Top 10 Performance Basketball Shoes of 2015 So Far


This year there is some competition when it comes to basketball performance footwear, and I’m happy there is. Consumers have more options, an array of prices, and most importantly, solid performance models to choose from.

As always, this list can – and likely will – change by the end of 2015. This is only to showcase what I feel are the top performance models so far. Once the Fall/ Winter lineup of kicks release we’ll have a better view of what shoes will make it into the top ten for the entire year. Β Any of the models listed are great on-court options so long as the shoe fits your specific wants and needs. I’ll list my thoughts on each pair along with their performance scores (you can click on the score card to head to their performance review) and let you make your own purchasing decision from there.


73 Comments

  1. Was surprised that m11’s were #1 didnt realize that they were that good. Need to find a pair of the m11’s and the jcrossover 2’s since they already released here(philippines).

    Is there any performance benefit or decline from the j crossover 2’s and the force vectors?

  2. Great list NW! I didn’t see the Melo coming in at #1. I must say I never gave them much thought. But you can find them at cheaper prices because no one buys them.

  3. Hey Nightwing you should’ve seen my face when I saw the melo M11 as the Number one shoe it was hysterical but if you think they’re the number one shoe I agree with you! I’ve been an active supporter since the kicks on court days and your opinions have never let me down. Thanks alot!

      1. Yo Chris, I’ve been searching for some Air Jordan 12’s to play in to feel that full length zoom bag and found a pair of Bred 12’s from 2003. Do you think they’d be too old to play in?

          1. Do you ever try and re-glue any of your shoes when you get glue separation? or is that pretty much it when the glue separates? I assume re-gluing is only going to be a stop gap method? If you do, what glue to you use?

    1. Kobe x came out April 2015. It counts as this year.

      So it means kobe x didn’t make it to nightwing top ten list.

      I knew kobe x had a bad performance . 9 was much superior for it

  4. I’ve heard the M11’s have massive durability issues, that’s why nobody buys them. It’s the only reason I’ve held out on buying a pair.

    1. i’ve read the same things, but other reviews have said those people must be wearing them outdoors. they are pretty much an indoor shoe only.

  5. WOW! Great list NightWing! I’m surprised about #1 but it’s hella funny cuz I just bought a pair on discount and find that they have replaced my XX9’s completely! The unlocked Zoom is definitely more pronounced, but not like the XX8. Mine has solid rubber soles so traction is grippy. The upper reminds me of my MVP Curry 1.

  6. solid dependable like always ! Wheres the new clutch fits ? I still liked the first more than the curry. Your box is in the mail πŸ˜‰

    1. The list is only comprised of shoes I’ve played in. There were a few pairs that I wish I had so I could potentially add to the list, but this is what I came up with from what I reviewed so far.

  7. Couldn’t agree more on the Melo 11s for #1! I bought a pair of 29s, but there just wasn’t enough support or cushion for me (I’m a big guy lol). I like supportive yet malleable materials. For some reason, I really like playing in the HyperRev 2015s too. Since I weigh more than others, I could actually feel the zoom units very well. I couldn’t play in the crazy lights though. I don’t know why but I guess the transition from soft Boost to hard EVA & adiprene just kills my feet (I even put the Crazy Comfort insole from the original crazy lights in, but didn’t really help). For some reason, they just give me pain in my shins and knees.

  8. Still waiting on the melo’s price to drop over here. Can’t wait to grab a pair. Been hunting on outlets for a few months now for a good price on these.

  9. Was waiting for this but came out much earlier than expected…kinda surprised to see the Hyperrev 2015 on the list…gonna get me a pair now ? great work as always NW

  10. So surprised to a not hyped shoe like other signature shoe out there be the top 1, damn i thought it was just an normal melo shoe w flight plate, but suprisingly, they beat the jc2 in this list. Damn, so unexpected but nice list though! Looking forward to the new models that will be coming out in the last part of the year.

  11. i have to admit that i haven’t played in the top 3 (i have the xx9s, though, and i almost never wear them, so i’m not sure the m11s would be very different in that respect), but the curry one lows….those are something special…i just played in them the first time yesterday, and they are right up there with the clutchfit drive low, which has- over time- become the very best shoe of the last few years for me…now i don’t know what the cushion on the mids are like, but the charged cushion with the ortholite insole feels incredible, step-in comfort is unreal, and the anafoam upper is on point, too….

    not sure which of the two i like better (cf drive low/curry one low), they’re very similar in a lot of ways, both are super smooth, fluid, fast shoes, they make cruising through traffic in the lane a real pleasure….

    as far as nike shoes this year go, i think the hyperrev 2015 is by FAR my favorite, super smooth shoe that keeps up with you every (euro)step of the way…

    i think lists like these are always really tricky because different players need different things (whereas some who haven’t figured it out yet just want as much tech as possible), which i guess is why NW felt inclined to put the m11 as the number one pick….out of the top three options two of them (the soldier and the m11) would probably not go very high at all on my list of shoes to try, simply because i really don’t like playing in mids for the most part…for me, i need maximum mobility, 1:1 fit, a flat base, fluid transition, multi-directional traction, and , most importantly, i want to be as low to the ground as possible…

  12. oh yeah, i really like the hyperchase, too, flawed shoe, it’s a bit narrow and the cushioning isn’t the best if you’re planning on taking them out for long runs, but they’re really fun to play in for the most part

  13. Just copped the Hyper Rev 2015 from Dick’s Sporting Goods for $55. They’re on sale for $69.99 but when you add them to the cart it drops to $54.99. That’s an offer you just can’t refuse.

  14. I use j crossover 2’s indoors and m11 outdoors. Enjoy both of them quite a bit…thinking about copping the soldier x, but waiting on the drose to release first

  15. you should add a rating for overall value of the shoe for example most of the elite versions of the lebron , kd , and kobe models are not much better than the originals but the price drastically increases therefore the value rating should be low like 6th man or benched.

    1. My idea of value and another person’s idea of value may be two different things. Budgets are set by the consumer and it’s suggested that you stick to the budget. No reason to rate a shoe negatively because of inflated prices. if that were the case then most of Jordan and Nike’s models would be negatively marked based off retail alone. Price is up to you as a consumer.

      1. maybe you could do it on some shoes rather than others like the curry 1 could get a boost for the low price . It should be a low price because basketball shoes don’t usually go less than 110$ these days

        1. If a shoe like the Curry One plays well, tests well and stacks up to higher priced performance models like a Kobe then there isn’t a need to score the price. You look at the reviews and automatically know its a good deal because it performs well and is under $150. Again, price is up to the consumer. If you’re willing to spend $150 or more then there are shoes out there that play well for that price. Same goes for shoes $150 and under.

  16. Finishline has the Melo 11’s for $79. I picked up a pair of the red, black, and white ones last Thursday and with a rewards coupon I hadn’t used that came out to $59. Can’t beat a deal like that.

  17. Def surprised to see that m11 but Melos have been super sleepers the last 3 years. My M9’s are always in my bag. I love that shoe. I lreally like the m10 but after many games the flight plate set up I feel feet soar in a strange way like my meet need mid foot support. I have only tried on the m11 and have thought I’ll just wait till they drop to $50 and nab a pair (not a clear sole pair).

  18. I am debating on getting UA curry 1s and i dont know if i should settle with the low tops or high tops. Is there any differences between the two?

    1. Depends on your preference. I suggest trying both on and see which one seems the best feel for you, but personally as a guard I prefer lowtops but that’s just me being picky.

  19. Why Air Jordan XX9 is not included? They’re a really good performer although the price is too high..

      1. Thanks for the reply Nightwing, I have one more question: Why you put J Crossover 2 on number 2 although you play as a guard?

  20. I read somewhere the melo line might be done…same with the cp3. Only thing saving the cp3 line is they do well in kids sizes. I gotta agree though, I have never ever been a fan of either line of shoes. They arent as tech oriented as other sigs. Kobe and kd as an example, obviously the lbj line. Maybe if they stepped up the tech and stopped piggy backing off the mj legacy line (melo) they would sell more. Visible air would help too. people love there visible air.

  21. is there a reason why jordan brand isn’t trying to sign a top, exciting talent for the future? melo’s career is dwindling and his brand is pretty much done, chris paul’s career is still going very strong, but he’s been eclipsed by a new breed of point guard, and blake griffin just doesn’t sell shoes, really…sure they’ve got the air jordan line and everything, but still…i guess jimmy butler is on board, now, but i dunno if he’s the explosive signature athlete that they would need

    1. Got Russ on board. Also, like you said, high hopes for Butler. And last year signed Jabari but he got hurt (guess that adidas curse got him to?) and you have Oladipo if the magic ever get good again. Decent lineup.

  22. Gotta admit, #1 was a surprise but not from a performance standpoint. I guess it did get caught in the mix.

    That shoe is a very good alternative to the JXX9 or the Super Flys. For the transition issues, I think that the midsection of the sole for the Melo 11s is a tougher choice than the “tendril” of the XX9s.

    Now if only they would release the Red version of the shoe…

  23. Melo 11 definitely does not deserve no. 1 place… poor traction and cushion varies a lot from each colorway … they also feel a little bit segmented when you run , not that good heel to toe transition… again this is very subjective list …

  24. Finishline has the Melo M11 in the white/red/black cw for $56 plus shipping with coupon code 30earlyaccess.

  25. Yesterday I decided to buy and ball with the M11 Christmas and I was surprised with the COMFORT and CUSHION it gave my feet. Lucky enough to get it on discount because the SOldier 9 and the M11 Christmas is the same on price, so I must say id go for the Materials and the Looks. Thanks NightWing. I ball on my trusty Lebron 9 and Lebron 10 but MAN this M11 Christmas is a Beast! Gonna ball on this for a month.

  26. Just copped some m11s at the Nike clearance factory in San Leandro today for $63. On clearance for $89.99 + 30% = win! πŸ™‚

  27. How about Jordan Super.fly 4 compared to the Jordan M11?
    And what’s the difference between M11 and M11 X?

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