The BEST OUTDOOR Basketball Shoes 2020 & Recent Few Years

There has never been a better year than this one to do this. Let’s take a look at the best outdoor basketball shoes 2020 and the recent few years have to offer.

SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  1. An Anti-Quarantine List
  2. The Perfect Outdoor Shoe Formula
  3. The Best Outdoor Shoes: 11 Picks
  4. There’s More You Need to Know

Perfect for taking your hops over to the park


Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Park

2019 & all the way to today truly have been somewhat a nightmare for a lot of people, including basketball players and guys who just like to shoot some hoops in a gym. Quarantine, social distancing, closed indoor gyms – it’s the complete package of stuff that we’re not currently finding very welcoming.

Let’s punch quarantine in the face. If your local gyms are closed, or you primarily play outdoors regardless, fasten your seatbelt!

Think of it as your go-to, all-in-one source of all you need to know about shoes for all types of outdoor (harder surface) courts.

I’ll be breaking down what exactly makes a solid outdoor shoe, give you my personal list of the 7 best outdoor hoop shoes.

To get you acclimated with the idea of a good outdoor sneaker, let’s break down the main keys you should look for in an outdoor-friendly shoe


I. DURABLE UPPER MATERIAL

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Upper

The line between “stiff but durable” and “soft but fragile” is getting more and more blurred.

This is why it’s important to get in-depth with any shoe’s tech specs and examine its upper and how exactly it’s made – what materials are used, is it a double layer of materials, what’s used to reinforce the upper’s key areas, and so on.

ALWAYS check a shoe’s review from someone you trust and who properly examined, evaluated, and tested the shoe in terms of its durability.

No matter the actual materials on paper, a knit no longer means the shoe is very unreliable or the opposite – a stiffer Fue & mesh upper will be uncomfortable.

Getting up close and personal with the product using a quality review will help you wonders, which is the first step.

The second step is to generally still aim for trusty upper options.

Not trying to contradict myself here – if you are sure that a particular knit upper shoe is durable (it’s reinforced with TPU in key areas or perhaps the knit is molded with Fuse for more structure, you checked the review, whatever the case may be), then you can totally go for it.

However, in cases where you’re not sure about it yourself and there’s no review that would provide enough insight – I would still encourage you to go with something that worked for outdoors time and time again.

Synthetic/genuine leather & nubuck are the most durable materials you can get, some of the newer stuff that uses some kind of mesh usually molded with Fuse or TPU is also a solid option that will last a long time. Nylon is also very strong by nature but newer shoes today rarely use it – so you’ll rarely spot it today.

II. DURABLE OUTSOLE RUBBER

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Traction

Another absolutely critical component is having an outsole that has durable rubber. We see all types of crazy choices by brands today and this is one of those areas where you should totally go for what’s been proven as durable.

Stick with solid rubber outsoles generally as some translucent or semi-translucent rubber outsoles still aren’t as consistent both in terms of traction and durability today. Sure, there are some exceptions but the general rule of thumb is to go with solid and solid rubber only.

Or if you’re hunting for a pair of Nikey’s for your outdoor game needs, you can try to find its EP version. Those are a little trickier to find usually they do come in a slight price increase but an EP basketball shoe comes with XDR rubber outsoles, specifically engineered to last longer outdoors.

If you can’t find the EP version of a particular shoe, you can also customize that shoe via Nike By You (formerly known as NikeID) and slap on the XDR rubber outsoles there too. Provided that shoe is customizable via Nike By You.

III. A TRACTION PATTERN DONE RIGHT

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Traction

Now, having the rubber compound itself be durable is only the first part.

The second part is making sure the pattern of the outsole is implemented in a way that will prevent fraying and deterioration.

I see so many brands put out shoes with actually durable rubber but their pattern choice straight up doesn’t make sense sometimes.

Aim for thick, strong grooves of the rubber pattern on the outsole – it’s a good idea to grab the outsole and move around the rubber grooves to check if they got a lot of give and if they’re thick enough to last on a hard surface.

If you can feel the rubber is very flimsy, you can move it around with barely any pressure and the grooves are thin – run away.

Another component is the actual pattern and how it’s spaced out – tighter, more dense traction patterns usually mean more dust to be collected inside. More dust means more slipping and you don’t want any of that.

Sure, some shoes deal better with sensitivity to dust than others but a thick, properly spaced-out pattern will ensure the debris that’s piling up has room to actually exit while you’re playing.

Herringbone is the true GOAT of traction patterns – it’s introduced by Nikey and still used to this day for many years now – it’s usually the best option in terms of durability, traction, and sensitivity to dust.

So if you see a shoe that’s listed with a herringbone pattern – at least you know you’ll be getting a strong bite. Always a welcome addition.

IV. PROPER IMPACT PROTECTION

This will come down to people’s personal preferences when it comes to how much cushion you like in a shoe. However, we should always take into account that outdoor courts usually have zero give to your feet. Concrete, blacktop, or even a synthetic outdoor surface is still not as forgiving on your knees as hardwood is inside.

This area of the shoe will vary upon the person but for someone who has an athletic & explosive playstyle, had issues with their knees or perhaps an older player – you will want to have plenty of cushioning in your shoes.

Full-length setups such as Adidas’s Boost, Nikey’s unlocked Zoom Air, Under Armour’s MicroG, and some others will be the best options in terms of maximum impact protection.

But you can also go with something more balanced to keep some of the court feel and quickness while still being protected. Adidas’s Bounce, Nike’s Lunarlon & UA’s HOVR cushion setups all do magic in terms of providing a balanced ride.

I suggest not sleeping on this one – your knees, feet, and tendons will thank you later.

V. SOLID VENTILATION

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Ventilation

Ventilation is something not everyone’s going to care about but I thought I’d mention it.

I personally don’t really care if my feet get hot inside a shoe – I focus on the game and the game only, and that seems to be working well so far. But of course, if you’re someone who’s feet get hot very quickly or you’re constantly playing under the sun – looking into shoes with better ventilation will help a bit.

Thinner materials will be best for more breathability. Knits, jacquards, textile uppers, open mesh are the best in providing some airflow. This won’t always align with actually getting a durable upper but if it does – you might hit two birds with one stone.

VI. VALUE FOR THE PRICE

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Value

The last thing I wanted to touch on is the value you’re getting for the shoe’s price. Strictly for outdoor play – I usually use shoes that are cheaper/discounted or they’re a bit older and you can get them under retail.

Think of my outdoor rotation as beaters that are solely for the purpose of lasting a long time while providing good bang for your buck in the long run.

I don’t think you’ll be wanting to spend $200 on a shoe that will last 4-5 months outdoors before the outsole burns off and the upper is all banged up.

That’s kind of a waste, so it’s generally safer to pick something with a lower price tag, ensuring that if a shoe breaks down quicker than expected (which is often the case outdoors), at least you didn’t throw $200 away.

Of course, I can’t speak for everyone as everyone’s budget is different, so if you’re feeling like spending more for a more premium shoe and taking it outdoors – there’s no one stopping you. This is why I’ve picked shoes that are varied in terms of price, so you will find some slightly more expensive ones.

The general vibe of the list will still be models that are more affordable though.

11 picks, in no particular order. My current personal favorite outdoor shoe at the end

Shoe list last updated on the 30th of March, 2021


πŸ’° $100

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: SC 3ZER0 II

A RUGGED, YET COMFORTABLE OPTION FROM UNDER ARMOUR

If you’ve only heard about the Splash Brother’s main signature shoe line – it’s time to take a look at the SC 3Zer0 line most of the models offered so far both don’t break the bank and offer long-term durability for outdoor hooping.

The SC 3Zer0 II, in particular, seemed the most reliable and closest to a perfect outdoor build, even though the rest of the lineup is also more or less durable. The second shoe has some serious-looking outsoles that utilize thick, strong rubber and a deep, properly spaced traction pattern. This should last you a WHILE.

For shock absorption, the shoe’s cushion tech specs are a MicroG midsole along with a Charged heel unit. This won’t offer an ultra bouncy setup and it sure won’t provide that pillow-y feel some guys love to have while playing.

However, this setup is balanced – it’s quick, absorbs impact well but doesn’t slow you down while still keeping things comfy. It’s a great setup for just about anyone and packs enough stability & impact protection for a blacktop session.

The upper utilizes what UA calls a “molded maxprene upper” which almost feels like a second skin for your foot. It’s not overly stiff or clunky but does a fantastic job holding any type of movement in the footbed and securing you with a tight, locked-in fit that doesn’t feel like it. Awesome stuff.

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: SC 3ZER0 II Outsole

THINGS TO NOTE

One might think it’s a rugged setup overall but the shoe’s build is actually fairly minimal. That’s absolutely not always a bad thing as the SC 3ZER0 II is still light, comfortable, and feels fast for such a durable build.

However, certain features like a proper heel counter are missing, which adds questionable heel & ankle lockdown into the picture. Now, this doesn’t mean the shoe is a fail security-wise.

It’s actually solid but the heaviest/most explosive of players might end up wanting a bit more structure at the back. I personally didn’t I don’t doubt there will be people who will want more.

The SC 3ZER0 II isn’t the best suit for a wide footer. I’ve got wide & thick feet myself, and despite going half a size up & giving ’em time to break in, certain movements still feel uncomfortable and a little too suffocating.


πŸ’° $130

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Air Max Wildcard

USING A TENNIS SHOE TO OUR ADVANTAGE

A tennis shoe? Yeah, you got that right. I really wanted to include this one in the list – I actually have the Air Max Wildcard for several years now and I’ve been pushing every inch of the shoe to its limits ever since. I’ve trained, ran, played basketball, boxed, and casually worn THE SAME PAIR for over 2 years now.

That’s how much I love these and I do believe they transfer to an outdoor basketball court very well.

If you know a thing or two about tennis, you know the shoes are made with very similar criteria and intent as basketball shoes are, which is why you’re getting the same level of traction, cushion, and support as you would from a solid hoop sneaker.

The shoe sports a thin but extremely durable synthetic textile/mesh type of material and it’s totally the shoe’s best feature for me. Two years deep – I’m still not seeing any major scratches, frayings, or any other signs of wear and tear.

The same case goes for the outsole – it’s not classic herringbone but it’s damn durable, as I’m getting the same bite as I did a couple of years ago.

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Air Max Wildcard Outsole

This is likely the most durable shoe in the whole list AND it’s one of the cheapest. Talk about a steal.

We also have a Max Air unit in the heel for decent impact protection in the heel but a removable Lunarlon midsole which is nothing short of awesome. It adds a bit of quick spring back as well as makes the ride a bit more stable and contained.

I think it’s a solid mid-tier type of cushion setup if you’d compare it to a basketball shoe. It’s quick, it’s secure and it’s versatile.

THINGS TO NOTE

Your feet will get hot in these. The upper doesn’t really promote any airflow, so for those that take this into account, keep it in mind. Also, the shoe is not very wide foot-friendly. The forefoot portion is very narrow and when you lace them up, the laces are connected with a strap that also tightens your forefoot.

I’m a wide footer myself, so you could imagine how much discomfort I’ve experienced as I’ve gone true to size.

It literally took me about 3-4 months to force the upper to mold to my foot and I’m still occasionally getting some pain here and there, especially in the forefoot area. So, wide footers – I’d either recommend staying away from these altogether or going up a full size.


πŸ’° $130

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Anta KT5

ARGUABLY THE MOST RELIABLE OUTDOOR OPTION FROM ANTA

If you’re having mixed feelings on some of the shoes or perhaps you’re not sure what to go for – the ANTA KT5 will be an option for just about everybody. You can call this your safe bet – you’ll win every time.

The reason for this is the shoe’s very versatile and durable at the same time. It’s a rare combo these days but ANTA has been killing it with most of Klay Thompson’s kicks.

We’ve got a knit upper that’s pretty good and it’s also reinforced with Fuse and glue, as well as excellent quality of seams, which makes this option durable. Sure, it’s not going to feel as soft and smooth as Primeknit or Performance Woven would but it’s still a knit – you’ll have some ventilation, the shoe is light and feels mobile.

The outsole has some very tacky rubber that doesn’t look like it’s burning off any time soon. I barely had to wipe them and the bite is still there outdoors a few weeks in.

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Anta KT5 Outsole

I also loved the A-flash midsole ANTA uses for the shoe’s cushion setup. It’s very balanced and would supplement just about any player – responsiveness, impact protection, stability, and a little bit of court feel. It’s all there.

THINGS TO NOTE

Just as the Harden Vol. 4, the upper is mainly knit, so it’s not going to last as long as a mesh, leather or nubuck would. The knit is glued together pretty well which does make it more durable than a regular knit but these will still be among the mid-tier in terms of durability.


 πŸ’° $140  πŸ† 8.1

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: LeBron Soldier 13

RELIABILITY + MAXIMUM SECURITY = THE SOLDIER 13

LeBron’s main and secondary shoe lines were always known as lightweight tanks that would ensure you’re comfortable but also supported like no other. You can probably guess why LeBron needs that in his shoes. The man’s a literal tank himself.

So here’s the LeBron Soldier XIII – $140 shoe that’s just as tank-like as most of his other releases. This time though, it’s lighter and even more comfortable, making you forget you got a shoe on while playing. Durable and distraction-free – a great combo for outdoor hoopers.

The upper might not match the on-paper criteria of durability as it’s just a textile but it’s more durable than I thought. No, it’s not the most durable option in the list but despite having some visual frays and chippings on a few spots on my shoe, from a performance & comfort perspective – these are just as good as new.

This is one of those cases where you can see the upper visually having some wear and tear after some time due to the flimsy nature of the material but at least for me, it’s nothing serious, so I’m not put off by that.

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: LeBron Soldier 13 Outsole

What I’m also not put off by is the outsole – it’s classic herringbone. Nothing more, nothing less. Solid, durable rubber and a near-perfect traction pattern make sure you’re not sliding all over the place, dust isn’t piling up inside, and it will last a while before you actually feel a difference.

Lastly, Zoom units in the heel and forefoot do their job well – plenty of impact protection, solid stability. It’s not as fun as full-length Boost but it delivers performance-wise. A much-needed piece for less forgiving outdoor play.

THINGS TO NOTE

The shoe is laceless. Literally. It’ll be up to you if it turns out to be a good experience or not – if you get the fit just right, I think you’re in for a great ride. If the fit is not optimal for your foot – there’s a pretty scarce level of customization in terms of tightness.

The straps lock you in nicely but if you feel some slippage, there’s barely anything you can do about that. That’s why I’d suggest trying this one on live if you can.


πŸ’° $140 

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Zoom Air GP Turbo

ANOTHER TENNIS SHOE THAT’S WELL WORTH YOUR ATTENTION

Another tennis shoe, how about that! If you’ve made it this far – you already know a tennis shoe should never be counted out in terms of performance on a basketball court. A more premium and expensive version of the Air Max Wildcard – that’s basically how I describe the Air Zoom GP Turbo.

So, why is this one good for outdoor basketball? A very durable outsole with a spaced-out pattern – check. A comfy textile upper reinforced with overlays – check. Full-length Zoom Air directly under your foot for awesome impact protection – check.

You basically get premium specs that translate extremely well to basketball. One of the most durable options in the whole list despite the textile upper, and also one of the most breathable. All the treats packed into a nice $140 package.

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Zoom Air GP Turbo Upper

THINGS TO NOTE

If you’re looking for tank-like support – the GP turbo might not give you that. It’s a low top with the intent to make you feel mobile, light, and responsive.

There’s a midfoot piece for torsional stability and small outriggers for lateral coverage but that’s pretty much it. Heavy & large players will likely need something a bit more sturdy.

These are also a nightmare for wide footers. The forefoot construction is very narrow, even going up half a size made was still unplayable for me, so your best bet as a wide footer would be to either skip these entirely or try them on to get the size right.


 πŸ’° $185  πŸ† 8.8

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: LeBron 16 2019

AMONG THE LEADING MODERN OPTIONS FOR COMFY & FUN OUTDOOR PLAY

I feel like the 16th LeBron is a near-perfect shoe for outdoors, without LeBron even realizing it. Okay that might not be true but the point is the shoe is mad comfy, it performs fantastically but it also happens to have characteristics for a good outdoor model.

A modern take on an outdoor shoe is what I’d call the LeBron 16. The LeBron 17 might have some improvements but for outdoors – the 16 stands out more.

It’s got a Battleknit 2.0 upper with some nubuck and nylon in the mix – a pretty innovative combo that might not look pretty for all but it sure does perform beautifully. This combo basically takes all the good stuff from each material and blends it to make it an effective package.

Battleknit is soft, comfortable, and light but since nylon reinforces it – over-stretching is prevented. Then you have nubuck on higher wear areas which is still very comfortable and doesn’t cause any distractions – it’s there to add some more coverage in areas which might break down sooner than others.

What you get is a ridiculously comfortable experience that’s also durable and has enough structure to support LeBron, the beast himself.

I would confidently say that the LeBron XVI is the most durable knit shoe, making the least sacrifices in any field in terms of performance. If you want durability AND maximum comfort – this is the one.

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: LeBron 16 Upper

The outsole is also great – super tacky rubber, it’s properly spaced out and works brilliantly on an outdoor court.

Max Zoom cushion setup is what makes this one super fun – I felt like I was running on clouds, yet I was still fast and responsive.

Court feel will suffer since you sit pretty high off the ground but I’d rather take this than something with more court feel, yet not as protective from impact. Impact protection is king here – and the LeBron 16 delivers in that area, and then some.

THINGS TO NOTE

This is the most expensive shoe on the list, so some users could be hesitant to spend that much on an outdoor beater. They’re also a bit tougher to find but I still see some options on Amazon.

Lastly, the shoe is catered towards more explosive players who need more cushion than court feel. If you’re someone who’s low to the ground and you need all the quickness you can get, there are better options out there, such as these guard-orientated options.


 πŸ’° $115  πŸ† 9.4

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Dame 5

A $115 OUTDOOR MINI TANK FROM ADIDAS

Let’s forget about the newer Dame 6 and focus on this beast. If you’re talking pure performance, pure durability, and all at a killer price – the Dame 5 is simply the definition of a consumer-friendly product. We’re in 2020 and I rarely see a shoe better than the Dame 5, not just for outdoors.

The upper. Mesh & synthetic nubuck. Pure durability, no gimmicks, no complaints. It feels great after you break them in, it plays great and it’s very tough. You simply can’t make nubuck unreliable and the mesh used here is pretty thin but made very well.

Nearly two years of play – I can’t spot anything that would cause concern. As a matter of fact, I can’t really spot any signs of wear at all, in fact. It’s one of those shoes – put ’em on and forget about it. They’ll handle the load.

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Dame 5 Upper

The outsole. Classic herringbone, tacky rubber – what else is there you’d need? It grips the floor very well, I barely wipe them as dust isn’t much of an issue and the rubber is still at nearly 100%.

The midsole. Full-length Bounce is king in terms of versatility. I stay strong behind that statement – a few of my all-time favorite shoes happen to feature Bounce and I love every bit of it. It’s not as fun or bouncy as unlocked Zoom or Boost but the experience with Bounce is ridiculously seamless.

I feel responsive, quick, there’s still court feel under the forefoot area but impact protection is also fantastic. If you’re not yet sure what kind of cushion you like – just go with the Dame 5 and your issue is solved. A little bit of everything for everyone.

These are currently on sale on adidas (during the time I’m writing this), so you can grab them for under $115. There’s seriously not a lot I could ask for – grab these while you can!

THINGS TO NOTE

Ventilation isn’t the upper’s strong suit – so if your feet get hot quickly, these won’t help you much there.

Also, even though I didn’t personally experience this, some people reported that the outsole took some time to break in and provide proper traction. So if you’re feeling a bit wonky the first few wears – give them time and they should be fine in the long run.


 πŸ’° $110  πŸ† 8.8

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Dame 7

AN UPGRADED MINI TANK FROM ADIDAS, TWO MODELS LATER

Let’s take the Dame 5 and apply a few tweaks. That’s the Dame 7 for you.

A lighter build now consisting of strong mesh & Fuse overlays for some more structure. Still durable, still works but more comfortable now.

Then there’s the midsole. We’ve got full-length Lightstrike instead of Bounce and I’m loving this setup. Super bouncy and soft at the heel, while things are ultra-quick, low to the ground at the front.

Some people might need to get used to such an offset from heel-to-toe but if you like having tons of compression for your heel strikes – the Dame 7 will surely put a smile on your face.

Still a very supportive build that feels a bit more forgiving now, fitting right in the modern standards of lightweight, synthetic-based materials dominating the structure.

Lastly, the outsole has been reworked, and even though the pattern is not your typical, trusty herringbone – this stuff just works. Deadly grip, consistency, durability, and no need to wipe the outsoles down too often. Dame knows what he’s doing – now we know that for the 7th time I guess.

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Dame 7 Upper

THINGS TO NOTE

The only small things I’ve noticed not ideal about the Dame 7 are the sizing and the laces. In typical adidas fashion, the shoe fits a bit long, so certain people might end up feeling better in a half a size up. True to size will still fit most people though, just with a tad bit of room at the toe box.

As far as the laces go, the Dame 7 just refuses to stay locked in after I pull down on my laces. It never caused a major issue for me but I have to constantly stop and re-lace the shoe as the initial pressure you applied to the laces literally goes loose almost immediately.


πŸ’° $120

ANOTHER BALANCED OUTDOOR-READY OPTION FOR EVERYONE

The Jordan React Elevation is a very solid model from Jordan Brand and in very unusual Jordan Brand fashion, this one’s actually great for consistent outdoor use! Hard to find modern Jordan hoop shoes that don’t scream “replace me!” a year in. And this one retails at $120, so a solid deal as well.

The React Elevation sports translucent outsoles that might not look that aggressive but they actually provide some of the best traction from a modern Jordan shoe. I’m over 6 months in with these and even though I’m not playing in them every day, I do play regularly and only outdoors. They still work just as well.

The shoe utilizes a forefoot Zoom Air unit for a fast, stable ride at the front. React foam is used in the heel for a bit more compression & impact protection. The overall ride is very well-balanced and feels seamless while yielding enough impact absorption even for unforgiving outdoor play.

The upper is a synthetic textile that is comfortable, lightweight and the added Fuse overlays for structure take care of the containment.

A versatile Jordan option that gives a bit of everything for most players: reliable traction, balanced cushion, support that doesn’t restrict you, and a basic but well-structured textile upper.

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: React Elevation Outsole

THINGS TO NOTE

I found the traction fairly wonky initially but that’s because you have to give these some time for the rubber to break in. Stay patient and you should feel the grip getting deadlier every day. Similar to the outsoles, the upper did feel a bit stiff at times. The fuse-like panels will need some time to soften up and give you the proper fit.

However, this upper doesn’t really stretch out too much. What you see is mostly what you get – so you’ll need to make sure you get the size ideal for this one.


 πŸ’° $130  πŸ† 8.4

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Heritage 7

THE TRUE OUTDOOR TANK FOR THOSE GOING ALL-OUT

Let me introduce you to the Zoom Heritage N7. A full-on old-school leather shoe that brings the vibes back from the early 2000s. However, modern tech happens to be packed inside, so the end result might surprise a lot of people.

The shoe has some of the deadliest looking traction patterns I’ve ever seen and it plays just the way it looks. Stopping power, multi-directional traction no matter the weather elements, tacky rubber and grooves that don’t rapidly attract debris, and undeniable durability. These things show you how it was back in the day.

The cushion here is actually very solid: a Zoom unit along with a modest foam midsole make up for a great ride. Not the bounciest, nor the firmest but felt just enough to get me through a long park session without feeling dead. There’s enough impact protection for everyone here but the shoe doesn’t feel overly slow.

The upper is where things get a bit slower. I’m talking classic, raw leather in its full glory all over the build. I don’t think I need to tell you how durable, supportive, and resistant genuine leather is, and this thick build is undoubtedly the most rugged option on the list.

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Heritage N7 Upper

THINGS TO NOTE

With such a build comes its sacrifices. This leather is super durable and provides some of the most killer foot containment you can get but there’s no denying this is a shoe on the heavier & clunkier side. I always say weight barely matters but this time you can really feel its presence.

The lightest, quickest of guards or people preferring more lightweight, modern setups might end up feeling clumsy and heavy-footed. I know I did at times.

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE

My current go-to to feel cozy even on the blacktop. Hard to stop playing in these!


 πŸ’° $160  πŸ† 8.4

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Zoom Rize 2

DURABILITY, PERFORMANCE AND UNDENIABLE EXPLOSIVENESS

Just as the first Zoom Rize, the second shoe brings back the same well-rounded performance and squeezes out a few tweaks to make it even better for some people, like myself. I love both shoes, but the Zoom Rize 2 is even more fun than the 1st.

A well-spaced-out, multi-directional traction pattern grips the floor really well and also provides durability that beats most of its Nikey competition that has been looking fairly weak these days (durability-wise).

This shoe is available via Nike By You as well as an EP version is available (albeit tough to get) but even if you got the regular version – this rubber’s enough to propel you for multiple years in the park.

But it’s the cushion setup that keeps me playing in these and having so much fun each time. The springy forefoot Zoom unit is something you have to try and it’s perfect for hardcore outdoor games.

It’s RIDICULOUSLY bouncy but the energy return feels really damn fast, so I never felt slow in these despite a generous amount of cushion. The heel is a bit softer but still not too clunky. I never sunk into the midsole, so things well balanced at all times.

And the rest of the shoe is far from lacking: all-around support is great while shedding some of the weight the first shoe had, as well as making the upper more flexible & mobile.

This textile might look unreliable but I’ve already given these plenty of months in the park and besides some cosmetic damage – there’s really nothing there to make me change my mind on the fact that the Zoom Rize 2 is a fantastic outdoor option.

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: Zoom Rize 2 Outsole

THINGS TO NOTE

Some say the slightly higher elevation of the ground compared to the Zoom Rize 1 introduces questionable stability. While on paper, yes, the shoe does ride a bit higher of the ground and there are no beefed-up features that’d account for such a change but I honestly didn’t feel this in practice.

You can find shoes that put more emphasis on a stable base, sure, but I’d be lying if I said I had issues with these. Still though, I’m sure some of the shiftiest & quickest of players could find this setup a little too high off the ground but for that, I recommend my guard’s shoe list or the first three shoes in the list.

Here are more details on the Zoom Rize 2 in case you’re interested!

From the world’s greatest traction to achieving the most security, or staying light on your feet. Or perhaps staying comfortable? I’ve got you.


Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes 2020: End

Alright, that is it! I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this guide, and I truly hope you found it informative! But there’s much more to it than having an outdoor sneaker lineup.

If you’re looking to learn some stuff about basketball shoes, or perhaps would like to get deeper into the process of making a wise purchase decision – I’ve got you covered. I’ve put together additional regularly-updated shoe lists & guides on a range of hoop shoe topics. Check ’em out below!


I know a lot of you are now balling outside, so what shoes you currently hoop in? Perhaps you got a suggestion I could add to the list? Or maybe you got any questions?

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2 thoughts on “The BEST OUTDOOR Basketball Shoes 2020 & Recent Few Years

  1. Hey Julius, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this guide. The year was crazy but nothing can stop us from shooting some hoops outside except bad weather! I personally like your #1 pick the most, Adidas Dame 5. I haven’t worn the shoe yet, but I’m interested in getting a pair for myself. The spring is coming, the outdoor courts are starting to warm up, and I would like to start off on the right foot lol! I’m a big fan of Damian Lillard. I hope his shoes are as half as good as he is as a pro player. Thanks again for sharing this list of best outdoor basketball shoes!

    1. Absolutely! Well, quarantine kicked me in the face pretty seriously, I wasn’t even able to play in a park not too long ago, so I’ll have to say stuff CAN stop us from playing every once in a while lol. But yeah, the Dame 5 is a beast, soooooo many people overlook it.

      I think you’ll have a great time with ’em!

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