How a basketball shoe grips the court is extremely important and allows you to perform at a high level while playing. Shoes with great traction will help you to cut, jump, stop, and shoot to the best of your ability. Shoes with poor traction will have you slipping all over the place and can even lead to unwanted injuries.

This article will take a look at the best traction basketball shoes, what makes these shoes desirable for any basketball player, and link you to where you can find a pair that will have you cutting on a dime while you’re dropping dimes.

Quick Summary

  • The Adidas Crazy Explosive offers great traction that can elevate your game to match the name of the shoe.
  • Steph Curry has legendary handles and shooting so shoe traction is a big part of his game. The Under Armour Curry 3 provides all the traction a great basketball player needs to excel.
  • One of the game’s most explosive players demands a shoe with great traction. The Nike Lebron 16 will make let you cut and jump on any court, indoors or out.
  • Under Armour seems to make basketball shoes with excellent traction and the Spawn series sneaker is one such shoe. These shoes are lightweight with amazing grip on any surface.

Who Should Get This?

Traction should be a concern for any basketball player. No matter what position or style you play, a shoe with good traction is always better than one that slides all over the place. If you are a player who likes to cut, drive, and explode, then a shoe with great traction becomes even more important.

Even if you’re a big man who likes to play in the post, the ability to plant and move quickly is an essential aspect of proper footwork. I have yet to meet a basketball player who doesn’t like good traction out of a shoe but maybe if you like to ice skate, you’ll like shoes with bad traction.

Basketball Shoes With Best Traction: What to Consider?

Tread Pattern

Almost every basketball shoe has a different tread pattern on the sole. While there is no one pattern that is the absolute best, all of the shoes listed here offer a pattern that is superior to basic basketball shoes. If you’ve never considered traction when purchasing a shoe before, you really should as it can improve your overall game quite a bit.

Type of Court

One thing to consider with traction and basketball shoes is the type of court you’re playing on most of the time. If you only play indoors on nice courts, you might be able to get away with a little less traction (but I wouldn’t recommend it!). If you play outdoors often, you are going to want extra traction to compensate for the dirt, gravel, and dust that can build up and cause you to slip or lose footing.


Another thing to consider is durability in the traction of a basketball shoe. New shoes always seem to have a good grip on the court but after the wear and tear of consistent play, these shoes can start to lose traction quickly. The best shoes for traction all are constructed of materials that are made to last, ensuring you have the best possible traction for hours and hours of playing time.

Best Traction Basketball Shoes: Our Picks

1. Adidas Crazy Explosive

Just as the name implies, the Adidas Crazy Explosive can help you explode on the court. This means you will be able to cut quickly and stop and start in an instant. These shoes have a wide, swirling tread pattern on the soles that allow for superior traction and grip on any playing surface. They also look great and come in a variety of colors.

What we like:

  • Excellent traction pattern.
  • Durable soles that last.

What we don’t like:

  • Sock-like construction can feel warm on the foot.
  • Not a lot of ankle support.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Under Armour Curry 3

The Under Armour Curry 3 are a Steph Curry signature shoe that offers amazing traction for any type of court. In addition to great traction, these shoes are very lightweight and flexible and this combination of traits makes the shoe a perfect choice if you like to drive, cut, and shoot. The entire outsole is designed with a signature traction design as Steph knows the importance of superior traction and what it can add to your game.

What we like:

  • Excellent traction while lightweight and breathable.
  • Specialized outsole designed with traction in mind.
  • Good ankle support.

What we don’t like:

  • Can be hard to break in.
  • Not the most durable option.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. Nike Lebron 16

You would expect a signature shoe from one of the most explosive players in NBA history to be a great choice for any player. The Nike Lebron 16 lives up to this hype and is one of the best all-around shoes for traction on any type of court. It is also very durable and has superior stability and cushioning. If you play hard and fast, you are going to love this shoe.

What we like:

  • Very durable and long-lasting rubber soles.
  • Amazing traction on any court.

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. Under Armour Spawn

The Under Armour Spawn is an awesome shoe that looks great and has excellent traction. Under Armour calls the traction pattern of this shoe ‘adaptive’ and it responds to many different on-court movements with high-level accuracy and control. A great overall shoe that excels in the traction category.

What we like:

  • Very lightweight and fast with great grip.
  • Looks really nice.

What we don’t like:

  • Light on ankle support.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Useful Tips and Resources

Being able to cut quickly is almost like a secret weapon on the basketball court. Learning how to cut is an important tool to add to your arsenal and a shoe with great traction can help out immensely.

Practicing your cutting ability means learning how to stop, start and change directions quickly to throw your defenders off guard and get you open. Check out this video on some good cuts to add to your game.

Final Words

Traction is extremely important on the basketball court and finding a pair of shoes with the best traction can help your game get to the next level. Basketball is one of the most explosive sports and an important step in achieving explosiveness is how your shoes grip the court.

What is your favorite move to get open? Let us know below.