It’s an undeniable fact that basketball is one of the most popular sport in the world.
However, not everyone has access to a perfectly polished hardwood court.
Not everyone only plays on indoor surfaces.
Outdoor courts, or a pick up streetball game is a hugely popular way to play the sport.
What does that mean?
It means you need the best outdoor basketball shoes that won’t fail you when playing on rough surfaces.
No one wants to spend $200-$300 on new shoes to see them fall apart after a single outdoor session.
For this reason, alongside the overall design of the shoe, we look to the COMFORT, DURABILITY and PRICE of every outdoor shoe to provide you the best possible idea as to what to buy.
Just remember, there are a whole lot of other shoes out there on the market.
In actual fact, there’s so many that haven’t made this list.
What we’ve done is really highlight and nail down to the top 5 best outdoor basketball shoes to make your research easier.
|Nike LeBron Soldier IX PRM|
|Nike KB Mentality|
|adidas Crazy Explosion|
|Nike Prime Hype DF II|
Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes
Basketball and LeBron James. Name a more iconic duo… We’ll wait.
In actual fact, there’s a whole heap of superstars that play the game, however, this particular shoe dons the name one of the greatest players to ever play the game.
And unsurprisingly, the Nike LeBron Soldier IX PRM are our top choice for being the best outdoor basketball shoes on the market.
These shoes are made by Nike – synonymous with basketball.
And in our opinion, they’re the best Nike outdoor basketball shoes on offer.
The sole is extremely dense, and made of rubber. Durability isn’t an issue here.
Hexagonal traction on the under side of the shoe also provides surprisingly good traction. This means that these shoes will work both indoors and out.
In terms of breathability, the shoe has open mesh material on the top of the shoe – however, this does mean that it isn’t waterproof.
Watch out for puddles.
With great lateral support, and a high top velcro strap to aid ankle support, this is a really fantastic option for anyone looking for an outdoor basketball shoe.
A small tip – don’t look for the later models of this shoe. You’ll pay extra money, and from what we’ve learnt, it doesn’t offer the same durability.
- Amazing durability on abrasive surface
- Great traction on both indoor and outdoor courts
- Great starting price
- Takes some time to break into
If you prefer something that’s more low top, then it’s pretty hard to beat the Nike KB Mentality.
These shoes provide a seriously tough rubber sole, whilst focusing on performance and durability.
As standard with low top shoes, don’t expect to get much ankle support – if any at all. It is important to wear an external ankle brace in the event that you need the extra support.
If you’re doubting the importance of an ankle brace – best check out what Steph Curry has to say about it.I
Back to the shoe itself, it’s made with a synthetic-and-mesh upper which gives the shoe maximum breathability.
Such material is also very comfortable – meaning that these outdoor basketball shoes are a snug fit.
Due to the lighter material used, the KB Mentality II is also extremely lightweight.
Built strong, slightly pricey, but in a range of colours and sizes, it’s a serious consideration for any basketball fan looking to find the best outdoor basketball shoes with a low top design.
- Durable rubber sole for outdoor surfaces
- Won’t break the bank
- Fits snug
- Low Top has no ankle support
- Fits a little bit narrow – so not suitable for wide feet
One of the most popular shoes used for outdoor basketball, the Nike HyperRev is a classic option for any serious streetballer.
In terms of the shoe itself, it ticks all the boxes you could possibly want when looking for the best outdoor basketball shoes to most suit your requirements.
It’s cheap, lightweight and has very decent ankle support. Also has a moulded heel support that locks your heel into place.
The shoe itself is made with a mesh material for great ventilation for outdoor play.
This is with the Zoom Air cushioning being extremely comfortable, but responsive and stable so you have full control of your feet at all times.
However, the downside to the HyperRev is it’s durability. Whilst the sole is made of tough rubber, the awesome grip that it offers does tend to wear off fast.
You’ve probably noticed that we’ve gone for the 2015 model here. Why?
Being frank, it’s not worth consistently spending through the roof buying the latest shoes when playing outdoors. The 2015 HyperRev outperforms it’s year, and in the event that it wears out quickly, isn’t too expensive to replace.
- Cheap as – an inexpensive option
- Very comfortable and heaps of ventilation
- Amazing grip when first out of the box
- Grip wears off quite fast
- Not the best ankle support
It’s not common that people think of adidas when they think of basketball – but we cannot stress this enough.
The adidas Crazy Explosion basketball shoe is one of the best outdoor basketball shoes around.
It offers fantastic value for what it costs – especially in the durability aspect of the shoe.
In particular, the shoe has a tough rubber bottom that not only offers awesome grip and traction on abrasive courts, but the rubber doesn’t wear out that fast.
These are made to last.
Naturally though, the harder you ball, the faster they’ll degrade. But that’s common sense.
Being a high top shoe, adidas offer great ankle support – and alongside the highly responsive cushioning within the shoe, you can feel pretty stable wearing them.
Synthetic upper, these shoes only fail to provide ventilation. This may become a slight issue with smell during those long outdoor games.
Ventilation is only offered through the mesh tongue.
If you’re not too concerned about ventilation, this is our best outdoor basketball shoe.
But all things considered, ventilation is one of our most important factors when purchasing outdoor basketball shoes, and thus the reason it isn’t our top pick.
- Tough and durable – perfect for outdoor surfaces
- Great ankle support with stable support
- If you don’t like Nike, this is adidas’s ideal option
- Minimal ventilation – your feet can heat up and sweat can cause smell
Another Nike made shoe – but bear with us. The Prime Hype DF II is worth considering.
These high top shoes are definitely one of the most comfortable outdoor basketball shoe there is on the market – but most importantly, they’re extremely durable. Made to last for years.
Synthetic and leather, encompassed with a tough rubber sole gives the shoe very decent traction for quick stops and turns needed on a streetball court.
We won’t be oblivious though, playing on abrasive surfaces will see rubber soles wear away a lot faster than a hardwood floor.
The biggest thing about these shoes is that ventilation and breathability is a maximum. Nike’s Breathe Tech construction comes right up to the top of the shoe. This means that you have both latitudinal and longitudinal breathability.
However, the Hype DF II shoe isn’t as durable as the other options on this list, which is why it’s not our top pick
In saying that, it won’t let you down. If you want the classic feel of the Prime Hype DF II, then this could be the shoe for you.
Definitely to be considered for any prospective buyer.
- Great for either indoors or outdoors
- High top with great ankle support and breathability
- Responsive cushioning to minimise potential for slips and blisters
- Not as durable
- Rubber eats away relatively quickly on extremely abrasive surfaces
Rubber Base and Durability
As expected, the most important part of good outdoor basketball shoes when taking durability into consideration is the dense and toughness of the underlying rubber.
With any outdoor court – whether it be at the park, or on your street – you need the hardest and most solid rubber underneath your shoes.
Anything that’s soft will fall away in chunks, or at best, deteriorate at a very quick pace.
It’s not recommended buying a $300 shoe for it to wear away in a few weeks.
All the best outdoor basketball shoes in this list have the required thick, dense rubber that will keep on, keeping on. You can be assured that you’ll get a decent stint from all these shoes.
Usually, the higher the top, the better the support.
And when looking at it objectively, the rough and tough of an outdoor court can cause some seriously risky ankle moments.
In our opinion, we always lean towards the high top shoes that offer both style and support.
But – if you’re someone who refuses to wear a high top basketball shoe, then there are alternatives to finding ankle support.
This is where the ankle brace comes in.
Looking at the NBA – there aren’t many players that you’ll see who won’t advocate the necessity for great ankle support. Namely, Steph Curry – a player with an ankle injury record as long as his career – is an absolute supporter of all things ankle brace.
While it’s not a necessity, it’s a great way to add support to a low top shoe.
Final Words and Recommendation
This is a list encompassed with some seriously good outdoor basketball shoes that we believe everyone should at least consider when in the market.
Street basketball shoes are a different breed – you need durability, a tough sole made with high quality rubber, and something that’s comfortable.
In our opinion, we cannot find a better shoe that meets these needs better than the Nike LeBron Soldier IX PRM.
Most importantly, it’s not overly expensive.
Having the best outdoor basketball shoes that best suits what you need will not only look good, but will also increase your confidence knowing that your traction and rubber won’t see your feet slip up from under you.
However, we are well aware, this list is dominated by Nike shoes – mainly based on the fact that they make some of the most amount of basketball shoes on the market.
If you have a different opinion, or just want to ask a question, let us know through our comments section, or through our contact us page.