Best Nike Basketball Shoes for Guards

Buying Guide

Check out these six sneaker options to step up your game.

Last updated: June 12, 2024
4 min read
Best Nike Basketball Shoes for Guards

Basketball guards are legendary—for good reason. Speedy, strategic and adaptable, these basketball heroes also use their leadership and vision to propel the game. To score big, guards need lightweight, supportive shoes with lots of grip and responsive cushioning. Here’s a rundown of the qualities that define the best basketball shoes for guards, plus some recommendations for Nike kicks to support these players.

What makes a good basketball shoe for guards?

Guard-style basketball shoes are all about balance. They need to be lightweight so they don’t slow players down. Although these sneakers require enough cushioning to absorb impact and deliver comfort, they shouldn’t be as plush or bulky as shoes designed for centers or power forwards. To help with speed, this cushioning should be responsive, returning energy with each step.

Since guards change direction on a dime, outsoles need to offer strong traction with a pattern supporting multidirectional movement. To accommodate so much shifting, stability and security are key—but so is allowing for enough mobility.

Which Nike shoes are the best for point guards?

Up your game in these six pairs of basketball shoes for point guards.

Sabrina 2 "Court Vision"

Designed by Nike and ace point guard Sabrina Ionescu, this is the ultimate guard-style basketball shoe, to be released on June 25, 2024. Its modified herringbone-patterned outsole supports quick changes of direction. Two types of foam in the midsole, including Nike’s newest Cushlon, provide cushioning and stability. Meanwhile, a fit band and stitched cables help deliver a secure feeling.

KD17 "Sunrise" Basketball Shoes

This pair of sneakers in Kevin Durant’s line offers responsive cushioning via an Air Zoom unit in the forefoot. A supportive piece under the arch helps with stability, while the topographical map-like outsole pattern with contoured ridges promotes traction.

Nike G.T. Cut 3

This game-changer is Nike’s first basketball shoe with full-length ZoomX foam. Lightweight, ZoomX provides Nike’s highest energy return. Boosting traction, the outsole boasts a heel-to-toe pattern ideal for quick, multidirectional movements. A padded collar, a small plastic plate on the pinky-toe side of the forefoot, and flywire cables integrated with the laces help stability.

Luka 2 Basketball Shoes

Designed with Luka Dončić, these lightweight sneaks support quick, multidirectional movements. Stability is the name of their game, thanks to features like a sturdy cage-wrapped upper, strong and flexible plate up the lateral sidewall, and thick molded insole. Flexible cushioning in the midsole adds responsiveness.

Nike G.T. Hustle 2 Basketball Shoes

Similar in design to running shoes, these lightweight sneakers with minimal uppers help ballers play full speed ahead. A full-length Zoom Air unit supplies comfort and responsiveness, while a waffle herringbone-patterned outsole helps with traction. Together, engineered mesh and a mid-high collar promote stability and support.

Ja 1 "Day" Basketball Shoes

These shoes in Ja Morant’s signature line with Nike offer responsive cushioning, thanks to a forefoot Air Zoom unit plus foam in the midsole. A raised foam collar, containment system, and forefoot strap contribute to stability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What shoes do NBA pros wear?

According to Sports Illustrated, most NBA players wore Nike basketball shoes during the 2022-2023 season. The KD15—an earlier version of the KD17—was one of the most popular styles.

What helps basketball shoes grip better?

Traction comes down to three main elements,: “rubber composition, blade height/spacing and generative design aligned to athlete needs in an effort to evolve tried and true herringbone traction,” explains Whitney Eddy, Nike expert, men’s footwear.

Which is Nike’s newest basketball shoe for guards?

The Sabrina 2 "Court Vision" will be available on June 25, 2024. The second shoe in Sabrina Ionescu’s signature collection with Nike, this pair builds on the success and features of the Sabrina 1, released in September 2023.

Words by Dina Cheney

Originally published: June 10, 2024

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