Best Traction Basketball Shoes [2024 Review]

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Are you looking for the best traction basketball shoes in the market? Stress no more, though every basketball shoes have traction, some are better than others. I understand getting the right basketball shoes can be tacky, that’s why I did all the research for you.

Our Top Traction Basketball Shoes

To come up with this basketball shoes list I are about to discuss today, I conducted thorough research. In addition to that, I tested the basketball shoes and read a lot of reviews. Towards the end of this guide, I will give you insights on what to consider when buying basketball shoes.

Adidas Performance Men’s D Rose 7

Our top pick is this new pair from Derrick Rose signature line. The Adidas D Rose 7 are high-performance basketball shoes designed to enable swift direction change and stop on a dime. Inspired by the legendary player, these affordable basketball shoes offer you the superior grip Derrick Rose expects on their traction basketball shoes as he sharply cuts sideways.

When it comes to traction, these traction basketball shoes have thick rubber outsole and multidirectional herringbone traction pattern traversing in all directions, inspired by the Great Chicago Fire. As a result, they have a superior grip that makes them work both indoors and outdoors on important games for heavier players. They don’t attract any dust either.

The pair has a length Boost cushion that enhances comfort and provides impact protection. The grippy outsole consists of thick rubber which makes these basketball shoes very durable. You get excellent performance without having to sacrifice your comfortability.

Moreover, they’re very supportive with a stable base from the outrigger, torsional, spring plate, and lockdown wings. The engineered mesh upper has synthetic overlays which add strategic support on top of enabling breathability.

For ankle support, the collar is padded. While some people might find it bulky and limiting for important games, heavier players find this perfect and very helpful. Compared to the other three pairs on this list, it is the most expensive. 

If you have wide feet, assure you try this top pick on before you buy it. D Rose 7 runs narrow. Luckily, you might get a number with a comfortable fit. That will give you awesome foot lockdown and make sliding on indoor and outdoor courts a thing of the past.


  • 100% Synthetic
  • Imported
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft measures approximately 5″ from arch
  • boost’s energy-returning cushion
  • Engineered mesh upper 
  • Synthetic overlays
  • Molded collar offers  
  • Minimalist and lightweight design
  • Premium D-Rose signature details
  • Durable rubber outsole 

What I Like

  • Exceptional grip for both indoors and outdoor courts
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Very supportive and durable
  • Solid lockdown
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Great design

What I Don’t Like

  • Runs narrow

Nike Kyrie 3

This list would not be complete without some Nike sneakers. I went for Nike Kyrie 3, a recent model of Kyrie Irving’s signature line. If the D Rose 7 sound great yet they’re a little too much for your pocket, these are another great choice. They offer an astounding grip for quick cuts. 

Kyrie 3 uses an advanced herringbone traction pattern. The herringbone traction pattern is among the best ever and barely fails, especially on inside and outdoor courts. This herringbone pattern is on the whole grippy outsole together with two multidirectional pods in the forefoot. The pods help the basketball player with grip when changing directions

This pair has a Zoom Air Unit cushion only in the heel. This translates to minimal cushioning hence if you have back or knee issues, it might not be the best pick. Also, if you love your basketball shoes well-cushioned, consider another option like the Crazy Explosive.

These traction basketball shoes have a well-padded collar. This offers great support to the ankle and it doesn’t limit movement because it easily contours. This combined with the rounded sole makes the foot comfortable. The basketball shoes have a lace closure system that enhances foot lockdown.

Across the top of the basketball shoes is that a strong, stretchy band flexes with your foot for support during quick cuts and sprints. These basketball shoes also boast Flywire technology which makes them very supportive and ultra-light. Finally, you also get over 20 colors to choose from.


  • 100% Authentic.
  • Durable rubber outsole
  • Herringbone traction pattern
  • synthetic-and-rubber
  • two multidirectional pods
  • The rounded sole 
  • Fly wire technology
  • Lace closure system

What I Like

  • Amazing grip
  • Excellent ankle support
  • Very comfortable
  • Breathable and ultrahigh
  • High quality
  • Good foot lockdown
  • Stylish design
  • Numerous colors to choose from

What I Don’t Like

  • Runs narrow
  • A bit tough to break in

Adidas Performance Men’s Crazylight Boost

Considering the efforts Adidas has put on traction technology, it is no surprise Adidas Crazylight Boost are here too. These basketball shoes are great for performance and comfort. These traction basketball shoes are ideal for power players, fast players and all-around players. 

When it comes to traction, the traction basketball shoes feature Power Coral Traction. Inspired by the coral leaf, many people can describe this technology as a topography map. On that note, the best shoes have a very strong grip that helps basketball players to stop on a dime and go in any direction.

The Crazy Explosive boasts off full-length Boost cushioning. This provides all the comfort your feet need. It also acts as a shock absorber, therefore, offers impeccable impact protection. The best part is the energy-returning feel with every step.

The traction basketball shoes have a stylish silhouette. The upper consists of Jacquard synthetic and textile while the inner lining consists of textile only.  Although the upper’s material is quite thick, it is breathable hence your feet will not sweat and receive enough support.

The grippy outsole consists of continental rubber, when a basketball player cuts, it capes around the midsole for traction and stability. The traction basketball shoes have an updated anatomical lacing system. This is to minimize breakage as it was with the previous design. 

This also relieves pressure off your feet caused by laces. Hence these top basketball shoes have exemplary foot lockdown and offer extra comfort.

Finally, these traction basketball shoes come in a variety of colors you can choose from. As long as you play with it on indoor and outdoor courts, these Adidas low-tops will serve you a long way.


  • 100% textile and synthetic
  • Power Coral Traction technology
  • Full-length Boost cushioning
  • Jacquard synthetic and textile upper 
  • Molded heel collar piece 
  • Durable rubber outsole 

What I Like

  • Excellent grip and stability
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Responsive midsole
  • Heel cap
  • Great foot lockdown
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Available in many colors
  • stylish

What I Don’t Like

  • Not suitable for outdoor courts
  • Little ankle support

Under Armour Curry 3

Are you looking for ultra-lightweight traction basketball shoes that give you total control and exemplary support? Under Armour Men’s Curry 3 traction basketball shoes are the ones for you. Another great piece from Stephen Curry, they’re more affordable than D Rose 7 and Nike Kyrie 3.

For traction, it uses the herringbone traction pattern which has a pivot point in the forefoot, thin grooves, and a hard rubber compound. If you do Stephen Curry’s step backs, jab steps, and v-cuts, these traction basketball shoes give you amazing traction to keep you stable.

The rubber outsole attracts a lot of dust, therefore, requires frequent wiping. Failure to that, a player will experience slippages. For cushioning, the traction basketball shoes have a charged system. This is because Stephen prefers no bounce in his traction basketball shoes. It does not have much responsiveness either.

If you change direction frequently on outdoor courts, these traction basketball shoes are a great choice for you. On the other hand, if you do dunks or have knee problems, consider going for traction basketball shoes with better shock absorbers. The fit on this pair of traction basketball shoes is true to size though you can also buy half a size down for a comfortable fit.

The traction basketball shoes feature carbon fiber wings on the heel. These protect the ankle in addition to providing ultra-lightweight support. The collar is also padded with anafoam for extra ankle support. The lacing system runs all the way up.

You can wear these traction basketball shoes both on outdoor courts and out in the streets. It might not be a good idea though if it’s very hot. This is because the threadborne upper is not breathable hence you end up with sweaty feet. Ultimately, every feature of these traction basketball shoes points out it is best suited for a guard. 


  • Ortholite insole
  • Thread borne upper
  • Anafoam padded collar
  • Dynamic midsole frame
  • Rubber outsole
  • Herringbone traction system
  • Charged cushioning

What I Like

  • Superb grip
  • Good ankle support
  • More natural feeling cushioning
  • Commendable foot lockdown
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Stylish design
  • Interesting color combos

What I Don’t Like

  • Lack of impact protection
  • Not so breathable
  • Not a great fit for wide feet

What To Consider for the Best Traction Basketball Shoes

Man dribbling basketball against two defenders

While I considered traction as the main determinant in this guide, there are other important performance features that you need to consider. These basic factors show if traction basketball shoes are durable and worth it, or if it is the best fit for you.

Most Important FeaturesBenefits
Great rubber outsoleOffers great grip, mobility, and durability
Effective traction patternPrevents slipping and enhances traction
Large surface areaProvides great grip and traction. The larger the surface area, the better the grip and traction


This is mandatory for any traction basketball shoes. As a result of the characteristic smooth flow of the hardwood, added to the high impact moves basketball players do, the grip is essential.

Different brands have different types of competitive herringbone pattern that they use to give their traction basketball shoes an added advantage.

For example, the traction basketball shoes I discussed exhibit the herringbone traction system, great Chicago fire-inspired traction system, and the power coral traction system.

Among all these, some are better performers than others. This is clearly evident when a player is on a dirty floor or outdoor courts.

Type of Player

Each type of basketball shoes is best for a certain type of player. Understanding which performance features go with which player is paramount.

However, that begins with you knowing which player you are.

  • All-round Player: If you are an all-rounded player, you tend to look for the most traditional basketball shoes type. Fortunately, most traction basketball shoes designs are under this category. Therefore, go for traction basketball shoes with relative cushioning and ankle support.
  • Fast Player: This type of player usually goes for lightweight, lower cut traction basketball shoes. If you are one, look for moderate support, cushioning, and flexibility. The aim is to keep you as light as possible so as to increase your speed.
  • Power Player: If you love to dunk or try any high impact stunts, you need traction basketball shoes that can withstand all the abuse. You also need to be kind to your body, protect your knees and keep your ankles and feet safe. To achieve this, get traction basketball shoes with maximum cushioning and traction and support.


Just like traction patterns, cushions are versatile considering the brand making them. Whichever player you are, you need some degree of cushioning for your own good. Let’s take a look at some cushioning technologies used:

Man dribbling basketball against defender
  • Adidas Boost: Based on the theory of TPU compression. In Layman’s language, the amount of energy you exert on the sole is the same energy the TPU cells will give back. Hence termed as the ‘boost’.
  • Nike Zoom Air Unit: Its cushioning is a perfect balance of internal fibers with pressurized air. This results in a highly responsive spring back cushion.
  • Air Jordan FlightPlate: This technology enhances Nike Zoom Air by adding a flight plate. Its pressure against the Zoom bags helps create a new level of responsiveness and cushion.
  • Under Armour Charged Cushioning: This is the least bulky of all the cushions. It is a two-piece system that comprises a soft, plush layer of foam on top of a layer of thick, firmer foam.
Teenage boy testing if the traction in his basketball shoes are working


Good traction basketball shoes have to fit correctly. The fit affects your comfortability and ultimately your performance. Two important things to check out are:

  • Thumb Space Clearance: To avoid your toes from rubbing the end of your traction basketball shoes, use the thumb space test. When you try traction basketball shoes on, stand up, and see where your toe is. Once you feel it, put your thumb on the traction basketball shoes to see if it fits.
  • Broad Toe Box: Nobody wants ingrown toenails, blisters, or bruised toenails. This is as a result of causing pressure on your toes. To prevent that, get traction basketball shoes with a broad forefront to give your toes space.


If the support is off, nothing else works. Basketball is a highly intensive sport with vigorous moves.

Your ankles and knees need to be adequately supported for you to achieve the stunts without getting hurt. However, no basketball shoes can totally prevent injuries.

High-cuts are the go-to traction basketball shoes if you’re after maximum support. They limit ankle movements which turn out to be very protective.

Ensure your top basketball shoes have enough cushioning, as I have mentioned above. A perfect balance of good ankle support and shock absorption is the ultimate solution.


While style is not as important as functionality, I still consider it. You don’t have to put up with basketball shoes you don’t like just because they have the right features. I believe there are traction basketball shoes that cut across both fashion and function to give you a masterpiece.

First, don’t consider style before purpose. While a pair of affordable basketball shoes might look good, they won’t always feel comfortable and keep your feet safe. Second, while traction basketball shoes brands and athlete endorsements are enticing, let them not distract you. Lastly, if you love your style, get two different basketball shoes for on and off indoor and outdoor courts.

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about traction on basketball shoes.

How Do I Get More Traction in My Basketball Shoes?

To get more traction in your basketball shoes you need to start by checking if it is holding too much debris. Sometimes small pieces of dirt get stuck in the sole, making it much less grippy. If your shoes are clean, then you can consider applying a gel that enhances the grip.

These gels can be applied to the sole and will make your shoes much more grippy. Also, it is important to remember that using sandpaper on the soles will only damage them and even make them less grippy.

What Makes Basketball Shoes More Grippy?

The difference between a normal shoe and a basketball shoe is its rubber sole. On top of that, they often come with a pattern that enhances the grip on the basketball court. Lastly, they have a large surface area, which increases the contact between the shoe and the floor. Thus, increasing the traction.

What Type of Outsole Material Provides the Best Traction for Basketball Shoes?

Rubber is the best outsole material to ensure good traction. This material provides a good grip on basketball courts, allowing you to move without any issues. On top of that, rubber keeps its traction even when the court is slightly wet. This makes it perfect for indoor basketball matches.


I hope you found this guide on the best traction basketball shoes insightful. Remember to carefully assess every option to settle for the one that suits you best. Also, while looking for the best shoes, keep in mind the factors to consider and discover which player you are if you haven’t yet.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.