Nightwing2303 Talks the Best Basketball Shoes He’s Ever Tested

I’ve been testing basketball shoes for nearly 10 years. Here are some of the best I’ve encountered.



Reflecting back at all the shoes I’ve tested over the years was fun. I can’t believe how many I’ve played in.

I’ve worn nearly every brand and nearly every signature model over the past 10 years — plus, a ton of team models! While looking through the worst of them, I also decided to name the best I’ve ever tested.

While there are a number of sneakers listed, there are a number of sneakers that were not. I can’t remember the year I stopped at, but nothing really recent was discussed. There have been some great shoes within the past five years, but I wanted to take things way back rather than stick with what’s fresh in my mind.

I do have a list of my least favorites from this same time frame so stay click here for that. I hope you enjoy this look back and let me know if you’ve been around for the entire ride.

11 Comments

  1. Where do the Anta KT3 Lows fit in your lineup, good sir? And can you hint at whether the new Kyries might make it into the Weartesters Hall of Fame?

  2. Great stuff man. It would be nice to compare lists throughout the comment section, as this is what digging hoops shoes, particularly from a performance connoisseur perspective, is really about. Coming from a non biased perspective, my list would go back to the eighties which would include Converse as a brand, also Puma, New Balance, Avia, even Pro Keds, with Adidas being the big boss of that time. The back and forth between your lady, and the lighthearted banter about your dog was very enjoyable, Big ups.

  3. My favorites back in the day: Fila Stackhouse, Reebok Kamikaze, and Nike Air Max Super CB – I think that was the name? It was Barkley’s shoe the first year he played for the Rockets. Wish they would retro it.

    Recently, the Kobe 11 engineered mesh version is my favorite. Also really like the Melo M12, the Lillard 2, and the Hyperdunk 2016 Low.

  4. I wish I was able to afford all those sneakers. I love testing different cushioning technologies! My Jordan XX8 SE are still holding on strong (knock on wood) outside in the summer as in the gym so totally agree with you on the XX8. I was surprised you didn’t mention the Rose 6 primeknit which I also have since I remember you saying that they might be your favorite of ALL-TIME when you tested them. But yeah, it’s impossible to remember them all when you’ve tested hundreds.

  5. I tried years after to buy some melo M8 back because I absolutly love the shoe too. My pair is destroyed btw, I v used it outdoor bigtime and they held up pretty well, protecting my knees. Plus I learned over time that I’m kinda “wide footer” and they were welcoming 😉 (never fckn could wear a wade shoe in J line -loved the design and still ove the player-).

    1. The Melo M9 was one of the best in his line for me. It just got right for my foot and playing style at the time.

  6. Thanks for the great post, NW. As soon as i saw your reactions to the zoom soldiers 3 and 6, I went on Ebay looking for 10.5s. Luckily I found some used 6’s in pretty good condition which I promptly bid for and bought for a very good price. Looking forward to hooping in them. Thanks again!

  7. Rose 1.5… Oh my god!!!! Even as a big man, those are amazing. Fast, comfortable, and that cushion (every time I jumped, I felt like there were springs under my feet). I really wish Adidas would retro the Pure Motion line again.

    And I totally hear what you said about Adidas. When they do it right, I personally feel like they’re the best. Unfortunately they’re too inconsistent for whatever reason. Getting away from technology that works really well, sizing issues, and with the limited products that they release every year, if they don’t just kill it, they don’t put out enough shoes to “trim off the fat” like Nike can. Such a bummer

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