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Best Retro Basketball Shoes 2021

best retro basketball shoes

Retro basketball shoes have become sought after fashion items over the years and demand has never been higher. Knowing this, sneaker brands have started to churn out new retro models every week.

If all you’re looking for is a cool looking pair of shoes to wear, then this is a great time for you, but more discerning consumers also want some quality materials and craftsmanship out of their shoes. And here is where WearTesters can help out.

We review hundreds of retro hoop shoes and there is no more discerning sneakerhead than Chris. He goes over every detail of a shoe and isn’t shy about ripping a poorly built shoe. So with all this being said, here are our picks for the best retro basketball shoes.

Last updated 11.19.2021


Best Retro Basketball Shoes

adidas Forum 84

adidas Forum 84

This is the shoe that could have been the first Jordan. These shoes do faux vintage right. The materials on the adidas Forum 84 are excellent, including soft leather and furry suede. On top of that, they boast some cool, old school tech including the Dellinger web for “added bounce” and their x ankle brace wrap. Are they playable? No, but cool tech is cool tech. These are fresh, historic and a retro done right. Read the full review. Retail Price: $120

9.7/10
Total Score
Buy at eBay

Jordan 11 Cool and grey

Air Jordan 11 Cool Grey 

The Air Jordan 11 Cool Grey is the first non OG colorway of the Jordan 11 to retro. This year marks the 20th anivesary of this colorway’s launch. MJ actually wore this colorway on court during his Wizards days. They feature a tinted blue clear outsole, grey traction pods, a carbon fiber shank plate, a phylon midsole and full length Zoom Air for cushioning. Not bad. The upper features paten leather and nubuck, not premium, but it gets the job done. Read the full review. Retail Price: $346

9.5/10
Total Score
Buy at GOAT
air jordan 1 retro high og bordeaux

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Bordeaux

The Air Jordan 1 High in the new Bordeaux colorway is flat out gorgeous. The upper is all leather and good leather at that. The swoosh is metallic vinyl, and they feature a jeweled logo on the wings. They come with an extra set of laces and an ortholite insole. If you like Jordan 1’s, you will love these. Read the full review. Retail Price: $170

9.5/10
Total Score
Buy at eBay


Air Jordan 3 Retro 'Pine Green'

Air Jordan 3 Pine Green

These “Oregon-esque” Air Jordan 3’s might be the best looking shoe on this list. I mean, just look at them. Thy feature an encapsulated Air unit in the forefoot and a visible Nike Air unit in the heel, so they also get some extra points for comfort. The upper experienced the biggest change, this time coming in nubuck. Not great nubuck, but it does look great. The shoe also features real elephant print detailing and an Oregon style Jumpman. Read the full review. Retail Price: $190

9.3/10
Total Score
Buy at eBay

Nike LeBron 8 South Beach 2021

Nike LeBron 8 South Beach 2021

One of the first true hype shoes. The Nike LeBron 8 is one of the actually playable models on our list. They blend flywire and leather on the upper, full length Zoom Air, layered herringbone traction, and injected Phylon. The materials are OK but not great. Aesthetically they might not be for everyone but hoopers and LeBron fans love them. Read the full review. Retail Price: $200

9.1/10
Total Score
Buy at eBay

Air Total Max Uptempo 'Midnight Navy'

Nike Air Total Max Uptempo 2021

These are super nostalgic, as Reggie Miller fans will already know. These unfortunately just look super fresh, the quality isn’t that great. They feature a full length Air Max unit and a Phylon midsole, which makes them very comfy. But the upper unfortunately features low quality leather. If you love the 90’s you just gotta pick these up. Read the full review. Retail Price: $170

8.8/10
Total Score
Buy at eBay

air jordan 12 royalty

Air Jordan 12 Royalty

You could play in these if you really wanted to. They are one of the best performance retro Jordan’s. These almost “Taxi” Jordan 12’s just look amazing. They feature a full length Phylon midsole, full length Zoom Air unit and a carbon fiber shank plate. They do require some break-in time, but all in all, a very solid pick up. Read the full review. Retail Price: $190

8.5/10
Total Score

Air Jordan 3 Retro 'Racer Blue'

Air Jordan 3 Racer Blue Review

The Air Jordan 3 “Racer Blue” is almost perfect, but if you love Jordan 3’s you will love these. The one thing to take into account is the update on the elephant print. It isn’t the traditional elephant print, it’s reflective, and the only way you see the pattern is if light is flashed on it. It will look weird to sneakerheads. The tech specs are the same as mentioned above on the Pine Green colorway. Read the full review. Retail Price: $190

8.5/10
Total Score
Buy at eBay

Best Low Top Retro Basketball Shoes

New Balance 550

New Balance 550

Flawless craftsmanship. This shoe was basically a forgotten model until these recently re-released. They feature no tech, just like the OG model. It features a rubber cup sole and an Ortholite insole with some EVA arch support for some added step in comfort. The upper varies in quality from colorway to colorway, and we suggest going with the collabs for the best versions. Aside from all of that, these just look great and are one of the most popular models of the past year. A real winner. Read the full review. Retail Price: $110

9.5/10
Total Score
Buy at eBay

Air Jordan 11 Retro Low IE 'Bred' 2021

Air Jordan 11 Low IE OG Bred 2021

The return of the real Air Jordan 11 Low, 25 years later. These guys are almost identical to the original release. They feature herringbone traction pods, full-length Air sole unit and an all-leather upper. On top of that, the insole is polyurethane. They look amazing, the build is decent and the tech specs will keep you comfortable as well. Read the full review. Price: $170

9.2/10
Total Score
Buy at eBay

Question Low 'White Grey'

Reebok Question Low Grey Toe

The Questions are a beloved, iconic model, especially for Allen Iverson fans. The materials on this shoe are fantastic, including the odd patten leather toe (it should have been suede!). They feature an EVA midsole and faux Hexalite pods. They get extra consideration for being very affordable. Read the full review. Price: $75

9.2/10
Total Score
Buy at eBay
Air Jordan 1 Low OG Starfish

Air Jordan 1 Low OG Starfish

A low Jordan with OG color blocking? That is an automatic win in our book. The materials are great, made to age with dignity over the years. They feature the greatest traction of all time, an EVA wedge and an air sole for comfort and a rubber cup sole. They fit true to size, and all in all this is one of the best retro low’s of the year. Read the full review. Price: $143

9.2/10
Total Score
Buy at GOAT

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