Basketball Phantom

10 Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes in 2021

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes

Playing basketball outside can be tough on your feet. This is why there’s a huge difference between shoes made for inside and outside. If you’re looking to improve your outdoor basketball game, you will need to find the best outdoor basketball shoes. And not just any kind of shoes – but ones that reflect your nature as a player.

This kind of research can take hours of your time. Precious time that no one wants to waste. Lucky for you, we spent the last week researching the best outdoor basketball shoes for you. Keep reading this article to discover what we found.

1. Adidas Men's Dame 5

adidas Men's Dame 5

The Adidas Men’s Dame 5 is an interesting outdoor basketball shoe as it doesn’t appear to be anything special. However, we all know that appearances can be deceiving.

This particular shoe comes with a rubber sole that will ensure your feet are nicely gripped to the ground. This can help with your balance and your overall game.

The bounce cushioning that comes with the shoe as standard will give you a lot more flexibility allow you to move around so much better. It does this without compromising the shoe, meaning it is stable enough so you’re less likely to turn your ankle.

These shoes would have been good for me when I was playing just yesterday. My most susceptible ankle turned slightly and I had to give up the game.

I think these shoes would have protected me just that little bit more. When it comes to the cost of these shoes they aren’t too expensive.

If you’re looking for a good shoe that will not let you down you may want to opt for this one. The lower price will attract a lot of people who may find out what a bargain it is.

Those who have bought this shoe in the past have said that they fit properly and they look good.

Things We Liked

Things We Didn’t Like

2. Nike Men’s LeBron Soldier XII

Nike Men's Lebron Soldier XII Basketball Shoe

The Nike Men’s LeBron Soldier XII Basketball Shoe is the kind of shoe that will make you look at it twice. Its futuristic finish means that it is nothing like any other shoe you would see on the basketball court.

These outdoor basketball shoes have a suede sole which makes them a little more comfortable and a lot more stylish. The dynamic criss-cross across the midfoot helps to keep your feet locked in.

The criss-cross also goes across the ankle, offering even more support. These shoes seem to be great as far as support is concerned and therefore, I think I might need to purchase them for myself and my cousin.

The Zoom Air Units aren’t just there to make your shoes more comfortable, they are also there to provide you with more cushioning. This means that someone could land on your feet and you’re less likely to feel it.

This would be a great addition to any game that is fast and furious. When it comes to the cost of these shoes you should expect to pay a little more.
These are shoes that stand out from the crowd in terms of their style and their finish.

Some people may find these basketball shoes to be a little too expensive, however.
Customers who have bought these shoes have mentioned that they fit very well and they are great to wear on an outdoor court. Others have said that the Nike Men’s LeBron Soldier XII Basketball Shoe is a little big.

Things We Liked ​

Things We Didn’t Like

3. Adidas Harden Vol. 2

adidas Harden Vol. 2 Shoe Men's Basketball

James Harden is one of the new breeds of NBA players, and his basketball shoes reflect that difference. Specifically, Harden is a quick, agile guard who relies on using his speed to create space for open lanes or a pull-up jumper. This being the case, it makes sense that these basketball shoes feature a low-top cut for maximum mobility. However, this also puts the Harden Vol. 2 in the awkward position of providing ankle support as well. While the ankle support is still definitely lacking with these shoes, they do have other support reinforcements. 

This is most notable in the support cage which is made of a much stiffer material than the rest of the shoe. Moreover, the support cage also features openings for custom lacing to provide further support–though none of this applies to the ankles. Still, the upper features a knit mesh construction that allows the foot to move and flex without feeling loose. On top of that, the knitted build also ensures that the Hardens are more durable than many other shoes featuring a mesh construction.

Things We Liked ​

Things We Didn’t Like

4. Under Armour Men's UA ClutchFit Drive 3

Under Armour Men's ClutchFit Drive 3 Basketball Shoes Red White

Under Armor is not known as much for their basketball equipment as they are for other sports, but the ClutchFit Drive 3 may change all of that. That is because these offer by far the best stability we saw which is especially crucial on outdoor courts where footing can be more difficult to find than on a clean, polished indoor court. This begins with the ClutchFit technology that features a unique construction design that allows these shoes to stretch and move while still holding up under pressure. 

These shoes also feature a sockliner like no other on our list with a wide variety of benefits that extend off the court as well. For instance, the OrthoLite sockliner is die-cut for a better fit that molds to the shape of your foot the longer you wear it. The liner is also made of antimicrobial materials to prevent the growth of odor-causing agents. Finally, the Bear Trap lacing is the icing on the cake, keeping the tongue tight against your foot. 

Things We Liked ​

Things We Didn’t Like

5. Under Armour Men's Ua Curry 2.5

Under Armour Men's Ua Curry 2.5

You will need to play a game or two to break these in. After that, they are perfectly fine. Unlike the Lebron shoes that were a snug fit, these are a bit wider.

If you play basketball regularly you know that a high top is a must. These aren’t as clunky as other high top shoes. The top part of the shoe is very convenient as it allows you to slide your foot inside without unlacing them completely.

The sizing on these runs a bit small, the shoe is round and has plenty of space for your toes, so make sure you get half size up when purchasing.

The best way to go about it would be to try them out at your local store before ordering them. Also, the laces are a bit long so make sure you tuck them in.

The Under Armour shoe sport some great quality rubber sole that will provide the much-needed grip for maximum traction when playing outside. If you’re driving for layups these shoes will be your best friend.

The herringbone pattern on the soles gives you a multi-directional ease of movement. Also, the thread pattern is made specifically to avoid collecting dust which is perfect for outdoor games.

We truly loved the molded upper. It wraps around your foot providing great support. All in all, they are lightweight, comfortable, offer enough support and will hold up a long time.

Things We Liked ​

Things We Didn’t Like

6. Under Armour Men’s Team Drive 4

Under Armour Men's Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoe, Cardinal (606)/Cardinal, 8

The Under Armour Men’s Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoe has a very sophisticated finish and looks like it means business. Price-wise, this shoe isn’t any more expensive than some of the shoes that we’ve seen.

The rubber sole has been added to ensure that you do not slip quite so much when you’re playing outdoors. The lacing can be done up to almost the top of the shoe so that you get a better fit.

With an external heel counter, you are offered even more support as it helps to keep your foot locked in. this means you are a lot less likely to move around inside the shoe than you thought.
I would have loved a shoe like this a few months ago. My feet were moving around all over the place and it was quite distracting.

I think these shoes would have helped my game a bit more. The full-length construction makes the shoe look a little more like a boot but it is a nice touch.

The toe wrap means you have a lot more flexibility in your forefoot, which is never a bad thing. The overall finish is quite modern, but it doesn’t look like it’s trying too hard to be modern.

Things We Liked

Things We Didn’t Like

7. NIKE Mens Air Force 1 High 07

NIKE Air Force 1 Mid '07 Men's (11.5 D(M) US)

Nike makes our list yet again, this time with their own throwback that has quickly become a great shoe for both playing or fashion. That said, some of the old school design elements do still trip people up–though not literally. Instead, these shoes are noted for being uncomfortable to play in due to an oversized midsole. This will affect high arches more than most, but extended playing time will still lead to foot fatigue for a lot of people. 

Outside of that, there are a number of features that make these a great pair of shoes of outdoor basketball. For one, the outsole is one of the most durable that we found and will hold better on rougher courts than many others. In fact, these are some of the most all-around durable outdoor basketball shoes we saw–period. On top of that, these are the high-top model of the Air Force 1s which offer additional ankle support. As if that were not enough, the Air Force 1s also have an ankle strap to provide even more support. 

Things We Liked

Things We Didn’t Like

8. Nike Kyrie 3

Nike Kyrie 3 (Black/White-Silt Red, 10)

The Nike Kyrie 3 is a high-quality shoe option that is not only durable but also extremely comfortable when competing in a sport like basketball. This shoe is capable of providing exceptional traction, and it also is constructed to be lightweight so that there is no awkward feeling when wearing these shoes for long periods of time.

This shoe provides strong ankle support which is a nice plus for users that are looking for this particular aspect. They also come true to size unlike other shoes that seem to vary off into different sizes and lengths.

From an overall perspective, the Nike Kyrie 3 provides great value to customers that are looking for an outdoor basketball shoe. You don’t quite have to break the bank to acquire this shoe, but it is still constructed with high quality design elements to ensure that it is worth the price.

While there are not a wide variety of color schemes to choose from, the standard design is appreciated by customers because it is simple and not too tacky. The biggest factor that catches the attention of customers is the fact that they are comfortable and break in easily over a short period of time.

After considering all of the important factors that relate to the Nike Kyrie 3, it is clearly a high quality and affordable option when it comes to looking for an outdoor shoe. If the price is right for you, then you should certainly consider purchasing this shoe because it provides a list of great features while still retaining an acceptable price. There are many reasons to make this purchase, you just have to figure out which reason is right for you!

Things We Liked

Things We Didn’t Like

9. Under Armour Men's Hovr Havoc

Under Armour Men's Drive 5 Low Basketball Shoe, Midnight Navy (401)/Red, 7

The Under Armour Men’s Hovr Havoc Low Basketball Shoe has a rubber sole which makes them better at sticking to the ground than some other shoes. The mesh-like material gives these shoes a modern touch and the lacing is long enough to ensure the shoes can fit a little better.

Price-wise, these are some of the cheapest shoes we have seen so far, making them more appealing to those who want to spend less. I would have loved these shoes a year ago when I was short on cash.

You do not always need to spend a lot of money on basketball shoes to come away with a decent pair. However, you do have to make sure you try them on in the shop first so you know how well they fit.

While these shoes are not the most expensive or fanciest shoes out there they are good in terms of comfort, flexibility, and support. The synthetic overlay helps to keep your midfoot locked in offering you less chance of moving around involuntarily.

The UA HOVR foam has been made to give you back some of the energy that you use. This could mean that you end up playing even better than before.

Those who have worn these shoes have said that they are good for the money. They have also mentioned that they fit well and are quite comfortable and last a long time.

Things We Liked

Things We Didn’t Like

10. Reebok Kamikaze I

Reebok Kamikaze I Mid Mens in Flash Red/Black/White, 11

Reebok has not been the most popular basketball shoe company as of late, but they were neck and neck with Nike in the 80s and 90s. From that era, one of the most complete basketball shoes were produced, and Reebok has brought back that fan favorite. The Kamikaze I is the shoe made Seattle Supersonic Shawn Kemp who was noted for both his power and his speed. As such, Reebok made a pair of shoes that can accommodate the needs of a big man with some moves. 

Specifically, these are some of the heaviest shoes on our list but has a great deal to do with the materials rather than the construction. The uppers of these shoes are made of leather which provides a great deal of stability but also weighs it down. Still, the leather uppers also provide a great deal of strength and durability to the shoes as well. Also keeping in line with the basketball shoes of that era, the Kamikazes have plenty of impact cushioning utilizing the air bubbles of the age. 

Things We Liked

Things We Didn’t Like

Buyer’s Guide


The cut is generally considered one of the more important considerations as this will impact a number of different qualities that determine how well the shoes feel to play in. Specifically, the cut will create a spectrum along which stability and a mobility are opposed such that an increase in one leads to a decrease in the other. 

Low-Top – This is the most common type of cut for shoes in general, but in basketball, it has only recently become popular. This type of cut provides for the maximal amount of mobility but provides the least amount of stability. This cut is often preferred by smaller, quicker players who rely on speed and mobility to drive to the goal or create space at the arc–whether as part of a pick or on iso. 

Mid-Top – This is the “standard” cut for most basketball shoes, though they are decreasing in popularity due to players and positions becoming more specialized. As the name suggests, this type of cut sits right at the ankle but does not cover it like a high-top. Following the mobility to stability exchange, this cut provides a nice balance between the two. 

High-Top – High-tops were once the most popular type of basketball shoe, but with the game moving to a quicker, smaller style, they have fallen a bit out of favor. Granted, if you are a big man that plays in the paint, you will still likely prefer the stability of a high-top cut over the mobility of a lower cut. This is because the basket is inherently crowded and is the most likely part of the court where a player might roll their ankle. 

Outer Sole

There is a bit of disagreement among players as to whether the cut or the outer sole is the most important part of an outdoor basketball shoe. This is because injuries are more likely outdoors in less than ideal conditions, but the outer sole will determine how much traction you have. On top of that, the outer sole will ultimately impact how long the shoe’s lifespan is along with the construction of the upper and soles. 

While most of the time you will look for basketball shoes with a softer rubber outer sole, outdoor basketball shoes perform better with harder outer soles. This is because most outdoor basketball courts are played over concrete or some other stone mixture. As such, the outer sole will wear down quicker on an outdoor court than an indoor court, and soft rubber does not last long outdoors. 


The midsole may not get as much love or attention as the other parts of a pair of basketball shoes, but it impacts your game nearly as much. The midsole will generally impact how comfortable the shoes feel, how well they absorb the impact of jumping, and how well you can push off the ground. You would think with all of these qualities impacted that both consumers and manufacturers would pay more attention to the midsole. 

Oddly enough, most midsoles are still made of EVA foam which is a fairly static material that does not respond to player’s movements. Some of the more advanced basketball shoes use midsole materials that react to the player’s actions to provide either more cushion for landing or a stiffer shank to push off. While the shank is technically a different part of the shoe, it often works hand in hand with the midsole. 


In the end, the best outdoor basketball shoe is the one that accommodates your particular style of play, but we think the Lebron XII do this better than the rest. While they do not accentuate mobility or stability, they do offer a nice balance of features so that you get both. The hyperposite materials reinforce strategic points without unduly restricting your movement. The single piece upper also contributes to a good feel and fit without limiting your movement or reducing the provided support. Just make sure that the support reinforcements do not bite into your ankles, or you will likely find them a bit uncomfortable.