The 2021-2022 NBA season was a stormer. Returning to the classic 82-game slate after the upset of COVID, it gave us basketball fans our first full taste of that much-missed NBA energy. The return to normality also meant a return to the Golden State Warriors securing the title after a masterclass from Steph. But while there was no change in the standard of basketball, we noticed a closer focus on on-court style. We'd argue that the 2021-2022 NBA season had the best basketball shoes for several years.
That bodes well for the 2022-2023 NBA season. We're expecting big releases from all sides of the basketball shoes spectrum. With Nike basketball shoes usually taking the title for the best signature designs, we're waiting with baited breath to see how new releases from the likes of New Balance and adidas match up this year. Plus, there's a growing range of budget-friendly basketball shoes hitting the market lately that are worth check-in out.
So, in time for the season’s tip-off, we’ve scoured the net, read hundreds of reviews, and rounded up the best basketball shoes that you’re likely to see in the NBA 2022-2023 season. Rather than our usual style-first approach, for this selection we’ve looked at fit, technology, traction, quality, (and a bit of style) to offer up the definitive best basketball shoes of 2022-2023 list.
From one of the best general-release Nike basketball shoes we've seen in years to new signature pairs from Trae Young, Kevin Durant, Kawhi, and more. Here are the only basketball shoes that you should be wearing on court this season.
Keep scrolling to see a list of the best basketball shoes of 2022-2023.
New Balance Fresh Foam BB
This moment has been coming. We knew it was only a matter of time before New Balance dropped a court-ready basketball shoe that incorporated the power of Fresh Foam and here it is. The New Balance Fresh Foam BB features one of the most comfortable sole units yet, thanks to a full-length Fresh Foam X midsole. The mid-cut sneaker also boasts a lightweight, engineered FitWeave upper paired with a lateral cage and synthetic skin overlays to offer stability and support on the hardwood.
adidas Harden Vol.6
From one legendary guard to another: The Beard. James Harden's long-range game is matched by his equally aggressive, equally effective under-the-rim play, so his signature shoes need to suit all play types. Based on a Boost midsole, the Harden Vol.7 feels ultra-responsive and lightweight, aided by bands to the forefoot and heel which hold your foot in place so there's no delay between reaction and movement.
Nike Luka 1
Few arrivals in the NBA are as successful as that of Luka Doncic. Now in his fourth year in the league, the star has got his first official signature shoe with the Swoosh. At a price of $110, this is a great shoe to sport for regular shootarounds, as it offers one of the most balanced rides we've felt yet. The sole unit is defined by full-length Formula 23 foam, which won't offer the same bounce as the more technical sole units in the roundup but feels highly supportive and cushions to the max.
adidas Dame 8
Nowadays, almost all of the best basketball shoes fall under the name of an NBA superstar. From Young, we move to Portland's talisman Damian Lillard whose adidas Dame 8 hit the hardwood last year, succeeding the fan-favorite Dame 7. This time the shoe comes made of production waste to reduce the use of virgin materials. You'll find dual-density Bounce Pro cushioning throughout that ensures that the Dame 8 loses none of the lightweight, fast reactions that made the Dame 7 so popular.
Nike Cosmic Unity 2
The Swoosh is always developing something exciting and in terms of Nike basketball shoes of the 2022-2023 season, that comes in the form of the Nike Cosmic Unity 2. Featuring a noticeably thin outsole, the Cosmic Unity promises lighter weight, better grip, and more overall response. Plus, the newly developed upper material is built of at least 20 percent recycled materials. That's not to mention the beautifully understated off-white palette. While other pairs use bold color to stand out, the Nike Cosmic Unity 2 is all about performance.
Nike Jordan 6 Rings
Imagine just taking all the best bits of all the best Jordans and mashing them into one shoe? Well, you don't need to imagine it. The Nike Jordan 6 Rings takes elements of each shoe worn by Mike in the Championship series. What we're really interested in here is that Nike has made a retro-style basketball shoe that can play with the new kids, too. The sole unit combines Zoom Air units and a sticky rubber outsole to provide bounce and traction while the mesh and leather upper takes control of the visuals.
Nike Air Max Penny
From one icon to another, the Nike Air Max Penny pays homage to Mr. Hardaway as a near-exact replica of the hoops original. The unforgettable sole unit that reaches all the way up into the upper is now fitted with up-to-date Max Air tech for a smooth ride, but the old-school design and detailing remain the same.
Li-Ning Way Of Wade 10
Founded in 1990 by gymnast Li Ning, Li-Ning has earned its stripes in the sportswear arena. Although regular readers of Highsnobiety might be more familiar with the name in a lifestyle sense — offering bold, futuristic designs, it's a regular component of our sneaker roundups — the brand's work with Dwayne Wade is making some serious noise now. We love white basketball shoes, so the Li-Ning Way of Wade 10 gets top marks there, but its also got a lot of technical prowess, too. Li-Ning’s BOOM midsole offers amazing cushioning and combines with a full-length carbon fiber plate for best-in-class energy return.
Durant's KD range is a perennial top-performer when it comes to the best basketball shoes. The KD15 is no different. Full-length Zoom Air cushioning combines with new tech within the lacing to hold you in place: when you tighten up, the floating wings that anchor the laces press down on the foot to secure you. Odd, seeing as KD loses a shoe approximately twice a game.
Nike Giannis Immortality 2
Named after The Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Nike Giannis Immortality 2 is an equally mind-boggling entity. For those looking for an all-around performer, the Immortality 2 is as good an option as any other. Seeing as Giannis can effectively play anywhere on the court, it makes sense that his signature shoe can too. We really noticed the curved sole unit on this pair which boosts your momentum & cushions perfectly. Giannis' now-signature reversed Swoosh detailing has continues to dress this pair, too.
adidas Donovan Mitchell D.O.N. Issue 4
Donovan Mitchell left his mark on the basketball shoes market about as quickly as he did the NBA as a whole. The young star gets stronger every season and his D.O.N. line follows suit. Issue 4 is the latest of the range and is set to be the most popular thanks to Lightstrike cushioning working in tandem with abrasion-resistant TPU to the outsole, which provide the support and grip needed to rack up big numbers.
New Balance Two WXY V3
Inspired by the changing structure of today's game, the New Balance Two WXY V3 is optimized for the player who plays everywhere. Made for the moment you spring from defense to offense and vice versa, the Two WXY V3 features FuelCell foam to deliver a propulsive feel to help drive you forward on the turn. On the flipside, a strong midsole shank affords great torsional rigidity in the shoe for a strong base when you're sticking to your opposite number.
New Balance Conversations Amongst Us Kawhi Sig 2
We already listed the KAWHI II and we know that we said this roundup was purely about performance but we couldn't resist plugging this pair designed by Joe Freshgoods. Obviously this remixed design carries across all of the performance aspects listed for the KAWHI II above, but it also brings one of the freshest visual characters with it. The off-white finish boasts a bunch of beautiful cracked textures to the toe box and heel, as well as a gum outsole for a vintage twist at the end.
PUMA MB.01 Shoes
Love them or hate them, the Balls are a central part of the NBA now, so it's an exciting development to see LaMelo Ball's first signature sneaker hit shelves. Made for PUMA, the MB.01 incorporates LaMelo's bold personal style in color choice and detailing as well as high-performance aspects to match. Nitro Foam cushioning throughout the sole unit works perfectly for explosive play styles and is compounded by full engineered traction to the outsole for quick cuts.
Under Armour Curry Flow 8
Curry broke a boundary when he opted for Under Armour for his signature shoe. Since then, UA has become a big player in the basketball world and it's thanks in no small part to the effectiveness of Curry's basketball shoes. The Curry Flow 8 promises the best ride yet with a fully rubberless build that goes big on cushioning for a zippy, fast-reaction game.
Nike Jordan XXXVII SP
One of our favorite arrivals during last season was the Nike Jordan XXXVI. This design really stood out because of its sleek silhouette, and that aspect has remained for the next generation fo the style: Jordan XXXVII. Now, double-stacked air units in the forefoot give serious bounce to every step. Once again, the lightweight, durable uppers are cut from leno-weave fabric and strong plastic ribbon that hold tight without weighing you down.
adidas Trae Young 3.0
Trae Young's debut shoe set a high bar for the star's following releases. We can safely say that the adidas Trae Young 3.0 surpasses the debut design. Swapping out the low-top build for increased ankle support, the Trae Young 3.0 features a knitted upper which holds you in place . Laces allow you to customize your fit if you choose. A Boost-cushioned heel works with a Lightstrike midsole to facilitate an explosive first step without weighing you down.
Nike Kyrie Infinity
Boasting one of the best handles that the NBA has ever seen, Kyrie needs a shoe that can keep up with his changes in direction. The Nike Kyrie Infinity offers one of the best fits of the Kyrie range yet thanks to internal bands which which run through the upper and hold the laces. Tightening the laces makes one of the tightest fits of this roundup to reduce the chance of injury or slippage when you stop and start.
Nike Kyrie 7
Kyrie Irving's Nike partnership is now in its seventh chapter and if we've learned anything from the first six, it's that the duo knows what's up. Look at any team in the NBA and you'll spot a handful of players repping Nike Kyries — that's a strong co-sign. The Nike Kyrie 7 boasts a typically bold set of colorways with subtle personal detailing throughout. A slim, cushioned midsole is the center of technical attention here, offering super-fast reaction time and explosiveness on that first step.
New Balance KAWHI 2
Made in partnership with the man who's as likely to win a game with a block as a heavily defended 3-point shot, the New Balance KAWHI 2 is a safe bet. The KAWHI 2 combines a FuelCell midsole with a full-length shank. While most shoes opt for a shorter midsole shank for rigidity, this pair goes all the way for durability and support when cutting and jumping.
Nike PG 6
One of the useful aspects of a shoe game dominated by signature designs is that you can match your style of play to the star you're closest to and be fairly sure you'll get what you need. If you're a steady anchor who looks for the right moment to strike, the PG 6 is ideal. Notice that this is one of the only Nike basketball shoes that uses React tech in the sole unit — it's lightweight a super durable for the hooper who works in top gear all game long.
Converse NBA Jam All-Star BB EVO
No brand has as much experience on the court as Converse. It's no mistake that the imprint is still considered one of the top names on the hardwood. It's retained its reputation with an evolving catalog that culminates in the Converse All-Star BB Evo. Notably worn by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the BB Evo has a super-sleek mid-top silhouette. A woven QuadFit upper keeps you securely locked in, but be sure to size up half a size to avoid being literally locked in this shoe.
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