Best Adidas shoes for playing basketball
In the world of athletic gear, Adidas is one of the most popular brands across the globe. Its “three stripe” and “Trefoil” logos are iconic and synonymous with quality and performance, and although they are often seen as athletic and leisurewear, Adidas is best known as one of the major players in worldwide footwear — accounting for nearly $14 billion of the company’s revenue. Although they are most widely associated with soccer, Adidas also offers a wide selection of high-quality basketball shoes worn by some of the best players in the NBA and beyond.
Between athletes’ high-end signature shoes and more affordable generic models, Adidas offers some of the best sneakers on the hardwood, perfectly suitable for professionals, amateurs and street ballers alike.
What to know before buying Adidas basketball shoes
Adidas basketball shoes are popular on the court and off, worn by superstar athletes and cultural gatekeepers — not to mention average consumers. They can even be seen on fashion runways, with Kanye West’s Yeezy collection, which routinely sells out in record time. But no matter how cool the kicks look, it’s important to consider everything from shoe cut to the materials and everything in between.
A shoe’s silhouette is easily recognizable in three varieties: low-cut, mid-top and high-top. Each provides different qualities that suit athletes with different skill sets and playing styles, but all three are fashionable for everyday wear.
- Low-cut: the least supportive of the three silhouettes, these are ideal for players with quickness and agility at the center of their playing style, like guards who are prone to dribble-driving to the rim.
- Mid-top: these hold the “Goldilocks” position of not being either too short or too tall for most players, making them great for quick and agile players who need a bit more support in the ankle and achilles’ heel areas. They’re a great option for the swingman position or two-way guards and forwards.
- High-top: these are designed with vertical motion in mind, providing maximum support in the heel and ankle areas, especially for ballers who play in the paint battling for rebounds and put-backs.
Athletic shoes are generally made from the same materials, but Adidas and other companies are using more sustainable substances and textiles these days. These include recycled polyester, nylon and polystyrene and sustainable or “better” cotton. Additionally, Adidas only uses leather and hides that are sourced humanely from non-endangered or threatened animals, approved and rated by the non-profit Leather Working Group, which provides environmental certification for the leather manufacturing industry.
Adidas shoes’ soles, on the other hand, are made from either recycled rubber, algae-based ethylene-vinyl acetate or thermoplastic polyurethane. For some models, Adidas collaborates with the German tire company Continental to make grip-enhancing rubber outsoles using recycled tires. However, Adidas’ most significant material advancement in the last decade is its Boost midsole foam, made in partnership with German chemical company BASF. Boost technology provides a higher degree of energy return than common rubber soles, making these midsoles more durable, comfortable and high-performance oriented.
What to look for in a quality Adidas basketball shoe
Laceless vs. traditional
Adidas basketball shoes are available in traditional laced models as well as innovative laceless shoes that provide as much support as their alternatives. The biggest advantage of laceless sneakers is obvious: removing them eliminates the risk of tripping on loose laces. However, wearing laceless basketball shoes requires a more precise fit, so make sure not to settle for a half-size too big or small.
Cushion, comfort and fit
High performance is only possible if the shoes fit properly, provide necessary cushioning and wear comfortably. Adidas shoes generally fit true-to-size, so the wearer can feel confident that a size 10 isn’t going to feel loose or over restrictive. However, the company also offers some wide-foot sizing and flat foot-supportive options for the athletes with unique foot size and shape. Some Adidas basketball shoes also feature Bounce midsoles, a more responsive and firm variant of the Boost midsole that may be more suitable for the dynamic moves of a basketball player.
A baller’s style is almost as important as the comfort and performance of a basketball shoe, and Adidas offers a variety of looks that are sure to include something that matches your personality. Different molds, silhouettes, stitchings, prints and flourishes are paired with any number of colors, patterns and other visual elements to present hundreds of unique looks that are certain to strike intimidation in your opponent.
How much you can expect to spend on Adidas basketball shoes
Adidas basketball shoes are available in affordable options between $70-$100, and higher-end varieties are upwards of $200.
Adidas basketball shoes FAQ
Do Adidas basketball shoes fit to size?
A. Generally speaking, Adidas shoes fit true to size; plus, the company offers models for wide feet and flat arches.
Do NBA players wear Adidas shoes?
A. Although Nike’s Air Jordan line is the most well-recognized trademark shoe, Adidas provides signature sneaker lines to many of today’s professional basketball stars. NBA all-stars Damian Lillard, James Harden, Donovan Mitchell, Derrick Rose and others all have their own on-court collaborations with Adidas. WNBA superstar Candace Parker also has her own signature sneaker, one of the few female athletes with such a sponsorship.
What’s the best Adidas basketball shoe to buy?
Top Adidas basketball shoes
What you need to know: Damian Lillard’s newest edition signature is a vast improvement on the previous model and a great overall performer.
What you’ll love: These shoes have balanced cushioning, good traction outdoors and on-court and a great price.
What you should consider: The materials feel less than premium.
Where to buy: Sold by Adidas
Top Adidas basketball shoes for the money
What you need to know: Basketball’s biggest beard, James Harden, has multiple signature shoes, but this one is an excellent balance of performance and price.
What you’ll love: These have an indoor/outdoor durable outsole, great materials and good lateral containment.
What you should consider: They are not suitable for weak ankles and knees and are prone to heel slippage.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Donovan “Spida” Mitchell’s second edition signature is another solid performance shoe at an affordable price point.
What you’ll love: This model has supportive, solid cushioning and good impact protection.
What you should consider: This shoe is heavier than other models and not suited for outdoor use.
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Matt Fleming writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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