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How to choose Basketball Shoes

Basketball involves running, jumping and quick changes in direction that require good quality shoes. Choosing the right pair of basketball shoes can minimize the risk of injury and increase traction on the court. Basketball shoes feature lightweight combination uppers which mix the stability and durability of synthetic leather. The breathable uppers are more durable than leather. The midsole of the basketball shoe is located between the upper and the outsole and will impact the levels of cushioning and shock absorption in the shoe. Most midsoles are make of EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) that is compression-molded or injected to offer lightweight cushioning. The outsole of a good basketball shoe should be flat and moderately wide to create a stable base and help to prevent ankle rollover. The surface of the sole will be made of rubber in a pattern that will help grip the floor and provide traction. Some shoes designed for outdoor play have heavier soles. Avoid wearing worn-out basketball shoes because they can result in injuries to the foot. The daily use of basketball shoes for practices and games wears down the shoe material and reduces their ability to provide cushion and support needed to protect the foot.



There are three basic styles to basketball footwear:

(1) High-tops offer the most ankle support and stability. However, high-tops are generally the heaviest of the models because of the extra material.

(2) The mid-top is shorter than the high-top because they stop at ankle level. It allows more freedom of movement than high-top but provides sufficient ankle support. The mid-top is the most popular choice.

(3) The low-top is the lightest of the three models. This style allows fast players to use their speed and quickness but these shoes do not provide much ankle support.



The next step is determining your playing style. The three most popular playing styles are power player, speedster and all round player.

(1) Power players generally spend majority of their time in the low post. This type of play requires a lot of physical contact and jumping within confined spaces. Power players want a shoe with maximum cushioning and stability. High-tops or mid-tops would be best choice for the power player.

(2) The speedster or fast players rely on speed and quickness so they don’t want to wear a heavy shoe slowing them down. Low-tops or lightweight shoes still provide a decent amount of support and cushioning are ideal for this type of player.

(3) The all round player is the jack of all trades. They do a little bit of everything. This type of player should look for shoes that offer good support, cushioning and flexibility but are not too bulky. Mid-tops are usually a great choice for this type of player.


The internet is a great place to find bargains on any type of shoes including basketball shoes. You can find more bargains on shoes in the internet rather than purchase shoes in the stores. But first you should try on the shoes in a store before purchasing online in order to make sure you order the correct size. When trying on shoes in the store, you should take them on a test run. Take a walk around the store, jump up and down a couple of times and do a few quick lateral movements to get an accurate feel for the shoe. It is best to try on shoes at the end of the day or after a workout because your feet expand slightly during physical activity.




  1. Bruce The-Health-Nut

    Great advice! As a long time basketball player, I think you broke it down great. I also would note that recently many shoes are being made with cheaper soles that have absolutely no tact on a gym floor. Light shoes are great for speed, but watch out for the foam-like bottoms of the shoes.

    • Roger

      Hi Bruce,
      I think that different surfaces such as concrete or hardwood floor may require a basketball player to wear different rubber soles. If you are playing outdoors or on a concrete surface you might want to wear a heavier rubber sole to prevent ankle rollover. While on a gym surface you might want to wear a lighter rubber sole that will glide along the hardwood floor.


  2. Muhammad Sayyid

    Hi roger,
    I just spent a few minutes on your site and I must say that I learned more about shoes than I ever had. Your site is very informative and educational. It is also very light reading, which is great. Your writing style gives the information the reader expects from you and then makes suggestion as to what to buy. Very effective. Your page layout is highly effective too. Keep up the good work. Blessings to you and your success.

    • Roger

      Hi Muhammad,
      Thanks for the comment. I am glad that you found my shoe articles to be educational and informative. I hope you continue to read my articles in the future.

      All the best,

  3. RobertaHarr1

    Hi as a novice when it comes to basketball I found the information to be very informative and you stayed on subject.

  4. Khalfish

    Very informative info about basketball shoes.
    Hope to read more of your postings.

  5. Courtney Hunt

    It’s amazing how far the basketball shoe has come. There’s a lot of science that goes into the shoe nowadays. I remember the old days when it was straight up canvas. Very good read.


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