Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes

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When playing basketball outdoors some people will wear the same shoes as they use to shoot hoops indoors, but that really isn’t a great idea. For your best game, you should have separate shoes: one for indoors and the other for outdoors. 

 

It’s all about getting the right traction and having the correct support for your feet and ankles as the condition of the court outdoors will be different to that of an indoor court. Besides, you don’t want to mess up your indoor shoes by scraping them across an outdoor court. 

 

If you want to find out more about choosing the best outdoor shoes and why you need different shoes to play outdoors, then head on down to our in-depth Buyer’s Guide which is right after the Reviews.

 

Want to jump right into our top picks? Great, they’re right after this.

Outdoor Basketball Shoe Reviews

Nike LeBron Witness 3 - Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes

Best Low Top Outdoor Basketball Shoes

There’s no doubting the skill and class that LeBron brings both to the sport and to his sportswear. So, perhaps it’s no surprise to see a Nike pair as the pick for the best low top outdoor sneakers.

These shoes have proved popular with his fans for their design and performance so, let’s jump in and see what makes them great:

  • The textile upper gives a soft, comfortable feel to the shoe.
  • Tough enough for outdoor basketball.
  • Well padded to provide a comfortable fit that prevents chaffing while in play.
  • Foam midsole provides comfortable cushioning. 
Pros
Great price point
Look great on and off the court
A wide selection of colorways from which to choose
Lightweight
The lace closure provides a snug, comfortable and supportive fit
Cons
NA

These shoes were difficult to fault for their price point and comfort levels.

Adidas Dame 5 - Best Adidas Outdoor Basketball Shoes

With their rubber outsole, these shoes are equally at home either in or out doors. But because of this rubber, they make excellent outdoor court shoes that have fantastic traction whilst looking great. Combine this with Damian Lillard’s signature style, and you’ve got one great shoe.

Let’s jump in and see what makes these shoes great:

  • Rubber outsole and herringbone pattern make these shoes excellent for traction.
  • Great cushioning makes these shoes especially comfortable.
  • Lace closure provides a snug, supportive fit.
  • Textile upper with plenty of ventilation.
Pros
Available at a great price point
Wide range of colorways available
Lightweight
Cons
Some users have mentioned these shoes aren’t as hardwearing as they expected
Some users have experienced slippage while on dusty courts

Nike LeBron Soldier XIII “strive for greatness” - Best Nike Outdoor Basketball Shoes

LeBron’s signature sneaker the 13, is everything you’d expect from a basketball shoe made by Nike. Mix Nike’s experience with LeBron’s talents and flair and you’re onto a winner that’ll not only perform but look fly on the court. These high-tops are ideal for play on an outdoor court.

Let’s jump right in and see what makes these shoes great:

  • The laceless system creates a wide entryway that makes putting these to put on and taking them off, is quick and easy too.
  • Colorful designs that are striking on the court and off.
  • Fit is highly adjustable thanks to the straps.
  • Zoom tech creates a sense of balance and provides a comfortable fit.
  • ‘Design your own’ available in this style. Let’s you create the colorway you want.
  • Also available in kids sizes.
Pros
Straps ensure a supportive and comfortable fit
Cushioned and comfortable
Available in a wide range of colors
True to fit
Great traction
Cons
Some users report these shoes can run a little narrow and offer a rather snug fit

Buyer's Guide

Basketball is a fun game to play with friends or professionally if that is your aim. For those uninformed, they may not know how to pick the best basketball shoes for outdoor use. There are many things to consider so you can buy the best shoe at the best price. 

Rubber

 A rubber outsole is the first thing you should consider when buying basketball shoes, especially if you plan on playing outdoors. While it doesn’t matter if the rubber on the shoe is solid or translucent you should be on the lookout for the thickness and density of the rubber. The denser the rubber, the more durable it will be which means it can last longer against abrasion that occurs from rough outdoor surface like concrete or asphalt. Softer rubbers on the other hand will burn out faster and you will have a bald shoe in no time, much like a tire. Most reveiws of basketball shoes will mention whether or not it has a soft or firm rubber outsole. You can also visit a sports store and feel the shoe for yourself. It helps to be able to know the difference.

Thickness of the rubber pattern on the bottom of the shoe is also important. This is something you can easily look at, even on the internet as most online retailers will include a picture of the bottom of the shoe. If a traction pattern looks too thin, then it is probably not the best for outdoor play and can wear down easier. If you play basketball for fun, this might be okay, but you may want a shoe that has longevity.

Traction Patterns

Traction patterns are also important to consider because depending on the pattern your shoe can also wear down faster than intended. If you have too aggressive a pattern is can lead to quicker wear down and make your shoe uneven. It’s best to find a pattern that is recessed into the outsole so when your shoe does wear down more evenly.

Some basketball shoes also have flat traction patterns. These outsoles work on any surface and prevents most dust and debris from getting stuck into the pattern. It also allows the outsole to wear away more evenly. 

Materials

Basketball shoes are made with different types of materials depending on the company and design. Some are better than others and may last longer. Having a shoe made from raw material may feel more comfortable, but they can wear down much faster than synthetics. Shoes made from a synthetic material or plastic tend to be more durable and will last longer. If you go with a shoe made from raw materials, find one with multiple overlays in places like the heel or toe as this provides a layer of protection to help slow down wear and tear. 

Cushioning

Cushioning in a basketball shoe is important because if you are playing outdoors on an uneven and extra hard surface, you don’t want your feet to hurt when jumping or running. Having a nice cushion will also help your knees in the long run as they help take the weight of your when you land. If you are looking for a type of cushioning that provides longevity than an exposed cushion system would be your best best. They are good for outdoors and have great impact protection. The only downside is that since they are exposed they can pop much quicker than an indoor shoe. 

Different brands have different systems that they use to make sure their basketball shoe is top of the line. This is an aspect where you may need to do a little research to find what works for you. Some shoes also offer pumping cushion technology which allows you to decide how much cushion you want for your feet depending on which terrain you are playing on. 

Aesthetics

While this is one of the least important aspects of shoe buying, some consider just as important. Everyone has their own style and buying a shoe that doesn’t match you can be embarrassing if you care about that sort of thing. Luckily most shoe brands come in multiple colors which allow you to find the shoe that you want in the color that you want. 

Along with color, you may want to consider the design of the shoe. Maybe you want a bulkier looking shoe, or a sleeker one. It all depends on how you want to present yourself on the court.

Ankle Support

Basketball shoes are built in low or high top designs. High top designs generally have better ankle support which helps with all the movement your feet are doing on the basketball court. On a concrete or asphalt court your feet are also moving in all sorts of wonky directions so having a shoe that can support your ankle, but with a good deal of flexibility helps out immensely.

Price

In the end all your purchasing decisions come down to how much the shoes cost. A lot of basketball shoes run on the expensive side because they are associated with the name of a famous basketball player. The good news is that there are ways to help alleviate the heavy price that some of them come with.

While some may want to buy the latest brand of a shoe, there’s nothing wrong with buying a model from a year or two ago. You can usually find them online or at a shoe store discounted at the end of the season that they were sold. And since most of these shoes were made with durability in mind, you know these shoes can last you.

When shopping for a shoe you may also want to be on the lookout for price drops and any deals you can find. Amazon has plenty of coupons on things like shoes you can use and there’s always the annual Black Friday sale. Then again if you want the latest brand and you are willing to splurge, then more power to you.

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