The difference between an outdoor basketball shoe and an indoor basketball shoe is simple. An outdoor basketball shoe is specifically designed to be worn on a court with a more rigid surface such as asphalt or concrete. It has thicker soles to provide more cushioning, a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm for quick transitions, and polyester meshes upper for ventilation. An indoor basketball shoe has a more flexible sole to allow pivoting and sharp movements on the hardwood floor, usually found on gym floors. The softer feel makes it easier to jump off the ground when shooting due to the increased traction provided by rubber soles. In this article, we will discuss in detail the significant key difference between both shoes.


The most significant difference between an indoor and outdoor basketball shoe is the material used. Outdoor basketball shoes are made from thicker material to give them more support and a better fit. In contrast, indoor basketball shoes are made from a highly flexible material that allows play to be friendlier on the hardwood floor. 


The sole of an indoor basketball shoe is more rigid than that of an outdoor basketball shoe. This provides more stability while taking shots, dribbling, and running around. It also allows for more bounce off the ground to use their momentum to their advantage when they throw a pass or jump for a rebound.


The grip on an outdoor basketball shoe is much better than that of an indoor basketball shoe. The grip helps players to keep a steady dribble and stay in control when handling the ball. The outdoor sole is designed on a specific groove pattern that allows the feet to better hold the court. Indoor shoes usually only have a smooth rubber sole, making them slicker than their counterpart.


Outdoor basketball shoes have better traction than their indoor counterparts. The rubber soles give the players a better grip on the court, allowing for more control when dribbling and dribbling around defenders.


The cushioning of an indoor basketball shoe is much better than that of an outdoor basketball shoe because of the different materials used. This allows the shoe to provide stability while making quick movements during play. The indoor material is also very flexible, allowing it to move with the foot even when multiple points of contact are happening simultaneously. On an outdoor basketball shoe, this type of movement would create an uncomfortable amount of friction and cause blisters or soreness on foot.

Ankle Support

Outdoor basketball shoes have better ankle support because of the high-top design. The extra material supports the ankle, which is a significant part of any basketball player’s game. Indoor basketball shoes only come up to the ankle bone, making it easier for defenders to pull the foot out from under a player while trying to dribble or run.

Shoe Weight 

The shoe weight for an indoor basketball shoe is lighter than that of an outdoor basketball shoe. Indoor basketball shoes usually weigh between 7–10 oz., while outdoor basketball shoes typically weigh between 12–14 oz.


Outdoor basketball shoes are more expensive than indoor basketball shoes, so you get what you pay for. The higher cost is that they tend to have a sturdier sole, which gives the player better traction while playing on grass or hardwood. In comparison, indoor basketball shoes are durable and can be used after a few years without needing repairs.

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It is concluded that both shoes are beneficial for their unique qualities. For example, indoor basketball shoes are more supportive and allow better foot movement than their outdoor counterparts, giving the player a better advantage in playing basketball. Outdoor basketball shoes are more supportive than indoor ones, allowing for a smoother dribble and less chance of injury to the player’s feet. Depending on their playing style, a player needs to wear the appropriate shoe; it can make all the difference during a game.


Q. Why does it matter which type of basketball shoe you use? 

A. You can look at basketball shoes as another type of athletic shoe. If you decide to play in an indoor league, your uniform is your shoes. The skills you learn in the gym will transfer to the court directly, and the more professional equipment you have, the better you play on and off it.

Q. What makes a basketball shoe suitable? 

A. Comfort is the number one priority in any shoe you put on your foot. Get a pair of shoes that fit you snugly at first and then allow for a little “slopping.” You’ll find that it’ll help with the control of the basketball around your toes as well as helping to create better balance when dribbling or shooting around your opponent.