Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes for Perfect Dunking in 2023

Last updated on November 5th, 2022 at 07:29 am

[mks_dropcap style=”square” size=”52″ bg_color=”#4e8abf” txt_color=”#ffffff”]W[/mks_dropcap]hen you start playing basketball outside, you need the best outdoor basketball shoes that can withstand the test of..umm..terrain? The outdoor shoes differ from the indoor basketball shoes in terms of grip, support, material, and cushioning. They are specifically designed for more rough use. They should cope well with rougher and harder terrain.

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Thus, saving you the time of going to the store and checking out all the shoes, We have compiled here the best outdoor basketball shoes which you can buy to improve your ball game greatly!

If you are in a hurry you can check out these 3 basketball sneakers pairs instead of going through the whole article:

  1. NIKE Lebron XV (Best Performance Basketball Shoes)
  2. Nike Youth KD8 (Best Low-cut Basketball Shoes)
  3. Under Armour Men’s Drive 4 (Best Cheap Basketball Shoes)
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Best outdoor basketball Shoes Buyer’s Guide

Reeboks and Adidas are said to be the pioneers of the sports shoe development. In the start, the basketball players used the Chuck Taylor models, but in the late 20th century with the arrival of Nike’s Air Jordan, players started to use it

As basketball gained more attention many of the companies started making basketball shoes. This makes it very hard for beginners to choose from a wide variety of shoes, “the best one”.

For this purpose, we have compiled a list of the characteristics which you should consider in the basketball shoes.

So let’s get started.


Durability always comes first when you are going to buy a new pair of shoes. Most of beginners make the mistake of buying the shoes based solely on the style. This is wrong. The first and foremost thing you should consider is the shoes’ durability. You should ask yourself the following questions: How long are they going to last? Will they last at least a year for me?

You might be wondering how to check the shoes’ durability when you don’t own them? The answer is simple, read reviews of them on different websites. Watch videos on youtube and only then make an informed decision.

In short, “Don’t go for Style first.”


Long ago the basketball shoes were made of leather because it is durable. The only downside of the leather was that it was heavy and it affected the players’ movement. Nowadays the outdoor basketball shoes are made of the combination of leather and synthetic mesh, which is quite lightweight, durable and provides greater foot stability. Thus you should always choose the shoes which provide a way for air to let in, thus keeping your feet cool.

Bottom Line: Go for the shoes having a mesh.

Shoe Dimensions
For playing basketball, shoes that fit your feet is a must. Your toes should not be touching the shoe tip. There shouldn’t be a room for foot movement inside the shoes, neither it should be too short or tight. It should fit your feet just right. When the shoe-size is a bit larger than your foot size you may feel hindrance in moving, and when it is too tight, It can cause you injuries. Thus, You need to be pretty careful in choosing the right size.

Almost every shoe brand uses EVA foam for cushioning purposes as it includes tiny air bubbles which helps a lot in increasing the bounciness and comfort of the shoes.

Here again, you have to ask yourself some questions to start with.

Are you a bulkier and heavier than average?

If Yes, You should go for more soft and bouncy shoes that will provide enough cushioning for landing from a jump. And If you are light-weighted, go for the shoes having a firm and a slightly tight cushioning. They are more responsive to quick movements needed for dribbling.

In short, If you need to focus on your speed and mobility, don’t go for well-cushioned shoes because it will affect your speed badly. Similarly, if you are a forward player who takes most of the jumps, you would need shoes with proper cushioning like Nike’s Lebron or Air Jordans.

Thus you would need to analyze your play-style and assess yourself before considering this characteristic in a shoe.

Traction Pattern
When choosing a pair of shoes for basketball, most people ignore the traction pattern of the sole i.e., the grip. You should always analyze the traction of a shoe. A good shoe will provide a firm grip in the areas where pressure points are created when changing body directions. This increases the ability of a player to become more nimble and agile.

If you are just getting started as a basketball player, you may not want to spend too much on the shoes. Although, If you are planning to go professional, you should buy the best pair possible because this is the most important factor after your skills obviously. If you can’t afford the premium ones, don’t feel down. Just go with the regular ones that will help you to start the game. You always have the option to change them down the road.

In short: Analyze your budget and needs. Find a pair which best suits your need.

You can refer to the table below this guide which we have arranged considering price range and comfort.

Your Playing Style

As discussed earlier in the Cushioning Section, your playing style is yet another important factor that you should consider before buying shoes.

You have to Analyze yourself and ask yourself questions

Are you a forward power player that takes most of the dunks?

You should buy the pair to provide great cushioning and stability to help you land without putting too much pressure on your ankles.

Do you care more about speed and agility?

You should go for the shoes having firm cushioning that provides greater flexibility.

You might be wondering that,

“I, sometimes, play both roles, dunking the ball and dribbling. I require both speed and a good cushioning too”

Well, look for a shoe with a little bit of ankle support and a proper cushioning (not too much).

You can make a decision by just looking at the table below. We have given them a rating considering cushioning and price.


Below is the table of Top 11 Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes:

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So these are some of the cool basketball shoes that we are going to review… Without further ado, let’s dive right into the details!

Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 2

Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 2 - Outdoor Basketball Shoe


Under Armour is known for making sports gear. With its ClutchFit Drive 2, it has made a significant impact on the basketball shoe market too.

Let’s start talking about the traction first. UA ClutchFit D2 has a herring-bone like multidirectional traction. Nothing special here though. But with added coverage, rubber outsole, and proper cushioning this makes it really great for hard cuts and quick cutbacks.


Under Armour has used Micro-G technology for cushioning. Although, the cushioning itself is a bit firm that adds to the responsiveness and allows for quick movements. Don’t worry as most of the customers have said that after using it for 2-3 hours, they have not experienced soring legs.

ClutchFit Drive 2 features a really durable upper, and it’s kinda flexible too. The materials used are not quite and upgrade from ClutchFit Drive 1, but they surely are not in any way inferior to the ones previously used.

We encourage you to buy half a size smaller than your usual to allow for a snug fit.  The shoe lacks in some areas like forefoot and that could have been made better by Under Armour.

All in all the shoe provides great support, the shoe feels a bit heavier than most of the outdoor basketball shoes out there, provides a good amount of traction, and satisfactory cushioning.

Pros and Cons of Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 2

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  • Good traction
  • Provides good support overall
  • Designed for power guards
  • Affordable price
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  • Fit is not upto the mark
  • Feels a bit heavier
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NIKE Lebron XV:

NIKE Lebron XV - best basketball shoes


Nike has never disappointed its customers when it comes to basketball shoe-making. With the use of Flyknit technology and a great combination of cushioning, this is the best pair of shoes for playing basketball outdoors. Flyknit technology uses high-strength fibers that make the shoe light-weight and provides stretching and breathability.

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For the first time, Nike has used both its Zoom Air and Max Air technology in a basketball shoe. It helps in landing safely from higher jumps.

Lebron XV has a flexible rubber outsole, which gives you an awesome thrust and can save you from pronation. Talking about the interior, It has a full inner-sleeve that offers a sock-like fit. Around the ankle, the part is a stretchable collar, which provides support for the ankle and also helps to get the shoe on and off easily.

For support and minimizing the weight of the shoes, Nike uses Flywire cables. These extend from mid-foot position to where the laces are tied.

Let’s discuss the style…Because why not?

You don’t often see such stylish looking basketball shoes in the market. Well, Lebron XV is an exception. Overall these are really cool basketball shoes as you can see from the picture.

Lebron XV comes in the following colors: Blue, Wolf Grey, Black with Metallic Gold, Red, and Black n White.

Pros and Cons of NIKE Lebron XV:

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  • Ultralight
  • Great arch support
  • Great Stretchability and Support
  • Rubber Outsole provides Durability
  • Awesome Style
  • Multi Surface Traction
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  • A bit expensive than others
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Nike Lebron XIII:

Nike Lebron XIII - Basketball Shoes


Another from the Nike Lebron list, we have here is Lebron XIII (13). The advertising tagline of the shoe goes “UNSTOPPABLE EXPLOSION”, well, to be honest, it certainly meets the expectations.

Talking about the upper part of the shoe, it has a system of mesh all around it which allows the airflow thus keeping the feet dry. The shaft is measured to be approximately 4 inches from the arch. Just like in Lebron 15, Lebron 13 also possess Flywire cables which extend from midfoot covering the heels and provide a complete lockdown. This supports your feet and keeps them in place.


Conclusively, the one-piece sleeve that is made of breathable mesh offers phenomenal flexibility, comfort, and support.

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The outsole is made of rubber. It has four independent Zoom Air Units delivering extremely responsive cushioning, and overall support and comfort.

The toe, midfoot and collar are made of “Hyperposite material” which provides zoned and armor-like protection for the foot. Conclusively, if you are looking for best bang for buck basketball shoes for outdoor usage, I would certainly recommend Lebron XIII. It provides the comfort, support, flexibility, stability awesome air-flow, with its style being the icing on the cake, makes them stand out in the market. These are really good outdoor basketball shofes!

Pros and Cons of Nike Lebron 13:

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  • Extra Durable
  • Flexible
  • Outstanding Traction
  • Light-weight
  • Zoom Air units provides excellent cushioning
  • Rubber Sole
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  • Nothing in particular
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Nike Air Jordan 7 Retro (Marvin The Martian):

Nike Air Jordan 7 Retro (Marvin The Martian) - Basketball shoes


We have here another pair of shoes from Nike, Air Jordan 7 Retro 30th ( Marvin The Martian Edition). They are somewhat high top cut shoes providing great comfort and durability.

When you are playing basketball outside you really need a pair of shoes that do not wear out and can withstand the test of time. Nike Air Jordan 7 here is made of premium-quality leather that makes them durable. The shoe is black in color, with some beautiful neon and orangish finish.


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Due to its traction pattern, it offers a strong grip on the floor which enhances the speed and overall foot movement. As the shoe is made up of leather, you can play for many hours without ever worrying about the shoe being worn out!

The outsole is red, orangish with neon, and is made of rubber. The midsole provides great cushioning which increases the bounciness and overall comfort of the shoes. The shoe is breathable, flexible and durable and allows for great air-flow to keep your feet dry. Although, for many of you the style may not be up to the mark still it is a great pair for rough use outside playing basketball. Air Jordan 7 Retro comes in many editions which you can see here.

Pros and Cons of Nike Air Jordan 7 Retro (Marvin The Martian):

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  • Durable
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Traction pattern is good
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  • Style is not up to the mark
  • A bit heavier than other shoes
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Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive:

Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive


Adidas’ Men’s Crazy Explosive is yet another popular basketball shoes.

Adidas’ Men’s Crazy Explosive is made of textile and synthetic material with PrimeKnit Technology. It is a high-top cut shoe providing support for the ankle joints. The PrimeKnit method knits the yarn in one piece, thus paving the way for flexibility and support needed in every part of the shoe. This provides optimal stability for quick movements while keeping the shoe ultralight.


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The midsole is made up of “Boost” technology which uses thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) instead of standard Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) material . The boost provides a responsive and comfortable cushioning.

The outsole is made up of Rubber and it has a quite unique traction pattern.  Another feature that Adidas markets about this shoe is the “Anatomical Lace System” that wraps the entire foot and helps to relieve pressure. It has sock-like bootie construction that feels like you’re wearing socks.

It comes in the following colors: Core Black and Dark Navy.

Pros and Cons of Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive:

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  • Boost provides phenomenal cushioning
  • The traction is very good
  • Great Support
  • Ultralight
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  • Some users have complained about the quality of the sole
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Nike Men’s Lebron Soldier XI Basketball Shoe:

Nike Men's Lebron Soldier XI Basketball Shoe


Nike Lebron Soldier XI is a high-top cut shoe, made of synthetic material. It has four elastic straps to keep your foot in place providing a secure fit. Stronger straps support your forefoot and midfoot while the lighter ones stretch around your ankle for maximum comfort. The upper is made up of mesh that lets the air in and keeps the feet cool and comfortable. The mesh is backed with foam which makes it quite comfortable. The foam around the ankle helps limit pronation. The synthetic fiber and mesh are super flexible and supportive.



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Just like Lebron 13, Soldier XI also has Nike Zoom Air units beneath the heel and ball of your foot which offers exceptional cushioning required for safe landings and drives.

The outsole of the shoe is composed of Rubber. It has a unique hexagonal-like traction pattern which provides a strong grip on the ground if you are planning to play outside.

Well, Personally I found out Soldier XI to be superior to Adidas Men’s Crazy Explosive in terms of comfort and support.

It comes in Grey, Red and Navy Blue colors.

Pros and Cons of Nike Lebron Soldier XI Basketball shoes:

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  • Heel Straps provide support
  • Rubber sole
  • Full inner sleeve
  • Cushioning
  • Responsiveness
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  • Some people may not like the concept of straps
  • Inconsistent Tractions
  • A little bulkier
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Adidas Dame 5:

 Adidas Dame 5 Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes for Men



As you can see above, the design is stunning. The colors, the amazing sole, and the overall synthetic rubber and textile look outstanding.

Dame 5 is made up of synthetic leather or suede mesh. It comes in two versions basically; mesh and leather. The mesh one is slightly lighter in weight. Well for me, the leather one will surely last longer and they will also be easier to clean as well.


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Just like the other Adidas basketball shoes, Dame 5 also features herringbone traction. This traction is a little bit different from the other patterns that we are used to seeing in other shoes. But it is with no doubt one of the finest implementations that I have seen.

You can use these shoes for indoor basketball courts as well. They are durable and will surely last you a long time. A bouncy midsole provides enough comfort and cushioning. It also provides stability while landing back after a jump.

In short, the Dame 5 fit is slightly larger. Dame 5 will be a perfect fit for those with wide feet.

Pros and Cons of Adidas Dame 5 :

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  • For narrow footers, a size of 1/2 inch less would suit better
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Nike Youth KD8:

Nike Youth KD8 - Best shoes for basketball


Nike Youth KD8 is yet another great pair of low cut shoes for playing basketball. It provides all that is needed at a reasonable price. It has an ultra-lightweight construction and is packed with some great features.





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The upper is made of synthetic and mesh material with single-layer Flyweave that provides the shoe with flexibility and strength. It also contains Flywire cables integrated with the laces for maximum support and lock-down effect. Foam heel provides stability needed for speedy movements.

The outsole is made of Rubber and has a multidirectional traction pattern for added grip; enhancing the players’ agility and strength. KD8 also boasts a full-length ZOOM Air unit which provides with low-profile cushioning needed enhancing the bounciness and flexibility overall.

Kevin Durant himself states that:


Nike Youth KD8 comes in White/Metallic Silver-Black-Multi-Color

Pros and Cons of Nike Youth KD8:

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  • Flyweave upper
  • Lock-down support
  • Great multidirectional traction pattern
  • Stylish
  • Great value for money
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  • Size not true
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Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid Retro High OG “Ying Yang Pack”:

Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid Retro High OG “Ying Yang Pack


Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro OG draws its heritage style from the original 1985 Air Jordan 1. It has a lace-up closure featuring the leather and an air-sole unit for comfort, durability which gives this pair a classic look. With its top-notch build quality, Air Jordan 1s are the ones to look for (no pun intended).

The upper is genuinely made of premium quality synthetic leather and textile. The shoe has an air-sole unit in the heel for supportive cushioning. The shoe is carefully knitted around the heel counter to provide extra support and cushioning.


The outsole is made of solid rubber with deep flex grooves which provides it with an amazing traction pattern and strong grip on the floor.

Pros and Cons of Nike Air Jordan 1:

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  • Top notch build quality
  • Fit is good
  • Really Comfortable
  • Good Traction
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  • Nothin in particular
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Nike Jordan Fly Unlimited: 

Nike Jordan Fly Unlimited - outdoor shoes for basketball

Nike Jordan Fly Unlimited is not available on Amazon at the moment, You can check out  Jordan Nike Men’s B. Fly Basketball Shoe.


Nike Jordan Fly Unlimited is yet another striking looking basketball shoe. In terms of Style, In my opinion, it is one of the best outdoor basketball shoes. The comfort, support, cushioning it provides is amazing. Let’s talk about them briefly.

The shoe upper has a lightweight textile construction and it provides amazing breathability. 

Above the laces, it has a wraparound strap that offers a locked-in feeling. Textile upper offers a full-bootie construction providing a comfortable containment playing basketball indoor or outdoor. The Inner sleeve delivers sock-like comfort. AJ Fly Unlimited also has proper support in the heel-counter area which helps in quick movements.

Talking about the outsole, it is made of rubber and the traction pattern is excellent, providing both durability and grip! Plush Foam and Nike Zoom Air unit in the forefoot provides responsive cushioning and comfort.

Pros and Cons of Nike Air Jordan Fly Unlimited:

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  • Good Fit
  • Comfortable feeling
  • Stylish
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  • Build quality not up to the mark
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Under Armour Men’s Drive 4:

Under Armour Men’s Drive 4


If you are a casual basketball player who does not want to spend a fortune on a shoe but still wants to up his game a bit, then UA Men’s Drive 4 should be the one you are looking for.




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The upper of the shoe is made of textile and synthetic materials. The textile is both breathable and lightweight, thus keeping you agile and your feet dry. It has a full-length bootie construction with molded ankle collar for greater support and snug which makes this pair a comfortable fit.


The outsole is made of Rubber. There is a toe wrap which enhances the forefoot flexibility. A system of durable reinforced lace loops provides a locked-in feeling. Furthermore, the outsole has a thick herringbone pattern which works on every surface and especially outdoors.

Undoubtedly, the strongest point of UA Drive 4 is its excellent traction pattern. Conclusively, some users have reported that the build quality of the shoe is not good, having sub-standard materials, but in my opinion for this price range, it provides what is expected. It depends on your need as to what you want. If you are just starting, Then you should certainly take a look at these shoes before checking out the better and pricier ones.

Pros and cons of Under Armour 4:

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  • Low price
  • Excellent traction
  • Best for outdoor usage
  • Great support
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  • Proper padding is absent
  • Cushioning is not up to the mark
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Conclusively, I would like to add that before buying a pair of the best outdoor basketball shoes, you should always check whether it is providing proper support, cushioning, how does the traction look and behave? On which terrain you are going to use? Which type of sneakers do you like, high-top or low-top? We have gone through all this stuff and wrote this article for you so that you can make an informed decision before buying a particular pair.

We considered many different things in a shoe, like the traction pattern, support, fit and cushioning being the most fundamental ones. Then came the style and other features. We found out that indoor and outdoor basketball shoes are not the same. The outdoor shoes are made especially for their use of rough terrains.  

All the BB shoes mentioned above have their pros and cons. We had to think twice before choosing the winners.

With that being said, We have 3 winners from our list:

First one is, Nike Lebron XV:

Nike Lebron XV takes the lead with its amazing triangular traction pattern providing the best bite and grip on the floor. The next thing which makes it superior to the other basketball shoes is the Cushioning. The bounciness and comfort that you get from the Zoom units are incredible and increases the overall mobility and agility of the player. The material used is of premium quality unlike those of were LeBron 13 or LeBron 10,  The Flyknit feels awesome on-foot. It uses high-quality light-weight fibers that add stretching and breathability.

The next on the list is, Adidas’ Men’s Crazy Explosive:

Adidas’ Men’s Crazy Explosive has been created to meet all everyone’s expectations. It provides great traction, allowing you to change directions in a jiffy. What makes this shoe different from the others is the BOOST cushioning, which gives utmost comfort and impact protection so that when you are going to dunk the ball, you can have a comfortable landing too, saving you from pronation.

The third and the last one is Under Armour Men’s Drive 4:

We have made this addition keeping in mind Which is the cheaper basketball shoe and perform on par with the other more expensive ones. We found out that UA Men’s Drive 4 is the best in this regard. It is a high-top basketball shoe and the technology used is MicroG. It fits true to the size. The downside of the shoe is that it does not feature ClutchFit upper, which performed really good in the previous models. The textile mesh and neoprene upper may look cheaper in appearance but in reality, it feels really great. The MicroG provides the perfect cushioning for bigger and bulkier players. Though it certainly can not compete with BOOST or ZOOM Air, still, it provides good value for the money spent. The best thing about the UA Armour 4 is its herringbone traction. It performs BEASTLY! Overall, these are the best cheap basketball shoes, providing great value for the money spent.

That’s all from the reviews of the best outdoor basketball shoes. If you have any queries or experience to share, do comment! If you happen to buy a pair from our list, don’t forget to comment here!




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  1. Frazier Mark Reply

    The young generation has a huge crush on designer and colorful shoes. And most of them do not bother about the performance. High heel and boot shoes are very heavy and they use it for fashion.

  2. Hey
    You have given large information. I am searching for a long time you are just too good I can’t tell you with the word. Thank you for giving us this kind of information.

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