best Outdoor Basketball Shoes

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes in October 2021

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If you’ve ever played basketball, you know there’s a world of difference between playing indoors and outdoors. Indoors basketball courts typically have hardwood floors, air conditioning, stable temperature, and stable forces, with all things viewed. When you play outdoor basketball, you’re opening yourself up to the elements.

Nothing is the same: the court isn’t hardwood anymore, it may be a rubber compound or it might be just painted concrete.

Every baller knows that playing basketball outdoors needs a different type of shoe. When you’re playing on a beat-up old court that is often covered with dirt and dust, you need the right type of traction to make sure that you’re not slipping and sliding all over the place. You also need a shoe that is created for rougher use.

So how do you know if a shoe is going to work well outdoors?

  • The bottom of the shoe should have deep and wide grooves for elite traction.
  • The outsole of the shoe should be made from solid rubber.
  • The body of the shoe should be made with durable materials that can withstand the elements.
 Our Top Picks For You… 

In a hurry? Consider the Quick Pick…

Among these options, the ideal outdoor basketball shoes is Under Armour Boy’s Grade School Mid K Basketball Shoe because these are most popular with its features and charactristics

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes in 2021 – Buying Guide

The 12 shoes in 2021, below are those that have been reviewed and rated as the best basketball shoes for playing on outdoor courts.

1. Adidas D Lillard 2 Men’s Basketball Shoe

The best of the best rubber sole and Puremotion gives you even better traction, flexibility, and speed. Another thing that will do wonders for your support is the Sprint-frame construction.

This enables you to move around the court in comfort. A padded collar and Tech-fit engineering ensure the basketball shoe is ultra-comfortable. It takes the shock and provides your feet to rest comfortably in the shoes.

If you are in need of a serious basketball shoe and need to have it without spending a lot of money, this is the shoe for you. The upper is mesh, which is breathable and flexible, and wraps your foot in comfort. As a result, the shoes perform great on any outdoor surface.

Adidas Men’s D Lillard 2 allows a very high-quality fit, superb comfort, and great durability. The satisfying lockdown assures nearly flawless support. On top of that, these shoes are lightweight, making them ideal for speed and maneuvering around the court.

adidas D Lillard 2 Men Basketball Shoe

Features and Spec:

  • Techfit engineering for comfort
  • Extremely flexible with four flex zones
  • Puremotion for superb traction

2. Nike Men’s Lebron 17 Basketball Shoes – 2nd Choice

These shoes from Nike are of fabulous quality as they were specially designed for world-famous player Lebron. These are the largest heel Nike Air Max shoes available, ensuring they can absorb more force and shock than any other shoe, and also offer a lot of traction.

The visible, maximum-volume Zoom Air pockets under the foot give continuous responsiveness to help you perform at your best on the court. These outdoor shoes are made for fast-paced action, decreasing fatigue and injury so you can stay focused on the competition.

These Nike Air outdoor shoes have a wide fit and toe box to accommodate natural balance, with a traditional tongue to make them easy to wear and comfortable on the feet. The adjustable lace-up closure allows for the most accurate fit to your feet, making these some of the best basketball shoes for a variety of players.

This Zoom Air shoe is amazingly comfortable due to the soft foam pod cushioning that is located directly under the Nike Air Max unit to give cushioning in the heel. There are plastic clips that wrap around the foot to lock the heel in place and make sure you have the correct foot position all game long.

Nike Men Lebron 17 Basketball Shoes

Features and Spec:

  • Synthetic
  • Great quality
  • Made for famous player
  • Incredibly supportive
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Locks heel in place

3. Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe

Adidas’ Men’s Crazy Explosive is made of textile and synthetic material with PrimeKnit Technology. It is a high-top cut shoe implementing support for the ankle joints.

The PrimeKnit method knits the yarn in one piece, thus paving the way for flexibility and support needed in every part of the shoe. This provides optimal stability for quick movements while keeping the shoe ultralight.

The midsole is made up of “Boost” technology which uses thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) instead of standard Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) material. The boost presents a responsive and comfortable cushioning.

The outsole is made up of Rubber and it has a quite unique traction pattern.  Another feature that Adidas markets about this shoe are the “Anatomical Lace System” which wraps the entire foot and helps to relieve pressure. It has sock-like bootie construction that feels like you’re wearing socks.

adidas Performance Men Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe

Features and Spec:

  • Boost gives phenomenal cushioning
  • The traction is very good
  • Great Support
  • Ultralight
  • Available in many colors

4. Adidas Performance Men’s D Rose 5 Boost Basketball Shoe

One of the best outdoor basketball shoes is the Adidas Performance D Rose 6 Boost. This is an outdoor basketball shoe meant to be worn by someone who is fast, full of energy, and explosive in their game.

It is a high-top that as the name implies, emphasizes Boost technology to deliver high-grade impact protection as well as support and ample energy return.

The midsole cage of this shoe has an integrated EVA material to keep your foot locked in and enables you to have nimble and precise movements with no loss of stability. The outsole is made of hard rubber with exceptional traction but has tighter treads.

The upper is made of Sprint Web technology to decrease weight and improve comfort. A tip for those that are looking to buy these shoes is that if you have wider feet, aim to get a pair with mesh upper as it gives a bit more leeway since the material is able to flex a bit more. It is also true to size.

Some issues with this shoe are the fact that the tread pattern is spread tightly together, making it more likely to catch debris and have small stones get stuck in them. Not a major issue, but in the middle of the game, it can be a bit irritating and distracting.

On top of this, the outsole is prone to make squeaking noises, which is also a bit irritating and distracting, but not abnormal on the court.

adidas Performance Men D Rose 5 Boost Basketball Shoe

Features and Spec:

  • Boost technology has good support and energy return
  • EVA midsole keeps your foot cushioned
  • Sprint Web upper improves comfort and reduces weight
  • True to size

5. Nike Men’s Kevin Durant KD 8 VII Blackout Basketball Shoes

Nike Youth KD 8 is yet another transcendent pair of low cut shoes for playing basketball. It presents all that is needed at a reasonable price. It has an ultra-lightweight construction and is packed with some great features.

The upper is made of synthetic and mesh material with a single-layer Flyweave that provides the shoe with flexibility and strength. It also contains Flywire cables integrated with the laces for maximum support and lock-down effect. Foam heel provides the stability needed for speedy movements.

The outsole is made of rubber and has a multidirectional traction pattern for added grip; magnifying the players’ agility and strength. KD 8 also boasts a full-length ZOOM Air unit which gives low-profile cushioning needed to enhance the bounciness and flexibility overall.

Nike Men Kevin Durant KD 8 VII Blackout Basketball Shoes

Features and Spec:

  • Flyweave upper
  • Lock-down support
  • Great multidirectional traction pattern
  • Stylish
  • Great value for money

6. Nike Men’s KD 13 Bred Basketball Shoes

The Nike Zoom 13 shoe is very convenient due to the breathable sock liner and cushioned footbed. These outdoor shoes feature a lightweight sock liner that sits over the iconic Nike Air cushioning in the footbed to provide a smooth feel on the feet.

These outdoor basketball shoes also feature a FlyKnit constructed tongue, which is designed to comfortably cover the top of your foot to add loft with a padded, soft feeling, much like the underfoot cushioning.

These shoes for outdoor wear have a durable rubber outsole that gives great traction to keep you balanced on the court. This is a lightweight yet durable shoe that will last a long time and support fast speeds with flexible movements on the court.

The lace-up closure is adjustable to accommodate a snug fit to your feet, which is required for support. These are sleek and attractive sneakers that can be worn by both men and women who want the best support during a game.

Nike Men KD 13 Bred Basketball Shoes

Features and Spec:

  • Comfortable
  • Breathable sock liner
  • Cushioned footbed
  • Lightweight mesh upper
  • Good traction

7. Reebok Men’s Q96 Cross-examine Basketball Shoe – Top Pick

Based on the classic Iverson line of Reebok’s, the Q96 is an all-new reimagination. It’s a stylish and very vibrant retro shoe, with uppers made of synthetic materials that are both light and breathable yet don’t feel particularly fragile.

Inside the shoe is a 3D FuseFrame at the midfoot, providing you even more exceptional breathability and ensuring that your foot stays dry throughout the game. Along the midsole is DMX Foam throughout that gives you long-lasting comfort, which you’re going to need on more rugged surfaces.

The lace loops that are incorporated into the Q96’s are designed for quick speed lacing, which is definitely a good thing if your shoe comes loose in the middle of a game.

On top of this, for a long time, many players felt that while translucent rubber outsoles looked great, their performance was lacking and slippage was common. The Q96 does away with that notion, as the shoe features both translucent rubber and a grip that is too sticky for its own good.

There are two glaring issues with the Q96 Cross Examines, though, which firstly is the fact that the leather upper is not of the highest quality you’d come to expect.

The second issue is the fact that there are much more modern and cheaper-to-equal-priced shoes that have similar qualities. If you appreciate the classics, this is a must-have, but if you don’t, this is just another expensive shoe.

Reebok Men Q96 Crossexamine Basketball Shoe

Features and Spec:

  • Reimagination of a classic design
  • 3DFuseFrame and DMX Foam provides support and comfort on concrete
  • Lace Loops are a welcome convenience
  • A status symbol to many

8. Nike Air Force 1 Mid 07 White Men’s Sneakers

A classic among ballers is the Nike Air Force series. They feature a distinct and iconic look that you’ve come to expect, making them versatile on and off the court. It runs true to size so there is no reason to worry whether the size you ordered online will actually fit your foot.

These shoes are actually a hybrid between low and high top, known as mid, so it has some of the ankle support and straps that a high top would have but with the contour and shape is similar to a low top, as it doesn’t fully encapsulate your ankle area.

The AF1 line is a tried and true design with some of the most durable all-purpose outsoles on the market. Overall a very durable and trusted shoe that is sure to please.

Of the few issues, there are, the most obvious is the fact that it happens to crease, so if you are looking for a pair of shoes that look the same as the day you bought them months down the line, it’s unlikely the AF1 Mid 07’s will fill that niche for you.

Plus, the rubber sole is durable, but its ridges are borderline when it comes to keeping debris out and unclogged. They aren’t super tight yet they aren’t very wide-set, so you might still get debris stuck in them depending on how you land.

Nike Air Force 1 Mid 07 White Men Sneakers

Features and Spec:

  • Timeless design
  • Good for use outside of the court
  • Durable and comfortable
  • True to size

9. Under Armour Men’s Drive 4 Basketball Shoe

If you are a casual basketball player who does not want to spend a fortune on a shoe but still wants to up his game a bit, then UA Men’s Drive 4 should be the one you are looking for.

The upper of the shoe is made of textile and synthetic materials. The textile is both breathable and lightweight, thus keeping you agile and your feet dry. It has a full-length bootie construction with a molded ankle collar for more exceptional support and snug which makes this pair a comfortable fit.

The outsole is made of Rubber. There is a toe wrap that improves the forefoot flexibility. A system of durable reinforced lace loops contributes to a locked-in feeling. Moreover, the outsole has a thick herringbone pattern that works on every surface and especially outdoors.

Undoubtedly, the strongest point of UA Drive 4 is its superior traction pattern. Conclusively, some users have reported that the build quality of the shoe is not good, having sub-standard materials

But in our opinion for this price range, it gives what is expected. It depends on your need as to what you want. If you are just starting, Then you should certainly take a look at these shoes before checking out the better and pricier ones.

Under Armour Boys Grade School Mid K Basketball Shoe

Features and Spec:

  • Low price
  • Superior traction
  • Best for outdoor usage
  • Great support

10. Adidas Men’s Dame 5 Shoe

As you can in the picture, the design is stunning. The colors, the marvelous sole, and the overall synthetic rubber and textile look outstanding.

Dame 5 is made up of synthetic leather or suede mesh. It comes in two versions basically; mesh and leather. The mesh one is slightly lighter in weight. Well, the leather ones will surely last longer and they will also be easier to clean as well.

Just like the other Adidas basketball shoes, Dame 5 also emphasizes herringbone traction. This traction is a little bit different from the other patterns that we are used to seeing in other shoes. But it is with no doubt one of the most elegant implementations that we have seen.

You can use these shoes for indoor basketball courts as well. They are durable and will surely last you a long time. A bouncy midsole presents enough comfort and cushioning. It also gives stability while landing back after a jump.

These Dame 5 shoes proceed with full-length Bounce. The amazing responsiveness, impact protection, and energy return given by the Bounce cushioning absolutely meet Damian Lillard’s unique needs.

adidas Men Dame 5

Features and Spec:

  • Great Traction
  • Good Durability Outdoor
  • Great Court Feel
  • Fabulous Impact Protection

11. Under Armour Men’s ClutchFit Drive 3 Basketball Shoes

UA’s Clutchfit Drive 3 is a good contender for purchase when considering an outdoor play. It is a totally imported synthetic fabric with updated ClutchFit technology from their ClutchFIt 2 model.

It stretches and supports the foot better than ever before. They also brought back the staple Micro-G foam to bring you extraordinary cushioning, which is great on hard surfaces.

The outer heel counter in tandem with the internal shanks helps to deliver stability and support to your foot. They also fashioned it with a bear-trap lacing system that connects to the high-rising tongue to give you a tight and locked-in fit.

Inside the Drive 3’s is also an Achilles pillow to give you extra padding and comfort in that area. Lastly, there is a die-cut anti-microbial sock liner that molds to the natural shape of your foot. Great for long use and weathering the elements.

These shoes don’t really need to be broken in as they feel great fresh out of the box. The area that ClutchFit 3’s are lacking in is breathability.

The upper is great at keeping debris and dirt out, but it can end up feeling stuffy if you end up playing a rather long and intense game. On top of that, despite being a high top, the ankle support is a bit more flexible than you’d expect, which, if you’re going for a high top in the first place, is probably something you don’t want.

Under Armour Men UA ClutchFit Drive 3 Basketball Shoes

Features and Spec:

  • Sleek design
  • Great cushioning and stability from the heel counter
  • Achilles pillow provides added comfort
  • No break-in time required

12. Under Armour Men’s ClutchFit Drive 2 Basketball Shoes

The last one on our list, Under Armour, is known for making sports gear. With its ClutchFit Drive 2, it has made an important impact on the basketball shoe market too.

Let’s start talking about the traction first. UA ClutchFit D2 has a herring-bone like multidirectional traction. Nothing special here though. But with added coverage, rubber outsole, and proper cushioning this makes it really great for hard cuts and quick cutbacks.

Under Armour has used Micro-G technology for cushioning. Although, the cushioning itself is a bit firm that adds to the responsiveness, and concedes for quick movements. Don’t worry as most of the customers have said that after using it for 2-3 hours, they have not experienced soring legs.

ClutchFit Drive 2 emphasizes a really durable upper, and it’s kinda flexible too. The materials used are not quite an upgrade from ClutchFit Drive 1, but they surely are not in any way inferior to the ones previously used.

We encourage you to buy half a size smaller than your usual to allow for a snug fit. The shoe lacks in some areas like forefoot and that could have been made better by Under Armour.

All in all the shoe provides great support, the shoe feels a bit heavier than most of the outdoor basketball shoes out there, provides a good amount of traction, and satisfactory cushioning.

Under Armour Men UA ClutchFit Drive 2 Basketball Shoes

Features and Spec:

  • Good traction
  • Provides good support overall
  • Designed for power guards
  • Affordable price


What makes a good outdoor basketball shoe

Outsole Durability

A lot of basketball shoes today are made with the focus on being used indoor courts since professional players play indoors. This means the outdoor usability of the shoe is not a top priority when companies make these shoes.

In fact, a durable shoe is not in their best interest since a durable shoe means you the less you will buy. This makes it hard to find shoes that are durable and made for outdoor play. Durability is one of the main components when looking for a great outdoor shoe; it is the most significant factor here.

The durability of the upper material

The upper material usually suffers less from outdoor play as it shouldn’t be in contact with the surface of the court all that often. But if you tend to toe-drag a lot, or if other players are stepping on your feet all the time you might want to look into more durable upper materials like fuse or mesh.

Thick traction pattern

What we mean by a thick traction pattern is that the traction should have deep grooves. A traction pattern that is thin will easily get destroyed by the ground. Consequently the thicker and deeper the traction pattern the better.

Impact Protection

Another essential factor when looking for the best outdoor basketball shoes is impact protection. Outdoor courts are usually made of concrete and asphalt which is rough on your knees. Constant jumping and explosive movements on these courts will definitely hurt you over time.

When you do not have the luxury of hardwood or sports courts it is wise to have some extra impact protection for outdoor basketball shoes.

Comfort

Don’t sacrifice comfort due to fit. Yes, the shoes should fit you perfectly. Though, you also need to feel comfortable wearing them.

The shoe should contain a lot of padding at the forefoot, so your foot won’t slam at the toebox. Additionally, the foot needs to be locked in perfectly, restricting any internal movements. Remember, you need to keep your head in the game, and uncomfortable shoes are very distracting.

Cushion

Indoor courts are much easier on the joints than less-forgiving outdoor courts. Particularly, if you have recurring knee problems, you should look for shoes with more comfortable cushioning that reduce the stress you put on your joints.

If you are a younger and lighter player, extra cushioning is probably not as important, but firm shoes can still lead to sore legs after a day of playing outdoors.

Fit

This one is a no-brainer; the shoes should fit you perfectly. No amount of ankle support, durability, or low price can make up for shoes that don’t fit. You can choose a size that suits you. Although most manufacturers vary slightly, in general, they correlate to standard shoe sizes.

The tendency to pick up dust

When you play on outdoor courts it does not matter how good your traction is, if the shoes pick up too much dust you will slip.

Not all outsoles are made of the same compounds so it is important to find a shoe that does not attract too much dust. When playing outdoors you cannot clean the courts or control what gets on the court so you must prepare for the worst case.

Another important thing to note is when the shoe is dusty how easy is it to clean off. It is inevitable that the shoe will get dusty as you play but some shoes are a real pain to wipe off when playing.

Sometimes you even see people lick their hands to take some of the dust off their shoes! We want to avoid that so we made sure to pick shoes that are easy to wipe down.

Expert Tip

Picking a shoe that has a lace-up closure allows you to adjust the fit to make it more accurate to your feet.

What are the best outdoor basketball shoes in 2022?

Under Armour Boy’s Grade School Mid K Basketball Shoe and Adidas Men’s Dame 5 Shoe is the best outdoor basketball shoes in 2022. This is because they are durable, have a good outsole, and provide you good traction and face any terrain.

Is it OK to wear basketball shoes outside?

Not recommended by experts. Never use your indoor basketball shoes for outdoor purposes. It will ruin your shoe outsoles. That’s why special outdoor shoes are recommended which give you enough traction and support.

What kind of shoes should I wear for outdoor basketball?

Shoes must be flexible, comfortable, durable, and made with the premium material of good outsole for giving the best traction, solid rubber is most recommended for outdoor basketball. 

Do outdoor courts ruin basketball shoes?

Yes, if you have indoor basketball shoes and you want to wear for outdoor, then it will ruin your basketball shoes. This is because they don’t give enough traction, cushion, and are not a good outsole which you can use outdoor, so special outdoor shoes are recommended. 

Conclusion

There you have it, the top 12 best outdoor basketball shoes in 2021! These are some of the best shoes on the market for the outdoors and they are still pretty easy to find in stores. We know not everyone has access to play basketball on nice indoor courts so we made this for you guys.

In addition, we also took into consideration that not everyone has the money for the best basketball shoes so we chose shoes at all different price points. We hope we were able to help you choose a pair of outdoor basketball shoes and hope you love them.

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Suit-wearng-by-waheed-ali

Hi, Waheed is here, I love traveling and follow new trends about dressing. I have a keen interest in apparel and trying different shoes and clothing. Technically, I am learning new skills including programming languages and many other.


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