Remember when Zion Williamson’s shoe exploded during a highly-anticipated game against North Carolina? How about Derrick Rose’s career-altering injury during the 2012 NBA playoffs? Or Kobe switching brands because he didn’t like the signature shoe made for him?
Sneakers are a huge investment, especially when you play ball. They give players a boost in performance, comfort, and even swag.
Finding a hoop shoe that best fits your foot type, playing position, and overall game is important. So where else to seek a reliable basketball shoe recommendation than from real hoopers?
We asked the best high school hoopers in the country during the recently concluded National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) National Finals 2023 — where the best Filipino high school hoopers gather for a week-long event — for their best basketball sneaker recommendations.
Andy Gemao – Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Philippines U16
Pick: KD 11 ‘Triple Black’
“The best sneaker of all time is the ones that I used in Gilas, the KD 11, all black because of the overall feel, tapos yung grip and insole din are top-tier.”
Caelum Harris – Fil-Am Nation Select, Stewarts Creek, Philippines U16
Pick: Nike GT Cut 2
“The best basketball sneakers are the GT Cut 2s because I feel like they are light and they give me a lot of balance.”
SJ Moore – Arellano University
Pick: Kyrie Low 5
“My favorite hoop shoes are currently the Kyrie Low 5, because seven out of nine games ko sa NCAA ayun ang gamit ko. Very comfortable siya and very light. Durability niya din sa court is maganda.”
Lorence Dela Cruz – Winnipeg Canada, Central Wyoming College
Pick: Kobe 5 and Kobe 6
“I like how it’s a low top shoe. It has a great lockdown and the grip on them is great. Also it has a really cushion and has a bouncy feeling when running and jumping.”
Kristian Porter – Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines U16 & U18
Pick: Any Kobes
“Any Kobes. You can’t go wrong with Kobes. They’re really comfy, low to the ground so more on court feel. They’re mostly local, magaan, and grippy. As a basketball player you can’t ask for more. Comfy, traction and overall good on the foot.”
Santi Romero – La Salle Green Hills, Philippines U16
Pick: Kobe 6
For me, the best basketball sneakers are Kobes, specifically Kobe 6. Yung Kobe 6 talaga sobrang iconic siya. Marami siyang magandang colorway such as yung ‘Grinch’ and ‘Mambacita.’ Pag sinusuot ko yung Kobe 6 mas mabilis ako tumakbo, mataas ako tumalon.
Yung first time ko mag dunk [Kobe 6] yung suot ko.
Jacob Bayla – Fil-Am Nation Select, Valley Christian High School, Philippines U16
Pick: Kobe 6 ‘Mambacita’ and Jordan 11
“A shoe I’ve played in is the Kobe 6 ‘Mambacita’. I love the meaning behind it and it’s probably the most comfortable shoe in my opinion. I also like Jordan 11s because I like the style.”
Lebron Nieto – Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines U16
Pick: Lebron 20 & Lebron 12
Lebrons 20 or Lebron 12. Ever since bata pa ko, nagkaron ako ng ‘What The’ Lebron 12. Sobrang lagi ko siyang ginagamit sa PE class. Then ever since naglabas yung Lebron 20 sobrang sarap sa paa. Wide din yung feet ko so sobrang bagay din ng Lebrons sa personal basketball syle ko.
JJ Mandaquit – Fil-Am Nation Select, Utah Prospects
Pick: Kevin Durants and Paul Georges (Any)
“They just fit my foot the best. Comfortable, good traction and they are light.”
Kieffer Alas – La Salle Zobel
Pick: Kobe 6 and KD 4
I have the Kobe 6 ‘Fade to Black’ and my dream shoe is the Kobe 6 ‘Grinch’. Sa KD 4 naman I like the ‘Nerf’ and ‘Thunderstruck’. I love low cuts. It feels super light and bouncy.
Jared Bahay – Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu, Philippines U16 & U18
Pick: Any Kobes
“Favorite [basketball] sneakers ko of all time is Kobes, kasi dun ako most comfortable mag laro.
Pick: Any Kobes and Paul Georges
The best basketball shoes in my opinion are any of the Kobes and PGs po.
Seven Gagate – La Salle Green Hills, Philippines U18
Pick: Kobe 5
“Kita ko sa reviews na maganda, then naappreciate ko siya nung ginamit ko and maganda din talaga yung quality.”
Mark Llemit – University of Santo Tomas
Pick: Kobe 5 ‘Bruce Lee’
Kobe 5, yung Bruce Lee. Ang ganda niya tignan and [comfortable] sa paa.