Editor’s Note: We now maintain a current list of Best Basketball Shoes. Please follow this link for the most up to date information on the Best Basketball Shoes.
2015 was a great year for sneakers, both on court and lifestyle. Here are my top 5 on court shoes of the year.
Before we hop into the list, here are some honorable mentions.
Brandblack J Crossover 2
When I first started playing in the JC2, I thought they were going to be in the top 2 or 3 of 2015. As I played in them more and more, the woven material on the upper stretched to the point where it wasn’t supportive enough for sharp cuts. I found the footbed stretching over the base of the shoe due to the stretch in the weave. The traction also caused some issues after about 10 wears. They started out flawless, but I experienced a lot of slipping once the top coating of the rubber wore off. With all of that being said, I see great things in the future for Brandblack. The JC3 is available now and I look forward to picking them up soon.
Nike LeBron 13
This shoe is REALLY good. Just not my style. If you need an abundance of cushion, this is the shoe for you. For me personally, it is a little too much cushion. I prefer a perfect balance between cushion and court feel. The materials break in nicely and aren’t stiff like I expected them to be. Traction is solid, and the fit is nice. I’m just not a fan of the high collar and prefer an overall lighter shoe.
Here we go….The top 5.
5. Nike Kobe X Elite Low/Adidas Crazy Light Boost 2015.
I was torn between the two. Both are solid options that play quite similar in my opinion. Minimal cushion setups that offer lots of court feel. I really enjoy the injected Lunarlon in the Kobe X over the Lunar inserts in previous models. The inserts tend to bottom out very quickly in my personal opinion. Both have adequate traction, though the CL Boost’s traction isn’t durable. Materials are slightly softer on the CL Boost, and I prefer the fit on the Kobe X.
4. Nike KD 8
Many people called this shoe average, but this was my go-to for a majority of the summer. The traction is a solid 9/10. Cushion is full length zoom that is utilized properly. Woven upper. Flywire and a heel counter offer a great fit. And to top in off, the shoe is flexible enough for guards who play quick, thanks to the articulated outsole.
3. Adidas Rose 6 Boost
Full length boost. Everyone should try this shoe for that reason alone. To top it off, they have great traction and an ample amount of support. It’s a bummer Adidas changes the materials with every colorway, because the webbed mesh pairs have an awful fit. That was the only drawback to this shoe. I would recommend the synthetic leather pairs that offer a much more contained fit. (According to multiple WearTesters.) I will be trying a synthetic leather pair soon and will give my updated thoughts in a future article.
2. Under Armour Curry 2
If traction and fit are your most important features on a basketball shoe, the Curry 2 is for you. The shoe has the best fit I’ve ever experienced and the traction is almost up to par with the AJ XX8, XX9, and Kobe 9. Charged foam is also solid…A great balance between cushion and court feel. I was nervous about the fuse in the forefoot of the shoe, but it is surprisingly soft and doesn’t remind me of traditional fuse at all.
1. Air Jordan XX9 Low
I honestly felt that it wasn’t fair to put this shoe on the list…but I had to. The AJ XX9 (Mid) released in 2014 and the lows didn’t debut until late 2015. Why such a big gap? I don’t know, but I’m just happy they came out. Everybody already knows about the XX9, but now it’s in low top form. This is my favorite hoop shoe ever. Enough said.
What do you think of my list? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. I’d like to hear your thoughts. Also, what were your favorite performers of 2015?