5 Best Traction Basketball Shoes Reviewed (2020)

Playing on the court can be dangerous, especially if you do not have a basketball shoe with a good grip. Having one of the best traction basketball shoes helps you perform efficiently when it comes to cutting, jumping, stopping, and shooting as best as you can.

Poor traction shoes will only get you into trouble because the court can be slippery and cause you some common basketball injuries.

Best Traction Basketball Shoes

That’s why I’ve taken the time to research some of the most recommended traction basketball shoes. You'll get to see why these shoes are top-rated for basketballers and for you too.

I've also come up with a buying guide to explore the factors to consider when looking for a basketball shoe with good traction. Of course, it doesn't make sense to just jump at the first product you come across when searching online.

So, stick around while I take you through five of the best choices on the market.

Best Traction Basketball Shoes

This basketball shoe gets its name as an inspiration from the Air Force One, the aircraft that is the US president's official means of transportation. 

The Air Force 1 from Nike is one of the most acclaimed traction basketball shoes at the moment. It is a pioneer basketball shoe and holds the record for being one of the game-changing products for legends of the game such as Moses Malone and Charles Barkley.

It comes with a Nike Air cushioning that guarantees a high level of comfort, as well as a full length, massive midsole. What we have here is a basketball shoe that you can bet will serve you for long as it is both durable and lightweight. There are different variations to the silhouette of the Air Force 1 which range from low to high. 

When it comes to foot support, you have nothing to worry about, thanks to the leather upper that increases its durability and makes sure it fits just right. 

You will also find an ankle strap to keep your foot locked down with perfection inside the shoe.

With the AF1, what you get is a premium experience and the perforations allow for ventilation. This is combined with a suede construction to enhance its solidity. I won’t forget to mention the outsole of the shoe which is of non-marking rubber that also features a pilot point to improve traction.


  • Great for very aggressive players
  • Lightweight cushioning
  • Stylish and fits casual dressing
  • Durable build


  • The shoe's frontal section may be small for some buyers
  • Low tops offer reduced ankle support

Here is another product from Nike, the LeBron Soldier 13 which is a best seller. This is a no-lace signature model that comes with a durable and comfortable upper material. This basketball shoe offers very good traction and locks in your foot very well. 

This is possible because of the straps that barely ever go out of place. 

Nike did a good job of creating the straps and that helps to improve your safety while playing.

You will find the solid rubber herringbone traction pattern that is not only simple but runs quite deep. The shoe does not pick up that much dust and is great for use whether inside or outside. 

While many people have different opinions about the cushioning, the zoom units of the heel and forefoot are just right. In my opinion, if you want something that gives you an all-round experience with very little downsides and amazing traction, go for the LeBron Soldier 13.


  • Great support
  • Superb traction


  • Cushioning may not be the most comfortable according to some users
Under Armour Unisex-Youth Pre School Jet 2019 Basketball Shoe, Black (001)/Black, 4.5
  • Mesh & textile upper combination for breathability & support
  • Molded heel construction with engineered perforations for added ventilation
  • TPU film toe cap for added protection & durability
  • Die-cut EVA sockliner provides underfoot cushioning & support
  • Compression molded EVA midsole delivers a lightweight & responsive ride

The Jumpman is yet another great basketball shoe from Nike that exudes style and professionalism. Its leather build guarantees you a long-lasting product with great traction from the Jordan heritage. It is reviewed and verified to be a sleek and sturdy shoe built with finesse. 

The lightweight build of the Jordan Jumpman Basketball shoe makes it easy to move and jump on the court as much as you want. Apart from giving you a great performance on the court, you can also rock this shoe with casual wear. 

Regardless of where you use the shoe, the focus is on its ability to provide you with a good grip on the court. 

I am satisfied that you will get support and comfort, as well as that professional-style feeling, with the Pro Leather Jumpman. So many basketball players love this brand and with numerous reviews from satisfied buyers, the shoe has made its way to the world's stage. 


  • Very sturdy
  • Great from large and heavy players
  • Durable build
  • Great design


  • Some buyers say it feels somewhat cheap
Nike Men's Jordan Jumpman Pro Basketball Shoes, White/Black/Fired Red, 9.5
  • Full-grain leather and synthetic upper for a classic look and feel.
  • Top metal lace eyelet.
  • EVA foam midsole with encapsulated Zoom Air unit in heel.
  • Mesh tongue for ventilation.
  • TPU midfoot shank for support and torsional rigidity.

How would you like to have a basketball shoe that feels very valuable and still offers you the kind of strong grip you need on the court? 

Especially one that is also affordable when compared to the value you get? If that’s what you want right now, then look no further than the Nike Men Air Precision basketball shoe. Many buyers expressed satisfaction and felt they got value for their money. I bet you wouldn’t feel any different. 

Take your next basketball shots to a higher level with the help of these well-ventilated, lightweight basketball shoes that have a breathable mesh. 

The inner sole also provides great cushioning to give you the kind of comfort that true players deserve. This is one product that I highly recommended for athletic men who need quality shoes with great traction. 

It is created with a fusion of performance and durability which makes it very effective. If you want something that gives you improved performance on the court, buy the Nike Men Air Precision.


  • Affordable
  • Stylish look
  • Great ankle cut


Yes, the Mamba Focus completes the list of best grip basketball shoes to buy. If you want to fulfill your most devastating moves with lightweight basketball shoes you can trust, you can't go wrong with this choice. 

The Nike Mamba tells a story that is just clear to see. All you have to do is to observe its build and notice how the manufacturer crafted the product. 

What you get from the Mamba Focus is good cushioning to ensure you enjoy comfort while playing basketball. 

Thanks to the zoom unit, you get a very high level of protection from the intense vibrations that come from jumping and running around the court. This is a great pick for buyers looking to snap up a pair of basketball shoes that offer them good traction on the court. 


  • Responsive and comfortable
  • The midsole is designed to offer good cushioning
  • Hard landings are taken care of with the zoom tech


  • May feel no-so-premium to buyers
Nike Kobe Mamba Focus Basketball Shoes Red/White
  • TPU eyelets inspired by snake eyes
  • Mamba-inspired tread pattern offers traction to help you move fast in all directions
  • Embossed upper material elevates control and stability
  • Air Zoom unit helps cushion hard landings on the court
  • Molded Swoosh-shaped framework and heel cage provides lightweight support

Best Traction Basketball Shoes Buying Guide

Finding traction basketball shoes is different from the conditions involved when looking for regular court shoes. You need to know what to look for because that's the only way that a buyer can make an informed decision. 

There is more to buying basketball gear than just reading reviews and recommendations. You also need to consider your needs and what you expect from your basketball shoes.

The right fitting basketball gear will help to improve your performance and keep you safe while on the court. Apart from ensuring you do not sprain your ankles, you’ll also get impact protection which is a big plus. 

The right shoes will also make you more responsive while keeping your legs stable. Whether you realize it or not, basketball shoes have a big role to play when it comes to how you perform in every game. This is why a careful search is necessary to find one that offers you better traction, especially if you are a high-intensity player.

With that knowledge at the back of my mind, I was able to come up with select products to put together this list of the best basketball shoes with traction. 

But you need to know those factors to consider before you spend your money. Keeping these points of consideration in perspective will save you from splashing out the cash on a product that could disappoint you. So, here they are –

Take your feet measurements

All too often, I see people make the mistake of not measuring their feet before buying traction basketball shoes. 

That's because they feel it is not necessary but taking measurements of how long and wide your feet help increase the chances of finding the right pair. Never make the error of thinking you know the exact size of your feet. 

The length and shape of the human feet can change at any time and the best time to measure is before hitting the market to find your ideal shoes.

Make comparisons

Once you find basketball shoes that look like your dream pair, it might be difficult to remain patient. You want to use them as soon as you can due to excitement. But it is best to have some patience and do some more shopping to give you bargaining power. 

Check out other products and compare things like their prices and features. You might find something better at an even lesser price. 

Remember, the best product is not determined based on the price but based on its ability to solve individual needs. Comparing shoes gives you more purchase options and helps to discover other brands of shoes, as well as their offers. 

Try on the shoes before buying if possible

If you are buying your basketball shoes at a physical store, make sure you test them. Try them on in the store and walk from one end to another. Do some jumping and make lateral movements to give you an idea of the overall chemistry of the basketball shoes. Since most people buy online, it’s important to select the right size. Also, look out for shoes that have refund or exchange policies backing them. This makes it easy to exchange or return them if they do not fit well.


We all know that price is one of the biggest factors that determine whether or not you can get the basketball shoes you love. 

Your ability to pay for a shoe of your choice is determined by the price. When you keep this in mind, you realize the importance of coming up with a budget before hitting the market. Different brands offer a wide range of features in shoes that have diverse price tags. 

Having a budget keeps you in check and you can also look out for brands offering seasonal sales and discounts. Always look for options that are the best within your budget.

Analyze the cushioning

There would be no point in buying shoes if you had no guarantee that they would be very comfortable. This makes cushioning one of the most vital features to consider before buying traction basketball shoes. 

Cushioning helps to make your shoes more comfortable. So, never go for a pair of shoes only because of how beautiful or stylish they look. You also need to verify how superb the cushioning is. 

You will find shoes with air or foam-based cushioning but it's up to you to decide what works best for you.

Body type

Most people think that finding the best option is all about going to any store and picking one that has the best design. 

They forget to factor in their body weight or body shape. Your body type is one of the most essential factors to consider before picking basketball shoes that can offer you great traction. That is because basketball shoes come in different makes with different purposes. 

Some are not built to carry people that weigh so much. Some shoes are also very heavy, making them inappropriate for underweight players. 

This shows you that the manufacturers consider different factors such as body types before creating basketball shoes. Now that you are aware, always consider the type of body you have and how much you weigh before searching for a basketball shoe. This increases the likelihood of finding one that fits your weight as well as height and physique. 

Outsole considerations

This aspect of buying basketball shoes is also important. Not every outsole is suitable for use on indoor and outdoor courts. Some give you a far better performance when used only on indoor courts. 

But you’ll also notice that there are shoes that are built just for outdoor play alone. The material used for creating many outsoles is rubber. 

So, you want to consider factors like how soft the outsole is, as well as the level of traction and thickness. My advice is to decide where you play your game most of the time. This should help you determine what kind of house soul to look out for. In all, you want something with a good grip that will prevent you from slipping on the court.

FAQs For The Best Traction Basketball Shoes

How do I get more traction on my basketball shoes?

Dirt and dust can reduce how much traction you get from your shoes. So, take care to sweep the court from time to time using dust mops. You can also get some grip enhancers to give the bottom of your shoes some extra stickiness. Grip lotions or sticky mats can help in this regard.

What shoes have the best traction?

  • NIKE Men’s Air Force 1 High ’07
  • Lebron Soldier 13
  • Jordan Men Jumpman Pro Leather Basketball Shoe
  • Nike Men Air Precision 
  • Nike Mamba Focus Shoe

What is traction in a shoe?

Traction in your basketball shoes denotes the ability of your footwear to grip the surface of the playing court and prevent you from slipping or falling during gameplay. 

The soles of your shoes come with friction points to provide traction but you can also use extra protective gear to improve how much grip your shoes provide.

Why are my basketball shoes slippery?

If your basketball shoes are slippery, that’s because they lack traction. They do not have enough grip to protect you from slips and falls on the court. But there are solutions to solve that problem. 

Grip lotions and sticky mats can help. Before entering the court, you only have to step on the sticky mat. You can also try hairspray by applying it to the bottom of your shoes.


This review contains all the information you need to find the best traction basketball shoes. I’ve reviewed 5 of the very best products but make sure to follow the guidelines in the buying guide before making a decision. 

Remember, you want to go for shoes that fulfill your needs and not just the most expensive pair on the market. 

If you were confused about picking traction basketball shoes before, I hope I’ve been able to solve that problem with this buyer’s guide.

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