Choosing the Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes in 2018 (Update)

Playing hoops outdoors is different from playing indoors, especially if it is a street game. It is more demanding, and the playing surface also tends to be rougher. To deliver an optimal playing performance, you should invest in the best outdoor basketball shoes.

How exactly can you choose the right footwear? What are some of the top picks available in the market? If you have no idea how to arrive at a purchase decision, I suggest that you keep on reading and learn from the valuable insights I will be sharing below.

Quick view Top 5 Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes

Last update on 2018-04-13 at 06:22 PST- Details

Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Basketball Shoes

Can I not just wear the same shoes I use when playing indoors? This is probably the question you have at the back of your mind. Sure, you can. However, this can have an effect on your performance, which is why I strongly recommend that you use a different pair of kicks.

When playing indoors, you will have a smooth surface, which is usually hardwood floor. This material is known for improving the bounce of the ball and makes up the floor used in most professional courts.

If you are playing outdoors, on the other hand, the surface of the court is usually made from asphalt or concrete. It is rough and stronger compared to hardwood. For this reason, you will need to have a different type of footwear.

The shoes that you will wear for an outdoor game must be durable enough to withstand the abrasion of the playing surface. Also, because the ground tends to be harder, your shoe must be able to provide exceptional shock absorption to ensure the highest level of comfort.

Here is a short video that provides more explanation on the key differences between an indoor and outdoor basketball shoes:

Essential Factors to Consider when Buying

To make it a snap to narrow down the possibilities, consider the following things:

  • Comfort: This is perhaps the most important thing you should take into account. If you are uncomfortable with your footwear, it will be impossible to perform at your best. Even if it looks good, if you are not comfortable with it, ditch the shoes and look for another pair.

  • Size: This is related to your comfort. If it is too tight, this can restrict your feet and limit your movement, which will also be uncomfortable. If it is too big, on the other hand, it can slip out of your foot as you run. It will be good to choose shoes that are laced so that you can easily tighten or loosen them.

  • Durability: This is an important consideration especially for the outsole. Take note that you will be playing in the street or on a concrete surface. This means that it will be rougher, and hence, can speed up the wear and tear of your sole compared to playing on a hardwood floor. With this, choose thicker outsole made from high-quality rubber. It withstands abrasion and absorbs shock adequately.

  • Breathability: If you are thinking about your comfort, you should also find shoes that are breathable. Having a mesh part can be good to make sure that it will encourage excellent air circulation. It will also ensure that your foot will be kept dry throughout the game.

  • Style: When looking for the best outdoor basketball shoes, you should think of both form and function. In this case, make sure that it is also stylish. A lot of basketball shoes from popular brands have distinctive styles that evolve every time a new version is introduced.

Top Picks for the Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes

1 - Under Armour Men’s UA Lockdown Basketball Shoes

In your search for the best outdoor basketball shoes, this is another option you might want to take into consideration. It comes with an affordable price, yet the quality is decent, especially because it is made by a brand you can trust.

Under Armour Men's Lockdown, Rhino Gray (076)/Black, 8.5
  • Combination of leather & lightweight synthetic leather overlays for lateral & medial support
  • Added collar foam increases comfort & support around the ankle
  • Full-length molded EVA sockliner
  • Full-length EVA midsole delivers a lightweight, comfortable ride
  • One-piece solid rubber outsole with herringbone traction pattern throughout to provide exceptional lateral/linear movement & control

Last update on 2018-07-18 at 16:12 PST- Details

When it comes to its features, one that I personally loved is the combination of the materials used. It is made from genuine and synthetic leather, which makes it excellent for improving the support that can be provided by the shoe.

The EVA foam used in the shoe is one more thing that you might like. There is foam on the sock liner, as well as on the midsole. This will make you feel more

All Things We Like

  • Exact to the specified size
  • Perforated upper for improved durability
  • Can also be worn as a casual shoe

All Things We Don't Like

  • May not be a good choice for thin ankles
  • Not for people with wide feet

2 - Adidas Performance Men’s CloudfoamIlation Mid-Basketball Shoe

If the price is a big concern, this is one option that you might want to consider. It comes with an economical price, yet you can expect that it will deliver decent quality.

adidas Performance Men's Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball Shoe
  • High-top basketball sneaker featuring 3-Stripes logo at sides and perforations for ventilation
  • Air mesh tongue, collar and rear quarter
  • CLOUDFOAM sockliner and midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Grippy rubber outsole
  • adidas

Last update on 2018-07-18 at 13:33 PST- Details

Among its features, one worth noting is the CLOUDFOAM technology, an innovation developed exclusively by Adidas. This special foam is integrated into the sock liner and midsole, which makes it offer generous cushioning. Your foot will not feel the impact even when you are playing outdoors.

I also loved the presence of perforations on the side. This is the one responsible for encouraging ventilation, making the foot dry and comfortable.

All Things We Like

  • Delivers maximum stability
  • Provides optimal traction in all playing surfaces
  • Can prevent suffering from foot pain

All Things We Don't Like

  • A bit larger than actual size
  • Not a good-looking basketball shoe

3 - Adidas Performance Men’s C razy Explosive Basketball Shoe

Boost, the cushioning technology that is integrated into this footwear, is one thing that you might love. This is the most responsive cushioning developed by the manufacturer, which will provide your foot with a customized fit.

adidas Men's Shoes | Crazy Explosive Basketball, White/White/MGH Solid Grey, (10.5 M US)
  • boost's energy-returning properties keep every step charged with an endless supply of light, fast energy
  • Lightweight synthetic and textile upper provides durability
  • Mesh tongue and heel insert offer ventilation; Anatomical lace system wraps the entire foot and relieves pressure
  • Rubber outsole provides excellent grip
  • adidas

Last update on 2018-07-18 at 16:48 PST- Details

The unique lacing system, which is improved from the previous versions, is another thing that you might love. It has a minimal and appealing design. It reduces pressure on the foot, which makes the shoes feel very light.

Regarding the materials used, you might also be impressed. For instance, it comes with a Xeno upper, tinted TPU wrap, and textile lining, helping provide extra comfort and improving your performance as you play.

All Things We Like

  • Has a stylish appeal
  • Offers a high level of comfort
  • Made from long lasting materials

All Things We Don't Like

  • Can be too tight on the upper part if you have large foot
  • Lace holder lacks durability

4 - Nike Men's The Air Overplay IX Wide Basketball Shoe

The padded collar and tongue of the shoe is one feature that you might appreciate. This will never cause irritation to your feet, even if you move fast on the court.

NIKE Men's The Air Overplay IX Basketball Shoe Black/Anthracite/Dark Grey/White 9 D(M) US
  • Encapsulated heel Nike Air unit provides great cushioning on impact.
  • 1/2-length bootie construction for a comfortably snug fit.
  • NIKE
  • 9 D(M) US
  • Black/Anthracite/Dark Grey/White

Last update on 2018-07-18 at 13:33 PST- Details

Personally, one thing that I find impressive is the combination of synthetic and mesh materials on the sides of the shoe. This makes it lightweight while promoting air circulation, making your foot well-ventilated.

It is also worth noting that it comes with full Phylon midsole, an exclusive technology that makes it perfect for playing outdoors. With the design of the midsole, it is softer, and you won’t feel much pressure from the ground. It has a plush footbed that can make you feel comfortable.

All Things We Like

  • Has a unique combination of synthetics and mesh on the side
  • Can withstand tough and long-term use
  • Delivers high level of comfort

All Things We Don't Like

  • Some people find it to be too narrow
  • Arch support could have been better

5 - Reebok Zig Energy Ref Mens Basketball Shoe

One of the first things that you will notice about this basketball shoe is its distinct design. It has a strong appeal that will surely turn heads. It is a bit chunky, but I believe that adds a certain charm.

Reebok Zig Energy Ref Mens Basketball Shoe
  • Keep your energy level at its peak with these supportive Reebok sneakers.
  • Reebok
  • Black/Black/Black

Last update on 2018-04-13 at 06:22 PST- Details

Feature-wise, one thing that you might find impressive in this shoe is the zig-zag shaped sole. The latter optimizes the ability of the shoe to demonstrate excellent grip on concrete or asphalt, which are the most common ground conditions in outdoor basketball courts.

One feature that shouldn't be overlooked about this outdoor basketball shoe is the ZigTech technology, an innovation that is going to help you push forward while also being able to retain stability.

All Things We Like

  • Helps to improve bounce outdoors
  • Can also double as a running shoe
  • Distinctive appearance

All Things We Don't Like

  • Size can be larger than what is stated
  • Can be easily prone to wear and tear


In sum, your search for the best outdoor basketball shoes will never be easy. A lot of companies will make aggressive claims, saying that they have the best products. As a responsible buyer, you should do your research and not just believe what they say.

From the five products mentioned above, if there is one that I can personally recommend, it would be the Adidas Performance Men’s CloudfoamIlation Mid-Basketball Shoe . Inspired by one of the icons of basketball, it can deliver exceptional performance even when you are playing outdoors.

Sara Smith

My name is Sara Smith, the proud owner of the blog and the writer of all the articles that you can see on this website. It is my goal to share my knowledge to all of you and to provide valuable learnings in one way or another.

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