12 Best Shoes for Dunking in 2023

Dunking is an action with numerous motivations and outcomes. It is a scoring method that offers a high success rate, as defenders often find this challenging to block due to its proximity to the basket. Beyond its scoring value, it creates a significant impact on your foot. While attempting to dunk, not wearing appropriate basketball shoes can lead to problems like inefficient movements, decreased jump height, and injury risk. Furthermore, shoes might deteriorate rapidly, leading to higher expenses in the long term if it is not designed for the demands of the game.

Best shoes for dunking | Top 12 Picks

Basketball dunking is an art that demands precision, athleticism, and the right gear. In today’s market, many companies offer shoes for dunking that enhance performance and provide cushioning. In this guide, we have listed our top 12 picks for regular and seasoned players, offering styles, technologies, and price points to elevate performance and comfort.


Our Top Three

Nike Lebron 19

Our Ratings

  • Fit: 5/5
  • Stability: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5
Reebok Bb4590

Our Ratings

  • Fit: 5/5
  • Stability: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5
Nike KD Trey 5 X EP

Our Ratings

  • Fit: 5/5
  • Stability: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5

List of the best shoes for dunking

  1. Nike Lebron 19 Basketball Shoe
  2. Reebok Bb4590 Basketball Shoe
  3. Nike KD Trey 5 X EP Basketball Shoes
  4. Adidas LRM65 Basketball Shoe
  5. SANEARDE Fashion Basketball Shoes
  6. PUMA Clyde Court X-Ray Basketball Sneakers
  7. LI-NING  ABAR071 Basketball Shoes
  8. Under Armour Lockdown 6 Basketball Shoe
  9. LI-NING SONIC IX LOW Basketball Shoe
  10. ASHION Mid Basketball Sneakers
  11. Adidas Harden Vol. 6 Basketball Shoe
  12. PUMA Uproar Spectra Basketball Sneakers

Nike Lebron 19 Basketball Shoe

Key Specifications
  • Type: Basketball Shoe
  • Available Sizes: 7-15(men) and 5-11(women)
  • Material: Breathable fabric, TPU overlays, React foam, Zoom Air units, rubber
Our Rating
  • Fit: 5/5
  • Stability: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5

The Nike Lebron 19 Basketball Shoe caught the attention of both casual players and pro athletes due to its cutting-edge technology and versatile design. Key features that attract players are the advanced cushioning system, which combines with Nike’s React foam and Zoom Air units, providing exceptional comfort, responsiveness, and impact protection. While playing, this technology offers a smooth and springy experience, which enhances agility and confidence.

Basketball shoes need to be stable and supportive. The LeBron 19 guarantees a snug fit and a padded collar that provides superior ankle support, lowering the possibility of injury during leaps. Furthermore, this pair is known for its durability. Because of its premium materials, these sneakers can withstand the rigors of hard gameplay, making them the best basketball shoes for dunking.

Pros

  • Exceptional cushioning
  • Secure fit and a padded collar
  • Durable construction
  • Versatile usage

Cons

  • Long break-in period
  • Relatively heavy for a basketball shoe

However, this pair falls into the high-end price category considering the price, which can be justified for dedicated players but may be suitable for those on a limited budget. Some users have faced a break-in period for this shoe as it takes a long time to adapt to the shape of the feet, which may initially cause discomfort but ultimately results in an exceptional fit.

Furthermore, this pair is relatively heavy compared to other lightweight shoes. The main reason for being heavy is its premium material, which makes it more durable than other shoes. If you are a dedicated player seeking a durable and comfortable shoe, this would be an excellent choice.


Reebok Bb4590 Basketball Shoe

Key Specifications
  • Type: Basketball Shoe
  • Available Sizes: 7-15(men) and 5-11(women)
  • Material: Synthetic leather, Textile lining, EVA midsole, Rubber outsole, Padded tongue and collar
Our Rating
  • Fit: 5/5
  • Stability: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5

What is the best shoe for dunking that is affordable at the same time? Then, the Reebok Bb4590 Basketball Shoe can be a good choice for its affordability, durability, and supportive features. It is a good option for players looking for an all-around shoe that can withstand the rigors of gameplay. Synthetic leather and rubber are utilized in this pair, capable of withstanding wear and tear to meet the demands of basketball gameplay. The synthetic leather vamp is easy to clean as the rubber outsole provides excellent traction on various surfaces.

Regarding comfort, it features a padded tongue and collar, as well as a die-cut EVA midsole, which provides lightweight cushioning and support. The padded tongue helps to reduce irritation, while the collar provides a secure fit. Another crucial feature that can elevate your game is ankle support, achieved through a high-top design and a reinforced ankle collar. It is available in various colorways to suit your style, and the high-collar design of this pair has received positive feedback from many users.

Pros

  • Outstanding comfort
  • Durable build
  • Excellent ankle support
  • Offers versatile traction

Cons

  • Not as breathable as competitors
  • Less responsive than competitors

The versatile traction of this pair was excellent, performing well on indoor and outdoor courts. Furthermore, this rubber is capable of providing traction on wet surfaces, which can provide benefits on various courts. While using this pair, we noticed it was not breathable like some other shoes. In hot weather, the vamp can become warm and cause sweating. Moreover, it can compromise your responsiveness and overall gameplay.


Nike KD Trey 5 X EP Basketball Shoes

Key Specifications
  • Type: Basketball Shoes
  • Available Sizes: 7-15(men) and 5-13(women) 
  • Material: Synthetic leather, Breathable mesh, TPU overlays, Phylon foam, Zoom Air units, rubber
Our Rating
  • Fit: 5/5
  • Stability: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5

Nike has consistently established itself as a leader in the sector of basketball footwear. The Nike KD Trey 5 X EP basketball shoe is a perfect example of this legacy, offering an excellent blend of comfort, responsiveness, and traction at a budget-friendly price point. While testing, we discovered that it was lightweight and fit snugly. The vamp is multilayered, combined with TPU overlays, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit. The mesh used for the vamp was breathable, which keeps your feet cool and dry during intense gameplay.

It is equipped with a dynamic cushioning system, which offers lightweight responsiveness, while the zoom air unit provides superior impact absorption for a smooth and comfortable ride. Furthermore, its full-leather cushioning enhances cushioning and returns energy with each step. The rubber outsole uses multi-directional flex grooves, which engage with a tread pattern to ensure exceptional traction on a variety of surfaces, allowing quick cuts, stops, and agile movements while maintaining stability.

Pros

  • Excellent traction on a variety of surfaces
  • Lightweight and comfortable fit
  • Breathable mesh inserts
  • Outsole with multi-directional flex grooves

Cons

  • Narrow for some users
  • Not as supportive as competitors

This pair is a balance between affordability and performance, which makes it an excellent choice for low-budget players who are seeking comfort, responsiveness, and versatility. Similar to other shoes on this list, this pair also has its drawbacks, with some users reporting that the forefoot is narrow and less supportive. Initially, it may feel narrow, but with continued use, it will become fit.


Adidas LRM65 Basketball Shoe

Key Specifications
  • Type: Basketball Shoe
  • Available Sizes: 7-14(men) and 5-12(women)
  • Material: Synthetic leather, TPU overlays, EVA foam, Durable rubber
Our Rating
  • Fit: 5/5
  • Stability: 4/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5

Adidas is known for its high-quality shoes. They are consistently developing their basketball shoes and bringing performance-oriented footwear for players of all levels. The LRM65 Basketball Shoe is the first pair from Adidas in this list. This shoe is a popular choice among players seeking comfort, support, and traction at an affordable price point. While wearing this pair, you will notice a snug and supportive fit. The synthetic leather upper, combined with TPU overlays, provides a secure fit without compromising flexibility. The breathable mesh was utilized for the upper, keeping your feet cool in warm weather.

For the midsole, they used EVA foam, which is widely used for cushioning and support. To enhance cushioning and responsiveness, Adidas has incorporated Adiprene+ technology, making the shoe more comfortable and improving its responsiveness and energy return with each step. The outsole is crafted from durable rubber with a tread pattern, ensuring exceptional traction on both indoor and outdoor courts. Thanks to its deep grooves and strategically placed lugs, it allows for quick cuts, sudden stops, and agile movements without compromising stability.

Pros

  • Comfortable and supportive fit
  • Good traction on a variety of surfaces
  • Affordable price point
  • Durable structure

Cons

  • Could be more breathable
  • Not responsive enough professionals

Overall, the Adidas LRM65 basketball shoes are an excellent choice for players who prioritize comfort, performance, and durability. While breathability could be improved, some responsive concerns have been reported. Although at this price range, these shoes offer a great combination of features that are hard to beat.


SANEARDE Fashion Basketball Shoes

Key Specifications
  • Type: Basketball Shoes
  • Available Sizes: 7-15(men) and 5-13(women)
  • Material: Synthetic leather, Mesh panels, EVA foam, Durable rubber
Our Rating
  • Fit: 5/5
  • Stability: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 4/5

As the name suggests, this pair is a Fashion Basketball Shoe from SANEARDE. Design and style are prominent features of these shoes. This pair of shoes is available in a wide range of colors, making them a fashionable choice for those who want to stand out during games and outside the ground. Despite this pair’s fashion and style focus, features such as cushioning, support, and durability were also prioritized to ensure that players have a positive and comfortable experience.

The shoes use EVA foam for a lightweight design, which is known for its Cushioning and support. Additionally, an air cushioning unit in the heel was integrated with EVA foam to provide responsiveness and impact protection, resulting in comfortable and joint-friendly shoes. The outsole features a versatile tread pattern, which ensures traction on various court surfaces, enabling quick cuts and agile movements.

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Excellent traction on various surfaces
  • Comfortable and supportive fit

Cons

  • Could be more durable
  • Not as breathable as competitors

Performance and versatility make these shoes suitable for players of all levels. Their lightweight construction and cushioning support make the shoe stable for both indoor and outdoor courts. While using this pair, we noticed some limitations. On heavy usage, this pair may not last long. Furthermore, some users have reported that this pair is not as breathable as they claimed. In comparison to its price range, I would say it offers decent value, considering its good cushioning, stability, and support.


PUMA Clyde Court X-Ray Basketball Sneakers

Key Specifications
  • Type: Basketball Sneakers
  • Available Sizes: 7-13(men) and 6-11(women)
  • Material: Knitted textile, Sock-like collar, PUMA NRGY, Ignite technology, Rubber sole
Our Rating
  • Fit: 4/5
  • Stability: 4/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5

The PUMA Clyde Court X-Ray is a basketball sneaker commonly preferred by players looking for a combination of performance, style, and durability. It features a unique skeleton pattern on the vamp, which is eye-catching and integrated with a sock-like collar that provides a snug fit and a modern aesthetic look. The midsole is well cushioned and incorporates PUMA’s proprietary NRGY and Ignite technology, providing a responsive and comfortable ride.

This cushioning works with a durable rubber outsole and provides exceptional traction and support, ensuring stability both on and off the court. This sneaker isn’t just confined to the basketball court. It can also be worn as everyday casual wear. The knitted textile is a breathable material that provides good ventilation, which will keep your feet cool and comfortable throughout the day. Additionally, the sock-like collar adds another degree of comfort level, providing a snug fit that feels like an extension of your foot.

Pros

  • Good cushioning and energy return
  • Comfortable and stylish
  • Breathable knitted textile upper
  • Durable rubber sole

Cons

  • Could be more supportive
  • Skeletal patterns may not suit everyone’s taste

The reason why this pair is liked by most of the players is because of its affordability. Without compromising on performance or style, these sneakers offer a decent value, making them a compelling choice that’s difficult to surpass. However, some users may complain about its skeletal pattern, as it may not align with everyone’s taste. Since it’s a sneaker, I would recommend seeking a snug fit to ensure excellent support during dunking.


LI-NING  ABAR071 Basketball Shoes

Key Specifications
  • Type: Basketball Shoes
  • Available Sizes: 7.5-13(men)
  • Material: Thermoplastic Polyurethane, breathable mesh, BOOM Technology, LIGHT FOAM, Rubber outsole, PROBAR LOC
Our Rating
  • Fit: 4/5
  • Stability: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5

LI-NING is a common name in basketball footwear. They are improving their basketball shoes day by day. The LI-NING  ABAR071 was introduced in 2021 and created for players of all levels, from beginners to experts. This pair features many advanced technologies, including PROBAR LOC, LIGHT FOAM, and BOOM. The main purpose of this pair was to improve stability, cushioning, and energy return.

This pair is made from high-quality materials, which include TPU, Mesh, and rubber. TPU is a synthetic material commonly used in shoes to improve durability and flexibility. For breathability, they used mesh, a breathable material that allows air to circulate through the shoe, keeping your feet cool and dry for an extended period. While wearing, we found that the rubber outsole was excellent, which provides exceptional traction on various surfaces.

Pros

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Cushioned and responsive
  • Good traction
  • Durable and long-lasting

Cons

  • Forefoot may feel narrow
  • Bit pricey

Overall, this pair performed admirably in day-to-day use. One noticeable point worth mentioning is its forefoot, which may initially feel narrow, but with continued use, it becomes more comfortable. Most users appreciated the design pattern and color of this pair. Although it falls into a higher price range due to its exceptional features, it’s undoubtedly worth the investment. I recommend this shoe to any player looking for the best basketball shoes for dunking.


Under Armour Lockdown 6 Basketball Shoe

Key Specifications
  • Type: Basketball Shoe
  • Available Sizes: 7-17.5(men) and 7-17.5(women)
  • Material: synthetic leather, Thermoplastic Polyurethane, UA HOVR technology, Micro G foam, Rubber outsole
Our Rating
  • Fit: 4/5
  • Stability: 4/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5

The Lockdown 6 is a budget-friendly basketball shoe from Under Armour that offers a combination of performance and comfort. It caters to the needs of players of all skill levels, particularly those in need of shoes suitable for various positions. The modern design of this pair features a synthetic leather vamp, mesh overlay, and TPU heel counter for additional stability and support. This pair of shoes is known for its excellent cushioning and support.

The midsole utilizes EVA foam, providing a soft and responsive feel, while the TPU heel counter is employed to secure the heel and prevent ankle sprains. This pair is versatile shoes and suits dynamic positions of dunking. It features herringbone traction for a reliable grip on indoor and outdoor courts, and it also has a flexible forefoot for quick cuts and maneuvers. Its durability is excellent, as the synthetic leather vamp resists abrasion, and the TPU heel counter ensures longevity under heavy use.

Pros

  • Responsive cushioning
  • Good energy return
  • Excellent support and stability
  • Breathable and comfortable upper

Cons

  • May feel slightly stiff for some players
  • Heel lockdown could be better

Overall, The Lockdown 6 is an option for players of different skill levels looking for a budget-friendly basketball shoe. On our daily usage, we got excellent results. However, it might feel stiff for some players, as it was designed for players who prefer a stable and supportive shoe. Players who prefer flexibility can go for other options on this list.

Our Ratings

  • Fit:  4/5
  • Stability:  4/5
  • Comfort:  5/5
  • Durability: 5/5

LI-NING SONIC IX LOW Basketball Shoe

Key Specifications
  • Type: Basketball Shoe
  • Available Sizes: 9.5 Unisex
  • Material: Textile + Synthetic Leather, Velcro, Light Foam, TPU, Tuff Rubber
Our Rating
  • Fit: 4/5
  • Stability: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 4/5

The SONIC IX LOW is a lightweight and responsive basketball shoe from LI-NING, which was designed for players who want to move quickly and efficiently. It features a low-cut silhouette, which enhances ankle mobility, and a cushioned midsole for impact and shock resistance. It was constructed from lightweight materials that allow players to make swift cuts and agile movement. For the midsole, Light Foam was used. It is a responsive cushioning material that is specifically designed for basketball shoes, which improves performance on the court.

The vamp of the pair is made from synthetic leather, which has been combined with textile materials to enhance breathability and comfort. Synthetic leather performs well in terms of durability. Additionally, this material is water-resistant, ensuring a smooth ride in wet weather. While using this pair, we found that the traction of this pair was outstanding and was performing well on wet surfaces.

Pros

  • Lightweight and responsive
  • Comfortable and supportive
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Durability issues

Overall, the Li-Ning Sonic IX Low is a good choice for basketball players who are looking for a lightweight, responsive, and supportive shoe. However, it is important to note that the shoe may not be as durable as other basketball shoes on the market. If you are considering buying this pair, we recommend choosing a larger size than your regular size. Otherwise, it may fit tight.


ASHION Mid Basketball Sneakers

Key Specifications
  • Type: Basketball Sneakers
  • Available Sizes: 7-11(men)
  • Material: Breathable textile upper, EVA midsole, Rubber outsole
Our Rating
  • Fit: 4/5
  • Stability: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Durability: 4/5

ASHION is a well-known brand for running shoes, and they are consistently improving their presence in the basketball footwear sector. We will be reviewing the ASHION Mid Basketball Sneakers, which are budget-friendly sneakers for basketball players of all skill levels. They feature good comfort, traction, and support, making them the best basketball shoes for dunking.

The breathable upper provides good air circulation, keeping your feet cool, while the gorgeous texting creates an eye-catching look. For the midsole, they used EVA foam, which is widely used for cushioning for shoes and doesn’t need an introduction. The rubber outsole performed well in our daily usage. I never felt like I was going to slip or slide, even when making quick cuts or jumping for the ball.

Pros

  • Comfortable and responsive
  • Excellent traction
  • Breathable upper with venting holes
  • Relatively affordable

Cons

  • Not as durable as other basketball shoes

If you are looking for a budget-friendly shoe that has excellent cushioning, traction, and support, then this pair can be a good option. Upon use, we observed that this pair was not as durable as other shoes on this list, and using them for an extended period may result in a shorter lifespan. If you are a dedicated basketball player who spends a significant amount of time on the court, I recommend exploring other options from this list.


Adidas Harden Vol. 6 Basketball Shoe

Key Specifications
  • Type: Basketball Shoe
  • Available Sizes: 4-19(men) and 4-19 (women)
  • Material: Synthetic-and-rubber, Rubber, Lace-Up, Boost midsole
Our Rating
  • Fit: 4/5
  • Stability: 5/5
  • Comfort: 4/5
  • Durability: 5/5

The Harden Vol. 6 is another pair of shoes from Adidas that has been included in this list. This pair of shoes is a high-end basketball shoe that offers excellent traction, responsive cushioning, and good support. The promising feature of this pair was its traction, which comes with a herringbone pattern that provides reliable traction traction on both indoor and outdoor courts.

The Boost foam midsole provides responsive cushioning and energy return that helps to fatigue and allows you to jump higher and run faster. The lightweight textile provides good support and stability while still being breathable. My feet never felt hot or sweaty in these shoes, even during long gameplay. This Adidas pair comes in a wide variety of styles and colors, so get a pair that matches your taste.

Pros

  • Responsive cushioning
  • Supportive upper
  • Excellent traction
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Price-feature ratio could be better

Overall, I had a good experience with the Adidas Unisex-Adult Harden Vol. 6 Basketball Shoe. It is a well-made and high-performing basketball shoe that offers excellent traction, responsive cushioning, and good support. Although, it comes at a high price range, which was worth the investment. If you’re considering purchasing this pair, I recommend getting a size larger if you prefer wearing flexible shoes.


PUMA Uproar Spectra Basketball Sneakers

Key Specifications
  • Type: Basketball Sneakers
  • Available Sizes: 10.5-14(men)
  • Material: Textile and synthetic leather, IGNITE Foam, Rubber
Our Rating
  • Fit: 5/5
  • Stability: 4/5
  • Comfort: 4/5
  • Durability: 4/5

The PUMA Uproar Spectra Basketball Sneakers are a great option for basketball players of every skill level who are looking for comfortable, durable, and stylish shoes. It features a textile upper, IGNITE Foam, and rubber outsole. This pair was very comfortable to wear because of its IGNITE Foam, Which provides good cushioning and support. The vamp was breathable, which provided average air circulation.

High-quality materials, including synthetic leather and rubber, were used, which make them able to withstand the rigors of basketball play. The rubber outsole of the shoes features a herringbone pattern that provides good traction on both indoor and outdoor courts, which allows me to make quick cuts and jump.

Pros

  • Good cushioning and support
  • Excellent traction
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Breathability issues

This pair comes at an affordable price, allowing players to acquire a quality product at a reasonable cost. From my perspective, they can improve its ventilation system as it is less breathable compared to other shoes. Furthermore, if your foot requires more arch support, you can use orthotics. Considering its price range, these flaws are acceptable, making it a good option for those on a budget.


Buying guide for the best shoes for dunking

Whether you are a seasoned player or just getting started in basketball, finding the perfect pair of dunking shoes can significantly improve your game. Dunking requires not only skills but also the right equipment. Even if you are a skilled player, not using the right pair for dunking may fail. Before purchasing, one must ensure that these shoes are specifically designed for basketball and can withstand the rigorous movements involved in dunking. In this buying guide, we will explore how you can select the best dunking shoes to improve your game.

Fit and Sizing

The foundation of an excellent basketball sneaker lies in its fit. Ill-fitting shoes can cause blisters and hinder on-court performance. Measure your feet precisely, considering variations in sizing across brands. Utilize the brand’s sizing chart when ordering online. Pay attention to width options and select the one that aligns with your foot shape for a comfortable fit. Ensure the shoe has sufficient space in the toe box to avoid discomfort and potential injuries, prioritizing both accuracy and comfort.

Cushioning and Impact Protection

An exceptional basketball sneaker begins with a precise fit. Poorly fitting shoes can lead to blisters and hinder on-court performance. Take accurate measurements of your feet, considering brand-specific size variations. When ordering online, refer to the brand’s sizing chart and select the width that suits your foot shape for optimal comfort. Prioritize a roomy toe box to prevent discomfort and potential injuries, emphasizing the importance of both accuracy and comfort in choosing the right basketball shoe.

Traction

Good traction is crucial for stability, especially during dunk launches. Opt for basketball shoes with durable rubber outsoles designed for both indoor and outdoor courts. Traction patterns, like herringbone, multi-directional, or circular, vary among brands, so choose based on your needs. While a thicker outsole can enhance traction, it may sacrifice court feel. Prioritize a balanced outsole that suits your playing style to ensure optimal performance and safety on the court.

Support and Stability

Dunking demands support and stability due to its dynamic nature. Inadequate support can result in injuries and hinder performance. Opt for high or mid-top designs for good ankle support, minimizing injury risks. While low-top shoes offer more mobility, consider additional ankle support. Ensure a secure fit with a robust lacing system to prevent foot slippage. Prioritize stability with a molded heel cup for a snug fit, enhancing overall performance and reducing the risk of injury.


Final verdict

In conclusion, selecting the best shoe for dunking involves a careful balance of factors, including comfort, support, traction, and durability. We recommend going through the pros and cons of the pair if you consider buying one. A shoe might not be able to fulfill all your foot requirements. Find one that comes near your needs and go for it. Hope you find a pair that suits your playing style. Check out our choices of the best running shoes for concrete and baseball turf shoes.

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