Hoop season is fast approaching and the squeaking on gym floors can be heard as ball players gear up for a year with fans back in gyms (hopefully). When I was a coach, I had to find sneakers that were both functional and economical. The families of my players didn’t have a lot of money, so we couldn’t get in and out of shoes. The shoes were also expected to last over 30 games. To be fair, the shoes had to last the rest of the year. In many cases, my kids would only get one new pair of shoes per year.
I put together this list with this idea in mind, not everyone has children that brands want to give all types of equipment. Sponsorships are hard to find, so finding the best deal will always be the goal of most coaches. The shoes I put on this list are all SRP 100 and under (not for sale) and can withstand the abuse of a long season, while still looking quite stylish. Let’s get started.
Source: LeBron Witness 6 basketball shoes. Nike.com
The description: Takedown brand shoe models generally lack design elements that give sneakers the same advantage as other models in high to premium prices. The Witness 6 is actually the only teardown model that looks better than the actual signature model and at half the original price of the LeBron numbered series, the shoe features Visible Max Air with considerable cushioning at the bottom. ‘Achilles and a superior design similar to the LeBron moo. The cage on the back of the shoe provides stability and classic herringbone traction brings the model home.
Source: Under Armor Spawn 3
The description: Under Armor entered basketball with California Point Guard Brandon Jennings. The high school star jumped straight to the pros when joining an international squad. Since then, Under Armor has added a roster of NBA players with Steph Curry as the first endorser of their hoops shoes. UA is never at the forefront of high school hoops, but the Spawn has always been an admirable performer. Recently UA Basketball delivered a collection of shoes to a non-traditional athlete and these players loved the kicks. This means that they are definitely able to withstand a tough schedule. The shoe features Micro G, a high performance shield cushioning system. The Spawn 3 is also built with an adaptive rod that moves with you.
Source: Puma Court Rider Team
The description: Of the brands listed in this top 5, Puma is the only large company savvy enough to create a “Team” shoe option by name on their site. Although the list does not give real estate on the website with better online merchandising, it is a start. With Rookie of the Year on LaMelo Ball’s roster and a bevy of NBA talent rocking with the cat, Puma could make some noise if they got into a strategy to lock up high school players. A $ 100 shoe is perfect for strategy, and the range of color options with full-size runs available will make them a great option for high school coaches around the world… if they know it.
Source: adidas owns the game
The description: Candace Parker won the WNBA title, not in these, but there is no better price option on this list than the adidas OTG. The shoe costs only $ 65. My teams wore adidas every year and the shoe has always held up. They weren’t the prettiest in San Diego, but when everyone wears the same shoe, they look better. This shoe features a version of LightMotion’s more expensive Lightstrike cushion, but it also has around 20% recycled content. It’s a thoughtful performance option among the three bands and if I was still a coach we would have both this white version and another pair. At 130 for two pairs, it’s actually a pretty good deal.
Source: Q4 Sports 495 LO SP WHITE STREAK
The description: Q4 Sports once had a number of kicking NBA players. I don’t know if that’s still the case, but it does prove that the shoes were definitely ready for prime time. If I was still running Center Court Basketball, I would have sold at least 1,200 pairs of these kicks by now. The founder is currently working on styles off the court, but this is the only brand on this list with an actual team ordering system built into the website. While most high school players wouldn’t buy these kicks on their own, I’ve always said that smart basic strategy could get teams to wear the model. Q4 should be in the mud with small schools all over the south. The $ 75 price is almost half the original MSRP. While the team is going to be laughed at for playing with a company that no one has heard of, if Q4 had shooting socks and shirts available at a decent price, they could grab a share of the market. Other than that, a coach will need to make sure to buy players Nike or Jordan socks with dope warm-ups, if they want to make sure their players are ready to switch with Q4.