Basketball is quite a physical game involving running, dodging and jumping. So, finding proper shoes for playing that have great traction and grip the court is an important task and it is not an easy one.
There are a lot of shoes out there with different types and patterns of traction from which many are not so good and their other features do not stand out much too. So, your performance may reduce if you choose the wrong shoe. Therefore, I have assembled a list of ten best basketball shoes with not only the best traction but also their excellent other features like durability, cushioning, fit, support and ventilation so that you can perform your best on the court with minimal chances of slippage and injury.
My choice for you considering traction will be the Nike LeBron 16 because of the amazing traction they offer. You can have an idea by just looking on the pictures of this amazing shoe. Also UA lockdown 4 is a worthy choice.
Go through this list and find the shoe which is best for you by considering all of the features, not just the traction.
Table of Contents
A List of Top 10 basketball shoes with traction
First on our list is the product from Under Armour, a great company for sportwear. The product I am talking about is the Lockdown 4.
These shoes have molded synthetic upper for responsive fit and upper leather is perforated that makes them breathable.
For traction, these shoes have a rubber sole with multi adaptive traction pattern that provide exceptional grip and control on the court. The traction is not affected by dust so little to no wiping needed for them.
Their cushioning is quite firm and responsive and it makes the shoe comfortable.
Their midsole has injection molded EVA for response and lightweight and super breathable sock liner for underfoot cushioning and support.
- Multi adaptive traction pattern
- Injection molded EVA midsole
- Available in many hues
- Responsive cushioning
The support for ankles and whole feet on these shoes is also amazing. It also has a TPU hot melt firm toe cap that aids in protection and stability.
They are available in many colours and are cost effective. These shoes are also suitable for wide feet people. These shoes fit great when laces are super tight. Little empty spaces are present in these shoes.
These shoes are a good choice overall to play basketball.
- These shoes are Lightweight and great in comfort
- They have best traction due to multi adaptive patten
- They are available in plenty of designs and color options
- They are good for wide feet people
- The materials are a bit stiff
Second on our list is from the veteran of sports apparel, Nike. I am talking about the PG3, the third edition of the PG series.
These shoes have a half bootie construction that makes a secure and snug fit. The materials are very durable that provide complete comfort to the feet without sacrificing quality.
The outsole pattern of the Nike PG3 is inspired by craters of the moon and it provides multi directional traction. It sticks with the court like magnet and really gets the job done. The pattern craters are widely spaced so no dust collects on them and so no wiping needed.
The cushioning of this shoe is also Zoom Air. At the forefoot the Zoom Unit is present like previous models of PG and it offers very responsive feel and provide great comfort to the feet.
- Low top
- Circular traction pattern like craters of moon
- Internal Shank and heel counter
Their fit and lockdown is perfect. It runs true to the size. No dead space in the shoe whatsoever. The internal heel counter and heel padding does not allow the heel to move and prevent injuries.
Torsional support is provided by the internal shank. Heel is supported by the heel counter. The base of the shoe is flat which makes the shoe more stable.
Wide footers can also wear them due to snug fit. Stay true to size for length.
These shoes have a simple design and mostly synthetic materials are used which are not so premium. It looks like the major focus of the makers was on performance which the shoes provide exceptionally
- These shoes provide best traction due to extreme circular pattern
- These shoes are very responsive and supportive
- These shoes have an adaptable fit
- They provide great stability.
- Break in time a bit longer than normal
Next on our list is form the most famous company that we have for sportwear, the Adidas. Adidas Performance Crazy Explosive is my next pick.
These exceptional shoes comprise a synthetic, lightweight and textile upper that makes them durable. They have TPU technology so they provide a lot of support for the heels and ankles of the players making the chances of injury absolutely minimal.
The traction on this shoe is best for any surfaces. The rubber outsole and brain coral pattern grips on any kind of court. For indoor clean courts the traction may be the best for any shoe as they don’t even need wiping on them. For outdoor courts however the traction can be damaged if the courts are too rough.
Cushioning in this shoe is really exceptional. Boost cushioning is used to provide high jumps, speed and explosiveness and at the same time comfort to the feet. The response of the shoe is made great by this boost cushioning.
The appearance of the shoe is one of its features that attract the people to buy. It involves anatomical lace system that wraps the entire foot and distributes pressure equally on all the foot.
These shoes have a lot of arch support and is high top. It also has thick ankle cuff that provide great ankle support. That is the reason they also made the list of our ten best basketball shoes for ankle support.
- Boost cushioning
- TPU technology for support
- Beautiful look and appearance
- Brain-coral pattern for traction that is translucent
For lightweight players these shoes are a treat as most of them do not require much forefoot cushioning. They may take a bit of time to break in but then they are very comfortable to play.
These shoes can also fit people with wide feet so if you have wide feet still you can buy them. Narrow feet people can also buy by going a half size smaller.
These shoes are really an overall package. If you see any overall best basket shoes list, you are definitely going to find these shoes there. Adidas really did a great job with these shoes.
- These shoes are lightweight and very responsive
- They provide the best grip and stability for the feet
- They provide amazing ankle support by a upper wrap
- They are perfect for all courts especially indoor courts
- Its heel to midfoot cushioning is amazing
- Its laces can loosen easily
- They are not very much breathable
Next on our list is again from Adidas, the Mad Bounce. Adidas rarely disappoints us with shoes. These are another example of their magnificent products.
The upper of these mid top shoes is fused mesh, which is an interesting mix with intelligently reinforced areas for better experience.
The traction pattern of these shoes is really aggressive. The rubber grooves are deep and it grips the floor very well. They grip best on both indoor and outdoor courts. Wiping may be needed on very dusty courts. These shoes stop really well while dodging and running.
It has the same Bounce setups for cushioning like other Adidas amazing shoes. It has all the elements for perfect cushioning and they really didn’t compromise on it. Heel has solid impact protection and comfortable due to soft knit.
- Mesh inforced upper heated with TPU
- Strong and deep rubber grooves for traction
- Bounce setup for cushioning like other Adidas shoes
- Full length Bounce midsole
The forefoot is very responsive and low to the ground and gives great court feel. It has a full length Bounce midsole with an amazing setup.
These shoes may not be a perfect option for people with very sensitive ankles as they are not very great on support. They are great overall for lighter guards that are not too physical and and also for physical players if they don’t have any ankle problems.
They are true to size. If you have wide feet, going half a size up is quite helpful. They are perfect for narrow feet as the toe box is narrow.
- These shoe offers premium materials
- Their cushioning is well balanced
- Due to deep grooves pattern, the traction is amazing in these shoes
- They have lightweight upper and midsole
- They provide excellent lateral support
- They are little bit tight in the toe area
- They forefoot is little bit rigid
Next, we have Adidas once again. This time it’s the Performance light em up 2.
The upper of these shoes is engineered mesh which is really crazy when we consider the price they come with. They are comfortable, breathable and lightweight.
The traction on these shoes perform exceptional on courts. They grip the court well while stopping, turning or dodging other players. They do not attract dust at all so no wiping needed. The rubber compounds are soft however that are a bit risky for outdoor courts
For cushioning, we have Boost cushioning on these shoes like Lillard 2. Soft and bouncy heel absorbs impacts. Forefoot is firm that gives court feel. The cushioning is great and do not compromise on speed
- Bounce Foam that provides impact protection
- Horizontal and vertical grooves on outsole for traction
- No squeaking
- Lightweight textile upper that is flexible
They don’t have anything special for support but there are also no problems of support and stability. If you have delicate ankles then you should avoid these otherwise you are good to go.
The fit on these shoes is similar to the D lillard 2. They run a bit large so going down half a size is advised. Lockdown is good in these shoes.
The features that these shoes offer are much more than the price asked so if you are on budget, you can go for them and can have a great shoe in less price.
- They are extremely lightweight
- These shoes provide great traction on court
- They have a unique design that makes them stand out
- They do not need time to break in
- Their insole is thin which provides a bit less cushion
Next on our list is another one form Under Armour, the Drive 4, fourth of the Team Drive series.
These shoes are synthetic and upper is mostly made of a tightly woven mesh around lateral toe and midfoot. The material is a bit stiff but this stiffness do not hinder in playing. Breathable mesh is also present on top that provides ventilation.
These shoes have the best traction any world class shoe can offer. Thick herringbone pattern grips the surface firmly and no slipping whatsoever. The Traction is best on all kinds of courts. The amazing traction really makes you feel the court underneath your feet.
They have Micro G cushioning that is dens, durable and very responsive. It absorbs impact and is very soft and provide very stable landings. The forefoot do not have this Micro G that makes the forefoot a little dead.
It also have a die cut EVA sockliner midsole for cushioning and support. Full length bootie construction with a molded ankle collar provide support for ankles and also comfort and nice fit.
- Herringbone traction pattern
- Breathable mesh on top like most of the good shoes
- EVA sock liner midsole
- Molded ankle collar
Toe wrap in the forefoot aids in flexibility. Their laces are also reinforced making them durable. These shoes are also friendly for wide feet people and their flexibility makes them true to size. However, laces have to be pulled super tight for best locking of the foot. Considering Traction, they are also an amazing choice.
- They have a moderate price which
- They provide absolutely best traction on any kind of court.
- These shoes have good arch support for people with flat feet
- They also provide amazing ankle support.
- They have less padding on the heel cup
Next, we have another one from Under Armour, the ClutchFit Drive 3, third of the Clutchfit drive series with the clutchfit technology.
These shoes have a soft mesh upper covered by the rubber Clutchfit pattern which is highly flexible and provides great range of motion.
It has surprisingly good traction. The traction pattern is herringbone which covers the whole outsole. But the surprising thing is that it is flat i.e., the grooves are flattened off and it looks like they may not grip well but they really stick to the court. On clean court, they are a beast while on dusty court wiping may be needed.
Foe cushioning, it has charged and Micro G layered together. It’s not very soft rather ita a bit stiffer and suited to guard play. The Micro G is placed on top of the Charged in the heel area.
The toe box has rubber fuse all over it that adds to the stability and containment but its flexible and do not affect the movement of the player.
- Multi directional herringbone outsole
- Full-length molded Micro G sock liner provides cushion and lock the foot
- 3d molded tongue custom that forms around the foot and ankle for better fit
- Charged cushioning which absorbs impacts.
The forefoot has solid Clutchfit materials which just locks the foot without giving any stretch. The lockdown is great. The laces run through the tongue rather than the traditional setup of going down to the midsole.
When we consider support, we see that under the midfoot there is a thick foam that prevents bending. Forefoot, midfoot and heel are completely locked. For ankles however the collar is also of Clutchfit material which isn’t stiff so it lags a bit there.
- It has great responsive cushioning that absorbs impacts
- It has great traction, both outdoors and indoors
- They are light weight and comfortable
- They provide a lot of flexibility for motion
- Fit can be tight for some people.
Adidas is here with yet another shoe great for traction, it is the Crazylight Boost 2016, a great choice for traction.
These shoes have a textile upper that is so good that it do not require time to break in. The textile is thick but it do not make your feet sweaty as the upper is breathable.
Adidas did a great job on this shoe’ s traction. It has continental rubber for traction and a good pattern that does not clog dust particles and grip the court like crazy. This model is much better from the last model when we consider traction. It works on all kinds of courts. Wiping may be needed after 5 to 7 plays on dusty courts but thats not really a issue.
For cushioning, this model includes full length Boost. Many boost pellets are placed in midsole that made it a bit firmer but it greatly absorbs the impact of high jumps. It has very smooth heel to toe and toe to heel transition. And there is no compromise on court feel or stability.
- Chaotic herringbone pattern for traction
- Thick upper but breathable
- Full length boost cushioning
The lockdown on this shoe is really great and there is no slippage problem whatsoever as was faced on the previous model.
It also involves Foam filled Achilles on inner side of heel that provides max support. These shoes also fit the wide feet people so it’s a choice for those people as well.
- It has breathable upper textile
- The traction is really amazing involving continental rubber.
- It has amazing fit and are true to size
- It has TPU lateral cage, heel counter and shank
- Its lacing set up is not so optimal
Next on our list is the twelfth edition of the KD by Nike, a great improvement from the previous versions.
This model of KD is much better than its predecessors. It involves Zoom Air Cushioning as the name suggests. Full length Zoom Air is placed directly under the foot and it replaces the traditional Strobel board. This cushioning provides great impact protection without compromising on the performance.
For traction, translucent rubber is used that generally is not considered best but here it holds on every kind of court and provides the best grip. The outsole is just a bit sticky and collects dust but wiping will solve this problem too.
The materials used are textile, screen mesh and fuse which are really great for this kind of shoe.
- Full length Zoom Air cushioning
- Translucent rubber for traction that is really good and wasn’t expected
- Best for any position player
- Aesthetically great looks
These shoes provide the best support and stability that comes from its flexible heel counter and fit. Also, these shoes have a raised phylon on both sides to keep the foot upright.
For regular size feet, these shoes are true to size. People with wide feet can go half a size up and enjoy this brilliant piece of footwear for basketball.
- It has awesome cushioning due to the Zoom Air technology
- This model is much better and stable than previous ones of the KD
- The traction is really great and the shoe grips the court firmly
- These shoes can run a bit narrow
I saved the best one for last, last on my list is Nike’s Lebron 16. The sixteenth one of the Lebron with an insane traction pattern.
These shoes have a premium Battle knit 2.0 upper and Nubuck, a type of fly knit material considered as one of Nike’s strongest knit.
For traction, they have a rubber outsole with a deep herringbone pattern that really grips the surface and don’t let it go. Wide spaces between traction grooves don’t allow the dust to stick so wiping is not needed either. Straight lined pattern with a slight angle really gives the best grip. Whether indoor or outdoor, these shoes perform well.
Like previous versions it also uses Max Zoom cushioning but the overall setup is a bit stiff that provides good impact protection.
Nike LeBron series has always provided great support for the feet and so is the case with LeBron 16.
- Herringbone traction pattern
- Battleknit 2.0 that provides good fit
- Good stiff setup that damps the impacts
- Available in leather and mesh
One difference that LeBron 16 has with its previous versions is the midsole. It’s a little bit stiff as mentioned earlier that Max Zoom combo may have been tuned tighter.
These shoes fit true to size in length and width and no dead space is present in it. Nike flywires are present on tongue to aid in lockdown that is an upgrade on LeBron 15 and its flexibility allows you to determine how tight or secure you want your shoe.
These shoes are one of the best traction wise, having an insane outsole and traction pattern so if are going for traction and traction alone then go for them without thinking twice
- The materials used are very premium in these shoes
- Their traction is exceptional that works on all kinds of courts
- They provide customized fitting that works great for lockdown
- The support and stability provided is excellent
- They are a bit expensive
- They may feel stiff in the beginning
While buying the shoe with best traction, keep in mind a few features of the shoe. As in shoes there are a lot of things other than traction so before buying, find the shoe that:
- Is durable
- Have good cushioning
- Have good traction that don’t peel off or get damaged easily
- Fit you perfectly
- Have some support for your feet and ankles
- Are light weight
- Are comfortable
- Have good looks but it’s not important
Which traction pattern to get and what to do for care?
For tractional pattern, there are a lot of options but try to go for the pattern that is multidirectional like the herringbone pattern and have medium spaces between grooves so that dust do not get stuck in it. Whether your shoes attract dust or not, it is advisable to wipe them from time to time for best performance.
You may have gone through all of the above products and saw that they are mostly from Nike, Adidas and Under Armour. It’s the truth that these companies that much care bout what a player needs in a shoe to give his best performance.
As mentioned earlier, my first recommendation to you will be Nike LeBron 16 as the traction they offer is insane, Nike really took the next step on this shoe with traction. Other than that, I will also recommend Under Armour Lockdown 4 as they are best to play on any court and have all the other great features.
So, don’t wait and buy the shoe you consider will be best for you.