When it comes to basketball, one thing’s for sure. You need a shoe that can handle the intensity of the game, soften hard landings, take a beating, and won’t crumble under the first ounce of pressure.
That means any ol’ brand won’t do the trick.
And you’ll see why in a second exactly why Chuck Taylor’s are not good basketball shoes anymore, even though they were used by professional players for years.
I have reviewed many basketball shoes on this blog, worn some of them, and I have a few things to say about buying basketball shoes.
Hopefully these tips can help you make a more informed buying decision.
1. Ankle protection is key
One big reason why pro basketball players stopped wearing Chuck Taylor’s was because of the vast amount of injuries they would cause.
There wasn’t enough ankle stability.
There was stability but no padding which is what allows your shoe to land big jumps and keep you in check during quick directional movements.
A padded ankle and collar is mandatory!
2. Not too tight, not too loose
Basketball shoes need to be tight enough that they keep you safe from injury, comfortable and supportive for the entire game.
On the contrary, they should not be too tight where they restrict movement.
There needs to be wiggle room so you can actually move around.
Finding a balance between tight and loose is what you should be aiming for.
3. Low-top, mid-top, high-top
What’s the difference between all of these?
Low-top basketball shoes are for quick movements on the court. However, this also comes at a cost…less ankle stability. These are better suited for lighter players that need to move around quickly
High-top shoes have more weight to them and provide lots of support, making them better for larger and more aggressive players
Mid-top shoes offer a balance between the two. They have ankle stability and support, but still light enough to move around quickly
Determine your play style before choosing a shoe type.
4. Flat and wide outsole
The outsole is the bottom of the shoe.
This gives you traction on the court so you don’t slide around and fall over.
Keep in mind that some are made for indoors and others for outdoors.
If you plan on playing indoors, make sure it has a flat and wide outsole as this is going to give you a better safety net while you run up and down the court.
Also check the pattern. Herringbone or hexagonal is the best.
Now when it comes to outdoor use, an outsole that is more durable and thicker is better suited.
They are made of carbon fiber and last longer due to the extra wear and tear needed against concrete surfaces.
5. High or low quality?
Should you go with a low quality or high quality basketball shoe?
Some shoes you can get away with being low quality, especially when it comes to casual/general use.
However, when it comes to basketball, quality matters.
Even if you’re just looking to shoot hoops, a shoe with better materials and more comfort is going to help you immensely.
Why do you think basketball shoes were created in the first place?
Not just to look cool!
But yes, quality matters even if you just want to get better at shooting hoops.
Bonus tip: does aesthetics matter?
I mean, do you want to stand out?
I usually say that you should always follow comfort, stability and support when looking for a new pair of shoes.
But when it comes to basketball, aesthetics is kind of a big deal when playing professionally.
Just look at how much of an impact Air Jordans made on the world.
Nike hoped to sell $3 million dollars worth in 4 years but actually done $100 million in the first year!
That was not from Mr Jordan alone, those shoes were aesthetically pleasing.
But you probably aren’t playing professionally anyway, so lets answer this question for the average person.
Does aesthetics matter?
If you want them for basketball, aesthetics doesn’t matter as you’ll only be using them on the court.
If you want them for casual use, like everyday/general wear, aesthetics is huge!
Buying basketball shoes is always a fun time.
They all look aesthetically pleasing, some better than others, and they stand out from the crowd.
Whether you want a pair for shooting hoops or playing a full-on basketball game, I’ve got you covered.
The Nike Kyrie 5 are still one of my favorite high quality basketball shoes to-date.
They are a little pricey, but the quality construction, comfort and different colorways make it well worth it!
So that concludes this article.
If you have any tips or questions, please ask me in the comments below!
Thanks for reading and have a great day.