Basketball season is right around the corner and coaches everywhere are busy preparing. I remember my days as a High School Girls basketball coach and the stress that came along with trying to give the team direction when it came to “team shoes.” One season I let our captains pick our team shoe and one season I picked, neither option made everyone happy. There is now a solution! Our partner, Eastbay Team Sales, is running a “Mix & Match” promotion on all their 2016 Team Basketball Shoes. Order 6 or more pairs of basketball shoes and get all those shoes at team pricing. No more fighting over brand, style, or color.
In conjunction with this promotion, Eastbay sent me five pairs of the hottest basketball shoes for the 2016 season. I was fortunate to get on the court and test these shoes without hurting myself and was able to get a good workout in.
The Nike Hyperdunk was the shoe that I was immediately drawn to first. During my time as an Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at Montana State, the Nike Hyperdunk was the shoe of choice for our team. The first thing you notice about the 2016 Hyperdunk is its clean look. Eastbay carries 37 different colors of Hyperdunk including pink for potential February Breast Cancer Awareness fundraisers. Beyond the clean look, the shoe has fantastic support and great traction. It is a full high top basketball shoe and provides the high ankle support that a lot of players are looking for.
Men’s size 10.5 weight – 15.00 oz
I was a bit skeptical on the Soldier 10. A basketball shoe without laces is a little beyond my imagination and hard to wrap my head around. The shoe is extremely well made and when I put it on was surprised by the arch and ankle support. The Soldier 10 is a full high top like the Hyperdunk. It took me a few times up and down the court to figure out what adjustments I wanted with each of the velcro straps. Tightening the middle strap was the key for me. The shoe is extremely breathable and responsive. My concern would be how well the velcro holds up over the course of a season that includes 20 games and 50 practices.
Men’s size 10.5 weight – 15.55 oz
I put on the Kobe 11s knowing full well I would never wear a low shoe to play basketball. That being said, more and more players are playing with a low shoe. One of the reasons for moving to a low shoe is to take full advantage of the triple extension of your ankles, knees, and hips*. Another reason to move to a low shoe is that the Kobe 11’s are awesome! At just over 12 ounces, this shoe feels like a running shoe but with the stability of a basketball shoe. This shoe is light, breathable and looks great.
I’ve not only played and coached basketball, but I’ve had my run as a basketball referee. One of the most annoying parts of getting started as a basketball referee is to find a good court shoe in all black. This shoe would be absolutely perfect for any basketball referee and Eastbay just happens to have an all black version of the Kobe 11 Low.
Men’s size 10.5 weight – 12.05 oz
This shoe felt great immediately as I put it on. I personally prefer a mid high basketball shoe to play in, even though I probably need a full high to protect these aging ankles. This shoe was the heaviest of the five that I tested, however the great fit made up for any extra weight. The D Lillard 2.0 was the best cushioned shoe and the stability was fantastic. My only concern with this shoe is the round rope laces. I’ve never had luck with these laces and would probably swap out my own laces to make sure I got that snug fit every time. The D Lillard 2.0 is a great value on a well made basketball shoe.
Men’s size 10.5 weight – 15.60 oz
I’ve never owned a pair of Under Armour shoes. That is going to change. This shoe was absolutely fantastic. The Clutchfit Drive 3 fit my foot perfectly, was high enough to support my old ankles, and happened to be the lightest of the four mid/high shoes. As I started getting up and down the court, I forgot that I was trying on new shoes because the fit was so good and they felt as if I had already broken them in. Extremely lightweight and responsive, this is the shoe that I would (will) wear if I find myself back on the basketball court anytime soon. The only drawback that I can see is that the Clutchfit Drive 3 doesn’t have near the number of color options (15) as the Hyperdunk 2016 (37) or Soldier 10 (33).
Men’s size 10.5 weight – 14.60 oz
I had an absolute blast getting back on the court and testing out these basketball shoes. Thank you to Eastbay Team Sales for giving me the opportunity. Please check out Eastbay’s Mix & Match promotion. Get any brand, style, color at a team price when you buy shoes for your team (6 or more). It really does take the stress out of getting team shoes.
Please let me know if you have any questions below in the comments or on twitter @jscanson. Special thanks to Brandon Morrison and UNLV Women’s Basketball for getting me on the court.
* Beware of Ankle Braces – Pure Sweat Basketball