10 Most Common Shoe Worn in the NBA

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Basketball shoes serve a vital role in the game by helping you prevent injuries, stay comfortable during games and practice sessions, give you the agility to be a top-notch player, enhance your performance and provide better traction and ankle support. 

It’s not a surprise that basketball shoes make up one of the most profitable parts of the sports industry. People are willing to spend hundreds of bucks just on a pair of shoes. In fact, NBA players even have their own type of shoe. These shoes are made by brands of their preference and designed explicitly for individual players like LeBron James’ Nike and Steph Curry’s Under Armour. 

What are the most popular common shoes worn in the NBA? Let’s get into it. 

What is Special About Basketball ShoesWhat is Special About Basketball Shoes?

We all know that professional basketball players aren’t just “normal” people. They are almost superhuman in their physical power, stamina, and agility. 

Basketball is a game that involves a lot of running and jumping. This makes it one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. While many players have high endurance, they also need to be able to run faster and jump higher than their opponents. This can only be accomplished through special training, good nutrition, and the right equipment. One of the most important pieces of apparel a basketball player can own is basketball shoes.

The first thing a player will notice about these shoes is that they have an ultra-lightweight design. Another feature that makes these shoes unique is their ability to grip the floor. A player’s feet must stay firmly planted on the ground with all the running and jumping during a game. The shoe needs traction on wet gym floors, wooden courts, and concrete—you don’t want your feet to slip out from under you when you’re trying to get open for a jump shot at half-court.

Another critical aspect of the basketball shoe is durability. The best shoes are usually made with some combination of leather and canvas uppers that can withstand much wear and tear over time and rubber soles that will stay firm even after being worn down by use on hard court surfaces. 

The individual style of play and physical build of a player come into consideration in what style of shoes to be worn. Smaller players should wear more flexible and lighter shoes that will give advantages in acceleration and quick movement. More prominent players with heavier frames to support should wear a shoe that offers ankle support, cushioning, and significant stability to better protect those players when jumping and running.

What Shoes Do Most NBA Players WearWhat Shoes Do Most NBA Players Wear?

Basketball shoes evolved over the years. From the era of one-model-fits-all Converse All-Star “Chuck Taylor,” where the only options were high-cut or low-cut models, the modern basketball shoe is a high-tech enhancement of player performance. A stylish accessory has gone beyond basketball and into the globe.

If you’re a basketball player, or even if you love watching basketball and looking at shoes, you may be interested to know what the most popular brands of basketball shoes are worn by NBA players.

Unsurprisingly, Nike dominates the sportswear market and is the most common shoe worn in the NBA. Arguably the most popular brand in sports, Nike has established its name in the basketball world. According to the 2021-2022 NBA Regular Season Basketball Statistics posted by kixstats.com, the first eight out of the top ten most popular sneakers by players’ choice last season are from Nike. This includes the signature shoes of Kobe Bryant, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

With its innovative engineering, excellent design, and sleek style, there’s a reason why the brand is the most preferred footwear. Another reason is that Nike has been the most popular shoe for decades, so many current players probably grew up wearing them and now love them. Also, some of the best players have endorsement deals with Nike, which is a massive boost in the marketing and promotion of the brand.

10 Most Popular NBA Shoes by Brand10 Most Popular NBA Shoes by Brand

The NBA is where top-notch athletic performance and fashion intersect. Their shoes are continually refined, changing, and a hot topic among sports fans. The players need serious footwear that can handle everything from grueling team practices to high-stakes games is a perfect match for the latest and greatest in sneaker technologies. 

With basketball’s biggest stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry sporting the latest kicks all season long, the fame of today’s most popular shoes has never been higher.

Using the data from the Baller Shoes DB database, the chart below outlines which brands made the most popular NBA shoes last season:

Brand % of Players Using Best Features Notable Players Wearing
Nike 66.7
  • Flexibility
  • Excellent support
  • Durability
LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving
Adidas 9.9
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Lightweight
James Harden, Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose
Jordan 8.2
  • Traction
  • Amazing court feeling
  • Ankle support
Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson
Puma 4.3
  • Great midsole cushioning
  • Stability
  • Traction
  • Breathability
RJ Barrett, LaMelo Ball, Deandre Ayton
Under Armour 2.4
  • Reliable construction
  • Strong rubber sole
  • Ample heel cushion
Steph Curry, Joel Embiid, Patty Mills
Anta 1.7
  • Amazing impact protection 
  • Well-fitting 
  • Ample foot lockdown
Klay Thompson, Gordon Hayward, Rajon Rondo
Li-Ning 1.7
  • Outstanding bounce ability
  • Excellent grip
  • Lightweight
  • Breathability
Jimmy Butler, D’Angelo Russel, Montrezl Harrell
New Balance 1.4
  • Super comfortable cushioning
  • High-quality and durable materials
  • Durable outsole
Kawhi Leonard, Dejounte Murray, Jamal Murray
Converse 1.0
  • Consistent traction
  • optimal Responsiveness
  • Supportive structure
Draymond Green, Jordan Clarkson, P.J Tucker
Reebok 1.0
  • Impressive ankle support
  • Phenomenal lockdown
  • Great forefoot traction
John Wall, Jerami Grant, Josh Richardson

10 Most Popular Basketball Shoes Worn by NBA Players10 Most Popular Basketball Shoes Worn by NBA Players

Everything was gradually returning to normal after the surge of COVID. Last season, the NBA resumed the classic 82-game slate with arenas in full capacities. We’ve witnessed the much-missed energy and noise in the playoffs like the good old times. We’ve also seen arguably the best NBA shoes for years. 

According to ballershoesdb.com, here are the most worn shoes in the NBA last season:

Model Number of Players Wearing Best Features Notable Players Wearing
Nike Kobe 5 Protro 36
  • Strong grip on clean floors
  • Springy forefoot
  • Next-to-skin comfort
Anthony Davis, Devin Booker, Tobias Harris
Nike Kobe 6 Protro 35
  • Amazing traction
  • Noticeable impact protection
  • Reliable support and lockdown
  • Comfortable tongue
DeMar DeRozan, Jaylen Brown, Zach LaVine
Nike PG 5 24
  • Highly-cushioned
  • Superb traction
  • Good value for money
Paul George, Tyler Herro, Reggie Jackson
Nike KD 14 21
  • Great cushion and feel
  • Great ankle support
  • No heel slip
Kevin Durant, Ja Morant, Jrue Holiday
Air Jordan 36 17
  • Amazing traction
  • smooth heel-to-toe transition
  • Incredible impact protection
Jayson Tatum, Carmelo Anthony, Bradley Beal
Nike Kyrie 7 17
  • Super comfy
  • Feels light
  • Stable even during lateral movement
Kyrie Irving, Darius Garland, Brandon Ingram
Nike KD 13 14
  • Nice ankle support
  • Good grip on a wood court
  • Easy to put on/ take off
Kevin Durant, Ja Morant, Mikal Bridges
Adidas Dame 7 12
  • Great court feeling
  • Very stable and supportive
  • Lightweight
Damian Lillard, John Collins, Evan Mobley
Nike Air Zoom GT Cut 12
  • All-in cushioning
  • Nice and breathable materials
  • No-frills support
De’Aaron Fox, Cade Cunningham, Tyrese Maxey
Adidas Exhibit A 10
  • Reliable traction
  • Impressive response
  • Stable construction
Kristaps Porzingis, Danilo Gallinari, Patrick Beverley

10 Best Basketball Shoes of All Time10 Best Basketball Shoes of All Time

Since the invention of basketball in 1891, technology has revolutionized the sport. From a simple canvas sneaker, basketball footwear has changed countless times. Shoes have become ever more specialized according to position and style of play, and today’s top athletes work with shoe designers to create custom-fit footwear that can help them improve their game.

Collecting and summarizing professional sneaker reviews from reliable blogs and YouTube channels, here’s the list of the ten best basketball shoes of all time in no particular order:

Model Release Year Best Features Notable Players Wearing
Nike Air Jordan 1 1985
  • Loads of grip
  • Stable
  • Timeless aesthetic
Michael Jordan
Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star 1917
  • Long-lasting
  • Long-lasting
  • Versatile
Multiple Old Players
Nike Air Force 1 1982
  • All-rounder
  • Fun to style up
  • Shock-absorbing
Moses Malone
Air Jordan 11 1995
  • Reliable grip
  • Breathable mesh
  • Secure fit
Michael Jordan
Nike Kobe 4 2009
  • Aggressive traction pattern
  • Comfortable cushioning
  • Protective, stable, and responsive midsole
Kobe Bryant
Nike Foamposite One 1997
  • Comfortable fit
  • Excellent ankle support
  • Good traction
Penny Hardaway
Adidas Superstar 1969
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Sufficient arch support
  • Roomy toe box
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Reebok Question 1996
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Offers rearfoot stability
  • Supportive ankle section
Allen Iverson
Air Jordan 3 1988
  • Wraps around feet
  • Supportive collar
  • Reliable lockdown
Michael Jordan
 Air Zoom Huarache 2k4 2004
  • Pliable rubber-like fabric
  • Breathable
  • Encourages ankle mobility
Kobe Bryant

Wrapping Things Up:  10 Most Common Shoes Worn in the NBA

Basketball shoes are a popular choice among NBA players and are often a reflection of their style. It’s more than just a choice of comfort. Some players will go with a more understated look, while others go for flashy colors and designs. 

As you can see, Nike is on top in most of the basketball shoe rankings.  They created the shoes of the NBA’s all-time greats like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. That could also mean Nike made the best NBA shoes of all time. As these people possessed much popularity and influence, it’s not surprising that Nike became the most popular basketball shoe. Other brands, such as Adidas and Puma, are trying to catch up as the most worn NBA shoes.

With so many shoes listed above, it’s not surprising if you own a pair or two. That could mean you’re wearing greatness and popularity too!

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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