The beginnings of adidas go back almost 100 years. First known as Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik in 1924, adidas got its official name in 1949 after the separation of the brand’s founders, the Dassler brothers. Since then, the German sportswear juggernaut has started to dominate the arenas of running, soccer, tennis and more.
In 1969, more for adidas meant basketball. The release of its famous Superstar shoe gave the brand a weight that has stretched from NBA hardwood to New York asphalt. Aptly named, the Superstar is a fashionable and functional sneaker that was originally designed to get buckets.
Over the years, adidas basketball shoes have evolved in form, style and technology. In the 1970s, leather high top shoes supported Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as he hit his hook shots. Soon after, in the 1980s, the brand introduced the Forum, beloved for its approach to luxury and its $ 100 price point. And in the 1990s, the Three Stripes rocked the industry by signing deals with prodigies like Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, and Jermaine O’Neal. The decade that followed positioned McGrady as the face of their basketball brand, backed by the patent leather remake of the Pro Model franchise often worn in the AAU and NCAA environments.
As evidenced by adidas’ list of distinguished talents, the brand has a long history of delivering performance basketball shoes designed for players of different sizes, playing styles and abilities. Historically, adidas has created supportive high tops for tall men that parade the paint as well as below-ankle sneakers designed for fast perimeter players.
Today, adidas basketball is built on collaborations with a stable of creative scorers and the brand’s responsive technology. The likes of James Harden, Damian Lillard, and Trae Young all have iconic adidas shoes to call their own, performing moves in low-cut looks that benefit from Boost and Bounce cushioning. What is the best adidas shoe for playing? Check out our list of the best adidas basketball shoes you can buy below.
adidas Part A
The Adidas Exhibit A is a versatile model designed for the strong and skillful player. Worn by Candace Parker during her 2021 WNBA Championship victory, the low-cut basketball shoe uses Lightstrike cushioning in the midsole for comfort and stability. Additionally, NBA stars such as Zach LaVine and Jalen Green have appeared in this model. Exhibit A also has an appeal in the world of rarities, as it has been reworked by designer Eric Emmanuel and also seen in styles exclusive to players. Aesthetics aside, this performance pair from Adidas is a safe bet for the two-player player who impacts the perimeter painting game.
adidas DON # 3
Donovan Mitchell immediately made an impression in the NBA by winning the Slam Dunk Contest in his rookie season. The Utah Jazz Jumping Guard is beloved by fans for his supernatural athleticism and humble charm, delivering a balance of flash, fearlessness, and leadership reserved for the greats. The adidas DON Issue # 3 plays on all of Mitchell’s strengths. Featuring Lightstrike cushioning, a textile construction that allows players to jump quickly and land smoothly, and elastic straps that keep the foot in place, this shoe is ideal for the explosive player who is always on the go. attack. Not to mention, it’s available in a range of eye-catching colourways – including that red and black “Louisville” style that celebrates Mitchell’s crucial college career as a cardinal.
adidas Dame 7 EXTPLY
Over the course of his career, Damian Lillard became revered for his clutch shots and difficult playing. The adidas Dame 7 EXTPLY is the latest in its long line of iconic sneakers, outfitting playmaker Portland Trailblazers with a knit upper designed to stay breathable through overtime. A rubber outsole and Lightstrike cushioning give players of all skill levels access to traction and comfort, while the Dame brand calls one of the best ball players in the world. As a tribute to Lillard’s love for music, the shoe comes dressed in a range of bold colourways that tie his basketball excellence to his rap resume.
adidas N3XT L3V3L Futurenatural
No laces, no problem. The adidas N3XT L3V3L Futurenatural is a progressive design that pushes the boundaries of basketball shoes. A knit upper is designed to fit the foot like a sock, supported by Boost cushioning for a loaded look designed for take off. Since entering the field, the N3XT L3V3L line has outfitted Trae Young and Zach LaVine and also received the designer treatment courtesy of Eric Emmanuel. This bold basketball shoe is ideal for the player who isn’t afraid to make a statement.
adidas Harden Vol. 5
Since joining adidas, James Harden has seen his career skyrocket. Winning MVP honors in 2018, the triple-double walker now leads the Brooklyn Nets as a title contender. His latest signature sneaker, the adidas Harden Vol. 5, responds to his choppy playing style aimed at creating space. The shoe’s Boost tooling and Lightstrike cushioning help its shifting ability, while an eye-catching textile upper hints at its quirky fashion sense. This is the perfect shoe for the high volume marker who moves to the beat of their own drum.
adidas Trae Young 1
Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young has made a name for himself in the NBA with his deep three points, high floats and dazzling dribbling. Midway through the 2021 playoffs, the flashy favorite released his first signature sneaker, the adidas Trae Young 1. Boasting an under-ankle construction for quick cuts and quick play, the Trae Young 1 is ideal for the guard. moving. A Boost midsole provides energy return with every step, as a lightweight upper uses recycled materials for an eco-friendly feel. The shoe’s unique lacing system and creative colourways channel the youthful energy Young is known for on the court.
Adidas Pro Model 2G
In 1970, the Adidas Pro Model was launched with a clean leather look, favored by the best hardwoods in the NBA. In 2003, the archival classic was reimagined in a modern patent leather facade designed for the future of hoops while taking inspiration from the past. Recently, the famous Pro Model 2G is back for today’s game. Still sporting a shell toe and shiny patent leather, the popular team shoe has been updated with Bounce cushioning to handle changes in position.
Adidas D Rose 4 Restomod
After arriving in 2013, the Adidas D Rose 4 returns in a revived Restomod form. First launched when Derrick Rose was leading the point for his hometown of Chicago Bulls, the performance pair has been enhanced with modern Lightstrike cushioning. A split upper and flexible forefoot provide a distinct look and articulated traction, supported by a Geofit collar for enhanced comfort and protection around the ankle. Players looking for a lightweight model with a taller fit and more solid support will look to this modern take on a retro model.
Adidas T-MAC 2.0 Restomod
Tracy McGrady made a name for herself at the famed Adidas ABCD Camp as a high school student, quickly rising above the competition to become the top rated prospect in the country. As a teenager, McGrady was signed to the Three Stripes and has since grown into one of the brand’s most successful iconic athletes. The Adidas T-MAC 2.0 Restomod is a modern homage to the model McGrady wore with the Orlando Magic, equipped with Bounce cushioning while maintaining the same distinct look. Pick this pair if you’re a prolific goalscorer with a knack for nostalgia.
Adidas Pro Model 2G Low
First dubbed the Superstar 2G at the turn of the millennium, the Adidas Pro Model 2G Low is an below-ankle basketball shoe with a relaxed, cool twist. The iconic stripes and shell toe styling are intact, while Bounce cushioning in the midsole gives them an added edge. Years ago Gilbert Arenas brought this look to hardwood as a member of the Washington Wizards. The redesigned Adidas Pro Model 2G Low is a great outfit for the athlete who prefers a clean upper and understated look.