Best LIGHTWEIGHT Basketball Shoes: Feel Lightning Quick with these Picks!

Basketball is one of the most popular sports of all time. In America, this sport is played around every other block. Some call it the sport of the hood. However, to give your best performance in basketball, you must have the right kind of shoes. Most people prefer to wear a shoe that is lightweight yet responsive. However, finding such a basketball shoe is quite difficult. Fortunately, we have uncovered some of the best lightweight basketball shoes and discussed them in quite a detail, below. 

Does Weight Matter in Basketball Shoes?

This is the big question that many are looking for. YES, It does matter. In certain studies, it was found that a shoe with medium weight was 1.2% better than a heavy shoe. A 1% improvement was noticed in the sprint of medium shoes as compared with heavy shoes. Another study concluded that the weight of the basketball shoes is directly linked with the heart rate and rate of oxygen within the body. The study concluded that players who wore lightweight basketball shoes consumed less oxygen and had a balanced heart rate too. 

Several other professional studies have also been conducted in this regard. These studies show that players who wore lightweight basketball shoes had a 2% increase in the vertical jump. All these studies point to one common aspect which is the benefit of lightweight basketball shoes over heavier ones.   

Why Wear Lightweight Basketball Shoes?

We recommend everyone to wear lightweight basketball shoes for several reasons which directly impact your game performance. 

More Responsiveness

One of the most important things about lightweight basketball shoes is that they are way better in response as compared to regular or heavy basketball shoes. This allows you to improve your tackle, dribble, and attack game simultaneously. You can maneuver left or right easily as long as the weight of your shoe isn’t that high. The higher this weight goes, the more difficult it will become to move around. 

You Don’t Need Heavy Shoes

Unless in exceptional circumstances, such as a slightly weak foot, you don’t need a pair of heavy basketball shoes. For one, you aren’t playing a ball game with your foot that requires any kind of heavy foot attack activity. Football Players, Soccer Players, and Rugby Players are mainly required to use a shoe that is good for attacking the ball. The type of shoe, weight, quality and several other aspects matter the most in a game where the foot activity is directly related to the game itself. 

For a game of basketball, you simply need the shoes for running and not for passing the ball around. Therefore, there isn’t much of a point in wearing heavy basketball shoes.

Red basketball shoes. 

Evidence from Studies

As mentioned earlier, several studies have been conducted to evaluate which shoes are better: heavyweight or lightweight. Although both of them may have their pros and cons, the studies provide concrete evidence that lightweight shoes are best for basketball. This is mainly because of improved sprint speed, shuffle cut, and reduction in physical fatigue in the body. 

Buying Guide for Lightweight Basketball Shoe

While weight is the major aspect to consider over here, many people are unaware of what material they should choose for the basketball shoe that will result in reduced weight. Besides, there are certainly other things to consider when buying a basketball shoe. Follow our buying guide to find out more.

Material

Material is what accounts for the weight of a shoe. Conventionally, leather was used to build some fine-quality basketball shoes. While they could resist the damage and rough use, leather was considered a heavy material which is why it was replaced by others.

We recommend buying a basketball shoe that is knitted or made out of synthetic mesh or lightweight leather. They are good for running and have better resistance to aggressive use. Besides, these basketball shoes are best for jumping and maneuvering around. 

white and maroon basketball shoes.

Internal Comfort of the Shoe

As much as the outer part and material matters, the internal aspects are important too. If you have a lightweight shoe that isn’t comfortable from the inside, you won’t be able to play well in it. The cushioning inside must be soft and padded so that the shoe becomes breathable and comfortable to wear. There are some shoes such as the Under Armour Men’s HOVR Havoc 3 Basketball Shoe which have a very hard cushioning inside. Users have complained about this and said that it felt like plastic bothering their ankles quite a lot. For this reason, the low weight itself is not enough alone. 

Durability

One big problem with many lightweight basketball shoes is that the material comprises the durability factor. The shoes are not made from heavy and strong material which is why they can break down easily. On the other hand, some companies use synthetic material that is both durable and lightweight. This makes it the most ideal choice. Keep in mind that the basketball shoes you are buying have a proper liner as well as a firm grip on their soles as well. 

In case you have to pick between two shoes, one having low weight and the other having slightly higher weight but more durability, we recommend getting the second one. This is because only a minor weight change will not affect your performance that much. Besides, such a shoe will not break down mid-match if it is durable. Therefore, don’t take the risk of picking a lightweight but a non-durable shoe.  

Balancing

Maneuvering is one of the most important aspects of buying a basketball shoe. For this reason, you need to have a shoe that offers you a better balance. Only then will you be able to make those tight cuts, swerve, and make a basket easily. For this reason, experts recommend that you should look for a relatively flat and wide outsole to allow for improved grip. This is more important for the newbies as compared to the pros. Once you are able to match your balance and have an improved grip, you will be able to have much more control over your game. 

Balancing is also highly dependent on the type of sole you are wearing. Most players wear a rubber sole as it offers a better grip. Indoor basketball games are especially played with rubber sole shoes because their surfaces are slippery. The rubber sole helps in maintaining grip even on such surfaces. 

Basketball shoes with a basketball

Upper of the Shoe

Basketball shoes are categorized into three different forms of upper shoes. All three of these have certain functionality for the game. Depending upon your position and type of gameplay, you can choose one accordingly. 

Firstly, there are basketball shoes with a high upper part. This shoe type is not recommended if you are looking for a lightweight basketball shoe because it comes with an extra layer of support and stability. The ankle support with these shoes is better. People who usually are new to the game are recommended to wear these shoes so that their feet do not feel as much physical fatigue. 

Secondly, there are mid-upper basketball shoes that provide a balance between the ankle support as well as an enclosing design. This type of shoe is recommended for intermediate players who are looking for slight support at their ankles. Besides, this type of upper has better flexibility than a high upper basketball shoe.

Lastly, the low-profile upper basketball shoes. These are one of the most rigid ones and are mostly worn by professionals. The weight of these shoes is the lowest which is why many extras such as excessively soft cushioning and padding are not present. They have little ankle support and are directly linked to the feet’s maneuvering action. The low-upper shoes are made for speed and agility. 

Best Lightweight Basketball Shoes

Here are the best lightweight basketball shoes (weighing less than the average 13 ounces).  If you’re looking for discounts while shopping, check out Voucher Alarm

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Under Armour Unisex-Adult Lockdown 5 Basketball Shoe
Nike Men's KD Trey 5 VIII Basketball Shoes
Nike Men's Lebron Witness IV
Nike Men's Ebernon Low Basketball Shoe
PEAK High Top Men's Basketball Shoes Lou Williams
Nike BQ3060-008: Men's Kyrie Flytrap lll Basketball Shoe


1. Under Armour Unisex-Adult Lockdown 5 Basketball Shoe


Under Armour Unisex Basketball Shoe. 

Under Armor has one of the best basketball shoes of all time. These shoes are known for their maximum performance in the courts with their precision-based design. Under Armour has made this basketball shoe a unisex one so both women and men can enjoy the same outstanding performance and durable quality. Customers were highly satisfied with their purchase and regarded this shoe as an “Excellent Value”. 

As long as the technical aspects are concerned, this shoe has a breathable mesh upper which helps in better comfort for the players as well as added durability. For better breathability, there are engineered perforations that bring better ventilation as well. The plush sockliner helps the shoe in retaining the original shape for a quite long time. The most important thing is the EVA midsole which is lightweight as well as excellent for extreme maneuvering. The sole is made of solid rubber with a herringbone traction pattern to add to the balancing aspect as well as movement control. 

The best part? There are plenty of color choices as well so you can get the ones according to your outfit. One thing to keep in mind when purchasing this shoe is to order one size plus because many users said that they got a shoe that was smaller even though they ordered the regular shoe size.

Features

  • Weight - 12.3 Ounces

  • EVA Midsole

  • Sole type - Solid Rubber

  • Plush Sockliner Technology

  • TPU Film Toe Cap

  • Colors - Black / Gray, Royal Blue / Black, Versa Red / Black


Pros

  • Anti-Odor Technology

  • Air Mesh Tongue for Comfortable Fit

  • Durable Choice

  • Maximum Grip in the game

  • Lightweight and responsive


Cons

  • You need to order one size plus as the regular size may not fit



2. Nike Men's KD Trey 5 VIII Basketball Shoes


Nike Men's KD Trey 5 Basketball Shoes

If you are a brand-oriented person and only looking for something top-of-the-line, we recommend you choose Nike Men's KD Trey 5 VIII Basketball Shoes.  One of the best features of this shoe is that it provides the same excellent performance regardless of the surface. Play indoors or outdoors, you won't be disappointed by the experience that these shoes carry. They are also resistant to rough usage so play without having any worries about the shoe. 

They are slightly narrow and long which is why we recommend having your football shoe size checked thoroughly before ordering. This pair is specially designed for pros because it has a low profile and lesser cushioning than a mid-upper shoe. However, the breathability factor has been kept into consideration which brings the perfect balance between comfort and performance. There is soft foam for better stability. For a smooth grip, the rubber sole works like a wonder, especially because of the wavy tread pattern. 

To make the details look even more prominent, it comes with a 2-layer textile material for a dynamic look. We highly recommend it as one of the best gift ideas for basketball shoe lovers.

Features

  • 2 Layer Textile Upper

  • Rubber Sole Grip

  • Perforated foam pods

  • Dual-density foam midsole

  • 7 Color Choices


Pros

  • Long-lasting traction on every court

  • Lightweight construction

  • Responsive

  • Specially designed for intermediate and professional players

  • Added stability


Cons

  • A bit more expensive than the market average



3. Nike Men's Lebron Witness IV


Nike Men’s Lebron Witness IV Shoes. 

One of the best lightweight basketball shoes on our list is the Nike Men’s Lebron Witness IV Shoes. These shoes have a solid construction and are made in a narrow shape which provides maximum performance and responsiveness. The shoes have a mesh upper which contributes to the low weight as well as the breathability factor of these shoes. The cushion is also pretty bouncy which allows the players to jump higher and better.

The price of these shoes is also quite nominal when talking about Lebron's range. Players who bought this shoe were highly satisfied and said that this shoe lasted an entire season. This provides an idea about durability. Owners also remark that the design of these basketball shoes is outstanding. With several color choices, one can get the exact color that they are looking for. An important thing to keep in mind is that they are narrow which is why you might have them quite tightly around your feet. Therefore, order the right size or keep one size plus when ordering to get a shoe that does not bother your feet in any manner.  

Keep one thing in mind if you are playing on hardwood, there might be slight grip loss and sliding with these shoes. 

Features

  • Weight - 13.01 oz

  • Molded lion detail design

  • Padded Collar

  • Nike Zoom Unit Technology


Pros

  • Added Stability and Support

  • Highly Responsive Shoe

  • Soft Cushioning

  • Flexible Traction Control

  • Outstanding Ankle support


Cons

  • One of the most expensive basketball shoes in the lightweight category



4. Nike Men's Ebernon Low Basketball Shoe


Nike Men’s Ebernon Basketball Shoe

Another great shoe by Nike in our list of best lightweight basketball shoes is the Nike Men’s Ebernon Basketball shoe. This is a sleek and stylish shoe designed in a way that helps in improving your aerodynamic performance during the game. You will be able to have vertical performance as well as a better on-ground grip with the help of this shoe. The low top from the arch allows for better responsiveness during the game. 

To make it a lightweight choice, it has been made out of synthetic tumbled leather rather than regular leather. This also adds more to the durability factor as leather is way better in terms of resistance and rough usage when compared with mesh. The rubber cup sole construction also helps in saving the shoe from any hard attacks as well as a classic look from the 80s. The improved grip has been made possible with a low-cut silhouette which allows for a lower-to-ground feeling. 

Over 2000 users have already tried it out and gave it outstanding reviews on Amazon.com. This implies that this shoe is a superfine when it comes to performance and comfort. There are 6 different color choices but we personally found the black one to be the most stylish.

Features

  • Material - Synthetic leather

  • Rubber Cupsole Construction

  • Design lines represent form a classic pattern

  • 6 Color Designs Available


Pros

  • Traditional tongue and laces for a secure fit

  • Solid durable construction

  • Lightweight and durable

  • Classic Nike Design


Cons

  • A bit tight in the beginning



5. PEAK High Top Men's Basketball Shoes Lou Williams


PEAK High Top Men's Basketball Shoes Lou Williams

The Peak High Top Men’s Basketball shoes are one of the most demanded ones. They have a certain kind of weaving combined with a hot-melt process which allows you to have minimal fatigue and stress in your feet, particularly at the ankles. The shoes are quite supportive with the comfortable wrapping as well. The outsole is thick and solid which is why you won't be having any kind of grip issues either. Although this sole is thick, the overall weight of the shoe isn't as high as compared to some of the heaviest basketball shoes. 

They have been made out of synthetic leather and textile so that design and durability both are at the top. Unlike other shoes, this one has a traction pattern that will allow you to have the best performance on different types of surfaces without any problems. One major benefit of the Peak High Top shoe is that it will prevent you from toe injuries because the shoe is slightly warped. 

Users who bought this pair were highly satisfied with the quality and performance. They also added that the price of these shoes is quite nominal with regards to the features being offered. A total of 14 different designs are offered in this shoe. 

Features

  • Material - Synthetic Leather and Textile

  • Seamless Integrated Weaving

  • PEAK STA Stabilization Module

  • Rubber Thick Sole

  • Wear-Resistant rubber

  • Internal padding and soft cushioning


Pros

  • Reduced discomfort in the foot

  • Prevents toe injuries

  • Durable and long-lasting 

  • Outstanding designs

  • Resistant toward rough usage

  • Optimized for maximum performance in the game

  • 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed


Cons

  • The sole will get better only after some usage



6. Nike BQ3060-008: Men's Kyrie Flytrap lll Basketball Shoe


Nike BQ3060-008- Men's Kyrie Flytrap lll Basketball Shoe

Another great choice in our list of best lightweight basketball shoes is the Nike Men’s Kyrie Flytrap III. This is a way better version than its predecessor with specific Nike technologies including Nike Zoom and Zoom Air. One of the best features of this technology is that it allows for smooth and better jumps while protecting the leg and feet muscles. The upper of this shoe has been made with leather and fabric. This is why it has the perfect design offered in the most durable manner. 

The closure type is Velcro and the shoe toes are round which allows for better toe protection as well. Besides, it comes with a breathable interior so you won't feel any stiffness or discomfort in the shoe while you are playing. The fabric has an airy upper to complement the breathability factor in a much better way. It even comes with a soft insole so that the bottom of your feet don't feel the extra fatigue. 

The sole is also exceptional in performance and quality which is why we highly recommend this shoe.

Features

  • Leather Fabric

  • Nike Zoom and Zoom Air Technology Integrated

  • Sole Thickness - 3 cm

  • Velcro Lace Closure

  • Springy Sole


Pros

  • Soft Insole

  • Breathable Interior

  • Strong Laces

  • Long-lasting and durable

  • Lightweight

  • Better vertical jumps


Cons

  • Expensive



  Under Armour Unisex-Adult Lockdown 5 Basketball ShoeNike Men's KD Trey 5 VIII Basketball ShoesNike Men's Lebron Witness IVNike Men's Ebernon Low Basketball ShoePEAK High Top Men's Basketball Shoes Lou Williams
Weight12.3 OuncesN / A13.01 OuncesN/AN/A
Design Options3 Design Options7 Design Options2 - 3 Color Options6 Design Options14 Design Options
Shoe FeaturesEVA MidsoleDual Density Midsole 2 Layer Textile UpperPadded Collar High-Quality MidsoleSynthetic tumbled leather construction Classic Rubber Cupsole ConstructionPeak STA Stabilization Module Synthetic leather and textile
Sole TypeSolid RubberRubber SoleRubber SoleRubber SoleThick Rubber Sole
Special FeaturesAnti-Odor Technology Air Mesh TonguePerforated Foam pods Added StabilityLebron James design Nike Zoom Unit TechnologyLow-to-the-ground feel Low top from archWear Resistant Rubber Seamless Integrated Weaving Prevents toe injuries
 
  Nike BQ3060-008: Men's Kyrie Flytrap lll Basketball Shoe
WeightN/A
Design Options1 Design
Shoe FeaturesFabric Leather Springy Sole Solid Construction
Sole Type3 cm Thick Rubber Sole
Special FeaturesVelcro Lace Closure Nike Zoom and Zoom Air Technology
 

Expert Recommendation

Based on our expert recommendation, we recommend that you purchase a shoe by Nike. The main reason why we recommend this is because shoes by Nike are always outstanding in terms of performance. They have been created with modern innovation and high-quality construction which means that the shoe lasts for a long time. Many people who tried out the shoes by Nike were satisfied because they resisted the rough usage easily. 

However, we have mentioned other options as well such as the one by Peak which are also great. In case you are short on budget or you don’t play basketball actively, these shoes are fine too. With plenty of color options, you can go for one of your personal choices easily.

Women can choose the first option on our list because it is a unisex basketball shoe. 

Conclusion

If you are also looking to have some fun on the basketball court while not affecting your basketball game, we recommend choosing one of the options mentioned above. This will allow you to have the best games as you will be highly responsive and play in a much aggressive manner.