Outdoor basketball is essentially no different to indoor basketball, but that doesn’t mean you need all the same equipment. The kinds of sneakers you need when you play outside are significantly different to those you wear inside, and it’s vital that you choose the right pair. This review will help you to do just that by giving you some information surrounding what to look for, and a list of the best outdoor basketball shoes this 2023 season, plus a couple pairs to leave on the shelf.
Reviews of the 5 Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes, Plus 2 to Avoid
1.) Nike LeBron Soldier Xi Mens Basketball Shoes
- Nike LeBron Soldier Xi Mens Basketball Shoes Review: Designed and put together by the best sports apparel brand in the world, and endorsed by the best player in the world, it’s not surprising that this is the best outdoor basketball shoe this 2023 season. The LeBron Soldier has a rubber sole, meaning it is well equipped to deal with the more abrasive surfaces you tend to find when balling outdoors. The Lunarlon cushioning make them soft to wear, and easy to spring up with for when you need to battle for that contested board. They are lightweight in nature, meaning you’ll move with a little extra zip, and the inner sleeve that wraps around your foot will allow your feet to breathe comfortably. It also has a great look, though that’s nothing less than you would expect from Nike.
- To watch the Nike LeBron Soldier Xi Mens Basketball Shoes Review on YouTube, click here.
2.) Under Armour Men’s UA Clutchfit Drive
- Under Armour Men’s UA Clutchfit Drive Review: With the likes of Steph Curry signed up with them, it’s no surprise that Under Armour makes a point of putting out some high quality basketball products. These shoes are no exception. Under Armour have used their patented ClutchFit technology to wrap up your foot with a second skin, giving you extreme support and a very comfortable feel. The technology in this shoe is second to none, with a full-length molded Micro G sockliner keeping your foot firmly in place, ensuring you won’t be breaking any ankles in these. Wearing these shoes will enable you to move as effortlessly as ever thanks to the rubber sole and multi-directional outsole, making them one of the best basketball shoes for outdoors that money can buy.
- To watch the Under Armour Men’s UA Clutchfit Drive Review on YouTube, click here.
3.) Nike Men’s KB Mentality Basketball Shoe
- Nike Men’s KB Mentality Basketball Shoe Review: This time, it’s Kobe doing the endorsing. These are a great pair of shoes for outdoor basketball. Also boasting a rubber sole, the KB Mentality will give you excellent traction on any surface, allowing you to easily glide past your opponent to the rim. The shoe comes in a number of different colors, each with their own unique look, meaning you’ll be the most noticeable player on the floor. They also last a long time, something which is particularly important for outdoor shoes given the abrasive surfaces they tend to be worn on. One common piece of feedback from reviews is that they can be a little more narrow than other shoes, so if you have a wider foot they may take some growing into. Other than that though, this is a great option for outdoor basketball.
- To watch the Nike Men’s KB Mentality Basketball Shoe Review on YouTube, click here.
4.) ANTA Men’s KT2 Basketball Shoes
- ANTA Men’s KT2 Basketball Shoes Review: Klay Thompson certainly has the profile to get his name on a shoe by a brand like Nike or Under Armour, but instead he’s had to settle for ANTA. That isn’t a bad thing though, as it turns out this is probably the best basketball shoe for outdoors under 0 that you’ll find. This shoe has all of the bells and whistles you’ll find with products by more well-renowned brands, but comes in at just a fraction of the cost. The rubber sole will keep you on your feet on any surface, while the lateral flare helps you to make hard, Thompson like cuts and move laterally with ease. An Air-Mesh Tri-layer allows your feet to breather, while the mid-top is an ideal balance between that extra bit of support, and extra comfort. All in all this is a terrific shoe, and is certainly worth trying out.
- To watch the ANTA Men’s KT2 Basketball Shoes Review on YouTube, click here.
5.) Q4 Sports Millenium Hi Basketball Shoe
- Q4 Sports Millenium Hi Basketball Shoe Review: Another shoe not by one of the biggest name brands in sport, but that doesn’t stop it from competing with them as one of the best on the market. These shoes are full of advanced technology; the Ultra Vent Mesh keeps the shoe lightweight and breathable without compromizing on stability, which is provided by the Rearfoot E.G.S technology. KOMpress Technology provides extra cushioning, enabling you to land like a cat and quickly spring back into motion, or easily sidestep your man. With excellent traction coming from the Omni Grip outsole, this shoe will provide you with comfort and performance. Being by a lesser known brand it also comes in a little cheaper than some of its competitors, making it the best cheap outdoor basketball shoe you’ll find.
- To watch the Q4 Sports Millenium Hi Basketball Shoe Review on YouTube, click here.
Avoid – Nike Men’s Prime Hype DF II Basketball Shoe
- Nike Men’s Prime Hype DF II Basketball Shoe Review: Funnily enough, this isn’t actually the worst shoe going around, but it should really be avoided for outdoor use. It provides all the comforts and technology of a good shoe, but while it’s slated as durable and suitable for use on all surfaces, it isn’t really. The sole provides relatively little traction, meaning on certain surfaces you’ll be less able to put the moves on your opponent like you would with a different shoe. It also isn’t particularly durable, becoming worn away relatively quickly, particularly on the more abrasive surfaces you’re likely to play on outside. If you’re going to use it exclusively indoors then this is a decent shoe, but you should avoid this basketball shoe for outdoors.
- To watch the Nike Men’s Prime Hype DF II Basketball Shoe Review on YouTube, click here.
Avoid – No.66 Town Men’s Air Shock Absorption Shoes
- No.66 Town Men’s Air Shock Absorption Shoes Review: These are advertized as being suitable for a wide range of sports, including basketball, but don’t bother. At best, these shoes should be worn as casual wear. They have very little grip, meaning you’ll be spending a lot of time on your butt instead of dunking over your opponents. They also look entirely different in reality to in the pictures, meaning if you have any concern over what your shoes look like you may not be satisfied. The price is a little lower than some other shoes, but still not enough to justify the purchase considering these are clearly made of very cheap materials. All in all, this might be the one to avoid outdoor basketball shoe this 2023 season, so don’t bother with it.
- To watch the No.66 Town Men’s Air Shock Absorption Shoes Review on YouTube, click here.
2023 Buyers Guide to the Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes
If you want to be at your dynamic best while playing outdoor basketball, it’s imperative that you have the right shoes. Not only will they boost your confidence, but they can actively improve your performance through means of increased traction, lateral movement, and bounce. In order to ensure you get the right pair for you, there are a number of factors that you need to consider prior to making your purchase.
3 Main Points to Consider:
- Durability: This is probably the single biggest problem people face after purchasing a pair of shoes for outdoor basketball use. Invariably, playing outdoors means playing on more abrasive surfaces. Instead of a hardwood floor, you’re likely to be playing on asphalt or bitumen, and as a result your shoes are going to cop more of a beating. Fortunately, there are plenty of shoes on the market that can deal with this, and if you can find these ones then you’re well on the way to getting a great pair of outdoor basketball shoes. Shoes which are of a lower quality, or which are designed purely for indoor use, will almost certainly result in disappointment for the buyer. They will rapidly begin to lose elements of performance, such as the sole wearing away, and will quickly become a much worse product than they were when you first purchased them. For this reason, make sure you read the reviews to determine whether the pair you’ve got your eyes on are going to last.
- Comfort: You can’t expect to be at your best if you’re constantly thinking about the blisters on your heels, or how your feet keep sliding around inside your shoes. For that reason, in order to be at your ankle-breaking, 3-point shooting best, it’s vital that you have a comfortable pair of shoes. At worst, an uncomfortable pair can impact your focus and ability to move, and make it difficult to play well. In contrast, an extremely comfortable pair can actually enhance your performance. Not only will they help you to avoid worrying about uncomfortable feet, but the best of the best can actively help your feet to breathe better, and feel more lightweight, enabling you to move like Kyrie Irving. Additionally, finding a pair of the best basketball shoes will ensure additional comfort under your favourite bball shoes.
- Support: Basketball is a game which requires lots of fast side to side movement and sometimes awkward landings, so having a shoe that provides a lot of support is extremely important, whether you’re playing indoors, outdoors, or on the moon. Outdoor basketball, however, demands lots of support perhaps even more so than indoor basketball. These games are often of a less structured, more pick-up style, and as a result the rules are often applied a little more lightly to these games. That means you’re more likely to have defenders landing under your feet on a long range shot, or dealing with excessive contact as you go up for a big board. As a result, you need to ensure that your outdoor basketballs are going to provide plenty of support for your ankles and your feet.
What is the biggest difference between outdoor basketball shoes vs indoor basketball sneakers?
The most significant difference you’ll find between indoor and outdoor basketball shoes is the materials they are made of. Outdoor shoes obviously need to deal with a much wider array of surfaces, whereas indoor shoes need only deal with a hardwood floor. The most common difference in materials between these kinds of shoes is found at the sole. In general, the most suitable shoes for outdoor basketball have rubber soles. These will be able to better deal with the demands of an abrasive surfaces, without falling apart within a matter of weeks, as you may find with a pair of indoor shoes.
Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes (2023 Buyers Guide):
Final Thoughts on Buying One of the Best Outdoor Basketball Hoops:
Every baller worth their salt needs a good pair of outdoor basketball shoes. You never know when, or where, you might pick up an unexpected game, and you don’t want to wear out your expensive indoor shoes by running around with them on a tough surface. It’s not always easy to know what to look for, but this article has made it easier by outlining the best outdoor basketball shoes this 2023 season, as well as some important factors to consider prior to making your purchase.
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