As your team’s guard it’s your job to move quickly up and down the court in order to out-dribble your opponents and kick the ball to the outside for your teammates to make shots. As the court general, you’re expected to call the shots during the game and lead your team to victory. In order to do this, you need the right shoes on your feet.
When you’re cutting up and down the court, you need to know that your basketball shoes will be able to get the job done for you and your team. However, with so many products on the market, finding the best basketball shoes for guards can be a daunting process that may leave you frustrated. To help you in your search, some of the best basketball shoes for guards have been compiled and reviewed here along with valuable information about these kinds of shoes.
What Makes a Good Basketball Shoe for Guards
There are certain things that every good pair of basketball shoes needs in order for them to be right for guards. When shopping for your next pair of basketball shoes make sure that they have the proper traction, cushioning, and silhouette. These are the three most important features of the best basketball shoes for guards.
As a guard, you’re always moving quickly up and down the court. Your shoes should have a good grip on the bottom to keep you from slipping while on the move. Shoes with sticky traction will help you get by defenders and get to the ball first while also allowing you to stop and pivot easily. If your shoe doesn’t have the proper traction, you won’t be able to be as fast, explosive, and precise as you need to be. Look for shoes with a multi-directional tread pattern and deep grooves. If you can try on the shoe, they should feel sticky on the floor.
Since you’ll be on your feet for most of the game, your shoes need to be comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time but they shouldn’t have the same cushioning like shoes for other position players. This is because you need a firmer shoe that won’t slow you down on the court. Soft cushioning can negatively impact your speed, especially when maneuvering around the opposition. Look for shoes that have responsive cushioning that will be comfortable enough to absorb some shock but not too spongy that it’ll prevent you from moving around the court properly.
Style of Silhouette
When it comes to basketball shoes there are high-tops, mid-tops, and low-tops. This has to do with how high the ankle collar comes up on your foot (over the ankle bone, at the ankle bone, or below the ankle bone). Most guards prefer low-tops or mid-tops since they are lighter than high-tops and allow for more movement and flexibility. If you have weak ankles or are coming back from an ankle injury you might be worried about the lack of ankle support, however, you can wear an ankle brace to make up for this without losing the movement and flexibility that would be constricted with high-top shoes.
Top 9 Basketball Shoe Reviews
While shopping for anything can be difficult, having a good idea of the best products available can help make things a little easier. For your purposes here, the top nine basketball shoes for guards were compiled and briefly reviewed.
1. Adidas Harden Vol. 2
The second signature shoe from James Harden with Adidas, these shoes feature the brand’s Boost cushioning technology. This is a responsive cushion that will put out whatever energy you exert on the court for comfort along with support and stability. The upper is made of mesh for ventilation while the rubber sole provides traction and durability. The upper of the shoe also features Forgefiber that provides targeted support through stitched-in TPU-coated fibers.
The forefoot of the shoe was made with lateral movement in mind with a sock lining and a strong lacing system that locks down your feet so you can cut up and down the court without worrying about rolling an ankle or moving around too much inside the shoe. The silhouette of the shoe is interesting as its cut low on the sides to stay under the ankle bone while the back and front of it come up high. This provides strong ankle support without limiting your mobility or flexibility.
This is one of the best shoes for guards on the market and the reviews show it. While most of the feedback is very positive, there are some noted cons along with all of the pros.
- Traction patterns allow for stability on the court
- Sturdy and durable to withstand the test of time
- Midsole lockdown takes time to break in
- Heavier than other comparable shoes
2. Adidas Originals Men’s Crazylight Boost Low Basketball Shoes
When you’re looking to break down the opposing team’s defense these basketball shoes can get the job done easily. Made from fabric and synthetic materials along with hard rubber they provide comfort along with stability and breathability. They’re lightweight and won’t slow you down while Adidas’s responsive Boost cushioning technology returns every ounce of energy you put out.
The shoe is one of the few on the market with almost no negative comments. Here are the noteworthy pros and cons based on user reviews to help you make a purchase decision.
- Rubber outsole provides strong grip in all conditions
- Molded heel provides support despite low-top design
- Durable enough for indoor and outdoor courts
- Shoe feels too narrow for wider feet
- Overall size of shoe seems to run big
3. Adidas Crazy Explosive 2017 Primeknit Shoe
As a guard, you need to command the court and these basketball shoes help you do that. They feature neoprene and mesh for a breathable upper complete with a wide lacing system that locks down your feet for strong stability and support. The internal bootie provides additional support along with comfort from the fabric lining. There is also a foam footbed that you can take out if preferred.
This shoe also features Adidas’s Boost technology along with a TPU-wrapped shank for more stability and energy-returning responsiveness. The traction pattern, resembling a coral, gives you multi-directional grip as you move up and down the court while the fabric ankle collar provides secure ankle support.
Before deciding on these shoes, consider the pros and cons.
- Interior padding for better comfort
- Durability for all kinds of courts
- Superior heel support
- Doesn’t fit as well as other Adidas models
- Uncomfortable for those with high arches
4. Nike Men’s Zoom KDX
Endorsed by Kevin Durant, these basketball shoes are responsive and versatile just like him. Nike’s Flyknit technology makes them breathable and comfortable while the oversized wrap-around laces lock down your feet for stability. The shoe also features Nike Zoom Air units that return the energy you exert.
The outsole is made of heavy-duty rubber that provides a strong grip and multi-directional traction to help you avoid slips on the court. They were designed to feel already broken in thanks to the stretchy, soft Flyknit fabric and its innovative structure that results in a fitted yet comfortable feel.
There are some pros and cons worth noting despite a lack of customer reviews.
- Multiple ways to lace shoes
- Mid-top cut creates good ankle support
- Feels too heavy for some
- Comparatively expensive
5. Nike Men’s Kyrie 4
This basketball sneaker is designed with Kyrie Irving’s skills and fluid playing style in mind making them perfect for a guard. They’re responsive and flexible made with lightweight, breathable mesh and Nike’s Flywire cables, Zoom Air, a strong rubber outsole, and stylish suede accents.
They’re made for speed and agility on the court thanks to their multi-directional, curved outsole that responds quickly to lateral movements like pivots and cuts while gripping the floor to keep you from slipping. For cushioning and support, the Kyrie 4s also feature injected foam midsoles and heel protection to absorb shock while you’re on the court.
While you’re deciding on the best basketball shoe for your needs, consider the pros and cons of this pair.
- Minimal break-in time
- Good ankle support
- Strong grip and traction
- Not durable enough for consistent use (develops holes)
- Could use more cushioning for hard playing surfaces
6. Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe
This high-top basketball shoe is made for explosiveness on the court. They have a hard rubber sole along with a textile and synthetic upper as well as an updated lacing system. The fabric upper offers breathability while the sole is strong enough for even the roughest courts. The improved lacing system keeps the laces from breaking while also providing more support to lock your feet down. Cushioning through Adidas’s Boost technology not only absorbs shock but is also responsive and will match the energy you put out.
Some of the notable pros and cons mentioned in user reviews can help you make a more informed purchase decision.
- Interior lining adds comfort
- Aids in decreasing knee pain
- Truer to size than other models
- Could use better ventilation
- Thin padding
7. Jordan Nike Air XXXI
Jordans have always been popular on the basketball courts thanks to their high performance in games and, of course, their namesake. This model offers comfort, support, stability, and a stylish design that many people love. It features FlightSpeed technology to distribute the compression force of your feet evenly over the shoe’s Zoom Air unit making the shoes responsive to help you explode forward. The synthetic leather heel along with Flyweave forefoot offer flexibility and free mobility allowing you to make quick cuts on the court naturally and effortlessly.
There is also an interior sock-like sleeve that wraps around your feet for a snug fit while Flywire cables lock down your feet at the midfoot point. For shock absorption, the Jordan 31s have foam pods in the heel for comfortable landings. Finally, the solid rubber outsole is durable enough for both indoor and outdoor courts.
Even the famed Jordans have their pros and cons. Before paying for these more expensive basketball shoes, consider these carefully.
- Good ankle support and comfort
- Short to zero break-in period
- Good grip and traction
- Complaints about the narrow fit
- Protruding Zoom unit is unstable
- High ankle collar digs into the Achilles
8. Under Armour Men’s UA Curry 2.5
This shoe was produced by Stephen Curry with Under Armour. It is a high-top basketball shoe that provides you with comfort, control, and support in a lightweight design. They use an external PU shell to create a durable shoe that will last frequent wears while the brand’s Charged Cushioning technology offers shock absorption for comfort. The shoe’s rubber outsole and the organic multi-directional herringbone treads offer superb traction on the court. The upper is made of molded synthetic materials that hug your foot while ETC Anti-friction cloth used in the shoe helps keep your feet cooler.
Like all things, there are some pros and cons to weigh before buying these basketball shoes.
- Anti-odor technology used
- Comfortable to wear
- Sleek, appealing design
- Integrated tongue makes shoe hard to close
- Seem to run small and are too narrow
- Bottoms on some began to wear quickly
9. Nike Lebron Soldier 10 SFG
Famed baller Lebron James linked up with Nike to come up with this innovative basketball shoe that features a lace-free design for superior lockdown and stability. Instead of the typical shoelaces that you’re familiar with, straps keep your feet in place while offering support and stability while on the court.
The Lebron Soldier 10 is a high-quality basketball shoe with a three-layer lightweight upper complete with a compression bootie. The high-top design is made complete with pull tabs to help you get them on, Nike’s Zoom Air for responsive cushioning and explosiveness, and a strong rubber outsole equipped with a grippy multi-directional tread to keep you upright on the court.
Consider the pros and cons that verified users have reported before making any kind of purchase decision.
- Superior ankle support
- Allows for free mobility
- Multiple color options
- Difficult to get the shoe on
- Runs smaller than other models
- Considered uncomfortable to some
Best Basketball Shoes for Shooting Guards
A shooting guard’s job is to handle the ball, shoot from the perimeter, and drive to the basket when necessary. You not only need good ball handling skills, but you’ll also need to make precise stops and explode forward quickly. You need a basketball shoe that will perform properly so you can move easily, stop on a dime, and change directions instantly without slipping. The best basketball shoes for shooting guards will, therefore, have top-notch traction and good support. Here, you may want to find something with a little more cushioning than the average guard shoes since shooting guards tend to make more jump shots and may want the extra shock absorption.
Best Basketball Shoes for Point Guards
The point guard is the best passer and ball handler on the court. They need to be quick since they are playmakers who are most responsible for assists and for stealing the ball from the opposition. Your shoes can help you in your efforts by allowing you to cut back and forth without slipping and to explode toward the basket when necessary. While traction and support are important like with all guard shoes, you may want to find something with a little firm cushioning since point guards are on the court for a long time.
Best Basketball Shoes for Quick Guards
Quick guards need to be just that, quick. You have to beat the opposition to the ball and be able to make smooth jump shots making your shoes an important weapon. Proper traction will help you change directions quickly due to a strong grip while responsive cushioning will keep you comfortable without holding you back. The cut of the shoe should be a low-top or mid-top style to allow for a full range of motion while strong laces and/or straps lock down your foot for good support.
Best Basketball Shoes for Small Forwards
Small forwards are quite versatile in a standard basketball game. They need to be fast and aggressive in order to drive to the basket and out move the opposition. As a small forward, you will also take more foul shots than other players since you’re more likely to draw fouls while in the paint. Since you need to move well in every direction while still being fast, your shoes must have the best possible traction that can allow you to cut left and right, explode forward, and stop without hesitation when necessary. Since you’re a little more aggressive than other players on the team, you should look for a shoe that has a strong locking design that will hold your foot in place so it doesn’t move around in the shoe. You can get away with a high-top shoe that has better ankle support, but these tend to be heavier and can slow you down and limit your mobility on the court.
Best Basketball Shoes to Hoop in
Any quality basketball shoe will be good enough to play in. In general, there are three parts of a shoe that determine how well it can perform on the court: the upper, the midsole, and the outsole. Each part needs to fit your needs and style in order to help you play your best game.
As the name suggests, this is the upper portion of a basketball shoe that covers your foot. The most important part of the upper for basketball is the height of the ankle collar. As mentioned earlier there are three different cuts that offer different qualities that can help your game. When looking for the best basketball shoes to hoop in, you should first consider the cut of the upper.
Here, the ankle collar wraps around your ankle ending above the ankle bone. This gives you extra support and stability while playing to prevent ankle rolls and similar injuries. They’re heavier than other shoes and may slow you down, but if you’re an aggressive player this might be a good tradeoff since the additional support can be beneficial during a game. High-tops also limit your ankle flexibility and range of motion since the high ankle collar encompasses your whole ankle.
These shoes come up as high as your ankle bone to give you a good amount of support with less weight and more mobility. If you’re looking for some support without losing flexibility and speed on the court, this cut is the best one for you.
If you’re a guard who relies on speed, mobility, and agility a low-top basketball shoe is your best bet. It is lighter than the other options and will give you the most flexibility since the collar ends below the ankle bone. Obviously, there is little to no ankle support here but these designs usually have other features like interlocking laces or cage designs in the upper that hold your foot in place for better support and stability.
After deciding on the cut, you should look for the best materials. There are soft uppers that use woven fabrics for the best flexibility, mobility, and breathability as well as hard uppers that are usually made from synthetic materials like rubber or leather which are more durable and quite supportive. Of course, for players looking for the best of both worlds, there are some shoes that use both hard and soft materials to create a fully functional shoe with the qualities of each material.
Here, consider your own needs and pick a material or combination of materials that will work best for you. For example, if your feet tend to get hot while playing, you’ll want a soft upper for good ventilation. However, if you’re an aggressive player who may be getting their shoes stepped on while fighting for a shot, a hard upper will do you better.
The last part of the upper you need to consider is how the shoe fastens. Laces are still the most popular option as they don’t add much weight to the shoe and are simple enough to use. However, thanks mainly to Lebron James lace-free shoes are available. These fasten with adjustable straps instead of laces. Other less popular fasteners are zippers and hook-and-loop closures. All of these options provide good support that some think is better than laces that come loose during a game but the added weight make them unnecessary in a lot of players’ minds.
This is where the cushions or padding is in the shoe. In general, the midsole of a shoe is made of foam, compressed foam, polyurethane, or some kind of combination of these materials. While cushioning can add some weight to the shoe, it’s important for the comfort and shock absorption it provides. Ethylene-vinyl acetate foam (EVA foam) is the lightest option that won’t cause lag while you’re moving up and down the court. Popular brands use patented cushioning technologies to make well-rounded shoes that are comfortable, responsive, and lightweight.
This is the bottom of the shoe and is probably the part you’ll want to pay attention to the most as a guard. The outsole is what keeps you from slipping and sliding on the court while you cut and pivot. The sole should be durable and feature a multi-dimensional tread pattern that will allow you to move in any direction without losing your balance. Here, herringbone patterns or hexagonal patterns work well. You should also look for treads that have deep grooves and feel sticky on the ground.
All of these factors combined along with your personal needs and preferences will create the best basketball shoe to hoop in no matter your skill level or the type of court you play on.
Basketball Shoes with the Best Traction
By now you know how important traction is when looking for a good shoe, but to find the best shoes it’s best to try to understand what creates good traction. You should check the treads of your shoes to see if they meet the criteria for providing good traction.
Believe it or not, dust and debris are what make the bottom of your shoes slippery. This is why you’ll see professional basketball players wiping off their soles periodically. By choosing soles that won’t accumulate dust and debris easily you can ensure better traction during your games. First, generally speaking, solid rubber colorways seem to attract less dust than translucent colorways. Second, the grooves of the tread should be deep and wide so they don’t trap dust and debris quickly which can make them feel slippery on an indoor court. The deep grooves will ensure that the rubber of the sole will make contact with the court instead of the dust and debris doing so.
You should then look at the actual tread pattern on the outsole. Herringbone and hexagonal patterns are the most beneficial but there are so many different patterns used on these shoes it’s hard to pinpoint which one is the best.
Here, look for a multi-directional pattern that has grooves in all directions. This will keep you planted to the floor no matter how you move. This makes cutting and pivoting easier and more secure for guards.
The best basketball shoes for guards should allow you to run quickly, change directions suddenly, stop precisely, and feel comfortable. They should also support your ankles and feet to help prevent injuries while also fitting your personal style. Use the shoes reviewed here to find your next pair or use their reviews as a jumping off point for your own search. If you keep all of the necessary features in mind along with your personal needs and preferences, finding the best basketball shoes for guards should be easy.