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9 Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes – 2021 Review

Intro

If you enjoy playing basketball, it might be time to purchase some footwear specifically designed for this sport. But during your search, you might discover that a lot of basketball shoes are tailored towards using on an indoor court.

However, if you want to play basketball outdoors, you’ll need footwear that can cater to hard concrete, weather, comfort, and more. In fact, you can identify outdoor basketball shoes via their hard and durable rubber outsole; weed and wide traction pattern; and tough upper material.

To help you perform to your best in this sport, we’re sharing the best basketball shoes to use in outdoor courts in today’s article. We also included a useful buyer’s guide to help you choose the right footwear for your needs and budget.

Comparison Chart

Award
Best for Quick Movements
Best for Free Mobility
Best for Flexibility
Best for a Natural Feel
Best for Traction
Product
Nike Men's Lebron Soldier 13 SFG Basketball Shoes (11, University Red/White/Black)
Nike Men's Kobe Mamba Fury Basketball Shoes CK2087 (Black/Smoke Grey-White, Numeric_11)
adidas Men's Dame 5, Bold Gold/Shock red/Black, 10 M US
Under Armour Men's Spawn 2 Basketball Shoe, White/White, 11 M US
Nike Unisex-Adult Precision III Basketball Shoe, Black/Metallic Copper-Thunder Grey, 11.5 Regular US
Product Specifications
Rubber outsole with herringbone traction

Easy-entry padded collar

Laceless design
Rubber sole

Low-profile silhouette

Nike Zoom Air cushioning under the ball of your foot
Textile upper for flexibility

Ample cushioning on the midsole while remaining lightweight

Herringbone outsole
Rounded outsole

Mesh upper areas for breathability

Padded tongue and cushioning
Mid-top design

Rubber sole

Padded ankle
Pros
Laceless closure system features an adjustable slip-lock for customization
Rubber sides provide excellent stability
Padded ankle cushions your foot
Lightweight at 340 g
Ideal for casual wear
Cons
Some players might prefer a lower ankle support
Some customers reported that the fit is slightly tight
Might not be suitable for Post players due to their lighter weight
Padding might be too much for those prioritizing speed and agility
Rubber sole might not be as thick as other basketball shoes
Award
Best for Quick Movements
Product
Nike Men's Lebron Soldier 13 SFG Basketball Shoes (11, University Red/White/Black)
Product Specifications
Rubber outsole with herringbone traction

Easy-entry padded collar

Laceless design
Pros
Laceless closure system features an adjustable slip-lock for customization
Cons
Some players might prefer a lower ankle support
Award
Best for Free Mobility
Product
Nike Men's Kobe Mamba Fury Basketball Shoes CK2087 (Black/Smoke Grey-White, Numeric_11)
Product Specifications
Rubber sole

Low-profile silhouette

Nike Zoom Air cushioning under the ball of your foot
Pros
Rubber sides provide excellent stability
Cons
Some customers reported that the fit is slightly tight
Award
Best for Flexibility
Product
adidas Men's Dame 5, Bold Gold/Shock red/Black, 10 M US
Product Specifications
Textile upper for flexibility

Ample cushioning on the midsole while remaining lightweight

Herringbone outsole
Pros
Padded ankle cushions your foot
Cons
Might not be suitable for Post players due to their lighter weight
Award
Best for a Natural Feel
Product
Under Armour Men's Spawn 2 Basketball Shoe, White/White, 11 M US
Product Specifications
Rounded outsole

Mesh upper areas for breathability

Padded tongue and cushioning
Pros
Lightweight at 340 g
Cons
Padding might be too much for those prioritizing speed and agility
Award
Best for Traction
Product
Nike Unisex-Adult Precision III Basketball Shoe, Black/Metallic Copper-Thunder Grey, 11.5 Regular US
Product Specifications
Mid-top design

Rubber sole

Padded ankle
Pros
Ideal for casual wear
Cons
Rubber sole might not be as thick as other basketball shoes

The Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes

In no particular order, below are some of the best outdoor basketball shoes to purchase right now.

Best for Quick Movements NO. 1

Lebron Soldier 13

Nike Men's Lebron Soldier 13 SFG Basketball Shoes (11, University Red/White/Black)
7 Reviews
This Nike Lebron Soldier outdoor basketball shoe comes with an array of features to enhance your comfort, speed, and agility on the court. In particular, these shoes provide powerful responsive cushioning thanks to the Zoom Air units that compress into the midsole foam with each step you take and then spring back quickly when you run and jump.

Most importantly, this good basketball shoe features a rubber grippy outsole with herringbone traction to keep your feet sturdy to the ground in all weather conditions and environments. Best of all, the foam midsole cushions your feet with each step.

Another exceptional feature of these Nike basketball shoes is the flexible inner sleeve that allows the collar to expand for easy and quick entry while only using one hand. Not only does this make this signature shoe perfect for basketball use, but this practicality makes them great for everyday use. It’s also one of the best budget basketball shoes for outdoor play.

Best for Free Mobility NO. 2

Kobe Mamba

Nike Men's Kobe Mamba Fury Basketball Shoes CK2087 (Black/Smoke Grey-White, Numeric_11)
316 Reviews
These Kobe outdoor basketball shoes are best for players searching for enhanced mobility. Designed with a low-profile silhouette, this footwear provides freer mobility than many other basketball footwear. Meanwhile, the rubber sole provides excellent durability while adding protection to your feet from the pounding action of concrete.

Additionally, Nike Zoom Air cushioning is placed perfectly under the ball of your feet for responsive support and to improve overall comfort while you play as well as helping to reduce injuries.

You’ll also receive a secure and comfortable fit with this footwear thanks to the laces’ design, which includes webbing loops to help you achieve the perfect amount of tightness for your comfort levels. All the while, the upper is minimally structured to eradicate any extra weight and to improve ability.

Best for Flexibility NO. 3

Dame 5

adidas Men's Dame 5, Bold Gold/Shock red/Black, 10 M US
807 Reviews
Built with a textile upper, these Adidas outdoor basketball shoes focus on flexibility, so your feet will feel comfortable and able to hold their natural positioning while you run up and down the court. These shoes feature flexible cushioning, too, while remaining lightweight to help keep you on your toes.

Because an outsole is important for a basketball shoe, the Adidas Dame 5 comes with a herringbone outsole that allows you to impulsively change direction on the court at any time. All the while, the Flexible Bounce midsole cushioning enables you to pick up speed quickly. Best of all, the TPU addition on the midfoot offers lateral stability to minimize any injuries—especially with quick turns.

Finally, the ankle is lightly padded to offer maximum comfort while putting your feet’s health at the core of this shoe.

Best for a Natural Feel NO. 4

Spawn 2

Under Armour Men's Spawn 2 Basketball Shoe, White/White, 11 M US
77 Reviews
If you’re new to wearing basketball shoes or want to feel comfortable and relaxed in your shoes, the Under Armour Spawn 2 footwear is for you. Designed with exposed mesh areas, you’ll experience exceptional breathability and flexibility to prevent a buildup of sweat from playing.

Comfort is also a key component with these shoes, which is why there’s plenty of padding around the padded tongue and collar. All the while, the die-cut EVA sockliner provides underfoot cushioning and solid support. The shoes also feature a full-length Micro G foam midsole that turns cushioned landings into explosive takeoffs, encouraging you to play to your best ability.

Don’t worry about safety or injuries because these Under Armour outdoor basketball shoes were created to prioritize your foot health. That’s all thanks to the anatomical outsole pattern for great traction and flexibility as well as the lateral TPU plate that provides additional support and stability while you play.

Best for Traction NO. 5

Precision 3

Nike Unisex-Adult Precision III Basketball Shoe, Black/Metallic Copper-Thunder Grey, 11.5 Regular US
2,119 Reviews
Playing basketball outside requires a great shoe that can hold up to the challenges faced with an outdoor setting, such as rain, slippery floors, and hard concrete. Fortunately, the Nike Precision 3 basketball shoes feature a multidirectional solid traction pattern on the rubber outsole to provide enhanced grip as well as provide movement with agility.

These shoes also come with a foam midsole for plenty of cushioning every time your foot lands on the ground while the mid-top design with padded ankle results in an array of comfort and support to help you play to your best ability.

Best for Ankle Support NO. 6

Jordan Zion 1

Jordan Zion 1 Mens Basketball Shoe Da3130-002 Size 9
1 Reviews
Crafted with Nike’s responsive Zoom Air unit in the forefront, these shoes provide optimal bounce cushion and energy return. They also come equipped with a flexible tongue that uses targeted padding to ease lace pressure, helping to provide a comfortable feel for long basketball games or while you’re wearing this footwear for everyday style.

Furthermore, they include a two-loop band that puts you in control of security and comfort while the secure side walls provide superior stability and control. These outdoor basketball shoes also feature a durable multidirectional outsole for superior grip and traction.

The shoes endeavour to keep you on your toes by providing a springy effect. This is all possible due to the thick, cushioned sole that allows you to bounce to your next movement, allowing you to always be on the go and never feel restricted.

Best for Comfortable Midsole NO. 7

Tony Parker 7

PEAK Mens Basketball Shoes Tony Parker 7 Taichi Adaptive Cushioning Sneakers Non-Slip Sports Shoes for Running, Walking, Fitness
4 Reviews
When you wear the PEAK Tony Parker 7 shoes, you won’t want to take them off. That’s because they’re comfortable and like a blessing to your feet. Designed with a breathable polymer material and revolutionary EVA midsole, the combination of these features help to achieve adaptive slow cushion rebound to match your every movement. In particular, the advanced responsive cushioned midsole provides the perfect amount of protection and shock absorption to ensure a high-impact game.

Comfort side, these outdoor basketball shoes also focus on stability and protection with a heel TPU design. This keeps your feet secure while preventing your heel from sliding around inside of the shoe. Meanwhile, the inside is woven with a premium durable upper material that remains comfortable and breathable during vigorous sessions.

And while you’re indulging in a high-impact game outdoors, this footwear’s outsole traction delivers superior anti-slip grip, which means that you can play in the rain.

Best for High Tops NO. 8

Harden Stepback

adidas mens Harden Stepback Basketball Shoe, Core Black/Grey Six/Ftwr White, 8.5 US
3,398 Reviews
Looking for more ankle support and a high-top shoe? Then the Adidas Harden Stepback footwear is catered for you. These outdoor basketball shoes include a Bounce midsole that’s flexible and, as the name suggests, provides a bounce to your step. This midsole also offers plenty of cushioning, which is needed for relentlessly attacking your opponents.

With a much more laid-back approach style, this footwear is calm and collected and great for wearing to complement your style. In fact, it’s available in a variety of colors and designs to match your outfits and personality.

But these shoes are anything but futile; instead, they come with a rubber outsole for maximum protection and stability when playing basketball outdoors. And the lace closure allows you to customize the fit to your size.

Best for Breathability NO. 9

HOVR Havoc 2

Under Armour Men's HOVR Havoc 2 Basketball Shoe, Mod Gray (101)/White, 15
1,392 Reviews
These under Armour outdoor basketball sneakers are renowned for eliminating impact on the court. That’s because the moulded textile upper offers enhanced comfort and breathability while you endure a long basketball game. But before you hit the court, appreciate the webbed lacing system for a locked-in, customized fit every time.

Moreover, the footwear’s mesh tongue provides increased air flow to prevent a buildup of sweat and odors from vigorous gameplay. While you’re on the course, you’ll appreciate the die-cut EVA sockliner that provides underfoot cushioning and support, while the brand’s HOVR technology offers a zero-gravity feel to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact caused by steps and jumps.

Finally, the footwear includes a midfoot TPU shank that wraps under foot for extra lateral stability. This works in combination with a thick rubber outsole that features herringbone traction pattern to provide maximum floor control and grip.

Best for a Flexible Sole NO. 10

D Rose 773

Adidas D Rose 773 III Mens Basketball Shoe 12 Royal-Black-White
466 Reviews

Reach for the Adidas D Rose if you’re looking for outdoor basketball footwear that’s durable, flexible, and comfortable. In particular, these shoes feature a durable synthetic and rubber sole that helps to propel you forward and roots you in place when you need to go charging down the court. All the while, the shoe’s sole can also keep up with the demands of sudden stops.

Furthermore, the shoe’s height provides plenty of protection on your ankle and evenly distributes the weight throughout your foot, helping to give you a wide range of motion while protecting and supporting your feet.

These shoes are available in a range of colors and styles, allowing you to choose the most appropriate design for your needs.

Qualities to Look For in Performance Basketball Shoes

Below are some important factors to keep in mind while searching for good outdoor basketball shoes. Reference these features when you’re ready to make your purchase.

Comfort/Ankle Support

Comfort is highly important in durable basketball shoes. This is because comfortable footwear provides an array of health benefits such as improving your posture and blood circulation; preventing food pain and fungal infections; and even reducing stress on the spine.

Size/ Stylish

The best shoes for outdoor basketball use will be the right fit for you. If you choose to order your footwear online, that’s okay. Just make sure to check customer reviews to see if anyone had an issue with the sizes, ie., the footwear was too big or too small.

But to eradicate any complication in the first place, it’s best that you know how to measure your feet properly to order the correct footwear size for you. If you’re unable to have your feet measured by a professional, you can do this yourself at home.

Wear a typical pair of socks that you plan to wear with your footwear. We also recommend waiting until the end of the day to measure your feet because this is when your feet are at their widest point. Then, place a piece of paper on the floor and stand on it with your heel up against a wall. Ensure that the paper doesn’t move around while you’re standing on it by using some tape and/or heavy objects in the corners to keep it sturdy.

Ask someone to trace the outline of your foot (it’s best that someone else does this for you to prevent you from moving around as you trace at different angles.) Then, using a rule, measure the longest point from the top to the bottom and the widest point. Repeat this process on the other foot because people can have different-sized feet.

Price/Performance

You can’t perform to the best of your ability if your footwear is comfortable and ill fitting. So for this section, you’ll want to concentrate on the shoe’s upper for maximum performance. Starting around your ankle, a high upper provides support and stability. But this often comes with extra weight and some restrictions, so we only recommend a high upper if you’re in serious need of support, such as having recently undergone a foot implication.

A middle upper usually provides a happy middle group for basketball plays in terms of the ankle support it offers. This type of upper provides more flexibility than a high upper without being completely enclosed, so you’ll still receive a lot of ankle support.

Alternatively, a low upper is best for speed and agility—enabling you to run around the court at your fastest due to the reduced material weighing you down. However, a low upper generally provides less ankle support since the profile is much lower, so this style isn’t appropriate for those with weak ankles.

Finally, consider how important your basketball footwear will be to your life. Do you plan on wearing them a few times a week? Is basketball a huge passion of yours? If you answered yes to these two questions, then it’s worth increasing your budget for a pair of shoes that are comfortable and reliable.

Longevity

How long outdoor basketball shoes last is typically influenced by the owner’s care and the premium materials used. We recommend contemplating basketball shoes with a thick and hard rubber sole to allow them to endure tough outdoor environments.

Furthermore, your basketball footwear needs to have a tread that you can rely on to prevent you from slipping over at the first sign of rain or a slightly slippery outdoor surfaces. Therefore, consider deep and extensive grooves on the sole that covers the sole’s entire surface. Just one smooth section can be enough to cause you to fumble and fall.

Finally, one common reason why people replace their basketball footwear is due to poor ventilation, which ages and wears out the shoes. Therefore, check for ventilation holes, air vents, and mesh on the uppers. These qualities will allow sweat to evaporate, helping to keep your feet cool and dry and prevent you from sliding around on the court.

Sole

Basketball footwear’s outsole consists of a rubber or synthetic material that serves as traction. When trying to choose the right basketball shoes for you, consider a flat and wide outsole for optimal balance during the sport. For additional grip, consider an outsole with a hexagonal pattern, which is designed to keep your feet secure and prevent you from sliding around as you run up and down the court

The midsole is just as important as the outsole on basketball shoes. This is where you’ll find the cushioning in the shoe. So if your footwear is uncomfortable, it’s probably because you don’t have sufficient midsole cushioning. Most midsoles use a compressed EVA foam, which is durable yet lightweight, so you won’t feel weighed down on the court. However, most top-tier brands use individual cushioning technologies found within the midsole, heel, and forefront for extra cushioning in these highly pressured areas of your feet.

Expert Advice

Need some more guidance on choosing the right basketball footwear for you? Check out our expert advice below.

How to Find Basketball Shoes

You can purchase these outdoor shoes from various sports stores as well as online sites like Amazon. But before you dive into purchasing the first pair of basketball shoes that you find, consider what position you typically play.

Finesse

Finesse players are responsible for having the ball in their hands a lot and bringing it up the court. This type of player requires comfortable footwear with plenty of cushioning to support your movement up and down the court. In fact, a finesse player will also require a secure fit to prevent rolling their ankle as well as plenty of traction to bring them to a stop quickly.

Slasher

A slasher player is a flexible individual and can typically be seen throwing their body around with every shot. These players have jaw-dropping abilities and technique, which requires an efficient and comfortable shoe that can keep up with their movements. Furthermore, slasher players will need plenty of ankle protection and traction to help slasher players move in a variety of directions.

Power

Power players are fast and can be intimidating with all of that strength and muscle. To support their agility and speed, power players require basketball shoes with an array of ankle protection as well as lots of cushioning and traction.

Post

Finally, post players are typically the heaviest basketball players on the court and are strong. If you’re a post player, expect to be banging around and even tumbling to the ground a lot. Because of these expectations, post players require thick, sturdy shoes that can support their feet and ankles from all angles.

Who Should Buy This Footwear?

Anyone who’s considering play outdoors. This footwear is specifically designed with outdoor factors in mind to prevent you from slipping and sliding during the sport. Furthermore, outdoor basketball shoes are also great for everyday wear since they’re stylish and comfortable, so you might even consider this footwear to complement your style.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we’re answering some common questions asked when considering the best basketball shoes for outdoor play.

Can You Wear Basketball Shoes Outside?

Don’t wear basketball court shoes that are designed for indoors, outside. This is because a rough outdoor surface can contribute to damage such as discoloration and material wear. Indoor basketball shoes also don’t have as much traction and a thick grip like the outdoor kind do, which won’t provide you with as much support and stability as when playing indoors. Not to mention that your shoes will also become dirtier and worn easier since the fabrics aren’t equipped for outdoor use.

Is It Bad to Wear Basketball Shoes Every Day?

Not necessarily. Outdoor basketball shoes are much more appropriate to wear daily than indoor footwear. However, if your footwear doesn’t provide much ventilation (as mentioned earlier in the features to consider), then you’ll need to air out your footwear after each wear to prevent an odor buildup.

In fact, wearing your basketball shoes daily is a great way for stiffer premium materials—such as leather—to adapt to your foot size and shape. It also allows you enough time to grow accustomed to the heavier weight and larger size if you haven’t worn basketball shoes prior.

How Long Do Outdoor Basketball Shoes Last?

The answer to this is typically six to nine months but it really depends on how often you wear the footwear and how well you care for and maintain them. Fortunately, there are some ways you can keep your outdoor basketball shoes in tip-top condition to prevent having to renew them constantly.

After wearing your shoes, untie the laces to prevent any strain on the shoe’s material. It can be tempting to kick off your shoes after a vigorous game of basketball, but this habit might end up costing you more in the long run.

Another great way to care for your shoes is to regularly inspect the sole. When playing basketball, you need a strip grip to make instantaneous decisions on the outdoor court, and a broken or loose sole can restrict your movements and even make your footwear unsafe to wear. If you notice the sole is becoming loose, apply a thin layer of gel to the bottom on a regular basis to ensure a strong grip when you’re playing outdoors.

Ensure that you air out your basketball footwear after each use because sweat can build up inside of the shoe, resulting in bacteria forming. Airing out your shoes will keep them clean and prevent any harsh odors from happening in the first place.

Finally, keep your footwear clean by using a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any excess dirt and debris from the rubber soles. You can also keep the surface of your shoes clean by using warm, soapy water with a sponge and gently wiping away any buildup of stains or dirt. And if the soles are removable, clean them separately by following the caring instructions.

Why Do NBA Players Wear Low Tops?

NBA players choose to wear low-top basketball shoes to allow their ankles more freedom and less restrictions when making quick turns on the court. In fact, low-top footwear allows you to quickly make sudden movements in the game.

Final Thoughts

So there you have the best outdoor basketball shoes in 2021 as well as a buyer’s guide to helping you choose the right footwear for your needs, position, play style, and needs.

If you’re looking for the most appropriate outdoor basketball footwear for ankle support, consider the Nike Jordan Zion 1. These shoes offer a springy effect and come with a padded, flexible tongue; secure sidewalls; Nike’s responsive Zoom Air unit; and more.

Alternatively, when looking for footwear for exceptional mobility, consider the Nike Kobe Mamba. These outdoor basketball shoes boast a low profile for a light weight and to keep you on your toes. All the while, the rubber sole provides optimal outdoor durability and sole protection.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article for guidance and advice. If you have any recommended basketball shoes, share your favorite brand and model in the comments.

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