I think you’d agree:
There is no such thing as basketball shoes made only for youth. And if there does not exist such a category, it means that you cannot define best youth basketball shoes with help of clear differentiators.
It is a matter of fact, that due to certain reasons young basketball players prefer a particular type of shoes; the criteria are based on factors such as colors, shape, purpose (urban fashion) and innovation.
In this guide we have compiled the reviews of 10 basketball sneakers that are considered super fit for youth.
These ten shoes are specifically designed for today’s young generation according to their preferences.
We have spent hours considering all the facts and things that most of the young basketball players like, and then we have finally decided on this list. If you are looking forward to making your basketball experience even better on the court, take a look at the features and properties of these shoes and pick the best pair.
Top Youth Basketball Shoes Review
You take a look at this shoe and you know why is it considered one of the top cushioned basketball sneakers for youth. It is so rich in color and so chic in its shape, that there is no wonder if young players fall for it.
Here’s a little detail about the features:
The traction is simply super with a diamond pattern sole. This kind of sole is hard to find on any other Nike shoe; the sole is made of solid or translucent rubber.
The cushioning of this shoe consists of one full-length unit of Nike Air Zoom and Lunarlon. Zoom is air-pressurized unit with tensile fibers that give you a boost in case of pressure and Lunarlonis made off soft and responsive foam.
This shoe’s upper is made of FlyKnit and there is a little amount of TPU fibers. While FlyKnit provides somewhat ventilation, the purpose of TPU fibers is to increase grip and durability. It is very unlikely for the TPU fibers to tear down; that is why Nike has done a fascinating job integrating them in these shoes; you can enjoy these shoes for longer-term without any hassles, thanks to the material!
This shoe comes with a traditional lockdown with a traditional lacing system. Due to this lacing system and good padding on tongue and inner collar, the wearers enjoy a medium-level lockdown on their feet.
So, what makes this sneaker best? Well, to start with it is because of the big range of colorways that this sneaker comes in – black horse, hone, oreo, red horse and purple horse etc., then it is also because of its urban life-friendly shape of these sneakers.
Here is everything that you need to know about pros and cons:
This shoe seems to be a mixed bag of everything.
This shoe is great in terms of cushioning because of full-length units of Zoom and Lunarlon; however, when it comes to traction, the translucent rubber sole fails to perform as well as the solid rubber one. Yet, this is definitely one of the ideal basketball shoes for youth.
Speaking of youth, you have to consider teenagers and kids who are into basketball and who are considered youth.
Adidas Originals Superstar, as the name suggests, is a shoe made for a basketball junkie with a super star lifestyle – one of the best shoe from ADIDAS.
Here’s our take on the most important features.
A rubber cupsole with herringbone pattern ensures that the wearer of this shoe enjoys the best traction on all types of surfaces. Apart from making this shoe a style statement, this herringbone style pattern is one of the two main reasons why this is a sneaker for good traction.
Adidas Superstar comes with Adidas’s famous boost cushioning. The concept of boost is based on using TPU for compression and reaction to it. When sole comes under pressure, TPU provides good shock absorption and then TPU cells gives the wearer a bounce back.
So, this shoe’s material (used on top) is leather. Either you’re a leather fan or you’re not, nonetheless there is no denying that not only this material is considered the best for durability, longevity and lockdown, but it is also waterproof.
This shoe has a pretty standard lockdown with traditional lacing system, standard tongue and a sturdy material (leather). A standard TPU cover for the toe adds a little bit to the protection and lockdown.
How well this sneaker performs on youth factor meter? Well, so much so that it is used more in a casual and urban setting than on basketball courts. It has a universal appeal and a multi-purpose shoe.
This was it about features; here is the detail of most prominent pros and cons.
So, while leather provides better lockdown and durability, this also makes the shoe unbreathable.
In terms of traction this shoe is very good and in terms of cushioning, due to Boost technology, you can give it at least 4/5 stars. What really makes it super fit for youth is its all-purpose design.
3. Nike Air Force 1 Low –
Nike Air Force 1 is a sweet spot between style and sports; so yes, it definitely deserves to be called a sneaker for young people.
Here is our take on the most important features.
With a tough rubber sole and pivot point circles in the forefoot and heel, this shoe provides the best possible traction on all kinds of courts. The pattern of the solid rubber sole makes easier the multi-directional movements that a player needs.
For cushioning, Nike placed a full-length Air unit in the midsole. Air Zoom is an air pressurized unit with tensile fibers; when you apply pressure on this unit, the fibers push it back and thus offer a good bounce.
Just like Adidas Originals Superstar, this shoe’s material is also synthetic and leather. There can be problems with this material, but mostly it is known for merits like good grip, durability and being waterproof.
This shoe also fails impress in terms of lockdown; it is not that it lacks a lockdown, but it is pretty standard with standard lacing system and a tongue with minimal padding.
So, how youth-friendly is this shoe? Well, it is a standard Nike style-statement sneaker. The kind of sneakers that you would put on to a casual meetup or while traveling or basically anywhere.
Here’s a look at all important pros and cons.
This shoe makes a good style statement, but lacks at a few much needed details.
If you want a chic sneaker that is good for urban life and not bad for your regular basketball, this is the shoe to go for. With standard cushioning and traction, it is a decent basketball sneaker.
4. Under Armour Jet Mid –
If you’ve been through all these basketball shoes and you’re not really content with the style statement of all these sneakers, here is a pair of one of the best basketball boots for boys.
Under Armour Jet Mid is known for both: its universal style statement and basketball usability.
Here is how we vetted these shoes and what we found out:
This shoe is one of those that get a good grip on almost all sorts of courts as soon as they get a herringbone pattern rubber sole. This shoe has a one-piece thick rubber outsole and herringbone pattern on it makes it even better on dirty or clean courts.
This shoe has EVA foam midsole and insole. Why EVA foam matters a lot in terms of cushioning? It is because it has very good tensile strength and it is known for better shock absorption. However, it is yet not as good as technologically advanced Boost or Air cushioning.
Under Armour used synthetic leather in the heel counter and toe of this shoe. However, this does not cover the bigger part of the shoe; shoe’s upper and sides are made of engineered mesh. Rest assured that wearer enjoys maximum breathability and their feet dry quick.
This shoe has a good lace-up closure mechanism. The laces go from the bridge of the foot to almost upwards to the collar. The oval shoelaces and padded tongue of the shoe support the lacing-based lockdown mechanism.
If there was a 0 to 10 youth factor meter, we would have marked this shoe at 7 because of dual color tone, spectacular design and style. This is definitely one of the shoes that a youth would wear to any casual gathering.
Take a look at all important pros and cons.
While mesh is the best material for breathability and it dries real quick, it is not as durable and sturdy as leather or other materials.
This shoe seems to be at crossroads of style and performance. While it looks hip and considered perfect for casual urban lifestyle, its solid rubber sole with herringbone pattern and its EVA cushioning make it a perfect shoe for basketball.
5. Adidas Isolation 2 –
For starters, this is not yet another preschool basketball shoe pair. This is for grownups youngsters and the style statement is evident by the looks of this shoe.
Here is how we gauge it on basis of basic features.
This shoe brings in something special when it comes to soles and traction. It is a solid rubber sole with herringbone pattern. So what’s so different? Well, the rubber sole is made of non-marking rubber; it is needless to say that your shoe will not leave its marks on any type of court surface.
This shoe has a very unique system for cushioning; Adidas used textured EVA foam in the midsole and the torsion system in the midfoot makes it possible for the wearer to evade shock and feel stability.
The material that makes most of this shoe’s upper is synthetic leather; however, through a strip of mesh right on top of the bridge of wearer’s foot and though the perforations in synthetic leather upper, breathability has been made possible.
Adidas Isolation 2 is known for its snug fit and good quality lockdown. The padding, the raised tongue, medium collar and lacing system that enjoys a good grip on tongue, ensure that wearer enjoys a good lockdown.
You look at this shoe’s dual-color tone or the glittering tongue, and you can tell that yes this sneaker is made for youth … and yes, it is not to be confined to basketball courts, for it blends perfectly in any urban setting.
Here is everything about pros and cons.
The problem with leather is that even if you make perforations and have a little mesh on top, leather will leave very little room for air.
This shoe performs like a charm for traction, but cushioning is not really impressive. While leather is a sturdy materi
al and supports a good lockdown, it is not ideal for so many reasons.
Here comes another set of basketball shoes. From little girls and boys to teenagers, this is the shoe that you put on when you head for the basketball court.
Here’s a breakdown of its important features.
Unlike many other Nike shoes, this one does not have a Herringbone pattern. On a thick and solid rubber sole, there are stripes. They work great in all sorts of movements including linear or lateral footwork.
Just like the traction, this shoe’s cushioning is also unique. They used a Phylon midsole and a full-length Zoom Air unit. We already know what is Zoom Air. Phylon is made of small EVA chunks that boost the cushioning and court-feel.
The material used on this shoe failed to impress us; with limited use of garment and using full-grain leather as main material they make the shoe more durable and waterproof at expense of breathability
This shoe has a unique lockdown even though it employs a traditional lacing system; the mesh tongue of this Jordan sneaker has stretchable bands that boost the lockdown.
This shoe is made for kids, and if that alone is not enough, the dual-color tone and its overall style check all the boxes on Youth-o meter.
Take a look at the pros and cons.
The problem lies in focusing more on outer or mid-sole and ignoring that it is insole that comes in direct contact with feet.
This shoe delivers marvelously when it comes to traction and cushioning – with one exception and that is its substandard insole. However, leather kills breathability and its lockdown is also bordering to pretty much standard one.
These sneakers exude youth factor, they are so trendy, they’re so colorful and they’re so made for casual outdoors and gatherings.
Take a look at the most important features.
A semi-Herringbone pattern thick and solid rubber sole makes sure that the player enjoys best possible grip on all type of court surfaces.
Apart from midsole, the insole of this shoe offers very good padding; padding helps in shock absorption and bounce back.
Just like many other shoes reviewed above, this one is also made of synthetic leather and there is a little use of mesh – apart from that, just for breathability, perforations have been made in leather.
This shoe’s lockdown mainly relies on its lacing system, good padding in collar and tongue areas, and medium cut size of tongue and collar. So it is a pretty standard lockdown.
From the looks of this shoe to the style, shape and overall feel of it, it is easier to say that this shoe was definitely made for kids.
Here’s a breakdown of pros and cons.
Apart from a very well-padded midsole, this shoe lacks in cushioning as well.
This shoe looks good, feels good and works good on any type of surfaces. Lockdown is better than ordinary. But lack of a proper cushioning system and lack of breathability mar its overall reputation.
8. Nike KD 8 –
Nike KD 8 has a sex appeal that you cannot ignore; we have reviewed a lot of shoes that have colors that are used by old people more than youth.
But this pair have such style, design, shape patterns and colors that make them special – and only for youth.
Let’s have a look at the most promising features.
This shoe has a hybrid of Herringbone pattern on its sole. It is a thick rubber sole, although not as solid as in case of the previously reviewed shoes, but does the job. However, a few customers were not happy by how soft the rubber is and how easy it is to fray.
This shoe checks all the boxes when it comes to cushioning. It employs full-length Zoom Air Unit. Due to this, the wearer feels super bouncy because the unit goes from forefoot to the heel.
The material used on this shoe is synthetic fiber, but it looks and feels closer to the performance woven material that they have already used in other sneakers. Since it is fabric, it is somewhat breathable, although not as much as mesh.
Wearers of Nike KD 8 love it because of its snugfit, a good lacing system that contributes to the lockdown and the part that tongue plays in all this.
As it has been explained earlier, this shoe checks all the boxes on youth-o meter. It is stylish, it is colorful, design-wise it looks good and it can be used anywhere out of basketball court as well.
Let us take a look at the pros and cons
The problem is with the glue that keeps the sole and the air unit together; a few customers had this issue.
One has to say these are great “standard” basketball sneakers. The traction is good, cushioning is great, however, it goes without saying that there is room for improvement.
9. AND1 Show Out –
And there come some more kids basketball shoes. Yes, these are for kids, made by a company that is not as famous as Adidas or Nike, but definitely known by the sneaker enthusiasts.
Here’s our take on features.
This shoe comes with a solid rubber sole that has a Herringbone pattern on it. It is needless to say that this type of soles works on all kinds of surfaces.
With a lightweight EVA midsole – definitely with enough padding, this shoe does not only manage to remain lightweight, but also offer really good cushioning. Not to mention the court feel!
The upper material of this shoe is synthetic leather with perforations made to make it somewhat breathable. This kind of material is considered good for better lockdown, to make the shoe waterproof and durable.
It is a medium-cut shot with traditional lacing system going to the top of the tongue – because of this and the synthetic leather material, you can expect good lockdown from this shoe.
This is one of the most attractive and made for casual gathering shoe – hands down.
Leather finishing is not of really high quality; the thin top layer wears off pretty soon.
This definitely a good basketball shoe, but it lacks at breathability. Grip is definitely on par with big brands.
10. Under Armour Curry 3ZERO –
Last, but not the least, we cannot complete this review without Under Armour Curry 3 ZERO.
Let’s take a look at the features to understand that.
This shoe comes with a solid rubber sole and a detailed Herringbone pattern on it. Both of these qualities are known for providing strong grip on all sorts of surfaces.
This shoe has a unique cushioning setup. It has a Micro G foam carrier as midsole – combined with Charged Cushioning pad right underneath the heel.
A dual-mesh textile upper covers this shoe and makes it 100% breathable and quick to dry.
This shoe comes with an interlocking mechanism. The top eyelets are connected to the heel, and once shoes are laced up, this mechanism provides a very snug fit lockdown.
From innovative upper to lacing system to mesh pattern to dual-tone midsole and outer sole, this shoe is definitely made for youth – especially teenagers.
Here’s everything about pros and cons.
It seems to us that they were hell bent while deciding its cushioning – turns out they made it a little too tough.
This shoe is made for youth and in terms of traction as well as cushioning it works pretty good. Where it really deserves an effing A is its innovative lockdown.
4 Tips You Should Read Before You Buy
Make sure that you follow these quick points while buying a sports sneaker for yourself.
- It has a rubber sole or equally good sole with a well-known pattern such as herringbone.
- It has really good cushioning and cushioning takes into account both: forefoot and the heel.
- If you’re bent on durability and waterproof shoes, buy leather-based shoes, otherwise go with mesh upper shoes because they are breathable and your feet dry quick in them.
- Make sure that you have a real good lockdown, but not too good. Why? Because it is a common observation that shoes with real tough lockdown are hard to put on.
I have been playing basketball for more than a decade now, and my passion and enthusiasm for it drove me to write about it. I am Ahmed, a professional basketball player and a fan who has now become a writer to help fellow basketball players and enthusiasts to opt for the best possible basketball accessories and essentials. Stay tuned to feast yourself with the content you might not have seen anywhere else.