Gearing up for on-court domination? Greet your opposition in a pair of quality kicks. Whether you need extra cushioning for all-game comfort, ankle support for lateral movement or breathability because your game generates serious heat, take a hard look at this season’s best shoes for the hardwood.
Nike Zoom Hyperfuse, $100, nike.com
Born from a concept cooked up in Nike’s Innovation Kitchen, the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse embodies innovative features that push design and performance boundaries in more ways than one.
The goal was to develop the ultimate game-changing, lightweight basketball performance kick. Consider it accomplished— the shoe scales an astonishing 12.5 ounces.
Attribute the light weight to Nike’s Hyperfuse material and technology, which presents an entirely new way of constructing shoes. Components are placed into a press and melded together, resulting in exceptional performance features.
- Molded foam collar and tongue, located on the shoe’s upper, offers enhanced fi t, cushion and protection around the ankle. The fusing process applies to the shoe’s foam tongue, which protects the foot from lace pressure.
- Fabric-wrapped midsole, featuring Cushlon technology, provides added strength and a responsive, springy feel.
- Open mesh on the lateral portion for breathability. The inside structure features three compressed layers, which allow the mesh to X-ray through the shoe’s outer skin.
- Protective skin covers the toe and heel—areas that most need durability.
- The forefoot is constructed with Zoom Air to protect your feet with superior cushioning.
- The outsole is made of environmentally-friendly rubber in a classic herringbone traction pattern that supports multi-directional movement.
AND 1 Renegade Mid, $60, and1usa.com
A solid pick for the athlete on a tight budget, the Renegade Mid has a strong, durable, well-padded heel and an outsole tread specifi cally designed to provide top-fl ight support while reacting quickly to sharp cuts. If that doesn’t catch your attention, the vibrant color scheme will.
Reebok Zig Slash, $100, reebok.com
The NBA’s 2010 fi rst overall Draft Pick, John Wall, aims to lead the Washington Wizards back to playoff contention. He’ll hit the hardwood in the Zig Slash, which incorporates Reebok ZigTech and is designed to conserve and return energy to the forefoot.
Under Armour MicroG Black Ice, $110, underarmour.com
Inspired by his lightning-quick moves and off-court style, Milwaukee Bucks G Brandon Jennings’ signature shoe is fi nally ready, after a year-long development. Featuring a forefoot strap at “Young Money’s” request, the shoe provides a secure fi t. An asymmetrical collar around the ankles adds protection and permits full range of motion.
adidas adiZero Rose, $100, adidas.com
The Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose just got a half step quicker. At 12.9 ounces, the adiZero Rose is the lightest Rose sneaker to date, yet it provides the stability and comfort every baller needs to dominate. Heat is released through basketball-specifi c SPRINTSKIN on the medial side of the shoe, and the heel is locked down by an internal fi t collar incorporating adidas’ basketball-specific GEOFIT.
Converse Star Player EVO, $90, converse.com
Converse prides itself on its storied basketball heritage, but the Star Player EVO gives them another reason to boast. This ultralight kick samples elements from the company’s 1970s throwback, while sporting current performance features for crushing on-court play—cushioning, breathability, solid impact protection and a durable toecap. The Chicago Bulls’ Kyle Korver and the Miami Heat’s Carlos Arroyo are pulling on the EVO this season.
Li-Ning Baron Davis Doom, $100, li-ningusa.com
LA Clippers G Baron Davis blends style with high performance in his fi rst signature shoe. It’s equipped with a low-to-theground bottom package for enhanced court feel and a molded TPU lateral forefoot guard for security during lateral cuts. The BD Doom is a great kick for any slashing guard.
Jordan Take Flight, $150, jumpman23.com
This shoe, appropriately named, could take your game to new heights. It’s constructed with an internal heel pad for cushioning and a lockdown fi t, to keep your heel from sliding; a midsole equipped with a full-length Max Air unit for impact protection and stability; an external air bag cage for lateral support; and an outsole that takes care of traction with a modifi ed herringbone pattern.