Basketball is an incredible sport to play… as long as you have the right shoes. Bad shoes make for a terrible experience. We’re here to show you our research on the best basketball shoes of 2017 thus far. These are the top performers in traction, cushion, fit and support. Technology is always changing and improving for shoes, so let’s dive in and see which perform the best right now. Here is our top 7 list of 2017:
- 0.1 The Best Basketball Shoes of 2017 (So Far) Reviews
- 0.2 1. Adidas D Rose 7 Review
- 0.3 2. Adidas Crazy Explosive Review
- 0.4 3. Under Armour Curry 3 Review
- 0.5 4. Adidas Dame 3 Review
- 0.6 5. Nike LeBron Ambassador 9 Review
- 0.7 6. Adidas CrazyLight 2016 Review
- 0.8 7. Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Review
- 0.9 8. Adidas Harden Vol 1 Review
- 0.10 9. Nike Air Max Infuriate Review
- 0.11 10. Adidas Crazy Hustle Review
- 1 Final Thoughts
The Best Basketball Shoes of 2017 (So Far) Reviews
- Legendary traction
- Legendary cushion
- Excellent Fit
- Excellent Support
- Not much
Our top 2 spots in the great debate of best basketball shoes of 2017 are nearly neck-in-neck. Funny enough, they’re both Adidas shoes which is pretty surprising. In fact, 3 of the top 5 shoes are the Three Stripes which is mind blowing. Clearly, Adidas values performance in their shoes and they’re absolutely killing it in the early parts of 2017.
Traction is absolutely legendary:
The D Rose lineup has always had fantastic traction. The newest Rose 7 is no exception. With a unique wavy stripe pattern, these shoes just stick. All the time. They even perform well on difficult courts. Although the Rose 7 shoes aren’t made for outdoors, these shoes would be the most likely candidates to survive some outdoor ball. If you want top quality traction on the market, get a Rose shoe.
Cushion is insanely legendary:
Adidas completely changed their game when they invented Boost technology for shoe cushion. It completely saved their company when their shoe sales were plummeting. Here with the Rose 7, we have full length Boost that is incredible. It’s the firmer version of Boost which we love (but there are options for people who want a “bounce”), and it is perfect for responsiveness. The Boost is perfect for impact protection too.
Fit and Support are rock solid:
The Rose 7 shoes run a little narrow compared to previous models. These shoes won’t make our list of great wide foot shoes, but they aren’t terrible. They’re just snug. The run true to length so get your usual size. Support is absolutely locked-in. The wide base and torsional support bar definitely keep your foot and ankle lined up correctly. The entire support system just works. Period.
The shoe has no weaknesses:
There’s really no negatives about the shoe. It’s more personal preference. For people needing wider shoes, these may not be for you. For people who love the mesh style (Primeknit), you’ll have to pay a little more to get that. Otherwise, there’s truly nothing bad about these shoes. You can even wear an ankle brace with them!
Check out the D Rose 7 shoes here on Amazon.
- Excellent traction
- Legendary cushion
- Fit and Support are strong
- Primeknit is good for wide feet
- Primeknit is more expensive
Like we mentioned, Adidas is both the 1 and 2 spots here on our list. The Crazy Explosive shoe is worn by Andrew Wiggins and he’s clearly having some success with them. These shoes are a fantastic blend for big and small players. You can play quick and fast, but also strong and powerful in these shoes.
Traction is excellent, but not legendary:
The traction on the Crazy Explosives is definitely great. Top tier great, but not legendary like the Rose 7s. Trust us though, it’s more than capable of handling your toughest games. The coral-reef-like pattern is very unique, but works extremely well. It just might require some wiping occasionally on dusty courts. We’d still put it top 5 in the shoes of 2017 for traction thus far.
Cushion is legendary. Period:
So once again, Adidas delivers on the Boost technology and wow it’s incredible. This is where the Crazy Explosive shoes tops every other shoe on our list. It has the absolute best cushion on the market to date. It’s comfortable and also secure. It’s plushy and also responsive. It’s like a pillow but also pops you around like a rocket. No other way to explain it. Adidas truly has mastered the cushion game here.
Fit and Support are surprisingly good:
When you look at the Crazy Explosive, you don’t expect it to fit well or to be very supportive. It definitely proves otherwise. The inner booty completely locks your foot in place and even has flexibility to include an ankle brace if necessary. They fit true to size in both width and length, and the Primeknit versions make a good option for wide footers. Support is another surprising feature because there’s only 4 lace loops. But Adidas placed them perfectly to give complete structure to the shoe and keep your ankle locked in place. Definitely exceeded our expectations.
Downside is Primeknit are more expensive:
So the Primeknit (mesh) version of the shoes run a few dollars more. That’s because the technology in that mesh design is more expensive to manufacture. Also, the Primeknit version will take a game to mold to your foot. The good thing about mesh shoes is they form fit nicely. But the downside is that it takes time to form that mold. So be prepared to work with them for a game before giving up.
Check out the Adidas Crazy Explosives here on Amazon.
- Legendary traction
- Solid cushion
- Solid support
- Solid fit
- Cushion is firm and not bouncy
The Steph Curry wave of craziness had calmed down in 2017. He hasn’t been quite as explosive as his back-to-back MVP seasons, but his shoe sales are still going strong. Under Armour put a ton of effort into his signature lineup, and it pays off in great performance.
Traction is still legendary:
Most of the Steph Curry lineup of shoes has had fantastic traction. The Curry 3 falls right in line with that. The multi-directional herringbone pattern is a stable design that is set up perfectly on the Curry’s. The new rubber compound used for the traction though has more grip than the previous Curry shoes which makes the overall experience better. This rubber is a bit tougher than most so the Curry 3 shoes could be used outdoors if needed.
Support and Fit are definitely solid:
The Curry 3 fits true to size for most people, but there have been reports of both small and long fits (as weird as that sounds). But for the most part, order your normal size and everything will be fine. The lockdown from the laces is excellent here by using a slightly asymmetrical lacing system. It is combined with all the usual support features (heel counter, midsole sculpts, torsional shank, etc.) that we love and expect. As long as you get the right size, support is very good here for your ankles.
Cushion is solid, but stiff:
Full length Charged foam is used here from Under Armour. It’s designed to give a little more “court feel” and sacrifice a little impact protection. This is ideal for smaller guards who love playing fast, but it will be a little harder on the knees of bigger players. It’s a good cushion, but we’ve always like Under Armour’s creation of Micro G for cushion. Apparently, Steph doesn’t like the feel of Micro G which is why we won’t see it in his lineup anymore.
Check out the Curry 3s here on Amazon.
- Legendary traction
- Excellent cushion
- Solid fit and support
- Great price
- Colors are limited
The Dame 3 shoes have already been featured here on our low top shoes list. It was a top ranking shoe there so it’s no surprise it makes the best 2017 shoes list. Adidas is really putting up great designs in both look and performance. The Dame 3 is just one more excellent addition to a fantastic Adidas lineup in 2017.
Traction is legendary… again:
The Lillard 2 shoes had incredible traction, and Adidas kept up the pace here with Dame 3. A unique blade design is a very surprising contender for best traction ever. It’s rubber compound is very soft which makes it insanely great indoors, but a poor outdoor shoe. So be wary of bringing these to the streets. Otherwise, the Dame 3 shoes just stick. All the time. And you’ll love it!
Cushion rocks as usual for Adidas:
Adidas created Boost for the D Rose lineup (for people who like most plushy cushion), and they created the sister version called Bounce (for people who like firmer and responsive cushion). Dame 3s use the Bounce technology and it’s done very well. It still provides enough impact protection that you’re feet and knees won’t hurt, but it’s still not the bouncy as we’d like. But if you value court feel and a low riding shoe this is a top choice.
Support and Fit are solid:
The fit truly is great here on the Dame 3. Looking at the picture, you can see all the little holes near the laces that can be used to lace the shoe however you prefer. Customization is great since everyone’s feet are a little different. Once you have the laces done right, the shoe supports your ankle perfectly and locks you in completely. It really comes down to lacing here. It has the exaggerated heel counter and the torsional bar necessary, but get the laces wrong and you’re screwed. Take time and figure that out.
Not much downside….except color:
It’s hard to find many negatives here with the Dame 3 shoes. Obviously, it you don’t like low top shoes, there aren’t for you. But that’s a personal decision. If you love low top shoes, Dame 3s are top notch. The color choices are a little limited right now since the shoes are pretty new. Hopefully, that changes soon and you can get any color style you want. We will see.
Check out the Adidas Dame 3s here on Amazon.
- Legendary traction
- Excellent fit
- Great support
- Good cushion
- Cushion on heel lacks slightly
Nike finally makes an appearance on our list with the LeBron Ambassador 9. No surprise it’s a LeBron shoe on our list, but it is surprising that it’s not LeBron’s signature shoe. Last year’s model of the signature LeBron shoe was great and probably the most well-rounded shoe. That’s funny since most people call LeBron the best-all-around-player-ever too. Anyway, the Ambassador has tons of great features for performance.
Traction is legendary using a unique pattern:
If you’re noticing a trend, most top performing shoes on our list have “legendary” traction. Basically, it means these shoes hold up indoors without any issues. Ever. Traction is such an important part of the game that we’re happy to see shoes take this as a priority. The Ambassadors also bring their diamond-pocket-herringbone pattern to the mix. It’s an odd looking design, but it delivers perfectly on the court.
Fit and Support are excellent:
Not much to say except the fit is fantastic. The Flywire technology is Nike’s mesh version and it’s used beautifully on the Ambassadors. It adapts to your foot nicely and you’ll feel a glove like fit, even if you have wider feet. Stay true to your normal size and you’re all set. Support comes from the great fit combined with normal support pieces we see all over. Torsional bar and wider midfoot areas help balance the shoe so you always feel solid.
Cushion is good, but has been better:
Let’s set it straight, the overall experience on the cushion is better on the 9s than on last year’s model. Nike put Zoom cushion in both the heel and forefoot which is amazing. The flow isn’t perfect between them and you may notice a little clunky movement at first. That should break in though. It’s the heel Zoom pocket that we have issues with. It’s noticeably smaller than last year’s model and it shouldn’t be. That pocket was great impact protection and it should have stayed that size. It’s no deal breaker, just being picky on something that was great and is now just good.
Check out the LeBron Ambassador 9s here on Amazon.
- Legendary traction
- Excellent cushion
- Good fit and support
- Only comes as low top
- Not a pretty shoe
Another entry for Adidas on our list. You’d think we had a crush on Adidas, but it’s just a perfect storm of Nike and Jordan shoes being under-whelming this year and Adidas finally putting all the pieces together. Based on how well these shoes performed, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more players jump ship over to the three stripes given some of these great shoes.
Traction is legendary again for Adidas:
Like they say… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The CrazyLight Boost shoes from Adidas just works. Most of the shoes on this list can contend for top 10 of best traction ever in a basketball shoe. But these CrazyLight shoes would be clearly in the top 5. It has a simple pattern, but what truly makes the traction insane is the dual rubber compound outside and inside. It molds with your movement to give the correct grip on the floor no matter which way you pivot.
Cushion is another near perfect feature here:
This shoe was the first shoe Adidas put full length Boost in as the cushion system. Wow was it worth the wait! The perfect combination between impact protection and positive responsiveness. The full length Boost works smoothly in transition and you never feel clunky. This would definitely qualify as a top 10 cushion set up of all time in a basketball shoe.
Fit and Support are great:
The Crazylight shoes do fit a little snug in the forefoot, so it’s not ideal for wide foot players. Outside of that, everything else fits like a glove. The heel counter really locks your heel in place so you never notice anything. The snug-like forefoot hugs your foot perfectly and the lockdown with the laces is great. The support starts with the Boost being full-length. Combine that with standard TPU shanks, torsional bars and a heel counter and you’re set to go. For a low top shoe, the support is really good here.
Only downside is it’s only in low top and has ugly colors:
In no way should this stop you from buying the shoes, because this is really just nit-picky. Honestly, the performance features are top notch so you’d be a fool to let these reasons stop you. The color choices are awkward at best, but if you like that then cool. Most people don’t realize that low top shoes can provide great ankle support just like high tops. These shoes showcase that, but still some people prefer mid-top designs. Otherwise, these shoes are fantastic.
Check out the Adidas CrazyLight Boosts here on Amazon.
- Solid traction
- Solid cushion
- Good support and fit
- Nothing excellent about this shoe
These next two shoes are basically neck-in-neck. We just put the Hyperdunk ahead of the Harden shoe because we felt bad that Adidas was destroying everyone on this list. The Hyperdunk is more of a mid-top shoe whereas the Harden is another low-top. We already have a few low-top shoes on this list so it seemed reasonably fair to spread the love a little and give Nike some props.
Traction is solid, but not extraordinary:
It’s the first shoe on our list that doesn’t blow our minds with traction. The Hyperdunk still delivers great traction that will hold up better than most shoes, but the others on our list are just incredible. These are just solid traction that you can rely on consistently. Nike goes with the blade pattern on these shoes with open pockets of Zoom cushion for aesthetics. They definitely are not good outdoors, so don’t try. The rubber compound is too soft to last outside, but will work great indoors.
Cushion is solid again, though not the best Nike’s ever done:
Nike really resurrected the Zoom cushion system back in mid-2016 with these Hyperdunk shoes. Before this, Zoom cushion was not seen often even though it has great potential. The Hyperdunk brings back most of the good aspects of Zoom with impact protection and good responsiveness. The Zoom never sags like some Phylon cushion systems can, but it isn’t the best setup Nike has done with Zoom. That belongs to the most recent KD 9 shoes. Nike nearly perfected Zoom on those KDs, but it’s still good here.
Fit and support are strong like usual for Hyperdunk shoes:
If you’ve had Hyperdunk shoes in the past, you’ll know Nike has always gotten these two features right here. Although not “best-in-class” features, still reliable and comfortable like a shoe should be. The Flywire mesh combines well with the tongue wrap to really give a tight lace-up on these shoes. And the standard support features like shanks and heel counters are here. What is nice about the design is the disconnected ankle collar. This means the ankle collar only looks like a high-top, but it laces up just like a low-top. This gives extra flexibility for the shoe to move with your joints. A clever design that also plays well for ankle braces.
No major complaints, the shoe just doesn’t shine in any area:
If you want a solid and reliable shoe in every category, you can’t go wrong with these Hyperdunks. They just don’t have anything special about them. Our previous shoes listed at least had one aspect (traction) where they excelled. The Hyperdunks lack that, but nothing truly is bad on the shoe. It’s a personal decision.
Check out the Nike Hyperdunk 2016s here on Amazon.
Now we’re going to do some shorter reviews on the shoes that almost made the list. These are still solid shoes, but not quite the tip of the top. First (and #8 on the list) is the new Harden 1s from Adidas. To be honest, there’s no difference between the performance of these shoes and the Hyperdunks above. We just wanted Nike to have some decency.
The Harden’s perform well in all major categories, but like the Hyperdunks, they lack any killer features. Unless you count their appearance, which really is killer! They’ve got solid traction, good Boost cushion, good fit and support. It’s a standard shoe that people will love. So if you like Harden, or play like him, these shoes will rock for you. Especially, if you’re a stutter step type player. That’s Harden’s game and the traction on these shoes was built specifically for lots of stutter steps.
The Harden’s were also featured on our low top list here.
Check out the Adidas Harden Vol 1s here on Amazon.
This shoe made our low top list and our top shoes under $100 list so it’s a solid choice. But it definitely has a drawback since it comes so cheap. It’s got incredible traction though. Traction is near legendary here with a combo pattern of diamond and herringbone. Combine traction with near perfect fit and most things scream excellent budget shoe here. It’s just barely narrower than you’d expect, but that seems to be a strength here. Support is also solid for a low top shoe.
The biggest drawback here is cushion. And it’s noticeable. The shoes ride insanely low and there’s just not enough cushion to really help you. Nike used the Air Max cushion design and it’s just not perfect for this setup. It’s nowhere near terrible for cushion, but it just falls so short compared to others here.
Check out the Nike Air Max Infuriate on Amazon.
Of course Adidas would round out the list being both the top and bottom. Thankfully, the Crazy Hustle shoes are another budget model that still made our list. That’s impressive! The Crazy Hustle shoes are another example of a solid-in-every-category shoe. They just also don’t excel in any category.
Do they have good traction? Yes. Do they have good cushion with Bounce? Yes. Do they fit well? Yes. The Crazy Hustle are solid in every category. But they won’t be good outdoors due to the tacky rubber compound on the base. Overall though, you’ll like them at the price point.
Check out the Adidas Crazy Hustles here on Amazon.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the best basketball shoes in 2017 thus far. It’s still early in the year, so we hope to see a ton more additions to this list soon. In the meantime, feel free to drop a comment of your favorite pair to date! Play hard and play tough!