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Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes

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Playing basketball outdoors can take a toll on your feet. This is why sports shoes meant for outdoor play are designed very differently from those used indoors. So if you’re hoping to improve your game, then you need to invest in the best outdoor basketball shoes. And don’t look for just standard shoes- they should fit your style of play and skill level.

Unfortunately, finding the perfect pair requires hours of research. Hours that you’d rather spend on a basketball court practicing. Luckily for you, we’ve done the legwork of research and compiled a list of some of the best basketball shoes suitable for outdoor play.

Top 10 Outdoor Basketball Shoes

Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Adidas Men’s Dame 5

Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you value comfort and stability above anything else, the Adidas Dame 5 is the perfect pair for you.

Like most of the recent releases from Adidas, this shoe employs herringbone traction starting from the heel to the toe. This particular traction is arguably their best invention so far.

Looking closely, you’ll also notice that the tread lines are thicker and more widely spaced. This type of pattern minimizes the likelihood of dust and dirt accumulating on the outsole. The fact that this rubber-made sole is also thick means that it can withstand the harsh elements outdoors.

Another plus of this shoe is the bounce cushioning, which offers good responsiveness and protects your feet from impact.

We also like the support system of the Dame 5. The laces work well to keep your feet locked down.

Additionally, the manufacturer has incorporated other elements to provide a more secure fit. We’re talking about the TPU lateral support wing, which keeps your foot stable on the footbed. The good thing about this part is that it’s not made of plastic. This means it’s not going to cause any blisters.

Pros

  • The full-length bounce cushioning is very responsive
  • High-quality construction that makes for a lightweight and comfortable shoe
  • Rubber outsole provides good traction
  • Stylish design
  • Mesh upper for maximum ventilation

Cons

  • Traction takes a long time to break in
  • The suede material feels cheap

2. Air Jordan 1 Retro High

Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nike did not become one of the best sports brands by making low-quality products, and their Air Jordan 1 is a good example of what they’re capable of. This shoe has just the right features to put up with repeated beatings in outdoor courts.

For instance, the upper section is made of durable leather material. Similarly, the rubber outsole is designed with grooves and the heel has a cushioning air-sole unit. The forefoot has multiple perforations for breathability.

Another noteworthy feature of this sneaker is that it comes in very bold colors. These include a pale crimson, black, island green, blue and red.

Pros

  • It’s a high-top to protect your ankles
  • Air unit in the heel provides cushioning
  • Perforated design to improve breathability
  • Deep flex grooves enhance traction

Cons

  • The size is smaller than advertised

3. Under Armour Men’s UA ClutchFit Drive 2 Basketball Shoes

Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Not everyone is a fan of Adidas and Nike sports gear. If you don’t like either brands but would still like to get a player-grade basketball sneaker, the Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 2 is an excellent substitute.

This shoe is designed for optimal performance in the rugged outdoor courts. The herringbone traction pattern means it has superb traction and strength.

Plus, it’s fitted with Under Armour’s latest cushioning system called charged. This cushioning is an upgrade from the previous – MicroG – and it boasts better responsiveness and a lighter design.

The upper is made of ClutchFit, a synthetic material that makes the shoe very comfortable. And, it comes in numerous colors including black, red, cardinal, graphite and tropic pink.

Pros

  • Breathable and lightweight upper construction
  • Molded ankle collar for utmost support
  • Good traction and it comes at a fair price

Cons

  • Cushioning is too stiff for some players

4. Nike Men’s Lebron Soldier XII Basketball Shoe

Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Do you usually feel pain after an intense basketball game? If you do, you may want to try a shoe that provides ample heel and ankle support like Nike LeBron Soldier XII.

This sneaker is constructed using a unique air sole design for extra heel support. This minimizes the impact that you feel when you land hard on your feet.

The dynamic criss-crossing pattern on the midsole is another feature that makes this shoe stand out. This gives the shoe a very stylish design while also helping to keep your feet locked in. The criss-cross extends all the way to your heel to provide a good fit.

An important point to note is that the LeBron Soldier doesn’t have herringbone traction. Instead, it uses a maze traction pattern, which works just as effectively as the herringbone. It consists of widely-spaced grooves with channels on the sides that allow dirt to escape.

Pros

  • Uses a unique and highly-effective lockdown
  • Provides a good balance of cushioning and stability
  • Has great midfoot support
  • Full inner sleeve wrap around

Cons

  • There’s no way to customize the lacing system

5. Nike Zoom KD 9 Mens Basketball Shoes

Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Are you planning to make a bold fashion statement in your next outdoor game? The mid Zoom KD 9 by Nike can help you achieve that. This shoe comes in a beautiful white color with a few silver accents and brown outsole.

Looks aside, this sneaker performs extremely well in outdoor settings. The upper is made of mesh with foam material around the heel to enhance comfort and breathability.

And like most shoes from this brand, this one also uses Zoom Air cushioning system that has a great response. But what makes the KD 9 a suitable choice for outdoor play is the thick heel. This helps to absorb shock from any hard landings.

Pros

  • Uses a multi-directional tread pattern for greater stability
  • Uses Nike’s comfortable Zoom Cushioning system
  • Mesh upper and lightweight design

Cons

  • It’s not very easy to put on

6. Adidas Performance Men’s Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball Shoe

Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for a mid sneaker, Adidas Men’s Cloudfoam Ilation is a pretty solid choice. At first glance, you can tell this shoe is made of premium-quality materials.

With the exception of the midsole, the whole outsole has a zigzagged tread pattern to enhance stability. The upper is constructed from full-grain leather with perforations on the sides to provide ventilation. The mesh collar and back panel also contributes to the breathability of this shoe.

And as is the case with Adidas footwear, you get to choose from a variety of colors, including the brand’s 3-stripe logo. 

This shoe is also equipped with the patented Cloudfoam padding, which boosts the overall feel and fit.

Pros

  • Leather makes the shoe durable
  • Great traction
  • Affordable
  • Perforations for maximum air circulation

Cons

  • Although the leather construction provides longevity, it also makes it less flexible

7. Nike Zoom Hyperrev Basketball Sneaker

Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for a shoe that will fit like a glove, you should invest in Nike Zoom Hyperrev. The rubber heel cage is connected to the lacing system, helping to secure your foot tightly in the shoe.

It also uses Nike’s Zoom Air- cushioning technology that provides optimal impact protection without adding too much weight to the shoe.

Another highlight of this shoe is the traction. This consists of a multidirectional diamond-shaped pattern that provides a good grip on asphalt surfaces. Even better, the rubber used for the outsole is of medium texture. It’s neither too hard nor too soft, a factor that reduces the likelihood of slipping.

Pros

  • Dynamic Flywire works with the lacing system to provide stability
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Multi-directional tread pattern for excellent traction

Cons

  • Few color options

8. Nike Men’s Air Visi Pro Vi

Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Designed for both indoor and outdoor use, the Nike Air Visi Pro is another option worth considering.

The upper is made of synthetic leather providing a medium-soft and durable construction. This is reinforced with more fabric at the seams to increase durability.

The outsole is made exclusively from rubber, and it’s designed with special grooves to improve traction. One thing that makes this shoe unique is the midsole which is constructed from phylon – a type of EVA foam. This material balances cushioning and stability incredibly well.

The basketball shoe comes in three main color schemes: black/anthracite, white/cool grey/black or black/dark grey/platinum

My only quarrel with the Air Visi Pro is that the upper leather feels a bit rigid at first.

Pros

  • Fair price
  • Mid top construction
  • Phylon material provides superb cushioning

Cons

  • Has a rather plain design
  • Small and narrow fit
  • Takes a while to break in

9. Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe

Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’ve been on the lookout for an awesome pair of outdoor basketball shoes, Adidas Crazy Explosive is a good option. Equipped with the newest technologies from the renowned brand, this shoe will make playing basketball an enjoyable experience.

For starters, it fits nicely thanks to the narrow design and wide base. This means you don’t have to worry that the shoe will come loose when you’re in the middle of your game.

A quick glance at the outsole of the Crazy Explosive also guarantees that it will provide a firm grip even on the most rugged courts. This traction consists of thick lines, forming some kind of maze. 

The shoe’s upper is made using Adidas Primeknit tech. What this means is that the upper section is knitted as one whole piece, giving it a sock-like fit.

The lacing on this basketball sneaker is another feature that makes it stand out. According to the manufacturer, the lacing system is so designed to minimize risk of breakage.

Pros

  • Sock-like fit
  • High-quality construction using Primeknit technology
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Improved lacing system

Cons

  • Not suitable for players with wider feet

10. Reebok Men’s Shaqnosis OG Basketball Shoe

Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When shopping for outdoor basketball shoes, Reebok might not be the first brand that comes to mind. However, their Shaqnosis OG sneaker has proven that it’s a brand to be reckoned with. Designed with Shaq’s style of play in mind, these shoes are particularly recommended for larger centers.

The first thing you’ll notice is their superb traction. These shoes will perform well in any outdoor setting, allowing you to make as many moves as you want.

Like most of Reebok’s sports shoes, the Shaqnosis has Hexalite cushioning in both the heel and forefoot. This really comes in handy since very few shoes have this cushioning on both of these areas.

Also, there are a couple of aspects that make Hexalite cushioning superior to EVA and other polyurethane compounds. For one, it scatters shock over a larger surface, and this helps to reduce the impact on your feet.

Secondly, the Hexalite cushion is covered in a thermoplastic urethane layer that enables it to retain its shape and performance.

Another aspect worth mentioning is the shoe’s wider base that provides great stability. This is a significant factor if you’re training to be a spot up shooter.

Pros

  • Synthetic sole that provides good traction
  • Comes in unique color combinations such as silver/black, white/black, black/blue
  • Uses Hexalite cushioning system
  • Wide base for stability

Cons

  • The laces can be improved

What Features Should You Look For When Buying Outdoor Basketball Shoes?

Material

The first thing you should check is the material used to make the shoes. This will have a profound effect on the longevity and comfort. The majority of sports sneakers are made from either one of two materials: leather and synthetic.

Leather shoes are likely to be more expensive but they also conform to your feet in a better way. Plus, they’re more durable. But if you’d like to save money, the synthetic options are cheaper.

In addition to the leather/synthetic material, most of these footwear are reinforced with mesh. The purpose of this is to improve ventilation throughout the shoe and reduce friction.

Upper

When shopping for an outdoor basketball shoe, another thing you should pay attention to is the upper. More specifically, you should determine the height that works for you. Outdoor basketball shoes come in high, mid and low heights, and each one is suited for a different style of play.

High

For many centuries, high sneakers reigned supreme in the basketball industry. This is because they protect you from injuries by wrapping around your ankle.

However, keep in mind that the extra coverage on your ankles increases the overall weight of the shoe.

Also, extra weight means less speed, and this could hurt your game. As a result, high-top shoes are best suited for larger, aggressive players like centers and forwards.

Low

If you want basketball shoes that can help you race up and down that outdoor court, low shoes are a better option. Since they don’t have that extra coverage, they weigh less, providing greater speed and agility. On the flipside, they leave you more susceptible to injuries.

Mid

As the name suggests, these are a happy medium between high and low sports shoes. With these shoes, the upper section sits at the same level as your ankle but it doesn’t enclose it fully. This design provides greater flexibility, making them suitable for all-round players.

Traction

Outdoor courts are characterized by uneven, rough textures. To be able to play on these areas, you need basketball shoes that have tough outer soles. This way, they’ll provide a firm grip and they won’t wear out quickly.

However, if you end up with a sneaker with poor grip, there are several things you can do to improve traction. These include:

  • Stepping on a grip/traction board before heading to the court. This board comes with an adhesive surface that draws all the dust and oil from your sneakers.
  • Investing in a traction fluid. If a traction board is too expensive, you can always look for a traction fluid. This one works by increasing the grip of your shoes. It should be applied on the outsoles right before a game or during breaks. The downside of applying products on your basketball shoes is that it causes them to collect dirt more easily. 
  • Brush off any dust and debris from your shoes. One reason why your shoes lose traction is because of all the dirt that accumulates below. Thus, cleaning them might be all that’s needed to improve traction.
  • Sweep the outdoor courts regularly to minimize the amount of dirt that your shoes collect.
  • Replace your footwear when the outsoles become worn out. Even if your basketball shoes have good traction, prolonged use causes the tread to start wearing out.

Weight

Most outdoor basketball shoes will always be heavier than their indoor counterparts. This is because they have thicker midsole to cushion your feet against the hard surfaces of outdoor courts.

Now, we’re not saying that all outdoor basketball shoes are bulky. It all depends on what weight works for you. If you’re looking for speed and agility, then go for a light shoe. But if you want the best cushioning, a heavier shoe is better.

Ventilation

If you were choosing indoor sneakers, ventilation wouldn’t be such an important factor. But when it comes to outdoor basketball shoes, this is a big deal.

The reason for this is that playing in an outdoor environment presents new challenges. There’s the exercise-induced heat and the high temperatures outdoors.

If your shoes are not made of breathable material, your feet will sweat excessively causing an unpleasant odor; not to mention, this increases your risk of getting foot-related conditions.

You can avoid all these by inspecting the material used to make your sneakers. Ideally, it should have a mesh upper or mesh ventilation panel for proper airflow.

Fit

You might be yearning to get your hands on the newest pair of trending basketball shoes. However, it’s important that you base your decision on a comfortable fit as opposed to looks.

In particular, you should check whether there’s enough room for your toes. The shoe shouldn’t be too tight that your toes feel cramped. If it is, your toenails are likely to get damaged.

Also, confirm that the shoe fits nicely over your midsole. At this point, the shoe should feel snug with minimal room for movement.

What are the Benefits of Buying Outdoor Basketball Shoes?

One of the main reasons why you should invest in outdoor basketball shoes is because of their harder outsoles that make them last longer. Although the asphalt surface found in most outdoor courts is slicker than an indoor court, it also has a very rough texture.

After playing for a long time on such a coarse surface, your shoes will start to wear out. Thus, shoes designed for outdoor play are equipped with tougher soles that can stand up to this more efficiently.

Ironically, outdoor courts are slicker than those found indoors. This is because the asphalt surface is made of several microsurfaces that are very smooth. What this means is that you can still slip on an outdoor court, and more so if it’s covered in dirt or sand. This brings us to the next benefit of outdoor basketball shoes.

To prevent slippage accidents, these footwear have superior traction. The treads on these shoes have bigger patterns than those used in indoor footwear. This, coupled with the harder outsoles results in high-quality outdoor footwear that can withstand anything you throw at it.

Summary

The right outdoor basketball shoes will help you maximize your movements while protecting your feet from hard impact. Based on our research, Adidas Dame 5 is one of the best basketball shoes for your outdoor play.

It has herringbone traction which guarantees a firm grip on uneven surfaces. This traction consists of grooves that are widely spaced. This means that dust and debris cannot accumulate on the outsole easily.

The Dame 5 has full-length cushioning with good responsiveness. Plus, the rubber used for the outsole is harder than most to provide maximum shock absorption. 

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