Whether you play small or big, we’ve got the best basketball shoes for guards and wings here. These are the top 5 on the market today in 2016. You will have no doubt putting these shoes on. You’ll be geared up to play at your max in no time. So without further ado —
- 1 Top 5 Best Basketball Shoes For Guards & Wings
- 2 Top 5 Guard Shoe Reviews
- 3 What Makes A Great Basketball Shoe For Guards
- 4 It’s Up To You
Top 5 Best Basketball Shoes For Guards & Wings
Our Top Choice
D Lillard 2
Point Guard Shoe
Best Value Overall
D Rose 6
Not Best Fitting
Top 5 Guard Shoe Reviews
Our Top Choice: Jordan Melo M11
Traction: (4.75 / 5) Cushion: (5 / 5) Support: (4.5 / 5) Fit: (4.75 / 5)
For those who know the Jordan brand well, this will come as no surprise to be ranked #1 for the best basketball shoes for guards. The company was built by the greatest shooting guard of all time in Michael Jordan, and he seems to know what he’s doing when it comes to quality shoes.
Here’s where the M11 shoes excel over all others: proper cushion for your feet. Period. The Jordan brand has developed an amazing technology called Unlocked Zoom that is just dominating the market. It makes your foot feel like it’s landing on a pillow and also springing forward like a crouched tiger. It’s tough to explain, but I hope that makes sense. Seriously, if you are a guard who cuts hard and often, the cushion is so important to minimize foot fatigue.
Every other main area of concern in guard shoes are at least equal in the Melo M11 shoes. The traction is definitely top notch and you wont’ slide anywhere. Be cautious of dusty floors though. The rubber technology in these M11 shoes works fantastic on clean floors but will need a swipe on dirty ones. They fit nicely to size so you can stick with your normal shoe size. They lockdown your foot pretty darn good when you lace them up right. And they give your foot support in all the right places. You’ll feel secure in these bad boys.
Overall, the Jordan brand continues to dominate the “performance” category when it comes to shoes. And surprisingly, these actually come in at a reasonable price. That shocked us the most! So you can see more reviews and pricing here.
All – Around Stud: Nike LeBron 13
Traction: (4.75 / 5) Cushion: (4.75 / 5) Support: (4.75 / 5) Fit: (4.5 / 5)
The LeBron shoe line from Nike has had some up-and-down times. When they first launched, the LeBron shoes were a bargain value for a great performance shoe. Somewhere along the way, they got caught up in the glitz and glamour and lost their stronghold among the top performers. The LeBron 13’s definitely bring it back to the top of the list.
It’s simply a strong shoe in every relevant category for guards. That’s really it. It’s got really good traction with a phenomenal design of the hex pods. They were kind of a bust on the previous 12’s, but it’s all been fixed and now they stick like glue.
The cushion is also a big improvement on the last model as they’ve adjusted where those sweet “Hex-Zoom” pads are. Now you can feel them in all the perfect areas on your foot. It is such an improvement over the 12’s style that it deserves recognition. Support has always been a strong suit of LeBron shoes and these are no different.
The only possible complaint is there is a tiny bit of dead space at the front of your toes. For most people this will go unnoticed, but it might be an issue for some. However, given the higher price tag, we felt the M11’s were just a slightly better value than the LeBron 13’s. But in fairness, you can go either way and be extremely satisfied.
You can see more reviews and pricing for LeBron 13’s here.
Best Basketball Shoes For Point Guards: Lillard 2
Traction: (4.5 / 5) Cushion: (4.75 / 5) Support: (4.75 / 5) Fit: (4.75 / 5)
If you’re looking for the best point guard basketball shoes, look no further than these new Lillard 2 shoes. They are absolutely one of the best shoes in 2016, but work extremely well for guards.
These Lillard 2 shoes are just a huge step up from the original version which is why it makes our list. These shoes excel in a few key areas including cushion, support and fit. The cushion is the new Adidas design of Bounce cushion which you can actually feel when you wear these shoes. It protects your foot on the court while never slowing you down.
The support and fit are two other key areas that the Lillard’s do well. Some people have claimed they shoes feel slightly long, but it was never an issue for the reviewers. The lacing lockdown is a masterful design which secures your foot so well it’s crazy. That makes the support feel so great. It may look a little bulky, but it is light and flexible so you never feel overwhelmed.
These Lillard 2 shoes only had a minor drawback that some commented on, and that was traction on a dusty court. On clean courts, these shoes have amazing traction. But if you happen to play on poor quality courts, you’ll need to wipe occasionally. That definitely didn’t detract from these shoes enough for us as it still definitely gets a spot on the best basketball shoes for guards list.
The last great point about these shoes is the great price point. They are much more affordable than other elite shoes but with similar performance. You can see more reviews and pricing here.
Best Value Shoe: KB Mentality 2
Traction: (5 / 5) Cushion: (4.75 / 5) Support: (4.25 / 5) Fit: (4.75 / 5)
If you need a good value shoe, look no further than the KB Mentality 2. It’s a fantastic price for really good performance that if you’re on a budget, these are your choice.
What these shoes excel at are crucial for guards. First is traction. These shoes literally have the best traction on the market, hands down. That’s crazy considering how cheap they are compared to others on this list. They use a unique traction pattern mixed with a great rubber compound. It’s amazing. Seriously.
The cushion and fit are also very great. They have a full length Lunarion which provides excellent cushion for quick cutting guards. They fit nicely and snugly around your foot. Be aware that some have claimed they run too small and you might need to go up 1/2 size. If you enjoy feeling snugly fit in your shoes, get your normal size. If you enjoy some extra space, go up a bit.
The only area some have commented on is the somewhat lack of support. It’s not necessarily bad, it’s just not as good as some of these other shoes on the list. So if you need fantastic support, this may not be the shoe for you. If you are alright with good support, these are just fine.
You can see more reviews and pricing for these Mentality 2 shoes here.
Tie For 5th Place: D Rose 6 and Curry 2
|Rose Traction:||(5 / 5)|
|Rose Cushion:||(5 / 5)|
|Rose Support:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Rose Fit:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Curry Traction:||(5 / 5)|
|Curry Cushion:||(4.25 / 5)|
|Curry Support:||(4.75 / 5)|
|Curry Fit:||(4.75 / 5)|
We had a very hard time rounding off the top 5 as two (and almost 3) shoes so we just decided to rank them together. The Adidas D Rose 6 and the Curry 2 are so close in their specs that it truly is a wash between the two. Basically it’ll come down to your personal preference between brands.
The first thing that both shoes do exceptionally well is traction. Each shoe uses their own unique pattern (Curry uses a star-like pattern and Rose uses a more traditional herringbone) but they both work exceptionally well. The rubber on the bottom of each shoe was spaced properly to grip very tight on just about every surface. Either way, you definitely won’t slip in these puppies. And it makes sense since both Steph Curry and Derrick Rose rely heavily on quick cuts to maneuver on the court. So traction is crucial to them.
The slight difference in the shoes come in cushion and support. The D Rose shoes have outstanding cushion. Adidas is doing some great work with Boost cushion. They respond incredibly well to the pounding of your foot on the court. These shoes absorb the impact and make your foot feel like it’s jumping on clouds. Seriously. It may be the best cushion of any basketball shoe ever. The Curry shoes do cushion pretty well, and much better than competing shoes, but not quite as phenomenal as the D Rose shoes. Great cushion, but not in the realm of “best ever” cushion.
The fit is where the Curry 2 takes over though. These shoes truly lock down your foot tight and secure. What makes the Curry 2 fit so nicely is the material selection and the unique forefront design. The shoe has a slightly more square toed approach to allow your toes to expand naturally. That makes the shoes feel more natural and comfortable. And the materials definitely mold to your foot giving you an almost custom feel. The Rose shoes fit nicely and you won’t be lacking any support, but they weren’t quite as good as the Curry shoes.
Like we said, you could go either way with these shoes and get fantastic performance. And they sell for nearly the exact same price. So it honestly comes down to preference. Do you want to go with Curry or Rose? Who wins your bet?
What Makes A Great Basketball Shoe For Guards
To understand what makes the best basketball shoes for guards, we have to look at how guards play. Most guards are quick, agile, change directions frequently, and change speed frequently. That isn’t everyone, but that’s most. So that means the most important areas of focus are: Traction, Cushion and Support since those directly impact everything a guard does on the court.
Traction: You definitely need a shoe that sticks. Nothing is more irritating than sliding all around the court while you’re trying to play. That’s definitely true as a guard because you typically rely on speed and agility to play effectively. All of these shoes have either great or outstanding traction so you won’t need to worry. In the old days, the traditional herringbone pattern reigned supreme as the best traction style on shoes. Now, things have changed by adding new styles to the top. The herringbone style is still top notch, but it’s also joined by a few other designs on this list that get the job done. Just remember that super dusty floors can’t be handled by any shoe, so wipe the floor if you have to.
Cushion: Not many things hurt more than your foot landing squarely on the floor with no cushion. And you definitely feel it when playing in crappy basketball shoes. It hurts when you jump, it hurts when you cut, and your feet just plain hurt after playing. Good cushion makes that all go away. Thankfully, several of these shoes have “possibly best ever” cushion ratings.The others have excellent ratings also, so your feet will always feel pampered.
What’s amazing is the very different strategies from the major players. Adidas uses their patented Boost technology, Under Armour has Charged Foam and Nike has Zoom.
Support: No one likes seeing a player get injured. Shoe support is a key player in keeping players safe from ankle injuries (which are one of the top 2 basketball injuries). Locking your foot in while you run and cut at high speeds is what a proper shoe needs. This list of best basketball shoes for guards has just that. They all lace extremely well, fit nearly to perfection, and will lock you in comfortably.
It’s Up To You
So you’ve seen our list of best basketball shoes for guards, so what’s your choice? Do you have another one you absolutely love? Or have you tried these and agree with us? We are not experts, but do believe we understand what guards want from quality performing shoes. Feel free to do you own research and check out some other pages here.