What Basketball Shoes Have The Best Grip?

What Basketball Shoes Have The Best Grip?

Some people argue that it is the skill of a basketball player that is solely responsible for his/her on-court performance. Others believe that, irrespective of a player’s skill set, he will thrive on the basketball court as long as he is kitted with the right basketball shoes.

We do not know what your opinion is – whether you agree with either school of thought. For us, however, we believe that basketball is not a game of luck or chance. A player must know his game and go to the court prepared to thrive.

The right basketball shoes provide the right atmosphere for you to display your skills. Imagine a player who comes to the court kitted in premium basketball shoes is given the ball, but is unable to shoot it through the hoop because he does not know any techniques. That had nothing to do with his shoes, but everything to do with his skills.

Now, picture a pro basketball player having a bad day on the court because he keeps slipping and sliding across the floor as he tries to get in the game.  That had nothing to do with his skills. He just happened to be wearing the wrong basketball shoes that day. The shoes he wore did not provide him with the best traction where he needed it. 

So, in this article, we will show you what basketball shoes provide the best grip. The best basketball shoes do not just have the best traction, but also high overall performance. First, you need to see reason with us for getting shoes with the best grip.

What Basketball Shoes Have The Best Grip?
Photo by Connor Coyne on Unsplash

Why Your Basketball Shoes Must Have Good Grip

The game of basketball entails that you position yourself accurately on the court and have a firmer grip for better performance. There are several reasons your basketball shoes need to have a good grip. They include the following: 

  • Basketball shoes with the best traction will ensure that you maintain your position on the court and do not lose your balance throughout a game and after.
  • Basketball shoes that have great grip prevent any kind of injuries on the court. This is because your shoes will do well on any surface, so you won’t slip or slide around the court.
  • Basketball shoes with the best traction allow you to make multidirectional movements quickly and fast. This feature will be more beneficial to guards as they need to make quick and sharp turns on the floor as they play.

Basketball Shoes With The Best Grip

If you need to quickly get the information, the next section with the comparison table is for you. However, we encourage you to read this article till the end to see what these basketball shoes have to offer in addition to having the best traction.

Basketball Shoes With The Best Grip Comparison Table

NameRatingPrice Category
Nike LeBron 16Best Overall PerformanceAbove $120 but less than $150
Adidas Crazylight Boost 2018Best For All Courts Above $100 but less than $120
Under Armour Anatomix Spawn LowBest Fit Above $100 but less than $120
Nike Lebron Soldier 13Best Rugged Above $120 but less than $150
Nike Kobe AD NXT FastFitBest CushionedAbove $200
New Balance OMN1SBest ImpactAbove $120 but less than $150
Under Armour HOVR Havoc LowBest LightweightAbove $100 but less than $120
Air Jordan 34Best Bounce Above $150 but less than $200
Nike Hyperdunk 2017Best For Wide FeetAbove $120 but less than $150
Under Armour ClutchFit Drive IIBest SupportAbove $120 but less than $150
Adidas Crazy ExplosiveBest For OutdoorAbove $150 but less than $200
Under Armour Curry 3 LowBest ValueAbove $100 but less than $120

Basketball Shoes That Have The Best Grip

Now, let us discuss each of those basketball shoes in the table above. Here, we will tell you what these shoes have to offer in addition to their amazing grip.

1. Nike LeBron 16

As one of the newest additions to the Nike LeBron line, many agree that the LeBron 16 is a huge upgrade from the LeBron XV, and is one of the best of the NBA champion’s signature line. Every part of this shoe, from the upper to the outsole is phenomenal. 

The premium Battleknit 2.0 upper with nubuck looks good, feels good, and provides an amazing fitting experience. This, in addition to its extra lace holes, delivers amazing lockdown support and containment. You can find the shoe in leather and upper mesh.

Now, to the focus of this entire article: traction. Using the herringbone pattern that was previously introduced in LeBron Soldier 12, the LeBron 16 provides you with really thick and griping traction that is also dust-free. Yes, dust-free. You could use this pair for a fortnight and only need to wipe it once. This is because the pattern is spaced wide enough to push out any kind of dirt as you play.

This shoe could easily be used for outdoor courts for a long time as the rubber used for the outsole is very hard. Altogether, the shoe has a quicker and smoother feel and delivers incredible impact protection.

You can hardly find anything wrong with these basketball shoes, except for their retail price. Although they don’t come cheap, when you consider what Nike offers with these shoes, you will agree that the Nike LeBron 16 is not priced above its value. If you are an explosive and powerful wing player, LeBron 16 is definitely for you.

Nike Lebron XVI 16 Mpls Mens Ck4765-001 Size 10

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2. Adidas Crazylight Boost 2018

This shoe is an impressive development of the already explosive Adidas Crazylight Boost 2016. The upper of this shoe is made of tightly knit textile that sits perfectly on the feet while offering more softness than your regular pair of sneakers.

Although it is thicker on the inside, the upper is very breathable that no matter how suffocated your feet might feel as a result of the thickness, you will not find any sweat on them. There is no need to give the upper a break-in time, as you are ready to go from the get-go.

This shoe provides incredible impact absorption with the extra BOOST on the inside. When a lot of pressure is put on the lateral side, you are guaranteed of a stable base. This is because semi-translucent rubber is used to cage the forefoot’s external side.

In addition to underneath-the-foot impact protection, this shoe delivers a responsive bounce, as the heel is made of heavy, thicker BOOST.

This shoe has incredible multidirectional traction that is extremely effective in all conditions. It comes ready for lateral movements, hard cuts, whatever you have in mind; even on outdoor surfaces. Especially as the outsole is made of rubber.

With this high-performance pair of shoes, you will not need to worry about slipping or sliding around the court. In the presence of dust, the wider grooves act as exit ducts for dust, keeping the bottom clean.

Just like its predecessor, the Crazylight Boost 2016, this shoe does not offer a roomy toe box to accommodate players with wide feet. However, it delivers a wonderful fit for players with narrow feet, giving all-round support.

Another thing this shoe is lacking is lateral containment. But in spite of this, this shoe is still an impressive high-performance basketball shoe.

adidas Crazy Light Boost 2018 Shoe - Mens Basketball 13.5 Scarlet/Core Black/White

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3. Under Armour Anatomix Spawn Low 

Following the original idea of the Anatomix Spawn made in 2013, this new Anatomix Spawn Low is built around the anatomy of the foot. This is evidenced in the flowing red and blue pattern of the upper which represents the various tendons, muscles, and ligaments that make up the foot.

This pair of sneakers is designed for superstars, like Joel Embiid, who are as comfortable in the post as they are behind the three-point line.

Whatever position you play on the court, the Anatomix Spawn Low can enhance your performance. 

Apart from its psychedelic visual, the upper also features a TX/TPU layering which ensures breathability without compromising on stability and support.

The forefoot has both added flexibility and enhanced stability. This is achieved with the lacing that goes all the way to the forefoot with a rubber wrap. This ensures maximum flex while eliminating the fear of rolling off the ball of the foot. 

The Antanomix Spawn Low also implements a better-improved version of Micro-G cushioning which gives you a nice blend of responsiveness and impact protection.

Now, to traction. This pair of shoes has a multi-level 3D traction pattern that is adaptive. Regardless of the condition, this traction delivers an impeccable floor grip using coefficient friction and delivering better strength than the original Spawn.

Somehow, there is unnecessary dead space in the toe box, this should not be a deal-breaker as an internal heel counter offers complete lockdown of the heel to make sure you enjoy a snug fit.

Under Armour Anatomix Spawn Low

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4. Nike LeBron Soldier 13

Another high-performance shoe is the Nike LeBron Soldier 13. Almost everything about this pair of sneakers looks beastly. It has the same sophisticated and rugged look as previous Nike LeBron models. However, its slimmer-looking structure is what sets it apart from the others in the same line. 

This shoe has a mesh-fuse-Hyperposite upper that is supportive. One would expect the overlays to prevent ventilation. However, playing with these shoes will not leave your feet sweaty. The upper is comfortable and provides a great deal of lockdown. This perfect lockdown can be attributed to the laces that never come undone.

Soldier 13 has incredible traction. The solid-rubber hex pods-herringbone pattern is deep, works well even on outdoor courts to ensure quick and rapid multidirectional movements, and attracts less dirt.

The heel-to-toe strides are super smooth. Its predecessor, the LeBron 12, that had an amazing Zoom unit in the heel but a hard Posite-covered midsole. The LeBron 13, however, has lightweight Phylon and Zoom, which aid your strides, and are super comfortable on impact.

This pair is suitable for any basketball player as it has outstanding traction, is comfortable, durable, very supportive, and has no real weaknesses.

Nike Lebron Soldier XIII SFG TB Basketball Shoes, CN9809-002 (13 M US) Black/White

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5. Under Armour HOVR Havoc Low 

This is the first pair of basketball sneakers that the brand Under Armour designed with their HOVR cushioning technology. It is made up of an encapsulated HOVR foam wrapped with the Energy Web mesh, which provides smoother and comfortable movements on the court. It can return whatever impact is absorbed to your foot as a form of energy.

Straight to this shoe’s traction. The outsole is produced from durable and hard rubber and features a herringbone pattern that provides maximum floor control and grip.

The patterns are wide-spaced and thick, guaranteeing the shoes a good impression on all surfaces. Agile guards will find this shoe impressive as those quick and sharp turns on the floor can be carried out with finesse and comfort.

Also, the shoe features a breathable, two-tone mesh upper that comes with a TPU hot melt film just over the toe area for protection. In the forefoot is found anatomical flex grooves which will enhance natural flexibility.

Underfoot cushioning and support will not be a bother as the HOVR Havoc Low uses a die-cut EVA sockliner. With all these great features and qualities, this high-performance shoe is not as pricey as some others.

Under Armour Men's Drive 5 Low Basketball Shoe, Graphite (101)/White, 10

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6. Nike Kobe AD NXT FastFit

Nike went all the way with the Kobe AD NXT FastFit. The brand combined Nike FastFit, QuadFit, and REACT to produce a shoe that will take ballers closer to the ground and still allow them comfort and greater court control.

To guarantee control, the shoe provides amazing ground-biting traction. The translucent outsole comes with an aggressive scale pattern. Whatever is your play style, this shoe will provide you with the best traction needed. Your side-to-side movements are taken care of if you are a shifty player, and your rim runs will have no issues if you are a straight-line driver player.

The shoe’s full-length REACT drop-in midsole, in addition to a cushion on the heel, enhances stability for you. While the shoe’s cushioning is plush, it does not compromise responsiveness and court feel.

While the Nike FastFit accommodates the needs of a wide range of athletes, the Nike QuadFit supports containment and does not compromise movement. The Nike Kobe AD NXT FastFit will guarantee that maintain control while moving at a fast pace on the court.

Nike Kobe AD NXT FastFit Basketball Shoes, Size 10 Mens, 11.5 Womens, Off Noir/Clear CD0458-090

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7. New Balance OMN1S

Now, to the New Balance item on our list. The New Balance OMN1S provides great traction no matter what it comes against. It is a variation of the classic herringbone that looks like a serrated outsole, and it slices through dust, regardless of what the court finish is.

The inner side uses different directions of grains, so, we can rest assured that the multidirectional herringbone outsole has an amazing traction performance. 

It implements the FuellCell insole technology, which, according to the brand, is made by injecting nitrogen into TPU material. The lightweight insole technology ensures that the shoe is not bulky.

Another advantage of this technology is that the response is fast, especially when breaking through or changing directions. 

Incredible anti-torsion performance is guaranteed as this shoe comes with a TPU supporting plate that extends from the heel to the forefoot. The inner side of the outsole is upturned, improving the stability of the sole.

Also, the New Balance OMN1S provides efficient ankle support. Plus, the materials used to manufacture this shoe are of high-quality and are very durable.

8. Air Jordan 34

By far the best Air Jordan since Air Jordan 29, the Air Jordan 34 is a high-performance basketball sneaker. The bladed herringbone traction on this shoe is super effective in every condition, with hardly any need to wipe it. The herringbone makes its way around this Air Jordan’s outsole radially and is perfect for your multidirectional moves.

At 13.1 ounces, it is also one of the most lightweight and bounciest Air Jordans. It was designed to allow you be light on your feet and fly high without compromising stability.

During side to side movements, the eclipse plate delivers stability and support. The ultra-responsive Zoom Air cushioning under the heel and forefoot recharges every stride you take.

The mix of translucent materials and textile on the upper makes the upper both lightweight and breathable. Plus, this upper also guarantees that you have a snug and comfortable fit. Also, this shoe will give you all you need to execute maximum explosion off the foot. 

Nike Air Jordan Xxxiv Mens Ar3240-016 Size 11

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9. Nike Hyperdunk 2017

Let us share a fun fact with you. The traction of the Nike Hyperdunk 17 was developed using data-informed pressure maps of the feet in their sports research laboratory. The pattern manipulates the foot’s impact and movement.

You might wonder if there is a purpose for all that trouble. It sure is not just for aesthetics reasons. The reason for the creation of that pattern is to ensure that you have a supportive base that is fine-tuned to provide you with the best traction where needed.

Flyknit is implemented in the shoe’s upper. The Flyknit ensures that the shoe provides you with maximum support where needed. This basketball shoe also features REACT foam in the midsole. The cushioning is firm and bounces back quickly delivering you with the responsiveness needed on impact. 

Basketball players with wider feet were considered in the creation of the Hyperdunk 2017. This is evident in the extended toe box of the basketball shoe. Plus, it also comes with a padded collar that provides you with incredible ankle support.

Nike Mens Hyperdunk 2017 Low Limited Multi-Color/Ankle-High Suede Basketball Shoe - 8.5M

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10. Under Armour ClutchFit Drive II

The ClutchFit Drive II from Under Armour is another great pair of basketball sneakers with impressive grip. The multidirectional herringbone pattern is a straight line and will support you in any direction you move in, making navigation super easy.

The traction wraps up on the midsole of the medial forefoot, further providing more coverage on those hard cuts and quick cutbacks of yours. This just provides a great overall performance.

The predecessor of the ClutchFit Drive II featured full-length MicroG technology, however, this one features the Charge Foam technology.

This new technology makes the basketball shoe ideal for quick guards who rely on lateral movements to get their movements and positioning right. This is because the foam is now firmer and more responsive.

Your feet will not get even a tad sore, and this shoe performs well under tough conditions. So, if you play a bit harder than the average player, the Clutch Fit Drive II will work for you.

Although the shoe’s upper does not feature a full-length ClutchFit material like its predecessor, it does use a fused overlay that easily flexes itself after playing for a couple of times.

The mesh used at the forefoot is flexible and fits well around the toes. These sneakers can provide you with immense support and lockdown. ClutchFit Drive II is an excellent choice if you are looking for lightweight sneakers that offer good traction and comfort.

Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 2 Midnight Navy/Blue Jet/White (10M)

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11. Adidas Crazy Explosive

The Crazy Explosive will give the needed boost while playing outdoors. Of course, you can use this pair of shoes indoors, like every other basketball shoe. But unlike some other shoes, this pair is amazing for outdoor courts, too.

The classic traction design of the rubber outsole gives a solid grip on all courts. The outsole sticks and does not slip on cleaner courts. On outdoor courts, the grip is just as solid, although you might need to wipe the dirt off a few times.

If you are a jumper, the Crazy Explosive is your best fit. The basketball shoe will give you the exact bounce rate you desire, causing you to jump even higher. The TPU will encourage you to give your best to the game as it keeps your ankles protected every time.

The Boost midsole will allow you to put as much pressure as you are expecting in return on it.

While playing, you will get all the support you need as the shoe’s broad base will deliver it. The newly forged Primeknit uses supportive reinforcements on the shoe.

Besides, these basketball sneakers are very lightweight, providing you with ample support while you play. They wrap around your feet with that comfy sock-like feel, so that they are not a burden as you play.

Besides, the Boost plush cushioning is extremely responsive, making them one of the best in the market.

adidas Crazy Explosive Black/SIL/Gr Basketball Shoes 8

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12. Under Armour Curry 3 Low

For any kind of court, this Stephen Curry’s signature basketball shoe, Curry 3, delivers great traction on a budget. You will not need to sell a kidney to get these great basketball sneakers.

The outsole of this basketball shoe was designed to enhance traction. The herringbone traction magnifies grip, stability, and support on the court.

While providing great traction, they are lightweight and breathable. The herringbone traction pattern is not as aggressive as it was on the Curry 2, but the rubber sole has been greatly improved to enhance the grip of Curry 3 Low.

It is this improvement in the rubber outsole that makes the Curry 3 Low a good option for use on outdoor courts. Although the grooves in the outsole are a bit shallow, the traction on these sneakers has a high-performance rate.

Under Armour designed the Curry 3 Low with a Threadborne™ upper which supports you with lightweight directional strength. High-intensity thread is used through the lateral side of the shoe, and this provides you with incredible fitting without making you forgo support.

Anafoam was also implemented to provide a body-mapped fit, lightweight structure, and support. To ensure durability and longevity, the brand used fuse on high-wear areas.

Curry 3 Low comes with Charged Cushioning® that improves first-step speed and the change of direction. The Ortholite insole also adds to the comfort you will experience in every step.

A meta-wing carbon fiber skank provides you with locked-in stability through the heel, arch, and forefoot. The upper is made of mesh and is pretty breathable. The shoe’s slightly asymmetrical lacing system provides you with a complete lockdown, keeping your feet in place without suffocating them.

Under Armour UA Curry 3 Low Mens Basketball Trainers 1286376 Sneakers Shoes (US 9.5, Grey Grey red 289)

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What To Consider To Determine What Shoe Has Best Grip

Below are the major things we considered before coming up with our list of the basketball sneakers that have the best grip. If you have never considered traction, now is a good time to start, as it can improve your performance in the game

a. Tread Pattern

There is hardly any shoe that has the same tread pattern as another. We know there is no single absolute tread pattern that is superior to others. However, all the shoes that are on our list deliver a pattern that is superior to basic basketball sneakers.

b. Court Type

We have come to discover that not all outsoles are made for both indoor and outdoor use. While most basketball sneakers are made for indoor use, some are designed to accommodate outdoor use.

You will need more traction if you play outdoors more than if you play basketball indoors. The extra traction will be needed to make up for the gravel, dust, and dirt that can build up and consequently cause you to slip and lose your footing.

c. Durability

As expected, new shoes always seem to be perfect and will have an amazing grip on the floor. However, the consistency of play brings wear and tear. So, these shoes can begin to lose their amazing traction pretty quickly.

When considering basketball sneakers for purchase, go for shoes that are constructed with materials that are made to last. The best basketball shoes will ensure that you still enjoy the best possible traction and overall performance for many games to come.

Final Words

Going through our list, it will look as if we favored certain brands by including more of their articles on the list. The truth is that those brands consistently keep the overall performance of the player in mind. And there is no way you will think of enhancing a basketball player’s performance without considering traction.

In the previous section, we showed you the things we considered when coming up with the list. We believe that you will now know what to look for when considering your next pair of basketball shoes.

Anyway, if you have been using your basketball shoes for some time and you figure it is beginning to lose some grip, click here to find out how you can regain grip on those shoes.

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