Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes – May 2017 Reviews and Top Picks
Have you ever suffered the discomfort of playing basketball on hard asphalt surface while wearing poorly designed basketball shoes?
Playing basketball on an outdoor court is not the same as shooting hoops on an indoor court…Or is it?
You not only need to have more refined skills but be equipped with the right gear too. Remember, the outdoor surface is tougher and rougher than that of an indoor court, which makes it essential to be adorned in the best outdoor basketball shoes before you hit that asphalt or bare concrete court.
Although many factors come into play when playing a basketball game outdoors, your performance and overall experience will depend on your footwear. The best street basketball shoes should provide perfect shock absorption, durability, flexibility, support, and stability throughout the entire duration of your game. However, we understand that getting the right pair of outdoor basketball sneakers is not an easy job, especially if you have a limited budget for footwear.
This guide will show you the most important factors to consider in your search for a perfect pair of strong outdoor shoes and even give you a few suggestions based on factors such as price, features, and quality.
What is the Difference Between Outdoor and Indoor Basketball Shoes?
The question in the back of your mind most probably is, “Why not wear the same shoes for both indoor and outdoor basketball?” Well, you can and still play your game but the indoor basketball shoe will have an adverse effect on your performance and comfort. This why sports experts and experienced players recommend that you always use a different pair of basketball kicks for indoor and outdoor courts. You can read this article about the best low top basketball shoes so I am not going to talk about the same thing here again!
The outdoor court is most likely made from asphalt or concrete while the indoor court could be designed from hardwood. The outdoor court is more demanding, stronger, and rougher than say a hardwood indoor floor. You need an equally strong pair of kicks to deliver optimal performance.
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes
With the sports shoe market flooded with numerous basketball shoe brands and designs, choosing the best basketball shoes for outdoor courts can be an overwhelming task. It’s quite possible to be tempted by a colorful pair with all the signs of a tough shoe and a fancy brand name only to end up with torn uppers or split soles the first time you hit the court adorned in your new shoes.
So how exactly do you find a pair of top outdoor basketball shoes that is right for your needs and budget? Here are some of the key factors to consider before you make that crucial purchasing decision.
What Type of Basketball Player are You?
What most people don’t realize is that your personal playing style plays a key role in the type of basketball shoe you choose to invest in. Let’s look at some of the most common types of players and the kind of shoes that suit them best.
- The Power Player: This is the kind of player who’ll need stability and perfect cushioning in a pair of outdoor basketball shoes. To enjoy the benefits of cushion and stability, you may need to play in a heavier pair of basketball shoes.
- The Fast Player: This type of player has speed in mind at all times. If you are a fast player, go for a lightweight pair with moderate support, flexibility, and good cushioning. A lower-cut or low top type (more on shoe cut types shortly) is often a perfect choice.
- The All-round Basketball Player: This is the kind of player who needs basketball shoes designed for both strength and speed. In this case, you’ll do well in a pair with moderate ankle cushioning and support. You have a wide choice of lightweight shoes to choose from.
In a nutshell, find a pair that suits your playing style to boost your performance. This brings us to the next crucial aspect of outdoor basketball shoes – the shoe construction.
What to Look For in the Shoe Construction
Having a good understanding of a basketball shoe construction will help you to identify features that are crucial in your shoe selection. Here are some of the most important basketball shoe construction features to check before you choose one that meets your playing needs.
The Basketball Shoe Upper
We all know what a shoe upper is – that soft upper part of the shoe. The upper plays an important role of keeping your foot snugly secured in place while you are playing. It goes without saying that the best basketball shoes for outdoor courts should be designed using strong uppers with sufficient cushioning to ensure that you play comfortably regardless of the tough demands of the game.
The Shoe Cut
Basketball sneakers are categorized into 3 types depending on the shoe’s upper, namely high tops, mid tops, and low tops. Knowing which type of shoe cut feels most comfortable is important in your search for the right basketball sneakers.
- High Tops: Most outdoor basketball players, close to 70%, prefer high tops. This is mainly because high tops offer maximum ankle support and stability.
- Mid Tops: Mid tops have uppers that reach ankle level, unlike high tops which rise above the ankle. This type of basketball shoes is preferred by players who feel somehow restricted by high tops. It is a good choice for those who rely on speed as their greatest playing asset.
- Low Tops: Not so many basketball players who use outdoor courts use low tops. It is said that only 10% of players wear low tops when playing on outdoor courts. Low tops are lighter and do not provide as much ankle support as high tops do.
The Shoe’s Construction Materials
Gone are the days when the best Adidas basketball shoes were made of an all-leather upper. Today, basketball shoes are made using a combination of different upper materials to make them lighter and durable. For instance, in the past years the best men’s basketball shoes emphasized on strength at the expense of comfort but today it’s all about a perfect mix of stability, breathability, and flexibility besides durability.
Outdoor basketball shoes are made using a mix of leather for strength and synthetic materials that provide breathability and comfortable cushioning. Synthetic uppers which are even more durable than leather have become popular. They not only provide great stability but are super light-weight too.
How About the Shoe’s Closure System?
Playing basketball on the tough outdoor terrain requires a higher level of stability than when you’re playing on a smooth indoor surface. You’ll need to keep your feet snugly secured in the shoe using a good closure system. You won’t manage those quick turns, sudden stops, and starts, or fast side-to-side maneuvers with loosely held straps or laces. A good lacing system should have lock holes to prevent the laces from untying or loosening. A majority of basketball shoes feature straps for added stability while others have zippers covered by some form of protective materials.
There are even Velcro closure systems but these are mainly for young children and hardly reliable for outdoor basketball players. A Velcro closure system does not provide good support.
The Midsole and the Outsole
This is the inner soft layer of shock-absorbing material that lies between the outer sole and the shoe’s upper. It is a crucial part of the overall construction of the shoe because its ability to provide sufficient cushioning and shock absorption can significantly affect your performance. A good midsole should be made of a combination of polyurethane and EVA or compressed EVA materials.
The outsole is the rubber part of the shoe that comes into contact with the hard asphalt or concrete surface of an outdoor basketball court. You can just imagine how critical this section of your basketball shoe is. The outsole should preferably be flat, wide enough to give you a stable base, and ensure that your ankle doesn’t rollover. Sneakers designed for outdoor courts normally have heavier outsoles than their indoor counterparts. Most feature a herringbone pattern that provides reliable traction to keep you steady when you make sudden stops and quick starts.
The outsole of a good outdoor basketball pair of sneakers should be durable enough to withstand the rigorous demands of the game. A thicker outsole made of superior quality rubber will withstand frequent abrasion and every abuse that comes its way.
Comfort, stability, breathability, and durability are important factors to consider when shopping for the best outdoor basketball shoes but size does matter too. Don’t buy a pair of basketball shoes that fits you tightly or you may end restricting your movements while playing. It goes without saying that trying to play in a shoe that’s too big for your feet is a potential ingredient for injury. You are very likely to slip out of the shoe while running and fall. Choose a good pair of outdoor basketball shoes that’s right for your size.
Top 5 Outdoor Basketball Shoes to Consider
In the following section, we’ll discuss top outdoor basketball shoes on the market today. The sneakers we have reviewed below vary in price and features, which should give you an easier time to choose one that suits your budget and playing needs. Keep in mind the suggestions discussed above in your search for the best street basketball shoes.
- Our Editor Rating
- Verified Purchaser Review
Adidas Performance Men’s D Rose 6 Boost
Type: High Top
- Made from synthetic and textile materials
- Features a lightweight but strong synthetic sole
- A well cushioned high top outdoor basketball shoe with Boost technology, leather upper, and superior asymmetric collar
- EVA midsole
- A high performance non-marking outsole
It is pretty obvious how the iconic Chicago point guard, Derrick Rose, reigns over any game at any time. The Adidas Men’s D Rose 6 basketball shoes are designed for players with the same high octane style as D-Rose. In terms of traction, Adidas has outperformed this time with a tight although shallower design similar to the 2015 Hoops line up. As some players would say, this shoe’s traction is simply the beast.
The cushion is perfect, as you would expect from Boost technology. The forefoot section is unlocked to help you play twice harder. There are more reasons why we ranked these kicks among the best men’s basketball shoes. For instance, they have a perfect fit that’s true to your size and provide plenty of support features such as stabilizing Boost foam, StableFrame, and torsion support from their X-Bar system.
Overall, the D Rose 6 is the ultimate monster on an outdoor court. It’s just the right pair for hopers and your explosive plays. If you prefer a more prime knit upper, you could go the Adidas D Rose 6 Boost PrimeKnit which is exactly the same as the Performance D Rose 6 except for the upper. The PrimeKnit version comes with a removable insole and a translucent “iced” outsole, which is not actually a major performance factor but an esthetic addition.
Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe
Type: High Top
- Durable rubber sole
- Made from strong and lightweight synthetic and textile materials
- Features Boost cushioning for comfort and stability
- Comes in a Xeno upper and textile lining for added comfort
- An advanced lacing system that reduces pressure on the shoe laces to keep your feet secured inside the shoe while playing.
- Boost mid sole with a tinted TPU wrap for stability and comfort
In the same price and features range as the D Rose 6 discussed above, is the Crazy Explosive, still from Adidas. The Crazy Explosive are some of the top outdoor basketball shoes built using energy-returning Boost technology to give you an added lift as you jump your shots. The Xeno upper and advanced lacing system significantly helps to reduce breakage. The outsole provides perfect traction while the mid sole has a StableFrame underneath to give you maximum stability and support.
The Adidas Crazy Explosive fits nicely, true to your size although it may seem a bit narrow for those with wide feet. The upper is constructed using Adidas PrimeKnit technology and Geofit bootie underneath. The shoe has a unique and reliable anatomical lacing system to give you feet a secure snug fit while you play hard.
Nike Zoom Hyperrev 2015 Men’s Basketball Shoes
Type: Mid Top
- A comfortable mesh upper
- Durable rubber sole
- Perfect lockdown and stability provided by a lacing system that integrates Flywire cables
- Keeps your foot locked in place using a molded TPU heel counter
- Responsive cushioning provided by lightweight Forefoot Nike Zoom unit
If you are looking for a different brand besides Adidas, then the Nike Zoom Hyperrev 2015 basketball shoe is another great option. This is a mid top pair of outdoor basketball sneakers that provides optimal stability and the most responsive cushioning for comfort and high performance on hard surfaces. It is a lightweight pair of basketball sneakers capable of giving you totally tubular performance.
In comparison to the popular Lebron Soldier IX, Nike has really upped its game with the 2015 Zoom Hperrev. The outsole is made from pliable rubber with a good floor grip. The cushioning is Zoom Air, of course. The Nike proprietary cushioning technology has never disappointed – always comfortable and has a nice soft feel.
For those who prefer an asymmetrical U-throat style supporting fast movements, you could go for the Nike Men’s Hyperchase, which is in almost the same price range and with similar features as the 2015 Zoom Hyperrev. If you seek more color options, then the Nike Prime Hype DF II is a good choice with a wide range of 27 different colors. However, the Prime Hype DF II is a high top basketball shoe version with a higher price tag.
Overall, the Nike Zoom Hyperrev 2015 is a gorgeous pair of basketball shoes strong enough to tackle the demands of an outdoor court. It has an appealing design and a snug secure fit.
Adidas Performance Men’s Court Fury
Type: High Top
- Made with high-tech perforated textile and synthetic upper
- Features a synthetic sole
- A beautiful Adidas brand mark printed on the tongue
- Features a textile collar to give you more comfort
- A strong non-marking rubber outsole to tackle the hard surface of an outdoor basketball court.
- Great cushioning and optimized rebounding provided by full-length ADIPRENE+
Similar to the abovementioned Adidas basketball shoes but available at a lower cost is the Men’s Court Fury Adidas version. It is a high top shoe featuring a textile and synthetic upper which is not only durable but perforated for added breathability too. The strong upper material provides you with great stability and perfect ankle support.
Similar to the Adidas D Rose 6 and the Crazy Explosive versions, the Court Fury has a clean and classic style although its color options are rather conservative. They come in 9 different color combinations, which make it easier to find a combination that suits your taste. If you are looking for cheap outdoor basketball shoes, you could also look at the Adidas Performance Men’s Outrival 2 shoe. It is similarly priced as the Court Fury and even features a collar fit for enhanced comfort.
Adidas D Rose 773 III Men’s Basketball Shoe
Type: High Top
- Mesh and synthetic upper materials
- Improved cushioning system
- Lightweight Sprint Web upper for great support and breathability
- AdiPRENE+ mid sole to give you a cushioned ride
- Non-marking outsole with varying thickness which makes it lightweight and durable
- Good padding on the shoe’s tongue to avoid pinching problems
The Adidas D Rose 773 III comes with a lower price tag than the two D Rose versions covered above but with almost similar features and specs. It is a high top basketball shoe designed for any basketball position. It provides great flexibility for point guards and excellent support for other game positions.
The shoe has great traction despite the rather shallow grooves. For their price, this pair of cheap outdoor basketball shoes is only rivaled by the Adidas Performance Isolation 2 which comes at almost the same price and good ankle support. However, the Isolation 2 is available in 3 color combinations only while the D Rose 773 III comes in 26 colors. Overall, at its price, the D Rose 773 III provides great value for money.