How To Choose The Right Basketball Shoes

How To Choose The Right Basketball Shoes

Basketball shoes each come with different hype and specificity, depending on what they are designed for. People choose the kind of shoes that fit them depending on their style of play, but everyone is usually concerned about getting the basics sorted.

The basics will mean that, for basketball players to do well or last in the game, the players must prevent injuries and increase their on-court performances.

One of the ways they achieve that is by playing the sport with the right basketball shoe. Designed with performance, comfort, and fashion in mind, the right basketball shoe will help you stay on course on the court. 

The fundamental point to start this conversation about buying basketball shoes with is to mention this; being too pricey is not the same as being the best fit for you. Just because a material turns out expensive doesn’t mean it will turn out to be the right fit for your performances.

If it is not all about the cash, then what is it about? Below are some of the top considerations to put in mind before going ahead to pick your new pair of shoes.

How To Choose The Right Basketball Shoes
Photo by Igor Jilesen on Unsplash

Things To Consider Before Buying Your Next Basketball Shoes

1. The Low, Mid, Or High-Top Uppers

Basketball shoes are generally available in low, mid, and high-top uppers, suggesting whether the shoe ends above the ankle, on it, or below the ankle, respectively.

The concept of the upper portion of a basketball shoe is to define the height of the type of shoes you want. The three uppers are meant to serve different styles of basketball players because they each offer different kinds of support.

The low-top upper is built to support players who valorize speed and agility. The freedom that players must run and spend out with low-top, and perhaps, paneled uppers — depending on choice — comes with a cost.

A low basketball shoe has a lower profile and, therefore, exposes the ankles to potential injuries because they provide no ankle support.

The mid-top inflects for provision of an ankle support that is not high or low. It is a medium protection that can afford increased flexibility.

The high-top uppers, on the other hand, are more stable due to added ankle support. Your ankle is covered so that the wraps can provide a layer of stability and support.

2. Body Type

A basketball player’s body type generally affects the kind of basketball shoe he will use. This is as important as every point.

Not all player’s body frames are the same. It is like the reality outside of the sport. The way bigger basketball players — like Lebron James — are built would mean they would find shoes that support their bigger features as compared to the likes of Steph Curry who do not have to worry about certain things because of their body type.

Signature shoes are generally meant to answer these questions. Lebron’s signature shoes have plenty of support to cushion his body frame, which means that that support affects mobility.

Typically, the body type can be narrowed down to three types. They are: 

i. Ectomorph

This body type is characterized by leanness. They are also long and have small joints, having difficulty building their muscle mass (which is minimal), which makes them somewhat prone to injury in comparison to others.

Kevin Durant, Lonzo Ball, Steph Curry, are examples of professional athletes with this body type.

ii. Mesomorph

They are more athletic, because they are muscular — strong, and generally well-built. Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Steven Adams, are examples of players who fall into this category.

iii. Endomorph

These are players with big, high body fat. They typically have a stocky frame and a moderate muscle mass. That presupposes that they have responsive muscle cells and have high metabolism.

Players like Al Jefferson, Zach Randolph, Jabari Parker, and the like are built with this body type and selective about shoes that cater for the strengths and weaknesses of their body frame. 

This shows how the body type of players generally influence their shoe choice. Although it makes more sense if this is complemented by the playing style of the players.

3. Playing Style

The basketball game comes with amazing, variety of playing styles, and each has key attributes that will tell what sort of shoes fit you. Whether you are an all-round player, a speedster or a power player, your playing style influences your basketball shoe choice.

The core playing styles include:

i. Distributors/Facilitator

These types of players play for possession. This means that they are the ones literally running the floor almost all the time for the entire game.

The key attributes of their shoe must be fit and lockdown and one that provides cushion and traction.

Since they will be doing most of the ball handling, it is important that they find a perfect fit that allows them keep flowing and moving without worrying, and focus on the task at hand.

If in the same mold, since you will also be running for the most part of the game, your shoe must give maximum comfort and cushion. Running with or without the ball also means that you need a grip on the floor. You can’t be falling over at every turn or cut on the courts.

Shoes like Adidas Crazy Explosive, Adidas Light Em up 2, amongst others, are examples of basketball shoes that offer amazing traction.

adidas Men's Shoes | Crazy Explosive Basketball, Scarlet/White/University Red, (7 M US)

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ii. Slasher/Scorer/High Flyer

Players who show up for these styles of play are the all-round players. The slasher and the defender fall within the same category of activeness and athleticism that sort of demands so much from the athlete physically and, in turn, or inevitably, the athlete’s shoes.

A slasher needs a shoe that provide arch and lateral support especially when headed for the paint. You can cut through opponents as much as you like only if you are in a shoe that safeguards the heels on the move.

You need a pair of basketball shoes than can help you cater for all these needs; defend when you must, drive the ball to the net when it calls for it and be willing to make quick turns and changes when the game demands it.

You need shoes with traction and lockdown. Lockdown implies that your shoe isn’t wide, but it is the right fit that allows your foot to move freely without discomfort.

If you are a high flyer who also loves to dunk at the net, you might need a shoe like Zoom Air that is low and responsive, as high fliers are generally susceptible to instability. 

Nike Air Zoom Vapor x Kyrie V (White/Black-White-Hot Lava,11)

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iii. Power Player/All-Around Player

The power player is a beast on the court and can pretty much own to any pattern of play.

Just like the fiery, dominant Michael Jordan of the 80s and 90s. He can score. He can fly. He can slash. He can distribute. The kind of shoe that fits here also offers the same combination play that you bring into the game.

Nike Jordan Mars 270 Mens Cd7070-001 Size 10.5

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iv. Post Player

They are the ones in the defensive line of duty. They back down opponents, cut supplies and passes, block shots, and crash the boards than any other.

This kind of player will need a shoe that offers support and comfort. It must be on lockdown and be a perfect fit.

This is very important. When you back off an opponent, you put your foot in a shape where you need heel cushion. Your shoe must provide that arch, lateral and heel support. 

4. Materials

This is not underrated; it plays a big part in what kind of basketball shoes you pick. The shoe materials have a lot to do with the durability of the sneakers.

Shoes that are made of high-quality materials do not wear or breakdown easily. People generally draw back on this because of the price demands it places on users. But rather, consider it an investment.

There are shoes that are plastic-based synthetic products. Synthetic options are becoming so mainstream now and more popular than erstwhile leather options.

These kinds of shoes are built to withstand damage at the upper part of the shoes while raw materials that give fanciful feel get beat up easily. Get what will last and serve its purpose while at use.

The confusion at times can arise from how people negotiate their understanding of aesthetics. In talking about aesthetics, the focus isn’t necessarily about externalities or the shoe’s appearance.

An aesthetic knowledge of the shoe will make you look at why the shoe is the way it is and what purpose the shoe’s style serves in the overall performance index for potential user.

5. The Right Size

Having the right size is just as much as it is the body mass as it is the foot type. The differences in foot posture suggest already that the impact on basketball choices are not unnatural.

Now, people make choices that can potentially become too tight for them when they wear, making it extremely uncomfortable for them as they get rolled up in ankle injuries that are easily avoidable.

Ensure, therefore, that you know the shoe size that works for you and your location. There are basketball shoes that only show whether sizes are small or large. You can, therefore, have a size 12 that is about 11.5 for another. This is particularly important for buyers who want to order online and won’t be at stores to test the fittings.

Make sure you order for shoes that leave a thumb’s width, just a little space around your largest toe area. Also, read up on the conversion chart that helps you identify the perfect shoe size for you. How US shoe sizes are read differs from Euro or UK sizes. You can easily relate where the inches or centimeters align, and what works with what, where, and how.

6. Traction And Sole

People are always on YouTube and reviewing sites talking about how their basketball shoes have no grip and they slip easily on the surface. The sad reality is that many of the basketball shoes do possess good traction when they are bought, but somehow lose that over time.

Now, there are ways you can solve that. You can extend the shoe’s traction life by getting stick maps to maintain grip. You can learn to clean your basketball shoes immediately you take them off. Dust on your soles is one of the ways your shoes can lose their gripping effects.

There are many who use sandpaper to wipe the sneaker’s sole once in a while. It can wear down the places that are already losing their grip, or you could just have multiple pairs of shoes in order to elongate the life of each of them.

Whichever way, never lose sight of the fact that traction on your shoe’s soles is an important factor to consider before calling those basketball shoes yours.

This means that you must be present to test these shoes on or buy on suggestions of the top basketball shoes with good traction, like the Adidas Crazy Explosive and Under Armour Mens Ua ClutchFit Drive II, that come highly recommended.

Under Armour Men's Ua Clutchfit Drive Ii (4 D(M) US, Graphite/Metallic Silver/White)

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Consider Outsole

The outsole is like the soulish intermediary between the human spirit and body. It is the outsole that actually connects the player to the court.

The material is typically rubber-like. There could also be those with synthetic material.

Since traction is key to how the shoe is valued, having a good outsole effortlessly sorts that out. It is that vital.

A Nike Air Zoom comes highly recommended here with a cushioning that comes with the curved shape of its rubber outsole.

Nike Kyrie 5 helps you maintain traction, and you are also, through your stride, able to optimize your ability to roll.

When you see outsoles that have herringbone or hexagonal patterns, know that they are able to deliver that added traction that saves you from slipping and sliding around the court without firmness.

Nike Mens Kyrie 5 Kyrie Irving/White Nylon Basketball Shoes 10 M US

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You can establish quite early which pair is a good fit for you and which one isn’t. Put on the shoes and make sure they are the perfect fit before leaving the store to gauge its level of comfort or cushion before setting out to face real dragons.

There is a hundred percent chance that sneakers that don’t feel right in the store won’t feel right on the court or street. Don’t be boxed into a corner where your feet are all blistered, or your toes are pinching just because you couldn’t define your comfort early enough where it should matter.

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