So we all know traction is one of the most important aspects of your basketball shoes. But which ones are the best traction basketball shoes in 2018? That’s the answer we’re here to find. With some solid research and experience on our side, we dove in to the top brands like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour to pick out the top basketball shoes for traction and stickiness. Let’s check them out!
- 1 The Best Traction Basketball Shoes Review Chart
- 2 Reviews Of The Best Traction Basketball Shoes
- 3 What’s The Best Traction Pattern For Basketball Shoes?
- 4 Which Basketball Shoes Perform Best On Dusty Floors?
- 5 How Can I Improve The Traction Of My Basketball Shoes?
- 6 Wrapping It All Up
The Best Traction Basketball Shoes Review Chart
Reviews Of The Best Traction Basketball Shoes
Adidas D Rose 7 Shoe Review
The D Rose lineup from Adidas is one of the most consistent shoes for great traction in the shoe world. The D Rose 6 made several “best” review posts on our site last year, and the model 7 is making a similar case here and here. It’s got a unique wavy traction pattern made from solid rubber material. Even on dusty courts, this traction pattern will last and keep you squeaking all every cut you make.
There’s several other reasons so love the Rose 7 shoe besides just amazing traction. The cushion setup on these shoes is also out-of-this-world! Adidas uses their patented Boost technology and they run it the full length of the shoe. This provides maximum impact protection while also giving good court feel.
Combine all this with the solid support of your heels and ankles and you’ve got a fantastic shoe. One that you’d be excited to bring on any court. Seriously, the D Rose 7 is a top quality basketball shoe. And they have plenty of colorways to satisfy just about everyone. It’s the perfect combination from a company not named Nike… Surprising…
Under Armour Curry 3Zero Shoe Review
It’s no secret that Steph Curry shoes have had some of the best basketball traction shoes over the past few years. Steph plays that way. He relies on quickness and good cuts to get open for his signature deep 3. And the 3Zero (the in between of the 3 and 4) are absolute beasts when it comes to great traction.
The 3Zero uses a more traditional herringbone pattern on the bottom. Combined with solid rubber and you’ve got a tried and true method to give fantastic traction no matter what the court. The herringbone even revolves around a circular spot on the sole to give an extra boost during hard lateral cuts.
The other things that make the Curry 3Zero a solid shoe are quality cushion and solid support. We’ve come to expect good support from Curry shoes given his ankle injury history. So it’s not surprising to see a wide base, a strong TPU support system and great stability. If you need a shoe with great traction and also well balanced, the 3Zero will deliver.
Under Armour Heat Seeker Shoes Review
The completely underrated shoe on this list. But again from Under Armour shoes come through as good basketball traction shoes. What’s nice is the price point of these Heat Seekers. They definitely come in as a cheap basketball shoe providing great traction.
These Heat Seekers use a deep bladed herringbone patter for their traction. And it’s solid rubber compounds which usually provide that better grip than translucent rubber. The blade pattern here is slightly deeper than many other patterns which will really help on dusty courts. If the grooves are too shallow, dust will clog them quickly and you’ll start slipping.
One of the only downsides on the Heat Seekers though is the cushion. It’s not our favorite set up of the shoes on this list, but it’s not awful. It mostly just lacks impact protection, but provides a good court feel. So be aware that if you want BOTH traction and impact protecting cushion, these aren’t the best choice. The other factors like support and shoe fit are good and will suffice for the price.
Nike Kyrie 3 Basketball Shoe Review
Nike finally makes our list of the best traction basketball shoes. It took some time, but there were just clearly better shoes from the other brands before we got to Nike. And the Kyrie shoes were miles better than any other Nike shoe we even looked at. The past few LeBron shoes have leveraged translucent rubber and it does fantastic on clean courts but TERRIBLE on anything less. The Kyrie’s are much more sensible for the majority of people.
These Kyrie’s utilize the familiar herringbone pattern as the base for linear traction. But they add to it with two multi-directional pods on the forefoot. These pods help with your lateral cuts and movements. So you can leverage these unique traction pods for even crisper cuts across the lane. In all fairness, these Kyrie’s are some of the best traction Nike has ever put out in our opinion.
But the Kyrie’s have one major drawback (which is why it’s this low on our list). If you need some impact protection on your feet, or enjoy the a little plush, you’ll fine NONE here. The Kyrie’s were built how Kyrie likes them… Complete focus on the court feel and absolute minimal cushion. For some players, that’s no big deal. But for us, it’s awful. So be warned that you at least know what you’re getting with the Kyrie’s.
Adidas Dame 4 Basketball Shoe Review
Adidas is back on the list and this time rocking with Damian Lillard’s 4th model shoe. And it’s another shoe we like a lot here on Dish2Swish. It’s made several top lists for us and no surprise to see it here as a great basketball shoe for traction.
The traction pattern on the Dame 4s is definitely unique. It’s apparently supposed to represent “the passage of time” or something like that. Not sure about all that, but let’s call it straight… it works!! It provides solid traction in every direction and has nice deep grooves to work with dusty floors. You know Dame relies on quickness in his game and these shoes definitely represent that. But these Dame’s use a fairly soft solid rubber so you should probably only keep them indoors.
Everything else on the Dame 4s is solid. It utilizes Adidas’ unique Bounce technology for cushion and these ride nice and low to the ground. Yet even with that, it doesn’t seem to sacrifice any impact support. Plus the shoe fits great and provides good support for the ankles. Clearly it was built well and deserves a spot on our list!
Adidas Crazy Hustle Basketball Shoe Review
Along with the UA Heat Seeker above, these Crazy Hustle shoes are the “under the radar, but still good quality” shoes you can get. They have great traction for the price along with some other really nice features you’re going to love.
The Crazy Hustle came out with 2 different rubber compounds on the bottom soles; a translucent rubber and a solid rubber. Both have a slightly modified herringbone pattern that we obviously love. Surprisingly, the translucent rubber did pretty well and nearly matched the solid rubber perfectly. The only downside the translucent rubber here was the dust collection. But in reality, traction is really great on this budget shoe.
Thankfully, even thought it’s more budget friendly, the Crazy Hustle shoes don’t sacrifice any other areas. Cushion is once again Bounce and it’s done well throughout the shoe. Support for your ankles and forefoot is also solid here as these shoes lace up well. Combine all that with a good fit and you’ve got a rock star budget friendly shoe!
What’s The Best Traction Pattern For Basketball Shoes?
That’s a great question and one that keeps evolving over the years. Here’s what we know for sure:
The tried-and-true formula for great traction is a herringbone pattern with solid rubber materials. That’s pretty broad though so here’s what we mean. The grooves need to have decent space between them and a good depth inside to actually work properly. We’ve seen the Lillard 3 shoes have grooves too close together and actually have terrible traction overall. So spacing and rubber type matter.
New Patterns Are Proving That Herringbone Isn’t The Only Way
As we’ve seen with the Dame 4s and a few others before it, the herringbone pattern isn’t the only way to get a squeaky ride on the basketball court. Sometimes, it can be a diamond shape like the Curry 3s or a hexagonal pod design like the LeBron 13s. Regardless of the pattern, it just has to work. So companies experiment with fun and unique methods and sometimes it works well. But other times it fails miserably. If you’re just cautious and want to be safe, herringbone will rarely fail you.
Which Basketball Shoes Perform Best On Dusty Floors?
Solid Rubber Compounds Usually Perform Better On Dusty Courts
Translucent rubber is a great material… for higher quality courts. If you regularly find yourself playing on a college or professional level court (aka well maintained), you will love the translucent rubber. It’s a staple in the LeBron shoes and has been for years. It does extremely well on good floors, but picks up dust like a magnet on crappy floors.
So if you play more often on average courts at your local YMCA or something, you should look into solid rubber compounds instead. They pick up far less dirt and will require much less wiping during a game. So if you’re a quick guard, look more towards solid rubber for average courts.
Don’t Get Suckered By The Stories From Shoe Companies
Again, we can use the Dame 4s here as the example. They built a fun little “story” around their passage of time design. It was a nice change of pace, but let’s be honest… if the traction sucked we would’ve noticed. Luckily the shoes were fire on the court so the story didn’t matter. But for every Dame 4 success, there’s a dozen stories that are complete garbage. Always do your research and don’t fall for the marketing story from the brand themselves.
How Can I Improve The Traction Of My Basketball Shoes?
Let’s be honest, we can’t do much for shoes that are old and beat down. You just need to buy new shoes. But if you have decent shoes that you’d like to stick better, here’s some ideas that could help add a little bite.
Such a simple little thing, but you see them all over NBA courts. These traction mats are basically giant sticky pads that you stop your feet on and they grab dirt off the bottom of your shoes. It’s a great alternative to wiping your shoes and they’re pretty cheap. I know our league uses one consistently during our games (we play on an average court). You can check this one out on Amazon that’s got good ratings and a decent price.
Get A New Little Court Grabber Product
This is a handy little device is like a portable traction mat. It’s nifty and it ties on your shoes through the shoe laces. Then when you feel like your shoes are slipping, just rub your soles over these court grabbers and they’ll help apply a thin layer of gel to the shoes. See the picture.
These little court grabbers aren’t a replacement for shoes that have lost their traction grooves, but they can provide some support on slippery floors. Check them out here on Amazon.
You can even check out this video on court grabbers below.
Wrapping It All Up
So that was a breakdown of our best traction basketball shoes in 2018. If you find some other shoes you love, feel free to leave a comment. With basketball shoes constantly evolving, there will definitely be other great basketball shoes for traction we didn’t cover. Let us know! And go dominate!