In the 21st century, more and more people are becoming interested in sports. Basketball is no exception, whether you play for competition, fun, or as a way of staying fit.
For kids, this sport is one of the best ways to keep them occupied while teaching them some amazing life values. Teamwork, responsibility, work ethics, and leadership. All of this can be acquired by playing basketball.
As a youth coach, teaching them this beautiful game is an everyday fulfillment. Playing a team sport from a young age is essential to any kid’s well-being and growth.
However, for them to enjoy themselves, they need to have proper basketball shoes. In my many years of coaching, I have gotten to learn a thing or two about what makes good basketball shoes for kids.
This article is tailored to help you pick the absolute best. I have done extensive research over the past couple of months and selected 5 of the best shoes on the market. Let’s dig in!
Adidas Originals Kids' Pro Spark 2018 K - Best Kids Basketball Shoes
The Adidas Pro Spark 2018 will leave a mark on the court. If you want your kid to enjoy himself to the fullest, these are must-have shoes. This model is fitted with Cloudfoam, providing the right amount of responsiveness to your feet. The insoles are made of environmentally friendly Ortholite, ensuring comfortability and responsive reflexes while on the move.
As a coach, I believe traction is one of the most important assets of a shoe. These Spark 2018 feature rubber outsoles providing the perfect balance between flexibility and support. The combination of the mesh upper and textile improves the comfort level and breathability of your shoe. The upper section of the shoes is made of synthetic overlay lines with computed stitching on both sides, enhancing the durability of the Pro Spark 2018.
The tonal design of the shoe, coupled with Adidas’ famous 3-stripes make these absolutely gorgeous. Its collar areas have soft grooves, giving your shoe an original look. These Adidas Pro Spark 2018 come with a wide variety of color options that will perfectly complement any of your outfits. One really cool thing about these shoes is the lace-up closure system. It makes it super easy to change how loose or tight you want your shoes to be throughout the game.
- The synthetic overlays and stitching enhances its overall durability
- Lightweight and breathable
- One of the most stylish options available
- Water tends to seep through especially on the upper section
Under Armour Kids Jet 2019 - Best Budget Shoes
- Mesh & textile upper combination for breathability...
- Molded heel construction with engineered...
- TPU film toe cap for added protection & durability
- Die cut EVA sockliner provides underfoot...
- Compression molded EVA midsole delivers a...
If you are looking for affordable basketball shoes for your kids, Under Armour Jet 2019 is the perfect option. These shoes are primarily made of synthetic, which makes them sturdy and durable.
Under Armour’s high-end textile, coupled with the mesh material, improves the ventilation and support of the shoe. This allows better stability, while also actively fighting odor-causing bacteria.
One of my favorite features is its molded heel with perforations that favors ventilation. Who wants to play while their feet are wet and smelly? The Under Armour jet 2019, provides amazing comfort and freedom while playing.
Its toe caps have been fitted with TPU film, which ensures greater foot protection at all times. Not to mention that these toe caps enhance the durability and strength of your shoes. Talk about value for your money right?
The jet 2019’s sock liner is made of Die-cut EVA. This allows both soft underfoot cushioning, and shock absorbing. A perfect shoe that provides full support, and care for your feet.
Among the other exciting features is the compressed midsole with molded EVA. As a result, the shoe is super light. Perfect for quick running around the court. It also boasts quick responses and reflexes, fully adapting to the movement of your feet.
These bad boys pack one hell of a punch. As a basketball coach, I always emphasize how crucial the grip is (to avoid injuries). These Under Armour jet 2019 offer just that with their rubber soles.
- Provides utmost comfort
- Rubber soles to prevent injuries
- Anti-odor tech preventing the development of odor-causing bacteria
- Great value for money
- Some children have complained it’s too chunky
Nike Kids' Team Hustle D8 - The Most Stylish Basketball Shoes for Kids
- Leather upper provides durable support.
- Midfoot hook-and-loop strap locks down a secure...
- Lightweight foam midsole offers flexible...
- Thin rubber outsole provides traction.
Nike’s hustle D8 will take your kid’s game and style to a whole new level. Nothing will make him feel like a pro on the court like these shoes can.
These hustle B8 are regarded as one of the best kid’s high top basketball shoes. It’s fitted with a wide Velcro strap that ensures feet are locked-in. This feature is especially cool for weak ankles as it secures your feet throughout the game.
The shoe boasts a lace-up closure system that has a single thick hook-and-loop. Nothing better than knowing your feet are safely strapped, allowing you to move around quickly without risking an injury.
The combination of synthetic uppers and mesh material enhances the durability and breathability of these shoes. Very comfy, thanks to the cushioned insole, the EVA sock liner, also protects your feet from shocks and impacts.
Amongst its best features is the perforated toe box, which improves the ventilation and breathability of the shoe.
When it comes to functionality, the Nike Hustle D8 ticks all the right boxes. It has a hi-top silhouette that provides extra flexibility and support to your feet as you twist and turn on the court.
As a coach, I believe that kids play with more confidence when they feel good about their outfits. That’s why style is not something to neglect in your decision making. These great looking shoes are a guaranteed slam dunk!
- Designed with heel support
- Great traction provided
- Enhanced breathability
- Flexible cushioning
- Some kids have complained it’s not as breathable as advertised
- Wears out rather fast
Nike Kids Lebron XV - Best Basketball Shoes for Kids for Jumping
These Nike Kids Lebron XV provide one hell of a performance. This model is a pioneer in its own way. A combination of Air Max and Zoom in the inner midsole provides an intricate balance of impact protection as well as responsiveness.
The Zoom cushioning design makes this model very lightweight. It’s also fitted with a pressurized air unit covered with stretchable fibers. Want a springy feel and extra bounce in your step? These are your go-to shoes then.
The cushioning is filled with air, which makes it able to absorb shocks efficiently for the ultimate impact protection. These Lebron XV have Flywire cables wrapped around the midfoot, ensuring adaptiveness on every surface.
The upper section of the shoe is made from high-quality and innovative FlyKnit fabric. Very stretchable, this makes the shoe rather comfy and durable. The inside of the shoe is lined with thick foam for improved comfort while playing.
Midfoot shanks between the outsole and insole also improve stability, providing awesome all-around protection for your kids.
Underneath these Lebron XV, you’ll find a great traction design. A spiked and triangular pattern improving linear forward movements. Spikes also appear on the outsole rubber, providing a firmer grip on any court surface.
The only drawback with this model: Not suitable for outdoor play. Oh yeah, and they are quite ugly (that’s my candid opinion, you are encouraged to disagree).
- Extremely Lightweight
- The out of the norm design
- Provides superior grip on the court
- Awesome durability
- A bit pricier than the other options
- A bit unstable due to its high ride
Under Armour Kids GS Curry 3ZERO - Most Consistent Basketball Shoes for Kids
These Under Armour Curry 3Zero have a lot of exciting features that are perfect for your kid. Since its release, the shoe has been known for its reliability and consistency.
These shoes have a unique cushioning foam, which absorbs impacts, giving you that extra edge over your opponents. Its charged cushioning gives you quick responses, boosting your directional movement and first-step speed.
Its heels feature meta-wing carbon fiber shanks that provide superior support and cushioning. Say hello to better balance, shock absorption, and protection for your ankles and heels.
The Curry’s 3Zero outsole is made of solid rubber that’s completely covered with a multi-directional herringbone that improves your grip on the court. Additionally, it also enhances the durability of your shoe.
One of my favorite features is the pivot circle design on the outsole. The patented Anafoam design provides body-mapped fit, support, and gives your shoe a lightweight structure. This is all designed towards improving your first and side-step speed.
Additional cushion foams on the ankle collar and counter wraps on the heel give you ultimate stability and support. This shoe has a mid-cut design allowing you to move in every direction and also making it particularly safe for your kids’ ankles.
Its asymmetrical lacing system is great added value and secures quite well the midfoot. The soft padded Anafoam adapts to the shape of the feet, ensuring it fits like a glove.
- Provides excellent traction
- The shoe offers the utmost comfort
- Durable and breathable
- The laces tend to loosen while on play
- Offers less protection than the other models
Jordan Kids' Nike Air 10 Retro Gs - Best Nike Basketball Shoes For Kids
These Jordan Air 10 Retro shoes, specially designed for kids, are simply awesome. Young girls and boys can enjoy, thanks to these shoes, the same level and features grown-up shoes can provide to players.
The thick rubber sole offers great traction on any type of movement for improved reaction time and quickness on the court.
What is Zoom Air technology? Well, it’s primarily designed to improve your kid’s comfort while playing basketball.
This pair of shoes also boasts a stellar level of protection thanks to its high-top design, and its lacing system because nothing’s more important than avoiding injuries.
Traction, cushioning, protection, and a stunning classic look. What else do you need?
- Great cushioning and robust midsole
- High-end materials (leather & mesh)
- Awesome traction provided by the rubber sole
- Good ankle support
- Not the most breathable option
- Insole’s quality could be improved
The Ultimate Buying Guide
Purchasing the right basketball shoes for kids is essential as it will ultimately influence how they play. As parents, there are various things that you should always consider, such as skill level, price, the position of the player, cushioning level, or even style just to mention a few.
Parents usually come up to me and ask, “What features should we always look for?” and my answer always remains the same. Buying the right shoes that caters well to your children will make him/her enjoy the game more.
In this section, we are going to compile a list of critical features that you should always look for. The goal is to help you make the best decision by analyzing brands and product features that are on the market. Before delving any deeper, let’s take a quick look at the main components of a basketball shoe.
Main Features Of A Basketball Shoe
Before purchasing any shoe, especially basketball kicks, I always recommend that you first begin by understanding the various aspects of the shoe. Different shoe designs cater to different players and provide different playing performance.
Understanding these various elements will allow you to make a wise and informed decision that will be geared towards the player’s needs and condition. A basketball shoe has three main sections: the outsole, midsole, and insole.
One of the first things that you should always look at is the height of the shoe. Basketball shoes typically have three heights: low, mid, and high. High-top shoes wrap around your ankle boosting support and stability.
High-top is quite popular amongst forwards and centers who have an aggressive style of play as they minimize injuries. Mid-top shoes are perfect for the balance they provide to the ankle; this type is best suited for versatile players.
Low-top shoes are designed for agility and speed. They are perfect for point guards who mainly rely on quickness and their athletic abilities. The only disadvantage is they offer minimal ankle support.
The midsole is typically made of a cushioning section which is an essential part of the shoe. Most midsoles are made of polyurethane, compressed EVA Foam, or ethylene-vinyl acetate.
EVA Foam and compressed EVA are usually more lightweight while polyurethane midsoles tend to be a bit heavier. The midsole is responsible for providing comfort to the end-user.
The outsole is the bottom part of the shoe, the one that comes in contact with the ground. It is mainly made of synthetic or rubber material. I always recommend going for wide outsoles to improve balance.
Most outsoles are designed for the indoor courts. If your child likes to play outdoors more often, it’s advisable to go for thicker outsoles as outdoor concrete courts tend to wear shoes out rather fast.
What should you look for in a basketball shoe?
Materials and durability
The choice of material and durability go hand in hand. The material will determine how durable your shoe will be. Nobody wants to spend money on the so-called “best basketball sneakers for kids” that will only last a few days.
As a coach, I keep a keen eye on how intensively they play and recommend a pair of shoes to their parents based on their skill level and playstyle. Most of the sneakers on the market are lightweight, which makes finding a durable shoe a bit more difficult, but not impossible.
Most brands are made of plastic-based synthetic, but there are plenty of other options. The solid rubber of the Under Armour Curry 3ZERO gives it a big edge in this department over other sneakers.
Without a good fit, your child might as well wear slippers to the game. How hilarious would that be? Most sneaker designs nowadays are narrow and are suited for regular or narrow feet making them perfect for kids
However, for kids with large feet, it can be quite uncomfortable to wear these shoes and you should take extra care when picking a pair. I often recommend parents to buy shoes made out of suede or leather as they stretch and break-in over time, making them best suited for kids with large feet.
The Nike Team Hustle D8 is the clear winner here. It has a mid-strap that will secure your feet, no matter its size.
Most sneakers on the market offer excellent traction but, choosing the one that is suitable for different playing surfaces can be quite tricky. For best comfort and traction, I always recommend going for one with rubber outsoles.
When looking for a brand new pair, always look for these crucial features: pattern, thickness, and softness. All these features will contribute to having a firm grip of your outsole on the court.
Always go for a shoe that is comfortable and breathable. There are two main types of cushions: air-based and foam cushions. The only key difference between the two is the responsiveness.
During my basketball career, I always preferred foam cushions. They are more dependable and will provide ultimate protection to your heel and ankles from impact. The air cushion is more flexible but more fragile.
The Nike Kids Lebron XV Wolf provide the best cushioning. Its combination of Max Air and Zoom technology provides ultimate protection and support to your feet.
Most popular boys’ basketball shoes are usually expensive as they have high-quality features that cater to athletes who use them daily. For kids who play basketball regularly, I recommend going for top tier shoes that have the latest technology. However, if you don’t play more than once a week, you can go for more standard and cheaper sneakers.
For aspiring pro athletes with high skill level, the Adidas Originals Kids’ Pro Spark 2018 K, has the best balance between responsiveness and support.
I always recommend doing proper research and look at various brands to know what a fair price is. The goal is to come up with a budget range and stick to it.
There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a decent pair of basketball shoes for your kid, especially when they grow up so fast. That being said, we don’t want to compromise on quality either. In terms of pricing, the Under Armour Kids Jet 2019 is what will get you the most bang for your buck.
The 4th Quarter
One of the worst things that you can do as a parent is buying your kids a basketball shoe that does not fit or won’t last long.
For many parents, I know selecting the right basketball shoe with all the best features can be a bit tedious as there are plenty of brands. This can be a little bit overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time buyer.
Well, now you can rest easy. We have compiled six of the best kids basketball shoes on the market that will provide your kids with the best support, traction, and comfort.
This ultimate guide will help you make an informed decision that should ultimately make your kid happy.
What is your opinion on these picks? Have you found the one for your kids? If you have a question or an opinion you’d want to share, please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below!