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5+ Best and Lightest Basketball Shoes 2024: Expert-tested and Reviewed


Before we dive into our list we need to clarify from the beginning that weight is not a performance feature in a basketball shoe. The weight of a basketball shoe has nothing to do with how well you or your basketball shoes will perform on the court. At most, weight is a preference. You may enjoy playing with the lightest basketball shoes possible, even minimalist basketball shoes, but they won’t make you run faster, jump higher, or fatigue less while playing. The differences in weight are typically too small to make any difference.

If we were talking about high-level long-distance running, then weight might be a more influential attribute in your footwear. When we’re talking about long races both in terms of distance and time, where maximum oxygen uptake and running economy are essential to create razor-thin margins between competitors, knocking off a couple of grams here and there off the weight of your shoe can be important.

Cutting down on the weight of a basketball shoe can even be detrimental to its performance. For example, reducing the weight of a shoe’s upper by using thin textiles can negatively affect containment. Or, using foam as your main source of traction instead of rubber can reduce the weight of a shoe considerably, but unless you nail the foam compound, it can completely destroy the shoe’s traction, and will always reduce durability.

So, with all of this in mind, we have compiled a list of the best lightest basketball shoes currently on the market. As always here at WearTesters, performance is king. The shoes on this list might be light but they’re also great all-around performance models.

Last updated 06.17.2024

Best and Lightest Basketball Shoes 2024 Overall

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus

The Player 1 was already a great hoop shoe and the Player 1 Plus takes things to another level. Everything has been refined and improved slightly in this version of the shoe: more versatile traction, better materials, better fit…it’s just a better performance basketball shoe all around and it’s a very lightweight basketball shoe. The biggest drawback of the Player 1 Plus is the price. $180 is, admittedly, steep. But you’re getting a ton of bang for your buck and really excellent traction in a light package. Read full review. Price: $180

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Buy SPO Player 1 Plus

Nike GT Cut 3

The Nike GT Cut 3 is a fun low-top basketball shoe. It’s bouncy, light, and agile and just one of those models that makes you want to sprint up and down the court as soon as you lace it up. The ZoomX does not disappoint, and Nike has done an outstanding job of implementing it into a basketball shoe. It’s soft and squishy, but by no means feels unstable or slow on court, and it might just be the best GT Cut model to date. Read the full review. Price: $190

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Nike GT Hustle 2

The Nike GT Hustle 2 is the successor to, and an enormous improvement on the Nike GT Run, but it’s definitely a niche basketball shoe. The very low-profile cushioning system, the minimal support features, and the traction could make the Nike GT Hustle 2 one of the best guard shoes of the year, but it might not be enough for bigger players with a more power-based playing style. The GT Hustle is super light and it’s a top-notch performance model, maybe just not for everyone. Read the full review. Price: $170

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Nike Ja 1

The Nike Ja 1 feels like it will be a solid on-court performance basketball shoe. You really can’t go wrong with great traction, solid cushioning, and good materials. It will be better suited for smaller shiftier players that will get the most out of the grip, reactive cushioning setup, and court feel in a lightweight package. Read the full review. Price: $120

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Nike Book 1

The Nike Book 1 will be an awesome hoop shoe for some people. If you like 90’s style basketball shoes, this is a no-brainer. The Book 1 has everything you could ask for in terms of simplicity of design, quality of materials, and no-frills on-court performance, and it’s a surprisingly light basketball shoe. The Book 1 proves that lightweight textiles are more of a gimmick than a performance feature and they are widely used as a cost-cutting measure for companies and not to create better products for the consumer. Read full review. Price $140

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Curry 11

Under Armour’s approach to designing Curry shoes in recent years has apparently been “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This has worked out well, as the Curry 8, the Curry 9, and the Curry 10 have all been excellent performance models, and each has improved slightly on the last. With the Curry 11 we might have reached the pinnacle of this approach. The one weakness of all the Flow Curry models has been the cushioning. Not that it was bad in any way, but Flow for basketball has been dense and neutral feeling underfoot, making the shoes that feature it fairly niche items.

Flow is the best foam-based traction technology on the market, and, since there’s no traditional rubber sole, it cuts down drastically on weight. Read the full review. Price: $160

Total Score
Buy Curry 11

Best and Lightest Budget Basketball Shoes 2024

Way of Wade Flash

The Wade Flash should be a solid on-court performer. This model doesn’t feature anything groundbreaking, or particularly exciting, but everything it does feature will work well on court, especially for smaller and more nimble hoopers. There’s also the very reasonable price tag of $99. At that price point, this model becomes all the more attractive and offers a good amount of bang for your buck. If you’re looking for a good, light, low-profile, and reactive budget basketball shoe that can handle outdoor play, this will be a great option. Read the full review. Price: $99

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Buy Wade Flash
Nike lebron witness 8 performance review

Nike LeBron Witness 8

The Nike LeBron Witness 8 is a big improvement on the Witness 7. It’s a much more low-to-the-ground, responsive, and secure feeling shoe on court thanks to the improved containment and the switch in the cushioning system. As far as budget shoes go, it’s one of the more solid options, and one of the lightest. Read full review. Price $110

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Thinking of a shoe we should add to the lightest basketball shoes list? Comment below or message us on Instagram or Twitter.

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