Just like outdoor basketballs, best outdoor basketball shoes are designed to help you play outside while being comfortable and durable. Another major factor is that they provide the support that your feet need on a rough surface. Even though all shoes look the same, outdoor shoes are different from the indoor ones since they are manufactured to handle dirt, grime, and exposure to concrete and asphalt along with water while maintaining the grip and traction.
There are certain aspects that you need to take into account before selecting the best sneaker for playing basketball in an outdoor court and some of these include sole thickness, traction, the weight of the shoe, durability, ventilation, styling, comfort, etc. Depending upon these factors, here is a list of the top-rated basketball shoes for you to choose from.
Table of Contents
- 1 List of Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes
- 1.1 1. Under Armour Clutchfit Drive 2 – Fits Like Second Skin
- 1.2 2. Adidas Crazy Explosive Shoe – Performance Shoe
- 1.3 3. Under Armour Drive 4 – Perfect High Top Choice
- 1.4 4. Under Armour Curry 3
- 1.5 5. Nike Men’s Air Versitile li Basketball Shoe
- 1.6 6. Nike Men’s Air Verisitle Nubuck
- 1.7 7. Nike Air Overplay IX
- 1.8 8. Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation Shoe – Perfect Mid Top
- 1.9 9. Adidas Harden Vol 2 – Stylish and Good Shoes
- 2 Desirable Features of Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes
List of Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes
|Under Armour Clutchfit Drive 2||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Adidas Crazy Explosive||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Under Armour Drive 4||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Under Armour Curry 3||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Nike Men's Air Versitile li||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Nike Air Versitile Nubuck||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Nike Air Overplay IX||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation||⭐⭐⭐|
|Adidas Harden Volume 2||⭐⭐⭐|
1. Under Armour Clutchfit Drive 2 – Fits Like Second Skin
Under Armour Clutchfit is known for its perfect fit. What is known as Clutchfit technology is that the shoe upper fits around your food just like the second skin while being highly comfortable. It gives your foot an incredible feel.
It comes with a Charged sole that is exceptionally good when it comes to stability and absorbing impact in hard surfaces. As a matter of fact, it is supposed to be so good that you do not experience back or knee pain even if you play a couple of games in a single night.
Unlike most other shoes that can be worn just twice before they worn out, this once can last much longer.
- Great grip
- Good ankle support
- Cushioning is a plus point
- Traction is very good too
- Since its slightly narrower in shape you should go for half a size up
2. Adidas Crazy Explosive Shoe – Performance Shoe
Adidas Crazy Explosive is another outdoor sneaker that is immensely popular and has been rated highly for its performance on outdoor courts. It is manufactured with 100% synthetic material and the rubber outsole provides excellent grip.
Its a smart looking shoe that comes with a good grip and breathability. This is why it has been rated on top of the list.
- Great fit (fits like a glove)
- Helps move quickly with a great bounce
- Cushioning is great too
- Lacing might take some effort (but you get used to it after some time)
- Traction could be improved
- Venitilation could be improved
Conclusion: This is a shoe that looks good, fits fine, has an excellent grip and support though traction could be worked upon. Sizing is also good and you don’t need to order half a size bigger as is the case with Under Armour Clutchfit Drive 2.
3. Under Armour Drive 4 – Perfect High Top Choice
Under Armour Team Drive 4 Basketball shoe is a high top model that is also quite a hit. It comes with a lightweight and well-ventilated upper and has a comfortable fit. Full-length bootie provides better ankle support.
A lot of costumers are using it for playing outdoor basketball as well as for gymming and running.
Some of the main features of this shoe are listed below:
- provides great ankle support
- good for playing outddor basketball
- great traction
- comfortable fit
- sizing is also perfect to the T
- rates high on durability quotient
- good value for money
- could be better ventilated
- get a size bigger if your foot is wide in front
Conclusion: Even though it is a good shoe and is suited for playing outside, it is not the most preferable choice for those who do not like high top shoes. Like most of the other high-top shoes, this one also seems a bit restrictive with its fabric having no stretch. If only, the fabric had a little bit of more stretch, this would not have been the problem.
Under Armour Curry 3 is another popular basketball sneaker that has been getting awesome user reviews. It’s a mid-top model that is made with light mesh fabric and fits perfectly on your feet. Not just this, it also makes you move around freely.
Some of the main features include the following:
- provides solid protection to ankles
- lightweight shoe
- highly durable
- ensures good bounce
- wraps around the foot with ease and comfort
- traction is good too
- many duplicates are available (check for the original U/A embossed logo on the tongue)
- rivets on the inside are metal which you might find uncomfortable
Conclusion: This is a shoes that can be used both indoors as well as outdoor. While it sticks well in the wooden surface, it holds well even on rough or dusty exteriors. Most users find that it’s very easy to step into, implying that the fit is good and so is the comfort. Many users like point out that they like the styling and colors of this shoe and that they can wear it throughout the day.
Getting back to playing basketball, this shoe comes with Charged cushioning which helps increase the reaction time and of course, ensures an excellent court feel.
This shoe is worthy of getting a massive thumbs up!
This is another mid-top shoe that has been doing great. It is manufactured with synthetic and textile. It comes with a rubber sole that has herringbone pattern from traction. It’s worth noting that this kind of pattern is that best for playing outdoors and offers the best form of traction.
- excellent traction
- perfect fit and great styling
- good support and adds to the bounce
- comes with a reasonable price tag and is good value for money
- grip could be better
- collar’s back digs into the skin
Conclusion: Most users love its sharp looks and styling. Yet another positive feature is that the fit is very good with a lot of users claiming that it fits like a glove. Moreover, it performs well on the court which is a big plus for this shoe.
The only problem with this shoe is that it might get worn off sooner than you expect. Nonetheless, it is one of the most popular styles from Nike in India and has a huge customer base.
This is a mid-top style from Nike that has quite a few good user reviews. Styling is good and attractive. Color options are also great. This shoe excels in the comfort department. It comes with a midsole 2-inch platform for extra comfort and style.
- highly comfortable shoe
- offers good traction
- midsole is 2 inches in thickness which adds to comfort
- little bit higher than mid top and a little bit lower than high top
- provides good ankle support
- fits even those with wide feet
- makes slight noise when you step down
- fits slightly tight
Conclusion: This outdoor shoe comes with a nubuck leather upper which adds to its appeal. It not only makes it look good but also increases its breathability. The nubuck leather even makes it more durable than most of the other brands on the market.
This shoe is suitable for both indoor as well as outdoor play. The only problem that a few users experienced was that they found it to be slightly tight on the feet.
This is a stylish mid-top shoe that comes with a highly durable upper. This is one shoe that can handle very hard landing while being lightweight and breathable.
- Good traction
- Great ankle support and arch support
- Stylish and nice colors
- great for gym too
- cushioning could be better
Conclusion: This shoe looks extremely cool or stylish which makes it highly appealing to the consumer but how does it rate on the basketball court is what matters the most. In this regard also, it rates pretty good with good traction and and a thick sole it can handle hard impact quite well. It’s comfortable to wear but the only thing that could be improved is it’s cushioning.
All in all, if you are a NIKE fan, you can certainly opt for this shoe.
8. Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation Shoe – Perfect Mid Top
This is a 100% leather shoe and my favorite. I have always been a fan of leather shoes. They don’t just look great but are breathable too. Even though they can be somewhat expensive they are worth the quality and style. Not to mention, they turn out to be more durable too.
Cloudfoam Ilation from Adidas is a mid-top that you can use both on the outdoor court as well as your gym.
Check out some of the features below:
- Have a nice bounce
- provides good ankle support
- cushioning is good too
- immensely comfortable shoes
- cloud foam technology makes them stand out from other competing brands
- might not hold well to water
- could be somewhat tight at the toe
Conclusion: This one is purely for leather fans. Its great in terms of looks and style, ranks high on comfort and is great on the field too. The only thing that could be improved is its ability to absorb water otherwise, it’s a delight to wear.
If you are looking for a shoe that provides a good bounce, is comfortable to wear, and comes with good ankle support you can certainly go for this sneaker when trying to play basketball outside. You can even wear it off-court and impress people with your style!
9. Adidas Harden Vol 2 – Stylish and Good Shoes
This one comes with a knit upper and ranks well on the style quotient. It is one of those shoes that are quite breathable. Another great feature of this shoe is that it offers great traction.
Some of the main features are listed below:
- very comfortable shoe
- comes with good support
- traction is good too
- excellent grip and cushioning
- might find the fit a bit tight initially but after 2-3 days it breaks in and gets really comfortable
Conclusion: This is one another shoe that is great in terms of style. It has a good grip too but people generally find that it takes a little bit of time to break-in. Moreover, herringbone style is preferred for playing outside as compared to Fibonacci inspired traction.
Nonetheless, this shoe has its own clientele is in great demand.
Desirable Features of Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes
One of the most important features to take into account is how durable the rubber of the sole is. What you need to keep in mind is that you are playing outdoors and the surface is likely to be rough and made of either concrete or asphalt. Thus, the rubber of your shoe soles needs to be highly durable, or else it might wear off very quickly resulting in holes in the sole.
There are certain shoes that come with firmer rubber soles and these include Adidas D Rose or Nike Lebron Soldier. Not just this, you can also check out for certain Chinese shoes with firmer rubber soles.
Well, the fact of the matter is that in China indoor courts are harder to find as compared in the US and most of the basketball courts are basically outdoors there. Therefore, its but natural that they design shoes that are apt from playing outside.
Yet another feature to look in outdoor shoes is that they should have a wide traction pattern.
Well, the logic is……
Playing outdoors means that your shoe soles are exposed to more dirt and grime. Thus, shoes with narrow traction can get filled up quickly with dirt and dust, thereby losing their grip. Losing grip is what you definitely don’t want.
So far so good, what else?
Another important factor is that thicker rubber sole helps absorb shock too. An outdoor court implies playing on a harder surface as compared to an indoor court. This exposes your shoes to a greater degree of shock and a thicker rubber sole is likely to absorb more shock. Shoes with better cushioning are a perfect candidate to win in this category.
The quality of the upper is also very important. Playing outdoors is very different from playing in an indoor court where the environment is well controlled. It’s imperative that the upper is breathable to ensure good ventilation. This is true because when you are playing outside it can get quite hot. At the same time, your shoe should be comfortable as well. There’s no point in wearing a shoe in which you cannot play comfortably. In order to be at the top of your game, you need a well-ventilated and durable pair of shoes that can withstand hot and humid conditions outdoors.
Upper, Sole, and Traction of Your Outdoor Basketball Shoes:
While on the look of it, all basketball shoes look the same. However, it is not so when you consider their construction. One of the basic differences between the two is that outdoor shoes have to withstand high temperatures and more sweat and therefore they must have room for better ventilation.
So what should you prefer as the upper material?
Some of the best outdoor basketball shoes use mesh or leather in the construction of the upper so as to allow more air to pass through.
But upper is not the only thing to pay attention to.
The sole is also important. Playing outside exposes your shoes to a hard surface with more dirt and grime. Thus, it’s important that the shoe that you choose should have a thick sole that is able to withstand all this. Secondly, the sole should preferably be in herringbone pattern so that it offers good traction.
Further elaborating on the difference between indoor and outdoor shoes, it’s important to note that indoor shoes have a thin midsole. This is what makes them unsuitable for outside playing. When looking for a perfect outdoor sneaker, make it a point to check midsole thickness. They should have thick rubber midsole and this could save your feet from a whole lot of injuries and also make you move and run with greater ease so that you can become a better player and beat your competition.
Styling is also important and it largely depends upon your own personal choice. I am sure you want to possess a pair of sneakers that look awesome rather than dull and mundane. Most brands offer great styling features that range from high top styles to low top styles with various colors that you can choose from.
Most guys playing outdoors prefer low top shoes in which it is easier to move or rather run around.
Low-Top Shoes – This is the most common style these days. These shoes are actually low cut shoes and they have gained popularity recently because of the fact that they can add to the mobility. The game of basketball has changed now with greater emphasis on speed and extra mobility. Moreover, a lot of smaller players prefer this style since it gives them an edge over the taller guys by helping them move around faster.
Mid-Top Shoes – Also known as the standard basketball shoe a mid-top shoe sits right at your ankle. It is somewhat higher than a low top design but does not cover your ankle fully. With more and more players trying to get quicker on the court, this style seems to be losing to the low top design.
High-Top Shoes – Even though high top shoes protect your feet much better than a low top or medium top design, these shoes have somehow have fallen out of favor. It would not be wrong to say that they are somewhat obsolete now. Yet, there are some guys who still prefer these shoes since they provide better ankle support.
Your outdoor sneakers are likely to be heavier as compared to those used for indoor play. Extra cushioning, thicker rubber sole and midsole adds to the weight of the shoe. Now, this is something that you have to learn to bear with.
A little extra weight on your shoes is what is going to protect your feet from the harsh outdoor ground.
Yet there are some brands that sell high-quality shoes that are somewhat lighter as compared to other outdoor shoes. But again, they come with a slightly higher price tag!
1. How long do basketball shoes last?
With heavy use and outdoor play, the best shoes are likely to last between six to nine months. It’s important to keep in mind that playing outside exposes your shoes to hard concrete or asphalt which takes a toll on your shoes.
2. Which is the best outdoor basketball shoe?
There are a couple of styles and brands that are hugely popular. You can choose from Under Armour, Nike, Adidas, etc. What you choose depends upon your personal preference (such as low-top, medium-top, or high-top) and other factors like comfort, sole thickness, grip, durability, etc.
3. Is Kyrie 5 good for outdoors?
It seems like a good option with good traction, durable sole and upper but the only problem is they might require regular cleaning with dust likely to settle in the grooves.
So, above is a list of shoes that you can buy to play basketball outside. Which one you choose is entirely upon you. However, you can be certain that you are choosing from one of the most popular styles that are hot sellers with equally good user reviews. Even though there are many more styles and shoes to choose from, I’ve tried to list some of the best ones.
So, take your pick and enjoy your game of outdoor basketball!