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Best Nike Basketball Shoes for 2013

Below is a list of the best Nike basketball shoes currently available. I’ve done some digging, read a ton of reviews, and worn them myself to see what each pair offers. You’ll see me repeat certain phrases and redefine certain words, but that’s only because I know not everyone will read the description for each shoe. Read on and enjoy!

Nike KD V Elite Mens Basketball Shoe – The Nike KD V is the latest in Kevin Durant’s line for Nike. It’s a step up from the KD IV. The V scores high marks for its comfort, lightweight, and good ankle support. Click here for more reviews, pricing, and pictures of the Nike KD V Elite

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Traction – A rubber outsole with a herringbone design throughout makes gives it great traction for indoor and outdoor use.
Cushion – The KD V has Max Air cushioning in the heel which provides maximum protection from impact. In the forefoot, the KD V features Nike Zoom cushioning. According to the Nike website, the Nike Zoom unit “is incredibly thin, it brings the foot closer to the ground and enhances stability, especially during quick cuts and multi-directional movements. After impact, the tightly stretched fibers inside the pressurized air unit quickly bounce back into shape, providing a super-responsive feel and improved awareness of the surface you’re playing on.”
Material – The KD V features hyperfuse technology which allows the upper piece to be nearly seamless. This hyperfuse technology provides, ventilation, stability, and durability.
Fit – The KD V’s fit true to size. They tend to be a narrow fit, so it’s best to go with your true size here.
Support – The KD V also has a mid adding support, which according increases the stability of shoe, but still allows for the flexibility usually found in a low top basketball shoes. This allows for great lateral movement and quick cuts. The Nike Zoom cushioning also quickly regains its shape after any impact. This shoe also features the Nike flywire technology. Here’s a description of the flywire technology from the Nike website. “Flywire helps provide ultra-lightweight support and comfort for your foot. It gets its strength from thin nylon fibers strategically placed on the upper of the shoe to hold the foot in place, helping to reduce slippage during activity. This allows for a massive reduction in weight because material is used only where it’s needed for structure.”
Price – A starting price of $180.00

Nike LeBron X Mens Basketball Shoe – The Nike LeBron X marks the 10 year anniversary of Nike’s partnership with LeBron James, and many say it’s the best shoe the partnership has produced. Click here for more reviews, pricing, and pictures of the Nike LeBron X

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Traction – The outsole is rubber with a bunch of multi-directional lines from the heel to the toe which provide great traction on the court. The way the shoe is designed, the traction is better for straight moves as opposed to lateral moves. The thick rubber is also strong enough for outdoor play.
Cushion – The LeBron X has a full length Nike Zoom unit delivering the perfect combination of impact protection and responsiveness. According to the Nike website, the Nike Zoom unit “is incredibly thin, it brings the foot closer to the ground and enhances stability, especially during quick cuts and multi-directional movements. After impact, the tightly stretched fibers inside the pressurized air unit quickly bounce back into shape, providing a super-responsive feel and improved awareness of the surface you’re playing on.”
Material – The LeBron X features hyperfuse technology which allows the upper piece to be nearly seamless. This hyperfuse technology provides, ventilation, stability, and durability.
Fit – The LeBron X’s fit true to size. They tend to be a narrow fit, so it’s best to go with your true size here. I
Support – The LeBron X has a a reinforced mid-foot wing which helps stabilize the foot during quick lateral movements. This shoe also features the Nike flywire technology. Here’s a description of the flywire technology from the Nike website. “Flywire helps provide ultra-lightweight support and comfort for your foot. It gets its strength from thin nylon fibers strategically placed on the upper of the shoe to hold the foot in place, helping to reduce slippage during activity. This allows for a massive reduction in weight because material is used only where it’s needed for structure.” When fully laced, these feel very secure and stable. t also has a collar that’s lower in the back and higher in the front for just the right amount of flexibility through the ankle, plus a mesh tongue and full inner sleeve for ventilation and a comfortable fit
Price – A starting price of $180.00

 

Nike Kobe 8 System Mens Basketball Shoe – The Nike Kobe 8 is the latest shoe from Kobe Bryant. It’s a true return to form for Kobe’s signature shoe after a subpar effort from the Kobe 7. It’s also my personal favorite on this list. Click here for more reviews, pricing, and pictures of the Kobe 8 System

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Traction – The soft rubber sole and herringbone pattern gives the Kobe 8 the best traction of all the shoes on this list. However, the softness of the rubber sole makes it best for indoor court use.
Cushion – A full lunarlon sole that molds to the shape of your foot and holds up very well over time. It breaks in quickly and gives the shoe a really nice bounce. The lunarlon sole also helps distribute impact evenly throughout which is good for you joints. In addition to the lunarlon, the Kobe 8 also features a Nike zoom unit in the heel and and forefoot which provides providing a super-responsive feel. According to the Nike website, the Nike Zoom unit “is incredibly thin, it brings the foot closer to the ground and enhances stability, especially during quick cuts and multi-directional movements. After impact, the tightly stretched fibers inside the pressurized air unit quickly bounce back into shape, providing a super-responsive feel and improved awareness of the surface you’re playing on.”
Fit – True to size!
Support – This shoe also features the Nike flywire technology. Here’s a description of the flywire technology from the Nike website. “Flywire helps provide ultra-lightweight support and comfort for your foot. It gets its strength from thin nylon fibers strategically placed on the upper of the shoe to hold the foot in place, helping to reduce slippage during activity. This allows for a massive reduction in weight because material is used only where it’s needed for structure.” When fully laced, these feel very secure and stable.
Price – A starting price of $140.00

 

Nike Hyperdunk Mens Basketball Shoe – The Hyperdunk doesn’t have a major basketball star associated with it, but it’s still a terrific shoe. It features much of the same technology that the Kobe’s, LeBron’s, and KD’s have, but at a slightly lower price.  Click here for more reviews, pricing, and pictures of the Hyperdunk
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Traction – With deep rubber grooves and a solid rubber sole, they provide good traction, but can’t quite compare with some of the models listed above.
Cushion – This shoe also has a lunarlon sole that molds to the shape of your foot and holds up very well over time. It breaks in quickly and gives the shoe a really nice bounce. The lunarlon sole also helps distribute impact evenly throughout which is good for you joints. The Nike Zoom unit is noticeably absent here however.
Material – The entire upper is made up engineered mesh. This keeps the shoe light but offers a ton of support.
Fit – True to size!
Support – This shoe also features the Nike flywire technology. Here’s a description of the flywire technology from the Nike website. “Flywire helps provide ultra-lightweight support and comfort for your foot. It gets its strength from thin nylon fibers strategically placed on the upper of the shoe to hold the foot in place, helping to reduce slippage during activity. This allows for a massive reduction in weight because material is used only where it’s needed for structure.” When fully laced, these feel very secure and stable.
Price – A starting price of $140.00


Nike Zoom Soldier VI Mens Basketball Shoe   Just because it’s the cheapest shoe on the list, don’t discredit the value in this shoe. The Nike Zoom Soldier series started as a spinoff of LeBron’s signature line, and it’s held up over the years for the simple fact that these shoes deliver. Click here for more reviews, pricing, and pictures of the Nike Zoom Soldier VI

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Traction – The soft rubber sole and herringbone pattern gives the Kobe 8 the best traction of all the shoes on this list. However, the softness of the rubber sole makes it best for indoor court use.
Cushion – Features a full phylon midsole. It also has a Nike Zoom unit in the heel and forefoot. According to the Nike website, the Nike Zoom unit “is incredibly thin, it brings the foot closer to the ground and enhances stability, especially during quick cuts and multi-directional movements. After impact, the tightly stretched fibers inside the pressurized air unit quickly bounce back into shape, providing a super-responsive feel and improved awareness of the surface you’re playing on.” The Soldier VI also features a Nike zoom unit in the heel and and forefoot which provides providing a super-responsive feel.
Material – Lightweight hyperfuse material which makes them breathable and provides stability and durability.
Fit – True to size!
Support – The strap on this shoe offers a lot of support up top, but the shoe lacks some necessary support in the midsole area. They don’t provide as much support for lateral moves as some of the other shoes on this list due to the absence of the flywire.
Price – A starting price of $120.00



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