Best Basketball Shoes for Jumping and Dunking in 2022

Last Updated March 3, 2022 by Edward Pullen

Searching for shoes that increase vertical jump and are good for dunking? Here we have explained the features of the best basketball shoes for jumping that will make you jump higher. These shoes are lightweight, have maximum springiness to bounce high, and have strong cushioning to absorb landing impacts and prevent injuries.

We tested these shoes on indoor and outdoor basketball courts for optimum results. These are ideal for comfortable jumping and landing after throwing the shot. We also performed a couple of skipping drills to observe long jumping. Indeed, these pairs of shoes are great to maximize vertical jump and dunk the basketball. Hence, if you want to stay active in the court for long and jump as high as the rim, you won’t regret choosing any of the following shoes.

Read features of the best-rated Outdoor Basketball Shoes.

best basketball shoes for jumping


Best Basketball Shoes for Jumping – Shoes to Jump Higher

Here is the list of the best basketball shoes for jumping in 2022 that make you jump higher for dunking. Purchase any of these dunking shoes and slam the rim;

No.Basketball Shoes for JumpingQualityPrice
1Nike Lebron XVI Best Shoes for Dunking
2Air Jordan XXXV Bred Best for High Vertical Jump
3Nike Alphadunk Shoes High Ankle Lightweight Dunking Shoes
4Under Armour Curry Flow 8 Best for Jumping High
5Nike KD 13 Bred Best Shoes that Increase Vertical Jump
6Hyperdunk X TeamMake You Jump Higher
7adidas Dame 7Best for Practicing High Jumps


Top Picks

Nike LeBron XVI

best shoes for dunking

  • Zoom Air and Max Air cushioning
  • Lightweight material
  • Double heel cup


Mens AlphaDunk

high ankle lightweight dunking shoes

  • Extended Zoom Air Unit
  • Good ankle support
  • Breathable and comfortable


Curry Flow 8

best for jumping high

  • Foam responsive cushioning
  • Super grippy
  • Super lightweight



1. Nike LeBron XVI

“Best Shoes for Dunking”best shoes for dunking

Nike Lebron XVI shoes are especially designed for the most fears dunker of the NBA – LeBron James. This pair contains awesome springiness that helps him jump high to the rim level. Also, the spongy responsive cushioning protects from the impacts of hard landings. These shoes are lightweight, custom-fit options and perfect for dunking.


Key Features:

  • Responsive combination of Zoom Air and Max Air cushioning system
  • Cushioning provides maximum impact protection from hard landings and bounces back to release explosive energy for high jumps
  • Lightweight and strong material with BattleKnit 2.0 design, engineered to provide maximum support to the feet
  • Stretchy material, true to size fit with new padded soft tongue and lacing system for a custom fit
  • Supportive due to internal padding and double heel cup for proper containment
  • Solid rubber outsole with deep traction pattern provides maximum grip on the basketball court


  • Super hard thick rubber outsole
  • Extra room in the forefoot, suitable for wide feet
  • Supportive strong material
  • Bouncy responsive cushioning
  • Beautiful design, available in different color schemes
  • Shoes are not game ready when new, require break-in time for optimum performance
  • Not suitable for narrow feet

Check out the Best Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet.


2. Air Jordan XXXV Bred

“Best for High Vertical Jump”best for high vertical jump

Lightweight shoes of one of the iconic Nike series, very responsive and good for high vertical jumps. If you want to fly high to slam the ball, you should carry less weight and Air Jordan 35 has trimmed all the unnecessary weight to keep it light. Moreover, the enhanced cushioning system beneath the heel provides good impact protection. These shoes are designed to provide comfort and support.


Key Features:

  • Side-to-side stability due to smoothly carved Eclipse plate 2.0
  • Hollowed midsole to reduce weight
  • Springy Zoom Air cushioning under the forefoot unit helps to jump higher, the thick heel cushioning unit absorbs landing shocks to protect from injuries
  • Strong rubber outsole with multidirectional herringbone traction pattern for good ground grip and change direction to any side’s flight
  • Flightwire cables, the padded tongue and collar provide proper containment and enclosed fit


  • Impact protection strong cushioning
  • Lightweight supportive shoes
  • High-quality comfortable material
  • True to size fit
  • Responsive cushioning under the forefoot and heel
  • The shoes pick up dirt, not suitable for outdoor courts
  • Break-in period required for shoe to performance at its best

Put on Best Ankle Braces and protect your feet from landing imapcts.


3. Nike Alphadunk Shoes

“High Ankle Lightweight Dunking Shoes”high ankle lightweight dunking shoes

One of the most powerful and lightweight Nike shoes if you want to jump above the rim to dunk. These shoes have the largest stacked Zoom Air unit under the forefoot to release explosive energy during takeoff. The padded high ankle locks the foot in and protects ankles from injuries while landing.


Key Features:

  • The extended large visible Zoom Air bouncy cushion under the forefoot, foam-midsole beneath the heel provides impact protection
  • Durable Flyknit flexible material reduces the weight while providing maximum support
  • Perforated top increases breathability
  • Soft mesh tongue and padded high top collar offers great comfort
  • Durable rubber outsole with fingerprint style traction patterns for court grip


  • Lightweight durable material
  • The largest bouncy Zoom Air unit in a basketball shoe
  • Breathable and comfortable upper
  • Flexible top for true to fit size, suitable for big players
  • High top, good for ankle support
  • The Nike Alphadunk shoes feel a bit bulky
  • Traction is not great on dusty courts

Check out our selection of the Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support.


4. Under Armour Curry Flow 8

“Best for Jumping High”best for jumping high

The first signature shoe of the Curry brand – Flow 8 has introduced a new cushioning system – UA Flow foam. These shoes have explosive responsive energy to perform high vertical jumps and deliver awesome support. The padded insides and knitted upper make it comfortable to wear for long in the basketball courts.


Key Features:

  • The woven mesh and synthetic upper reduces the weight to provide maximum agility to jump high
  • Dow and Under Armour collaborative foam responsive cushioning offers protection and court feel at the same time
  • Lightweight upper ensure speedy takeoffs for jumping above the rim
  • Rubber and synthetic leather outsole with multidirectional traction pattern enhances foot control on hardwood courts
  • Knitted breathable upper with woven lockable lacing system ensure comfort and support


  • Super grippy and have true traction bites
  • Responsive impact protection cushioning
  • Breathable and comfortable shoes
  • Super lightweight, weighs only 12.1 oz. good for high jumping
  • Available in beautiful colors, suitable for casual wears
  • Not suitable for outdoor basketball courts
  • Mesh upper does not keep the feet stable during aggressive plays

Read basketball goaltending signals and rules - is it illegal? Check it out



5. Nike KD 13 Bred

“Best Shoes that Increase Vertical Jump”shoes that increase vertical jump

The full-length Zoom Air cushioning is back again with an additional forefoot Zoom unit to provide extra bounciness to Kevin Durant model 13. These shoes are super smooth and comfortable. If you want to perform great on the basketball court, these shoes are the best choice sneakers. Minimal upper keeps the weight low that helps to jump high for dunking.


Key Features:

  • A full feet length Zoom Air responsive cushioning stitched directly to the upper for close feel
  • Super bouncy and release explosive energy to jump high due to double stacked Zoom Air units under the forefoot
  • Manufactured with lightweight broken-in soft material, very flexible
  • Hard rubber outsole with circular traction bites, grippy on any surface
  • Snug-in fit, soft tongue and padded collar provides comfortable containment and keeps the foot stable


  • Minimal material lightweight shoes
  • Double stacked Zoom Air units
  • Extra bouncy, responsive cushioning
  • Suitable for hardwood and concrete courts
  • Low-cut comfortable sneakers
  • Bit slimmer, not suitable for wide feet
  • Heel seems bulky


6. Hyperdunk X Team

“Make You Jump Higher”make you jump higher

Engineered to make you jump higher, this non-signature Nike shoes are perfect for dunking. The forefoot zoom cushioning makes them bouncy and heel cushioning protects from hard landings. Lightweight textile material keeps the weight low for high flights.


Key Feature:

  • Responsive ride in the court due to forefoot and heel Zoom Air units
  • Lightweight perforated textile upper enhances breathability
  • Synthetic soft rubber outsole with deep multidirectional traction bites for court grip
  • New style soft tongue with half size bootie for comfort and free agility moves
  • Wide shoe opening to easy slide in and lacing system for proper true to size fit
  • Dense memory foam padded collar around the ankle to stop from slipping


  • Bouncy and responsive cushioning
  • Soft, perforated comfortable material
  • Lightweight, suitable for high jumps
  • Proper containment and locked-in feeling
  • This pair does not require any break-in period
  • Easily picks up dirt on dusty courts
  • Shoes run a bit narrow, not suitable for wide feet


7. adidas Dame 7

“Best for Practicing High Jumps”best for practicing high jumps

The adidas Dame 7 Basketball shoes are stylish with a shiny finish. This minimal graphics design pair offers the best protection and support to jump higher and play longer without feeling any pain at your feet. It has thick cushioning on the heel area for absorbing shock from landing impacts. Hence, you’ll be able to continue playing basketball even after having dunked 20 times within one period.

You can jump more aggressively, run faster with quicker starts and stop, defend your position effectively on the court without worrying about the durability of shoes.


Key Features:

  • Ultra-lightweight cushioning offers great impact protection from jumping and delivers explosive responsive energy for high jumps
  • Durable rubber outsole to last longer even on outdoor courts and provide excellent traction
  • The pair fits well and feels great due to its soft leather material that also prevents blisters during long jumping sessions while playing basketball
  • The upper part is designed with lightweight breathable mesh and textile to keep the weight as low as possible
  • Durable materials to accommodate fast runs, quick moves and aggressive jumping
  • Soft ankle padding to prevent ankles from injuries while landing


  • Breathable and comfortable shoes
  • Perfect basketball shoes to practice high jumps
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Supper grippy rubber outsole
  • Excellent shock absorbing
  • The shoe runs big
  • It requires some break-in time for the shoes to perform as promised


Main Features of Dunking Shoes

dunking shoesThere are multiple basketball shoe models that perform excellently on the court. But there are certain shoes that are designed for high vertical jumps and dunking. Such shoes a slightly high priced because of the manufacturing nature, but they worth every penny. So, if you are looking to buy shoes that will make you jump higher and slam the basketball, you should consider the following features;

  • Cushioning must be responsive and bouncy
  • Lightweight materials to keep the shoe light
  • Proper fitting and containment
  • Supportive to keep the feet aligned
  • Solid court grip to prevent from slipping while landing


Bounciest Basketball Shoes for Dunking - Top Picks


What Shoes are Banned from the NBA?

Shoes that make you jump higher banned from NBAAPL concept series shoes designed by Athletic Propulsion Labs are banned from the NBA. The shoes are said to give players an unfair advantage of jumping higher due to their spring-like technology. The shoes are prohibited from being worn by NBA players, coaches, and referees.

There are several other types of shoes that are banned from the NBA. The most common banned shoes are that have spring-link technology to increase players' vertical. Other types of shoes that are banned include shoes with metal spikes, shoes with built-in wheels, and shoes with blades.

There are several reasons why the NBA bans these types of shoes. The most common reason is that these types of shoes can give players an unfair advantage. For example, the metal spikes can give players more traction, which can help them make better shots and move around the court more easily. The wheels can help players move more quickly and easily around the court. And the blades can help players make sharper and faster cuts on the court.



Final Verdict

Every basketball player’s dream is to slam the rim, but we must have a high vertical jump. It takes a lot of effort to increase vertical jump. However, there are shoes that are especially engineered to make you jump higher. And, we have mentioned the features of the best basketball shoes for jumping which are highest rated in 2022.

Our first choice of high jumping shoes is Nike LeBron XVI. These shoes have a Zoom Air unit and Max Air, making them responsive, bouncy, and best for dunking.

After several tests, we found the Nike Alphadunk Shoes extremely safe while landing due to high ankle. This pair is one of the shoes with the largest Zoom Air unit.

If you love to have a solid court grip along with the ability to jump high, Under Armour Curry Flow 8 is a perfect choice. These shoes have springy cushioning and lightweight woven material, good for the high hop.

Read and calculate how high do you need to jump to Dunk a Basketball.


Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

What is the best basketball shoe for jumping?

Nike Lebron XVI is the best basketball shoe for jumping. A list of the best basketball shoes for jumping in 2022 is below;

  1. Nike Lebron XVI – Best Shoes for Dunking
  2. Air Jordan XXXV Bred – Best for High Vertical Jump
  3. Nike Alphadunk Shoes – High Ankle Lightweight Dunking Shoes
  4. Under Armour Curry Flow 8 – Best for Jumping High
  5. Nike KD 13 Bred – Best Shoes that Increase Vertical Jump
  6. Hyperdunk X Team – Make You Jump Higher


Are there shoes that make you jump higher?

Yes, there are shoes that make you jump higher – especially the basketball shoes with extra springiness and bounce. Nike Hyperdunk X Team makes you jump higher due to Zoom Air units under the forefoot and heel counter. These shoes are extra bouncy and provide impact protection for hard landings.


What shoes increase vertical jump?

Nike KD 13 Bred are good shoes to increase vertical jump. We tested them on different weight athletes and found them pretty good in enhancing the jump. Certainly, it is due to the double stacked Zoom Air units under the forefoot. Super bouncy and lightweight to fly high.


Are basketball shoes good for skipping?

No, basketball shoes are a bit bulkier than normal running shoes or skipping shoes. Therefore, they are not good for skipping even though they are bouncier than normal sneakers.



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