Basketball in recent years has become a position-less game. Centers like Nikola Jokic are passing and dribbling the rock, similar to how guards like Chris Paul have done it for years. We see point guard-sized players like Ja Morant posterizing big men and scoring more than they facilitate, and even 6’6″ centers like Grant Williams or PJ Tucker that are tremendously effective on defense and spacing the floor on offense. So finding the best basketball shoes by position can be harder than it seems. Size and playing style are still factors on the court, and therefore elements to consider when choosing the best basketball shoe for your “position”.
Signature basketball shoes are of course designed to cater to the player and playing style of the signature athlete, so it should be as easy as grabbing the signature model of a player that plays your same position, right? Well, not really. There are Kyrie models that are better suited for shooting guards, even though Kyrie is a point guard, and non of Giannis Antentokoumpo’s shoes seemed to be designed for a power forward.
If you have a particular playing style, you will need a particular type of shoe that can keep up with your game. If you play more like a point guard you are probably quicker and shiftier and your job is to set up the offense and ensure everyone is in the right place at the right time. If you are more of a shooting guard style player you can score and shoot, and you need to spot up and change directions in a hurry, and we see three-and-D players more often now.
Small forwards are likely two-way players and can mostly do a little bit of everything from offense to defense. Power forwards give that scoring threat from the post and help box out on rebounds. Centers anchor the defense and ensure that nobody gets in the paint uncontested.
If you’re looking for the best basketball shoe for a particular position, you are in the right place. We test hundreds of pairs each year that fit various positions and playing styles. So, with all this being said, let’s get to all the best basketball shoes by position that are currently available.
You can also check out our full lists of the best basketball shoes for point guards, the best basketball shoes for shooting guards, the best basketball shoes for small forwards, the best basketball shoes for power forwards, and the best basketball shoes for centers if you want to see more choices.
Last update 07.25.2022
Best Basketball Shoes By Position
Best Basketball Shoes For Point Guards
Nike Kyrie Low 5
The Nike Kyrie Low 5 might look very similar to this year’s flagship Kyrie, the Nike Kyrie Infinity, but it’s a very different shoe. The Kyrie Infinity is great, one of the best of the year, but even though it was designed for a shifty point guard like Kyrie Irving, the Kyrie Low 5 features better point guard-centric features. As the name suggests, they are low cut and have a more subdued and responsive cushion set up with a Zoom Air unit in the forefoot and a foam midsole. Traction and support are excellent, and you just feel more agile on the court. Probably the best pair of basketball shoes for point guards right now. Read full review. Price: $110
Check out our Full list of the best basketball shoes for point guards here.
Best Basketball Shoes for Shooting Guards
Nike Kyrie 8 (Infinity)
The Nike Kyrie 8 is an awesome all-around performance model and the best shoe in Kyrie’s signature line. The shoe has great traction (that takes some time to break in), excellent cushioning provided by a large volume forefoot Zoom strobel unit and another standard unit in the heel, great lockdown, and some premium materials are used on the upper.
The Kyrie 8 features more cushion than you would expect out of a Kyrie Shoe but it doesn’t sacrifice any responsiveness. The shoe’s wide forefoot is also perfect for helping players stop quickly and remain stable when stepping into their shooting motion. Read the full review. Price: $140
Check out our Full list of the best basketball shoes for shooting guards here.
Best Basketball Shoes for Small Forwards
Nike KD 15
The Nike KD 15 is an excellent performance model and another great shoe within the KD signature line. The Nike KD 14 could actually be featured in this top slot, but since it is last season’s model, we went with the 15. The KD 14 was already a pretty flawless performance model, and the KD 15 improves upon it.
The cushioning system is the shoe’s best feature. Cushlon is the primary foam carrier, on top of which sits the full-length Nike Zoom Air Strobel unit to provide impact protection under your feet. The shoe also features excellent traction that’s reminiscent of the pattern featured on the Kobe 9, which offered some of the best traction of all time. This shoe is tremendously well-rounded and has everything a dynamic small forward would want. See the full review. Price: $150
Check out our Full list of the best basketball shoes for small forwards here.
Best Basketball Shoes for Power Forwards
New Balance TWO WXY V2
New Balance knocked it out of the park with the TWO WXY V2. the TWO WXY was already a great shoe, but the TWO WXY V2 is even better.
The TWO WXY V2 features elite-level traction. It gripped very well indoors and outdoors, although you might want to keep them on the hardwood and avoid the blacktop. The TWO WXY V2 features New Balance’s FuelCell and Abzorb DRS cushioning system which works extremely well. Lastly, the FitWeave upper is comfortable and moves well with your foot. It’s the best pair of basketball shoes for power forwards on the market. Read the full review. Price: $130
Check out our full list of the best basketball shoes for power forwards here.
Best Basketball Shoes for Centers
Nike Air Zoom GT Jump
If you are a bruising center, you will probably need a ton of impact protection, and if you looking for a shoe with plenty of cushioning, look no further. The Nike GT Jump has some of the bounciest cushioning of any shoe ever.
The GT Jump comes equipped with 2 large volume Zoom Air units in the heel and forefoot, a cushlon midsole, and a full-length zoom air strobel on top of it all. But on top of that, it features a synthetic upper that requires no break-in time and has some very effective traction. The Nike GT Jump was the weapon of choice for Nikola Jokic during his MVP season in 2022. The fact that the shoe kept up with the Joker is a ringing endorsement in itself. Read the full review. Price: $200
Check out our full list of the best basketball shoes for centers here.