Best Basketball Shoes For Traction

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A firm grip on the court is the most essential quality players look for in a pair of basketball shoes, isn’t it?

Playing quickly and efficiently is what playing basketball is all about; that’s why having basketball shoes that offer the best traction for those sudden and quick turns and stops is what enhances your performance.  

You must agree that keeping our players safe from slipping and injury is our top priority as basketball coaches. 

Wearing proper basketball shoes for optimal traction is what will not only provide perfect balance and stability, but it will also improve your performance.

This article will review the best basketball shoes for traction with different patterns for playing on both indoor and outdoor courts.

Adidas Dame 5 - The Best Traction Basketball Shoes

adidas Men's Dame 5
  • Regular fit; Lace closure
  • Suede upper with a textile tongue
  • Bounce cushioning provides enhanced comfort and...
  • Rubber outsole for excellent grip

These Adidas basketball shoes have been designed for Damian Lillard’s signature style; the Dame 5 shoes have combined the previous generations’ characteristics and proven to be the best.

These traction basketball shoes have been built with a suede upper, a textile tongue, and a padded internal system that provides excellent support around the ankle. The light bounce cushioning adds to the comfort, the responsiveness, and the impact protection.

As for the traction, their rubber outsole with a multidirectional herringbone pattern provides the ultimate grip on the court. Dusty courts are no longer an obstacle when wearing these top-performing basketball shoes.

Some buyers have said to have minor issues with the sizing. However, if you pick half a size down, they are said to fit perfectly and provide the best support.

The Adidas Dame 5 is your stylish, comfortable, lightweight shoe that offers fantastic traction and performs flawlessly.


  • Best bounce cushioning
  • Comfortable and flexible
  • Great traction
  • Provide great support


  • Shoes are a bit narrow, keep that in mind before purchasing

Nike KD Trey 5 VI - The Best Outdoor Traction Basketball Shoes

These Kevin Durant Trey 5 VI basketball shoes from Nike boast a recognizable yet straightforward and elegant design, which perform well on the court but can also be worn casually. They are deemed fashionable enough to hit the streets and offer a stress-free experience all day long.

The KD Trey 5 VI are made of a breathable mesh with a midfoot strap which adds to their style and comfort, accompanied by a cushioned high collar and tongue that provide support.

Their extra durable rubber outsole makes them perfect for indoor and outdoor balling.

If you are on the hunt for new affordable basketball shoes with traction that can perform well on the court but at the same time can be worn for your daily activities, then look no further. These KD’s are a great choice!


  • Affordable and stylish
  • Made of breathable mesh
  • Extra durable traction outsole
  • Super comfortable


  • Some wearers say they do not provide enough ankle support

Under Armour Curry 7 - The Best Fitting Traction Shoes

The Stephen Curry signature shoes by Under Armour, the Curry 7, offer the best grip on a budget. Their solid rubber sole has a strong grip on the floor and it doesn’t lose its grip even when playing outdoors. They are reported to have the best grip on clean courts.

Although cheaper materials have been used which account for the lower price, the breathable mesh upper is quite lightweight, it is flexible and makes them rather comfortable.

Most reviewers adore the new adjustable heel that provides perfect lockdown and stability. 

If you are looking for stylish basketball shoes with traction that deliver excellent ankle support, perform well and offer great comfort then try out these Curry 7.


  • Perfect lockdown and stability
  • Performs really well on clean courts
  • Rubber sole with optimized grip


  • The cushioning feels a bit stiff at the beginning

Nike AIR Precision II - Most Versatile Traction Basketball Shoes

The Nike Air Precision II basketball shoes are made for movement from different angles with precision making them versatile and suitable for all types of players.

Apart from being versatile, they are quite comfortable and supportive due to the mid-top silhouette and the foam collar. They also feature a Nike Air Unit in the midsole for lightweight cushioning that is quite protective in cases of hard landings.

In terms of traction, the Nike Air Precision II shoes are equipped with a herringbone traction pattern on a durable rubber outsole that provides the optimal traction for playing from different positions.

These Nike basketball shoes are comfortable and supportive with great cushioning and optimal traction which makes them a suitable fit for versatile basketball players.


  • Supportive and comfortable
  • Performs well for versatile players
  • Great cushioning on hard landings
  • Durable rubber outsole with optimal traction


  • Generally true to size, but some buyers claim they are too narrow

Nike Kyrie Flytrap II - Best Value Traction Basketball Shoes

Yet another Nike basketball shoes that appear on our list, the Kyrie Flytrap 2 basketball shoes are the most affordable option which offers extraordinary traction for playing on both indoor and outdoor courts.

The biggest advantage of these Nike is the curved outsole that offers increased traction that sticks like glue and provides maximum control in all directions.

They are built with a durable mesh upper that provides breathable support, as well as a cushioned collar and an asymmetrical tongue that make them comfortable.

However, if you are looking for impact protection then you might as well look elsewhere since the cushioning is very firm.

Overall, they are the best value traction basketball shoes that perform well on all surfaces.


  • Best value for the money
  • Provide amazing traction
  • Comfortable and breathable material


  • Cushioning is a little hard

Under Armour Team Drive 4 - Best Traction Basketball Shoes For Wide Feet

Under Armour Men's Drive 4 Basketball Shoe, Graphite...
  • Breathable, lightweight textile upper
  • Full length bootie construction with molded ankle...
  • External heel counter provides additional support...
  • Toe wrap improves forefoot flexibility
  • Durable, reinforced lace loops

The budget-friendly Under Armour Team Drive 4 basketball shoes boast of their amazing traction which enables maximum control and grip on all types of surfaces – a good fit for every type of player.

The widely-spaced herringbone pattern of the rubber outsole is the feature that provides the best traction and makes these shoes stand out.

As for the other features, the high-top collar and the ankle collar offer additional support. However, the heel cup is said to be a bit firm and restrictive especially in the beginning.

The Micro-G cushioning is very responsive but is only contained at the heel.

Overall, the UA Team Drive 4 basketball shoes with phenomenal traction are suitable for players of all positions and perform well on both indoor and outdoor courts. In addition, if you have wide feet, they are the perfect choice for you!


  • High-top collar for extended support
  • Awesome traction
  • Wide-feet friendly


  • The external heel cup may feel uncomfortable to those with narrow feet

Under Armour Spawn Low - Best Low-Cut Traction Shoes For Basketball

Under Armour UA Anatomix Spawn Low 7.5 Black
  • Interwoven layers of TPU films & PU coated mesh...
  • Exposed mesh areas for superior breathability &...
  • Additional padding around tongue & collar for...
  • Die-cut EVA sockliner provides underfoot...
  • Micro G foam midsole turns cushioned landings into...

Another type of Under Armour basketball shoes that stand out with their beastly traction, the Spawn Lows look amazing and offer top-notch performance.

These low-top basketball shoes with traction are known for their anatomic design and great support. 

The breathable and flexible materials feel awesome and definitely get the job done.

The Micro-G soft cushioning is another strong feature that offers outstanding impact protection and responsiveness.

The bottom line is the Under Armour Spawn Low basketball shoes are most valued for their extraordinary traction and comfort.


  • Beastly traction
  • Micro-G cushioning for a great feel
  • Solid support for a low-top shoe


  • Not recommended for playing outdoors

Nike Zoom Rev II - Affordable Solid-Performing Traction Basketball Shoes

The Nike Zoom Rev II basketball shoes are a versatile model which is a half bootie made of lightweight mesh that offers comfort, support and ample traction.

Another affordable Nike model that is speculated to look like its predecessor, the Nike Zoom Rev II features a Nike  Zoom Air unit that delivers very responsive cushioning.

As for traction, the rubber outsole wraps up the midsole for better traction. However, out of all of the models we have reviewed so far, they are said to offer the least consistent traction.

If you are looking for affordable solid-performing basketball shoes which feel good to wear, these Nike might just be right for you.


  • Affordable and stylish
  • Feature very responsive cushioning
  • Comfortable and supportive


  • Not always true to size, especially if your feet are narrow

Adidas Crazy Explosive 2017 Primeknit - Most Responsive Traction Basketball Shoes

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Buyers adore almost everything about this Adidas model. The Crazy Explosive 2017 primeknit shoes offer enhanced fit, great support and comfort. Recognizable for their Primeknit upper and innovative lacing system, these Adidas basketball shoes have instantly become our favourite.

The full-length Boost cushioning makes them comfortable and super responsive, with great impact protection and energy return.

As for traction, the coral-inspired pattern provides a necessary grip for explosive gameplay on all court types.

With the improved fit, the most responsive cushioning ever and good traction, the Crazy Explosive 2017 Primeknit should definitely be on your to-buy basketball shoe list.


  • Sock-like feel, amazing fit
  • Most responsive cushioning
  • Very comfortable


  • The Primeknit feel is said to be a bit stiff in the beginning

Adidas Performance Crazy Explosive - Supportive and Responsive

Suitable for any type of player, offering incredible ankle support and delivering super responsive cushioning, the Adidas Performance Crazy Explosive shoes are definitely worth your shot.

They feature a Xeno upper and an unconventional lacing system that relieves pressure and offers a better lockdown.

This Adidas Crazy Explosive is the first to feature full-length Boost cushioning which provides great comfort, impact protection and energy return.

With respect to traction, they have been introduced with a multi-directional traction pattern that has an incredible gripping ability and stability, especially on hardwood.

The Adidas Performance Crazy Explosive shoes are versatile, top-performing basketball shoes that offer a comfortable feel, impact protection and proper foot containment.


  • Amazing comfort
  • Responsive Boost cushioning
  • Top-performing basketball shoes


  • These could use a bit more breathability

Best Traction Basketball Shoes - The Only Buying Guide You’ll Ever Need

Choosing the perfect basketball shoes which offer phenomenal traction is by far the most important decision any basketball player has to make. Not only do they have to grip the floor like crazy, but they also have to be top-performing. Well, this is obviously not an easy task, isn’t it?

Shoes that provide great traction will aid your gameplay no matter your position on the court, help you keep your balance and stability, and minimize the chances of slippage and injury. That is why it is of great importance for you to get the best traction basketball shoes ever.

Having read our recommendations for the top 10 basketball shoes with traction, let us summarize the various features that you have to consider before you take your pick. After all, depending on your needs, you all have to make sure that you choose the right gear to boost your performance.

1. Material

The quality of the materials used for the construction of the shoe is indeed important for several reasons. To begin with, the materials add to the overall feel, comfort and flexibility of the shoe. Lightweight, flexible and breathable upper materials like mesh are thin, comfortable and provide support.

The Primeknit upper is used for enhanced fit, and it also provides great support and lockdown. In addition, the durability of the materials is equally important since it reduces break-in time. Whether being premium or more basic, the materials account for a better overall feel of the shoe.

2. Cushioning

Another extremely important feature of a good pair of basketball shoes is the cushioning system. An effective cushioning makes your shoes extremely comfortable to play in. What is more, the cushioning enables your shoe to be more responsive when performing those quick cuts and turns and offers great impact protection in cases of hard landings.

There are various cushioning systems, such as the Nike Air unit for lightweight cushioning and the Micro-G cushioning. However, our winner in this category would be the full-length Boost cushioning used in the Adidas Crazy Explosive and in the Adidas Crazy Explosive 2017 Primeknit.

3. Support

There are several aspects of the construction of the shoes that contribute to a better lockdown, support and stability of your feet. The cut of the shoe is one of them. Whether a low-top, high-top or a half-bootie, offering great support for your ankles is as important. Padded internal systems such as a cushioned high collar increases the overall experience.

The Under Armour Curry 3Zero stand out in this category and are very much adored for their new adjustable heel. Seemingly unimportant, you might want to consider the lacing system as well, which might relieve pressure and provide better lockdown. Do have a look at the innovative lacing of the Adidas Crazy Explosive shoe.

4. Outsole & Traction

If you want your basketball shoe to provide the ultimate grip, so that you have the best performance on the court without slipping; then you must seriously consider the outsole of your basketball shoe.

Most outsoles are made of rubber, but what you need to have in mind are the softness, thickness and traction pattern. Some outsoles perform better on indoor courts, other outdoors (extra durable firm outsoles provide better outdoor traction). Some might be even used both on indoor and outdoor courts such as the Nike KD Trey 5 VI.

The traction pattern is equally important for providing the best grip ever. You may have noticed that most of our recommendations have a solid rubber outsole with a multidirectional traction pattern that provides the ultimate grip, and dusty courts are no obstacle for them.

Lastly, there are outsoles that provide optimal traction more suitable for versatile players. Our versatile basketball shoe option is the Nike AIR Precision II NBK.

5. Personal Preferences

Design, size (width and length of your feet) and price are additional purchasing factors that will determine what kind of shoes you will be buying. We’ve got the wide-feet friendly option, the Under Armour Team Drive 4. I would also recommend the Nike Kyrie Flytrap II, the best value option.

Best Grip Basketball Shoes – Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you change basketball shoes?

How often a basketball player replaces his/her shoes is of great importance since this will reduce the rate of injury. They should be replaced rather frequently, but this very much depends on how much basketball you play.

Professional basketball players replace their gear after a few matches. College and high school basketball players may replace their pairs once in a couple of months, again depending on the hours put into practice. The bottom line is once you experience foot pain during or after playing, this could only mean one thing.

What basketball shoes have the best grip?

Choosing basketball shoes with the best traction depends on several things:

– Type and quality of court 
– Type of player/playing style and position
– The composition of the outsole and the traction pattern
Have a look at our list and take your pick from the wide variety of traction basketball shoes that meet your needs.

How To Make Basketball Shoes More Grippy?

Depending on whether your basketball shoes are worn indoors or outdoors, different methods can be used to improve the grip of your shoes.

– Indoor shoes require regular cleaning to remove the dust and dirt after each game. Proper storage between games is equally important. In addition, there are specially designed sticky mats/traction pads that might do the work for you. You might also try some grip lotions/traction sprays.
– Shoes worn outdoors will require just a bit of effort. Thorough cleaning with a brush, warm soapy water, and a clean towel for drying is what you need. For debris, you might need a pointy tool to remove the waste between the traction patterns before you start rinsing.

Is there a spray to make shoes slip-resistant?

There are many traction products available that can help you restore your shoe grip (sprays, gels, traction kits).

What makes a shoe non-slip?

You should definitely know the answer to this question by now. It’s the special design of the outsole with great traction that makes your shoe non-slip.

Best Basketball Shoes For Traction - Final Words

Choosing the best pair of basketball shoes with traction is not an easy task. It all comes down to what you are looking for.

All of the brands reviewed above are brands with renowned tradition and well-established quality. I sincerely hope that the comprehensive review of their products will bring you one step closer to buying your perfect basketball shoes.

In addition, our buying guide covers the most important features of the various traction basketball shoes, so that you can make a more informed purchase and never regret your decision.

So, which of the above-mentioned features will you take into consideration when you make your next purchase? Is it traction over comfort or both?

Do share your experience in the comments below! If you have any suggestions you would like to make, do not hesitate to do so. We are looking forward to your feedback.

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Justin D. Johnson
Justin D. Johnson
Justin is a PhD student at Stanford University and has been a basketball youth coach for over ten years. He is passionate about sports, cinema, astronomy, and sharing knowledge.