Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes – What to Look For

Sometimes coming up with an ideal outdoor shoe may seem like a challenging task, especially if you don’t know how to go about it. This article will help you out by pointing out some of the critical factors you should look out for when choosing an outdoor basketball shoe.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Basketball Shoe

Rubber Outsole

An outsole should be your first consideration when buying a shoe that will primarily serve your outdoor needs. Rubber outsoles are an ideal choice, and while a solid or a translucent rubber outsole is an excellent idea, always bear in mind their density or thickness is less.

A dense or thick rubber outsole will tend to last longer due to abrasive impacts from hard outdoor textures, while a less dense or soft outsole will wear out quickly because of their less dense nature. But knowing the density of a shoe outsole is sometimes not easy, but there are a few tips you can apply.

First is watching or reading an online review from a popular and credible source. Most buyers of the product will reveal the pros and cons of the shoe, which involves whether they are dense or not.

If you are also conversant with been able to detect the quality nature of an outsole, physically inspecting the product is also an ideal way of telling if the rubber outsole is dense or not. This is if you are not going to be buying online. While many may prefer online shopping due to its convenience, sparing time to visit a retail shop can prove advantageous if you have the opportunity of physically inspecting your product before paying, it’ll give you a clue which outsole will hold well against sturdy outdoor surfaces.

Another way you can tell if a rubber outsole is ideal for outdoor use is by examining the density of their pattern. Spotting this feature is quite simple, and you can be able to tell by the thickness of the shoe traction pattern whether they are ideal for outdoor use or not.

These steps are necessary if you are to come with ideal outdoor shoes, but if you already have your mind made up on buying a specific brand that was not built to meet up with harsh outdoor conditions, you will end up buying a shoe that is not dense and wears down rapidly.

Pattern of Traction

Traction patterns are another way of determining an ideal outdoor shoe. Aggressive traction patterns may seem suitable for indoor use, but when they face the abrasive outdoor surfaces, they tend to wear down quickly. To avoid this experience, I’ll recommend going for something with a recessed traction pattern that digs into the shoe’s outsole. A recessed traction pattern will aid uniform wear and tear, even when it comes to rough surfaces, and they are generally more durable.

Flat patterns also work great if you don’t fancy a recessed traction pattern. They tend to withstand the harshness of any surface and hold well against dust and debris retention, and they also wear out uniformly.

Nature of materials

Materials are essential to the durability of an outdoor shoe, and some tend to last longer while others do not. An outdoor shoe with raw materials may feel more comfortable on the feet, but may also tend to wear out more quickly than a modern synthetic design. To avoid this, therefore, it is better to go for an outdoor shoe that is built with a TPU (plastic) material like Hyperfuse, they are generally more durable.

If, however, you fancy and decide to opt for raw material, going for a pair with numerous overlays at regular high-wear points like the heels and toes are ideal.


This may sound like a strange addition and is most times ignored by most buyers of outdoor shoes, but yes, cushion matters, and it really should not be overlooked when considering an outdoor shoe.

Due to the abrasive nature of outdoor surfaces, playing on them for probably a long time will not feel comfortable without the right amount of cushion. Not just comfort, but having the right amount of cushion will make sure your knees remain fresh for a longer time. No matter your preference for cushions, be sure your shoes have the right amount of it.

For a Zoom Air choice, a full length is ideal, but if you must go for something a little less, heel and forefoot are recommended. For a foamy choice like the Micro G, the bouncy and rubber variation should be preferred over the Curry 3, which is generally firm. Noticeable full-length Air shoes of all varieties are suitable for outdoor use if you consider protection against impact.

Again, if you fancy longevity, exposed cushions are ideal. For instance, the Nike LeBron 8 and Air Jordan 11 both have the full-length cushion. While the former is exposed, the latter is encapsulated. When you wear them consistently, its pylon foam will become exposed, which ultimately means you must have used them long enough for outdoor basketball, but your cushion is still intact. However, this is the case with the LeBron 8, which gives more impact protection, but a more vulnerable cushion.


Our final consideration on the outdoor basketball shoes buying guide is the price. Once you decided on your preferred choice, finding a product that fits your budget is necessary, and to find products at a discounted price, utilizing outlets is perfect for this.

Regardless of the growing concern that outlets feature products of the previous year, they still boast of the same specs as the latest, and you still get the opportunity of scrutinizing before buying. Purchasing the latest at a full-price and using them outdoors is always a good idea if it fits your budget; however, getting with fits your budget is still not a bad idea.


Finding the right outdoor basketball shoes can seem daunting, especially if it is your first time. You can hardly go wrong on size preference. When you consider other factors like price-friendliness, the amount of cushion, nature of materials used, traction pattern, and the outsole, which will give you an ultimate outdoor experience, you need more than beginners luck to succeed. Following our outdoor basketball shoes buying guide will provide you with a good head start.