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5 Best Basketball Shoes For Jumping Reviewed [#1 Is Stunning]

I remember the first time I saw Michael Jordan play basketball. I was glued to the TV, mesmerized by his incredible leaping ability. It wasn’t just that he could jump high–he seemed to defy gravity, effortlessly soaring through the air.

I knew then and there that I wanted to develop my hops! And so began my quest to find the best basketball shoes for jumping.

Not all shoes are created equal, and I quickly learned that the right pair of shoes can make a massive difference in my jumping ability.

After trying out hundreds of shoes, I’ve finally found the top 5 pairs that give me the extra boost I need to take my game to the next level.

If you’re looking for the best shoes that will enable you to jump higher and dunk harder, you need to read on!

Trust me. Your jumps will thank you for it.

Best Basketball Shoes For Jumping – A Comparison Table

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Editor’s Choice
The APL Superfuture
The APL Superfuture
  • Size: 5-16 (US)
  • Ankle: High-top
  • Load and Launch Technology
Check Latest Price
Premium Choice
Nike KD 14 (Signature Shoe
Nike KD 14 (Signature Shoe
  • Size: 3.5-18 (US)
  • Ankle: Mid to High-top
  • Amazing cushlon foam
Check Latest Price
Budget Choice
Giannis Immortality
Giannis Immortality
  • Size: 3.5-18 (US)
  • Ankle: Low-top
  • Herringbone traction pattern
Check Latest Price
Good But Not Great
Nike Men's Kyrie Flytrap IV
Nike Men's Kyrie Flytrap IV
  • Size: 7-13 (US)
  • Ankle: Mid-top
  • Kyrie Irving logo on the rubber outsole
Check Latest Price
Jordan One Take 3Jordan One Take 3
  • Size: 7-13 (US)
  • Ankle: Low-top
  • Different types of traction patterns on the bottom
Check Latest Price

How We Reviewed

I’m a professional basketball player and it took me quite a while to improve my jumping. Needless to say, the right shoes play a key role in mastering that ability.

testing basketball shoes for jumping
Putting the Giannis Immortality shoe to test

To bring you this guide, our expert team and I:

  • Invested a total of 91 hours doing thorough research both online and offline
  • Performed 4 in-house tests, jumping and dunking with shoes on an indoor and outdoor basketball court
  • Consulted 3 professional basketball players playing in Messina, Italy (my teammates)
  • Considered important shoe characteristics such as midsole, bounce, cushioning, weight, traction, and support, among others

So, you’re in good hands!

Basketball Sneakers For Jumping Reviews

#1 The APL Superfuture

Editor’s Choice
#1 The APL Superfuture
10/10Our Score
  • Size: 5-16 (US)
  • Upper Material: Premium synthetic textile upper mesh. Feels like these shoes are made for your feet.
  • Cushion: Future foam and robust heel cushioning system
  • Ankle: High-top. With a strap.
  • Load and Launch Technology

Want an additional 3.5" liftoff? The APL Superfuture will take you higher than ever before. Their "Load and Launch" technology is so powerful that the NBA banned it! Are you ready to leave your opponents in the dust?

Pros
  • Traction has a strong bite
  • High quality synthetic textile upper knit material
  • Very easy to put on
  • Robust impact protection in the heel area
  • Unique vertical-enhancing Load and Launch Technology
  • Zero break-in time
Cons
  • Expensive

In our quest to find the top basketball shoes for explosive jumping, The APL Superfuture is the top pick.

To put it bluntly, I was blown away.

apl superfuture

First of all, it looks fantastic. The shoes are sharp, sleek, and stylish – like something from a sci-fi movie.

But it wasn’t just the look of the dope silhouette that impressed me. The vertical leap-enhancing aspects of the shoe are incredible. At first, I was skeptical because I thought it was just a marketing ploy, but I felt a lot more spring in my step the second I put the shoes on.

Let’s talk about traction. The APL Superfuture basketball shoes deliver. I tested the shoes on an outdoor surface, performing exceptionally well.

I tried various basketball moves like crossovers, stepbacks, suicide running, and the shoe gripped the court firmly with each movement.

The multidirectional herringbone traction pattern is especially impressive – it feels like the shoe is biting into the court harder than a pit bull.

This added level of grip gives you an extra boost of confidence when making quick cuts and explosive moves on the court.

Now, let’s move on to the cushion. The full-length future foam cushioning is impressive, and the heel provides substantial compression and impact protection. I also appreciate that the shoe feels lighter than it is (14.53 oz), making it easy to move around on the court.

So here’s my overall impression of the Load and Launch technology. It’s pretty incredible. It makes you feel like you have more explosiveness when you’re playing.

The springs are encased in plastic, so you don’t necessarily feel them, but they’re there. They sit below a casing below the forefoot and simply feel like a super bouncy midsole.

The ankle collar has stretch knit, so the shoe is easy to put on.

Those are supination-appropriate as well.

#2 Nike KD 14 (Signature Shoe)

Premium Choice
#2 Nike KD 14 (Signature Shoe)
9/10Our Score
  • Size: 3.5-18 (US)
  • Upper Material: Premium synthetic textile upper mesh. Feels like these shoes are made for your feet. Beautiful padded collar atop the synthetic upper in the ankle area. Rubber outsole
  • Cushion: Cushlon and full-length air cushioning Strobel - great for dunking
  • Ankle: Mid to High-top.
  • Amazing cushlon foam (ideal for jumping and dunking)

If you're a serious basketball player, the Nike KD 14 is the basketball shoe for you. You'll feel explosive when wearing these shoes - they're soft and springy (great for dunking)!

Pros
  • Traction is just uber strong
  • Superb lockdown on the foot
  • This shoe leads virtually all categories (no weaknesses)
  • Full-length Zoom Air Strobel
  • Cushlon foam for double the comfort
  • Minimal break-in time
Cons
  • I didn't find a lot of utility in the midfoot strap when playing basketball

The Nike KD 14 is the latest release of signature shoes from NBA superstar Kevin Durant.

Honestly, I really like the Nike KD 14s. The cushion is fantastic. In my opinion, they use this excellent cushlon foam, which is highly underrated. It’s very soft and responsive and provides excellent impact protection.

nike kd 14 sneakers

In addition, the KD 14 features a full-length Zoom Air Strobel set-up that offers responsive cushioning and helps you feel low to the ground.

Let’s get into the cushioning.

The Nike KD 14’s feature a unique foam called cushlon. This foam (also typical in premium Nike shoes like the Jordan brand) adds bounce and helps with shock absorption.

I had a chance to jump in these shoes, and I can say that they live up to the hype. The cushlon foam does add an extra spring to your step. You also feel a ton of comfort and support.

The foam padding is bouncy and springy, making it great for jumping and playing over the rim. It also does a great job of absorbing impact, which is important because I often play on hard surfaces like concrete.

Also, the traction is incredible – I never had any issues with slipping, indoor or outdoor, with these types of traction patterns. It’s like the court was made of velcro.

#3 Giannis Immortality

Budget Choice
#3 Giannis Immortality
9/10Our Score
  • Size: 3.5-18 (US) (for narrow or wide feet)
  • Upper Material: Synthetic (mesh) upper, mesh tongue
  • Cushion: Phylon midsole
  • Ankle: Low-top
  • Herringbone traction pattern. Homage to Giannis's family on the outsole

Like the Gods of Mount Olympus, this shoe is freaking unbeatable. So if you're looking for something quick and explosive, look no further.

Pros
  • Unbelievable traction (multi directional herringbone traction pattern)
  • Lightweight engineering to increase vertical jump
  • Great ventilation
  • Unmatched value & this price point
  • Crazy explosive bounce
  • Padded collar in the ankle
Cons
  • There's not much tech in these basketball shoes, but that's expected with the price.

As you slip your feet into the Nike Immortality shoes, you’ll feel power and energy coursing through your veins. You are now capable of sprinting across the battlefield or leaping over mountains.

Now, that’s saying a lot for a budget shoe, I know. But this shoe is fire, for real.

Nike Giannis Immortality

I recently had the opportunity to try these out. Right after I put them on, I noticed how light (10.37 oz) and quick they felt on my feet, making them awesome basketball shoes for dunking. This allowed me to burst around and attack the defense.

If you play many pick-up games on outdoor courts like me, these shoes aren’t going to weigh you down.

And sure enough, when I went out to play in them, my vertical jump felt on point.

So, how about traction?

The traction on this shoe is some of the best that you can get right now. The bite is unbelievable for indoor and outdoor play; it’s like the shoe was designed for quick cuts and crazy explosive moves.

In truth, I wish Nike shoes would always have these types of traction patterns. The only downside is that it does pick up a little dust. But you can wipe it off, and you’re good to go. Overall, the traction is impressive and provides excellent value.

So let’s talk about the cushion. The full-length phylon midsole provides considerable compression, making for a very responsive feeling. You feel like you’re low to the ground, and it’s easy to jump higher in these shoes, even if you’re not tall.

The heel also has a lot of impact protection on the court, which is excellent for someone like me who struggles with injuries from time to time.

At the same time, you can transfer your kinetic energy quite nicely into the ground for your vertical jump, making these perfect basketball shoes for dunking.

The Nike Immortality has a comfortable fit, too. I have wide feet, and these shoes were able to accommodate me without feeling too loose or too tight.

Nike giannis immortality rubber outsole

I’d say these are one of the top basketball sneakers for jumping and dunking. Plus, their design is convenient for players suffering from plantar fasciitis.

#4 Nike Men's Kyrie Flytrap IV

Good But Not Great
#4 Nike Men's Kyrie Flytrap IV
8.8/10Our Score
  • Size: 7-13 (US) (Better for narrow feet). If you have wider feet, you should move half size up
  • Upper Material: Synthetic upper
  • Cushioning: Phylon foam and Nike Zoom Air cushioning system in the forefoot
  • Ankle: Mid-top.
  • Kyrie Irving logo on the rubber outsole

We keep it real at Outdoor Basketball Hub. These are the least impressive basketball shoes on this list. We did a review anyway because we like to keep our readers informed. If you're short on time and looking for a quality budget shoe, we recommend going the Immortality (above), or the Jordan One Take 3 (below) instead.

Pros
  • Strong support and lockdown
  • Decent traction on clean courts
  • Rectangular Zoom Air cushioning unit in the forefoot
  • No heel slippage
  • Price
Cons
  • Cheap materials
  • Lack of cushioning
  • Poor traction on outdoor courts

The Kyrie Flytrap 4 is an updated version of the Kyrie Flytrap 3, and not much has changed. It’s still a decent shoe, but there are better options. You can also find it in my detailed review of the bestselling kicks below $150.

Kyrie’s budget-friendly Flytrap line provides a lightweight (10.4oz) and comfortable option for players looking for an edge on the court. Let’s start with the positives of the shoe.

nike kyrie flytrap 4 sneaker

I was honestly surprised by how much support the Kyrie Flytrap 4 offered. There weren’t any ankle support, side-to-side movement, or lateral stability issues.

I’m not sure exactly where the support comes from, but for some reason, it works (perhaps the lacing system and shell structure). There was never any heel slippage, either.

Unfortunately, the rest of the Kyrie 4 leaves us with more questions than answers. For starters, the materials feel cheap and plasticky. I’m not a fan of the fused overlays, either.

And while the rubber outsole traction is good on clean courts, it definitely could be better on outdoor courts. I was slipping and sliding on my home outdoor court on the first run, which is never a good sign.

The Kyrie Flytrap 4 could be decent for quick and responsive play. Unfortunately, the cushioning is quite stiff, using a phylon midsole provides less impact protection than other shoes on the market.

nike kyrie flytrap iv in black
Nike Kyrie Flytrap IV in black

The Kyrie Flytrap 4 is a decent shoe, but it’s not worth the money (this is to be expected since it’s Kyrie’s lowest tier shoe). I’m not the only customer who shared this opinion. Many other users also commented that they felt the materials were cheaply made.

If you’re looking for the best basketball kicks for jumping, you should get the Nike Immortality or spend a few more dollars and get a better quality shoe.

#5 Jordan One Take 3

#5 Jordan One Take 3
8.5/10Our Score
  • Size: 7-13 (US) (Better for narrow feet). If you have wider feet, you should move half size up
  • Upper Material: Synthetic upper
  • Cushion: Super bouncy Zoom Air Cushioning system
  • Ankle: Low-top.
  • Different types of traction patterns on the bottom
  • Russell Westbrook's takedown model or budget model.

The Jordan one take 3 is the best basketball shoe for players who want to gain an extra edge in jumping and vertical leap. The shoe was designed with Russell Westbrook in mind, and it provides the same type of explosive power that he brings to the court.

Pros
  • Strong support and lockdown
  • Feels very light and explosive (like an extension of your foot)
  • Zoom Air cushioning unit in the forefoot
  • Beautiful lockdown
  • Price
Cons
  • I'd prefer pure herringbone traction on the bottom. I think they tried to get a little fancy here.

My first impression was that this was a speedy shoe and felt like an extension of my feet. It was highly responsive, which gave me an advantage when dunking and jumping. The responsiveness of the shoe helped me attack the rim aggressively.

jordan one take 3

The One Take 3 is light and comfortable, with a herringbone pattern that provides excellent traction. Additionally, the Zoom Air unit in the forefoot gives you responsive cushioning when you’re making quick cuts or jumping for a rebound.

I really like the cushioning set up in the Jordan one takes 3. It’s nicely cushioned in the heel with enough impact protection, and in the forefoot, there’s a top-loaded zoom unit that is bouncy and very responsive – no lag.

I didn’t have to break it in at all; it was comfortable from the start, without any break-in time.

The Jordan one take 3 provides incredible lateral containment and lockdown, thanks to the synthetic material in the footbed. In addition, the internal TPU heel counter ensures your foot stays in place, no matter your size.

The shoe is an excellent value for the price and would be a good choice for anyone looking for a budget-friendly option. Want more budget picks – check out the top shoes below $200 and don’t miss the best kicks under $50.

I felt extremely fast, and the shoe itself felt like an extension of my feet. Super responsive feeling.

Features to look after when choosing the best shoes for jumping and dunking

Weight

Even something as small as the weight of your shoes can make you jump higher.

hand bouncing shoes

A study of 20 male basketball players found that those with lighter shoes jumped higher than those who wore heavier shoes.

The average jump height for the more lightweight shoes was 2.1% higher than the heavier shoes. The study suggests that this difference is due to psychological and physical factors.

The lighter shoes provide a psychological boost, making the athletes feel like they can jump higher.

They also reduce the energy needed to lift the feet, giving the athlete a physical advantage. In addition, the reduced weight makes it easier to accelerate, which is beneficial for creating momentum leading into your jump.

Cushion

When choosing the right basketball shoe, shock absorption should be one of the most important characteristics to evaluate. The lower limbs experience large impact forces when jumping and dunking each time they land (especially on outdoor courts).

Since players land over 70 times per game and absorb over 9 times their body weight every time, impact protection and cushioning are vital.

This can lead to knee and ankle injuries, so it’s essential to choose a shoe that will help absorb the impact force of a vertical jump.

Soft and comfortable shoes are your best bet! In addition, responsive cushioning technologies can provide excellent impact protection (shock absorption), so be sure to research before making your final decision.

Traction

Outstanding traction is significant for basketball players. It’s the ability to transfer the force your body generates into the ground, and without it, some of that force is lost in the process.

traction on jumping shoes for basketball

Good traction can help you generate more power, which can, in turn, help you jump higher.

When you’re jumping or dunking, your muscles generate kinetic energy, and that energy has to go somewhere. More of it will be transferred into the ground if you have good traction, resulting in a higher jump.

So when selecting the high quality basketball shoes for jumping, good traction is essential for any basketball player who wants to perform at their best. Even for Steph Curry, who can’t jump so high!

Ankle Support

When jumping or dunking, you need a shoe that will provide ample support to prevent injury. The best basketball shoes for jumping give you the stability and support to make a successful landing.

ankle support on bball shoes for jumping

That’s why high-top basketball shoes are so popular among basketball players who have a high vertical jump. They provide great lockdown and ankle support, reducing the risk of injury.

A heel counter is another essential support element in the best basketball shoes. The function of a heel counter is to stabilize the foot and prevent it from sliding around inside the shoe.

Bouncy outsole

A bouncy outsole is valuable for any player looking to take their game to the next level. Most bouncy outsoles use technology such as Nike Air Zoom technology.

This provides a feeling of slight compression and elasticity in the rubber outsole, giving basketball players the extra spring they need to take their game to the next level.

The Nike Air Zoom unit comprises two layers of Nike airbags that compress and expand each step, providing a responsive and dynamic ride.

nike air zoom unit
The “Air Zoom Unit” by Nike

FAQ

What are the best bbal shoes for jumping?

The best Bball shoes for jumping are the APL Superfuture. They have Load and Launch Technology, which captures compression energy and then releases it to help you jump higher.

The device in the midsole helps with this process by storing the energy and then releasing it when you jump.

Do Basketball Shoes Make You Jump Higher?

Yes, basketball shoes make you jump higher. The best shoes can provide the traction and stability you need to push off the ground with maximum force. They can also help you land more smoothly, reducing the impact on your joints and muscles.

Are Kyrie 7 good for jumping (and dunking)?

The Kyrie 7 (signature shoe) is not designed for jumping, but it won’t hold you back if you need to get some air. It’s a more well-rounded basketball shoe that will help you with all aspects of your game.

The Kyrie 7 won’t weigh you down as you try to jump, but they also won’t give you the same boost as some of the other options on this list.

Do Jordans Make You Jump Higher?

The Nike Air Jordan shoes will not magically make you jump higher. The vast majority of your vertical leap will come from your own strength and fast-twitch muscles.

However, they are often constructed with high-quality materials like cushlon and Nike Air technology that can add a little extra spring to your step.

Are KD 14 good for jumping?

Yes, they are. The Nike KD 14’s features a unique foam called cushlon, designed to add bounce and help with shock absorption. I had a chance to jump in these shoes, and the foam definitely makes a difference. I felt I could get more height on my jumps, and the shock absorption was excellent.

 

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