Top 5 Performance Picks of 2016 (So Far)

Editor’s Note: We now have an updated list of the Best Basketball Shoes. Click this link for our latest recommendations.

It’s that time of year again.

We’re already halfway through 2016 and it’s time for a Top Performance Picks of 2016 — So Far. This list can change at any time between now and December, but as of today, these are the current top 5 basketball shoes we feel you cannot go wrong with.

Hope you enjoy and let us know if you own/ play in any of the models mentioned.


  1. Just picked up the Crazlight Boost 2016 and they blow last year’s out the water. The KD 9 is my top shoe right now. Nightwing I don’t know if you have the regular Hyperdunk 2016 in the hightop version but I tried them on and they shocked me. Really comfortable and seemed ready to hoop in straight out of the box. Trying to decide between getting those or another pair of KD 9’s.

  2. Hey Nightwing, last year I picked up the UA Spawn Anatomix 2s based on your reviews and I absolutely LOVE them. I love the Micro G, I’m a big guy so the cushy and responsive ride is great. But they’re starting to show their age and I’m looking to have a new shoe broken in before winter leagues start up. I’m eyeing up the D-Rose 6 Primeknits w/Boost you mention here as a replacement, how do you think they’d compare coming from the UA SA2? Thanks for all your work!

    1. They’re definitely higher off the ground than the Spawn. So that’ll be something to get used to. I don’t really notice it much though and really enjoy the shoe.

      1. Do they ride higher than most other shoes, or are they not too far out of the ordinary and just feel higher just because the Spawns have a really low ride? Basically just worried they’ll feel unstable.

        1. Not too much higher. They’re the same thickness as the XX9’s. I don’t feel unstable in them. The Spawn was supposed to be a really low profile anatomical setup.

          1. Oh, okay. Makes sense. Thanks for the replies, appreciate it! Might just have to pounce on a pair the next time I see them on sale.

          2. How high are the CLB2016’s compared the XX9’s? I actually didn’t like how high the XX9’s were

          3. Hello, i wanna try the new CP3 IX but, can i have some informations about them ? I hesitate with the CP3 & Kyrie 2..

  3. Jc 2 lows all day! Great cushion while still being low to the ground to make those crisp pg cuts! And I’m a big guard(think Khalid El-Amin).

  4. Just got the KD9 and gave them a quick test today. Those things feel great. I think they look rad, too. That’s always a plus.

  5. No HR16? Thanks for these articles though! I guess it just goes to show that everyone is different and like different shoes. Every reviewer on every site have a different top 5. Anyway, thanks.

  6. Dang where are you finding the D Rose 6 Primeknit for 50$?? None of the adidas outlets around my area (Dallas) ever have D Roses, or Lilliards. Had to get my D Rose 6 mesh online, after trying out one colorway I could find in the Dallas area at a single finish line location.

        1. Wow in Chicago of all places, ouch?!

          I guess they really lost faith in D Rose, that’s why the trade,

          thanks for the info Duke.

  7. Hi nightwing2303! I’m wearing US size 9.5 of kyrie 2s for balling, it has half size allowance in it, should i buy the same size of kd 9s? Thank you in advance for your reply.

  8. This is a question for anyone who has experience with both Jetlon and Boost. Which one lasts longer and retains their bounce longer? My Rose 6 lost a lot of the initial “bounce” it had in the forefoot (still great impact protection and a tiny bit of feedback). I’ve never tried Jetlon before but keep reading it is amazing.

    I’m deciding on whether I should get the Crazylight Boost 2016 or JC Crossover 2 (or 3)…

    1. If I had to choose, I’d say that Boost lasts longer. My JC2 felt like they lost that bounce quicker. It wasn’t drastic but I just felt like the Rose lasts longer with that initial feeling. Then again, I can’t say that I timed each wear either.

  9. I guess only Nightwing or a weartester teammate can answer that, since they tried all type of cushion,

    Was wishing weartesters would do a top 5 cushion in order, now that would be nice,

    Never lost any cushion in My D Rose 6, I guess i haven’t competed hard enough.

  10. Hey Nightwing,

    im thinking of buying Rose 6 Primeknit, but have one question.

    Im a big guy who likes to go to the basket a lot and im wondering whether primeknit upper is strong & sturdy enough to hold on!?

    Thanks in advance!! 🙂

  11. I am new to this site, but have already received a lot of good info from the site and from nightwing in particular. I really appreciate your thoroughness and comprehensive reviews.

    I recently tore two lateral ligaments in my ankle during tennis, and will seek a high top sneaker when I resume the game. I don’t think there are any “tennis” high-tops, and I don’t have a problem wearing “basketball” hi-tops, as they probably provide more support anyway. I am willing to sacrifice movement in favor of stability.

    Can you offer a couple of shoes I should consider?
    Many thanks for your guidance!!

      1. Stephen, Thanks for your recommendation. WOW, There are so many options, and I had no idea I could custom-order my shoes!!! Now I gotta find a place to try them on. I see:

        They all look like they offer tremendous ankle support.

        Thank you!!!

  12. Trying to decide between KD 9 and CLB 16. I sort of prefer the KD9 cushion upon initial try-on/walking around as the CLB feels a little too firm for my liking in the forefoot area (heel is great on both imo). Just wondering if the cushion on the CLB 16 softens up at all or feels any different when moving at game speed?

    1. I just like how they feel. Love the range of motion and natural feeling a good low brings. High tops are just excessive in most cases and bring nothing extra to the table… other than material lol.

  13. Hi,Nightwing, Thanks for the video, do love it. Wanna know what’s your best traction pick if you have to hoop on dusty court?

    1. it’s actually really good. They must have improved the rubber compound since the 2015s. I’ve had a pair since April and have balled in and outdoors (real rough surface, usually grinds down shoes FAST) and theyre still basically like new.

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