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Top Performance Picks 2016 | Nightwing2303

Editor’s Note: We now have an updated list of the Best Basketball Shoes. Click this link for our latest recommendations. It’s the most wonderful time of the year; the time when  WearTesters delivers our Top Performance Picks of the year. With 2016 coming to an end, it’s fun looking back at all the shoes we’ve wear-tested over the past twelve months. In fact, this has been one of the best years for performance basketball shoes in quite a while. Don’t believe me? Check out this piece from fellow WearTester Duke4005. Trust me, it’s a great read. This is my list for 2016 and I hope you enjoy it. Be sure to let me know in the comment section what your list looks like from the models you’ve played in this year. You can use the same categories I did and you can make a simple top 3, 5, or 10. Even if you were only able to pickup just one pair this year, let us know what it was and how you feel about its on-court performance. Thank you so much for your continued support of WearTesters. Everybody at our site is very appreciative of what we get to do each day, and it’s because of your support that we’re able to continue to do so.

Happy holidays and until next time…

More Top Performance Picks 

  1. Good list. Best bang per buck is the Rare Metals of D Lillard 2s. Adidas is definitely hitting everything out the park.

  2. Great stuff, as always.

    I’d have to add the J Crossover 3 to that final list though. Stylish, durable, and oh so comfy.

  3. If only the Crazy Explosives had a solid rubber outsole. Those things pick up dust like a Swiffer. Other than that, they were perfect for me.

  4. Adidas has done a wonderful job in year 2016. All there models are very competitive in the market, performance wise or price wise. Hope to see more improvements on their product line!

  5. The adidas crazy explosive changed my life, when I can play for 2 hours at 38 yrs old and my feet or knees not ache after playing for so long you know these shoes are the bomb. If they had the traction of the D Rose 7 no shoe would come close to them period!!!

  6. There is a black/white version with solid rubber outsole (not PK but still good). It can be found on Amazon and I saw Ricky Rubio rocking those…

  7. I thought Rare Metal would be a “top performance pick” when I read your review and Curry 3 would be in “so close” category because of Charged instead of Micro G.

  8. Great year of basketball kicks and Weartesters reviews! My top shoe this year and I’m not sure if they came out in 2015 or 2016, but I got them this year … is the Brandblack Force Vector in premium leather… everything about this model is top notch from the blade traction to Jetlon cushion. I was surprised that the Rare Metal did not make your top performers list, but thanks for letting us know about the traction issue others have experienced.

  9. Forgive my poor English
    Can anyone explain is the D. Lillard 2 on the top performance list and which version prefer, jacquard or primeknit?
    @Nightwing2303, the Harden 1 doesn’t have any “Hall of Fame” in the performance review, why it becomes your go-to shoes?

  10. Maybe NT didn’t want to rub off the wrong way since there was a WT collab, but the BrandBlack Ether was one of, if not the nicest pair this year imo.

    Black Foam was top tier in comfort, I found the shoe fits more properly snug and truer than the Rare Metal, therefore seemingly more supportive too since the mesh is thicker than the knit; the textured laces were a nice touch for adjustment, and the traction seems more reliable. To top it all off, the Ether by design was all “classic/premium/raw/Lux” materials on top of BB’s high level of QC. It’s a crazy execution.

    No other pair this year could be so versatile and fit the bill ($120) imo. Maybe the only knock are that an outrigger was non-existent, and other players stepping on the suede toe is a bit cringe-worthy.

    I consider the Rare Metal a very solid shoe, and agreeably sharing top spot with the Lillard 2 as best performance value, but in hindsight I would’ve doubled on the Ether instead.

  11. I agree, Yup Adidas owns and dominates Bball shoes of 2016, primeknit and boost are just 2 awesome techs, simply amazing!!!!!

    Now only if they listen or read comments from sites like weartesters,

    As mentioned a lot, the Crazy Explosive NEEDS CONTINENTAL RUBBER! Or a better rubber compound, the shoe is awesome, the only problem is the outsole durability, Please Adidas release a colorway with a better outsole, thanks!

    Thanks to Nightwing and the whole Weartester players/crew! Thanks to you guys for making shoe buying an Awesome Experience, the Reviews and news are a blessing, thanks Again!!!!!

  12. my top 5 performance shoes of 2016

    Crazy Explosives 2016
    D Rose 6 PK
    Harden Volume 1
    D Rose 6 Mesh
    Lillard 2

    Top 5 Casual shoes
    J11 Red Melo
    J11 Suede
    J11 Pantone Blues
    J11 Concords
    J9 Pantone Blues

    my Top 5 Worst Shoes 2016 – TRASH for me

    Lebron Soldier 10
    Lebron 13 low
    Jordan Rising High
    runner up: Kyrie 2

  13. The D. Lillard 2 would not have made my top 5. While yes, Jacquard is nice, there are just too many overlays to make it effective. I would have chosen the BB Rare Metals. Better cushioning, makes the most of the jacquard upper, rides lower as well. It is definitely a guards shoe, whereas the the JC3/Ether tried to be an every position shoe. The other top four I’d leave the same. Adidas really has something with boost for everyone.

  14. The KD I had the air blew out. Loved them before that.. But not a good investment for a month of play. Got the CE love them.

  15. Hey, with all due respect, what about the dame 3’s? I’m currently playing in them and love them even more than my D lilliard 2’s, which are currently collecting dust in my closet.

  16. Hey nightwing, Great videos, have been following you for years! I was looking through some of your old videos and those kobe 8 caught my eyes and I am trying really hard to get a pair. Do you know anyway possible I can get it without paying like insanely high price?

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