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Best basketball shoes 2023: The most stylish court-ready kicks from Nike, Reebok and more

Step up your sneaker game with our pick of the top basketball shoes for everyday wear

The best basketball shoes have done more than just win games on the court; they’ve shaped sneaker culture as we know it. Basketball introduced the concept of athlete-endorsed “pro models”, it gave rise to the most influential sneaker line of all time, and it was responsible for the birth of what many would argue was the very first modern-day sneaker.

The secret to basketball footwear’s mainstream success is how readily these shoes will step off the court and slot into your everyday style. You don’t have to be making it rain like LeBron James on the regular to justify having a pair or two in your sneaker rotation. In fact, they make some of the best daily drivers of any athletic shoes out there.

Let us preface this by admitting that this isn’t a highly technical roundup. If you’re looking for the best shoes on the market for actually playing in, you won’t find them here. Instead, we’re looking at classic basketball shoes with fashion appeal that have style credentials outside of the arena. Below you’ll find our selection of the very best basketball shoes that you can wear casually, along with a guide to how to go about making the best choice for you.

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Best basketball shoes: At a glance

How to choose the best basketball shoes for you

Should I buy low- or high-top basketball shoes?

On the court, whether a pair of shoes are high-top or low-top can influence performance. In the context of fashion, it’s purely subjective. Only you can say whether you prefer the look of high-top or low-top basketball shoes, but it’s worth bearing in mind that high-top sneakers can affect your legwear choices. Not all trousers will work well with a taller, chunkier shoe. For example, slim-fit legwear is usually better paired with low-top shoes, unless the high-top shoe in question is relatively low profile and streamlined.

What materials should basketball shoes be made from?

Again, such a consideration is important for on-the-court shoes, but in day-to-day life, material choice is dependent on your aesthetic preferences, and what the weather is like where you live. If it tends to be wet and rainy, a smooth leather upper is probably best; but if it’s usually hot, synthetics, suede and mesh could prove better options.

How should basketball shoes fit?

Basketball shoes should fit just like any other shoes. They should be comfortable, with a small amount of room at the end of the toes for movement. We’d recommend going for your usual shoe size, unless otherwise stated by the brand.

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The best basketball shoes you can buy in 2023

1. Nike Dunk Low: Best low-top basketball shoes

Price: £110 | Check price at Nike

The Dunk Low have seen a huge resurgence over the past couple of years. Originally launched in 1985, these simple basketball shoes blend elements of two other Nike Basketball icons – the Air Force One and the Air Jordan 1 – to create something new. The simplicity of the design has allowed the Dunk shoes to weather the storm of fashion and remain relevant over the course of their 35-year existence, meaning they’re every bit as good an option today as they were back then.

These are comfortable, versatile everyday sneakers that can be teamed up with everything apart from tailoring. They’ll sit well with shorts, joggers, jeans and more, which will allow you to get a good amount of wear out of them across most of your wardrobe. We’d suggest sticking to muted colours for maximum wearability, though.

Key specs – Style: Low top; Size: UK 3.5-14

Check price at Nike

2. Nike Air Jordan 1: Best high-top basketball shoes

Price: £130 | Check price at Nike

The Air Jordan 1s have a legacy most other sneakers can only dream of. It isn’t much of a stretch to argue that these shoes kick-started sneaker culture as we know it today. They were the first shoes in the Air Jordan line – a Nike sub-brand responsible for some of the most influential, collectible and respected sneaker designs of all time – and they remain one of the Swoosh’s best-selling styles.

It may have fallen by the wayside in tech terms, but these are still one of the best-looking basketball shoes out there. The simple, uncluttered design makes them easy to style with everyday outfits, and they’re slim enough to work with most types of legwear, despite being a high top. If you’re looking for ankle-grazing basketball shoes for day-to-day wear, these are one of the best pairs there are.

Key specs – Style: High top; Size: UK 6-15

Check price at Nike

3. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star ’70s: Best canvas basketball shoes

Price: £85 | Check price at End Clothing

It’s difficult to overstate the impact that the Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars have had on the footwear world. When they launched more than a century ago, they were the world’s first real sneakers, and they have remained largely unchanged since then. Not just that, but they have consistently been one of the best-selling shoe styles in the world.

These slightly more robust takes on the All Stars are closer to the version of the shoes that were produced during the 1970s. They feature heavy-duty canvas uppers, an extended rubber rand that comes higher up the side of the shoes, and a cushy insole for added comfort. These are essentially an upgraded, beefed-up version of the classic All Stars, with a slightly retro aesthetic that lends itself well to all sorts of everyday outfits.

Key specs – Style: High top; Size: UK 3-12

Check price at End Clothing

4. Reebok Shaq Attaq: Best retro basketball shoes

Price: £75 | Check price at End Clothing

These 1990s icons are a great retro option that will suit anyone looking for something a little different. These were basketball legend Shaquille O’Neil’s first signature shoes and some of the first to feature Reebok’s Pump technology. For the uninitiated, this pump-action tech was all the rage in the early ’90s, allowing the fit of a shoe to be dialled in through inflation, which could be activated by pumping the tongue of the sneaker.

These versions of the shoe come in black leather, with purple and gold accents as a nod to Shaq’s rise from LSU Tigers to LA Lakers. They’re finished off with Shaq branding to the heel and iconic Pump branding to the tongue.

Key specs – Style: High top; Size: UK 6-11

Check price at End Clothing

5. Nike LeBron 20: Best performance basketball shoes

Price: £180 | Check price at Nike

If you’re actually going to be getting out there and (shock, horror!) using your basketball shoes for their intended purpose, most of the throwback models that are in style right now are going to feel very dated for performance. LeBron James’ latest pro sneakers from Nike might not look too good with your jeans, but in terms of on-the-court performance, they’re one of the best pairs of shoes available today.

The shoes feature Nike’s Zoom Air technology in the sole for cushioning and a carbon-fibre plate in the midfoot for mobility, bounce and responsiveness. They’re also the lightest LeBron signature shoes to date, featuring a low-profile silhouette and lightweight knit uppers.

Key specs – Style: Mid top; Size: UK 3-14

Check price at Nike

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