Quickness of feet is essential in basketball, and having huge, heavy shoes only slows you down. Why not look at the lightest basketball shoes? We’ve created a list of the lightest basketball shoes on the planet right now. These are only shoes of the last few years since you’ll have a hard time finding older shoes anymore. These shoes will give you the airy feeling without sacrificing performance, support or style!
- 1 The Top 5 Lightest Basketball Shoes in 2017-2018
- 2 Lightest Basketball Shoes Reviews
The Top 5 Lightest Basketball Shoes in 2017-2018
|Shoe||Weight||Our Rating||See More|
|KB Mentality 2||9.03 oz||(4.8 / 5)||See on Amazon|
|Adidas Crazylight 3||10.3 oz||(4 / 5)||See on Amazon|
|Nike HyperRev||10.7 oz||(4.5 / 5)||See on Amazon|
|UA ClutchFit Drive Low||12 oz||(4.5 / 5)||See on Amazon|
|Nike KD 9||12 oz||(4.3 / 5)||See on Amazon|
Lightest Basketball Shoes Reviews
1. Kobe KB Mentality 2 (9.03 oz) – The Best Lightweight Shoe For Basketball
The Kobe Mentality 2 shoes are the gold standard for lightweight. There’s never been a shoe lighter. The KB’s have even made another list here on Dish 2 Swish with our top shoes for guards here. They have a lot of great features, but do sacrifice in one way to get this ultra lightweight design.
The Mentality has legendary traction:
The KB Mentality 2 shoes are top of the list in terms of traction. Very few shoes are in the elite category of surreal traction, but these KBs belong there. It has a unique traction patter which meshes the standard herringbone with a more modern criss-cross pattern for fantastic grip. It even works well on those dusty floors that don’t get mopped enough. Lightweight and gripping the ground is what KB was made fore.
Cushion is solid, but not knock-your-socks-off:
Cushion is solid here but not elite. It’s enough to make you feel good about the shoe, but doesn’t knock your socks off like the D Rose 6 or Lillard 2. However, you do have the option in the Mentality 2 to easily swap out the cushion insert with your favorite brand. This customization feature is a big benefit in our eyes.
The support is lacking, but not terribly:
Support is where things slack a little on the KB 2. It was designed to be a minimal support system so it lacks a traditional shank plate for torsional support (this helps with the ankle pressure your foot feels changing direction so quickly), but it has a molding midsole that should help. This isn’t a perfect fix and if you have serious ankle issues, you should look into an ankle brace or more supportive shoes.
The price is what really makes these shoes worth considering. For the best lightweight basketball shoe at a great price, the KB Mentality checks nearly every box. You can see more on the KB Mentality here on Amazon.
2. Adidas Adizero Crazylight 3 (10.3 oz)
They’re called “Crazylight” for a reason. Adidas has definitely been turning heads recently with some of their newest shoes. The last model of D Rose shoes was a knock out success and made this list here and here. Same things with the D Lillard 2s last year. Adidas has always taken a backseat to Nike, in both quantity and quality. It sure seems like the quality gap is gone now!
The traction is solid, but not out-of-this-world good:
It’s got good traction using the rubber wavebone pattern. The pattern is fine as it’s worked in other models, but the choice of rubber is where the Crazylight 3 falls a little short. The rubber is a little more pliable and softer than anticipated. It works great on good, clean floors. But throw a little dust in and these shoes have a noticeable drop in performance.
But the cushion takes a hit:
This one is more of a personal preference. The Crazylight 3s have a low-riding cushion pad that does feel pretty soft. The problem is, sometimes it feels too soft and not responsive. Ideally, you want cushion that also responds and bounces back when compressed. That just provides a new world experience and this Crazylight is ALMOST there but not quite. It’s not uncomfortable at all. In fact, I bet at least half of you will love it. I would just prefer a little more spring with the step.
The fit is a little off and the support is a little soft:
The Crazylight 3s for some reason run small in the length. If you border any sizes at all, definitely go up 1/2 size. I like snug fits, but this was too snug at my usual shoe size. The lock-down from the laces is great. The heel meshes in well with the rubber sole and the SprintFrame molds nicely to your foot. But these soft materials slack in the support department. If you have weaker ankles, you’ll want to wear a brace to be safe. You might be fine, but why take the risk?
Overall, for the lightweight features, the Crazylight offer a lot of positive aspects. They aren’t as fantastic as the KB Mentality 2 shoes, but that’s why they rank #2 on our list instead of #1. You can see more about the Crazylight 3s here on Amazon.
3. Nike HyperRev 2015 (10.7 oz)
The Nike HyperRev is an underrated shoe that most people don’t even know about. Everyone is stuck on the latest LeBron’s or the latest Jordan’s while these have quietly been a solid performer. And let’s not forget, they are extremely lightweight!
The traction is good… not great… but solid:
The traction on the HyperRev is good but not great. It’ll get the job done and stick well, but it doesn’t take your breath away with how perfect you stick. It’s a standard herringbone design that runs the full length. Made with a soft rubber, this is a reliable choice to guarantee it won’t fail.
Again the cushion is good…but not great:
Another area of good but not amazing is the cushion. It’s solid, but won’t make you feel like walking on a pillow. It doesn’t need to be that wonderful to do a good job, but it’s a point to be made. The heel has a standard Nike Zoom feature that is common in a lot of mid-range Nike products. And the forefoot has a rectangular section of Zoom cushion that can be a little harder to notice. If you’ve never used Zoom before, you’ll feel great! But if you have experience with other Zoom products, this will be a slight letdown.
The support is strong with this one:
The support on the HyperRev is definitely a strong selling point. It would fall in the B+ range for us in that it’s really good. The shoe fit and lock-down are exceptional thanks to the mesh design combined with dynamic flywire. (BTW check out the awesome video on flywire below!) The shoe strings actually feel like they are lacing and tightening around your entire foot. The rubber heel cage really adds to the lock-down by wrapping around the heel, but also moving with your foot to keep constant contact. The rubber support pieces also give adequate torsional support on your ankle. Overall, you’ll be happy with the support here.
Overall, the HyperRev makes the list because they are only 10 oz. The performance is slightly above average, but they have a strong price also. If you want to see more on the HyperRev, see Amazon.
[2018 Addition] UA Curry 3 Low Top (12 oz)
No surprise to see a Steph Curry shoe makes this list. He has been known to like lighter, quicker and faster shoes than some others. Probably because he relies on quick movements and cuts to get open shots. So these low top Curry 3 shoes make our list of lightest shoes coming at 12 ounces and still having good metrics.
Traction is great… on clean courts
We’re seeing a trend that the big companies (Nike, Adidas, UA) are moving to a more translucent rubber compound on the bottom for traction. This is both a good and bad thing.
The good is this rubber is normally softer and provides some extra bite on traction. The bad is that this specific rubber grabs all the dust and locks it up like it’s been arrested. So on mildly dirty courts (and worse), you’ll be wiping often to maintain traction.
But if you’re on a semi-clean court, traction is solid!
Cushion is a little tight because it’s built for responsiveness
Steph Curry has always preferred firmer cushion that provides more response than plushness. And it’s evident in nearly all his shoes. So if you need more impact protection on your knees, look elsewhere.
THe Charged Foam in the Curry 3s is built for speed and quick cuts. It responds fast and you’ll feel it! But it sacrifices a little soft-cushion feel. So if you’re a quick-cutting guard these are exceptional! But bigger players might need more.
Support is on point!
For a low top, this shoe absolutely breaks the mold of “low top shoes can’t be supportive.” It’s not about high-tops anymore thanks to the new technology.
With improved carbon fiber shanks and a larger heel counter, you’ll never feel unstable. The lacing system works veryw well to keep your foot locked in.
For a low top shoe, these Curry 3s absolutely make you feel solid.
4. UA ClutchFit Drive Low (12 oz)
Under Armour has been quietly rising higher in people’s mind of quality basketball shoes. Thanks to Steph Curry, people actually know UA makes basketball shoes. Under Armour keeps putting out great shoes and these lightweight ClutchFits are no different. Under Armour looks like a freight train heading toward basketball success!
Traction is great… like normal for Under Armour:
Traction has been a consistent staple in the Under Armour catalog of basketball shoes. From the Curry shoes to the Spawns and beyond, the traction delivered by Under Armour is always great. It’s in the A to A- range always. And these ClutchFits are just the same. It’s great on most courts and only shows doubt on extremely dusty floors. You’ll be happy how these babies stick to the hardwood.
Cushion feels soft and responsive at the same time:
It’s tough to balance a soft cushion feel with responsive results, but ClutchFit accomplishes that. It’s a blend of both worlds so it’s not the “best” in either category. But it just seems to blend so smoothly. Transition is extremely smooth too when you run. You won’t really even notice this shoe which is a good thing! And there’s just enough bounce for you to notice but not get overwhelmed by it. Overall, it’s an impressive cushion system.
Support lacks… but that’s to be expected from a low top shoe:
In order to get the lightweight feel, the Low version lacks a little support. If you’re a fast-paced guard who runs and cuts a lot, it’s hardly noticeable. But if you’re a bigger wing or post player, these might not be for you (unless you wear braces). The challenge is the heel counter because it’s made of a softer rubber. This is excellent for speedy guards because it has a huge range of motion. But it can present a challenge for big guys who want to stop on a dime and not roll ankles. Overall, it depends on your play style with these.
5. Nike KD 9 (12 oz)
I’m sure you’ve all seen Kevin Durant’s shoes at some point. They are just a very minimal design. That’s pretty surprising given how tall and long he is. Regardless, the KD 9s are minimalist and lightweight which is what we want.
Traction is surprisingly good given the design:
When you look at the traction pattern on the KDs, it just feels like it wouldn’t be good. Surprisingly, it’s good. Very good. It’s not the “best ever” but it’s still a top tier traction pattern. The soft rubber in the middle mixed with the hard rubber on the outer rim works in perfect harmony.
Cushion on these puppies are near legendary:
The full length Zoom cushion on these KDs are just… incredible. No other way to say it. It just provides the comfort and responsiveness you need in all the right places. To top it off, Nike was able to incorporate this incredible cushion without sacrificing mobility. You’re still completely open on your range of motion.
But the support and fit is lacking:
KD shoes have a history of being a little longer than most people expect. It’s an odd thing, but I assume it’s because Durant has large feet and these are his signature shoes. So don’t be surprised if you need to drop a half size. If you wear an ankle brace, it’s definitely worth trying these on before buying so you know how the brace will impact fit.
Here’s the catch-22 on support; if you get the fit right, the support will be fantastic. If the fit isn’t perfect, there’s a lot of slack on the heel and ankle which can be an injury risk. So make sure you love the fit or you’re taking a big gamble. The internal TPU heel counter is a common form of support structure in shoes and it’s utilized well here on the KD 9s.
Overall, the KDs obviously run on the higher side of the budget but it delivers in all the right areas. You can see more on the KD 9s here on Amazon.
Obviously, there are good and bad points about the lightest basketball shoes in 2017-2018. Some have great cushion but lack support. Some have great traction but sub-par cushion. It’s really up to you how you’ll decide. But our preferred choice would definitely be the KB Mentality 2s. It was put 1st on this list for a reason. It’s solid all around and comes at a very good price point. Anyway, good luck with those quick feet and feel free to leave a comment!