How To Wear Basketball Shoes

How To Wear Basketball Shoes

From Michael Jordan to LeBron James, we’ve seen the best basketball superstars adorn some of the most technically advanced footwear for the sake of the game of basketball.

Basketball shoes have gone beyond just being used to play basketball. People all over the world now wear basketball shoes casually as a fashion statement. They are comfortable, elegant, and truly beautiful to wear for a casual look.

To be honest, these days, you no longer have to be a basketball player to own and properly rock a pair of basketball sneakers.

While a lot of these shoes are marketed for performance purposes on the court, many fans — and non-fans alike — love to wear basketball shoes casually.

How To Wear Basketball Shoes
Photo by Hunter Johnson on Unsplash

However, it could be a little bit of a challenge to wear basketball sneakers to everyday outings, because of their often-outlandish designs (high tops and bulky closures).

Anyway, with some tips which we will be giving you here today, you can avoid any fashion faux pas and pull of a stylish combo with these shoes. Let’s get to it.

Guidelines for Wearing Basketball Shoes Casually

Basketball sneakers can be worn casually for sport outings, summer outings, dates, and simple get-togethers. They will, however, look awkward for corporate work outfits, so, don’t even think about making that mistake.

Anyway, let us look at how to and how not to wear basketball sneakers.

1. Avoid Baggy Pants

The days of Notorious B.I.G’s oversized jeans are well over. Even P. Diddy does not rock them anymore, and frankly, neither should you.

But if you must, please, do not even think to pair them up with any basketball shoes. You don’t want your baggy pants covering these expensive fashion items.

Rather, go for slimmer pants. A pair of slim jeans are always a good match with basketball shoes.

However, be careful with skinny jeans. Pairing up your skinny jeans with b-ball shoes will make you look like one of those green elves in those Enid Blyton tales. You don’t want that.

Not all basketball shoes match well with a pair of jeans, so, you will have to be a little careful. For instance, the Nike LeBron 16 and Nike LeBron Witness 3 are a bit to sporty for a pair of jeans.

Straight-cut jeans will also fit nicely with basketball sneakers. Joggers and sweatpants are very good matches for these kicks as well.

Probably because they are already sporty by design, most joggers and sweatpants will match perfectly with basketball footies.

2. Cuff Or Roll Your Pair Of Jeans

As earlier said, joggers and sweatpants are natural matches for b-ball shoes. Jeans on the other hand can be a bit tricky, depending on the style of jeans.

For slim jeans, one way to really amp up your style is to create a cuff by folding in the hem of your jeans. If you are up for it you could even be more stylish and do a pin roll.

In case you do not know how to do a pin roll, this video should help.

Rolling your jeans or making a cuff is more suitable when you match your pair of jeans with low-cut basketball shoes like the Nike Kobe AD Exodus or the Nike Kyrie Low.

When making a pin roll, don’t roll up your pants too high up, rather let it just sit above the tongue of the shoes. The pin roll should be high enough to allow some skin to show, but not too much skin.

Be cautious with doing pin rolls, though. If you can do without it, then you probably shouldn’t bother. If you want to come across a bit more stylish, then go for it.

3. Tuck In Your Pants 

You should consider tucking in your straight cut jeans, especially if they are not too big. If the footies have bulky tongues a nice tuck could be quite stylish.

Also, consider tucking in for basketball shoes with high tops. Some folks choose to leave one leg of their straight cut jeans tucked in and the other tucked out. If you are the funky type, you might get away with this, if not, you should probably not attempt it.

Slim fit jeans are perfect for tuck-ins. Tucking in your jeans also affords the shoes more attention and brings some edge to your outfit.

4. Let Your Shoes Complement Your Outfit 

What you wear with your basketball shoes are just as important as the shoes. Don’t just wear a washed-up t shirt and jeans just because you have expensive kicks on.

This is a common mistake with guys, and it is so not cool. Match your basketball shoes with a nice pair of pants, and a stylish top.

That said, don’t let your top be over the top such that it begins to compete with your shoes. Your top and shoes should be complementary, rather than be jostling for attention.

You could match up your shoes with a nice jacket, too. 

Look out for your color combinations. If your basketball shoes are bright and catchy, then you don’t want to also wear a loud pair of pants. Rather, combine the shoes with pants of neutral color like navy, black, white, or grey.

5. Sometimes, It’s Shorts Or Nothing 

You cannot pull off wearing some basketball shoes casually. Some shoes were simply made for the courts only.

Nike LeBron 16 and Nike PG 3 can be very difficult to wear casually, they appear to be designed for the courts only.

Also, some of these sneakers just don’t match with pants.

Notwithstanding, you could pair them up with shorts. Of course the type of shorts you match the shoes with will matter.

For instance, those beach Hawaii shorts won’t do, no matter how hard you try. Consider wearing shorts with neutral colors as well, to underscore the casual look you are trying to pull off.

6. Wear Them Clean 

Perhaps one part of wearing basketball shoes that has not been pointed out is that you wear them clean!

It doesn’t matter how expensive or impressive your Air Jordans are, no one wants to gaze at a dirty pair. So, whichever way you choose to rock your basketball shoes, ensure they are always spotless.

Now that some of these guidelines have been highlighted and explained, let’s consider two of the more recently popular basketball shoes. We’ll look at how they can be styled for that casual look.

But before that, if you don’t yet own a pair of basketball shoes, this is a really stylish one you could consider. Also, check this article to see where to buy new b-ball shoes.

Nike Air Jordan Xxxii Mens Hi Top Basketball Trainers Aq8830 Sneakers Shoes (UK 10 US 11 EU 45, Desert ore White Black 200)

Click here to check this out and buy on Amazon.

Styling the Air Jordan 33

Since 1985 the Nike-Michael Jordan collaboration has not failed to release the Air Jordan sneakers each year. The Air Jordan 1, 3, 4, and 11 have proven to be classics and some of the biggest fan favorites over the years.

The Air Jordan 33 is truly a performance focused basketball shoe, yet it doubles excellently as a lifestyle choice and one you can wear casually.

The Air Jordan 33 comes with an innovative feature which also adds to its aesthetics. It does not use a standard lacing system, rather it employs an innovative system that still locks down your foot nicely and comfortably.

This lacing system leaves a nice clean looking basketball shoe on your feet.

In terms of styling, it fits basically with any outfit and this is because of its sleek design and white color.

Air Jordan 33 can be worn with either joggers, slim jeans, or straight cut jeans. Consider pairing these shoes with darker colored pants because of the shoe’s white color.

Slim fit pants can be tucked in to give that edgy look. The shoe has a high top, so, it won’t be advisable to pin roll or cuff your pants for this one.

This one is excellent for shorts too. Consider pairing these with nice dark shorts.

Styling the Kyrie 5 Mamba Mentality 

This pair of Nike shoes is inspired by NBA legends Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant. The Kyrie 5 line is a popular shoe choice amongst basketball sneakers lovers. It’s quite a colorful footwear and very stylish.

Just like the Air Jordan 33, this shoe can go with almost any outfit. It’s great with joggers, sweatpants, slim cut, straight cut, and even crazy jeans.

Anyway, it is probably best paired with slim jeans tucked behind the tongue of the shoe.

Consider matching the Kyrie 5 Mamba Mentality basketball shoes with neutral colored pants. Colors such as black, light blue and grey will match perfectly.


Basketball shoes have come to stay as a fashion statement. Nike and co are also around to ensure that this status quo remains unchanged.

Buying a pair of, say, Air Jordan also requires that you learn how to wear basketball shoes casually.

There are a host of stylish basketball shoes to pick from to pull of that stylish casual look. While you do your picking though, make sure you know the styling.

We leave you with this video of top 10 basketball shoes of 2019 you can wear casually, and how to rock them, too. Enjoy!

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