Best shoes for dunking

Are you looking for the best shoes for dunking? Look no further. We have carefully selected the most impressive models devised by top brands. Dunking is hard, but it gets easier with the right footwear. Make your vertical jump higher with the best basketball shoes that are light and springy. Traction and cushioning are key, but these top picks have a lot more to offer. 

1. Nike Lebron 17

Nike Lebron 17


This model is receiving the loudest praise from the basketball community with scores reaching 97/100. To many, it even seems flawless. The shoe provides incredible comfort to your foot thanks to its smart cushioning, but there are other features making Nike LeBron 17 one of the best shoes for dunking

1.You are bound to appreciate how smooth the heel-to-toe transition of this lightweight shoe is. Zoom at the forefoot is pleasantly bouncy, while the Max Air unit is super plushy and comfy. 

2.The stop-on-a-dime traction is truly impressive. Support and lockdown are both remarkable, according to most reviews. 

3.Battleknit has been improved, which impresses many wearers. They say the top part gives your foot the necessary containment, which is further enhanced with a broken-in feel.

The only minor drawbacks cited are lacing difficulties and removing dust. This model is also understandably among the priciest to date. However, if you are willing to splurge on the best basketball shoes for dunking, go for it!

2. Nike Lebron 16

Nike Lebron 16


If you are seeking the best basketball shoes for jumping and running both indoors and outdoors, here is your best pick:1.The pair is easy to clean, it has a wave herringbone pattern, and cushioning that is clearly superior to all the preceding models.

2.The shoes feel amazing. Comfy fit is ensured through the use of lacing with variable width, and more rigid Air cushions for better support overall. While the outsole is made of hard rubber, the cushioning has been praised by all reviewers. This pair is sure to deliver a good balance for all types of basketballers.

3.Battleknit 2.0 is not only strong but also flexible and soft. The shoes are easy to slip into and are similar to Nike LeBron 15 in this regard.

Overall, the model is more stable and even more visually appealing than the previous one. The traction is perhaps its main advantage, as it is truly beasty.

3. Nike Kyrie 5


These sneakers have a trendy look and provide excellent multidirectional herringbone pattern traction, which is a distinguishing feature of the series. It is definitely one of the best shoes to dunk in. There are many solid reasons to consider purchasing yourself a pair of Nike Kyrie 5.

1.The Venus Flytrap feature has been reported to provide a secure lockdown. It basically wraps around the foot, thus creating a cozy feeling. These shoes will give the right amount of cushioning for your feet. This has been confirmed by many professional reviewers. 

2.A feature setting it apart from Nike PG3, for instance, is the decent amount of traction, which is vital for the game. The shoe’s rounded outsole ensures a good balance when you change your direction of movement quickly. 

3.Finally, the Zoom Air Turbo is a step up from its predecessor Zoom Air, as it feels more like foam. 

4. Nike KD 12

Nike kd 12


As a rule, translucent rubber outsole does not deliver the best traction, but this model grips the surface really well. In fact, some wearers have called them the comfiest shoes they have worn for the game. They are true to size and may be put to use right out of the box. 

1.The shoes have been enhanced with full-length Zoom Air.

2.The cushioning is very responsive and bouncy, providing comfort and making them one of the best shoes for dunking. Whether you play indoors or outdoors, you will be satisfied with the grip. The outsole will bite the surface well, providing traction even when the direction is quickly changed. 

3.Good support, lockdown, and containment.

5. Kobe IV Protro


This model is not premium, but the materials it is made of are durable enough. Almost all reviewers appreciate the fit, but it is vital to stick to your actual size. 

1.The first prominent feature of this shoe is its aggressive traction pattern. 

2.Despite the absence of full-length Zoom, the cushioning is reported to be sufficient. 

3.In addition to the ample impact protection at the heel, you will feel stability and responsiveness at the forefoot.

The shoes provide decent support for a low-top. Besides, the model feels very light. However, it is questionable whether the shoes will last long outdoors, as they are clearly less durable than the OG’s. However, if the basketball shoes jump higher goal is restricted to indoor courts, they do quite well. 

Dunking is among the most stunning ways to score in basketball, an absolute favorite of the crowd. A player who aims at becoming a master of dunking must possess several essential characteristics, such as an outstanding vertical jump and the knowledge of all nuances of this technique. However, there may be a way to give players an advantage in dunking without developing their physical capabilities. Some sneakers are believed to be capable of significantly influencing one’s performance on the court. Are the best shoes for dunking really that effective? Let’s find out!

How Should They Fit?

Even the best shoes for dunking would be useless if they don’t fit perfectly. Ensure that your feet aren’t slipping inside the sneakers, as this would lead to a significant decrease in jump height and overall convenience. It’s not a rare thing to see professional basketball players choosing sneakers half a size smaller than they actually need. Such shoes are comfortable enough to play while they lock your feet tight and provide the best results in vertical jumps. 

Do Shoes Make You Jump Higher?

Technically, some shoes can provide their owners with a higher vertical jump. Such models are commonly banned from professional competitions, so you can use them only in friendly games. The best shoes for dunking are capable of making your jump around 2 inches higher, which seems to be insignificant but, in reality, can turn the whole game in your favor. However, the physical capabilities and technical excellence of the players are still much more important than the shoes they are wearing. 

What Is a Good Height for Dunking?

6 feet or around 1.82 meters are considered the minimum height suitable for dunking. Players whose height is from 6 to 7 feet don’t need to possess an outstanding vertical jump to be able to dunk successfully. Mind that dunking is influenced not only by one’s stature – length of arms and legs, shoulder width, jump technique, and many other factors can play a decisive role when it comes to dunking. There are some NBA players (Spud Webb, for instance) perfectly capable of dunking while being only 5 ft. 6 inches tall. 

Pros & Cons


  • Convenience. The best shoes for dunking have a tight fit, allowing you to jump higher while spending less energy. They also provide great traction, helping you control a dunk better.
  • Performance. Such shoes assist their owners in jumping higher than they would normally do. Stiff cushioning may not be the best thing for your joints, but it helps preserve energy and jump higher. 


  • Price. The best shoes for dunking won’t be cheap. If you are looking for the newest model, prepare to spend a couple of hundreds on those sneakers. 
  • Unfair advantage. Shoes that provide their owners with a significant edge are banned from most competitions. 

Final Verdict

Although a decent pair of sneakers won’t make you an NBA star right away, it can definitely assist in the game. However, players’ skills, dedication, and physical capabilities are much more important than the shoes they are wearing.

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