Best Traction Basketball Shoes

Best Traction Basketball Shoes that Provide Awesome Traction!

Shoes are one of the most crucial sports equipment today.It has even more significance when it comes to basketball. The game is highly competitive and the wrong pair may even give you a career-threatening injury. Conversely, the right pairs will boost your confidence and help you perform impressively.

Traction is vital in Basketball. There are plenty of shoes in the market that claim to have a good grip. However, all of those claims are not true.

Nobody wants to experiment with their career by buying a non-reliable pair.So, here we are shortlisting some of the best shoes for you. We will also discuss the major advantages and drawbacks of each pair.

 The standout feature is its gripping ability. It is one of the best traction basketball shoes out there. You will find that the outsole is designed with the waffle cone lugs pattern along with dual crush rails. What’s impressive is the deep flex groove that provides extra cushioning and compression from heel to toe.

Why Do Great Traction Shoes Matter?

Do you know, what is the most important quality of a basketball shoe?
Yup, it’s the traction.

Traction refers to the friction between the outsole of the shoe and the surface of the basketball court.The best grip basketball shoes have specialized features to maintain proper grip in harsh conditions.

Non-Slippery Grip

Not all basketball courts are neat and clean. When you play, the court attracts a significant amount of dirt and dust. As a result, it becomes slippery. Your average shoe will fail to find a solid grip on such a surface.

Therefore, it is essential to have the shoes that will prevent you from slipping and safeguard you against unwanted injuries.

Peace of Mind

In the game, you often need to take a sharp turn or charge other players. Sometimes, you will have to jump in order to shoot the ball. Basketball is a fast-paced game so you will frequently be running on the field.

To perform all those tasks with ease, you need to have a premium pair of shoe that will not slide around.

Better Positioning

It is true that if you do not have the required skills and potential, your shoes will not win you matches. But basketball shoes with good grip will undoubtedly help you in gaining better positioning. That way, it will increase your momentum and assist you in both scoring and defending.

However, your shoes shouldn’t have too much traction. Having excessive grip can even make things worse by jamming your toe. Therefore, go for a pair that will give you a steady grip, neither too less nor too much.

Our Best Grip Basketball Shoes Reviews

The market is full of competition. But that doesn't stop us from reviewing the most excellent performance shoes for you. Here, we are reviewing some of the leading products of the market that will give you amazing feel and performance.

1. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33

Nike has been dominating the footwear industry from the last 55 years. It is no wonder why many NBA players always choose Nike shoes. The consistency and perfection of their shoes are the key factors behind their worldwide popularity.

Likewise, the Pegasus series is very famous among customers. It has already been around for more than three decades. It is the 33rd version of this series and it remains one of the best even today. You will get almost 12 different color options to make up your mind. It is arguably one of the best looking shoes out there.

You will get reflective materials both in the upper and heel area that will increase visibility during night. The materials are mesh and breathable. Though it weighs only around 10 ounces, it doesn’t compromise the durability of this shoe. Customers have reported that they ran miles yet the shoe remains intact.

It comes with the dual airbag that provides sufficient cushioning both in the forefoot and heel. Air cushioning in the midsole made the shoe more responsive and durable. On top of that, a cellulose board is used to increase comfort. You will also get carbonized rubber in the midsole and blown rubber in the forefoot.


  • Nike Zoom Cushioning for Extra Responsiveness
  • Flywire cables for a perfect fit
  • Smooth, sock-like upper
  • Enhanced traction & breathability


  • Narrow space near the toe-box
  • Seems a bit heavier than the previous versions

2. Adidas Originals Men's Pro Bounce 2018 Basketball Shoe

If you are looking for a comfortable shoe with excellent protection, the Pro Bounce will not let you down. The high cut design will allow you to move swiftly. It will also protect the ankle. Though the material is mesh, the maker has skilfully used the Forge Fiber technology in the upper for extra breathability.

Geofit construction was applied in the shoe to make it more responsive and comfortable. Flywire like cables were used in the lacing. The webbing eyelets system will ensure that your lacing won't come undone in the middle of the match. Additionally, Adidas presents an array of color options to the customers.

It has a rubber outsole with excellent traction pattern. The spiral-shaped, waffle-like traction design covers the entire area. It will probably grip on any surface you play. Besides, the outsole will provide extra protection near the toe. Two TPU propulsion plate will help distribute your body weight evenly across your feet.

In the midsole, you will get Geofit padded collar and proprietary cushioning that helps to flex and bounce freely.Moreover, the lightweight foam is very responsive as it quickly jumps back to its original shape after impact. So, you will get terrific results when you bounce with the shoe. You will also experience perfect landings.

It is lightweight but safeguards your feet well. This is a unique combination. The question is whether it can withstand heavy use or not. I am hopeful that it will last longer than you expect. The midsole has a TPU shank which will enhance rigidity for sure. Also, Adidas has a brand value to keep.


  • Lightweight
  • Appealing design
  • Exceptional grip
  • The bounce technology


  • The Toe box is not the tightest, but not spacious either
  • Soles need to be cleaned regularly

3. Nike Air Versatile II NBK Men's Basketball Shoes

This shoe comes within an affordable price range and offers a little bit of everything. It might not be the most perfect pair out there, but is a good option for those who are running tight in budget.

Its sharp and dynamic finish shows that it is built for the athletes.The Nike logo near the toe cap and the sole looks beautiful. But, I don't like the small logo near the heel counter. The sole is white colored which means that it will get dirty frequently. You will also find the name of the maker printed on the tongue.

What I liked most is the material. They have used high-quality mesh material that has synthetic overlays. Besides, an extra foam is used near the ankle to provide safety. The upper is very smooth and breathable.The upper is very lightweight, thanks to the synthetic textile construction.

Its Dynamic Fit System will give you a secure feel. The customizable lacing design and the Fly wire cables will stabilize the mid-foot perfectly. A lux heel package keeps your feet in a comfortable position. No wonder why many customers commented that it fits just like a glove.

The insole performs decently. It has an air sole cushioning that protects the feet from impact. It also comes with cushioned collar and tongue. Though the outsole looks stiff, the exposed air compartment safeguards the heel well. The Herringbone traction pattern on the outsole improved the gripping greatly.


  • Rounded toe box
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Fits like a glove


  • The performance is mediocre

4. Adidas Originals Men's Superstar

Converse M7650

Adidas has been producing this shoe since 1969. Its timeless design still suits most of the outfit. It has three stripes on both sides. Usually, the stripes are in a different color than the shoe color. Just above the lines, you will see the ‘superstar' branding. The name of the maker and their logo is printed on the tongue in golden color.

You will also find the trefoil logo on the outsole. It has the traditional Herringbone pattern on the outsole and it will give terrific traction on the field. The outsole is very robust as it is made of rubber. It was probably the first shoe that provided a rubber shell toe. The rigid shell and broad toe box protect the feet from injury.

It has a low cut design which allows free ankle movement. The manufacturer kept the age-old lacing system for smooth operation. There is no issue with fitting since the shoe is so elastic. If your feet are not very big, you can go for half a size small pair.

You will be glad to know that it is a full leather shoe. Furthermore, you will get a smooth, textile border on the upper for comfort. The mesh lining is very breathable and ensures maximum flow of air. Also, it has stitching details and good cushioning in the midsole.

This model is a part of history as many superstars have used it. The manufacturer has released it in 20 different versions. So, it covers consumers of all age group. Adidas has never completely revamped this model and using the same formula since the last 50 years. It says a lot about its acceptability among consumers.


  • 100% leather
  • Rubber shell toe
  • Affordable
  • Wide toe box


  • Leather quality is not up to the mark
  • Fake products have been reported

5. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top


Next on the list is a trendy shoe from Converse. It has a simple but iconic design that looks good with any dress code. This unisex high-top suits everyone, regardless of gender. Despite being a high-top, it weighs comparatively less. So, you can wear it for any purpose; be it walking, running or playing basketball.

The shoe was first introduced in 1917. Basketball player turned salesman Chuck Taylor made this shoe famous after including ankle patch in this shoe. The patch fits perfectly and has written ‘Chuck Taylor’ all over it. It runs a bit larger than standard sizing so it will be wise to buy one size smaller than your regular size.

In my opinion, the most outstanding feature of this shoe is the insole as it comes with the trademark ortholite technology. It has been more than 20 years since ortholite started their journey. They are now a top producer of insole. This eco-friendly insole guarantees that you will love it when you put your shoes on.

While the comfortable insole will keep your feet more relaxed, the outsole will help you intaking every step with utmost confidence. Vulcanized rubber is used in the outsole which is very durable and grips well. The manufacturer used textile material in this shoe. It has a traditional lace-up system which is liked by many.

I personally loved the elastic tongue. In my childhood days, I always had trouble adjusting the tongue of my shoe. I guess you won't have to face the same struggle with this shoe as the tongue stays on an appropriate place.Also, it has medial eyelets and canvas construction for extra breathability.


  • Ortholite insole
  • Canvas upper
  • Easy to clean
  • Value for money


  • The sole is flat & less flexible
  • No arch support

6. Nike Men’s Air Max 90 Essential Low-Top Sneakers

Nike 537384-309

Vintage shoe lovers will be glad to know that another age-old model makes it to our list. It is Nike's popular Air Max 90 low-top sneaker. Though the shoe has been originally launched in the ‘90s, Nike has done some minor modifications to make it appropriate for our time.

Nevertheless, you will get the large ‘Nike’ logo on the heel tab which was a common trait of the old Nike shoes. It has traditional lace-up closure for giving you a secure lock-down experience. The shoe is offered in a wide variety of colors and you can also personalize color in every part, thanks to the new Nike ID Technology.

Let's talk about the materials. The primary element is leather. But, you will get rubber in the outsole and synthetic, mesh material in the upper. The upper looks smooth and comfortable. On the tongue, the name and logo of the brand are printed which looks good.

Duramesh is a durable foam material that is used in the insole. It is also very light and comfortable. This kind ofPU sole is widely being used in the performance shoes as they are pretty low in density and very robust. Also, it has sufficient cushioning in the underfoot and that will give your feet a pleasant feel.

It was the first shoe that included the Max Air Sole Unit in the heel. It makes the shoe responsive and absorbs much of the shock when you bounce with it. The rubber outsole looks durable. It has a waffle pattern and nylon overlays for excellent ground grip. The shoe also includes a padded collar for safety.

You will not find any problem with fitting. The shoe follows the standard US sizing chart and there are little variations in size with the actual shoe. It is available in standard 6 to 14 size for men. The shoe has a medium depth. Thereby, it is appropriate for you if your feet are neither too large nor too small.


  • Shock absorber
  • Customizable
  • Classic design
  • Leather Shoe


  • The profile is awfully bulky

7. Nike Men's Air Huarache Running Shoe

Nike 359418

In 1991, the celebrated maker Nike launched this shoe with high expectations. They declared that it is going to be the future of running shoes.Definitely, this is one of the coolest designs made by Nike. It has earned huge appreciations from fans around the world.

It has neoprene and spandex internal sleeve that will give a sock-like feel.The idea was borrowed from the water skiing shoes. It is really worth the experiment because the shoe truly fits like glue in the feet and provides supreme comfort.With a dynamic Dry-Fit feature,the shoe will keep your feet warm.

Though there is no issue with the fitting, you should order one size bigger shoe. The reason is Nike shoe usually runs smaller than standard size. Air sole unit is provided near the forefoot and heel for extra safety.It has EVA insole that gives excellent cushioning during impact.

The outsole comes with large lugs and provides superior traction on any terrain. However, you won’t feel any discomfort since deep flex groove is included to protect your feet from shocks. It has a conventional waffle pattern on the outsole. The sole is made of rubber, so it will not wear away upon heavy use.

Fortunately, it also includes flex grooves in the forefoot. Therefore, it will help you move frequently and naturally. The layered upper uses a combination of leather and textile. It implies that the materials are mesh, light and breathable. Another good thing about the shoe is its wide heel design. It will help the ankle to grip well.


  • The weight is less than 11 ounces
  • Easy to clean
  • Reasonable price


  • The toe box is too wide
  • Makes unpleasant sound occasionally

8. Nike Men’s Air Force 1 Mid 07 Trainers

Nike 315123

This is the fifth shoe in our list from Nike. It proves the greatness of this brand in the industry. So, in terms of brand value, you can be reassured that your monetary investment is not getting wasted.

What amazed me about the shoe is its massive color options. It comes in nearly 50 different color blend which is a significant advantage. As a result, every customer will be able to make their choice no matter how much differences there are in each one's taste, age, personality and gender.

It has imported leather as the main material. Besides, you will see the soles are made of synthetic. The leather that is used in the upper ensures a snug fit. Also, it has ample padding near the collar for ankle protection.

While the insole is made of foam, the outsole is made of rubber. So, it is a balanced approach to make sure that there is no compromise on comfort or durability. You won't have to worry about slipping as the outsole provides dependable traction. It makes the shoe an ideal choice for the workout.

The shoe is lightweight and breathable. It has a retro design and you can wear it on every season. The shoe can be cleaned easily. Moreover, if you buy the darker versions, you will rarely feel the need for cleaning.


  • Easy to Clean
  • Comfortable
  • Reasonable price


  • The tongue is not adjustable

9. Air Jordan 11 Retro Low Concord

Jordan 528895-153

Superstar Michael Jordan came out of retirement in 1995 and had a phenomenal season. He ultimately won the championship for his club. At this time, a legendary shoe turned the head of many spectators. It is called Air Jordan 11 and it was used by none other than the legendary Michael Jordan.

This one closely resembles the Air Jordan 11. It is actually a retro versionand will surely bring back nostalgia to many fans. But this is not all that it offers. It is incredibly flexible and lightweight. The midsole is made of thin Phylon foam and is well cushioned.

It has herringbone pattern on the outsole. This sole looks beautiful and works magic on the field.Typically, when you have solid rubber in the outsole, it will grip well but may hurt a bit. On the other hand, if the rubber is light, it will not provide good traction. The exciting part is, this shoe uses a mix of both kinds of rubber.

So, you will enjoy incredible traction as well as satisfactory comfort. Also, it has leather mudguard above the lower upper. It is a patented technology that is designed to protect the shoe.A carbon fiber plank joins the midsole and outsole. It provides extra stability in the midsole.

The mesh upper will add to your comfort. On top of it, nylon stripes are stitched. Upon lockdown, the shoe will stick to your feet and give you the most secure feeling.The shoe is offered in plenty of colors. I founda particular seller offering it in 27 different color options.


  • Iconic design
  • Airbag
  • Patented leather mudguard


  • The shoe is tight on the forefoot

10. Adidas Men's Pro Spark 2018

adidas BB7538

The Pro Spark 2018 is the last guy to be included in our list. This mid-top shoe from Adidas has been revered for being supportive and comfortable. It has a lace-up closure system that will help you to fit anatomically. The shoe stays loyal to the size chart, so you can certainly follow it when you make the order.

It was a great idea on the makers' part to feature the well-tested herringbone pattern in the outsole. The popular pattern gets a unique look in this model. You will see the edges are more rounded now. It is one of thebest grip basketball shoes that have non-marking rubber in the outsole.

The manufacturer used the patented Cloud Foam Technology in the midsole. Needless to say, their efforts are bearing results as the midsole provides a smooth and plush cushioning experience. Additionally, the ortholite insole will take the comfort of this shoe to a new level. Wefear that you might get addicted to this shoe.

Also, the heel is padded for more safety. It has a sleek and stylish look. Additionally, its internal webbing eyelets increased its glamour. The shoe weighs only 12 ounces. You can put them on with any outfit, for any occasion.

Adidas used synthetic textile in this shoe. The mesh upper will provide superior airflow. It has synthetic toe overlays and digital stitching for the most robust performance. Though the shoe makes no compromise with comfort, it is indeed not immune to water. Therefore, do not put them on during the rainy season.


  • Fashionable design
  • Ortholite Insole
  • Cloud Foam
  • Rubber sole


  • Few color options

Buying Advice - Key Factors to Consider

If you haven't bought a pair of basketball shoes before, buying the perfect pair can be a problem for you. Since there are plenty of options in the market, it is normal for anybody to get confused. Besides, you have to keep in mind so many factors before finalizing your decision.

Do not worry. I’m here to give you some useful tips on buying the right pair of shoes. You may note them down or keep them in mind when you go to the shop.


It may be a no brainer to many, but styles do matter to some. Your appearance speaks a lot about you. Some psychologists have even speculated that wearing the gears of your preferred color and design may boost your confidence and uplift your performance.

Apart from that, youngsters care for the outlook. So, the design of the shoe is the first thing to notice if you are a selective customer who wants to buy a beautiful pair.


Professional players always look for a good brand. Their game is important to them and they don't want to ruin them by buying a low-standard product. So, they want to have some sort of quality assurance.

On the other hand, brands have a reputation to make. Thereby, they keep a watchful eye on the quality control of their products.

Hence, if you want to be assured of the quality, you should purchase your shoes from a well-known brand. However, they will cost you a little more than the average brands.


Basketball shoes of the same size can have different weights.

Normally, if you like to play with more energy, you should go for the heavyweight shoe that has extra cushioning and enough protection to save you from the impact.

But, if you are a sprinter, lightweight shoes are ideal for you as it will aid you in running.


You will be surprised to see different shapes of shoes in the market. Actually, shapes say much about a player’s playing style.

Some shoes have tighter fittings that will help you in moving frequently. These are more like running shoes with a flexible build.

The last thing a muscle player wants is to see their shoes falling apart in the middle of the match. So, they want to ensure they have a good pair of shoes that provides stiffer build and a narrow space near the feet.

Playing Style and Position


Yes, the way you play also matters. If you are a power player and love to be in tough challenges with your opponents, you should buy solid and durable shoes that offer protection in those challenges.

However, if you rely on speed to outsmart your opponents, you must buy a pair of shoes that will help you move flexibly. Such shoes are lightweight and gives less protection.

Knowing your role in the game is also essential. The post players require shoes that can guard their ankles. But the finesse players care less for safety and look for a shoe with excellent cushioning and great traction.


Though I have already stretched that lightweight players do not want their shoes to be heavily protected.It doesn't mean they want their shoes to be too flimsy. Every player wants to have a durable pair.

So, if you are not a player of heavier build then you need to buy flexible shoes with a good lifespan. You want your shoes to support you at least for a few seasons. It is true that the lightweight shoes are less durable.

In that case, look for other qualities that will ensure the durability of your shoes, such as; materials, sole construction, brand reputation, etc.


You can classify the shoes based on height and put them in three categories; high, mid and low-top shoes. High-top shoes are for those aggressive looking forwards who want some weight and support in their feet. However, low-top shoes are preferred by the agile guards who are always moving swiftly.

What if you are an all-rounder?

Then you should go for the mid-top shoes that present a little bit of everything. You will have ankle support and resilience.


Speaking about materials, it is an essential factor no matter your shoes help you to tackle or run. In all situations, suitable materials will render the best performance.

Cheaper materials offer less breathability. Hence, your feet will sweat often and it will affect your achievements in the field. Therefore, look for a material made of thin plastic synthetic.

Usually, mesh materials that are not too thick or too thin work great by keeping the feet cooler and also protecting them.

You may have noticed that I have placed the ‘height’ option above material choice. The reason is, once you make up your mind about your shoe height, it is easier to choose the right material for you.

For instance, a soft upper will offer more mobility and will adapt with low-top shoes. On the other hand, durable hard uppers suit mostly the high-top shoes.


Players who play in the front want soft and bouncy cushioning in their shoes. They do not want to put their career in the line by playing with fewer protections. Such cushioning can absorb shocks better.

Normally, polyurethane midsoles offer greater stability. Moreover, many advanced technologies such as proprietary cushioning have been invented to give extra stability near the toe and heel region.

Lighter players who play behind prefer more responsive cushioning. Usually, they choose air or foam cushioning because of the elasticity in them. However, they are not immune to shocks. Besides, foam cushioning has a bad reputation that they do not last long.


It is one of the key qualities that you shouldn’t overlook. No matter what is your playing style, traction pattern is always important.The best grip basketball shoes will help you roll in the field with more confidence. You can stop suddenly or make quick turns to dazzle your opponents.


Your shoes need to fit perfectly so that you can feel comfortable and relax while playing. It shouldn't be too tight or narrow, but it should fit naturally. Another thing to notice is whether it has ample space for your thumb or not. If your shoes don't fit well, it will lead to discomfort and even injuries in the long term.


Last but not least, determine your budget before choosing your shoes. As there is a wide variety of shoes available, prices also vary depending on quality, brand and features. If you are an occasional player or a fresher who has recently started playing, you shouldn’t buy the premium shoes right away.

Premium shoes are expensive and used by professionals. Having said that, I will also discourage you from buying cheap shoes. Try to keep your budget close to $100-150 and look for the perfect shoe that will match all your requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What qualities of a shoe improves traction?

Basketball shoes with best traction have certain formulas to ensure superior gripping. The first quality is the traction pattern. It should be designed in a way that half of the outsole should be in touch with the surface. The material of the outsole and breathability is also important.

Q: How important is fitting?

Fitting is important because if your shoe becomes very loose, it will hamper your performance. It may even come off during the match. On the contrary, if it is too stiff, it will hurt you.

So, a regular fit is a mandatory requirement. The top shoes in the market will surely give you the most perfect fit. That is, it will be neither too loose nor too tight.

Q: How to improve the traction of basketball shoes?

There are several techniques to improve the traction of your shoe further. For instance, you can apply traction fluid in your shoe before the match. It will make your shoes extra grippy. Use a damp cloth to remove debris during the break. Keep your shoes clean for better traction.

You can also rinse your shoes with soapy water. Alternatively, you can put some saliva in the outsole for increasing the grip slightly.

Q: Do the best grip basketball shoes help you to jump higher?

Some companies claim that their shoes will help you jump a few inches higher. They incorporate their shoes with excellent padding and responsive outsole to help you jump. But it doesn't solely depend on the shoes. It also depends on your skill, height and muscle strength.

Q: How to differentiate between real and fake basketball shoes?

Always buy shoes from verified shops and sellers. When you are shopping online, always buy from a trusted site. Read the reviews of other buyers of the product before purchasing. It will be a wise decision to check the return policy prior to placing an order.

If the seller offers the shoe with sizes other than standard sizing, you should be alert. Check if the price is excessively lower than the official price. Most of the authentic brands have SKU number on the shoe. You can check the number to know whether your pair is fake or not.

Q: How long can a good pair of shoe last?

In my opinion, a good pair of shoes should at least last a few seasons.

Q: Is it necessary for basketball shoes with good grip to have good cushioning as well?

Though it is not a necessary requirement, it will surely make you feel better on the pitch. Some shoes may offer awesome grip but lack good cushioning. They will actually affect your performance by tiring you rather quickly. This is the reason why players give so much emphasis on comfort.

Final Words

Though finding the best traction basketball shoes may seem a daunting task, it is not impossible. To help you in your quest, I have written an entire buying guide for you.

I will suggest you read it along with the reviews to make up your mind.

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