Top 10 Traction Patterns/Outsoles For Basketball (June 2016)
In the game of basketball, it is very important for a player to be able to make quick movements on the court without fear of sliding due to poor traction. Shoe companies go to great lengths to engineer different rubber compounds and traction patterns to give players the greatest amount of grip possible, allowing players to make faster cuts and stop harder than a normal shoe. Today, the Sole Brothers are going to discuss our Top 10 Tractions/Outsoles for performance basketball. The shoes under consideration are shoes that we have tested, and it must be noted that Don and Sammy play on a dusty court, so if a shoe attracts a lot of dust, it will slide down the list. On a clean or pristine court, every shoe on this list and probably any basketball shoe will give great traction, but most of us outside of the NBA do not play on pristine courts. Let us know what your favorite traction or outsole is, check out Don and Sammy’s breakdown below, and if we have links to the individual shoes so that you can cop them, we will provide them.
10. Nike Air Max Audacity
The Nike Air Max Audacity is a team/budget model from Nike with Anthony Davis as its lead promoter. The shoe features a crazy traction pattern with very hard rubber. The outsole provides excellent traction on a clean or dusty court, and due to the hard rubber, it will probably perform well on an outdoor court. The first model of the Air Max Audacity is probably hard to find now (at least in most sizes), but the Air Max Audacity 2/2016 just released and features the same cushion and outsole as the original.
Cop the Nike Air Max Audacity 2 here
9. Adidas D Lillard 2
The Adidas D Lillard 2 performs very well on a clean court or after wiping, you stop very hard and fast. The primary issue with this shoe is that it attracts a lot of dust, requiring wiping every 3-5 plays.
Cop the Adidas D Lillard 2 here or here
8. Under Armour Curry 2
Similarly to the D Lillard 2, the Under Armour Curry 2 picks up a lot of dust which hurts its overall performance a bit. The traction sucks at first until you break it in, but it performs very well after breaking in.
Cop the Under Armour Curry 2 here
7. Nike Lebron 13
Most colorways of the Lebron 13 feature a translucent outsole, which is pretty terrible since it picks up a lot of dust. Sammy did cop a Cavs colorway that has a solid rubber outsole which rarely requires wiping, sticks harder to the floor than the translucent outsole, and you stop hard and fast.
Cop the Lebron 13 here or here
6. Adidas D Rose 6
The Adidas D Rose 6 features a herringbone traction pattern with soft rubber grooves that require minimal or no wiping. In the D Rose 6, you stop on a dime, but we do not recommend playing in these outdoors since the rubber is soft and likely not durable on an outdoor court.
After this point, the remaining shoes do not have any real problems with the traction, so the differences in rank are determined by how hard you stop or the quality of the outsole’s design (traction patter, unique features, etc.).
Cop the D Rose 6 here
5. Brandblack J Crossover 3
Jamal Crawford’s 3rd signature shoe with Brandblack features their signature blade traction pattern and a translucent outsole. In the JC3, you barely have to wipe as it attracts very little dust, maybe requiring a wipe every 5-6 plays. You stop very hard and fast in the J Crossover 3, and along with the minimal wiping, its hard to find fault with the outsole’s performance.
4. Nike Kobe 11
When the Kobe 11 Elite first released, for a while it only featured a translucent outsole, which was absolutely awful. A few Kobe 11 Elite colorways have since released with solid rubber outsoles, and most of the Kobe 11 EM models have featured the solid rubber as well. When a Kobe 11 uses a solid rubber outsole, the traction is insane and on par with the Kobe 9. If you see a Kobe 11 with a solid rubber outsole and you are even mildly curious, just get it.
Cop the Kobe 11 Elite or Kobe 11 EM here or here
3. Nike Kobe Mentality 2
The budget friendly Nike Kobe Mentality 2 was designed to be affordable and perform well outdoors. The grooves are thick and the rubber is very hard. The results are a durable traction that requires minimal wiping indoors and helps you stop super fast. It is a beast indoors and probably outdoors as well.
2. Jordan XXX
The 30th signature shoe from His Airness is a monster performer with advanced technology. The Jordan XXX features a translucent outsole with a crazy looking traction pattern (Don calls it alien hieroglyphics). The grooves are thick and require no wiping. The Jordan XXX provides insane stopping power, couple that with the textured insole and good upper and you stop on a dime with no worries about your foot sliding in the shoe.
1. Nike Kyrie 2
The Nike Kyrie 2 performs very well on the court, but its design is so amazing that it cannot be defeated. The Kyrie 2 features thick grooves that require minimal or no wiping and helps you stop on a dime. The design features that make this traction so great are the pivot point in the forefoot and the outsole curvature. The pivot point is a section of the outsole where the grooves are arranged in an oval shape to reduce friction during a pivot motion. The outsole curves up and around the sidewall of the shoe much farther than most shoes, and this combination of the shape and wrapping effect make it ideal for violent changes of direction and crossovers without worrying about losing grip.
Cop the Nike Kyrie 2 here