In this article, we have reviewed the 10 best traction basketball shoes along with a comparison table and a buyer’s guide to help you decide the best pair of basketball shoes possible.
There are many things involved in the game of basketball that can propel your game to the whole new level and selection of best traction basketball shoes is one of them. Basketball shoes inherit a lot of properties that are especially enhanced in order to improve the gameplay of players. Some of them are traction, cushioning, comfort, size, fit, material, etc. Now all of these things hold a certain magnitude of importance.
Like cushioning is helpful in making jumps and protecting your feet from getting injured as well as assists in making hard cuts or simple movements. Likewise selecting the proper size, fit and material also affects your gameplay. But one thing on which most part of your performance relies is traction of the shoe.
So basically traction means pull over the surface and same is applicable in the game of basketball. In the basketball, the surface is the floor of court and thing providing traction is a shoe. So if you’re wearing a shoe that provides optimum traction, you are bound to score more points than your opponent.
One of the most basic things in basketball is movement and this movement is heavily influenced by the traction of a shoe. If the grip of your shoe is firm and stable you can move around the court freely and swiftly but if it’s rugged, you will face the problems of slippage and skidding. That’s why you must ensure that whatever shoe you are wearing, it must possess a good amount of traction because it carries most of the importance.
Now there are a wide variety of basketball shoes available in the market, claiming to offer amazing traction but one must be very careful before making a selection because many of them are just talk. So in consideration with that, we have selected 10 best shoes that will provide you top-notch traction and those are listed below.
Best Traction Basketball Shoes
|Nike LeBron 16||4.7/5|
|Under Armour Anatomix Spawn Low||4.8/5|
|Nike Kyrie 3||4.5/5|
|Nike PG 3||4.3/5|
|Under Armour Drive 4||4.4/5|
|Jordan CP 3 XI||4.1/5|
|Nike Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit||4.6/5|
|Adidas Crazy Explosive||4.2/5|
|Adidas Light Em Up 2||4.4/5|
|Nike Kobe AD NXT 360||4.3/5|
1. Nike LeBron 16
So starting off our list of best traction basketball shoes is this banger by Nike that is the latest addition to the LeBron series. Over the years LeBron series has provided top tier basketball shoes that encompass jaw-dropping features.
A lot of improvements have been made with each new installment. From traction to cushioning to fit, everything within the shoe has reached their ultimate level and this shoe right here is probably the peak of LeBron series.
Especially if we talk about traction, you will see a gradual increase in the quality of traction with each new installment and this piece of Nike has probably one of the best in the world at the moment.
Starting off with the traction as it is what the article is about; this shoe employs articulated rubber outsole. This kind of traction makes this shoe an ultimate beast in both indoors and outdoor courts.
In the past, LeBron has had some problems with the traction being just average in outdoor courts but this baby right here has made sure that you don’t get less court feel when you are out of the wooden court.
With the absolute elimination of dust and grease and whatever other particles that get accumulated in the outsole of the shoe, this can boom up your entire gameplay by providing you stable and firm platform. So the point is that while these shoes are on your feet, you won’t have to worry about where you are playing.
One of the best things about the traction is that it will take a very minimal amount of time for breaking in which is kind of an issue with other shoes of the same caliber. So with a quick break-in, your grip will be smooth right off the bat and just when you put your feet in the court.
Moreover, you won’t even need to wipe off this monster since the pattern of traction is carved in such a way that there won’t be any sticking of the dirt on the outsole of a shoe. With the no problem of wiping out, the durability will be greatly enhanced hence you’ll be able to play in them with more period of time.
Though the shoe is expensive the kind of traction it offers justifies its price.
2. Under Armour Anatomix Spawn Low
Whenever someone talks about the best brand of basketball shoes, two names pop up in mind that are Nike and Adidas but there is hidden gem out there that are also manufacturing god-tier basketball shoes that goes by the name of Under Armour and their latest issue in their list of amazing basketball shoes which is making a lot buzz for its supreme traction is Anatomix Spawn Low.
Embedded with gracious outlook and mind-blowing features, this thing right here is set to change the quality of traction that we have been witnessing for a long period of time. An exceptional combination of the comfortable and strong shoe, you will find yourself in the oblivion of sooth once your feet are in them.
Traction is kind of similar to Kobe 9 and even better in some aspects. It has a good look to it and the pattern is just fantastic. Upon touching it, it might feel a little bit tough and rigid to you but trust me when you are on the court, you won’t even differentiate if it was some type of rigidness you experienced before.
Again we talk a lot about how traction should work on both type of courts and this bad boy fulfills that requirement as well. It doesn’t let dust or anything that might get tangled with the outsole anywhere near the traction and with the positioning of its traction right where it should be, you will get optimum results.
One more significant thing about the herringbone pattern that its traction employs is the depth that is provided to grooves. The advantage of this provision is that court control will be on the go. With great court control, the stability of feet will be fully functional regardless of the type of court you are playing on.
Besides traction, its cushioning is praised by critics as well as users. That’s probably because of employment of Micro G cushioning technology that takes cushioning to a whole new level.
So basically this cushioning is much lighter and thinner than most of the Under Armour Cushioning you might’ve encountered, apart from that there is great provision for the absorption of impact energy so the combination of these amazing features makes this shoe one of the best traction basketball shoes.
3. Nike Kyrie 3
Another addition in this list of best traction basketball shoes by Nike is Kyrie 3. A third feature in the Supreme series of Kyrie, this piece right here excels in providing optimum traction to the feet while you are in the court. Kyrie series is famous among guards and this shoe is no exception.
With amazing traction and court feel this shoe can be an ultimate choice if you are playing on the position of guard. Just like Kyrie you can defend points easily and make your opponents bite the dust with this astounding prospect by Nike. With amazing durability and reliability, you are going to find this shoe extremely supportive and stable to your feet.
Starting off with the traction, as usual, this shoe has one of the best tractions you’ll ever see for a basketball shoe. Just like its predecessor Kyrie 2, it provides sublime traction that holds your feet to the ground and trusts me, you are going to be completely satisfied with this prospect of the shoe.
So there a huge zoom unit with herringbone traction pattern which is kind of embossed on half side of the outsole. It’s on the right side for left foot shoe and left aside for right foot shoe. The reason for such provision is to provide equal grip to both of your feet so that while making movements, your feet remain stable.
Also, one of the noticeable things is that they’ve advertised this shoe as best traction shoe and shockingly, this shoe does meet the expectations.
So there is one interesting thing in the outsole that is tiny little pods which they are calling as traction pods. The material of these pods is still unknown. It’s kind of like rubber but different from what there is on the outsole. They are right underneath the bottom of your foot.
The importance of this part can be felt when you are making cuts or pivoting or to put it simply, quickly rotating your forefoot with more than 90-degree angle. These pods just clutch your feet so that you don’t face and twist or slip whenever you are making crossovers.
Moreover, the pattern is designed in such a way that no dust will get stick to it so frequent wiping won’t be necessary.
4. Nike PG 3
There are many things that basketball player expects from the shoe that can excel his gameplay. Paul George is one of those players and to meet his extensive demands Nike has come up with the outstanding series of basketball shoes that goes by the name of PG (an acronym for Paul George).
Since Paul George’s basic requirement is superlative traction, Kyrie has put most of the focus on it and comprehensively provided basketball shoes that carry some of the best traction in the world and this latest installment PG 3 is no exception.
Set to change the standard of gameplay on hardwood, this beautiful performer by Nike has been cited as one of the best traction basketball shoes ever made. So what exactly are the things that make its traction so great? Let’s find out!
So the pattern of traction is circular, kind of like moon craters that we have seen in some Nike basketball shoe but a bit circular and covers most of the forefoot. Now the interesting thing about this traction is that you might hate it at the beginning because breaking in will require some time and you won’t just get its pluses to the full extent.
However, after spending one or two days in them, you will find out why Nike PG 3 is often called one of the best in the game at the moment. You just have to stick with the shoes for a few days and then you will experience the amazement of these bad boys.
So, surprisingly there is a translucent outsole on the bottom of the shoe which is replaced by the rubber outsole. Now the worrying thing about this kind of outsole might be slippage that you could face while making hard cuts but trust me this translucent outsole completely eliminates the skidding or slippage because of multidirectional grip that it offers.
In addition to that you can play with them on the dirtiest floor you could find and you will find that very minimal amount of dust is collected on the outsole of the shoe.
Not only performance-wise but also the look of traction is startling.
5. Under Armour Drive 4
Another inclusion from the spectacular brand of Under Armour is the latest installment in the Drive series. With an aesthetic and pleasing outlook, it is all set to grab hears of basketball players and spectators with its amazing features.
Its traction is one of the most prominent things and cited by many reviewers as one of the best traction they’ve witnessed for a basketball shoe is the talk of the town among the basketball enthusiasts.
Moreover, it works equally great on both indoor and outdoor courts so you won’t have to worry about where you are playing. Just grab them, put them in your bag and head out to the court.
Now let’s talk about the traction that this shoe inherits. So it is a traditional herringbone pattern which was used in the previous models of Drive series. The only possible difference could be that the grooves in it are pretty hard and thick. The reason probably is to ensure that shoe works well even in the outdoor courts.
In previous models, some complained were received that she was a terrible performer of the outdoor courts but with this feature, they’ve provided the kind of traction that suits indoor as well as outdoor courts. So not the only enhanced thickness of grooves provide an edge over other shoe but it also increases the durability of the shoe as the material doesn’t deteriorate easily.
Two great things about this shoe are that pattern is of triangular shape which is one of the best for shifting of force and easy wiping off of the shoe.
The triangular shape makes sure that the great amount of force is transmitted whenever you are making movements; this also ensures that smooth heel to toe transition is obtained. And since it is thick you won’t have to worry about the amount of impact being applied over the shoes.
As far as dust collection is concerned, there is some amount of dust that is collected in the outsole, though, its not much but still significant. But the best thing is that the pattern is carved in such a way that removal of dust by wiping off the shoe will be as easy as pie.
6. Jordan CP 3 XI
This shoe is probably among one of the most underrated and least talked shoes in the basketball. Actually, the whole CP series has been overwhelming but the kind of response it has received over the years has not been up to the mark. Nevertheless, they haven’t stopped producing awe-inspiring basketball shoes and their latest inclusion of CP 3 XI is no different.
A trademark shoe for Chris Paul who’s known for his amazing movements on the court, this shoe right here is an epitome of traction. With the gradual increase in quality of traction over the years in this amazing series, this shoe has introduced some elements that are capable of raising your level of gameplay right at Chris Paul.
Traction, cushioning, style, fit, every requirement is met significantly in this astounding feature of Jordan.
So as always the traction is talking point of this shoe. So its typical herringbone pattern that you will expect from Jordan but there are certain modifications made in the traction. Not exactly in the pattern, but the distribution of it on the outsole of the shoe. So basically tip of the toe along with most of the forefoot is where most of the pattern lies.
This is possible to obtain smooth movements whenever a player is making a different kind of transitions. Also, the depth of pattern is very small, it is possible that you won’t even able to see it if you are standing far away from it, so this ultimately reduced a clearance between the floor and your feet which leads to the better grip of the shoe.
In addition, it also helps in reducing the overall weight of the shoe.
Once you break in the shoe, the bite you will experience on the court will be just amazing. It will help you in making swift movements without any kind of nuisance. There aren’t any problems with the outdoor courts when you are wearing this banger of Jordan.
But compared to indoor courts you will find a slight reduction in its performance but it’s not significant enough to cause a large difference. Even if the dust is collected on the outsole, you just have to do one simple wipe and you are good to go.
7. Nike Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit
Nike is flooding this list of best traction basketball shoes and why shouldn’t it? Nike has come up with some amazing signature series’ that have offered exceptional traction over the years. But don’t let it distract you from the fact that they’ve also come up with some best non-signature shoes as well.
One of them is Hyperdunk series which is famous for providing an extra jump to the players and the 2017 version of the shoe not only enhanced the dunking capability of a player but also offers fabulous traction. This is probably one of the cheapest basketball shoes you will find in the market that possesses superior qualities and also fulfills all the requirements of pro players of the game.
The traction is called crop circle and trust me it just looks beautiful, in fact possibly the best-looking traction you will ever see. The wavy pattern just blends perfectly and provides you with an attractive outlook. This traction is boss in the clean courts.
It offers incredible ease at making crossovers or hard cuts when you are playing on the indoor courts. This kind of provision is only possible because of the circular shape that the traction possesses.
However, on the dirty floors, you might face some problems. The wavy pattern on the outsole assists the collection of the floor but it’s not really that much drastic to cause a substantial effect on your gameplay. Still, though, you might have to be extra careful on dirty floors and need to wipe off the shoe frequently in order to keep your performance stable.
One of the best things about this traction is that it’s really squeaky. You will get an amazing court feel when your feet are in them. The bite too is exceptionally good and not only in indoors but also on outdoors irrespective of the dust it collects. The durability though needs some upgrading as the outer part of the outsole is pretty soft and might get damaged easily.
But besides that overall shoe is pretty amazing and could become a great asset to your basketball kit.
8. Adidas Crazy Explosive
The first entry from the brand of Adidas in this list of best traction basketball shoe is a shoe that possesses crazy characteristics and goes by the name of Crazy Explosive.
Adidas hasn’t really been in the market of basketball shoes for a long time compared to Nike and they haven’t really produced many signature shoes, still, there is quite handful number of shoes that match the performance of shoes which are produced by Nike and Crazy Explosive is one of them.
So get ready to produce an explosive performance on the wooden board with this masterpiece of Adidas that encompasses amazing traction. So without any further a due, let’s jump into its traction review.
The traction pattern is made like a maze. They haven’t really specified what it called but it’s digitally designed which is first of its kind. The traction might seem weird to you at the first time but once your feet are within the shoe, you will know the importance of this kind of pattern.
Power is the key in this kind of traction as they are ultimately designed in order to transfer the maximum amount of power from your feet to the shoe while you are making a run for a point. This kind of pattern is perfect for the players who are heavy in size and love to run a lot.
It also minimizes chances of getting your ankle or feet injured as there won’t be any slip faced during the gameplay.
Grooves of the pattern are made much wider than normal shoes and there are two reasons for it. First is that with increased width of grooves you will get ultimate support and stability to the bottom of your feet. Second, there won’t be any collection of dust or very minimal collection of dust on the outsole.
So it turns out that the shoe is an ultimate game changer, both on indoors and outdoors. But the biggest concern is the durability of a shoe because some of the users have complained that the threads of pattern start to come off if tried to pull them hard. So there is that thing, otherwise, the shoe has excellent traction.
9. Adidas Light Em Up 2
Another inclusion from the Adidas is the second installment of Light Em Up series by the same brand. Light Em Up 2 as its name suggests can help you in lighting up the whole court with your amazing performance. This beautiful piece of Adidas holds the capability of skyrocketing your skills to the topmost level with its astounding features that includes world-class traction.
One more incredible thing about this banger is its price which is pretty less compared to other basketball shoes that comprehensively offer similar features. Another thing is that there is a provision of bounce technology in the midsole which is first of its kind so you are likely to experience more bounce whenever you are making a jump.
If I had one word to describe its traction, I would use prodigious. Such is the traction of shoes; everything from its pattern design to the grip to the stability is wonderful. This bad boy inherits the herringbone pattern and delivers outstanding performance on the hardwood.
Since this is one of the cheapest yet quality shoes you will find in the market, there is some compensation that you will have to make. One of them is its usability on the outer courts.
The outsole is super thin and soft so it is not desirable to use this shoe in outdoor courts since there are high chances of dust or dirt getting accumulated in the bottom and deterioration might take place. This will ultimately lead to reduced durability of the shoe. Besides this, the shoe is a monster when it comes to indoor courts.
If you are a fan of squeaky traction this might not be the best choice for you since there isn’t much squeak to it because of outsole being soft. But having a softer outsole has its own perks. You can stop immediately and make hard cuts easily with this prospect of the shoe. The instant grip offered by it also provisions for fluid movements in every section of the court. So overall the shoe comes off at a pretty low price and offers some staggering features.
If you are low on budget and looking for an ultimate game changer, don’t hesitate to try out this one.
Known to be a gem among the basketball shoes, the True Flight is a great value sneaker that has a stylish street look. The shoe has a clean high top and also works well as an all-around shoe, and can be worn for the practice to the mall, without breaking any sweat.
The shoe is made using soft nubuck leather and is available in various color options. A true stylish shoe, the True Flight is perfect for both indoor as well as outdoor basketball courts. The upper of the shoe is made using a mesh, which makes the shoes breathable.
Like most basketball shoes, these too have a rubber outsole with a herringbone pattern, which provides superb traction.
Though the shoes might look chunky at first glance, they are lightweight and are easy to put on and take off. The shoes feature a neoprene inner sleeve that provides a perfect fit, while the shoes hug your feet well. Amazing support is provided to the feet with the use of the thin overlay.
True Flight basketball shoes do not compromise on comfort. There is the inclusion of the Air-Sole Unit which along with a “comfort fit midsole” softens every blow when you land on the court after a slam dunk.
Well, that is what we call as teamwork!
10. Nike Kobe AD NXT 360
The Kobe series has been one of the hit series of Nike and why it shouldn’t be? This series has witnessed some of the top quality shoes that excel in every possible section. Employing the features that deliver when it matters the most, this phenomenal series is no less than a game-changer if you are wearing any shoe from this remarkable series.
AD NXT 360 is not an exception when it comes to providing top tier and quality performance. Cited by many as one of the best traction basketball shoes ever made, this monster is set to change the standard of your gameplay.
So starting off with the traction, the outsole features amazing herringbone pattern. There are multidirectional nubs in it which are pretty deep. The purpose of assessing such pattern is probably to assist swift movements while you are making a run for a point. The nubs are pretty tough and hard and the best thing about this aspect is that you get extra durability to your traction.
The pattern is so finely placed that the entire weight is equally distributed giving the shoe an excellent amount of stability. Moreover, the outsole is slightly stretched at the outer side of the bottom of the feet which makes up for excellent anti-skidding property so that you don’t face any kind of skid or slip while making your moves.
But traction is not the only significant thing.
Our primary aim is to find out best traction basketball shoes and this shoe has superior traction but in addition to the traction, it also has more supreme cushioning to it. Performance of this shoe is enhanced mostly by its cushioning which is designed by collecting a huge amount of data from various games over the years.
One of those things was that the shooting percentage of the player is slightly increased for every one foot of space created between 2 players. So by taking that into consideration, they’ve made a dual-density drop-in the midsole which is first of its kind. So basically it is a combination of Lunarlon foam and reacts cushioning of Nike.
The emphasis of Lunarlon can be seen on the outer side of the shoe where the outer wall resides. The use of Lunarlon in this section provisions for the supportive platform when you are making crossovers or hard cuts. As far as reaction cushioning goes it is just placed there to provide additional comfort.
Indirectly better cushioning in this shoe affects the traction and enhances it to some extent. Its significance can be seen when you are making the first step or in the first few minutes of the game.
Buyers Guide for Best Traction Basketball Shoes
Now that we have seen some of the best traction basketball shoes in the market, you won’t face any difficulties whenever you go out in the store in order to purchase a shoe that excels in traction aspect.
But still, there are certain things you need to keep in mind whenever you are making a selection because these things vastly affect your overall traction and ultimately your gameplay. So take note of these things before making a purchase.
There is a number of different traction pattern you will find in the market which makes the selection more perplexing, given that each of the patterns possesses certain characteristics. A very common pattern among Nike shoes is a herringbone pattern which is used by a lot of shoes.
Herringbone is an absolute banger of a game, providing optimum traction on both indoor and outdoor courts. One thing you should keep in mind about the traction pattern is that make sure the traction you are selecting is multidirectional. This kind of pattern is most efficient and delivers the best performance when on the court.
The provision of multidirectional grooves ensures that the maximum amount of power is transmitted so that you easily make fluid movements. Another thing is that with multidirectional pattern there will be very fewer chances of skidding and slipping, so you won’t have to compromise with a jump, dribble, hard cuts, crossovers and various other aspects of the game.
Dust collection is one of the most common things faced with basketball shoes and the reason for it is poor traction. Traction should be such that it should work on both clean as well as dirty floors where the chances of dust accumulation are more. Now for traction to work on dusty floors, you must ensure that grooves are well wide and deep.
This will make sure that regardless of the type of floor, you won’t face any problems of dust entangling on the shoe. Make sure that grooves are hard and tough for extended durability. The spacing of grooves should be optimum. If its too high then you won’t get a firm grip and if it’s too low wiping off dust will be a problem.
In this way, by following this guide you can purchase the best traction basketball shoes. If you are keen on getting the best traction available in the market then go right after Nike Kyrie 3 and if you are low on budget then you shouldn’t hesitate to buy Nike Hyperdunk 2017.