Looking for the best outdoor basketball shoes? You’ve come to the right place. If you play a lot of outdoor basketball you are familiar with the need for a good pair of basketball shoes. Most basketball shoes are designed for indoor court use and so won’t stand up to the rough concrete of outdoor courts. Unless you want to be constantly buying basketball shoes, its a good idea to find ones that will last a long time outdoors. The best outdoor basketball shoes give you the comfort of pro shoes with a durable construction made to last on hard concrete or asphalt.
Many big brands offer few dedicated outdoor basketball shoes, so finding the right pair can be tough. Luckily for you, we are here to give you a list of the best outdoor basketball shoes on the market right now.
What Are the Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes of 2020?
1. Nike Lebron Soldier XI
Before even getting into specifics, the Lebron Soldier XI are some of the most popular outdoor basketball shoes on the market. The real draw of these for outdoor player is the incredible traction system on the outer sole. The grid-like treads are great for any kind of surface and the tough rubber construction will stand up to outdoor courts.
Along with the treads, Lebron Soldiers have a striking visual appearance and a surprisingly amount of cushion. Some players may not like the laceless velcro design but it definitely is a unique feature that sets it apart from others brands. There are a bunch of different color option sbut some versions, especially limited edition designs, will be more expensive.
Just like the man Lebron himself can play every position, the Lebron Soldiers are a great shoe for any kind of basketball player. Nice touch, Nike.
2. Under Armour Curry 5
While they may not let you be able to faithfully pull of Steph Curry’s ankle breaking cross-overs and glorious half court shots, The Under Armour Curry 5 basketball shoe will increase your performance and look stylish all at the same time. Aside from the aesthetic quality, the Curry 5s are an advanced piece of shoe tech.
The most relevant part for outdoor players is the unique tread pattern on the high-impact rubber outsole. The bottom has 3 distinct tread patterns located on the heel, balls of the feet, and the outer sole and toes. Each pattern is designed for some maneuver performed by that part of the foot; for example, the square arranged tread on the balls of the feet are meant for traction while pivoting on your toes. Unfortunately, the treads do have different thicknesses so they may wear down unequally.
Aside from the unique tread desing, the 360-desing lacing keeps every part fo the shoe locked to your feet. This makes the shoe pretty tight so it may not be comfortable if you have very wide or tall feet. 3 different color options are available as well.
3. Air Jordan 7 Retro
Air Jordans have long been a big name in basketball shoes and for good reasons. The Air Jordan 7 Retro is a quality designed basketball shoe designed for durability in mind. The thick rubber outsole and black leather uppers are very tough and will last for a while on and off the court.
The trademark high-top design of Air Jordan’s gives superior ankle support for quickly changing directions. The red/black/green color scheme is based on Warner Bros. Marvin the Martian character and looks great while giving you a jolt of nostalgia from old cartoons.
The traction pad on Air Jordan’s is specifically designed for controlled footing while moving quickly. The breathable mesh interior lining also keeps feet dry, so no more wet sweaty feet after you are done playin
4. Under Armour ClutchFit Drive
Our fourth entry brings us back to Under Armour and their Drive line of basketball shoes for women. First things first, these shoes look stylish and have a high-top design inspired by the high-performance shoes of the pros. The innovative bear-trap lacing systems keep the foot tightly gripped to your foot, almost like a glove.
The synthetic mesh upper is extremely flexible and lets your feet breathe while the rubber outsole is thick, durable, and has an external heel counter for stability while planting and pivoting. The high-cut ankle sleeve is good for ankle support but is a little bit short in the back around the heel.
Unfortunately, the ClutchFit Drive do not seem to have very many color options, but the ones available look great and allow the shoes to double as casual wear.
5. Nike Air Visi Pro
Another shoe designed for women players, the Nike Air Visi Pro is a great choice for a mid-level basketball shoe that works great indoors and outdoors. The synthetic leather uppers are soft and reinforced with fabric at the seams for extra durability.
The 100% rubber outsole is thick and built to last with special grooves on the bottom for increased foot flex. The midsole is extra cushioned and made out of a tough phylon so it is lightweight and durable. The synthetic leather isa bit hard at first but softens up nicely after breaking them in. Overall, this shoe provides great durability on and off the court. They are a bit heavy though, at just under two pounds.
6. Adidas Performance Court Fury
Adidas is well known for its wide variety of athletic shoes for many different sports. The Performance Court Fury Basketball Shoes are Adidas’ foray into basketball shoes and they deliver. The synthetic uppers and sole are extremely durable and offer good traction on both indoor and outdoor courts.
The shoe heel insert is designed with Adidas’ Adiprene+ tech for optimized cushion and rebounding. The extra soft insole gives your foot comfort from the hard court and also give you good explosive power for changing directions quickly.
The shoes also have the classic black and white design of Adidas shoes, which is a good choice for someone who does not want their basketball shoes to be too flashy. The footbed is also large enough in case you want to add some extra insole for more support.
7. AND1 Fantom
A well-known brand among basketball players, the AND1 Fantom basketball sneakers is a fantastic pair of shoes for someone who wants good durability at a very affordable price. The synthetic uppers and rubber sole are connected with a no-seam construction which prevents the two from coming apart due to seam damage. The rubber sole is abrasion resistant with strategically placed treads for maximum grip and traction.
The AND1 Fantom has laser-cut vents that promote air circulation in the feet so you don’t have to worry about your feet getting too hot while playing. The flexible mesh uppers make every foot movement is easy and keep the shoe lightweight yet durable.
The AND1 is much less expensive than other basketball shoes, though is noticeable of less quality build. However, they make a perfect entry-level choice for someone who wants to get used to playing on an outdoor court but may not want to shell out a lot of money
8. AND1 Rocket 4.0
Another entry from AND1, the men’s Rocket 4.0 basketball shoes are like the Fantom’s in that they provide an excellent pair of outdoor basketball shoes for a very affordable price. The very first noticeable feature is its synthetic leather design and high-traction rubber outsole that is built to last on hard tough surfaces.
These shoes have a bit higher ankle shaft than normal which gives good ankle support for quickly changing momentum. The mesh tongue and ankle shaft are very padded yet also breathable so your feet won’t become drenched in sweat while playing.
The key feature of the Rockets is their ultra-low profile that is made to keep your foot as close to the ground as possible for maximum stability. The almost seamless construction prevents wear and tear and keeps the shoes together longer.
9. Adidas Performance D Rose 7
The Adidas D Rose 7 basketball shoe is the signature basketball shoe from Timberwolves point guard Derrick Rose and are a great pair of shoes for indoor or outdoor use. The extra high ankle shaft (5.5”) is perfect for those with low arches. The molded collar also has extra space if you require an ankle brace while playing.
As well as looking gorgeous, the D Rose 7 is made out of a durable and breathable synthetic mesh with a thick rubber outsole that gives great traction both on the wooden court and outdoor concrete. The high ankle guard makes them a bit difficult to put on but ensures the shoes stay on your feet and don’t slip around, a necessity for a good pair of basketball shoes.
10. Under Armor Jet Mid
A basketball shoe designed with women in mind, the Under Armor Jet Mid basketball shoe is a good option for women who want superior performance on both indoor and outdoor courts. The high ankle-sleeve offer excellent ankle support and the thick insole provides good shock absorption for concrete or asphalt courts.
The thick 100% rubber outsole is a beast and will stand up to any kind of court, wooden or concrete while the black and white design gives the shoe a classic look that harkens back to an earlier age of basketball. The lightweight mesh uppers keep your feet cool but are also thick and strong enough to keep your foot firmly anchored to the footbed
11. Nike Hyperdunk TB
Nike’s Hyperdunk line of basketball shoes offers a fantastic looking basketball shoe that is slated for use on indoor and outdoor courts. The unique extra high-top design offers superior ankle support and flexibility for changing directions on a dime. These shoes have an extra thick rubber outsole that will last on any kind of court, wooden or concrete.
The heel and forefoot are engineered with Nike’s Zoom Air design for extra responsive cushioning that absorbs shock impact but also lets you get explosive movement on the first step. As an added bonus, there are many color options available so you can find a shoe that matches your aesthetic and basketball attire.
The extra high-top ankles do make the shoe a bit hard to get on the foot and can irritate the shins if tied too tight. However, breaking them in seems to get rid of this problem.
12. Reebok Q96 Crossexamine
A well-known manufacturer of athletic shoes, Reebok’s Q96 Crossexamine basketball shoes are an all-new performance basketball shoe based on the Iverson line of Reebok shoes. The uppers are made from a synthetic material that is light and breathable but does not feel cheap or fragile. It has a thick 100% rubber sole that is made for playing on rough surfaces.
The Q96 looks incredibly stylish and comes in 4 different bright color options. The unique design means you can be sure your shoes are the freshest looking on the court. The footbed is wide and spacious, so there is enough room for custom inserts if you need them. The treads are tough and do a good job giving you traction on concrete, but they do require some regular cleaning as they have a tendency to buildup dust which can make you slip.
Otherwise, the lightweight design is easy on the foot and breathes well so you won’t have drenched socks after some playtime. The high ankle-sleeve also keeps your feet centered and thick insoles provide decent arch and heel support.
13. Nike KD 8
Inspired by the legendary player Kevin Durant, the Nike KD Men’s basketball shoes are some of the best looking and well-made basketball shoes out there. The Nike Flyweave construction of the uppers leaves them very light and breathable and the tough 100% rubber outsole is both very durable and super wide for extra stability while planting and pivoting. The bottom tread has 4 different patterns for traction in all directions.
A set of flywire cables coming from the midsole keep the shoe anchored to your foot as it moves up and down and the Nike Zoom Air footbed gives great response and shock absorption.
The low-top cut means less ankle support, but slightly more mobility at the ankle.
14. Adidas Performance Cloudfoam
Another entry from Adidas, the Cloudfoam ilation basketball shoes are a great shoe for ultimate comfort and superior court traction. As the name would imply, these shoes feel like walking on a cloud. The uppers are made of leather and a tightly woven fabric that is durable and tough. The thick leather outsole is extremely durable and has extra treads for more traction.
The CLOUDFOAM sock liner and midsole give your foot extra cushion and support, good for those with foot problems. As is the case with many basketball shoes, the high ankle sleeve supports your ankle so you can change directions quickly. The tongue is thick and padded yet also lets your feet breath.
What to Look for When Buying Outdoor Basketball Shoes
Before buying, take into mind the following considerations. A good basketball shoe does not necessarily have to have all these features, but they are important things to consider.
High-top or low-top?
Most basketball shoes are divided between high-top and low-top styles. As the names would imply, high-top designs cover more of the ankle than low-top designs. High-top designs are good if you are playing a position that requires you to change direction and momentum a lot. The extra ankle support can help prevent rolls and injuries while shifting your center of gravity. Alternatively, low-top designs are good if you need to be mobile but have consistent momentum.
If you are playing outside, you need shoes with the right kind of tread pattern. Thinly grooved treads look cleaner, but can easily get clogged by rocks and dirt which can lessen their grip. For outdoor use, make sure you get basketball shoes with a wide set groove that will not easily pick up rocks and dirt and that can be cleared easily.
Indoor wooden courts tend to be much more forgiving on the feet. As such, if you are playing outside on a concrete court (like tennis players or outdoor cross-trainers), you need better cushioning to protect your feet from those hard impacts, especially for a game like a basketball where you are constantly jumping and landing on your feet. Good cushioning lessens shock damage but also is springy enough to give you quick movement off the first step.
Ultimately, the best basketball shoe will be dependent on your needs. The best outdoor basketball shoes are made with durability and comfort in mind, for long sessions on the hard concrete or asphalt court. If you are looking for extra ankle support, consider picking up a pair of high-top shoes. Alternatively, if you want shoes with a lot of mobility, some low-cut shoes may be the best option. Either way, this guide will give you the tools to pick out the basketball shoes that is right for you.