Guards require speed and agility on the basketball court. A difficult position to play, guards need to be able to bring their “A” game every night. Shoes are among the most important piece of equipment in a guard’s arsenal.
The right shoes make a huge difference.
And we’re going to help you pick the right shoes in 2018 to bring your game to the next level.
Choosing the Best Basketball Shoes for Guards
Nike Kyrie 3
Our favorite for 2018
Nike Mens Kobe A.D. NXT Basketball Shoes
Comfort and breathable design
Men’s Under Armour Curry 3 Basketball Shoe
Best in lightweight and supportive design
Guards that are worth their spot on the roster need one thing: fast reaction speed. The guard position is all about reaction time, and a split second lost can mean the difference between a win and a loss.
The key most important thing for a guard is a shoe’s traction. When a shoe has appropriate traction, this means that the shoe allows for:
- Supreme grip, allowing the guard to stop faster
- Traction to allow the guard to accelerate faster
- Better overall quickness
Maximizing performance means being able to react to the opposing player’s movement. You’ll find that the best guard shoes allow you to react on a dime. You’ll be able to stop faster, accelerate faster and maximize your performance to boost your overall game.
Shoes that provide the utmost traction allow you to amplify your game.
But players know that while traction is essential for performance, their feet take a beating with the wrong shoes. You need to be comfortable when you’re on the court, or you won’t be able to play to your potential.
Your shoes also need to provide a few, additional components that will allow you to make a difference on your team, such as:
- Cushion. Jumping causes a lot of force to be absorbed in your feet and ankles. The right cushioning allows for shock absorption. You’re not going to need the softest cushion in the world, but you do want responsive cushioning. Responsive material responds to your performance, absorbing shock while allowing you to maintain your speed and agility. This material isn’t ultra-soft, but it does absorb the impact so that you don’t walk off the court with aches and pains.
- Support. Your ankles take a beating, and everyone has their own support needs. Some players want low-top shoes, but these provide less support and protection to the ankle. A player who has a weaker ankle or is nursing an injury may want a mid-top shoe that provides additional support and protection to the ankle.
- Comfort. The right comfort can come in many forms, from support to cushioning. Heavier players need more cushioning for absorption. Lighter players may do better with firmer cushioning. Comfort also comes in the form of fit and response.
Support can also be provided by other features of a shoe. You’ll find that some shoes have heel counters that will provide you with more support in the heel area. You’ll also find shoes with outriggers which provide more support, too.
Advantages of the Wearing the Right Basketball Shoes
A lot of people neglect their feet – basketball players and non-players. The wrong fitting shoe can cause your feet to suffer major distress, including:
There are a lot of symptoms that your feet are trying to tell you when you wear the wrong shoes. A great video on running and regular shoes, which also applies to basketball shoes, can be seen by these two prominent physical therapists.
Wearing the right shoes allows you, as a basketball player, to:
- Enhance your performance for faster speed and stopping
- Boost your comfort for a better overall fit
- Absorb more impact when hitting the floor from jumping
- Protect your ankles and feet on the court
It’s all about your feet – more than performance – in many cases. You can’t play to your potential if your feet are killing you the entire time. And you also can’t maximize your performance if you’re nursing bruised ankles or toes.
You also want to make sure that your shoes aren’t too tight.
Shoes that are too tight will cause rubbing, which leads to blisters. You’ll also suffer from toes hitting the top of the shoe, which is both painful and uncomfortable. Bunions or corns can also form when the width of the shoe is not sufficient.
There are extra-wide and higher shoes available to accommodate a person with a wider foot.
You just need to have the right shoes to be able to play to your potential. Basketball shoes are also developed to meet the needs of the game. You’ll find that these shoes have special outsoles to provide better traction.
Absorption power is also provided to allow for impact absorption when your feet hit the ground.
You’ll notice a massive difference when wearing regular sneakers compared to basketball shoes. When you’re wearing shoes that are designed for the game, they’re always going to perform better than shoes meant for walking or running.
Every activity has its own demands, and basketball is one of the most demanding sports on your feet and ankles.
The right basketball shoes are a must-have if you plan on taking your basketball game to the next level.
Reviews of the Best Basketball Shoes for Guards in 2018
Air Jordan XXXI
Nike’s Air Jordan XXXI are one of the hottest basketball shoes this year, and the shoe made a big splash all throughout 2017. Stylish on the court, these shoes offer more than aesthetics, although they’re one of my favorite-looking shoes on the market.
Offered in eight unique color options, the XXXI has a synthetic and mesh design with a rubber sole that provides added traction on the court.
What makes these shoes such a popular option, aside from being Air Jordan’s, is that they have incorporated FlightSpeed technology into the shoe’s design. The technology does a few things: distributes compression force, maximizes spring-back response and offers explosive speed.
The heel of the sneaker offers synthetic leather to add durability to the shoe while the forefoot has a flyweave join design. What this design does is allows the foot to maintain natural movement, while providing the player with the agility and traction to make quick transitions and cuts.
- FlightSpeed technology allows for better compression force
- Midfoot is locked-in thanks to the flywire cables
- Durable, solid rubber is used on the outsole
The only drawback with this shoe is that it’s a little expensive. But Nike has kept at the top of the industry with innovative technology that is incorporated into the XXXI. If you want the latest in footwear technology, Air Jordan’s XXXI is one of the best of the best.
Stephen Curry is one of the game’s best, and his basketball shoe is a great pick for all guards. The Curry 3 sneaker is provided by Under Armour, and they’re offered in over two dozen color combinations.
From the style to the fit of the shoe, the Curry 3 impresses.
Curry helped design his own shoe, and his perfection on the court transitioned into his shoe’s design. Infinite support is provided thanks to the Threadborne upper, which provides the wearer with a lightweight, direction strength that Curry prefers on the court.
The shoe’s shank is made from meta-wing carbon fiber that offers locked-in stability in the foot’s arch, heel and forefoot.
Herringbone traction provides traction and grip on the court. The shoe also incorporates Anafoam to provide support and structure while keeping the shoe lightweight. Charged cushioning provides first-step speed and change of direction needed to outpace the competition.
- Lightweight design with a carbon fiber meta-wing
- Threadbone upper added better strength and faster direction speed
- Added support thanks to the Anafoam design
- Front is narrow for some users
The Curry 3 fits most users perfectly, but some state that the front is too narrow. Others say that the Curry 3 has a larger size than other Under Armour shoes.
But these shoes are lightweight, supportive and give Curry the edge on the court – they’re one of the best shoes by, arguably, the game’s best guard.
Kyrie Irving is another star that deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as Stephen Curry. And it’s fitting that he has also designed one of the best shoes for a point guard. The Kyrie 3 is made by Nike, and the shoes come in 25 color options.
The shoe’s sole features a herringbone pattern for maximum traction, and the rubber sole adds to the stability and performance of the shoe.
Nike has incorporated the company’s Nike zoom technology in the forefoot. The shoe’s inside tongue has signature details. Kyrie 3’s aren’t the lightest basketball shoes, but they’re comfortable, supportive and offer superior traction.
Comfort was definitely a key point in the Kyrie 3 design. These shoes offer one of the most comfortable fits in the game.
The heel is designed with the zoom air unit for responsive cushioning and a low-profile. Phylon foam is injected into the forefoot for maximum comfort and feel. The outsole has a curvature that provides players with the ability to make fast transitions making it near-impossible to defend.
There are also independent pods on the shoes to provide a little additional traction for faster cuts in any direction.
- Zoom air technology provides maximum response
- Independent pods add to the shoe’s traction
- Comfort is key to the shoe’s design
- Shoes are narrow
Wearers with extra-wide feet will want to keep in mind that the Kyrie 3 has a narrow design, so you’ll need to order the appropriate size. Aside from this one caveat, these shoes are comfortable, supportive and offer supreme traction.
Adidas Crazylight Boost
Adidas has their own shoe – it’s not endorsed by any players – that is called the “Crazylight.” This shoe has a unique textured exterior that makes a fashion statement when you’re on the court. Black and white in color, these shoes have a rubber outsole that is key to your performance.
The rubber outsole offers a boost in the user’s energy, allowing them to make every step matter on the court.
Light, fast energy allows for quick cuts and transitions while playing. There’s a jacquard synthetic upper that adds to the shoe’s comfort. The shoe’s design also incorporates a molded heel collar, which allows for a better overall fit.
When moving to the shoe’s outsole, you’ll find continental rubber, which provides maximum grip on and off the court. The outsole offers grip in wet and dry conditions, so anyone playing street ball can confidently wear these shoes, too.
- Can be worn indoors and outdoors
- Offers faster speed on the court
- Lightweight design for fast transitions and cuts
- Runs a little large
Like all shoes, a lot of wearers have issues with sizing. Adidas offers these a little larger than a “true” size, so keep this in mind when ordering. Besides this common complaint, the Crazylight Boost is a great, responsive shoe that is lightweight and offers superb transitioning.
Kobe A.D. NXT
Nike’s Kobe A.D. NXT shoe is the final shoe on our list, and Kobe Bryant remains one of the best shooting guards to ever play the game. The NXT offers a fabric sole, which is a lot different than what we’ve seen so far.
Designed to be lightweight, these shoes are all about speed. There’s even a flyknit fabric that wraps around the wearer’s foot to provide strong support. These shoes fit much like a sock. Laces are not incorporated into the shoe, but there’s an adjustable toggle in the place of laces.
Nike Zoom Air cushioning is incorporated into the heel of the shoe to provide soft landings and fast first steps.
Soft Lunarion foam is added as another layer of the shoe that spans from the toe to the heel.
A micro-tread pattern is incorporated into the rubber sole, and allows the wearer to change directions fast. There are also flex grooves in the forefront of the shoe that allows the foot to enjoy natural flexion during play.
- Offers a tight, comfortable fit with breathable support
- Flex grooves allow the foot to flex naturally
- Micro-tread pattern offers superior grip
- Lacks the traditional lace design
The only issue with this shoe is that it lacks a traditional lace design. While not a major issue, it does take some time to get accustomed to the shoe’s slip-on and toggle tightening system.
Guards are key to winning any game. Whether you’re playing on a high school team or you’re a professional, you’ll be able to find a shoe above to meet your needs. Our top pick, out of all that we reviewed, would have to be the: Kyrie 3.
The addition of pods make these shoes extremely responsive and provide the additional grip you need to maximize your performance on and off the court.
There’s rumors of the Kyrie 4 coming out before the end of 2018, and we’re super excited to see how the new iteration of the shoe performs. Until then, we’ll stick with the Kyrie 3 being one of the best basketball shoes for guards in 2018.