Best Basketball Shoes For Traction


Anyone who has been involved in a fast-paced game of basketball knows that your shoes having adequate traction gives you the ability to make quick turns to outmanoeuvre the other team.  There are ways you can temporarily get your shoes to have more traction, like grip spray or traction boards, but ultimately getting high-traction basketball shoes will give you the best long term results. Here we are going to look at what are currently the best basketball shoes for traction.

If you’re interested in some methods of temporarily getting more traction for your basketball shoes be sure to check out our write up of 6 quick tips to improve basketball shoe grip.

Factors that affect the level of traction you get

If you just want to know the best basketball shoes for traction and not interested in the reasons behind then you can just click here to get straight to the results! Otherwise, let’s get a bit of background into what affects the level of traction you get from your basketball shoes.

Playing surface

Unfortunately, what might be the best basketball shoes for outdoors may not be the best basketball shoes for the court. Outdoors you will have a lot more loose debris and a less smooth surface for your shoes to get grip on, while indoors you are playing on a near-perfect surface that has, hopefully, been swept clean of all debris.

Basketball shoes for outdoors will tend to have wider and deeper grooves in the tread and it will be made from a harder, more durable rubber than it’s indoor counterpart.

Sole pattern

Did you know the Air Jordan IX had dates and symbols that were meaningful to Michael Jordan on the sole of the shoe? This is where the right level of style verses functionality has to come into play. People like having patterns that look interesting but this has to be balanced for ensuring the best possible traction.

Nike Herringbone Design

The herringbone design is strongly favored by Nike and other designers as it provides great traction for multidirectional footwork, something that you will be doing a lot in-game.

The type of rubber used

Rubber’s composition and attributes are dictated by the chemicals included in the rubber and the amount of time it is heated. Finding the right level from the designers is also important, a super tacky rubber will hold on to the surface of the court really well but it will also deteriorate quickly, not ideal when someone has spent $100 on a pair.

The best basketball shoes for traction


Under Armour Men’s Jet Mid Basketball Shoe

Under Armour Men's Jet Mid Basketball Shoe


No matter what your style you’ll be able to find a pair of these Under Armour Jet Mid basketball shoes that fits. They have a huge range of colours that goes from discrete to quite striking colors. Beyond the aesthetic, these are a nice pair of lightweight and flexible basketball shoes.


  • Light and flexible
  • The mesh upper is nice for ventilation
  • Quick to break in as they don’t start off too firm
  • Nice range of colors available


  • While it’s only a con if you don’t know about it, these come up half a size short. So, if you’re a size 10 then buy them half a size larger for them to fit properly.
  • The tongue cushion could be a bit thicker

Check prices on Amazon.

adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe

adidas Performance Men's Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe

The adidas Performance Crazy Explosive basketball shoes are a great option for anyone who wants solid ankle support from their shoes.  Unlike some other basketball shoes on this list you can go with your actual size and not worry about going up or down a size. For the price, these are a great choice and should be a serious contender if you’re looking for basketball shoes with a lot of traction.


  • A lot of ankle support
  • Great traction allowing you to change direction fast.
  • Great value for the money


  • Not massively breathable, which can lead to sweaty feet.

Check prices on Amazon

adidas Performance Men’s Light Em Up 2 Basketball Shoes

adidas Performance Men's Light Em Up 2 Basketball Shoes


Adidas have a long history of making sports shoes and these are designed to be a little different. They have gone with an interesting choice in that the tongue doesn’t attach at the bottom like most other shoes you own but actually to one of the sides. This gives you a sleek look on one side of the shoe with the laces attaching to loops on that side.


  • Has a great level of grip even on dusty floors
  • An interesting design that will get people’s attention


    • A bit ridged and can feel a little uncomfortable
    • The tongue being on one side of the shoes can feel a bit unusual.

      Check prices on Amazon

adidas Harden Vol. 2 Shoe Men’s Basketball

adidas Harden Vol. 2 Shoe Men's Basketball


If you’re a fan of funky colored basketball shoes then adidas’ Harden Vol. 2 provides some great choices (check out the multi-colored ones). The adidas Harden Vol. 2 basketball shoes are a super comfortable choice if you’re going to be playing for a while. The mesh upper helps to keep your feet cool while playing.


  • A nice variety of colors to choose from
  • Really comfortable
  • A useful tag on the back for pulling on


  •  Can get a little pricey.

Check prices on Amazon


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