The 5 flyest basketball shoes out right now
Basketball shoes, when made right, serve a dual purpose: to perform well and look good. Depending on your sensibilities, one may be more important than the other, but there’s no denying the value of a shoe that does both, and does both well. There have been a lot of legendary shoes throughout the years, spanning from the heyday of Chuck Taylors in the ‘50s and ‘60s to the first Air Jordans in the ‘80s and the cultural innovation of the Reebok Pumps in the ‘90s. There’s no shortage of hoops footwear lore to drool over, but we feel the modern shoes – the shoes you see in today’s NBA worn by the world’s most iconic athletes – represent the purest blend of form and function to date. Here are the five flyest basketball shoes out right now that will also give you an edge on the stat sheet.
5. Nike LeBron 16
LeBron’s been at the center of the GOAT conversation for about a decade now, so it’s no secret that his on-the-court weapons of choice are so well-loved. The 16s feature Battleknit 2.0 construction, developed specifically for LeBron. Battleknit is Nike’s strongest knit ever used in a basketball shoe, combining flexibility and strength for a shoe as versatile as the King himself. The shoe initially feels light – like it might not even hold up for 48 minutes – but the Battleknit provides toughness to get you through an entire season and beyond. The adjustable tongue and lacing allow for easy entry and a custom fit, meaning you can even rock the 16s loosely in a casual setting if you so wish.
4. Nike Kobe AD NXT
Kobe’s legacy is that of one of the most prolific scorers and flat-out winners to ever lace them up, and while his career on the court may be over, his innovation as a Nike collaborator is more than alive and well. The AD NXTs feature a customizable Flyknit shroud and toggle system for added support and a lightweight feel. There are no laces on this shoe – the toggle pull locks your foot in place instead, providing a secure fit and supreme comfort. The look keeps the low-profile aspect of Kobe’s signature line alive while adding a new layer of innovation. The micro-tread pattern also provides superior grip and allows for a quick change of direction on either side of the ball.
3. Adidas Crazy Explosive PrimeKnit 2017
The PrimeKnit 2016 was a wildly popular basketball shoe, and this edition only builds on that fan-following with added support and durability at the ankle without compromising on fit. The most popular feature of these shoes is the sock-like fit that adapts to your shape at the ankle. The Boost midsole supplies added propulsion, bounce, and impact protection. The PrimeKnits are the signature shoe of Timberwolves wingman Andrew Wiggins, and we’ve all seen the type of bounce he’s capable of when he decides to turn it on. For a boost at the rim and unmatched comfort and support, the PrimeKnit is a premier option.
2. Nike Kyrie 5
The Kyrie 5 was just released at the end of November as has already generated a wide range of hype throughout basketball circles. The Venus Flytrap-inspired containment system is the main reason why. The flytrap overlay folds over the midfoot and underneath the laces to help with lockdown, clamping down tight on your foot for a secure fit. Previous Kyrie models didn’t feature any forefoot cushioning, but Air Zoom Turbo cushioning has been added to the 5, providing extra bounce and agility when planting and driving off your toes or balls of your feet. The outsole is also rounded and wraps around the sneaker, helping to grip the floor when changing directions. Kyrie’s ability to swerve on a dime and make defenders look silly surely would not appear as effortless without a shoe equipped with a supreme grip and lightweight construction.
1. Under Armour Curry 5
Much like Steph’s game, the Curry 5s are “programmed for maximum unpredictability.” That says it well, in that you’re never sure if Steph is going to pull up from near halfcourt or blow by your and nail a floater off one foot. In either case, you can be certain he’s going to make you look foolish. The lightweight, lowtop, full-knit construction of the Curry 5 features Anafoam containment zones in the forefoot lateral wall that help to lock in the foot. These shoes are fully customizable and also feature a variety of appealing existing colorways – most notably the Tokyo Nights look (above) that released in November. The Curry 5s are a go-to option for turning up your game on and off the court.
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