The best basketball shoes aren’t necessarily the most expensive. What’s the use of having new shoes if they don’t fit well on your feet? Other features like good ankle support and lacing systems are important in finding sneakers that fit your playing style. However, there are more considerations when looking for the proper fit.

How Should Basketball Shoes Fit?

The shoe must be a snug fit with your feet. It should not be too tight or too loose. You can find the right fit by measuring from the widest point of the shoe. Likewise, it’s important to give your toes enough room to move comfortably. Ideally, there should be a finger’s width between the shoes’ front end of the shoe and the longest toe. Your feet may swell after exercise and having that allowance will come in handy to still feel comfortable.

white and black air jordan shoe

Otherwise, shoes with improper toe fit will be difficult to use during a game. Basketball players with wide feet must go for a pair of sneakers with a spacious toe area to allow proper blood circulation. It also helps to find a shoe with a broad toe box to avoid the toes being bunched together tightly.

Meanwhile, there must be no space between the shoe and the foot because it will feel uncomfortable even during slight motion. The width of the shoe should also remain the same from toe to heel. If not, making quick movements can be difficult. The right basketball shoes must also provide ample arch support to avoid foot pain and ankle sprains. This requirement is an important factor for power players who rely on their base to dominate.

The shoe’s width must also remain consistent on both sides to prevent any tightness. Furthermore, the heel area should not be too high or too low. It would be difficult to move sideways or make quick turns if the shoes’ heel area isn’t in the same spot as your feet. Players with flat feet must not wear high arches to avoid potential foot problems.

The heel counter should keep the heel in place and has additional cushion for support. Likewise, the vamp or the part covering the upper foot must not be too spacious or too constricted to follow foot movement. Finally, the shoe must hold the foot in place, regardless of the lacing method used.

Also Read: What Height is a basketball hoop?

How Much Room Is Allowed For A Pair Of Basketball Shoes?

This question can bring conflicting responses. Some say that some allowance of space is better, while others claim that the shoes must not choke the feet. However, the consensus is that the sneakers must have enough space to allow the toes and ankles to move freely. High-heeled basketball shoes might not work either because they may lead to difficulties in jumping.

As for the sides, they must take the foot’s outline to avoid wobbling which can lead to unstable ankles. Also take note that new basketball shoes may feel tight. However, they tend to stretch with extensive usage to provide better support. The shoes should feel better after two to four weeks of constant usage.

sneakers lot

Are Tighter Shoes Better?

Tighter sneakers are the best shoes for players with foot problems because they provide better pressure on the feet. But make sure that the ball of the foot snugs the largest part of the shoe and the heel. Take note, though, overly tight shoes may cause blisters. Going for shoes with elastic bands in the ankles can help adjust the shoes’ width.

Is It Better To Upgrade Or Downgrade the Shoe Size?

Basketball shoe sizes may differ from other footwear. Therefore, there’s a possibility you might be a size higher or lower. The size you purchase still depends on your foot’s width. Typically, you must buy a smaller size compared to the sizes of your other shoes. This approach ensures that the shoe hugs the feet right, helping you focus on your game.

While buying shoes online is a more convenient option, finding your shoes in person ensures that you will get the perfect fit. You can try several options from different brands and select the most comfortable basketball sneakers. Purchasing shoes in the afternoon may help because you become more discerning about the best fit.

Types Of Basketball Shoes

While sneaker designs are limitless, they boil down to three umbrella groups. There are low tops which are better for smaller players, mid tops for medium-built ballers, and high tops for big men. Each shoe type provides the support and mobility a player needs.

Which Basketball Shoes Fit My Playing Style?

Guard, forward, and center are the three basketball positions. While they play the same game, their personal preference for basketball shoes differ. Point guards are more comfortable with lightweight shoes because they run a lot, making them go for low-top shoes. Agile players will benefit a lot from wearing low tops due to the traction it provides, especially during quick movements.

Meanwhile, shooting guards and small forwards might find mid-top shoes to be perfect for them because it provides a balance between stability and agility. These shoes are not as heavy as high tops and not as light as low tops. Finally, power forwards and centers prefer a high-top shoe because they need to have a stable base when jostling for position on the low block.

Players who want to provide better ankle support might go for high top shoes. However, there is no substantial evidence supporting this belief. Proper support through ankle tape works best in minimizing injuries.

How To Make Your Shoes Feel More Comfortable

A new pair of shoes may not feel perfectly comfortable fresh off the box, even if it is the actual size of your feet. It takes time before sneakers get accustomed to the feet. Therefore, avoid buying shoes days before a basketball league starts. Instead, purchase it weeks before the competition to have ample time to get used to them.

It also helps to put them on every day, especially if you will just stay at home. Doing so makes them more bearable. You can also use it as a temporary running shoe to get accustomed to its weight while moving faster. Wearing two socks on each foot helps provide ample room for a more comfortable feel. Finally, simulating basketball movement through drills can help determine the lacing you prefer.

person wearing black and white converse all star high tops

Don’t Copy What Other Basketball Players Do

You might see your favorite player rocking their signature shoe. Likewise, there’s a great player in your league who uniquely wears their shoes. Copying what they do will not lead to your success. Instead, you must find the type of shoe that fits your game style and make sure that it doesn’t choke your feet.

It would be difficult to enjoy the game if you keep on paying attention to your shoes for the wrong reasons. Therefore, it should feel as if it is not there while it still protects against the most common injuries. What works for you might not be suitable for others. That’s why being patient in finding the right shoes is the first thing you must practice.

Buying Basketball Shoes Online

E-commerce has made it possible to purchase shoes even before you see them. However, you must take caution in making a transaction because of false advertising. Fake stores that “sell” shoes have proliferated, and you’ll end up getting nothing for your money. But on the bright side, these platforms allow customers to have a voice.

Therefore, it pays to read the reviews from those who have purchased from the store. Getting more favorable reviews means they have seamless operations from the items they offer to delivery options. It’s also good to look for the size chart they provide to measure your feet accordingly. Checking the photos of the items customers received vouches for the product’s accuracy and authenticity.

Final Words

Now that you’ve learned how a basketball shoe must fit, it’s time to put theory into practice. There’s no problem with being meticulous about the sneakers you want to buy. Aside from wearing them for the long term, your game will suffer if you don’t find comfortable footwear of the right size.

Of course, never go over your budget to avoid financial difficulties. Remember, there are always great options for every price range. After all, what’s the use of buying basketball shoes if it won’t help you enjoy the game?


David Harris is a former player and after many years of writing and testing hundreds of products associated with the game, created this website to share his tips, basketballs and gear.  I look forward to continuing to grow and build this site and sharing great content.

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