If you are looking for the best outdoor basketball shoes, you have come to the right place.
You will likely be familiar with this issue if you are a basketball fan outside. Basketball shoes are generally made for indoor use and will not last long on outdoor courts that are rocky and rough.
If you don’t want to purchase a new pair, choosing shoes that can stand up to the abuse of playing on the blacktop is crucial.
How can you know the best Basketball shoes for outdoor use?
- The rubber outsole constructed of tough and robust rubber
- The Traction grooves are wide and deep
- They won’t cost you the earth since they will not last forever.
- The material that is used as the upper layer needs to be strong and durable
Unfortunately, the major basketball shoe manufacturers release a few (or even) specially designed shoes specifically to be used outdoors these days. If you’re not able to customize your favorite Nike ID sneaker with a solid XDR rubber sole designed for outdoor use, you may want to find a pair of regular basketball sneakers that can be worn outdoors.
Let’s go for 11 best outdoor basketball shoes
Nike Fly By Mid 3
Nike Air Max Impact 3
Adidas Harden Vol. 6
Puma RS Dreamer
Adidas D Rose Son Of Chi
Adidas Harden Vol. 5
Jordan Zion 1
Adidas Dame 7
Adidas Dame 8
New Balance TWO WXY
Nike Giannis Immortality
- Nike’s latest entry in the Fly By Mid lineup feels like one of the best bang-for-your-buck models on the market.
- The traction does everything that players need it to do. It performs well on clean and dusty courts and only needs minimal wiping.
- Cushioning is also a pleasant surprise considering the price of the shoe. It feels low to the ground and gives plenty of impact protection. The only con is that it isn’t the most responsive.
- The materials are the one part of the shoe that reflects the price. They feel and look cheap. In terms of performance, they hold up nicely.
- Regarding support and lockdown, the shoe does what you need it to do.
- The Nike Fly By Mid 3 may have the lowest price tag in Nike’s basketball shoe lineup, but it is far from being Nike’s lowest performer.
The cushion feels surprisingly good.
Traction doesn’t falter.
Materials look and feel cheap.
May not be wide-foot friendly.
- The Nike Air Max Impact 3 provides excellent traction at a budget price, and reviewers agree it bites hard on all surfaces.
- The cushioning is firm, but the Air Max unit feels more stable than similar setups in Nike’s lineup.
- Like other budget shoes, the materials aren’t the best quality, but they don’t hinder performance.
- For support and lockdown, the shoe provides solid lateral stability and containment. The firm cushioning helps to keep your foot secure.
- The Nike Air Max Impact 3 is a decent offering at an affordable price point.
Traction for the price is great
Stability and support are solid
Materials feel cheap
Not the best impact protection
- The Adidas Harden Vol. 6 is a much-needed improvement compared to Vol. 5.
- Reviewers agree that the traction performs very well and is minimally affected by dusty conditions.
- Adidas’s Boost foam returns on this year’s iteration, and the shoe feels responsive. The court feels on the shoe is also fantastic.
- The materials start stiff, but they quickly become foot-conforming and comfortable.
- The fit is also much more forgiving than previous Harden models. Most reviewers had no issues with the sizing.
- Regarding the support and lockdown, the materials and fit combine to keep your feet secure no matter your movements.
- Adidas returns to their roots with the full-length Boost, similar to the Harden Vol. 1, and they’ve revitalized the Harden lineup with the release of the Harden Vol. 6
The traction is better than last year
Full-length Boost midsole is plush
Materials don’t feel premium
- How does the first collaboration between Puma and hip hop legend J.Cole perform on the hardwood?
- The traction on this shoe was one of the highlights, and it worked well indoors and outdoors. The rubber should be durable enough for outdoor use.
- The cushion lacked impact protection and wasn’t comfortable, but it provided a responsive setup with a nice court feel.
- The materials performed well and are pretty nice, considering the affordable price tag.
- The fit was good and provided a locked-in feeling without being uncomfortable. They ran a little long in the toe area.
- Another strong point of the shoe is the support. Reviewers had no issues with lateral containment or stability.
- For $120, the RS Dreamer is an outstanding performer and fun to play in.
Great traction indoors and outdoors
Minimal impact protection
- Adidas’s latest D Rose shoe, the D Rose Son of Chi, Is a solid performing shoe at a great price of just $100.
- The shoe has traction that performs surprisingly well on all surface materials. It feels great to play in.
- Adidas uses Bounce cushioning in this model, and reviewers agree that it feels responsive. The impact protection is adequate but could be better.
- It doesn’t use the best materials, but they do the job.
- The fit feels snug since the materials don’t stretch much.
- The lateral support in the shoe is very sturdy. There are no issues with stability either. One reviewer did note that this may not be the best shoe for those preferring mobility over stability.
- The Adidas D Rose Son of Chi is a good option in the budget-friendly price range.
Traction is consistent on all surfaces
Supportive and low to the ground
Materials aren’t the best
- The bite of the Harden Vol. 5 is poor and doesn’t grip well on dusty or even clean courts. Outdoors, the traction performs better and doesn’t wear down too quickly.
- The combination of Boost and Lightstrike provides a responsive cushion setup with a good court feel. However, reviewers complained about the rigid midsole that didn’t flex well.
- The materials feel plasticky and hard, which is disappointing in a $130 signature sneaker.
- The support is good laterally, but reviewers had a lot of issues with heel slippage despite the thick Achilles pillows.
- Overall the Harden Vol. 5 is disappointing and wasn’t recommended by any of the reviewers.
Good lateral stability
Awful heel slippage
- At Duke, Zion Williamson once destroyed a shoe in-game when his foot ripped through the upper material. The Zion 1 comes with one of the most extreme lateral outriggers ever in a basketball shoe to prevent another accident like this.
- The traction pattern is sticky on clean courts but is a little dust magnet and needs consistent wiping on dirty courts.
- The cushioning is well-balanced with a soft foam midsole, Air Strobel, and forefoot Zoom unit. It’s not overly bouncy but provides impact protection and feels very smooth when transitioning from heel to toe.
- The thin and soft materials get the job done, but they don’t look or feel premium.
- Overall, the Zion 1 is a solid and affordable first signature sneaker that works for all player types.
Large outrigger & very supportive
Well balanced cushioning
Materials feel a little cheap in hand
Padding on the tongue is a little lacking
- The traction on the Dame 7 performs well – significantly better than the 6. Good news if you play outdoors: the outsole is made of durable rubber and performs well on the blacktop.
- The Lightstrike foam cushion setup is also an upgrade over the six and is a good balance of impact protection, court feel, and responsiveness.
- The materials are of decent quality, well ventilated, and get the job done performance-wise.
- The support offers good lateral stability and containment, but the low cut doesn’t provide additional ankle support.
- The Dame 7 is a great all-around performer – especially for the price!
Solid traction indoors and outdoors
Not the most premium materials
- Damian Lillard’s signature sneaker is made partly with recycled materials, so Adidas had sustainability in mind when creating these.
- The mid-cut design and cushioning made these a comfortable fit for those with flat feet who need some extra cushioning to minimize foot pain.
- Adidas Bounce Pro midsole is designed to provide a comfortable yet responsive shoe that any player on the court can wear.
- Adidas uses recycled materials in part of the shoe.
- At the time of writing, these are Lillard’s newest shoe models, which means they come in a wide variety of colors, with more color options being released throughout the year.
- The shoes are pretty cushioned, so if you prefer a less-cushioned shoe that’s a bit more responsive, you may need a lighter option.
- Some reviews said the traction might suffer a bit when playing outdoors, so these are best for those who primarily play on indoor courts.
- The traction on the New Balance TWO WXY is one of the best aspects of the shoe and has an incredible bite. The durability is okay for outdoor use.
- The cushion setup features Fuel Cell foam and is very low to the ground. You get an excellent court feel and responsiveness with okay impact protection.
- The materials are primarily thin knits and textiles that are comfortable and perform well.
- These fit a little long and are pretty narrow, so it is recommended to try them on before buying. They do come in wide sizes.
- The support and lockdown are tremendous and have you covered on explosive moves and crossovers.
- Overall the New Balance TWO WXY is a great performer in almost every area and comes at a fair $140 price tag.
Very responsive cushion
Impact protection could be better
- Most reviewers felt that the traction on the Nike Giannis Immortality performed great. The rubber compound and the deep grooves on the pattern gripped nicely on indoor courts and didn’t pick up too much dust on dirtier courts.
- The full-length Phylon cushion consistently surprised reviewers. The Phylon is firm but not as firm as the cushion found in other budget models. It has a slight amount of impact protection as well.
- Materials feel nice on foot, but the performance was inconsistent among reviewers.
- Reviewers also found the support and lockdown to be a bit inconsistent. The Immortality lacks heel padding, and the forefoot containment can sometimes be spotty.
- The Nike Giannis Immortality is a budget-friendly model that performs exceptionally well, considering the price.
Traction performed well.
Responsive and lightweight on foot.
Support is inconsistent.
Materials could perform better.
How do you find good outdoor shoes?
Before you look for the perfect pair of outdoor basketball shoes, You should know what you’re searching for. What distinguishes excellent outdoor shoes from an indoor model? Let’s learn!
The durability of the rubber
The outsole’s rubber is the one that suffers most on more rough courts the outdoors. If your shoes have an incredibly soft rubber compound, you’ll likely get a slippery outsole or more damaging holes in your shoes quite quickly! In the end, there are two elements you should be looking for in regards to outsoles:
Solid and dense rubber
You can choose to go with regular shoes made with a firmer rubber material from the box, such as the Adidas D Rose or the Nike Lebron Soldier line. You can also search for shoes specifically designed for outdoor usage. Chinese companies mainly make many outdoor models, such as Anta KT Outdoor Low. Anta KT Outdoor Low since indoor courts are more challenging to locate in China compared to the US.
If you can invest a bit more for your outdoor footwear, You can also personalize your favorite Nike Sneaker with an XDR (extra robust rubber) outsole by using NikeID.
Wide traction pattern:
A narrow traction pattern can attract lots of dirt and rubble and quickly lose grip. Choosing a traction pattern with broad and deep grooves would be best. They will last longer on the dirty blacktop.
Durability of the upper material
The upper part of the material typically suffers less in outdoor sports since it’s not on the court’s surface frequently. If you drag your toes a lot or find that others are onto your feet all day long, you may want to look for more sturdy upper materials, such as mesh or fuse.
Indoor courts are a lot less stressful for joints than outdoor courts. Particularly, if you’ve got frequent knee pain, You should seek out shoes with more cushioning to ease the strain you place on joints. If you’re a younger and lighter athlete, adding cushioning may not be so important, but a pair of firm shoes may still result in painful legs after a long day spent playing outside.
Outside shoes will have a shorter life span than shoes solely used on hardwood courts. So, it makes sense to choose sneakers that can be replaced frequently. If you’re playing for 200 dollars, Air Jordan outdoors could become costly fast!