A great pair of best outdoor basketball shoes should have you feeling fresh, confident, and aggressive on and off the court. It’s hard to say exactly what makes a pair of shoes from good to great.
However, if it grips the pavement, maximizes comfort, and provides your feet and ankles with ruthless support, you’ve got yourself a solid foundation. The outdoor basketball shoes that rise above the rest will have your feet feeling like All-Stars.
That’s why we’ve brought you a comprehensive list of the best men’s outdoor basketball shoes alongside an extensive buying guide that highlights all the considerations you need to make before picking up a new pair of kicks.
Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes
#1. Adidas Performance Men’s Cloudfoam Ilation Mid – Best Adidas Outdoor Basketball Shoes
The Adidas Performance Men’s Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball Shoe is a high-top sneak that offers a competitive boost and cream of the crop Cloudfoam sock liners and midsoles. Quality construction makes its way right down to the zigzagged rubber outsoles, which offer top-notch traction. As with most Adidas products, choose from a number of timeless colorways and everyone’s favorite three-stripe logo.
The shaft of these shoes measures from about mid-top to the arch. These kicks feature a mesh tongue with full-grain leather uppers with perforated sides for maximum ventilation. A mesh collar and rear panel help to maximize ventilation and keep your feet dry the whole game through.
The flex-zoned soles of the Ilation eliminate the need to break in these b-ball beasts. Plus, they offer support without compromising comfort. Rock these high-contrast athletic shoes, and you might just become the master of the court.
#2. Reebok Men’s Royal – Best Basketball Shoes For Outdoor Use
The Reebok Men’s Royal Bb4500h XW Fashion Sneaker is a versatile solid color hi-cut basketball shoe. The uppers are made from the perfect blend of durable synthetic leather and breathable mesh. In addition, they feature a super abrasive modified herringbone outsole.
In a world flooded with seasonal prints and celebrity collabs, it’s freeing to embrace a minimalist sneaker like the Royal. It also doesn’t hurt when removable Ortholite sock liners, cushioned midsoles, and padded ankles await your feet. Plus, they offer great lockdown.
If you’re a fan of keeping it simple on the blacktop, these kicks are for you. For fans of retro Reeboks, there a cleaner take on Pumps, which were made famous through Dominique Wilkins’s short-lived commercial saga.
#3. Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive – Best Men’s Outdoor Basketball Shoes
The color-shifting Xeno uppers steal the show when it comes to the Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe’s noteworthy features. Next, there is the grippy rubber outsole that wraps its way around the midsole. Plus, a reinforced lacing system helps redistribute pressure for a snug shoe feel.
Meanwhile, Adidas’s proprietary boost™ in the padding provides players with one of Adidas’s most comfortable soles. The sock-like Primeknit uppers cling to your ankles, providing lightweight support. If you’re worried about durability, you’ll be happy to hear that forged TPU yarn helps stabilize and reinforce the sides.
Adidas has hooked up the bottoms with a never-before-seen multidirectional herringbone tread. In between grippy rubber, panels are smooth reservoir-like plates for extra support during rapid passes. Cloth lace eyelets add to Xeno’s flexible feel.
If you’re a leather upper diehard, you might balk at the sight of these Primeknit uppers. While we don’t deny they look a bit like a turtleneck sweater, the sock-like hug gives you the lockdown you need for crazy air.
#4. Nike Men’s LeBron Soldier XIII SFG – Best Basketball Shoes For Indoor And Outdoor
Nike Men’s LeBron Soldier XIII SFG Basketball Shoe is a supreme indoor/outdoor basketball shoe thanks to multidirectional hexagonal herringbone panels. The midsoles have at least two Zoom units and a Lunarlon cushioning system. Meanwhile, the uppers consist of fused nylon, mesh, and Hyperfuse (which consists of three heat-fused breathable fabrics).
What stands out most on the Soldiers are the dual wraparound Velcro straps. Meanwhile, high-contrast colorways help the forefoot and ankle straps become a prominent feature. Then, their ability to bind and support the feet is what has us coming back for more.
If you struggle with arch issues, the wedged foam midsoles are here to help. Not only do they limit hyper-pronation, but they also help stabilize your feet stride after stride. Finally, while LeBron’s iconic crown logo may not lift your arch, protect your feet from impacts, or leverage your bounce, it looks sick.
#5. Adidas Isolation 2 – Best Outdoor Performance Basketball Shoes
The Adidas Performance Men’s Isolation 2 Men’s Isolation 2 basketball shoes are classic coated leather mid-tops with nonmarking zigzag-patterned rubber outsoles. Cushiony EVA midsoles make it feel like you’re walking on a cloud. There is also a torsion system built into the shank for added midfoot stability. Meanwhile, a high-rise padded mesh collar provides ankle support and stabilization.
Choose between the grey & white or navy blue, grey, & white colorways. Both colorways are bold, simple, and characteristic of Adidas’s athletic designs. Small details, such as perforated side panels, reinforced tongues, and rubber toe guards, don’t take away from the minimalist aesthetics. Although, they do help improve an already breathable and strong shoe.
This type of simplified, reliable shoe is after our minimalist hearts. There are plenty of packaged details that promote solid court feel, under-the-foot cushioning, and reliable impact resistance, yet they’d make a decent pair of everyday street shoes too.
#6. Under Armour Men’s Clutchfit Drive Ii – Best Outdoor Court Basketball Shoes
The UA ClutchFit™ Drive 2 promises a second-skin feel thanks to the 3D molded tongue and full-length molded Micro G® sock liner. What’s more, charged cushioned midsoles give you rapid response during quick-paced court movement. As if that weren’t enough, the multidirectional herringbone outsoles offer a concrete-compatible grip.
If you play any sport, you’ve probably noticed that Under Armour has quickly risen to the status of Nike and Adidas. Not surprisingly, the company carefully douses their products in plenty of recognizable logos, this one has twin side, top, and outsole stamps showing the sporting apparel company’s bold interlocking letter logo.
#7. Nike Men’s Air Jordan 1 – Best Nike Basketball Shoes For Outdoor Use
Nike didn’t make it to the top with amateur designs, and the Air Jordan mid-top basketball shoes are no exception. Designed to put up with repeated beatings on the outdoor court, this shoe features durable leather uppers that reference ’85 AJ1 originals. There is also a cushioning air-sole unit in the heel and groovy rubber outsoles for flexible traction.
Forefoot perforations give you great breathability. Meanwhile, the padded collar and tongue give a little extra ankle support. Plus, genuine leather uppers enhance the life of these sneaks.
We’d highly recommend these reconfigured classics. Not only are they reasonably priced, but their popularity for both indoor and outdoor basketball also speaks for itself. Only Nike could pull off such an impressive full-grain leather mid-top.
#8. NIKE Men’s LeBron XIII – Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes Under 100
We worship the Nike Men’s LeBron XIII sleek reformulated uppers. Returning for the thirteenth time, these kicks offer more power and comfort than ever before. These shoes feature multi-density layered uppers and a Zoom L.E.A.P. cushioned propulsion system consisting of four independent cushions. A full-length Phylon midsole offers compression-molded cushioning. Plus, Nike’s signature Flywire cables offer extra support between the midfoot and heel.
This shoe boasts a showy hexagonal outsole with a webbed shank plate nestled in between. You’ll get explosive air off the two strategically placed strike zones. Plus, the lightweight heel makes it easier to land a jump and redistribute your weight.
The Nike Men’s LeBron XIII looks a bit showy, but they offer the unmatched traction and comfort you need to take down your opponent game after game.
#9. Adidas Performance Men’s D Rose 7 – Best Affordable Outdoor Basketball Shoes
The Adidas Performance Men’s D Rose 7 basketball shoes feature engineered mesh uppers with fashionable synthetic overlays for added impact resistance. The rubber outsoles feature clear multidirectional herringbone tread for unparalleled traction on hardwood and synthetic outdoor courts. Other prominent features of D-Rose’s premium sneaks are the infinity-shaped shank plates, hard polymer heel cups, and integrated laces.
The limited colorways include athletic mainstays like heather grey, scarlet, and black & white. If you’re looking for a solid performer with a classic look, these may be for you.
Yet another well-priced and reliable shoe from Adidas, though we can’t help but worry about the integrity and lifespan of the foam midsoles.
#10. Nike Men’s KD 8 – Best Budget Outdoor Basketball Shoes
If a running shoe and a basketball sneaker had a baby, it would probably look something like the Nike Men’s KD 8 Basketball Shoe.
This shoe is lightweight thanks to mesh uppers, rubber outsoles, and Phylon midsole cushioning.
For defensive guards who are more concerned with holding their ground than prepping for impact, these eighth-generation KD kicks will do alright.
Like all Nike products, you can select from a wide range of colorways. To top it all off, we can’t stop drooling over Leo Chang’s saber tooth heel counters. Inspired by Durant’s leg tattoo, these stylish attributes provide a generous amount of lockdown and support.
The Flyweave uppers and articulated Nike Zoom cushioning offer exceptional lockdown and comfort. Plus, stylish technologies such as heel counters and springy gel-like outsoles make us feel like we are six-time All-Stars too.
Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes – Buyer’s Guide
Basketball shoes can be expensive, but if you’re a serious player then make no question about the importance of investing in a solid pair of kicks. High-quality comfortable footwear helps protect your body from sustaining injuries. It also helps you fair the harsh environment of an outdoor court without inhibiting your natural range of movement.
From rigid ankle supports that help you avoid a painful sprain to grippy soles that prevent slips and falls. Best outdoor basketball shoes help players train properly, reach new heights (literally), and keep themselves from getting benched.
What’s more, basketball shoe companies have thoroughly embraced unique styles and colorways that give individual players a sense of confidence and attitude on and off the court. In a sport that requires minimal gear and quick footwork is a rite of passage, there’s no better way to show your affection for basketball than to invest in a solid pair of shoes.
Before you go out and buy your next pair of basketball shoes, carefully consider what you’re looking for and what you need. A solid pair of outdoor b-ball kicks needs to provide comfort, stability, and traction. They also need to be worthy of the demands of your chosen position, style of playing, and the right fit for your personal physique.
Solid outdoor basketball shoes need to be durable enough to withstand the force of hard, unforgiving outdoor courts while utilizing materials that allow for ample ventilation. This requires manufacturers to bulk up the outsoles with heavy-duty rubber and chunky tread. With slightly heavier bottoms, reinforced high-top collars and flywire systems give the foot the extra reinforcement it needs. Still, plan on carrying a little extra weight if you are an avid outdoor player.
Material and Design
Most outdoor basketball shoes feature a multifaceted arrangement of materials, including a variety of textile uppers, foam midsoles, and rubber outsoles. Each material has a different role, yet all the components should be consistently flexible and supportive.
Manufacturers are fairly consistent with their use of leather, mesh, and various proprietary synthetic textiles for their uppers. Traditional styles feature one-piece bootie designs. In this case, perforations or mesh patchwork serve as a way to regulate moisture and heat. Meanwhile, more modern forms tend to utilize stylistic patchwork panels that incorporate a wide range of choice materials.
Basketball shoes are known for their flashy colorways and over-the-top accessories. However, many seemingly ornamental embellishments have a purpose. Take, for example, the LeBron lace lockdown system or reinforced cable knit patterns. These features both serve to lock in the foot to maximize jumps and strides. They also add to the aesthetic character of a shoe.
Traction and Sole
If you’re adamant about playing outdoors, there is no more important feature than the sole of your shoes. The rubber surface of outdoor b-ball shoes needs to be able to resist the hard, rigid source of concrete and outdoor synthetic courts. Plus, unlike the smooth hardwood floors of indoor courts, outdoor courts are likely to have quite a good deal of surface debris, such as rocks, dust, and grime. Therefore, the tread needs to be tight enough that it isn’t going to gather every little pebble and particle it comes in contact with.
Pay close attention to the details of the tread. The pattern on the bottom (which is often referred to as herringbone) should feature moderately deep grooves that grip the surface of the ground. The pattern should also incorporate multidirectional treads that promote 360-degrees of traction.
What’s more, many players tend to wear specific parts of their sole down quicker than others. If you find yourself in this category, look for a shoe that has reinforced heels and/or the outsoles.
The outrigger, or part of the outsole that extends to the lateral side of the foot, helps establish good control on the court and optimizes directional changes. Think of this part of the shoe as a bumper system to keep you going in the right direction. It should be made out of solid rubber that won’t easily chip or disintegrate.
Another important but oftentimes overlooked aspect of the sole is the shank plate. While not all b-ball sneaks have an articulated shank plate, this is the area of the sole that extends between the toe and heel. It is usually slightly elevated, as it is employed in supporting the foot’s natural arch.
Backed by popular requests, many manufacturers have incorporated reinforced TPU (thermoplastic urethane) metal, or titanium shank plates to satisfy their customers’ demands. A quality shank plate prevents the shoe from caving on itself and provides extra support where the foot needs it most.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of proper air and moisture ventilation in an outdoor sneaker. Not only is the foot going to build up exercise-induced moisture and heat, but it is also going to have to cope with the harsh outdoor elements. If you’re planning on playing in the summer or have dealt with issues such as fungus or athlete’s foot in the past, we’d highly recommend you opt for a shoe with mesh uppers or wide mesh ventilation panels rather than small eyelets.
Cushion and Support
Outdoor basketball shoes need all the cushioning and support they can get. Not only do players need to rebound from sharp jumps and intricate footwork, but they also need to be able to withstand the extra rigid impact of all-weather surfaces. Fortunately, many leading athletic shoe companies have developed their own proprietary cushioning systems that are designed especially for basketball.
Whether you’re an advocate for Nike Zoom Airs or Adidas Boosts, modern ingenuity has brought us an abundance of cushion systems that offer incredible energy return, support, and durability. While we won’t go into specifics, most of these cushioning systems utilize a condensed lightweight foam that is injected into some sort of carrier system.
When put to the test, these cushions should soak up the stress of impact to protect specific pressure points, such as the heel and toes. They are often the reason for those extra chunky high-rise soles that are commonplace in most basketball shoes. If you are looking for an extra bouncy shoe that is going to eliminate harsh impacts, you need one that has strategic cushions and quality lightweight midsoles.
Lightweight foam midsoles are pillow-like shock absorbers that are sandwiched between the outsoles and your feet. Common materials for midsoles include Phylon and EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) foam. Most companies have developed an exclusive blend of foam and given it a brand name of its own. For example, Nike has Lunar and Adidas has boosted.
Before you take to the courts, you’ll want to make sure you’ve landed yourself one of the best outdoor basketball shoes. The right shoe will give you an on-court advantage, helping you to maximize your movements and protecting your most valuable assets the whole game through.
Thick rubber soles, grippy herringbone treads, foam cushions, and breathable uppers are just a few of the major features you’ll want to consider before making a purchase. Take a look at our reviews for some of the best outdoor basketball shoes on market and find a hot pair that will help you sore to new heights.