How to Choose Basketball Shoes – Buying Guide

basketball shoes buying guide

What do you think is important and gets noticed in the first place in a basketball player? Well, uncommon but it’s what’s on your feet. Yes, the shoes matter too, actually they are the essence of good balling and best kicks in the game. So, nonetheless, if you are a pro basketball champion representing school or state, or just a noob with basketball as a favorite pastime, the basketball shoes you choose for yourself matters!

Your jaw-dropping moves need extra-ordinary shoes!  

There’s a point in exaggerating that shoes are most important, as basketball is a game of quick action, and the uncomfortable shoes may confine the movement of the player making them fall short for the player’s playing position. Let’s say you got it, that shoes have their part in the game.

So, now you get out on hunt finding the best basketball shoes in the market. Hold on, unfortunately, there isn’t one, there are dime a dozen. Every basketball shoe you see available out there is tagged as the best and makes it difficult to find the genuinely best one for you. But fret not, we have got you covered with the detailed guide for buying the basketball shoes. Stick till the end and you will have answers to your questions popping up in your mind now.

Let’s begin from the beginning!

What’s in the shoe?

Just like you need to know every ingredient that goes into making a dish, likewise, you should know the elements of the shoe beforehand to focus on picking the right one for your needs. So, in simple words, let’s get through with the anatomy of the shoe at first to understand what is what and why in a shoe.

So, typically a basketball shoe can be divided into three main parts named the upper, the midsole, and the outsole. Each of these parts has qualities that affect a player’s performance and shoe’s durability. Knowing each of them will help you understand what exactly you need in your desired shoes. So, let’s get started.

  • Upper part

When it comes to the upper part of the basketball shoes, you need to decide on the height you want and that defines the type of player you are. The basketball shoes are available in three heights or say types, high-top, mid-top and low-top, where the one with high-top, wraps around the ankle providing extra support and stability, also adds extra weight to your feet.

Coming to the mid-top shoes, they provide the players with good ankle support. The material on the top sits right providing the full coverage to ankle. These increase flexibility of movement in players. On the other hand, the low-top ones provide little ankle support and are built for speed and agility.  We’ll know each of the types in detail later in the post.

Closure part – Talking about the upper part, basketball shoes are available with various closure techniques and the laces are the most popular among them. Apart from laces, one can find the shoes with zippers, straps, and loop closures as well. They generally add more support to your ankle, and adds an extra layer of coverage, especially in high-top models.

  • Midsole

The cushioning is found in the midsole of the footwear. This part plays the essential one in the shoe’s performance. Usually, the midsoles comprise foams like EVA and compressed EVA foam, which is a lighter option compared to polyurethane midsoles that are more durable. The brand-specific cushioning gives extra cushioning in pressure points that endure pressure and stress when playing.

  • Outsole

The outsole of the shoe is made of synthetic material or rubber and is the point of traction of your shoe. Looking for a flat and wide outsole is suggested for the maximum balance, and for extra grip, look for the outsoles that have herringbone design, as they secure your feet and prevent sliding on the court.

Usually, the basketball shoes are designed favoring the indoor play. The outdoor courts are less favorable than indoor hardwood ones. So, if you are a hardcore outdoor player then look for the shoe with durable and thick outsole.

Note: The asphalt can eat up your shoes’ tread…

best basketball shoes for centers

Coming back to the types!

Just a while ago, we had a little glance at the types of Basketball shoes. Now, let’s have a detailed look at each, as knowing the types of shoes will eventually help you find the right pair of basketball shoes for your playing style. It goes this way “The type of basketball shoes mirrors the kind of basketball player you are”. The right shoe will enhance your playing style and keeps you up in the form on the court.

So, you may find various types of basketball shoes out there in different heights, weights, designs, cushioning, etc., but in general, they are divided into three major types of basketball shoes listed below.

  • High-top shoes – The sturdier!

The high-top basketball shoes are designed with the material that stretches upward and covers the foot’s bottom part as well. It provides the player with extra support and is the common choice for the big players. They are for the ones that seek sturdiness in their foot when rebounding. These are mostly heavier due to the extra material used to design them.

  • Mid-top shoes – The All-rounder!

They are considered as the all-round basketball shoes among the players, Like the high-top shoes, they provide great ankle support and flexibility to the players. These shoes are for the players that seek a balanced style of play.

  • Low-top shoes – The speed enhancer!

The low-top shoes are designed to provide the players with a free and easy movement of the foot. These shoes are for the players that seek speed and agility and an ideal option for the guards. The low-top shoes are generally known for their capacity of enhancing the speed and rolled lower leg. For the ones, who have to buy these on their mind should know that these basketball shoes are to be used with the utmost care during training and play sessions.

So, these were the types of basketball shoes available in the market. Now let’s have “why knowing playing style is important to get the right pair of shoes” under the spotlight. You might have already noticed above, how the type of shoes is related to the style of playing. So, let’s understand what role the playing style plays in buying the best basketball shoes.

Understand your playing prowess to know what you need!

For your information, according to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, about 68% of NBA players find high-top basketball shoes as the right pair for them. The others find their best in mid and low-top trainers depending on their playing style and position.

It is important for a player to assess his playing style on the court before stepping in the showroom to find the best pair of basketball shoes. The assessment of playing style will help you make the list of features you need in your gear and this will eventually help in narrowing down the choices and pick the one that suits them the best easily.

Here are a few points that help you find what you need as a player depending on your playing prowess.

  • The post-players or power players need sturdier and heavier shoes, as their position and style of playing involve high recurrence of grumping and moving. So, their need for stability and cushioning is high. Thus for such players, the high-top basketball shoes make an ideal option to go for. Also, these shoes ensure them high durability and ankle support they need for their style of playing.
  • An all-rounder who wishes to exceed the expectations in every bit of the game needs the high ankle support and traction for the quick pace movements. Also, they need lightweight shoes that are good at providing ankle bolster just like the mid-top shoes. For such players, who need the full freedom of movement and decent ankle height level, the mid-top basketball shoes are the best bet.
  • Lastly, the ball-handlers need the lightest pair of shoes that enhance their speed and quickness, as they are always in the need t hand-push the ball. The low-top trainers are a good option for them. They don’t restrict the movement of the players and provide them with the needed flexibility.
basketball shoes guide

Know what a quality basketball shoe pair does to your game!

When you are after quality peculiarly, you will find the benefits you gain from it. So, now let’s understand what a good pair of basketball shoes do to your game and why you should go cherry-picking the basketball shoes for yourself.

Below you can find the reasons listed that define how putting on the best performance basketball shoes will help you ace your game. So, let’s have a glance at them.

  • Swift footwork for quick drives!

The best pair of basketball shoes give you the enhanced footwork movement required to make the quick drives. A player has a monstrous amount of weight on his feet and ankle, which needs assurance to run, move, and hop and a quality shoe exactly provides that to a player improving his performance than normal.  It helps the player boost their skill, decreasing the odds of injury in the court.

  • From crossover to box-out keeps it all easy!

A high-quality basketball shoe makes playing quite easy. Basketball is the game of slow to fast-paced moving, running and jumping during the game and a good pair of shoes will enhance the movement of the players, improving their ability and skill.

  • Decreases the odds of injuries!

A rigorous and quick pace game like basketball exerts colossal weight on the player’s foot and ankle and a slight on back and knees. Poor quality shoes can place the player in a bad position making them tend to wound and injure themselves more while jumping and landing in the wrong ways. A good pair with decent midsole will provide enough protection and support absorbing the shock from continuous movement. The twisted ankle injuries can be prevented by the mid-cut or high-cut style shoes, as they provide great padding and perfect ankle bolster.

  • Dribble with enhanced traction

While of course, the talent of the player dictates the game but having great traction at the bottom is an essential factor too. As the player has to move along in a way, the traction force becomes essential on the defense level.  The traction force can be enhanced with high-quality shoe external sole and which assists the player in enhancing their dribbling skills. The external soles are designed to improve the traction force and provide better movement for the player.

  • Grump with augmented Shoe breathability

The shoe breathability is a subject of comfort and a well-designed upper part of the shoe provides stability and protection to the players. The material of this upper part has an impact on the durability and breathability of the shoe.

Most of the brands produce lightweight upper materials that are a blend of synthetic and mesh leather. While the leather offers sturdiness, the synthetic mesh provides flexibility and breathability. Most of the recent technologies focus on producing basketball shoes with enhanced fitting, and breathability.

basketball shoes buying guide

How to swish in the best basketball shoes in your shopping cart?

Well, now we are on the crux part of our basketball shoe guide, and by the end of this part, you will have a crystal clear idea of what you need and what’s best for you.

So, when on the lookout for the right pair of basketball shoes for you, there are few basic factors you need to consider and gauge upon. However, the choice you make depends upon what you are searching for and the purpose.

Let’s say, you need basketball shoes just to complement your style and not planning on taking it out on the court and get dirty then you need to focus on style and comfort when shopping. On the other hand, if you are planning to use shoes in novice competitions then you should consider durability and long-lasting factors.

Similarly, you have other factors on the counter as well to consider when buying the right pair of basketball shoes. So, here you go with the list.

  • First comes first, the Size!

Believe it or not, the size is the most important factor. Put your foot in the wrong size, and find yourself in a position you wouldn’t ever want to be in. The wrong size can ruin your game and also increase your chances of getting injured.

So, even when you are sure about your size, try them before you purchase. Also, know that the feet change their size and shape after some time, so it’s better to get your feet measured if you have no idea of actual length and width. The right size will ultimately make the right pair for you.

  • Second comes second, the Traction!

A little while ago, we came across the benefits of having great traction at the bottoms and its contribution to better performance. So, you might be wondering what traction actually is? The traction can be defined as the force involving the sole of the shoe holding the grip on the ground. It prevents the players from slipping and controls their movement. The basketball shoes have different patterns on their sole giving different traction potential outcomes.

So, this generally interests the potential players and is not much considered by “for-fun” players. But in general, the sole of your basketball shoes are supposed to be sturdy and thick enough to ingest the shocks and endure all the jumping and running, while also shielding you from slipping on the court.

  • Third comes third, the Cushioning!

The basketball is a game of jumping, mad ups, box-outs, dribbling, all in all, it’s a high-intensity game that has a huge impact of strain on feet. The rigorous moves and shock of the motion can unbelievably cause serious injuries and may also disturb your responsiveness. Contingent to the odds of injuries, considering the brands with extra-ordinary cushioning technologies is suggested.  Pick the pair that ensures the ingesting of shock movements during the game.

  • Fourth comes fourth, the Comfort level!

Obviously, who doesn’t yearn to wear the most comfortable shoes? However, some brands let comfort dominate over performance and that definitely should be a concern for the professional players. So, go for the pair of basketball shoes that provide you decent comfort without compromising the performance bit. Again, the comfort level is relative to the right size. So, trying the pair on before you make the purchase will eventually give an idea and help in making the purchase decision.

  • Fifth comes fifth, the Design

As previously mentioned, the purpose of buying basketball shoes also has a part. So, if your purpose inclines more towards the style and aesthetics then the design should be among your primary concerns. The market provides you with ample choices when it comes to designs. Go for the ones that intrigue you.

  • Last but not the least, the Money factor!

Well, some of you have the price as their primary concern, while others put it under secondary. In general, the renowned basketball players go for highly-priced basketball shoes, as they believe the higher the price, the higher the quality. However, for the ones with a low budget, the market is flooded with quality shoes at reasonable prices. At the end of the day, it all depends on your need.

So, with all these being the really important facets one should consider picking the right basketball shoe pair for them. However, we won’t shy away from lending you an extra hand that can save your time and efforts in getting the right pair.

Pro-tip for quick purchase – The Name-Game!

We understand that spending time on each pair considering the above factors can make the process tedious for you, so here is a pro-tip that can help you make quick checkout. Relieving right?

It’s about the brand and its word in the market. You will find an array of brands available in the market, some known and some unknown. Keeping the money factor aside, the most popular basketball shoe brands provide you with the extremely featured and high-quality basketball shoes.

Some of the outstanding top-rated basketball shoe brands you can put your trust in are Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Jordan, and Under Armor. A pair from any of these brands will definitely meet your requirements. All you need to do is find the right size, right type for your playing style and voila, you have the best basketball shoe pair in your cart.

Take Away!

Every basketball player needs the right kind of shoes that supports his play. Not just the size, material, traction, design, and comfort, there is more to basketball shoes that can be felt rather than analyzing.

No matter, if you are an experienced player or just starting out a noob, it is essential to test run your basketball shoes before you purchase them. An exact sense of fit and comfort can be determined only when you test and try them. So, make sure you try the pair once before you own them. 

Wrapping up!

Briefing up on the things we looked at in this guide for buying basketball shoes, we started with the anatomy of the shoes looking at different parts of the shoe, followed by the types of the shoe and how the playing style is related to understand the type of basketball shoes you need.

Later, we had a glance at the benefits of having your foot in the best pair of basketball shoes, followed by the factors to consider when buying the pair of basketball shoes and concluding with the pro-tip to save your time and efforts in getting the best basketball shoes for you.

Let’s hope you found the answers you are looking for and take this guide as assistance to buy the right pair and put on the best basketball shoes in your next game. Always remember, the quality makes the piece best and high-quality basketball shoes are essential to hold up your form as a player in the game, be it a national competition or a pastime outdoor fun.

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