Basketball is a beloved sport worldwide, and whether you’re a player or a fan, you know that the equipment you use can significantly influence your game. Here are the 10 best basketball brands that have distinguished themselves for their quality, innovation, and commitment to the sport.
Top 10 Basketball Brands
- Why They’re Great: With iconic shoes like the Air Jordans and a long list of sponsored athletes including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, Nike is arguably the most recognizable basketball brand. Their cutting-edge technology and stylish designs continue to push the boundaries of what basketball gear can be.
- PROS: LeBron James, Giannis Antetekoumpo, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving
- Why They’re Great: Adidas’ history in basketball is deep, with legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wearing their shoes. The brand continually invests in technology (like the Boost cushioning system) and has partnerships with many NBA stars.
- PROS: James Harden, Donovan Mitchell, Damian Lillard, Trae Young
- Why They’re Great: As a newer brand relative to others on this list, Under Armour has made waves with its high-performance gear and sponsorship of Stephen Curry. They’ve established themselves as a brand that focuses on comfort and top-tier performance.
- PROS: Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid
- Why They’re Great: Known primarily for their basketballs, Spalding had been the official basketball of the NBA for decades. Their products are synonymous with durability and consistent performance. Spalding is renowned for producing some of the finest basketballs ever made. For me when it comes to basketball, Spalding is the name that immediately comes to mind.
- Why They’re Great: While more famous for tennis and volleyball, Wilson has been making a mark in the basketball world, especially with their commitment to quality basketballs for both indoor and outdoor play. Wilson basketball is now the official game basketball for the NBA.
Jordan (a subsidiary of Nike)
- Why They’re Great: The Air Jordan line revolutionized basketball footwear. While it began as a signature shoe for Michael Jordan, it has grown into its own brand, emphasizing style, culture, and performance. These sneakers are destined for legendary status, revered as iconic basketball footwear that will be remembered for generations to come.
- PROS: Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson, Bradley Beal, Chris Paul
- Why They’re Great: With classics like the Reebok Pump, they’ve shown innovation in the basketball shoe space. Although they’ve been quieter in recent years, their historic contributions to basketball cannot be overlooked. The Dee Brown 1991 NBA dunk contest was a historic moment for the brand, followed by Allen Iverson taking it to another level for an extended period of time.
- Former PROS: Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal
- Why They’re Great: After a hiatus, Puma made a basketball comeback, signing young stars like RJ Barrett and Deandre Ayton. Their fresh designs and emphasis on performance have caught the attention of the new generation.
- PROS: LaMelo Ball, DeAndre Ayton, RJ Barrett
- Why They’re Great: A top brand in China, Li-Ning expanded its reach by partnering with NBA stars like Dwyane Wade. Their unique designs and commitment to quality have given them a foothold in the international market.
- PROS: Jimmy Butler, Fred Van Vleet, CJ McCullum, DeAngelo Russell
- Why They’re Great: Born from street basketball culture, AND1 became famous for its mixtapes and flashy style. While they might not be as prominent as in the early 2000s, their influence on the culture and style of basketball remains undeniable.
- Why They’re Great: As the original mainstream basketball shoe, Converse’s Chuck Taylor All-Stars have a special place in the hearts of many basketball fans. Dr. J and Larry Bird elevated the shoes to iconic status during the 70s and 80s. And now, while their focus has shifted from performance to fashion, they are still beloved by players and fans alike. However, in 2003, Nike acquired Converse, infusing the brand with new resources and marketing prowess, ensuring its continued prominence in the global footwear market.
- PROS: Draymond Green, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- Why They’re Great: Another brand that has recently made a splash in the basketball world, New Balance’s performance shoes are stylish and highly functional. With new athlete endorsements and innovative designs, they are quickly making their mark on the court.
- PROS: Jamal Murray, Kawhi Leonard, Zach LaVine, and Dejounte Murray