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 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 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 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|
||LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving|
||James Harden, Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose|
||Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson|
||RJ Barrett, LaMelo Ball, Deandre Ayton|
||Steph Curry, Joel Embiid, Patty Mills|
||Klay Thompson, Gordon Hayward, Rajon Rondo|
||Jimmy Butler, D’Angelo Russel, Montrezl Harrell|
||Kawhi Leonard, Dejounte Murray, Jamal Murray|
||Draymond Green, Jordan Clarkson, P.J Tucker|
||John Wall, Jerami Grant, Josh Richardson|
10 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||
||Anthony Davis, Devin Booker, Tobias Harris|
|Nike Kobe 6 Protro||35||
||DeMar DeRozan, Jaylen Brown, Zach LaVine|
|Nike PG 5||24||
||Paul George, Tyler Herro, Reggie Jackson|
|Nike KD 14||21||
||Kevin Durant, Ja Morant, Jrue Holiday|
|Air Jordan 36||17||
||Jayson Tatum, Carmelo Anthony, Bradley Beal|
|Nike Kyrie 7||17||
||Kyrie Irving, Darius Garland, Brandon Ingram|
|Nike KD 13||14||
||Kevin Durant, Ja Morant, Mikal Bridges|
|Adidas Dame 7||12||
||Damian Lillard, John Collins, Evan Mobley|
|Nike Air Zoom GT Cut||12||
||De’Aaron Fox, Cade Cunningham, Tyrese Maxey|
|Adidas Exhibit A||10||
||Kristaps Porzingis, Danilo Gallinari, Patrick Beverley|
10 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||
|Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star||1917||
||Multiple Old Players|
|Nike Air Force 1||1982||
|Air Jordan 11||1995||
|Nike Kobe 4||2009||
|Nike Foamposite One||1997||
|Air Jordan 3||1988||
|Air Zoom Huarache 2k4||2004||
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.