Although technological advancement in sports gear keeps pushing up the prices, the beauty of Nike basketball shoes is the accessibility.
Nike is mostly known for its popular signature shoes with NBA stars. However, you can still find decent non-signature Nike sneakers or even cheaper versions of signatures shoes like the Kyrie Flytrap.
There’s a world of affordable Nike basketball shoes, such as the Air Max out there if you don’t need all the trimmings.
Besides, Nike doesn’t immediately phase out older models. They are often available at lesser prices.
We’ve scoured Nike’s catalog to bring you the best cheap Nike basketball shoes.
8 Best cheap Nike basketball shoes review
1. Nike Kyrie Flytrap Basketball Shoe – Nike Men’s Training Basketball Shoes
The Kyrie Flytrap is a budget-friendly version of Nike’s signature shoe with Kyrie Irving – the Kyrie 4.
The Flytrap combines a vibrant colorway with a sleek, modern, and stealthy shape. Its medium-cut model is perfect for fast and agile players, while the unique asymmetrical burrito design allows you to quickly wear the shoe.
Users have commended the woven-cloth upper with additional stitching that provides extra strength, firm flex, security, and stability. The mesh material not only lends a minimalist feel but is also perfect for outdoor games, especially in a warm climate.
A textured Nike Swoosh and Kyrie logo lend a sporty vibe, while the well-cushioned midsole gives you the support you need during games. The burrito tongue and lacing system offer a snug fit, and the forefoot gore grasp keeps your feet locked in.
However, despite the herringbone pattern on the sole, some users complained of issues with the traction.
- Lightweight, woven mesh provides breathability and durability
- Nike’s Phylon foam for responsive comfort
- Semi-rounded midsole and flexibility
- Zoom Hex cushioning and semi-rounded midsole for precise and cushioned resilience
- High-quality construction
- Suitable for wide feet
- Attractive colorways
- Loose fit
- Traction could be improved
The Kyrie Flytrap looks comfortable on and off the court and delivers Nike’s comfort, durability, style, and performance. Users have praised the flexibility of the upper material, the bold colorways, and the aerodynamic shape. No doubt, the Kyrie Flytrap lends a stealthy and fast look and feel.
2. Nike KD Trey 5 VII – Nike Men’s Basketball Shoes
Designed for top NBA player Kevin Durant, the Nike KD Trey 5 VII is a budget model with the basic features a player needs.
With an engineered mesh upper, these shoes have a broken-in feel right out of the box. Renew foam provides enhanced stability and comfort, making it lightweight, bouncy, responsive, and impact absorbing.
This KD Trey 5 VII also features a low-to-mid-top collar to keep you supported and contained when you have to make quick lateral movements or vertical jumps. The padded collar also gives you all-around comfort and support while being lightweight.
Buyers have commended the superior traction offered by the KD Trey 5 VII. Its solid rubber outsole holds up to wear and doesn’t pick up any dust. The reinforced toe helps resist scratches for long-lasting use.
- Low-to-mid-top cut for increased ankle support and containment
- Padded collar for all-round comfort and support
- Engineered mesh upper for breathability and flexibility
- Kevin Durant Storytelling details for a signature look
- Renew foam for bounce and plush feel underfoot
- Impressive traction
- Cushioning feels amazing
- Little-to-no break-in-time
- Super lightweight
- Materials feel cheap
- Lack of support and containment
- The cushion is too soft for a performance shoe
The Nike KD 5 VII delivers top-notch traction with a lot of grips and minimal dust collection. However, shifty players may have issues with lack of support and containment. Its imperfect fit, narrow base, and cheap upper materials might be a deal-breaker. Despite its drawbacks, the KD Trey 5 provides a decent performance if you don’t rely on explosive lateral movements.
The Air Versatile IV is designed for all-round players. The integrated webbing contains the foot during hard cuts. With a visible Air-Sole unit cushioning the heel, this Air Versatile IV offers support during hard landings.
As its name suggests, this Nike Versatile not only delivers on the court, it also pairs well with daily outfits. The midfoot saddle and visible air unit also enhance the look.
Circular traction patterns on the outsole let you pivot and cut easily. However, many users say that the grip is poor on the hardwood. The textile upper offers comfort and convenience for your feet, while Nike’s Visible cushioning provides impact protection.
In terms of support, you get a high-arched collar with padding that fits closely around your ankle. This Air Versatile IV has open mesh details around the ankle and heel for enhanced breathability.
- Extended lacing system for secure lockdown and stability
- Visible Nike Air cushioning helps cushion your heel on hard landings
- Cutout sections on the circular pattern outsole for flexibility
- High–arched collar with padding supports and surrounds the ankle
- Sock-like fit
- Great ankle support
- Versatile design
- Impressive foot lockdown
- Traction could be better
- Air bubble leaks easily
The Nike Air Versatile IV is made for versatile athletes. The lightweight design and Air sole cushioning make it a great option for versatile forwards and guards. However, the on-court performance and traction are just decent.
The Nike Air Precision is nothing fancy. However, it offers the necessary features needed for hooping.
This Air Precision shoe features the encapsulated Air-sole unit at the heel for durable cushioning, while the Phylon foam provides a comfortable and stable base. The two-layer herringbone patterns on the rubber outsole enhance friction.
The tongue extends up to just above the forefoot, forming a securely anchored internal shroud for a snug fit. However, this makes the forefoot and midfoot feel a bit narrow. Some users have reported that the Nike Air Precision runs small.
In terms of lockdown, this Air Precision basketball shoe features two laces above the midfoot, pulling the upper material towards the center in addition to the traditional lacing system. The lower cut of the rear of the portion of the ankle collar allows for increased mobility.
The simple design pairs seamlessly with outfits that need no flashy accessories, and the Nike Swoosh on the lateral, medial and bottom adds a sporty vibe.
- Lightweight and breathable mesh upper offers comfort, support, and lockdown
- Thickly padded tongue for comfort
- Phylon foam for responsive comfort
- Herringbone on the solid rubber sole for traction
- Air Unit at the heel provides impact protection
- Suitable for outdoor use
- Solid grip on clean and sturdy courts
- Easy to pair with outfits
- Impressive ankle support
- Breathable mesh upper
- Easy to wear and take off
- Average cushioning
- Not suitable for wide feet
The Nike Air Precision is a great casual shoe that doubles as a basketball sneaker at a budget price. Users have praised the lightweight materials as well as the cool design. However, it is very narrow, and some users have complained that it runs small.
5. Nike KD 13
The next shoe on this list is a better-than-average performance basketball sneaker that offers flexibility and great ankle support — the Nike KD 13.
With a kidney-shaped Zoom Air unit in the forefoot complementing a full-length Zoom Air strobe, the Nike KD 13 delivers optimal bounce and responsiveness. The KD 13 is ideal for indoor games, but its performance is not that impressive for outdoor courts. In addition, the outsole collected dust after a while and might need wiping after some time.
In terms of fit, many users have stated that the KD 13 is true to size. The cushion is not bulky, but it hugs your foot just enough. The soft upper material requires no break-in period.
Overall, The KD 13 is extremely lightweight; thanks to the upper mesh material. The mesh upper offers ankle support without being bulky or heavy, and users have verified that it holds up to daily use.
- Full-length Zoom Air unit is stitched directly to the upper for responsiveness
- Additional Zoom Air unit in the forefoot provides optimal energy return
- Mid-cut silhouette for ankle support
- Leather Swoosh across the midtop for a sporty look
- Circular traction pattern on red rubber sole
- Snug fit
- Great ankle support
- No break-in needed
- True to size
- Poor outdoor performance
- Average traction
- Narrow fit
If you need an everyday basketball shoe that performs well indoors and is not too bulky, the NK 13 fits the bill. It provides great ankle support, traction, excellent cushioning, and a good range of motions.
Featuring less foam and rubber than previous models, the Nike Precision 5 delivers lightweight responsiveness, allowing quick cuts and hard breaks when angling for an advantage.
The Precision 5 features a breathable textile upper, accented with a sewn-on Swoosh. The low-cut collar allows for improved ankle mobility, while the herringbone pattern on the outsole is super grippy on clean courts. However, it needs regular wiping on dusty courts.
Thanks to the snug fit, there is very little dead space in the toe box area. A deal-breaker is the Precision 5’s below-average impact protection due to minimal cushioning. The midsole tooling delivers an excellent court feel. The Precision 5 has a heel counter, rigger, and foam that come up on the sidewalls, offering containment and support.
- Sculpted midsole provides bounce without sacrificing court feel
- Low-cut silhouette for flexibility
- Heel counter, rigger, and foam on the sidewalls for containment
- Herringbone pattern on the outsole provides excellent traction
- Bites the floor really well
- A great amount of court feel
- Minimalist design
- Impressive traction
- High-quality materials
- Not for outdoor hooping
- Needs wiping on dusty courts
- Average cushioning and impact protection
- No tech features
The Nike Precision 5 gets the job done at a budget price. Its stripped-down design provides a lightweight option for hobbyists, experts, and even casual wearers. If you need much impact protection or you’re looking for great traction and a low-to-the-ground court feel, the Nike Precision 5 is for you.
A budget version of the main Nike Lebrons, the Lebron Witness 5 delivers control, speed, and lockdown.
The cushioning, setup and traction pattern are more or less similar to Witness 4. However, the Witness 5 offers more speed and comes in a more streamlined look.
With a rigid heel counter and forefoot lockdown system, the Witness 5 provides exceptional support during aggressive moves. This sneaker features multidirectional traction for those hard cuts, and the two Zoom Air units provide responsive cushioning for impact protection.
This Lebron Witness 5 is super stylish, and the cool white design with black accents pairs well with active and casual clothing.
- Rigid heel counter and forefoot lockdown system provides support
- Two Zoom Air units under the ball of your foot for explosive energy return
- Net-like traction pattern covers the sole to ensure a multidirectional grip
- Rigid heel counter with molded lion graphic keeps you stable
- Lightweight, breathable mesh
- Has a nice bite on clean courts
- Lightweight and cozy for everyday comfort
- Sturdy support
- Value for money
- Very narrow
- Outsole is dust-prone
- Outsole is not sturdy enough for outdoor use
Witness 5 delivers the basics for great on-court performance. Users are impressed by the rigid heel counter and lightweight design. However, the price cut comes with a significant downgrade compared to signature Lebron shoes.
The Kyrie 6 has evolved in performance compared to its predecessor. Offering more bite than the Kyrie 5, the Kyrie 6 delivers in terms of traction. Users like the fact that it works n every surface with minimal wiping. However, the rubber is a bit soft for outdoor use.
The major highlight of the Kyrie 6 is Nike’s Zoom Turbo that offers enough bounce while remaining low to the ground, combining court feel with stability.
The midsole is a slight twist compared to the Kyrie 5. Injected Phylon combines with the Zoom Turbo for impressive forefoot cushioning. You get a smooth transition from heel to toe while having just enough cushioning.
In terms of durability, the forefoot is similar to the Kyrie 5 with its semi-stiff textile. The material moves well on foot without stretching too much, providing long-lasting use. Users have commended the soft genuine leather that feels awesome, hugging your heel like a second skin.
With personalized touches all over, Kyrie 6 looks stylish. Kyrie’s logo on the tongue and his signature on the outsole combines with a glow-in-the-dark counter for a trendy look.
The Kyrie 6 is ideal for guards and wings who need aggressive traction, locked-in support, and responsive midsole. Consider other options if you need a lot of impact protection. Though the midsole is responsive, it lacks Zoom Air in the heel to cushion hard landings.
- High-quality material
- Two-way lacing system for a snug fit
- Round edges extend enough to work as an outrigger for reliable support
- Rear heel counter keeps your foot on the footbed without rolling off of it
- Internal hidden lacing in midfoot and semi-standard nylon cables
- Locked-in support
- Great traction
- Trendy design
- Tight fit
- Needs breaking in
- Not for hard landings
- Runs small
The Kyrie 6 focuses on the comfort, control, and energy you need for competitive games. You get great traction, locked-in support, responsiveness, and durability. And the stylish design complements your casual wear. However, it runs small in size, and while the cushioning is responsive, it’s not for hard landings.
Nike Basketball Shoes History
When Nike released its two first basketball sneakers in 1972, the sports brand set a new standard in the industry. Both the Bruin and Blazer were made of leather and suede, unlike the canvas. The Blazer was worn by George Gervin or “The Iceman” as known by fans.
In 1982, Nike created the Air Force 1, collaborating with six basketball stars known as “The Original Six”. This includes Bobby Jones, James Wilkes, Michael Thompson, Calvin Natt, Moses Malone, and Michael Cooper.
Nike’s popularity soared with the Air Jordan line in 1985. The Jordan’s were marketed by Michael Jordan and will later become iconic in the basketball shoe world.
By 1986-1987 when Nike released both the Dunk and Terminator High, the sports brand has become a major competitor in the basketball shoe industry. The ’90s saw Nike signing up the most popular players and dominating the market.
Here’s a timeline of Nike’s most popular creations from 1972:
- 1978: Nike Blazer – Nike’s first basketball shoes and forefather to the Airforce 1s and Jordan’s
- 1982: Air Force 1–Worn by Moses Malone and other 5 members of Nike’s ‘Original 6’
- 1985: Air Jordan I – Most iconic basketball shoes in sneaker history
- 1988: Air Jordan III – The first shoes to feature the Jumpman logo, worn by Michael Jordan during the 1998 Dunk Contest
- 1994: Nike Force – Based on Charles Barkley’s “I’m not a role model” campaign
- 1995: Air Jordan XI – Patent black and white leather; classic shoe still relevant today.
- 2003: Nike Air Zoom Generations: These shoes worn by LeBron James as he sets out on his professional basketball journey marked the beginning of an era for Nike’s signature cushioning, the Air Zooms.
It’s hard to keep track of Nike basketball shoes on the market currently. The sports brand designs the signature models of top players like Kyrie Irving, Kobe Bryant, Paul George, Kevin Durant, and Lebron James.
Nike also has a wide range of cheaper budget models like the Air Max. There’s no doubt Nike has etched its name into the consciousness of basketball fans.