The Importance of a Right Basketball Shoes

If you are a big fan of the NBA, you may notice that more and more players are getting serious injuries such as torn Achilles more often. In such an energetic sport with many athletic and explosive players, it is crucial for players to find the gears that allow them to perform in such intensity without getting injured.

I am going to briefly demonstrate the fundamentals of basketball shoes. Basketball Shoes

Breaking Down Basketball Shoes

There’re three main sections for a typical basketball shoe, the cut length, the upper and the sole.

Cut Length

  • Low-top:

It is lightweight and is built for more speed and agility. So it is more suitable for guards for more mobility. However, there is less protection and support for the ankle due to the lack of coverage.

  • Mid-top:

It is the most prevalent one among three of them. Having some coverage without all enclosed have provided sufficient ankle protection and also allow not being so restrictive, which is appropriate to basically all players.

  • High-top:

With the extra upper coverage, your ankle is provided with abundance of protection as well as stability. This kind is applicable for power forwards and centers, who jumps a lot for grabbing rebounds and finishing under the rim. However, it tends to be more restrictive and less agility.

The Upper

  • Soft uppers: Woven fabrics are the most common materials of soft uppers. They are way stronger than other types of fabrics, making them more durable and flexible. Besides, it is easy to clean and maintain compared to other fabrics. You can simply wash them by throwing it into the washer without getting shrank and wrinkled. It matches better with low-tops.
  • Hard uppers: These are usually made of rubber or synthetic materials. The toughness of these materials have provided more durability and support, yet it will decrease your mobility. It matches better with high-tops. Different Parts of Basketball Shoes

The Sole

The soles of basketball shoes are moderately flat and made of rubber. Most are wider and have a herringbone pattern etched in to improve stability and traction for quick pivots, starts and stops. Soles on indoor basketball shoes are often made of thinner rubber, in order to make them more lightweight for faster movement, while outdoor soles are thicker to be more durable. Basketball shoe soles typically offer maximum shock absorption and moderate flexibility compared to other types of athletic shoe soles.


When it comes to the performance of the shoe, this is the most important part since it contains the heel cushioning and the forefoot cushioning. These cushioning are created to absorb most of the shock and offer flexibility.

In addition, to prevent the chance of inward rolling and a sprained ankle. Some shoes will add more solid materials to the center of the cushion for more stability and be more comfortable at the same time.


The outsole of a basketball shoe is made of rubber or synthetic materials. In order to increase the durability and traction, making athletes easier to control their pivots. Most of them are carved into a pattern of herringbone, maximizing the balance. So, if you want to secure your feet and stability better, you should look for the designs with added grip.

Comparing to golf shoes and tennis shoes, the soles of basketball shoes are slightly flatter. However, as far as choosing indoor shoes and outdoor shoes, some may have difficulties to recognize the differences, so I am going to show the differences between them. For indoor basketball shoes, the rubber of the soles are thinner, as the lighter weight it is, the faster athletes can move. However, as we mentioned before, lightweight may result in a sprained ankle due to the lack of ankle protection. On the other hand, for outdoor basketball shoes, the soles are thicker, maximizing the shock absorption and the durability while at the expense of moving slower and less agile.

Some may not know, almost all basketball shoes are able to play at indoor. So if you do not have enough money for both of them, I recommend going for an outdoor basketball shoe with a more durable, thicker outsole.


How to Choose the Right Basketball Shoe: 3 Quick Tips

Now you should already have a better understanding of the different sections and types of basketball shoes, also knowing the pros and cons of them. Next, you should try to use these strategies to choose your perfect pair.

How to Choose the Right Basketball Shoe

  • Tip 1:

Go to a shoe store such as Nike, Adidas and measure the size of your foot by professional clerks. After getting you accurate shoe size, ask them if you need a wider fit or a narrower fit.

  • Tip 2:

After picking the right size, you should determine what your playing style is. Are you a sharpshooter or a guard who sprints up and down on the court and controls the pace of the game? If so, you should choose a pair which is low-top with a soft layer for less restrictive and more speed. Or are you someone who attacks the paint aggressively and finishing at the rim nine out of ten times? If that’s the case, you should choose some high-top with a hard layer for more ankle protection.

  • Tip 3:

After choosing your ideal basketball sneakers, do not buy it right away. Try it and test if it fits you. You can use your index finger to test the size by simply measuring the distance between your heel and the end of the shoe. It should less than or equal to the size of your fingernail. You should feel your feet are perfectly wrapped if it is the one. Jump and run a bit to make sure it’s comfortable and suitable for you.



A proper basketball shoe can enhance your skill set and affect your performance significantly. Although the features, as well as the qualities of the shoes, cannot be neglected, it is more important for you to choose your favorite brand and appearance. Moreover, it is extremely fun. You can choose any color schemes that fit your style and personality and also give you the confidence when you are wearing them. Just remember, always enjoy the process.

If you have any questions or feedback, please comment below to let me know so I can get back to you as soon as possible.

2 Replies to “Basketball Sneakers : What You Need to Know”

  1. The internet is indeed loaded with immense number of information, such as learning more about the basketball sneakers. I never knew there are specifics to look at when it comes to choosing the right shoes to play the sport. All I knew was those shoes used for soccer players. Other than that, I don’t know anything else.

    Which is why there are many existing brands that keep on improving their products because of this concern. Content-wise, I love reading the content, especially it’s comprehensible enough for people like me, without background knowledge in these kinds of things. Kudos to the author.

    1. Hi Mecyll,

      I’m glad that you enjoy the content of this topic.

      Indeed, if you don’t have the knowledge when it comes to choosing the right sneakers, it can be really dangerous, especially in an energetic sport like basketball.

      All the best,

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