Best Basketball Shoes of 2018

Our annual list of best basketball shoes for the year is finally here. What a year 2018 has been.

2018 started off a bit slow, but has really picked up during the Fall season.

Let’s start with the Nike LeBron 16. Brands across the board started to ramp things up — just in time for school sports and the Holiday shopping season. Luckily, the LeBron 16 wasn’t only fun shoe to release; Kyrie’s 5th signature dropped, while James Harden’s 3rd also saw its release. Puma unleashed its first basketball shoe in decades while the annual Air Jordan went laceless for the first time.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the year and all the reviews that have come along with it. Fingers crossed you were able to purchase a great basketball shoe for yourself — or for someone else. If you did, feel free to let us know what it was in the comment section below.

As always, we appreciate the support you’ve shown WearTesters over the years and we look forward to growing further in 2019.


  1. Does somebody know how to get a coupon or when one can get a coupon from BBB? I m really into those lonzos now ^^

  2. I was starting to second-guess your reviews on the Vol. 3s after my first couple of wears… But now, they’ve broken in nicely and I must say – you were right on the money: traction, cushion & court-feel. My top 3 this year were the WhyNots, Lebron 15 Lows, and the Vol. 3s. The KT3s were great on court, but they’re not wide footer/half-size friendly and hurt my foot after a couple of pick-up games… Same with the WhyNots, but they were bearable for at least an hour or so.

  3. My top 3 for hoops this year, Nike Dunk SB Oakland A’s Anonymous x Unheardof, a shoe that I picked up for 39.99 at Century 21 stores here in NYC. That shoe was, is, serious for me. Straight up old school, and not a new release. Traction, ankle support, decent cushioning, and durable as hell. The Nike Kyrie 4 Day of the Dead edition, a good durable shoe, good for big guys like myself. The Nike LeBron 16 King edition. Beautiful to look at, and reminds me of the Adidas a3 Superstar, of which was supposed to be LeBron’s first shoe if he had signed with Adidas. The shoes feel damned near exactly alike, with the Adidas A3 being slightly heavier. Adidas needs to stop bullshitting and retro that shoe. I am not a little guy by any means, 6″4, two fiddy, lean. Getting old, then am jealous of what some of you cat’s can ball in these days. I wish I could do BOOST and some iterations of ZOOM, but that shit just kills my knees and lower back. Happy Holidays.

  4. Nightwing, I’m just getting back into balling after a long injury layoff. On your recommendation I purchased the ANTA KT3 Lows and got the colorway that looks like the Kobe Beethovens for just $79.99. Best basketball shoe bargain ever! The heel to toe drop is too high but other than that they have everything I want – traction (I mostly play outdoors and the outsole is holding up great after 2 months), court feel, fit and impact protection. Thanks for the continually stellar work. My prediction for your shoe of the year 2019? Kobe IV Protro. What do you think?

  5. All I have from 18 is the Kobe 1 Protro. Sounds like that’s all I really need? I might get another pair just to have them. Can’t really imagine wanting to play in anything else for a long while. This shoe is for me.

    1. Each to their own. I have the Protro and Kyrie 5, and I just value what the 5 offers over the Protro. Round outsole, response, tighter fit just go a longer way than the plush and more planted build of the Protro. They’re honestly both really good shoes. Considering the Harden, but if it’s anything like the 2’s, they’ll be Tent Sale bound for $40-50. It’s very hard to pay retail for Adidas when it’s not a Yeezy, and you expect that to happen.

      Interestingly Nightwing’s two #1’s, and his personal favorite all cater to different tastes. Honestly it’s great that his #1’s are not wildy expensive again. I agreed with the Kyrie 4 he had at/near the top last year as well, and coincidentally, I didn’t touch the Dame 4 at the time because I was also anticipating Tent Sale prices in due time.

        1. yes and no. You will miss the heel cushion of the 4. I’m not a heel striker but I got used to just having that as an option.

          Major upsides for me are that the collar seems to wrap better (the 4 gets sloppy there imo), the lockdown sensation and also better protection against lace pressure, and the traction. I mean the forefoot Zoom unit does a bit of something, but I wouldn’t call that a standalone reason to take the 5 over the 4. It’s really the sum of the tweaks. Just feels like everything got taken up a notch apart from the heel cushion.

  6. My favorite this year is the AF1 High LV8(Red/White/Navy), very good leather, great cupsole, solid traction, and a very nice well balanced Air-Sole, a great refresh of the AF1 High, and very usable on court.
    I’m old and heavy, so the more traditional-builds will be more appealing to me than new releases.

  7. Wide footers…get those WhyNots low! Lock down fit in arch and heel. Toes NOT compressed (even with that condom). Full length Zoom (i think); the cushioning is the superb! Looks are deceiving, these do not play heavy at all. THE FINALE…. THESE ARE ON SALE!!!

    (Size 15s currently in stock at


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