WearTesters Top Performance Picks features some of our favorite basketball shoes currently available.

We’ve sectioned things off into three categories; one group for Quick Players, Power Players & a Bang for your Buck section (On-Sale/ Clearance). Keep in mind that any of the shoes will accommodate any position/ player as long as the shoe in question meets their specifications or requirements. Detailed information on each shoe is featured in their performance reviews; this includes price, weight, and performance specifics.

Our Top Performance Picks are only to help you narrow things down a bit and let you know which models are our current favorites or which models are solid options.

The models featured are in no particular order, and the picks will change throughout the year(s). If there is a model not featured, it is either because the model has yet to be tested & reviewed or because we feel it does not belong in our Top Performance Picks.

We’re hoping this quick and easy side-by-side comparison will help you choose the best basketball shoe for yourself.

quick copy

Nike Kobe 11kobe11performancepicks

Tech: Drop-In Lunar MidsoleNike Zoom Air (heel) | Flyknit Upper

Pros: Cushion | Lockdown | Materials

Cons: Traction is Inconsistent | Forefoot has Some Dead Space Above Toe

Available Now

BrandBlack J Crossover 2215BB_BKS_P2

Tech: Jet-Lon Cushion | Force Vector Support Plates | Knitted Upper | Multi-Directional Blade Traction

Pros: Traction | Fit | Cushion

Cons: Durability | Not Great Outdoors

Available Now

adidas D Lillard 2
Tech: BOUNCE Cushion | Jacquired Upper (some colorways) | Neoprene Inner Sleeve

Pros: Cushion | Fit | Support

Cons:  Runs 1/2 sz Big | Traction Easily Affected by Dust

Available Now

Under Armour Curry Twounder-armour-curry-2-mens

Tech: SpeedForm Upper | Charged Cushion | Multi-Directional Herringbone

Pros: Traction | Cushion | Materials | Fit

Cons: Material Durability

Available Now

Air Jordan XX9 Low

Tech: Unlocked Zoom Air in the Forfoot | Performance Woven Upper | Flight Speed Plate | Decoupled Heel and Forefoot

Pros: Cushion | Materials | Fit

Cons: Traction is a Little Inconsistent

Available Now


nike-zoom-soldier-ix-mensNike Zoom Soldier IX (9)

Tech: Heel & Forefoot Zoom Air | Mesh Upper | Dynamic Flywire | Strap Lockdown System

Pros: Cushion | Support | Materials | Traction

Cons: Difficult To Put On

Available Now

xl768929003Jordan Super.Fly 4

Tech: FlightSpeed Plate | Unlocked Forefoot Zoom Air | Foam & Mesh Upper

Pros: Cushion | Traction

Cons: Durability

Available Now

xls84944blradidas D Rose 6 Boost

Tech: Heel & Forefoot Boost | EVA StableFrame | X-Bar

Pros: Traction | Cushion

Cons:  Volume in Toe For Some Colorways

Available Now

xl716227012Jordan Melo M11

Tech: Unlocked Forefoot Zoom Air| Synthetic Leather Upper | Flight Web Lacing System

Pros: Traction | Fit | Lockdown | Cushion

Cons: Ventilation

Available Now

xl807219500Nike LeBron 13

Tech: Hyperposite Paneled Upper | Bootie Upper Construction | Hex Zoom Air Units

Pros: Cushion | Impact Protection | Traction | Fit

Cons: Stiff Materials | Can’t Replace Laces

Available Now

Bang1 copy

adidas Crazy Light Boost 2015xld69703gry

Tech: adiPrene+ Forefoot | Boost Heel | PrimeKnit Upper

Pros: Traction | Cushion | Materials | Ventilation

Cons: Volume in Toe | Outsole Durability

On-Sale Now

Nike Prime Hype DF 2xl806941600

Tech: Dual Fusion | Hyperfuse

Pros: Traction | Cushion | Durability

Cons: Slightly Narrow Forefoot | Forefoot Material Needs Break-In Time

On-Sale Now

Nike KB Mentality 2nike-kobe-mentality-ii-mens

Tech: Lunarlon Drop-in Midsole | Flyweave Upper

Pros: Traction | Cushion | Materials

Cons: Fits 1/2 sz Small

Available Now

adidas D Lillard 2
Tech: BOUNCE Cushion | Jacquired Upper (some colorways) | Neoprene Inner Sleeve

Pros: Cushion | Fit | Support

Cons:  Runs 1/2 sz Big | Traction Easily Affected by Dust

Available Now

Nike Zoom HyperRev 2016820224_001_P2

Tech: Heel and Forefoot Zoom Air | NeoPrene Upper | Fuse Overlays and Strap

Pros: Traction | Materials | Durability | Cushion

Cons: Hard Get on Your Foot | Straps Don’t Stay Secure During Game Play

Available Now



    1. I’d buy a bang for your buck model and wear them outdoors. Why would you want to pay full price for something youre going to trash outside… at least that’s my opinion on it.

      1. Maybe some people only have access to outdoor courts and they wanna hoop in some XX9s since they’re supposedly a good shoe.

        1. If that is the case jst cross reference with the top performance shoe. Honestly most of the shoe performs jst as well on outdoor as they r indoor. The only concern is durability of outsole (n maybe in some occasion material/build)

          In which i need to share this, do not use UA shoe for outdoor specially those micro-g models. They r like ice cube on sahara desert.

      2. Night wing please he’ll because I’m lost. Are the d lillard 2 duable for everyday play for about 7 months. Will the woven last that long please help bro

      1. no its really not, i just had to stop playing in them because of cushioning issues, but traction is still the best in terms of durablity, and actual responsiveness. other than that they are just ok. kind of a let down.

    1. Yeah, when he reviewed the shoe he said the left Shoe fit very badly and he experienced pain and I’m sure that took the score down in fit and materials.

  1. Great job chris! Even though fans can actually check your site in the shoe finder area you narrowed down depending on the player to help them easily choose their kicks.

    1. This is a little different. When you use the Shoe Finder, its uses all the reviews Ive done. This narrows things down to the current year along with pros and cons.

      1. Hey Nightwing,

        I click on the shoe finder and my screen becomes all white.
        Nothing comes up. Its been like this ever since I came to weartesters site.
        Any tips?

        1. Mine does that too and I think it’s something to do with Windows Explorer browsers. Try pulling it up on your cell and I bet it works. Yeah I haven’t been able to use the Shoe Finder on here since the site overhaul.

  2. Awesome reviews though personally I think the Soldier 8’s have a better cushion than a 6 but maybe they just fit me great. The 12’s are Suprising in that I thought they would have a little more responsiveness with the pods. I have yet to try the Spawns 2 or the D Rose 5’s not a fan of both on basketball but the D Rose’s do look great and the ratings given to the Spawns make me very curious.

  3. Great idea usually when i have to look for basketball shoes i have ti go to kicks deals and all the major retailers, narrow it down to a few, and then watch yours vids on those shoes so this is really helpful

  4. Hey Nightwing, I love this new segment to the site! I think you should add the Nike Lunar Hyperquickness to the “bang for your buck” list. They play similar to the Hyperrev and have also gone on sale recently on Eastbay.

  5. Are you planning on adding any more categories later on? It might work well to break them down by position or just add a few more categories like high flyers or something? Great idea overall though, keep up the good work!

  6. Out of all five shoes in the power players category, which shoe would you consider the best performer or best shoe?

  7. Great idea and I love it but it would be great if it could be even more personalized. Perhaps by position or play style

  8. FYI, the anatomix spawn 2 is on sale at eastbay for 89 with free shipping. With codes you can get it close to 65 or so. This includes the glow in the dark pair in a full size run.

  9. so as far as support goes, the kd 7 is just as supportive as the zoom soldier 8 and more supportive the 2014 hyperdunk (which I currently play in)? My parents wont let me get low tops but I want the kd 7. how do I get my parents to understand that its not about the collar hight?

      1. I currently have the KD 7 and I used to have Lebron Soldier VII (hightop). The hightop gives as much risk to hurting your ankle as the lowtops and if you want buy the low tops and buy basketball ankle braces which are pretty cheap.

  10. Having a hard time to decide which shoe I should get. I am a point guard and am looking to get either the UA Clutchfit or the Kobe elite 9’s. Any suggestions?

    1. try them on and take the shoe you like…both are great shoes.

      I have a lot of new high tech shoes and play in the retro jordan 10 right now…it just works for me.
      its not about tech or pros vs cons, wear what you like and what feels good for you.

  11. great idea and addition, was thinking nw u should make a vid of ur favorite sig from all the major athletes on the market now since they all been around for a decent amount of time

  12. First, thanks u for the review.. it is quite useful..
    then, can I know why u classified kd7 as power player’s sneaker?
    * my weight is around 50kg

  13. hey nightwing what about the kyrie performance review and would you rate the hyperrevs one of the top shoes also

  14. Can someone please help me! Tore my Achilles 1 year ago, been training in very supportive nike training and running shoes but ready to get back on the court. Im looking for a good basketball shoe for someone coming back from this injury. I simply do not like the Kobe 9 elites so please dont recommend that they felt very unnatural. Thinking Jordan XX9 but fear they arent supportive. THANK YOU!

  15. Hi NightWing, I’m a big fan of your shoe reviews. They are very informative and I really learn a lot from them. You really know your basketball shoes, I applaud you for your masterful analysis of every shoe you come acroos, keep it up man. Anyway, I am currently using Peak TP9 – 1 and Li Ning Way of Wade 1 alternately on my games. However, I felt the need to replace them sooner than later cause they are already wearing down a bit. Due to this, can you please help me rank the following signature shoes I have listed in terms of your preference? Im buying them all this year (to avoid immediate wear and tear im getting more shoes). However, Im wondering which one’s to prioritize or to purchase first. I play both 1 and 2 positions, hence I listed shoes primarily meant for guards. Here are my top 4 choices:

    Peak TP9 – 2 (Spurs Away Colorway)
    Nike Kobe X (5AM Flight Colorway)
    Adidas DLillard 1 (New York/All Star Colorway)
    Under Armour Curry One (Dark Matter Colorway)

    Your advise would be greatly appreciate Night Wing. Other people who would like to comment or help me out is most certainly welcome. Many thanks!

  16. CFD was released after the Anatomix Spawn, yet spawn is in the list anf CFD is not… though CFD is definitely better than most of these shoes

    1. The Curry One and CF Drive are nearly identical in performance. I don’t want a bunch of the same shoes, I want to give people options. This also isn’t a list, just a compilation of shoes that are solid on-court.

  17. in the jcrossover2 review you said it was your favorite model ever to play in, yet it is not in any of the categories for top performance picks?

      1. Hey nightwing i just ask if under armour clutchfit drive is durable for outdoor. If its not, are there any other models thay you would recommend for durability in outdoor courts?

        1. both cfd models are suitable on the concrete
          the fuse overlays on the second one though protects toe drags IMO because the clutch fit in my cfd 1s did chip off fairly quickly

  18. Hey Nightwing, what insole have you found to be most effective? I’m looking to get an orthopedic insole for my Jordan 10s to help with my achilles and knee pain!

  19. hi,

    what would you recommend from among kobe 9, melo 11 and lebron 12/11? i am 6 foot slightly on the heavy side. thanks!

  20. Hey nightwing2303,

    I’m looking to nikeid a pair of lebron soilder 9 shoes to play ball in. I was wondering if the cushion, specifically the zoom units, really does due the job for impact protection and comfort? And if the soilder 9 shoe is flexible? for gaurds. Because I usually see bigger players like centers, power forwards and small forwards wearing the shoe.

    1. im not a weartester, but ill give you my honest opinion. you seem like a guard, and i think the curry 2 is the way to go simply because of the court feel and fit. the hyperrevs this year have a sloppy fit from the midfoot back IMO. that along with the slightly mushy cushion honestly disappointed me

  21. the list is for recently released shoes only, right?
    maybe have a list for best shoes of all time, because some of us guys wouldn’t mind copping an older performance beast for less than say, $180+

  22. im in england where the shoes are limited and there are not any good shoe providers other than in the us but it costs a lot more to buy because of import taxes can anyone suggest any shoe/ place where i can pick a supportive point guard shoe ???

  23. How come the Ektio breakaways arent on this list? Traction is excelent, durabillity is excelent ankle support is excellent. I dont think this shoes get what it deeserve. What do you think of those shoes nightwing?

    1. There is a detailed explanation as to what this list page is for at the top. Once you’ve read it then you can reserve questioning why something wasn’t featured. Furthermore, Ektio went out of business. They did not get enough support from consumers despite positive reviews on their products from reviews such as the ones found here at WearTesters.com.

  24. Hey do you have any shoe recommendations I’m a 5’8″ guard that likes to shoot but also can explode (almost dunking). Any type of recommendation towards what to choose is much appreciated.

    1. Also I like when the shoes don’t let your foot slide around inside which I find is a common struggle with softer materials.

  25. Hey Nightwing,just wanna ask which is more suitable for a player that plays more off the ground (like rebounding n layup stuff)the lebron soldier 9or d lillard 2? Hope u can help 😀

    1. Well I’m not Nightwing but the D Lillard 2 is full length foam which will distribute your weight from landing better than the soldier would.

  26. Good day nightwing,

    I can’t decide which of Kobe mentality 2, TP9-2, Steph 2 or Jordan superfly 4 should I buy for an outdoor court? Hope you can help me to choose. TIA

    1. Again not Nightwing but I have The Mentality 2, and would recommend it over the other shoes simply due to the durability of the outsoles. Mentality 2 will last longer. Depends on the type of surface of course. Also try it on if you can. Fits very snug

    2. Kobe mentality 2 is the best outdoor shoe IMO. The rest is too expensive (compare to mentality) to use in outdoor.

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