In this article, I’ll cover a range of basketball shoes with specific traits that make them great for any type of outdoor play.

I am a basketball lover who has played the sport for more than two decades. A lot of that was outside. Such experience allowed me to conduct the research I needed to properly analyze each and every sneaker covered in this guide.

The Adidas Coll3ctiv3 is my pick for the best and most well-rounded outdoor basketball shoe due to its comfort and incredible durability.

Where many models have a few traits that make them good for outdoor use, the Coll3ctiv3 backs up strength and power with comfort and stability. They have a strong base you can push off of, as well as a sturdy collar and solid upper that enables you to move or cut freely.

If you’re interested in that model, or if you’re curious about other top outdoor basketball shoes, the following sections break down the best of the best.

Quick Summary

Who Should Get This?

The shoes in this guide are, as you might imagine, best for outdoor players. They all have a certain amount of robustness that makes them useful in tumultuous weather or on hard ground. If you spend your time on the street, yard, or playground, they will provide good results.

Something else to note is that, as these shoes do well outside, they come with good soles and tread. Even if you don’t play on the blacktop, those who need strong stability or who need to make quick cuts will be able to get use out of them across many different surfaces.

Top Outdoor Basketball Shoes: Our Picks

Here, I review the top outdoor basketball shoes and figure out the niche they fill in the larger market.

1. Adidas Coll3ctiv3

  • Best for: Overall
  • Key Features: Easy break in period. Comfortable fit and feel. Good lockdown. Strong sole and streamlined design. Unique, eye-catching look.
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Fit: True to Size
  • Weight: 3 pounds

The Adidas Coll3ctiv3 is a powerful sneaker filled with the traits needed to stand up to the elements. Not only do they come with a weather-resistant build that’s perfect for both hot and wet environments, but the sole and synthetic construction are plenty tough too.

Another bonus is the fit. The shoes are comfortable on multiple levels, but they have a wide, roomy interior with high-end lockdown. You won’t experience any slippage with these on. That actively cuts down on blisters or hotspots. The strong support fights against injuries as well.

The only aspect you might find lacking with this model is the cushion. The fit is nice and the materials are plenty flexible, but you won’t get the same spring that you might find in other indoor shoes. If you have wide or large feet, you should also be aware they run tight.

2. Embiid 1

  • Best for: Support
  • Key Features: Supportive sole and tough base. Ankle support. TPU wing with a breathable, lightweight design. Cool design scheme.
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Fit: True to Size
  • Weight:13.9 ounces

The Embiid 1 is a large, tough shoe whose size and strength make it perfect for balling out in the elements. It fits well, which is always important at preventing discomfort like blisters, and it’s incredibly breathable. You’ll have no issues thanks to the excellent die-cut EVA sockliner.

These shoes make my list mainly due to their support. That refers to, not just their excellent ankle protection, but their sturdy base as well. You can freely push off of the Embiids with no issues. That’s then furthered by a durable construction that will hold up in rain or shine.

Just know, despite their ample features, the 1’s are definitely a larger shoe. There’s a lot of extra material on them, which then adds a lot of bulkiness. If you need power, that won’t matter. If you’re someone who values simpler designs, it could be seen as a real drawback.

3. D Rose 773

  • Best for: Mobility
  • Key Features: Streamlined, versatile design. Lightweight and comfortable. Robust, long-lasting sole. Good traction. Sleek look.
  • Fit: True to Size
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Sole: Rubber

The D Rose 773 is a tough outdoor shoe that can stand up to the elements with ease. Where many models wear down after being used in the elements, the D Rose 773 is a strong shoe that gives you ample power without sacrificing any lateral movement.

This outdoor sneaker is best for quick players who rely on making a lot of quick cuts or tricky moves. It enables you to zip around the street, court, or driveway with relative ease. Not only that, but the heel has extra support and there’s plenty of padding so you never get hurt.

While the shoe is true to size, it still sits a bit slender on the sides. That’s something to be aware of if you have wider feet. The traction tends to be a bit weaker on extremely slick or dusty surfaces as well.

4. Adidas Crazy Explosive

  • Best for: Grip
  • Key Features: Incredible responsiveness. Anatomical lace system. Knit upper. Dual layer design. Springy. Excellent traction.
  • Style: Low top
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Sole: Rubber

One of the biggest hurdles of playing outdoors is getting a good grip on the ground. The Crazy Explosive from Adidas is perfect in that regard, delivering a strong sole and durable traction that will ensure you don’t slip or move around regardless of where you like to play.

However, the shoe is more than just its outsole. It’s surprisingly tough, especially considering its lighter weight, and has an excellent anatomical lacing system that will keep your feet securely locked in place during all of your cuts or fast breaks.

The only area where this model falls a little short is breathability. It’s not the stuffiest shoe you’ll ever wear, but the sock-like construction isn’t going to let out as much heat as similar basketball sneakers. If you don’t run hot, or don’t mind stuffiness, they are a great way to ball outside.

5. Mamba Rage

  • Best for: Stability
  • Key Features: Durable and long lasting. Multidirectional grip. Lunarlon foam midsole. Affordable price point. Lighter design. Many different colors and styles.
  • Weight: 2.03 pounds
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Fit: True to Size

There are many great Mamba Shoes, but most are suited for indoor play. The Rage, on the other hand, has the durability, traction, and rubber outsole needed for the asphalt or driveway. The shoes let you plant on any surface and give you a ton of stability as you move around.

The tough rubber outsole with multidirectional traction is a big reason for that stability. You also get a flyweave upper for more support, as well as drop-in Lunarlon foam midsole that increases both responsiveness and energy return. There are quite a few patterns out there as well.

As strong as the Rage’s base and sole are, the upper doesn’t quite live up to the same quality. You’ll get comfort and breathability, but you may see wear and tear in that area before other parts of the shoe. Those who care about upkeep should also know these aren’t the easiest to clean.

6. KD 13

  • Best for: Cushion
  • Key Features: Soft, comfortable build. Dual zoom air unit. Midsole cutouts. Excellent feel. Responsive sole. Premium energy return.
  • Fit: True to size
  • Weight: 3.15 pounds
  • Cushion: Air Zoom

The KD 13 is a surprisingly tough shoe with a comfortable construction that’s perfect for outdoor courts. Their most forefront feature is the full-length Zoom cushion, which goes above and beyond in terms of delivering responsiveness. You can really jump and land with them on.

On top of that, they get high marks for their comfortable feel and generally soft design. Everything is breathable and the midsole cutouts provide you with some extra speed. There’s also a good amount of ankle support, which is essential for those who are injury prone.

If the KD has a downside it’s the lockdown. You won’t ever feel a lack of stability when playing outside, but on dusty or dirty surfaces you might feel some sliding around. The bulky heel, while supportive, also creates a rather weak heel-to-toe transition while you play.

7. Adidas Marquee

  • Best for: Comfort
  • Key Features: Lightweight. Heel support. PrimeKnit construction with premium ventilation. Various available colors.
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Fit: Regular
  • Weight: 15.4 ounces

Playing outside can be tough on your feet, which is why it always pays to invest in a comfortable shoe. The Marquee is one such model, delivering a lightweight feel that’s backed by breathable and flexible design. All parts of the shoe come with ample padding to keep you in good shape.

A big part of the comfort comes from the cushion, but a lot comes from the ventilation as well. There’s no overheating when you’re wearing the Marquees. You also get a lot of extra support in the heel area, as well as a good amount of sturdiness from the premium materials.

Despite everything the Marquee brings to the table in terms of comfort, its traction could definitely be better. You’ll be fine outside on a sunny day, but these aren’t the pair you should break out in the rain. If you see calm weather, however, they’re an amazing purchase.

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes: What to Look For

When picking up any new basketball shoe, outdoor or otherwise, it’s critical to keep the following traits in mind.

Durability

For outdoor footwear, nothing’s more important than durability. Every sneaker takes a beating outside, especially when you play in tough elements. It’s important to make sure that your outdoor shoes have the construction, materials, and premium quality needed to hold up.

When getting outdoor basketball shoes, try to find well-reviewed options from well-known brands. In addition, look for strong construction or extremely high-end materials. Rubber, leather, and flexible mesh are all excellent for the outside world. 

Comfort

Your shoes also need to be comfortable. When playing outside you come down on a lot of different surfaces, and you tend to come down on those surfaces hard. Having sneakers with reinforced midsoles or extra interior padding help cushion those blows and keep your feet safe.

It’s important to make sure your shoes are supportive as well. Get a good base that feels good when you both press down and push off. Not only will that reduce blisters, but it adds a layer of impact protection to keep your feet happy after a long day of jumps, dunks, and layups.

Ventilation

Basketball is a high intensity sport that requires a lot of energy, and with that energy comes sweat. It’s important that your shoes can properly breathe. Mesh construction or some other lightweight material is important for outdoor shoes because it prevents you from overheating.

You need breathable footwear. Anything that’s too stuffy or constricts your skin is a big problem outside, especially during the warmer parts of the year. The more you sweat, the more likely you are to get blisters or hot spots. Lightweight options are your best friend in that regard.

Appearance

At the end of the day, shoes are a clothing item. There’s nothing wrong with them looking good. Don’t be afraid to pick one model over a similar one due to a special coloration or pattern. You never want to go out onto the court with something that doesn’t quite fit your style.

However, don’t put too much of an emphasis on look either. It should never be the first thing that pulls you towards a shoe. Check off the important, performance-focused traits first. Once that’s finished, you can then pick the model that most catches your eye.

FAQs

The questions in this section will shed even more light on what specific outdoor shoe is best for you.

Is it Ok to Wear Basketball Shoes Outside?

Absolutely. Though not all shoes are perfectly-suited for outdoor play, you can realistically get away with any basketball sneaker outside. However, for long term play it’s best to get one of the above options.

How Long Do Outdoor Basketball Shoes Last?

Most outdoor basketball shoes last somewhere between six and eight months. You can get more if you’re really careful, but serious players should expect to get two pairs a year.

Are Kyries Good for Outdoor Play?

Most Kyrie shoes are gym models that are best used indoors. The Kyrie 2 is alright on the blacktop, but the line isn’t what you want if you need good results on the playground or street.

Is Lebron 18 Good for Outdoor Play?

Yes. The Lebron 18 is a large, tough shoe with good traction and a strong outsole. Those characteristics make it excellent for outdoor games.

Is KD 13 Good for Outdoor Play?

As with the Lebron 18, the KD 13 is a tough sneaker from a top-of-the-line brand. As such, it has what it takes to stand up to repeated outdoor use.

Are Kobe’s Good for Outdoor Play?

There are many Kobe models on the market. Some are specifically made to be used in the gym, while others do better outdoors. It all depends on which one you get and how much you push it.

Additional Tips

Here, I will go over various tips that will help you keep your shoes clean and in shape for a long period of time.

Store Your Shoes Properly

After a game, avoid stuffing your shoes deep into your gym bag. Rather, it’s best to store your shoes in a closet with airflow. That will help dry them out before you use them again. Store them in their original box during this process to keep them safe.

Avoid Wearing Your Shoes Outside the Court

The best way to keep your basketball shoes from losing their grip or color is to never wear them outside the court. There are many walk-around options on the market, but you should only use your game pair when you’re playing.

Keep Them Clean

Regular cleaning is crucial if you want your basketball shoes to stay in good shape. Avoid a washer or dryer. Instead, you can do the following:

  • Use a soft-bristled shoe brush to clean the sole of your shoe
  • Apply a small amount of laundry detergent to a soft cloth and rub down the dirty areas
  • Clean excess soap off the shoe with a wet second sponge
  • Air dry your shoes at room temperature

My Verdict

In my opinion, no basketball shoe is better suited for the outdoors like the Adidas Coll3ctiv3. When it comes to outdoor play, it does a little bit of everything.

The lockdown is fantastic, the break-in period is quick, and the strong sole adds excellent energy return. It’s comfortable, stylish, and furthers your game in just about every environment.