The Top 5 Basketball Shoes For Dunking (2019)

Let’s be honest. For many of us, dunking on a regulation 10 foot net is a pipe dream. But there are a select few who can realistically slam it down as long as they have the right basketball shoes. If you want to have a chance to dunk, you need to find the shoes that maximize your vertical jump. At the same time, you want those shoes to also have other key factors like fit, cushioning and support so that you don’t sacrifice the rest of your game.

So what sneakers can you put on that will let you hammer a wicked slam in your next pickup game? If dunking is your goal, you’ll want shoes with two key features – they need to be lightweight (so as not to weigh you down) and have maximum springiness (to help you get up).

The shoes below are those that have been reviewed and rated as the best basketball shoes for posterizing your next opponent.

1. Nike LeBron 17

  • Traction is a bit hit-or-miss, particularly towards the front part of the shoe.
  • Impact protection is out of this world, with an Air setup that makes it feel like you're running on a could.
  • Perfect fit, with great lockdown, and just enough stability to feel good moving around the court.

Fan Average

3.94
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Critics Average

4.2
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2. Nike KD 12

Nike KD 12
  • While the KD 12 features a translucent rubber outsole -- which isn't typically the best option for traction -- the KD 12 does an admirable job gripping the floor, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Full-length Zoom Air that feels responsive and low to the ground is a huge step forward for the KD sig line.
  • Snug at the forefoot with solid lockdown, the KD fits true to size and provides very solid support.
Nike KD 12

Fan Average

4.00
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Critics Average

4.7
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3. Nike Kyrie 5

Nike Kyrie 5
  • The Kyrie 5 has the exceptional multidirectional herringbone pattern traction that Kyrie sigs are famous for.
  • The new Zoom Air Turbo is excellent, feeling more like a foam than traditional Zoom Air.
  • Good lockdown, very solid support, though the flytrap enclosure may require going up half a size.
Nike Kyrie 5

Fan Average

3.87
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Critics Average

4.2
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4. Nike Hyperdunk X Low

  • The multi-directional pattern on this shoe creates traction that matches up with any previous Hyperdunk shoe.
  • The Zoom Air cushioning in the Hyperdunk X provides a level of comfort that is a huge upgrade on the Hyperdunk 2017.
  • The Hyperdunk X has a high quality lacing system and otherwise solid design that provides good levels of support.

Fan Average

3.83
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Critics Average

4.4
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5. Nike PG 3

  • The traction takes a while to work in, but once it gets going the PG3 grips the floor well with its circular traction pattern.
  • The cushion system also takes some time to break in, but once it does the PG3 feels like a slightly bouncier version than its predecessor, the PG2.
  • The PG3 fits true to size after the break-in process, and the support is satisfactory though it may not work for those with wider feet.

Fan Average

4.00
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Critics Average

4.1
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