Basketball Shoes With Best Traction


If you’re trying to find basketball shoes with the best traction, you’ve come to the right place.


Where would your basketball game be without traction?


Basketball courts are often slippery, and without a shoe that can grip the floor dependably, you run the risk of slipping and falling even when you’re not bringing your A game.


Traction is a critical consideration when purchasing a new pair of basketball shoes, and these 7 brands have it all.


Why you need these types of shoes in the first place:


For a quick game of pick-up basketball, it may seem like just grabbing any old pair of sneakers is fine.


If you’re new to the sport, you may wonder why you need shoes specific to play basketball to begin with.


Basketball shoes are different from other types of shoes, with a make up designed to not only let you play your best, but to reduce the risk of injury.


Regular sneakers may feel fine to play in, but you could be one slip or folded ankle away from not being able to play for months.


Shoes that lack proper cushioning with all the jumping you have to do on hard floors can also cause damage to your joints, which could shorten or end your ability to play basketball.


You need a pair of basketball shoes for safety and functionality, not just because you want a fancy shoe that tells others what your favorite sport is.


Treat them well, and respect them by reserving your basketball shoes for playing basketball, instead of wearing them prematurely or with an incorrect wear pattern by taking them everywhere.


Not only should you be wearing these types of basketball shoes when playing basketball, it’s also important to get the right fit, and choose the right style for how you play.


If you’re an agile player that needs to make quick turns and cuts, you’ll need a shoe with more flexibility.


If you need more ankle support, you’ll want high-tops to help give you that security. Knowing yourself is the first step to a great pair of shoes.


Top 7 Recommended Shoes For Traction


1. Adidas Men’s Crazylight Boost Low Basketball Shoes

adidas Performance Men's Crazylight Boost Low 2016 Basketball Shoe

Of all the shoes on this list, the Crazylight Boost is without a doubt the basketball shoe with the best traction.


This low top is the latest in its line, and also the best Adidas has put forward so far.


This shoe plays well on any surface, from slick wood and hard asphalt, to dusty conditions where slipping is almost a guarantee.


You will feel secure and comfortable no matter which shoe you choose.


The bottom features two types of rubber, a hard black rubber and a softer white rubber, which work very well with the Crazylight’s traction lines.


The hard black rubber is there for you in dusty condition, while the softer white offers grip even on slick surfaces.


The shoe is made with quality materials, and the fit for all but wide footed people is very good—those who have used the shoe report a solid lock down on their foot, without any discomfort.


Transition is smooth from heel to toe, so you can focus on your moves without noticing your shoes.


This shoe features the most boost pellets of any shoe, creating a rock solid midsole that, while it isn’t bouncy, also provides incredible support.


This allows you to play comfortably even on asphalt.


Perfect low top both for those who love them, and those who are nervous about trying them but still want to give it a go.


This shoe is not suitable for players with wide feet, and it isn’t them most beautiful shoe you’ve ever seen. Those are about the only flaws this shoe has.


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2. Nike Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit Mens Basketball Shoes

Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit Men's Basketball Shoe

Nike puts its very best effort into creating new and cutting edge shoes.


This latest generation of Hyperdunk is straight out of their labs, using the best of their research to bring you a great shoe you’ll love to wear.


To get the traction on this shoe, Nike took pressure maps of feet in their research lab, and used that to make the traction lines on the bottom of these shoes.


Turn them over and have a look, and you’ll see traction lines that actually look a little bit like a foot print.


These traction lines provide you with support and grip fine tuned to the unique needs of the human foot.


You will still need to wipe these off on dusty courts, but during play you’ll get excellent grip and great performance from these shoes.


The cushion is different from Boost, Zoom Air, and other familiar types of cushion.


If you’ve never played on “React” cushioning, which is the kind in this shoe, you’ll have to try it yourself to understand how unique it is.


The cushioning takes time to break in, but after an initial break in period it’s relatively comfortable.


All in all, this is a great shoe with traction, perfect for lighter basketball players who don’t need a lot of bounce in their shoe.


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3. Nike Lebron XVI

Nike Lebron XVI (Buzz Lightyear)

Sometimes, you just want to be comfortable when you are playing, while also having great traction.


If you’re looking for a pair of shoes you can play in for hours and still have great grip, the Nike Lebron XVI are the shoes for you.


The Nike Lebron 16 is a big improvement from past models when it comes down to the traction.


It features a grip pattern similar to that of the Soldier XII, but the lines aren’t quite as thin and small.


The thicker blades don’t provide as much bite initially, but once they are broken in they do very well.


This shoe works well even in dusty conditions, and on top of having very good grip it is also very comfortable.


The shoe comes with extra lace holes so you can customize the fit of the shoe to your foot, and the internal padding provides extra cushion for your joints.


Of course, no matter how cushioned the shoe is, it doesn’t do you any good if the transition is poor.


The Nike Lebron XVI nails it with a comfortable and seamless transition from heel to toe.


The only real fault in this shoe is that it still rides a little high, even though this is improved from earlier models.


If you need a shoe that has great traction, but is also comfortable and supportive with a lock down fit, this is the shoe for you.


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4. Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe

adidas Crazy Explosive 2017 Shoe - Men's Basketball

These flashy shoes will catch the eye of everybody playing with you, while still giving you the grip and fit you need for a great game.


This very grippy shoe has a unique grip pattern that looks a little like a corn maze.


On very dusty courts this shoe will need to be wiped frequently, but when kept up the traction is phenomenal.


On clean courts, asphalt, and other surfaces you will find yourself sticking to the court no matter what crazy angle you choose to shoot from, giving you a distinct advantage over other players.


On top of having great grip, these shoes also have amazing support.


They are very light weight and easy to move in, providing you with all the components you need to have a great game.


Customers who purchased these shoe reported being able to jump higher and longer with these shoes, which is what they were designed for.


All in all, these are a fabulous shoe that provide traction, support, and great looks.


The only flaw of these shoes is that they don’t have breathable mesh, which can make your feet feel very hot after a few hours of play.


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5. Under Armour Clutch Fit Drive II

Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 2

You’re probably familiar with under armour for the comfortable athletic clothing they provide, but they also have a line of shoes gaining attention for its ability to compete with name brands.


The Under Armour Clutch Fit Drive II features multi-directional herringbone patterns, a classic feature for maximum traction.


Herringbone is fairly normal in the sports world, but Under Armour takes it a step farther by wrapping the traction up along the midsole so that even when you are rolling your foot for a quick turn, you’re still getting traction.


The cushion on this shoe isn’t to be ignored either.


The full-length MicroG technology offers support and firmness, at the cost of how soft it is.


Easing into these shoes isn’t going to feel like a pair of slippers, but you won’t be feeling your joints later either after a hard game.


Under Armour wraps up this great shoe with a 3D molded tongue that shapes itself to your foot, giving you a lock tight fit with extra comfort while you play.


This shoe has everything you could ask for.


A lock tight fit, extra support, including ankle support for agile players, and perfect grip.


This shoe does have a tendency to run small, so size up when purchasing for the best possible fit.


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6. Adidas Light Em Up 2

adidas Men's Light Em Up 2 Basketball Shoes

Many of the shoes featured in our line-up aren’t aesthetically pleasing.


While there are one of two eye catching shoes out there, it seems like in general you can’t get a shoe with great traction and great looks too.


Fortunately, the Adidas Light Em Up 2 shakes things up with a fabulous design that doesn’t compromise in traction or comfort.


These shoes come in a range of patterns and colors that will put the focus on you while you are on the court.


Of course, a great appearance isn’t going to do you any good if looks are all they are good for.


Fortunately, the Adidas Light Em Up 2 has a range of features you’ll love when you wear them to your next game.


The shoe features a redesigned traction pattern that will enhance your cuts.


The shoe has a lot of bounce, and is comfortable and supportive.


Customers who purchased this were happy to note that even when playing basketball for many hours the first time having them out, their feet didn’t blister.


This is a good sign of a lock tight grip and amazing comfort from these shoes.


If you want great looks and great comfort, this is the shoe for you.


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7. Under Armour Men’s Curry 3Zero Basketball Shoe

Under Armour Men's Curry 3Zero Basketball Shoe

For those who need more flexibility in their shoe, the Curry 3Zero is a top consideration.


The entire shoe was designed for those who put speed, agility, and of course great traction at the top of their list.


Since our main focus is traction for this line up, let’s talk about the sole of this innovative shoe first.


The sole is rubber, which of course is ideal for traction, and features the classic herringbone pattern that is well known for having good grip.


The traction is excellent on clean floors, but you will need to wipe them for continued performance on dusty floors.


The shoe offers the same Micro-G technology as the Clutch Fit Drive II, which means firm cushioning that may not be right for everyone.


Although the shoe reports an adjustable heel as one of its perks, reviewers report that this feature isn’t any better than a normal shoe.


A feature that does work well is the highly breathable mesh top, which will keep your feet feeling cool and comfortable the entire time you are playing.


All in all this is a great shoe for people who need more agility, while not compromising on support or grip.


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Buyer’s Guide for Choosing Basketball Shoes With Best Traction


Now that we’ve taken a look at some amazing basketball shoes, let’s go ahead and take a look at how to tell whether a shoe is going to have great traction in the first place.


Choosing from a selection is great, but if you’re not sure which one is best for you, knowing how to figure out which shoe is best for your foot type is a skill that will make the most out of that selection.


Measure Your Feet


Most of us will end up buying a pair of shoes online, especially at a time like now.


There aren’t a huge number of brick-and-mortar shoe stores that provide a variety of basketball shoes to choose from, and those that do have a much larger markup compared to online.


Getting a good fit means measuring your foot both in length and in width, so you know exactly how much space you need in your shoe for a good fit.


Many players are tempted to skip this part because they already know their shoe size, but if you take a look at a large number of shoe reviews, you’ll see a lot of customers saying they needed to size up, size down, or return the shoe because it was too narrow.


The more time you spend returning shoes, the less time you’ll have playing in them.


A quick size check can help you know for certain not only whether a shoe will be a good fit for you, but what size you need, no matter what company you are purchasing from.


Try Before You Buy


As we mentioned earlier, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to find the full range of basketball shoes available at a shoe store.


So, it’s very smart of you to search for basketball shoes with traction online since the internet is the best resource for finding specific items.


If you happen to be lucky enough to live in a big city where stores are readily available, trying the shoes before you buy them is a great idea.


Trying them on can tell you a lot about the shoe, from whether there is uncomfortable pressure placed on it from the upper, to whether you need more room for your toes or your foot in general.


If you don’t have access to a physical store, try the shoe on as soon as you receive it, and only purchase from companies that have an excellent return policy.


Amazon allows you to return items quickly and easily for most of their products with minimal fuss. Generally, most items that are under 50 lbs can be returned for free.


You can try them on to see if you like them, and if you don’t they have a quick and easy return policy.


Compare Shoes


A common mistake people make in almost every part of their lives is to choose the first product that solves their problem without shopping around.


There’s a lot of value in looking at different shoes and how they compare to each other.


Look at several different brands of shoe, and compare what they offer. Do they have great traction? Enough ankle support? Cushioning? No shoe is completely perfect.


Can you live with their cons? What do you need for the shoe to have in order to perform at your best?


Knowing what your needs are and what is available is a great step. Once you see a brand you like, compare several different companies for pricing.


Basketball shoes can be pricey, and there may be a big difference in pricing from one company to the next.


If you can save $20 by shopping around, why not do it?


Know the Individual Parts of the Shoe


Material and functionality are the key parts of every shoe. The sole, midsole, and upper all play different parts to enhance or detract from performance.


A combination of these factors will play a part in how much cushion you experience, and whether the shoe will feel bouncy or firm.


All of the shoes we listed have great traction, but some of that traction appears in different ways. When you see thin lines and softer rubber, you can expect more grip than with larger treads.


With the midsole, how much padding it has and what kind will determine how cushioned your ride is. The upper determines breath-ability and fit.


A shoe that is uncomfortable to play in will limit how much basketball you play. That flies in the face of the reason we get basketball shoes in the first place.


When you read a review, pay careful attention to any mention of the word cushion.


Whether you like a firmer or more plush ride may play a big factor in which shoe you will end up liking.


There are many different factors that go into a shoe, and after you have tried one or two brands you know what you will like in a shoe.


Whether you want a mesh upper for more breath-ability, or a leather one for longer lasting performance, you’ll figure it out after you’ve tried a couple different types of shoes.


Every shoe type has its quirks, but the essential functions need to be covered—traction, a good fit, cushion, and breath-ability.


You need to consider all of these factors when you are purchasing a new shoe for yourself.


Your Body Shape Matters


Everybody is unique. Some people are short and lithe, other people are tall and muscular, and some of us are on the heavier side.


A passion for basketball isn’t limited by size, but your body shape will have an impact on what sort of shoe you need.


Heavier people will benefit from added cushioning, where as lighter people need to take the weight of their shoe into consideration so they aren’t weighed down when trying to go for a big jump.


If you are broad footed, heavy, or extremely light, you’ll definitely need to keep shoe style into account while playing.




Talking about price is a delicate subject.


In theory we should focus entirely on the game and our needs, but when it boils right down to it, the best shoe on earth doesn’t do you any good if you can’t afford it.


Before you shop, consider how much money you can afford to spend on your shoes.


This can help you weed out shoes that you’ll only be able to dream on, from shoes that are within your reach.




A great basketball shoe can make or break your game. Shoes enable us to perform better, play for longer, jump higher, and be our best selves.


More importantly, they allow us to play with a reduced risk for injury.In the end, our passion for basketball is what lead us here.


We hope you have enjoyed reading about these wonderful basketball shoe options, and that you’ll find shoes with the traction you need in order to be successful.

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