Outdoor Basketball Shoes

Can Outdoor Basketball Shoes be Used Indoors?

Basketball is a popular sport across the world. It doesn’t require specific equipment like baseball or hockey, but it does call for specific footwear. While most think that you can get away with wearing a normal pair of sneakers whenever you play basketball, this isn’t the case. If you’re serious about the game, you need to buy a pair of shoes made specifically for playing basketball. More so, you need to get a pair that is designated for either indoor or outdoor use, depending on where you play.

While it might seem that it shouldn’t matter, there are differences between indoor and outdoor basketball shoes that can’t be overlooked. Similarly, they shouldn’t be worn interchangeably.

Indoor Shoes: Wear them only on the court

The rules for indoor basketball shoes are precise than outdoor basketball shoes. The most important thing to know about indoor basketball shoes is that they should never be worn outside.

If you play basketball primarily on an indoor court, you should always change out of your shoes before heading outside. The court is a smooth surface that your indoor shoes are made for. If you wear them outside, you will ruin the soles of them and cause them to deteriorate faster.

When you wear your indoor shoes outside, they are exposed to the elements including the cement pavement. The ground can wear out the grip on the bottom of your shoes while the outdoor elements can ruin the exterior of them. This will significantly alter the performance of your shoes when you’re back on an indoor court. By choosing to use your shoes only on the court you can increase their longevity and ensure that they’ll perform properly for years to come.

Outdoor Basketball Shoes: Wear them only to play

While some people may tell you that you can wear your outdoor basketball shoes wherever you like because normal floors won’t wear them down any more than the ground will, most serious basketball players will tell you that it’s always best to only wear your basketball shoes when playing basketball.

Your outdoor shoes won’t last you as long as indoor shoes will since the ground can be unforgiving to the soles. They will wear down faster as the pavement of an outdoor court will tear at the rubber faster than smooth indoor floors will. To help them last as long as they can, choose to wear them only when playing the game.

Unlike indoor shoes that shouldn’t be worn when playing outdoors, you can get away with wearing your outdoor shoes when playing indoors since you don’t run any additional risk of wearing them out. However, this shouldn’t be done often if you’re looking to keep your shoes in good shape for as long as possible.


What’s the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Basketball Shoes?

Believe it or not, all basketball shoes are not created equally. There are differences between shoes specifically designated for indoor and outdoor basketball. If you’re shopping for a new pair of basketball shoes and want to see if they’re better suited for one court over another, look for these distinctions and make a decision based on them.

Sole and Traction

One of the most apparent distinctions between indoor and outdoor basketball shoes are their soles and the traction they offer. Outdoor basketball shoes tend to have harder soles made of strong rubber that won’t rip easily. Indoor shoes usually have a softer rubber sole but are made to provide better traction since indoor courts are smooth and sometimes slippery. To sum this up, if you’re playing outdoors, look for a shoe with a harder sole that will withstand the hard, uneven court. 

Materials and Durability

Since outdoor basketball shoes are meant to be worn in the elements, they need to be able to withstand those elements properly. Synthetic materials are used due to their durability while rubber is used for the hard soles. Mesh is sometimes used to provide breathability to keep your feet from sweating too much, too. Since these shoes are made to withstand outdoor elements, more materials are used in comparison to indoor shoes. This makes them heavier than their counterpart.

Indoor basketball shoes don’t have to do as much work so they can be a little more streamlined. They’re also made of synthetic materials as well as rubber. However, they tend to be more lightweight than outdoor shoes since they don’t need to be as durable. As previously mentioned, the rubber soles are softer. These may or may not have mesh depending on the individual design.

Size of the Tread and Grip

The tread of a shoe is the part of the sole that comes into direct contact with the ground or floor. This is what helps keep you steady on your feet and gives a basketball shoe its proper traction. When it comes to indoor and outdoor shoes, the outdoor basketball shoes have larger tread patterns to provide you with the best stability and comfort as well as good grip on the hard outdoor surfaces. Indoor shoes have smaller tread patterns with more smooth patches in order to create better traction on smooth indoor floors.


Another difference between the two is the cushioning. Outdoor basketball shoes need to provide you with a good amount of cushioning in order to protect you from the hard ground. They can have thicker insoles and thicker soles for this purpose. Indoor shoes, on the other hand, have cushioning but not as much as outdoor pairs. When choosing the right basketball shoe, be sure to look at this factor to ensure you get the most comfortable shoe for your specific purposes.

Indoor vs. Outdoor: Which one should you buy?

If you’re looking to buy a new pair of basketball shoes, you have to first figure out where you’ll primarily be playing. For example, if you know you’ll be playing indoors most of the time, investing in a good pair of basketball shoes made specifically for indoor use is the better option. On the other hand, if you’ll be playing outdoors, pick up a pair that can withstand that use.

If you’re on a budget, buying one pair is better than buying two. In the instance where you’ll be playing basketball both indoors and outdoors, it might be best to get a pair of outdoor basketball shoes since they tend to last longer than indoor shoes. They won’t wear out too quickly when you play outside and they’ll get the job done properly when you wear them indoors, too. Just be sure that no matter what type of shoe you buy that it suits your personal needs and preferences.


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