From cushioning to traction, this comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to choose the best basketball shoes for your needs.
Sports shoes are extremely popular in the United States. Back in 2021, Nike’s footwear sales reached over $24 billion.
You must purchase the right ones if you’re in the market for basketball shoes. Buying the wrong shoe can cause you all sorts of foot troubles.
However, how do you know which basketball sneakers are better than others? Well, there are several things you should look for and understand before you make your purchase.
So if you play basketball and want to purchase the right shoes for the game, keep reading. This basketball shoes buying guide tells you everything you need to know.
Parts of a Basketball Shoe
When looking at the anatomy of a basketball shoe, three primary parts make up the shoe’s frame. They are the upper, the midsole, and the outsole. Let’s look at each and how they affect your playing style.
Sports shoes are available in three heights: low-tops, mid-tops, and high-tops. This is the first thing you should look at when buying basketball sneakers. If you have weaker ankles, consider purchasing a high-top sneaker that offers more support around the ankle.
If you don’t need extra support around your ankle, then mid-tops will be a good option. This type is a well-rounded basketball sneaker. Low-tops are your best option if your playing style requires speed on the court.
The midsole is where the bulk of your foot sits in the shoe. As such, this part of the basketball sneaker is centered around cushioning.
Manufacturers have developed several technologies that improve midsole cushioning for example, lightweight foam, pressurized air, or EVA materials. A good quality basketball shoe midsole should protect the player’s body by absorbing impact during play.
The outsole is the part of the basketball shoe that makes contact with the court and provides traction. The outsole is typically manufactured from a type of rubber material.
If you’re a serious player, traction significantly affects your play. A high-quality outsole will guarantee maximum grip on the court, so you won’t slide as you jump or change directions.
What to Consider When Buying Basketball Shoes
Knowing a few things is helpful before spending your hard-earned money when buying basketball shoes. After all, good quality basketball sneakers can cost more than your average sports shoe. So, here’s what you need to consider when buying these cool kicks.
1. Your Playing Style
When buying basketball shoes, you want to consider your playing style. You need to consider the shoe’s upper, midsole, and outsole. For example, you should look at low-top upper sneakers if you’re a faster player.
You also want to consider how often you play. If you play semi-professionally, you’ll need a pair of sneakers that can handle a lot of use. Conversely, if you only play the occasional game after work or school, you can get away with buying slightly less expensive basketball shoes.
2. The Style You Want
If you browse basketball shoes online, you’ll quickly notice you have many styles to choose from. Knowing what style you’re after is helpful before you go looking. Of course, you want to consider other factors first, like how comfortable or durable they are, but staying true to your style is important too.
3. How Comfortable It Is
This one may seem obvious, but we’re mentioning it anyway. Another factor to consider when buying basketball sneakers is how comfortable they are.
After all, if they’re uncomfortable and hurt your feet, you won’t want to wear them very often. This will be a waste of your hard-earned money.
4. How Durable It Is
Sports shoes can cost a pretty penny, so you want to ensure you can use them for more than one season. For this reason, you want to look for basketball shoes that are built with durability in mind.
If the shoe wears out too quickly, it won’t offer the support it initially did, and you’ll have to replace them more often. Instead, invest in a good quality pair of basketball sneakers from the start.
5. What Build You Need
If you’re buying name-brand sneakers like Nike basketball gear, then you’ll need to match your build to the player whose shoes you’re buying. For example, if you have a larger form, you’ll want to look at shoes from players like LeBron James rather than smaller players like Chris Paul. If you can’t find a player whose build you match, choose your basketball shoes based on the abovementioned factors.
How Much Do Basketball Shoes Cost?
Now that you know what type of basketball shoe you’re looking for, you may wonder how much it will cost. The price you pay for basketball sneakers will depend on several factors, such as:
- The cushioning and outsole materials used
- The name brand
- The cut
- Your shoe size
- Where you’re buying it from
Generally, men’s basketball shoes should cost between $75 and $200. If you’re looking at women’s basketball sneakers, the price may be slightly lower due to the smaller size.
If you can’t afford a high-quality pair of basketball gear right now, you can set some money aside every month until you have enough to afford the ones you want. Don’t buy cheap shoes because you want them sooner.
Which Basketball Shoes Will You Buy?
Buying good quality basketball shoes is essential whether you play the occasional game after work or are a serious athlete that plays for several hours a week. For this reason, you want to choose a comfortable, durable shoe that suits your play style and build.
When choosing your basketball sneaker, decide whether you need high-tops, mid-tops, or low-tops and what midsole cushioning you need. Finally, choose a shoe with an outsole that gives you adequate grip on the basketball court.
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