For people who love playing basketball outdoors, there will be times when you start paying more attention to the shoes. Whether your ankles have been injured, the shoes wear out quickly or you notice a drop in performance, you slowly realize the importance of investing in a good pair.
However, you get overwhelmed by the vast catalogue in the market today and don’t know what to choose. This is the reason that we write this article, to help you pick up the best outdoor basketball shoes that suits your gaming needs.
Why Do We Need Basketball Shoes?
The first and most important reason why you need basketball shoes is injury prevention.
It is not unusual to see people playing basketball in their running shoes. However, unlike running, basketball is a high intensity game that involves a lot of jumping, stopping and changing direction abruptly.
Basketball shoes are specifically designed to match that intensity. In particular, it provides ankle support where running shoes lack, and acts as shock absorbers to protect your knee joints and spine.
According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, the longer you play basketball shoes in running shoes, the more likely you are to suffer from problems in the ankle, hip, leg and lower back.
Place a running shoe next to a basketball one and you can see clearly the difference. While the running shoe is small and light, the basketball shoe is tall and bulky. The height of the shoe helps protect your ankles while the heaviness enables absorption ability.
Please do not get me wrong here. A good pair of basketball shoes would not escalate your skills, but it will definitely bring out the best of you on the court.
The sole of the shoe has excellent traction which allows for a good grip with the court, whereas the outer cover gives a sense of lightness and flexibility, As a result, you will feel comfortable to play and move in many different positions.
Basketball requires a lot of powerful movements which ordinary shoes and even other sports shoes (like tennis shoes) cannot bear for a long time. If you intend to play regularly, investing in a pair of basketball shoes would be much cheaper than changing your other shoes every 2 weeks.
Now that you know the reason why we need basketball shoes, you might ask whether we need different pairs to play indoors and outdoors. Below is the answer.
Outdoor Shoes vs Indoor Shoes
Sometimes people often use the same basketball shoes for both outdoor and indoor games.
However, there are 2 main differences between these two types of shoes which, if you understand and apply accordingly, would help boost your performance and give your feet a great sense of comfort.
The indoor court has a smooth, wooden surface whereas the outdoor one is harsher and is often made of concrete or asphalt. As a result, the traction – the sole of the indoor basketball shoes is much softer.
On the other hand, the sole of the outdoor shoes is harder, so that it will not wear out quickly and can stick to the pavement. Try to wear the indoor shoes in outdoor games and you will see not only your shoes get damaged fast but you will find yourself constantly skidding and slipping.
If you still find it hard to differentiate between a soft and hard sole, watch the video of Steven Tsakanikas where he instructed you how to use the coin to differentiate between the two types:
When you play outdoors, it will be hotter than when you play indoors. This is because the temperature in indoor game is usually regulated, while you cannot control temperature outdoors.
To fix this disadvantage, the outdoor basketball shoes are made with small vents on the cover, to allow heat coming out and air coming in to cool down your feet.
Without these vents, your feet are more likely to get blisters due to all the sweat stuck inside when moving. Furthermore, the vents also help reduce foot odor caused by poor ventilation.
Now that you know the difference between outdoor and indoor basketball shoes, you can start shopping but always bear in mind the following factors:
Essential Factors To Consider
When Buying Outdoor Basketball Shoes
This is perhaps the most important factor you need to take into account. If you are uncomfortable wearing shoes, you cannot perform at your best.
Make sure that you are getting the perfect size and width for your shoe. If it is too tight, it will limit your movement and put unnecessary pressure on your feet. On the other hand, if it is too big, you will feel your feet constantly jiggling inside or even slipping out of the shoes as you jump fast.
In addition, look for cushion and foamy support in the shoes. Basketball is a tough sport. You have to jump, dunk and stomp the court frequently.
Without cushion and foamy support, you will leave the game full of feet blisters due to the rough pavement. The cushion also absorbs the shocks of your landings, which otherwise would have been absorbed by your feet.
Always choose shoes which have good traction to prevent any kind of injury or accidents caused by slipping. The best type has hard rubber and is slip-proof.
Besides, look for shoes that have traction set into the outsole (for example: Air Jordan 2010) or flat traction surface (for example: FILA 96) since these traction patterns are the best to wear on rough surfaces.
Safety is also ensured by the perfect ankle height. With constant jumping, stopping and changing direction, basketball puts your ankles at high risks of injuries. Therefore, choose high-top basketball shoes to provide the extra support that your ankles need.
If you intend to be a long-term commitment to basketball, durability of the shoe is another important factor to consider.
Since you will be playing on a concrete or asphalt surface, your shoes are likely to wear down faster than when you play on hardwood floor. Therefore, choose thick outsold made from high-quality rubber.
You don’t need to sacrifice style for function. After years of conducting research, popular sportswear brands like Adidas, Nike, Reebok….have produced various stylish looks for you to choose from.
Pick one that suits you best. Research has shown that you when you look better, you feel better and thus perform better.
This is the last but definitely not least important factor to consider. There are various price ranges of basketball shoes now in the market. Aim for a pair that suits your needs, can protect and make you comfortable, but try to keep it as cheap as possible.
The best advice I could give is to balance quality and price, since a good bargain but low quality is useless. To make shopping easier for you, we have compiled the list of top 5 best outdoor basketball shoes in the current market.
Top 5 Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2017
Nike Jordan Men’s Air Jordan 1 Basketball Shoe
This basketball shoe offers exceptional durability, comfort and support. Made of leather – premium leather to be exact, the shoe can withstand any harsh outdoor conditions and thus can last many years.
The rubber outsole further enhances the durability of the shoes, as well as prevents any kind of injuries or accidents caused by slipping.
With regard to comfort and support, the air sole unit in the midsole acts as an excellent shock absorber, making it incredibly easy for you to do all kinds of powerful movements in the court.
In addition, the top of the shoe is perforated to keep your feet cool, preventing blisters and bad odor caused by sweat accumulating. The high-top design also ensures that your ankles are fully supported during the game.
If durability as well as comfort and support come high in your priority list, this is the one for you. However, these shoes are small, so remember to order half size bigger than your regular size.
Nike Men’s Lunar Hyperquickness Tb Basketball Shoe
As a wide-footed player, it is often difficult for me to find a perfectly fit pair of shoes. Luckily, Nike understood this problem and produced this particular shoe to fix it. The forefront of the shoe is slightly board whereas the upper part is made of mesh material, all of which allow the shoe to fit any shape of feet.
Another advantage of the shoe lies in its Phylon midsole, which gives you lightweight feel when playing. The high-top design also offers you excellent ankle support.
If your feet are too wide for normal outdoor basketball shoes, this is the solution. However, bear in mind that since the upper part has mesh design, the shoe does not remain intact after an extended period of use.
Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Basketball
This particular shoe features a classic design, simple yet stylish. Made from 100% canvas, you can be sure that this high quality pair of shoes will serve you for many years. In addition, the shoe got a quality vulcanized rubble sole, making it durable to any kind of rough surfaces.
With regard to comfort, the top of the shoe is made of rubber, allowing your toes to move freely without getting pain. The high top design also helps protect your ankles, which are prone to injuries due to constant jumping, stopping and starting.
Not only is the shoe suitable for outdoor basketball, you can wear it doing other physical activities such as lifting weights in the gym, or even hanging out with friends. In fact, many celebrities wear this shoe as their street-style look, making it a popular trend right now.
If you are not a fan of the fancy, bulky basketball shoes of today, the simplicity and classic design of this shoe will satisfy you.
Nonetheless, you might need to purchase additional insole to fully support your feet during the game. Moreover, due to limited breathability, the shoe might not be suitable to those who sweat a lot.
Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy 8 Basketball Shoe
This Adidas shoe has been specifically designed to ensure the ultimate speed and precision in every step you make in the court. It is not an exaggeration to say that the shoe will make you feel like it is part of your foot.
The shoe features PUREMOTION midsole technology that mimics the natural efficiency, efficiency and rapid reaction time of your barefoot. It is not easy to find this feature in other products.
Thanks to it, you will feel incredibly comfortable and agile when moving around the court. The upper part of the shoe is made from mixing synthetic material which allows mobility and flexibility during the game.
Therefore, if you want to boost up your performance, this shoe is a great choice. The only downside of the shoe is that it does not provide you with maximum ankle support.
Nike Boy’s Team Hustle D 7 Basketball Shoe
This shoe is ranked among the best kids basketball shoe, offering high level of durability and great comfort and fit for your child’s feet.
The shoe is made from synthetic and mesh material, allowing it to last for many years to come. Furthermore, the rubber outsole features herringbone pattern, making the shoe durable on even the toughest surfaces.
With regard to comfort, the deep flex grooves on the outsole allows for excellent flexibility and natural range of motion around the court. The perforated panels also enhance breathability, preventing blisters and bad smell resulting from too much sweat.
If you are a parent having kids who love playing basketball, there is no perfect gift than this shoe. However, be sure to order one size larger than your kid’s regular size, since this shoe has a relatively small form.
The right pair of outdoor basketball shoes not only protects your body, enhances your performance but also saves your budget and gives you that cool look in the court.
We have covered above the best models of outdoor basketball shoes on the market. If you end up picking shoes from our review list, and we really hope you do, you can be sure your money is well-spent on high quality products.
Each of them has both advantages and disadvantages as reviewed, so be sure to compare prices and choose the one that best suits your needs.