under Armour Jet Mid
Under Armour is all about quality and performance, which is great if you’re looking to improve your speed on the court. The lightweight leather material means less weight on your feet that helps to reduce fatigue. This also means it’s perfect for bursts of speed when the action heats up.
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Full length EVA sock liner
The full-length sock liner provides an extra layer of padding, ensuring that your feet are comfortable regardless of what you put them through on the basketball court.

Full-length rubber outsole
Like the Nike KD 8 mentioned earlier, these shoes have a herringbone pattern rubber outsole. Superior grip on the court means minimising slippage and preventing injury.

Cost and Value
Mid priced but highly recommended, buy if you’re looking for a brand that invests in quality and craftsmanship. Great if you need to work on your speed as well as your linear/lateral movement on the court.
Pros
  • Breathable, structured support
  • Full length EVA sock liner
  • Perforations and mesh tongue for increased ventilation
  • Lightweight comfortable ride
  • Herringbone traction for ultimate grip
Cons
  • Narrow fit
  • Inner sock may cause friction

6. Nike Lebron XIII

6. Nike Lebron XIII
Lebron James is arguably the best player in the NBA today. Here’s a basketball shoe that carries his name so it needs to be as dynamic as he is on the court. Traction needs to be top rate when you think about the moves that he makes, as does flexibility and support for those quick bursts of speed. Is it good enough for Lebron? You bet. Here’s why.
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Materials
The upper is comprised of a one piece with different overlays offering support when you need it most. At the base is a sock compartment followed by flywire. All this adds up to a comfortable ride.

Support
Lebron has a wide base that feels stable. It’s slightly wider then the upper that means it hugs the foot tightly. There are plenty of areas with flex for greater mobility on court.

Cost and Value
Great shoe with a big price tag. In terms of cutting edge design, ultimate precision, responsiveness, air cushioning and elevated lockdown, you’ll be one step ahead in these shoes.
Pros
  • Nike air cushioning
  • Hex pod traction system
  • Support and flexibility
  • Snug fit
  • Flexible support
Cons
  • Zero stretch
  • Padding angle on the ankle may cause some initial discomfort

7. Reebok SubLite Pro Rise

7. Reebok SubLite Pro Rise
Quite possibly the lightest of all the youth basketball shoes reviewed here, Reebok SubLite Pro Rise is somewhat of a hidden gem and a classic in the making. Minimalism is the word when it comes to design, but that doesn’t mean these shoes lack quality. There’s plenty of technology packed into these shoes and style to match.
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Shoe Frame
The Sublite Pro Rise has a 3D fuse frame with a brushed synthetic upper means an extremely feather-light ride that you’ll probably forget is even there.

Comfort
If you hold the shoe in your hand, it feels almost weightless. Try the shoe on and tighten up those laces, you’ll find this shoe to be tight, snug and light as air.

Cost and Value
If you’re looking for a pure, no frills, lightweight experience, the Pro Rise succeeds. If you’re looking for an edge, with these on your feet you wont be playing catch up.
Pros
  • Lace up closure system for a better fit
  • Rubber outsole for increased grip
  • Narrow design tightly holds feet
  • Lightweight for explosive play on court
Cons
  • 3D fuse frame can be quite stiff
  • Orange color is dangerously close to pink and may be enough to put some boys off!

8. Nike Kobe XI

8. Nike Kobe XI
The first thing that jumps out of you, as with all of Kobe Bryant’s signature shoes, is the crazy amount of visual detail on display. These are shoes that want to grab your attention. But then, would you expect anything less from the first basketball professional in history to have two jerseys retired by the same team?
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Flyknit mesh
The flyknit mesh runs along both sides of the shoe, so you know without even needing to try them on that these shoes are lightweight and comfortable.

Breathability
This shoe has a snake-like tongue made of mesh. This allows heat from around the foot to escape up and out of the inside of the shoe

Cost and Value
As with most basketball shoes endorsed by the stars, these shoes aren’t cheap. However, a lot of thought has gone into style and construction, so you’re getting a premium product.
Pros
  • Lightweight, flyknit design
  • Rubber sole for increased grip
  • Tight construction grips your feet
  • Mesh tongue allows heat to escape the shoe
Cons
  • Rubber Groves on the outsole can collect dust
  • Snugness in the toe box may take some breaking in

9. Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 3

9. Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 3
Firstly, the ClutchFit Drive range is what saved Under Armour from Basketball shoe obscurity. Picked by many reviewers as the performance shoe of the year, it had to make an appearance on this list. After last years slight dip in quality for ClutchFit Drive 2, ClutchFit Drive 3 learnt from it’s predecessors mistakes and came back with a lean, mean, excellent basketball shoe.
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The Fit
This shoes lockdown lacing is a simple innovation, by placing the mid foot in a stranglehold there’s no chance of the foot shifting outside the shoe, minimizing any chance of injury.

Cushioning
This third edition moved away from its plush, comfortable predecessor. Replaced with ‘Charged and Micro G’ layered together created a lower, stiffer feel. Perfect for guard play.

Cost and Value
A vast improvement on the previous design, if you are looking for traction that sticks to the court, cushioning that is controlled and responsive, these shoes have earn their price tag.
Pros
  • Great design, good looks
  • Comfortable and stable on the court
  • Locked down laces means minimal foot movement in the shoe
  • Flexible materials
Cons
  • Shoes may come up small so try before you buy
  • Made from synthetic material which is not to everyone’s taste

10. Fila F13

10. Fila F13
The final shoe on our list is not a brand that you’d usually associate with the modern game of basketball. However, don’t let that fool you. Reviewers rave about how good these shoes actually are, the retro looks, and comfort. It therefore earns it’s spot on this list.
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Materials
What set’s these shoes apart from most of the others on this list is its material. They’re made of real leather! So if you prefer your shoes made the old fashioned way, then these are for you.

Mid Top Design
This shoe has a mid top design that has ankle support in mind. With an adjustable Velcro strap at the collar, you can be sure of a snug fit.

Cost and Value
For a basketball shoe on a budget, you get a lot for your money here, and genuine leather too! The die-cut EVA midsole will also absorb shock and combat foot fatigue too.
Pros
  • Old Skool leather design
  • Shock absorbent midsole
  • Supportive, flexible fit
  • Ventilation eyelets which help heat escape
Cons
  • Leather construction may scuff easily
  • Heavier on the feet then other brands

Choosing the right basketball shoe is one of the important decisions you can make for your children’s playing career. This is because basketball is an active and up-tempo sport, requiring dynamic sprinting, jumping, and quick changes of direction on the court. These factors all contribute to ensuring you make the best choice in footwear that suits your child’s playing style.

Having the right basketball shoes can help your young player excel on the court. This gives him or her the confidence to make quick decisions knowing that their basketball shoes will support their every move. This in turn is enough to help turn a game. With the right shoe, the risk of foot and ankle injuries is greatly reduced, providing you with peace of mind.

One thing that can’t be overstated is the need to try before you buy. Get your kid to take a walk around in the shoes and remember that if the shoe is uncomfortable in store, that feeling will only increase on game day. Don’t pay the big bucks for shoes that aren’t the right fit. Rather, get to know your kids game and chose a pair that will enhance their style of play.