Beginner’s Guide To Basketball Shoes: Find Your Perfect Pair In 3 Minutes Or Less

If you’re searching for basketball shoes, you’ve arrived at the right location. View our carefully curated collection of insights, articles, reviews and tips on this subject.

We will assist you in stepping up your game in comfort and style, no matter the level of your experience. Find your ideal pair of basketball shoes, lace up, and step onto the court with the confidence to elevate your game to the next level!

The Basics

Basketball shoes are specialized sneakers made specifically for the purpose of playing basketball. The cushioning and padding in these shoes are designed to keep players comfortable over extended periods of times such as during practices or games.

What sets basketball sneakers apart from other athletic shoes are their special features that are tailored to the way the game is played.

7 key shoe features questions to answer before choosing a pair of basketball shoes

Basketball can be physically taxing on the feet and ankles due to its frequent jumping, lateral movements and cutting. So, it’s important to select the right basketball shoes. Basketball sneakers have the potential to greatly affect how well you perform and offer the ankle support and cushioning you need to lower your chance of injury.

Based on your preferences and any previous ankle problems, take the following seven questions into account before selecting a pair of basketball shoes.

#1 What are the different types of basketball shoes?

High-tops, mid-tops, and low-tops are the three primary styles of basketball shoes; each has pros and cons of its own.


If you’re wondering what basketball shoes are good for ankle support? Out of the three primary styles high-top sneakers provide the most ankle stability and support.

The Pros of High-Tops

  • Superior ankle support that lowers the possibility of sprains and other injuries.
  • More stability which is advantageous for players that are high flyers and make quick sharp cuts. 
  • The expanded collar can offer additional cushioning and impact protection for the ankle. 

While high-top sneakers offer certain advantages, they also have certain drawbacks. 

The cons of High-Tops:

  • High tops limit your ankle’s natural range of motion, which may impair your mobility thus making it more difficult to move quickly and be agile on the court.
  • Typically weighs more than low tops or mid tops which could have an impact on your speed and vertical lift. 
  • Less breathable and absorb more heat, which can be uncomfortable, especially in warmer conditions.
  • Possible adjustment period for the limited ankle mobility, which can have an impact on how you play. 


Your playing style, past injuries, and personal preferences should all be taken into consideration while deciding between mid-top and other styles of basketball shoes. As the middle ground between high-top and low-top styles, mid-top basketball sneakers features a collar that extends to the mid ankle area. 

The Pros of Mid-Tops:

  • Versatile blend of mobility and ankle support.
  • Ideal for many different styles of play.
  • Usually weigh less than high-top sneakers, which could potentially improve agility.
  • Your feet will stay cooler with mid-tops since they often are more breathable than high-tops.

Despite being the most versatile of the three shoe types, they nevertheless have some drawbacks as well. 

The Cons of Mid-Tops:

  • If you’ve had ankle issues in the past, this can be a cause for concern. Compared to high-tops, they provide less ankle support.
  • They may hamper agility and quick cuts on the court since they somewhat restrict ankle movement.
  • Tend to weigh more than low-tops. Your vertical lift and speed may be marginally impacted.


Low top basketball sneakers features a collar that rests below the ankle. These are perfect for players especially guards and who value agility and speed since they feel light, offer maximum mobility and freedom of movement. 

The Pros of Low-Tops:

  • Provides the best mobility.
  • The lightest alternative which can potentially improve vertical lift and speed.
  • Often very breathable, these shoes reduces sweat and foot heat.

The Cons of Low-Tops:

  • Minimal ankle support. Not ideal for players with a history of ankle injuries.
  • Among the three types of basketball footwear, low tops pose the biggest threat of injury especially while making abrupt cuts and leaps.
  • Less stability provided with low-top sneakers might impair your balance thus affecting overall on-court performance.

#2. What is the best basketball shoe material?

Shoes made specifically for basketball are designed to withstand the demands of the game. They are created out of materials that produce a long-lasting shoe.

There are several different types of materials used in basketball shoes, including leather, mesh, and synthetic materials. To offer a balance of features, the best basketball shoes frequently utilize several materials. 

The best material is subjective. Select a material based on your playing style, preferences, spending limit, and requirements for durability and comfort. Each material has a unique benefit, regardless of the one you select. 


Leather may be preferred by players that prioritize durability and support. It has a timeless appearance and offers superior support. With time, leather conforms to the foot, providing a snug fit. But because it’s sturdier than some other materials, it could take longer to break in.

Synthetic Leather:

Compared to real leather, it is typically less expensive, lighter, and requires less time to breaking in. On the flip side, it usually lacks the durability of genuine leather.


Mesh or knit textiles are good choices for players who prefer breathable and lightweight footwear. Because they are lightweight and breathable they provide the ideal airflow to keep the feet cool while playing. However, it lacks the same level of support and durability that leather provides. 


Knit is a breathable material that has the flexibility and a sock-like feel, making it a good choice for a snug, comfortable fit. However, it lacks the durability and ankle support to the same degree that other materials may provide. 

Synthetic Overlays:

Reduces the risk of injuries and improves performance by providing stability and support to important areas of the shoe. But, keep in mind there may be differences in the overlays’ quality and how well-integrated they are with the design of the shoe. 

#3. What type of sole is best for basketball?

Basketball shoes are made with mid and outsoles that are intended to provide stability and traction on the court. Rubber and foam are used to provide the grip and cushioning that reduces the risk of sliding or falling as players pivot, change direction and make quick cuts.

But the level of durability and cushioning varies based on the quality of the rubber and foam. Find footwear that has a reliable outsole traction pattern. The best and most prevalent sole patterns are radial, multidirectional, and herringbone. 

#4. What is a good weight for a basketball shoe?

Your playing style and personal preferences will determine the ideal weight for your basketball shoes. Finding the right balance that meets your needs may require trying on a variety of shoes and weighing the trade-offs between performance, support, and weight. When selecting basketball sneakers, fit and comfort should always come first. 

Lightweight shoes

Jumping ability, agility, and speed can all be improved with lighter shoes. Guards and players that thrive in a faster pace of play would benefit from the use of this type of sneaker. Generally speaking, lightweight shoes weigh between 0.625 and 1 lbs, 10 and 16 ounces, or 283 and 453 grams per shoe.

Mid weight basketball shoes

For players that need a balance of support and speed, mid weight sneakers can be a good option that finds a happy medium between durability and lightness. Mid weight sneakers usually weigh between 1 and 1.25lbs, 16 and 20 ounces, or 453 and 567 grams per shoe. 

Heavy weight basketball shoes

Slightly heavier shoes may be a desirable option for big men. Physical positions such as centers and power forwards can benefit from the added support and stability. But agility maybe the sacrifice with heavier shoes. Heavy weight sneakers usually weigh between 1.25 and 1.5lbs, 20 and 24 ounces, or 567 and 680 grams per shoe.

#5. What are the best basketball shoe brands?

Historically, Puma, Under Armour, Jordan Brand (a branch of Nike), Adidas, and Nike have been some of the leading manufacturers of basketball shoes. The “best” brand is subjective and will differ from player to player depending on individual preferences, playing style, and fit.

Finding the model and brand that best fits you requires trying on a variety of them. Among the most well-known brands of basketball shoes available today are: 

#6. Are basketball shoes true to size?

There may be variations in basketball shoe sizes between models and brands. Try the shoes on, read reviews or use the shoe brand’s sizing guide to determine the proper fit based on your measurements for accurate sizing information.

Measure your foot size accurately

Use a Brannock device or a ruler while standing or sitting to get an accurate measurement of your foot size for basketball shoes. Start measuring at the heel and work your way up to the longest toe, which is typically the big toe. 

Because basketball shoes exist in a variety of widths, take the width measurement into account as well. Measuring your feet in the evening is advised as they might be a little bigger during that time. Your feet might differ in size, so make sure you repeat this method for both feet to assure accuracy. When choosing your basketball sneakers, go with the larger measurement. 

Using this method will guide you towards the appropriate shoe size for a snug and comfortable fit for peak performance. Lastly, based on your measurements use the shoe brand’s sizing chart to find the right fit.

#7. Should basketball shoes fit snug or loose?

Generally speaking, the fit should be just snug enough to give your toes some flexibility to move. Your feet moving within the shoe can cause discomfort and even injury, therefore it’s important that the fit be secure and snug. 

However, each person’s unique foot shape and preferences mean that there is no universally optimum fit. Going up a half size can provide comfort for some, while others prefer a tighter fit for maximum support. 

Your feet should fit comfortably in the shoes you select. A proper fit is essential for a number of reasons:

  • Can improve performance in several ways such as providing stability, improving control, and agility when making sharp cuts or taking flight.
  • The risks of issues such as calluses, blisters, foot fatigue, stress fractures and ankle injuries are greatly reduced while playing. 
  • While offering a comfortable fit for prolonged wear, it reduces the likelihood of painful or uncomfortable shoes distracting you from playing your best. 
  • Tight shoes can cause discomfort and even compromise the health of your feet by limiting blood flow.

How to decide which type of basketball shoes are best for you

To ensure your basketball shoes fit your unique standards and needs on the court, it’s crucial to take into account your position, playing style, body type, and personal preferences. 

Know Your Position and Style Of Play

Your position and style of play should definitely have an impact on the basketball shoes you choose because different playing styles call for distinct features and qualities in your footwear. The following are some ways that your position and style of play may affect the basketball shoes you choose: 

Your position on the basketball court is a critical factor

Each role and position has its own set of demands and requirements. The more physically demanding positions such as centers or forwards, may choose high-tops shoes which provide more cushioning for better ankle support. On the other hand guards who must optimize their quickness, agility and make quick cuts may opt for low-top, lightweight shoes for enhanced mobility. 

What’s Your Style Of Play?

Think about incorporating nba players who have signature shoes that match the discussed style of play.


Lightweight, responsive shoes with great traction can be advantageous if you’re a fast player who depends on speed and quickness. You can accelerate quickly and change directions fluidly using these type of sneakers.

Above The Rim

Shoes with a well-cushioned midsole might lessen the impact of landing when jumping, especially if you’re an explosive leaper. Your joints will be best protected by models with cutting-edge cushioning technologies. 


Shoes with strong ankle support and a sturdy base can provide the balance and control shooters need while shooting.

Dribbling and Ball Handling

Ball handlers can improve their balance and coordination while dribbling by wearing shoes with superior traction and a low-to-the-court feel. 


Reliable lateral support and a wider base are features that contribute to stability and injury prevention in shoes. Especially, for defensive-minded players that stay low and slide their feet laterally. 

A couple of other factors to consider

Injury History

Regardless of your style of play shoes with stability and ankle support should be a priority if you have a history of foot or ankle issues. 

Court Surface

Think about the most frequent places you will be playing. Your shoe selection should take into account the kind of court you play on most often. The traction needed for indoor courts differs from that needed for outdoor courts.

Basketball Shoe Tips:

#1. Maintenance and Longevity

You can extend the life of your basketball sneakers by cleaning them frequently and limiting your outdoor usage. 

#2 Shop at the Right Time

For the best deals on basketball shoes, think about purchasing during the off-season or sales. 

#3 Try Before You Buy

Always try on and walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel comfortable before purchasing. If you notice any pressure points or uncomfortable spots for your feet proceed with caution before purchasing. 

#4 Budget

Budget carefully because there are a wide range of price points for basketball sneakers. The newest technology is typically available in high-end versions, but there are also less expensive choices. 

#5 Consider Orthotics

Orthotic insoles will provide the additional support your basketball shoes need if you have a specific type foot issue that requires the extra reinforcement. 

#6 Break Them In

At first, new shoes could feel rigid. While using them on the court, allow your feet some time to get accustomed to your new shoes. 

#7 Replace When Needed

When the outsole becomes too worn down to provide enough grip on the court or the cushioning in your basketball shoes wears out, replace your shoes as soon as possible.

#8 Personal Style

Selecting shoes that showcase your individuality on the court can boost your confidence, even though it’s not as important as performance-related considerations.

Finding The Ideal Pair Of Basketball Shoes

Take your time and do your research before choosing a basketball shoe because it can have a big influence on your game. It’s imperative to test and try on many brands, sizes, and styles. 

The perfect pair of basketball shoes should fit your tastes, specific requirements, playing style, improve your performance, and reduce the risk of injury.