If you’re looking to find the best outdoor basketball shoes, but are a bit stumped as to what to look for, we look to break down each aspect that you need to look out for to make sure you don’t get a shoe that falls apart after one game.
Not only do basketball shoes pride themselves upon design and performance, but comfort level and durability are probably the most important factors that outdoor basketball shoes need. In particular, outdoor basketball shoes need tough and durable traction, a strong upper, a comfortable insole, and most importantly, something that is affordable.
It would seem quite pointless to spend upwards of $200 on a sweet pair of kicks, only for it to fall apart after 2 streetball sessions. Price is a major factor in our considerations.
The following are what we consider to be the best outdoor basketball shoes. Doesn’t matter if you play recreationally with your own basketball, in a streetball league, or with your own hoop on the driveway – the durability and price point of these shoes will ensure that they satisfy your needs.
|Image||Product||Our Rating||Quick Notes|
|Nike LeBron Soldier IX PRM|
|adidas Performance Crazy Explosion|
|Nike Prime Hype DF II|
|Nike Zoom HyperRev|
|Nike KB Mentality II|
It’s pretty straightforward, and can probably guess it yourself. There is a huge difference in rubber required for outdoor basketball shoes.
The required rubber that you need for your outdoor shoes needs to be hard and dense. This will ensure that the rubber holds up against rough abrasive surfaces, and that traction still remains in an outdoor setting. Soft rubber will not only break quickly, but it will deteriorate to the point where your shoes will lose grip within the first few balling sessions.
All of the best outdoor basketball shoes in this list have thick, solid rubber suited to the pavement and concrete outdoor surfaces. If you’re looking for something suited indoor – it’s more preferred to get a softer rubber. We don’t look at that in this guide.
Comfort and Ankle Support
Your feet are so important when playing basketball. It dictates grip, how you play, and overall confidence that you’re not slipping all over the place. Whilst having proper rubber soles is important, the overall comfort of an outdoor basketball shoe is necessary.
If it doesn’t fit snug, it’s probably not a good idea to buy it. Buying shoes that are too small will restrict circulation and cause more problems than it’s worth. There’s also no point buying bigger shoes if your feet are just going to swim in them. Having traction is key in any game of street ball.
Another factor that may be considered important is the overall amount of ankle support the shoe gives. Basketball is a tough sport – and especially tough on your ankles. The dribbling, jumping, landing, side stepping all takes it’s toll, and a small slip up could see your ankle pop out from under you. This is why ankle support is such an important factor when purchasing any new basketball shoes, whether it be outdoor or indoor. It should be mentioned that low and mid top shoes offer minimal ankle support without a separate ankle support brace (as seen on the right).
If you choose to buy an ankle support, then it’s not of big concern as to what height your shoe is – the support is already there. However. If you don’t want to spend the extra on the brace, then it’s recommended to get a high top shoe. They usually finish just above the ankle. As expected, high tops will offer the maximum amount of ankle support possible.
Finally, durability is probably one of the most important factors when actually going out and spending your money. There is no point in buying new shoes every month. It hurts your wallet, and you’ll lose your love for the game.
You’ve probably noticed that we’ve left out some of the biggest names in basketball shoes off this list. They’re still good shoes! Just not suited to outdoor play. Most indoor shoes, whilst still will work outdoors, tend to fall apart a lot faster than the really tough, deep traction pattern shoes on this list.
If you want performance, you can go with anything with decent traction. But if you want something that will last more than 3 sessions, then keep reading.
The Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes
The following is what we consider to be the best outdoor basketball shoes on the market at this moment. Naturally, we’ve taken into consideration all the important factors we just mentioned, whilst also looking at the overall ventilation the shoe has. Street ball can get hot, and we wouldn’t want your feet sweating up a storm.
Overall quality, durability, shoe characteristics, and price are all given factors that allow us to review the below shoes. Choose wisely!
Straight up, in our opinion, this is our top pick when looking for the best outdoor basketball shoes in the market. First, it’s made by Nike – who make absolutely quality shoes – and endorsed by LeBron. These are typically very well made shoes, and come in a huge range of colours.
However, what makes it stand out is that it has a very dense rubber sole that suits outdoor surfaces perfectly. Hexagonal patterns on the bottom also provides for stunning traction, whether it be indoors or outdoors. You may be tempted to look at future versions of LeBron’s line of Nike shoes, but we feel for the needs of the street ball court, this shoe provides the necessary rubber and durability to last.
It’s not a waterproof shoe however. It’s made with a mesh material to aid ventilation, but that will also mean that water can creep in.
The strap that goes across the mid-foot provides great lateral support, and the high top velcro strap across the ankle means that it provides great ankle support. There’s really not a whole lot wrong about this shoe. Our top pick, and our best recommendation.
Nike are back at it again with these stunning Hyperfuses. We first need to mention that these shoes won’t break the budget – usually priced very reasonably. Use these bad boys indoors, or outdoors, and you’re almost certain to get great performance. On top of that, the durability of these shoes is one that really stands out for it’s price.
Not only is this shoe light, with stable performance and great compression moulded collar, Nike have particularly focused on the comfort of your feet when trying to create the best outdoor basketball shoes. First, the heel and forefront Zoom units provide for responsive cushioning which does a great job at limiting the amount of blisters you’ll get. This also means it’s not going to sting as much when landing.
Finally, the Hyperfuse is made with a synthetic mesh that means ventilation and breathability will not be an issue.
If you’re looking for a negative to this, there’s really nothing that stands out. We only deem it not to be the best on this list due to it’s moderate ankle support that it offers. This can be easily remedied with a separate ankle brace.
A fantastic option.
adidas throw their hat into the ring. Any we have to admit, the Crazy Explosion basketball shoe is such fantastic value. Like every other shoe on this list, it’s priced at a really affordable point and won’t break the bank – especially when looking for a durable outdoor basketball shoe.
Tough rubber bottom will give you the traction you need, and the hard rubber won’t wear out too fast. Albeit, the harder you ball, the faster they’ll degrade. Most importantly though, its super comfortable. The cushioning inside the shoe is highly responsive, and won’t slip out from under you. Also gives great ankle support.
Finally, the Crazy Explosion is made with a lightweight synthetic material and textile upper. This shoe will last. However, the only downside is the lack of ventilation that the shoe offers. Ventilation only comes through the mesh tongue and heel insert.
In our opinion, this would be a clear winner, and one of the best outdoor basketball shoes on the list. The reason it isn’t? Minimal ventilation. Whilst your feet won’t cook, it could be done better by adidas.
A serious contender.
Back to Nike – and with good reason. The Prime Hype DF II are super comfy, high top shoes that are made to last for years on end. Made with synthetic and leather, and a tough rubber sole for quick, precise stops and turns, this is built for hard play and traction. Naturally, street ball will eat away at it faster, but that’s expected.
The other huge positive about these street ball shoes is that it has a Breathe Tech construction as part of it. It has maximum ventilation, and whilst your feet will sweat, it won’t be unbearable. This comes right up to the high top of the shoe – so not only is there shoe-wide ventilation, but you also get decent ankle support.
This shoe, whilst tough and built to last, isn’t as durable as the other options on this list. That’s pretty much the only reason why we don’t consider it the top of our best basketball shoes list. If you like the classic style of the Prime Hype DF II, then this shoe will suit all your needs.
Nike’s HyperRev just HAD to be on this list. It’s probably the most common show on every other best outdoor basketball shoes list, and it’s for good reason. We feel compelled to talk about it.
The HyperRev ticks all the boxes you need. It’s cheap, lightweight and has a tough rubber sole that will play nicely on street ball courts. Durability isn’t exactly it’s strongest point, but the grip is definitely something that stands out on both indoor and outdoor courts.
Further to this, it’s made with a mesh material so you can be assured that ventilation is there. And the Zoom Air cushioning is responsive, stable and makes the shoe extremely comfortable to play in. The only other downside is because it’s a mid-top shoe, it won’t offer the best ankle support possible. Ankle support is necessary if you want the best possible ankle stability.
We don’t know why you wouldn’t play with socks, but we’ve been told socks are necessary. They will rub your feet raw without any. This is a fantastic basketball shoe and will work amazingly on an outdoor surface.
If you want a low top shoe, then you really can’t beat the KB Mentality II. For us, this list has focused on price, quality, durability and overall ankle support. Whilst the KB Mentality II shoe meets this, low top shoes offer extremely minimal, to no ankle support at all. There is also minimal support due to the flyweave upper. If you want a low top outdoor basketball shoe, this is the perfect shoe – but we highly recommend you purchase an extra ankle support as well.
Back to the shoe, the KB Mentality II is lightweight, extremely durable, and relatively cheap. Its a show that’s made for low-profile guards – especially because of the firm cushion and lack of impact protection. The traction and responsiveness, however, makes this shoe extremely comfortable for quick turns and acceleration.
This shoe is made for people who love playing street ball, are extremely mobile, and want traction to last. Just don’t expect any ankle support.
These shoes are what we think are the market leaders for best outdoor basketball shoes that are currently available on the market. Whilst we look at quality, durability, price and overall performance of the shoes, we simply just can’t go past the Nike LeBron Soldier IX PRM. Of course this is our opinion, but you need to check them out.
Further to this, if you ahve absolutely no idea what terms such as ‘flyweave’ or ‘boost’ that are coined in this article, LiveForBBall have a great little summary that should be able to sort out all your concerns.
Not only will having the right shoes increase your confidence that your feet won’t slip out from under you, but it can assure that your ankles don’t give way every few months. This is why we put ankle support so high up in our list of requirements for basketball shoes. All shoes in this list (unless we state otherwise) will give you what you need.
In saying that, reading this guide should only be an indicator of options. This guide is only our opinion. Checking Amazon reviews for customer feedback, or asking your friends and fellow ballers for their opinions is key to buying any outdoor basketball shoe. We have scoured the internet for all the information out there – it’s now up to you to decide.
None of these the best outdoor basketball shoes to you?
If we have missed a shoe that you absolutely love and want to vouch for it? Please let us know. We’re always open to more diverse ideas and opinions!