Unlike with other kinds of footwear, a lot of science is involved in athletic trainers. This is true for hoops kicks as most of the best ones out there involved a lot of research and testing before they’re released. The best traction basketball shoes, for one, required a close look at not just the wearer, their playing style, and their foot biomechanics. They also considered the kinds of surfaces one will play on.
To help you better understand what the best basketball shoes with the best traction can offer, read on.
Best Traction Basketball Shoes All Time
1. Nike Kyrie Flytrap II- Nike Basketball Shoes with Best Traction
Let’s start off our list with a very sticky pair, the Nike Men’s Kyrie Flytrap II signature shoe. These are the second installment in Kyrie Irving’s signature shoe model line, offering his fans a closer look and even a taste of what it feels like in his shoes. Or at least a pair of shoes made with his high-energy best performance in mind.
Designed to respond accordingly to signature shoe Irving’s dizzying footwork, these shoes are designed to securely contain your feet while ensuring agility. Its mid-top style certainly helps as it allows freedom of movements in the ankle, letting wearers skirt around the hardcourt without any restrictions.
To guarantee the wearer’s precision and safety, these shoes are also made to be very grippy. It actually explains the name since flytraps are known for being very sticky. From the material to the beautiful traction pattern they used, it proves to be very effective in gripping hardcourt surfaces. Compared to the first Flytrap, this is actually deemed to be much better.
If you’re worried about its response to quick cuts and full stops, you don’t have to because its Zoom-Air forefoot unit and underfoot cushioning promises zero lag response. With this, you can be sure to get the performance you can expect from a signature model shoe.
Sure, not everyone is too fond of its firm cushioning but as it offers very quick response, some tend to prefer it. If you’re one who can deal with some firmness, this might be a good choice for the best Nike basketball shoes for traction for you.
2. Nike PG 3- Basketball Shoes With Best Cushion and Traction
Another highly recommended best traction Nike basketball shoes is the Nike Men’s PG 3 Multicolor/Black Synthetic Basketball Shoe. These are the fourth installment in the Paul George’s signature model series and was highly anticipated for a lot of reason.
Since Paul George is known for his exciting collaborations, the news of the release of PG3 stirred up some excitement in many. When it was announced that he’ll be working with NASA on his next pair, people got more excited. It’s just fitting since the NBA icon is well known for his moon shot. The hype was justified when the kicks came out and proved to be high-performance pairs with a lot of oomph.
The biggest draw of the PG 3, aside from the people who are connected to it, is possibly its traction. It features a high-quality outsole rubber with moon crater-inspired traction pattern. Their circular treads promise multi directional support that will let you stop on a dime which is also perfectly suited for Paul George’s play style.
3. Nike Russell Westbrook- Best Basketball Shoes with Good Traction
Interestingly named, with how nice the traction of the Nike Mens air Jordan Why Not Zer0.2 Light, it’s really a question of why shouldn’t you give these kicks a chance if you’re after some grippy hoops shoes.
As a part of the Russell Westbrook’s contribution to the air Jordan line, these shoes certainly has an automatic pull to it. However, it ups its appeal with its interesting design that’s both retro and futuristic at the same time.
It certainly captures the point guard’s playing style which he describes as ‘owning the chaos’. So as interesting as its name is, its aesthetics will also have you take a second look. It’s certainly eye-catching and will have you turn heads on and off the hardcourt.
Performance-wise, it won’t let you down. It will help you keep the eyes on you that were initially attracted by your kicks’ aesthetics. Its Zoom-laden cushioning promises comfort and responsiveness so you can do get a lot from the shoes while you move around. Impact protection is also guaranteed.
These hoops shoes are also be the best basketball shoes for dusty courts. Its XDR outsole will hold down even on dirty surfaces so you’re guaranteed that it can be very grippy.
4. Adidas Originals Pro Bounce 2018- Best Traction and Cushion Basketball Shoes
As one of the few exciting things offered by the brand in 2018, we’ve figured the Adidas Originals Men’s Pro Bounce 2018 Basketball Shoe also deserve a spot on this list. It certainly made up for the lack of options from the brand as it offers solid performance for all-rounders.
These shoes replaced the Crazy Explosives so it was made to suit the needs of high-powered performers. It was designed to keep wearers light on their feet without sacrificing support, comfort, and protection.
Its mesh upper that is breathable, durable, and lightweight. It will move with the feet, especially with the help of the good lockdown system that comes with these shoes. It’s also very comfortable as it won’t even require some break-in time.
Support is also great for these shoes. Since it’s a mid-top, you can’t expect locked in ankles but there’s some support there. It will keep your feet in place with the help of its solid lockdown and the torsional support provided by the TPU spring plates on the forefoot of the shoe. The flat and wide midsole is also appreciated by wearers.
As for its traction, it’s outsoles are deemed as some of the most high-performance basketball shoes in the market. It’s comparable to the best traction basketball shoes of all time, the Harden Vol. 1 as its rubber compound feels very similar to the said shoe. It can also handle outdoor hardcourts without a fuss.
5. Nike Zoom Rev II- Best Traction Basketball Shoes for Dusty Courts
It might not look like much but the Nike Men’s Zoom Rev II Basketball Shoe is also a nice pick if you’re after a great value pair for shooting hoops. These high-tops offer great comfort and support without breaking the bank.
The Zoom Rev II may not be a signature model or a tech-laden pair but it gets the job done. Its base is very stable, promising good balance. Alongside with its heel wrap that connects to the lacing system, you can count on it to keep your flat feet in place even as you run around.
Comfort is also something these shoes can offer. Thanks to its Zoom Air cushioning, it can certainly help keep your feet cozy even while you pound the hardcourt. Its stretchable mesh upper also flexible and snugly wraps around your feet so you don’t have to fret about breaking them in.
As for its traction, it features a basic herringbone pattern all throughout the underfoot of the shoe. It’s nothing fancy but it does a good job in supporting quick movements. It also has a fun small detail: its swoosh logo is imprinted at the bottom of its sole. It’s like a little surprise to those looking at your shoes while you move about.
6. Nike Men’s KD Trey 5- Best Grip Basketball Shoes
Also known as the Nike KD Trey 5, the Nike Men’s Low-Top Sneakers is our first low-cut offering in our list of the best nike traction basketball shoes. What makes it so special? It’s billed as a ‘takedown sneaker’, offering wearers all the good things from a signature model pair sans the hefty price tag.
So what can you expect from the KD Trey 5 VI? Lots, apparently. Since it’s still made with Kevin Durant in mind, these shoes has a lot for offer even if it doesn’t really look like a takedown model.
For starters, you can count on its good lockdown. The midfoot strap can guarantee that it will hold the shoe nicely down on your feet. The fit is comfortable, too, especially since the upper material is soft and the entirety of the shoe is flexible.
Since we also elect this shoe to be one of the best traction and comfort basketball shoes, you should also know that it has good traction. The flex groove traction pattern is nothing groundbreaking but combined with its Zoom Air unit on the forefoot, its performance is enhanced. Combined with durable rubber, it provides ample grip on indoor and outdoor surfaces.
7. Adidas Men’s Dame 5- Best Basketball Shoes for Traction and Ankle Support
For a no-frills pick, check out the Adidas Men’s Dame 5. Damian Lillard’s fifth shoe in his signature series won the hearts and feet of many for its straightforward approach. It practically proves that a good pair of hoops kicks don’t need too many fancy add-ons to it if it’s well built.
The Dame 5 definitely ticks all of the boxes when it comes to the best traction basketball shoes ever. It has great cushioning, support, traction, lockdown, fit, and even price tag. Many believe that it was able to go beyond what the Dame 4 offered which was considered the best shoes in the series so far when it was released. When the 5th iteration of the Dame series got out, though, it certainly pushed the older version aside and reigned supreme.
Sure, the Dame 5 might not exactly look as chic and stylish as many of the other items on this best traction basketball shoes list but it definitely made up for it in the aspects that really matter. While not many might want to sport these out of the hardcourt, they will definitely be excited to put them on for their regular games and scrimmages with friends.
8. Nike AIR Precision II- Finest Traction Basketball Shoes Ever
Next up on our picks for the best basketball shoes with traction and cushion is the Nike Men’s AIR Precision II NBK Basketball Shoe. Like the other non-signature model pieces from the brand, it offers great performance with great value, making it worth looking into even without a bigshot’s name attached to it.
Often compared to the Flytraps and the KD Trey 5 VI, you can certainly expect great things from the Air Precision II NBK. These hoops kicks are made for all kinds of basketball player so it comes with good cushioning, support, and flexibility. Its traction is wonderful as well and grips all kinds of surfaces.
9. Adidas Crazy Explosive 2017 Primeknit- Best Indoor Basketball Shoes for Traction
The Adidas Men’s Crazy Explosive 2017 Primeknit Basketball Shoe is one of the many best traction high top basketball shoes available today. It’s designed for high-performance without sacrificing its style making it a very popular pick for many.
The first thing that one will notice about these shoes is its sleek and modern design. It’s exactly what many would expect a modern hoops shoes would look like. Since clunky sneakers are more of a retro thing, sleeker varieties made of lightweight materials are more contemporary and in vogue right now.
It’s not just about the looks, though, these shoes are also hailed as some of the best basketball shoes cushion traction. Thanks to its Boost midsole cushioning, it provides the boost most ballers need to get explosive energy returns to enhance their hardcourt movements.
As for traction, these shoes fall under the category of the best indoor basketball shoes for traction. Their outsoles are grippy but are soft and pliable so they’re not recommended for outdoor use.
Lightweight, modern, stylish, and made to perform, the Crazy Explosive 2017 can really be the perfect pair for many ballers out there.
10. Under Armour Curry 3- Best Basketball Shoes for Traction and Cushion
Completing our list is our pick for the best basketball shoes for traction and ankle support, the Under Armour Curry 3 Zero Basketball Shoe. These widely popular hoops sneakers appeal greatly to a large chunk of the baller population for its great value and performance.
Designed with the powerful gameplay of Stephen Curry in mind, Under Armour Curry 3 shoes hold great promise to wearers who want to perform better on the hardcourt. With its feature-loaded cushioning, it can certainly give you the support you need for your dynamic footwork.
Despite being a mid-top shoe, though, it has a well-designed collar that works wonderfully in providing ankle support. Its Achilles pillow further helps bolster the ankles to keep them in place without restricting your movements.
As for its traction, its highly durable rubber construction is coupled with a modified herringbone pattern that allows it to grip the floor nicely. Since the material used isn’t too soft, it also suitable for outdoor use.
Buyer’s Guide: What You Need to Know About Best Basketball Shoes with Traction
Feeling a bit overwhelmed and maybe a bit more confused by the 1o options we’ve presented above? We’ll help you understand the importance of good traction on basketball shoe with the discussions below.
What is Traction?
Traction is defined by the dictionary as the act of pulling or drawing of something over a surface. It refers to the grip of the underpart of a moving object to the surface it’s moving on. Without it, objects can just slide over the surface, causing loss of control over their movement.
When playing any kind of sport that will require you to be sure of your footing on the ground, having ample traction is necessary. It will help you control how you propel your body to whichever way you wish to move toward. It can also help you effectively stop.
Good traction is very important in basketball since basketball player are required to move, stop, jump, and stand firm on their feet. With the dynamic footwork involved in the sport, it’s crucial that you have a say on how you control your placement on the hardcourt. The right shoes will help you with this.
Why Do Great Traction Shoes Matter?
Since good traction is a contributor to the proper execution of necessary movements when exercising or play a sport, it’s also crucial that you wear shoes that will provide you that very thing. This is where good traction shoes come in.
By wearing the basketball shoe with best outdoor traction, you’ll be better guaranteed that you can move with more precision on the hardcourt. You won’t easily slip and fall, allowing you to minimize the risks of getting injured.
The thing, however, with traction is that there’s no one-size-fits-all option. Different surfaces require various configurations for grip. This is essential to note for basketball players since there are different kinds of surfaces they play in. Some of the best traction basketball shoes for indoors are often different from the best outdoor traction basketball shoes.
So if you want to find the right pair of hoops kicks, you have to be very particular and take into consideration the indoor courts that you’ll play in.
What Gives a Basketball Shoe its Traction?
There are usually 2 things that affect the traction of basketball shoe. One is the kind of rubber used in the outsole. The tackiness of the underfoot of your outsole is determined by the kind of material used in it. So the right kind of rubber, usually solid mill, will provide enough grip on specific surfaces.
The other thing that can determine how grippy a pair of hoops shoes can be is the traction pattern. The tread design of the outsole allows the shoes to respond to the movements the wearer makes while preventing slippage. The directions help wearers move with ease without them losing their grip on the floor.
Styles of Traction and Their Benefits
As the list above would have shown you, there are different kinds and styles of traction utilized by manufacturers nowadays. They come in different shapes and designs providing more options to wearers. They’re not created equally, however, because some might be grippier than others under certain circumstances.
The herringbone traction pattern proves to be the most popular option for basketball shoe as it can accommodate the dynamic footwork involved in the sport. It will help you move in different directions and abruptly stop without too much fuss.
You’ll also frequently find diamond patterns and chevron patterns and they also prove to be quite effective. There are also more unique patterns available. However, on many occasions, the herringbone traction pattern is just modified and configured to point to various directions, allowing more freedom of movement to wearers.
What Qualities of a Shoe Improves Traction?
As mentioned above, the kind of rubber can largely affect the traction of a pair of shoes. Softer ones can be very pliable and tacky which also makes them very grippy on smooth surfaces. However, they can wear out easily when used on harder surfaces so they’re often recommended for indoor use.
Harder rubber is more durable and capable of withstanding tougher surfaces, on the other hand. They have to be made in a certain way, however, so they can be suitable for playing basketball.
As lots of hoops kicks with hard rubber outsole tends to miss the mark, it explains why it can be difficult to find basketball shoe for outdoor courts.
For outdoor courts, the right amount of tackiness is also required. If it’s too sticky, it can pick up too much dust which will diminish its traction. It has to be just right to provide the traction one needs for playing basketball.
What’s the Best Traction Pattern for Basketball sneakers?
It might be impossible to answer this question since there are lots of factors in play when it comes to basketball shoe traction. The pattern has a lot to do with the playing style of the wearer so it can be difficult to say that only one specific pattern works best. What may work for someone could be ineffective for others.
However, many experts and ballers would agree that the herringbone traction pattern and many of its variations prove to work best shoes. The multi directionality of the pattern provides great freedom of movement while the rubber material helps give it ample grip on the surface.
Which Basketball sneakers Perform Best on Dusty Courts?
Dusty courts are practically the bane of the existence of most ballers since they’re so slippery. They pose an extra challenge to basketball player but they can’t be avoided by some if that’s the only place they can play.
If you’re one of the many folks who have to play in one, you have to look for tackier basketball shoe. The best traction basketball shoes dusty court are stickier since they need to get past the dust first before they can grip the hardcourt.
The easiest way to determine which are the best options for dusty courts is by feeling the softness of the outsole. Soft ones tend to be stickier, so you can look for such. However, this can be more complicated for those who need something for dusty outdoor and indoor courts.
In such cases, it’s best to check out product reviews to get to know the products you’re eyeing better. Look for the details on how much wiping a pair of kicks require and how tacky they are on the hardcourt.
How Can I Improve The Traction Of My Basketball Shoes?
Since it’s not unusual to lose some traction over time as you use your hoops shoes more and more and it’s also possible to end up with a pair you’re not fully happy the traction, you can also look for ways to improve their grip. Here are a few tricks that you can turn your kicks into the best basketball shoes with traction:
Regularly clean the outsoles of your shoes.
Wiping down the bottom of your shoes as a part of your post-game ritual will help you maintain the tackiness of your basketball sneakers. Doing this will help remove the dust, debris, and court residue that could have clung onto the rubber of your outsole.
Doing a deep clean every now and then using some detergent or cleaner can also be useful especially if you usually play in waxed surfaces. This will wash off the sticky residue that might make your shoes slick over time.
Use a traction board.
These are mats that come with adhesive surfaces to help remove the dirt, dust, and other debris from the underfoot of your basketball shoe. You’re meant to step on them to refresh the traction of your basketball sneakers.
Apply some traction fluid on the outsole.
This can be a quick solution to slippery shoes as it literally adds some sticky substance to the underside of your kicks. Many experts aren’t too fond of them as they can ruin your shoes over time.
Wipe with your damp hands.
If your shoes are losing traction in the middle of the game, you can also just wet your hands with some sweat or saliva then run them on the bottom of your shoes. This will get rid of the dirt and dust and make them tacky again.
Factors that Affect the Level of Traction You Get
As suggested above, these are the very things that affect the tackiness of your basketball sneakers:
- The materials of your basketball sneakers.
- The kind of surface you’re playing in.
- The traction pattern of your shoes.
- The cleanliness of the court.
Traction is a tricky thing and a lot of things can come into play when choosing the right match for your needs. This is why you have to be very particular when making a choice.
How to Differentiate Between Real and Fake Basketball Shoes
Being able to tell apart fake and real basketball sneakers is crucial in this day and age. If you’re not buying directly from the manufacturer, there’s a chance that you’ll get a fake pair. You don’t want that, especially since many basketball kicks are very pricey.
So how do you differentiate between the two? Most of the time, it’s hard to say based on the appearance as they can look identical, even their materials. However, there are a few telltale signs that can help you out:
- The outsole doesn’t feel right. Fake basketball sneakers often have very hard outsoles because good outsoles are quite pricey. If the soles of the model you’re after are meant to be soft, this should tell you to stay away.
- There are slight imperfections that might make you feel like they’re just your eyes tricking you. If you feel doubtful about a certain detail on the shoes, there’s a good chance they’re fake. Most of the time, by cutting corners, fake shoes don’t have the exact same silhouette and details as the original. They can also have flaws that a reputable manufacturer won’t make.
- The labels are wrong or don’t match. If you can check the SKUs written on the shoes and the box, you’ll also learn whether the shoes are fake or not. Fake ones usually do not have matching info on the shoes and box since they don’t pay attention to quality control anyway.