Best Basketball Shoes for Guards (2021 Ultimate Guide)

Comfort, responsiveness and mobility are three of the most important factors to assess when buying basketball shoes as a guard.

To help you with that, we have compiled a list of the best basketball shoes for guards (2021 ultimate guide) based on customer research. We hope we can help you find the right shoes for you today. Let’s dive right into it!

Our Top Recommendations

We researched the best shoes for basketball guards to the best of our ability and have now compiled all of that information into this article for you. This information might help other position players too, but we assessed how the features of these shoes assist guards. 

After reading this article, if you are still struggling to decide on one, you can refer to our buyer’s guide which helps you know what really matters when selecting the right shoes for you.

  1.  Nike Zoom KD12 Basketball Shoes

This is the KD12 model from Nike. And it was built with dominance and energy all through the game in mind.

The midsole layer, which is a signature Nike move, has been removed in this shoe and the Nike Air Zoom cushion is stitched onto the upper so that you can experience the extra-responsive cushioning.

You will also notice extra bounce on the heel because of the stacking of an additional unit there.

It is lightweight and you don’t have to break into them. These shoes are also very comfortable even at the end of the day.


  • Comes with very responsive cushioning in the shape of your foot to allow heel to toe transition
  • Can be locked down on demand which helps you relax when you’re not moving
  • Has multi-layer mesh inners which makes it easy to break in
  • Midsole is perforated to make it flexible and improve visibility


  • Multiple layers of mesh keep it secure
  • Comes with flywire cables
  • Extra cushioning at the heel
  • Made of rubber and has a lot of traction
  • Is lined with shock lines on the inside


  • Some might need more cushioning on the back
  • Does not have EVA foam
  1. Adidas Men’s Harden B/E 3

This one is from Adidas and is designed by James Harden, hence the name. This is a signature line of shoes that comes with a great range of diversity in terms of the size of feet in terms of both length and width from size 7 to 20.


  • Comes with a raised back thanks to a padded collar in the back which makes it easy to lean back while the shoe itself is made of rubber
  • Striped design with a mesh that is made of synthetic materials on the outside and durable construction on the inside
  • Has a hook and loop fitting with strap closure which means no more wasted seconds on lacing. It is also what makes this shoe a good fit for your feet.


  • Diverse size range
  • Meshes synthetic
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Padded collar in the back
  • Made of rubber


  • Some might not like the lack of laces
  1. Nike Zoom KD12 Tb Kevin Durant

This one is again from Nike and is a bit expensive. But if you want something extraordinary, well, you’re looking at one. And it is totally value for money too.

It comes with flywire cables which makes it easy to move in this shoe. When you jump, you will feel the stability of the shoe kick in.

This shoe comes with a decent size range from 10 to 17. It is a better choice for those who have long feet than other types of feet. If you have a relaxed budget and quality is your top priority, this one is an excellent choice.


  • Has Zoom Air cushioning which gives you more protection when you jump. It also feels natural and is very responsive which keeps your heels safe.
  • The cushion gets additional support from an extra Zoom Air unit. This will give you the option of the extra bounce factor.
  • This is a premium model meant for quick response and to do so with accuracy.
  • A good-looking shoe for those who are concerned about aesthetics.


  • Additional cushioning units
  • Flywire cables keep the heel comfortable
  • Gives you extra bounce when needed
  • It is accurate and responsive


  • Expensive compared to many others
  • Not great with impact protection
  1.  Adidas Harden Vol 2 Basketball Shoes

Then there is the Adidas Harden Vol. 2. You will see this on every list for shoes for guards because that’s how good it is. It is part of their basketball shoe collection and is a favorite too.

It is engineered to keep the front of the foot comfortable. The overall structure is pretty special in the sense that it gives both support and grip. Both those things are great when you have to make sudden movements which is what a guard does during the game. So, if you can find one in your size, you have a winner here.


  • Made of synthetic materials and has a custom lacing which makes it secure for the entire foot but also smooth and comfortable near the toes.
  • Provides excellent traction because of a functioning outsole.
  • Cushioning on the inside is extremely responsive which makes movement easy.


  • Made of comfortable synthetic material
  • Outsole provides excellent traction
  • Custom lacing makes it more secure
  • Looks great


  • Size range isn’t very impressive
  1. Nike Men’s PG 2 Basketball Shoes

Our final option is a Nike shoe which is made of synthetic materials. It has great traction and is known for its performance.

It is a comfortable basketball shoe along with being fashionable and affordable. The mesh on the outside is used for the upper side of the shoe which also has a hint of leather in it. This is a stylish shoe and can be worn outside court too.


  • Comes with Moon Air cushioning which improves your responsiveness on the court
  • Has a secure and snug inner construction
  • Has a mesh band system that sort of merges with the laces to keep your foot locked in
  • Has a soft missile that makes the cushion plush
  • Traction and durability come from a reliable outsole


  • Comfortable and affordable
  • Looks great
  • Offer great stability
  • Is known for its performance
  • Give you a lot of bounce
  • Comes in plenty of sizes


  • Not for every shape of feet

Buyer’s Guide for the Best Shoes for Guards

If you are not sure how to go about buying a shoe for a guard, here is a little cheat sheet that will help you pick one of the best shoes in the market for this position.

There is quite a bit of gloss in the marketing of these shoes. So, hopefully, you will be able to look past the marketing and pick one that serves the purpose. Here we go.


We normally think there is just one sole in our shoe. Typically, there are three of them—top sole, midsole and upper sole. If you are looking for durability and traction, you should make sure that the sole is made of good material. Rubber is a good choice and is also the industry standard for top players.

Your best-case scenario is to get a pair of shoes with a sole that is made of 100 percent rubber.


Even the best shoes in the market have a few options when it comes to lacing. Shoes designed for basketball players already are tested with the player in mind, so whether it’s multi-laced or has straps, if you like the shoe, don’t hesitate to buy it.

If you are going with laced shoes, then you need to make sure that you don’t have to keep adjusting them as it becomes difficult and strenuous trying to find the right tightness.


This is a key factor in picking a good shoe for a guard because this determines whether the shoe will work for or against the guard during a game.

A shoe with good traction can be a make or break decision because it can drastically improve performance, at the same time, bad traction can lead to injuries.


Finally, cushioning is an extremely important factor. This is particularly true for basketball because you will be jumping quite a bit and striking back too. You don’t want to compromise on cushioning because it will put unnecessary pressure on your ankles and knees too.  

If you pick a shoe with soft uppers, you will experience more comfort. They are also lightweight and will allow for good air circulation.

If you find one with hard uppers, you should know that they are slightly heavier, but they will give good support to your feet. So the choice depends on your priority.

Without good cushioning, you might experience a lot more injuries notwithstanding the fact that the longevity of your career gets affected too.

In Conclusion

If the aesthetics of the shoe are important to you, there are many shoes on the market that’ll make you go wow, and are available in many different sizes and colors. 

However, if it’s in-game performance you are after, then the list of shoes we have gone through today is perfect for you.

These choices have been made based on the best options in the market balanced with customer reviews. It’s likely you’ll find the shoe you are looking for above, even if not, at least you now know what to look for.

Happy shopping and we wish you a great game!