Optimum basketball performance does not have to be expensive. We have always believed that loving your favorite sport should not lead to an empty wallet.
Sure, it’s nice if you could buy the latest shoes sponsored by your favorite professional basketball player, but is it a practical choice?
In general, we just want to have basketball shoes that are comfortable, stylish, and tough enough to last the most grueling games. Likewise, athletes deserve to have great footwear without feeling like they got ripped off.
If you want more bang for your buck, let us guide you to the best cheap basketball shoes.
Top 5 Cheap Basketball Shoes For 2018
You might be surprised by some of the brands included here, but their entries mean that even the biggest brands still pay great attention to the budget-friendly market. From the heel counters to the sockliners and sole type, we’ve successfully picked the five best cheap basketball shoes. Check them out below.
|Basketball Shoes||Sole Type||Upper|
|Adidas Performance Isolation 2||Synthetic||Coated Leather|
|Nike Prime Hype DF||Rubber||Synthetic Leather and Mesh|
|Reebok Royal BB4500||Rubber||Leather and Textile|
|Adidas Performance Cloudfoam Ilation||Rubber||Leather and Textile|
|Under Armour UA ClutchFit Drive 3||Rubber||Synthetic Leather|
Except for the first Adidas entry, all of them feature a rubber sole – but there’s more to understand about their similarities and differences. Have a look at our comprehensive individual reviews of the best cheap basketball shoes.
Adidas Performance Isolation 2 – Iconic Shoes with Great Stability
We begin the list of the most affordable yet impressive basketball shoes with the Isolation 2 from Adidas. The German corporation has been making sports apparel for nearly a hundred years, and they’ve rightfully become one of the two most iconic shoe brands alongside Nike.
The iconic three stripes of the brand is a testament to the appeal of the minimalist design. Combine that simplicity with Adidas’ unending pursuit for sportswear innovation, and you’ve got a powerful combo.
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge the bold and minimalist design of this shoe.
Featuring a predominantly black appearance with a silver tongue and white midsole, the Adidas Performance Isolation 2 goes for a dominant and established tone rather than a vibrant appearance – and it works. Even if you do not like the black version, you can opt for the other variant replacing that color with gray.
Based on looks alone, this is probably at the top of the list of the best budget basketball shoes for 2018.
The upper is made of coated leather, which is an uncommon choice. While this isn’t genuine leather, coated leather does result in a consistent appearance that is easy to maintain.
Furthermore, this kind of leather is a smart choice for Adidas because it’s affordable to use. Fitting our feet inside the Isolation 2 basketball shoes was delightful, thanks to the padded collar. Other shoes can feel rough around the collar, but this one is comfortable.
The Adidas Performance Isolation 2 takes venues into consideration by using non-marking outsoles. Using hard soles typically damage the court, regardless if the floor is made of wood, concrete, or tiles. It’s easy to leave ugly dents on the court with the wrong kind of basketball shoes.
Lastly, these basketball shoes are remarkably light, which fits is minimalist aesthetic.
While we understand that coated leather keeps the price of the Adidas Performance Isolation 2 under control, it does lead to a breathability issue. In order to compensate for this characteristic of being nonporous, Adidas included a perforated upper.
Don’t let the size fool you as these holes were placed in all the right sections to maximize comfort without damaging the appearance. Thus, our feet never felt hot and stuffed throughout our time on the court.
The lower section of these basketball shoes was also commendable, especially with the ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole.
Whenever we jumped for a shot and landed down the ground, the pain was basically nonexistent. The impact absorption of an EVA midsole is hard to match, and Adidas made sure that even the best youth basketball shoes should have it. One thing we felt was lackluster is the insole, which was relatively thin.
The features of the Isolation 2 work well enough to forgive the insole, but the best option is to replace it with a thicker and more comfortable one.
Accordingly, this basketball shoe contains the Torsion System, a feature that we’ve always thanked Adidas for.
Ever since they introduced this way back in 1988, Adidas has stood at the forefront when it comes to arch support. We all know that basketball requires a great deal of running, so a Torsion System made for midfoot integrity is perfect. Some of us always forget to warm our feet up properly – leading to unnecessary strain during the game.
With the Torsion System, foot strain is reduced while improving stability. If it seems hard to imagine, think of this: Once your heel hits the ground, transferring the pressure to the toe feels seamless and natural.
On a related note, the traction and the grip of the Adidas Performance Isolation 2 are maintained by the non-marking outsoles.
Overall, the Adidas Performance Isolation 2 is definitely one of the best discount basketball shoes out there. The design is simple and iconic while the Torsion System, EVA midsole, and perforated upper work together to ensure decent stability, flexibility, and breathability.
The insole could use an upgrade, but it’s good enough to last for long if you don’t always play aggressively.
What We Liked
- Beautiful, iconic design
- ?Torsion System enhances stability
- ?EVA midsole greatly absorbs impact
- Perforated upper improves comfort
What We Didn’t Like
- Average insole
- Coated leather slightly affects breathability
Nike Prime Hype DF – Superiority in Cushioning and Traction
Next up, we have one of the cheapest and best basketball shoes offered by Nike. Along with Adidas, this company has always remained as the popular choice when it comes to sports footwear.
With the Prime Hype DF, Nike once again captured our attention not only with the appearance but also with the identified features.
Thanks to the affordable price, we immediately acquired them for testing on the basketball court.
It’s probably safe to say that among the best cheap basketball shoes we’ve seen, this is the most unusual one. Starting from the arch, the shaft of the Nike Prime Hype DF is at a whopping 4 inches.
This huge characteristic is complemented by the striking color scheme of black and red with the white Nike logo. If red isn’t your favorite, you can choose the other variant that uses volt, otherwise known as lime or neon yellow green. Both of them work well with the predominantly black appearance.
Just like three other entries on this list, the Nike Prime Hype DF utilizes a rubber sole. Rubber is definitely cheaper than genuine leather. Thus, it’s a practical choice for manufacturers. The shoelaces here are surprisingly durable, tight, and feel secured.
The only thing that dampened our first impression of these basketball shoes is that they feel quite narrow, particularly in the toe box. We hoped that using it many times would solve the issue, but the fact is that the synthetic leather here strongly retains its form.
Thankfully, the addition of mesh for the upper added some much-needed breathability. Some of us still felt that the toe box of these cheap Nike shoes online was cramped, but the mesh makes it tolerable.
On the flip side, synthetic leather retains the strong colors and overall design of the Nike Prime Hype DF basketball shoes.
Even when the Nike basketball shoes do get dirty, cleaning them is a breeze.
In terms of performance, the Nike Prime Hype DF has remarkable traction even on wet grounds due to the rubber sole. A lot of us casually play on the streets even on a rainy day, so this is actually a significant benefit.
Thus, both the company and the athletes have something to gain from the rubber sole. On a related note, the synthetic and mesh upper further enhance the water resistance of the Prime Hype DF basketball shoes. While the synthetic material didn’t help with the fit at the forefoot area, this did improve the overall durability.
We ran so many times during our games, and the Nike Prime Hype DF didn’t look like they were affected at all.
Since this is a Dual Fusion basketball shoe, we were expecting the best kind of cushioning – and we weren’t disappointed.
These DF basketball shoes low price have a dual-density foam midsole containing two cores to provide superior comfort. In particular, this foam midsole has a firm Phylon core and another soft core at the interior. Through this Dual Fusion technology, our movement on the court felt unrestricted.
In other words, this is a basketball shoe that goes all out to keep the player as flexible as possible.
All in all, there is a lot to love about the Nike Prime Hype DF: flexibility, durability, and traction. These are one of the best cheap basketball shoes online not only because of the Dual Fusion technology but also because of the carefully picked sole and upper materials.
The toe box should have been more spacious, but the breathable mesh adequately offsets this comfort issue.
What We Liked
- ?Mesh improves breathability
- ?Dual Fusion provides superior cushioning
- ?Synthetic leather maintains durability
- Great traction even on wet ground
What We Didn’t Like
- Narrow toe box
Reebok Royal BB4500 – Retro Design with Modern Features
The third entry is from Reebok, which has captured a sizable portion of the sportswear market ever since it began operations nearly 60 years ago. The appeal and popularity of their shoes have only risen ever since they became a subsidiary of Adidas in 2005.
Of course, Reebok has always maintained its identity not only by keeping its logo but also by having the same reputable quality over the years. We’ve heard a lot about the Royal BB4500 even before we tested them, and we can assure you that they are worthy of consideration.
One of the things we immediately realized is that the Royal BB4500 basketball shoes have a retro vibe. We still prefer the classic style of the Adidas Men’s Isolation 2 low basketball shoes, but this pair also has a certain charm to it.
There are two colorways provided: black/steel/white/collegiate royal and white/steel/dark royal/red. Most of us preferred the black version but there’s no denying that the white variant looks clean too. Many fans of Michael Jordan will surely appreciate the design of these Reebok basketball shoes.
As for the fit, we had a rather amusing situation: These basketball shoes for men feel tight yet comfortable at the same time.
Many of us enjoyed the snug feel of the Reebok Royal BB4500 – these shoes felt like they were appropriate in place. The Royal BB4500 surrounded our feet without causing breathability issues. However, those in our team who had wide feet didn’t feel as comfortable.
We suggested they break in these basketball shoes for boys further, but even this process didn’t completely assure all of us. More than half of them, however, eventually felt comfortable and commented that the shoes gradually molded themselves to address the fit. If you have narrow feet, the fit here is just perfect.
It’s tight but not irritating. For basketball players who do have wide feet, they should carefully examine these to see if the fit works for them.
Still, there’s no denying that the Reebok Royal BB4500 is a testament to the company’s goal of making the best sports footwear.
The comfort of the fit is relative, but the quality is arguably excellent – even the padded tongue and the collar are above and beyond the competition with the comfort they provide. The construction is admirable and you could really feel the sturdiness of these affordable basketball shoes.
Reebok has been a favorite pick for many basketball players due to its consistent durability, and the Royal BB4500 continues that legacy. No matter the intensity of our steps and jumps, these basketball shoes won’t show any remarkable signs of wear and tear.
The leather and textile upper not only looks great but is also strong. Moreover, the traction is great whether you’re on dry courts or on wet streets. Reebok did a splendid job with the rubber sole for these basketball shoes.
What’s quite distinct about the Reebok Royal BB4500 is its OrthoLite foam sockliner.
If you often wear orthotics to address ankle or foot problems, this foam sockliner should complement the device. Whether the orthotics you’re using is a foot pad, a shoe insert, or an ankle brace, the inclusion of the removable Ortholite foam sockliner should be a welcome bonus.
It even has antimicrobial properties to keep your ankles clean even during the most strenuous activities. Once we tried the sockliner for at least ten games, our ankles felt more comfortable than ever.
The fact that the Reebok Royal BB4500 has a lace-up closure alongside the high-top build means that the ankle protection here is something to be proud of.
The Reebok Royal BB4500 won’t be immediately enjoyed by athletes with wide feet, but every other basketball player will appreciate the durability, comfort, and traction of these shoes.
What We Liked
- ?Durable build
- ?Removable Ortholite foam sockliner
- ?Padded tongue and collar for added comfort
- Rubber sole provides great traction
What We Didn’t Like
- Fit not always suitable for players with wide feet
Adidas Performance Cloudfoam Ilation – Perfect for Those with Wide Feet
The fourth basketball shoes we deemed affordable yet surprisingly good is the Adidas Performance Cloudfoam Ilation. Yes, this is the second entry from Adidas, but that’s just proof of how dedicated they are to creating a variety of sportswear to cater to all markets.
Many of our pals had tried Cloudfoam footwear before, and they have nothing but praise for them. With the Cloudfoam Ilation basketball shoes, we had high expectations.
If you haven’t noticed, the Cloudfoam Ilation is quite similar to the Adidas Performance Isolation 2.
However, instead of just two color schemes, these men’s low basketball shoes have a whopping nine colorways. Almost all of them utilize neutral colors such as white, metallic silver, black, and gray. In fact, there is only one colorway that utilizes power red. Thus, Adidas allowed us to pick from a variety of basketball shoes cheap that shared a minimalist and iconic design.
You honestly cannot go wrong with any of the colorways here. The debossed 3-Stripes logo is the icing on the cake at this point.
Amusingly, the Adidas Performance Cloudfoam Ilation is the answer for athletes with wide feet. It’s a common problem when a shoe feels too narrow to accommodate wide feet, and it’s a bummer when breaking them in does nothing.
In contrast, the Cloudfoam Ilation seems to be built for people with these issues. Of course, people with narrow feet do not have to worry since these still fit well enough for them too. This just means that Adidas has a basketball shoe that perfectly balances tightness and comfort.
People with wide feet will appreciate the snug feeling while those with narrow feet will find it average at the least. Ideally, the former won’t even have to break these shoes in to have enough comfort. Likewise, players who wear orthotics will not notice the relatively big fit of these basketball shoes.
Moreover, breathability is not an issue with these basketball shoes because of the perforated upper. If there’s one odd thing we noticed, it’s that the shoelaces were too long to our liking. Yes, it’s much better to have longer ones than shorter laces, but the chances of stepping on them and falling down increase a bit.
Thankfully, the obvious solution here is cheap and easy: Get normal-sized shoelaces.
The upper is actually made of synthetic nubuck leather, which utilizes the top-grain cowhide for remarkable durability. This kind of leather works well on the court thanks to its resistance to wear and tear.
As for the rubber outsole, we cannot complain about it either. For the price, this is as good as the grip can be. It’s decent enough to prevent slips on indoor or outdoor basketball courts.
Also, these basketball shoes also kept our feet comfortable and light throughout the most intensive games.
Of course, we didn’t expect less since the Cloudfoam sockliner and midsole were precisely developed by Adidas for outstanding impact absorption.
People weren’t kidding when they told us that these will make your feet ignore the hard basketball court. They are so comfortable and light that we actually use them for regular walks too.
In addition, the mesh material utilized for the rear quarter provided sufficient ventilation.
In summary, we were delighted by the impact-cushioning feature of the Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation. The comfort of these shoes is also reinforced by the perforated upper and mesh rear quarter.
Although the shoelaces are too long, the durability of these cheap basketball shoes cannot be ignored.
What We Liked
- Cloudfoam sockliner and midsole provide astounding cushioning
- Perforated upper and mesh rear quarter add ventilation
- Nubuck leather upper is extremely durable
- Great fit even for players with wide feet
What We Didn’t Like
- Shoelaces are too long
Under Armour UA ClutchFit Drive 3 – Variety in Design and Superb Mobility
The final basketball shoes we picked for this list is from Under Armour, which has steadily gained popularity recently. They only began manufacturing shoes in 2006, but the company has already learned a lot to distinguish itself from competitors.
With the ClutchFit Drive 3 high top basketball shoes, we were confident that Under Armour is in it for the long run.
The first thing we observed is how the shape of this shoe is futuristic and exciting. We all love the minimalist designs often seen on Nike and Adidas sportswear, but Under Armor offered us an aesthetic that’s bursting with energy and movement.
From a visual perspective alone, these Under Armour youth basketball shoes is a refreshing take on what the best cheap basketball shoes should be.
The company didn’t stop there as we were surprised with the staggering amount of colorways. They have not only one but 16 color schemes to choose from. Whether you like neutral colors or you prefer more vibrant designs, the ClutchFit Drive 3 has a bevy of options available.
Needless to say, we had no qualms whatsoever with the colorways we got.
As for the fit, we think it’s certainly above average. What needs more recognition is the bear-trap lacing system of these cheap shoes for men basketball. In simple terms, the shoelaces here connect to the tongue not only to prevent it from flapping around but to also increase the overall fit.
Granted, the ClutchFit Drive 3 somewhat looks bulky, but this is easily forgiven when you realize how tough yet comfortable the shoes are. First, these basketball shoes have an external heel counter that significantly reduces the risk over over-pronation by giving additional support.
The one downside we did discover is that it easily becomes dirty if the court is not polished enough.
Of course, you just have to wipe the shoes, but it would be nice if their visual flair didn’t become dull due to all the dust.
These Under Armour basketball shoes not only looked great but also performed well. The traction of these basketball shoes isn’t anything special, but it’s fine for the price.
We thought we would have several slips during our games because the outsole looks flat, but we were wrong. The ClutchFit Drive 3 actually grips well despite its appearance.
Also, these basketball shoes have the die-cut OrthoLite sockliner – just like the Reebok Royal BB4500 – for better ankle support with an antimicrobial feature.
The company has conducted rigorous tests to provide sheer comfort and flexibility, and the result is the Clutchfit pattern. At first, we doubted the significance of this feature since it sounded too good to be true. However, our minds were changed after countless basketball games.
The ClutchFit pattern is ridiculously good in adapting to both the shape of our feet and our in-game movement. Instead of just giving a great fit, this pattern enables the basketball shoes to conform even in motion. This is a distinct feature that we hope other brands replicate in the near future.
Our mobility was basically enhanced once we wore the ClutchFit Drive 3.
Dirt and traction issues aside, there is nothing else to complain about the Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 3. These basketball shoes come in a variety of colorways, have the antimicrobial Ortholite sockliner, and include the spectacular ClutchFit pattern for amazing fit and mobility.
What We Liked
- ?16 colorways to choose from
- ?ClutchFit pattern provides great mobility and fit
- ?Antimicrobial Ortholite sockliner
- Heel counter for support
What We Didn’t Like
- Routinely gets dirty
- Average traction
We seriously had a lot of fun testing these five basketball shoes, but not all of them can take the crown. Thus, we believe that two of the shoes we reviewed deserve the utmost recognition. If you have wide feet, you should definitely get the Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation.
Not only is it suitable for wide feet but the colorways are beautiful and iconic. Furthermore, the nubuck leather assures extreme durability while the Cloudfoam technology excels in impact cushioning.
If you do have narrow feet, your top pick should be the sturdy Nike Prime Hype DF.
Whether you’re playing indoors or outdoors while it’s raining, the traction of these shoes is fantastic. The toe box is quite narrow, but the mesh material gives optimum ventilation. In addition, the Dual Fusion technology provides cushioning that only the Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation could match.
By hitting all the right spots in terms of durability, comfort, and traction, the Nike Prime Hype DF has secured its spot as the best cheap basketball shoes in the market.