If you’ve ever played basketball, you know how different it is to play indoors vs outside. Hardwood flooring, air conditioning, a constant temperature, and constant forces are common features of indoor basketball courts. You expose yourself to the elements when you play outside basketball.
Nothing is the same: the court is no longer hardwood; it may be a rubber composite or just painted concrete.
When playing basketball outside, you need a different sort of shoe than when playing indoors. In the event that you’re playing on an old, filthy court, you’ll need the proper traction to keep you from sliding all over the place. Additionally, you’ll need a more rugged shoe.
So how do you tell if a shoe is going to be good for outside use?
- Elite traction requires deep and wide grooves on the sole of the shoe.
- Solid rubber should be used for the shoe’s outsole.
- Durable materials should be used to construct the shoe’s upper and outsole.
Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes in 2023 – Buying Guide
The 7 shoes in 2023, below are those that have been reviewed and rated as the best basketball shoes for playing on outdoor courts
Our Top 3 Recommendations
Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes –  Summary
|Adidas D Lillard 2 Men’s Basketball Shoe||See On Amazon|
|Nike Men’s Lebron 17 Basketball Shoes||See On Amazon|
|Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe||See On Amazon|
|Nike Air Force 1 Mid 07 White Men’s Sneakers||See On Amazon|
|Adidas Performance Men’s D Rose 5 Boost Basketball Shoe||See On Amazon|
|Nike Men’s Kevin Durant KD 8 VII Blackout Basketball Shoes||See On Amazon|
|Nike Men’s KD 13 Bred Basketball Shoes||See On Amazon|
Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes –  At a Glance:
- Adidas D Lillard 2 Men’s Basketball Shoe
- Nike Men’s Lebron 17 Basketball Shoes
- Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe
- Nike Air Force 1 Mid 07 White Men’s Sneakers
- Adidas Performance Men’s D Rose 5 Boost Basketball Shoe
- Nike Men’s Kevin Durant KD 8 VII Blackout Basketball Shoes
- Nike Men’s KD 13 Bred Basketball Shoes
7 Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes in 2023
The greatest rubber sole and Puremotion provide you with even superior traction, flexibility, and speed. The Sprint-frame structure is another great asset for your assistance.
Comfortable movement is made possible by this. The basketball shoe’s comfort is ensured with a cushioned collar and Tech-fit innovation. While a result, your feet are able to relax comfortably in the shoes as they absorb the impact.
Looking for a high-quality, low-cost basketball shoe? Look no further than the Adidas ACE 15 Low. Mesh is used for the top, which allows for ventilation and flexibility while yet providing a snug fit. Because of this, they’re excellent for use outside, regardless of the surface.
Allows a very high-quality fit, amazing comfort, and remarkable durability in Adidas Men’s D Lillard 2. As a result of the gratifying lockdown, support is practically faultless. The lightweight design of these sneakers makes them excellent for speed and agility while on the court.
Features and Spec:
- Techfit engineering to make you feel at ease.
- It’s very adaptable, thanks to its four different flex zones.
- Puremotion traction for a smooth ride
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.
Features and Spec:
- Great quality
- Made for famous player
- Incredibly supportive
- Responsive cushioning
- Locks heel in place
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.
Features and Spec:
- Boost gives phenomenal cushioning
- The traction is very good
- Great Support
- Available in many colors
The Nike Air Force line is a cult favorite among ballers. They have a distinctive and recognizable style, so you can wear them off the court too. You don’t have to worry about whether the size you ordered online will fit your foot because it runs true to size.
As the name implies, these shoes are technically a cross between a low and a high top. As a result, they provide some of the ankle support and straps of a high top while having the contours and shapes of a low top.
Some of the best all-purpose outsoles on the market are found in the AF1 range. Overall, this is a very long-lasting and reliable shoe.
When it comes to the AF1 Mid 07’s, creases are one of the most evident drawbacks, so if you’re searching for a pair of shoes that will still look good months later, these aren’t for you.
While the rubber sole is long-lasting, the shallow ridges on the sole make it difficult to keep debris from getting caught. Because they’re not too narrow and not too tight, depending on how you land, you could still have debris stuck in them.
Features and Spec:
- Design that stands the test of time
- Useful outside of the courtroom.
- Long-lasting as well as cozy
- Perfect fit.
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.
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
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.
Features and Spec:
- Flyweave upper
- Lock-down support
- Great multidirectional traction pattern
- Great value for money
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.
Features and Spec:
- Breathable sock liner
- Cushioned footbed
- Lightweight mesh upper
- Good traction
What makes a good outdoor basketball shoe
A lot of basketball shoes today are made with the focus on being used on 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 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.
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.
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 on 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.
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.
This one is a no-brainer; the shoes should fit you perfectly. No amount of ankle support, durability, or the 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.
Picking a shoe that has a lace-up closure allows you to adjust the fit to make it more accurate to your feet.
There you have it, the top 12 best outdoor basketball shoes in 2023! 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
What are the best outdoor basketball shoes in 2023?
Under Armour Boy’s Grade School Mid K Basketball Shoe and Adidas Men’s Dame 5 Shoe is the best outdoor basketball shoes in 2023. This is because they are durable, have a good outsole, provide you with good traction and face any terrain.