The guard: your team relies on you to out-dribble opponents, kick out to your teammates, and even score in crunch time.
As an integral part of the team’s backbone—and with so much on the line—you can’t afford to compromise on anything.
This includes the foundation under your feet: a pair of basketball shoes that persist during sharp cuts and support after a big jump shot. There’re a lot of models on the market—so many to choose from—but don’t worry: the following list breaks down the best pairs that every guard needs to up their game. Check out these picks for the best basketball shoes for guards.
1. Adidas Men’s Harden Vol. 4
Maximize efficiency on the court with the Adidas Men’s Harden Vol. 4, a signature line by James Harden. Specifically designed to enhance comfort, energy yields, and support, this is the pair that every guard needs to stay agile and secure.
But first, stand back and marvel at this unique design. The upper, which is partially comprised of Forgefiber to ensure durable support, arcs up towards the tongue with an intricately-colored lacing pattern. The sneakers’ sides capture attention with their multi-indented surfaces which also help improve breathability.
Beneath all the visual appeal, though, are layers of technology to boost performance—starting with boost™ cushions for increased energy return and uber-keen responsiveness.
Enjoy maximum containment without all the excess bulk thanks to an updated silhouette structure.
The tongue is comprised of a semi-burrito shape for better lockdown security
James Harden is a legend in getting buckets—not a bad idea to have a pair of his sneakers backing you up on the court. Read Full Review
2. Under Armour Men’s Curry 6
Few pros can shoot like Stephen Curry—the man is a magician on the court. If you want to reach his level of speed, grace, and accuracy, you need a foundation that facilitates all three.
So Steph’s own line has been precisely engineered with this in mind. Yes, they’re low—light and trim to keep you lighter than opponents.
But don’t worry about feeling unsecured; the Curry 6 by Under Armour utilizes a knit internal sleeve to keep you feeling intact at all times. Enjoy a synthetic microfiber quarter panel that further enhances security without adding on weight and size. Seam taping dynamically merges the sleeve and quarter, bridging into one cohesive package.
You’ll feel the difference across the midsole thanks to EVA foam which boosts the sneakers’ responsiveness to your every move. Curry said it best, “Success comes after you conquer your biggest obstacles and hurdles.” Go live this philosophy on the court.
3. Adidas Men’s Dame 5
They don’t call it “Rip City” for nothing! Damian Lillard has become a star under the Portland Trail Blazers name and his signature line of sneakers live up to the reputation.
Adidas Men’s Dame 5 will immediately impress upon you thanks to its sleek, modern look. The upper is comprised of a grid pattern interlocked by the lacing system. Just beneath this is a black strip riding up the tongue, adding extra appeal and functional features.
But don’t judge a shoe by its looks! Beneath all the aesthetics is a system for facilitating maximum performance. Let’s start with the boost™ midsole cushion that ensures the utmost traction during those critical drives.
The midsole also supports extra flexibility within the sneakers themselves so you can move quickly without stiffness. There’s a neoprene collar, too, that further softens the fit while the lacing system is rugged and offers incredible security. Read Full Review
4. Nike Men’s Air Jordan XXXIV
It’s that classic Jordan look inspired by one of the NBA’s greatest legends. The Nike Men’s Air Jordan XXXI low is not extravagant on the surface—but if Michael Jordan is any proof, looks may be deceiving for the Hall-of-Famer who was once cut by his varsity high school basketball team.
We can start with the technology of this pair. FlightSpeed engineering is built into the design, creating an even distribution across the entire length of your foot. Compression forces are kept in check so your game stays sharp.
You’ll love the comfort as the inner sleeve envelops you to help create a fit that’s customized to your precise needs. Add to this a synthetic leather heel combined with a Flyweave forefoot and you will notice the difference in comfort and performance.
5. Nike Kyrie 5
He’s a madman—in a good way. Kyrie Irving never fails to impress us, and the same can be said about his signature Nike line. The Kyrie 5 combines a bold look with unrivaled sneaker technology to give you that competitive edge—and flare.
Coming in a wide range of colors from black to aqua, you can find all the personalization you want. Woven into the side panel is Kyrie’s own signature, repeated in intricate patterns—bold and confident like the pro himself.
But there’s more to this pair than meets the eye. Built into the structure’s forefoot is a Nike zoom unit, helping provide the necessary support and comfort. Traction will be no issue whether it’s a fast drive to score or a sudden juke—opponents will be left scrambling.
To top it all off, you have the Kyrie Irving initial symbol emblazoned atop the tongue.
6. Nike Zoom KD 12
These shoes make a statement. The Nike Zoom KD 12 will instantly grab people’s attention with their unique design and bold color schemes.
The pair use an intricate lacing system that totally huges your feet. Comprised of synthetic and mesh materials with a rubber sole, the Zoom KD has been redesigned with a key feature in mind: control. With the use of a fully visible Zoom Air compartment running along the base, you’ll soon feel the difference.
The amount of bounce, which helps improve security after landing from a big jump, is unmatched.Add to this a foam heel counter that keeps things snug and secure, the Zoom is a masterpiece of design and technology with stunning aesthetic appeal. Read Full Review
7. Nike Men’s Kyrie 4
No signature pair of sneakers could live up to the Kyrie name if they didn’t have some flare to them. The Nike Men’s Kyrie 4 delivers precisely on this expectation, combining a bold design with all the tech you’d expect from a pair named after one of basketball’s most prolific rising stars.
These updated shoes place a greater emphasis on fit and feel, using an engineered mesh across the forefoot to ensure maximum breathability. Flywire cables along the forefoot also help facilitate extra support for a secure fit. And as if all this wasn’t enough, your foundation is secured with a set of Zoom Air units, providing that nice bounce after a big jump.
Flexibility is further ensured with zig-zag cutouts across the outsole that also maintain lightness. Underneath the shoe, a micro-tread pattern gives you incredible traction for your quick on-court moves. Thanks to a lush suede quarter panel, you’ll enjoy boundless comfort and aesthetics, too. Read Full Review
8. Nike Men’s PG 3 Basketball Shoes
In one of their more complex designs, the Nike Men’s PG 3 is excellent for any guard looking to back up their game. As far as design goes, this is the pair you wear when you want to make a statement. Multi-colored patches across the upper are also comprised of different stitch patterns and materials.
A unique lacing system incorporates an extended lace loop that enhances both the look and fit. Unlike former versions of the shoe, the PG 3 excludes the old strap and bootie elements, providing improved fit.
Furthermore, the Zoom Air units have increased in size, facilitating even better responsiveness. You’ll also find the outsole is enhanced with pistoned zones that flex and yield as you move.
The tongue has also received an update, switching to a more traditional model that prioritizes a better fit over visual appeal. Underpinning it all is a bold orange-blot pattern beneath the sole, keeping you in style across the court. Read Full Review
9. Nike Men’s Hyperdunk 10
Design meets agility with the Nike Men’s Hypershift Ankle-High basketball shoes. It’s got a name that speaks for itself and results on the court that leave the competition speechless. It’s all thanks to a combination of lightweight tailoring balanced by the best in sneaker tech. A synthetic sole underpins a shaft-to-arch that measures 3.25 inches.
A mesh upper enhances breathability while adding a unique design element that’s simultaneously edgy and gritty. Laces crisscross into a tongue that’s blended into the upper itself, providing a smoother fit and feel. A heel hoop on the rear allows for extra ease when lacing up and heading out to the court.
Effortlessly drive to the bucket without the burden of bulky shoes or heavy designs. The Hypershift lives up to its name with a beautiful hybrid combination of support and agility.
10. Under Armour Men’s HOVR Havoc Low
In one of the freshest designs out there, the men’s HOVR Havoc Low by Under Armour is a real crowd-stopper.
Behold its stunning artistic touches: a bright sungburst outer with a wild green outsole combined with a wicked amount of cushioning. Coming in a variety of color schemes, they all look stunning and will be the envy of the team.
But as is customary with Under Armour, they know how to deliver on the tech. HOVR embedded into the heel will give you unmatched support while the Micro G foam across the entire length ensures maximum shockwave resistance during the most heated moments in the game.
Comfort is taken to a whole new level with the Ortholite sock liner that envelops your feet with ultimate conformity. Finishing it off with a multidirectional traction pattern underneath and the Under Armour HOVR Havoc Low is merciless on the court.
Want a great pair of kicks for the playground? Check out our list of best outdoor basketball shoes.