Playing basketball is a big deal, buying the right kind of shoes is even a bigger deal.
The basketball shoe market is a big one and the popularity of the game reflects on the choices of shoes. It is, therefore, understandable that, most of the time, there is a lot more focus on the styles and designs of shoes than what they weigh.
But like with every other shoe, considering what a basketball shoe weighs should be given as much thought as your consideration for the right brand for you.
Your preferred choice of shoe must reflect your kind of play, and that means your basketball shoe must be of the right weight, cushioning, and height, since the shoes generally have different weights, cushioning, and heights.
Choosing the right pair of shoes imply that you are matching your playing style with the most comfortable sneakers that can complement your game. That is why when people talk about shoes, the weight is important.
Basketball Shoe Types And Weight Implications
Basketball Shoes are generally classified into low-tops, mid-tops and high-tops.
The low-top shoes are designed for great grip and speed on court. They don’t offer ankle support which is a core need for players who play the game. Instead, they are designed to support players whose games depend on swift, evasive movements and quickness in reaching the basket.
They are very light; usually the lightest basketball shoes you’ll find. So, yes, that gives it away; low-top basketball shoes generally don’t weigh much.
Mid-tops, on the other hand, combine for players whose games are dependent on speed and physicality. They provide ankle support — albeit minimal — for players who land from jumps.
They are shoes that weigh within the average estimate of basketball shoes.
The last shoe types, the high-tops, are for what many call the power players. Their plays are dominant; for shots and rebounds, and have more contacts on players, with preferences for speed.
They are usually heavy shoes and that’s specifically for the comfort, cushioning, and stability they give to the foot and ankle.
How Much Do Basketball Shoes Weigh?
Typically, an average basketball shoe is estimated to weigh between 15-16 ounces, that’s between 425 – 453 grams.
Super-light shoes (of course, mostly low-tops) weigh between 300 and 350 grams.
If the shoes are of normal feel, especially for certain mid-tops, they can weigh between 350 and 400 grams.
Shoes that have heavy effect range between 400 and 500 grams. If they are only slightly heavy; between 400 and 450 grams, but between 450 and 500 grams if they are really heavy.
All these also indicate the safety net for the right shoe weight. Any shoe below 300 grams can be detrimental to ankle safety and any above 500 grams might be too heavy to support any effective performance on court.
Does Weight Impact Performance?
Basketball shoes offer so many features and possibilities ranging from the shoe sizes to the design; to the upper, midsole, and outsole materials; to the level of cushioning and grip; the structure of the shoe and the brand.
All these are contributing factors to whether the shoes can make or mar on-court performances.
Ankle protection is a big part of the game and a major consideration for many players. They chose shoes that are styled mid cut or high cut as the ideal protection for their ankles, especially if they are vulnerable to getting injuries.
So, the paddings and support from shoes reflect highly on shoes choices. They are all targeted towards giving the best comfort to support players’ performances on the court.
These supports invariably impact how much the shoes weigh. Therefore, the more supportive or cushioned shoes are, the heavier they weigh and feel on the foot, except the ones with perfect fits and exceptional designs.
There are arguments that less or more weight have no direct impact on performance as they are only marketing strategies for the companies involved.
That might be untrue. You do not wear a shoe with a light difference in weight from what you are used to, especially if supported by your foot type and play, and not feel a relief in your game.
Foot fatigues are real. Foot soreness is real also. It might be too little to pick and differentiate, but a shed weight, however little, can be the difference for your legs and next performance.
For example, LeBron’s signature shoes have been criticized for one consistent feature – the weight. The shoes often lean on the heavy side.
His types of shoes are so designed to support his body frame and style of play. LeBron James’ Point Guard games are done with a lot of agility or power.
The sneakers are, therefore, designed to give that premium performance support and cushioning to support his play. So, this naturally comes at the expense of the shoes’ weights. That is to say that affecting performance is not only peculiar but can also be positive.
Heavy shoes generally support some basketball players by giving ankle support. They can also put some pressure on muscles to work harder, just like the respiratory system, and that have major impact on levels of player’s fitness, either aerobic or physical.
For people who are not using the heavy shoes for big time, actual games, or could be uncomfortable in them, it can also be a plus if you consider that heavy shoes are usually stronger.
They are made with thicker materials for padding that ensure their durability. That can be your fall back sneakers for practices and more.
Flip that in contrast with Nike Kobe’s pairs. There have been many reviewers who claim a noticeable difference, not just the feel on their foot, but also on the performance index.
Kobe’s signature shoes are one of the lightest shoes you can find, just like the hyperdunks.
In addition, in 2012, Dr. Jack Daniels, who had researched for Nike in the early 1980s, affirmed in an interview how they discovered, upon research, that an additional 100 grams to a shoe increases running’s aerobic demand by 1%.
Although the focus was primarily on running shoes, it indicates the scientific proof to the value of weight to performance.
The conclusion is that the weight of shoes matter, and it affects your playing style than you might be tempted to agree, even for signature sneakers.
Lighter shoes mean better speed and, perhaps, higher jumps. But again, it is important to consider what works for individuals as opposed to comparative possibilities that could prove costly.
Don’t trade your ankles for speed nor your power play for shoes that could be uncomfortable. The focus should be on what fits and what is comfortable.