5 Top Ways to Find Basketball Shoes That Fit Well and Feel Good

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5 Top Ways to Find Basketball Shoes That Fit Well and Feel Good

Basketball shoes are one of the most popular types of men’s sneakers. Athletic footwear designed for playing basketball comes in a variety of colors, materials, designs, and even ankle heights, giving many options for creating unique styles. High-quality basketball shoes are crucial for serious players, but many casual players and non-players wear basketball shoes as well. Fashion enthusiasts may not be quite as invested in the longevity of a shoe, but athletes want to buy shoes that are comfortable, supportive, flexible, and long-lasting.

There are five major ways to pick out the right pair of basketball shoes: these include considering the type of playing that is done; taking the size, shape, and structure of the feet into account; and knowing how to determine quality. Finally, tips for shopping in stores and online can help buyers close the deal on a pair of basketball shoes that will last for years to come.

1. Know the Playing Needs

All basketball players need some degree of cushioning, support, and flexibility. By considering a typical game, a buyer can make the right choices for cushioning, support, and flexibility based on the following conditions:
  • Whether he is a power player or a speed player
  • Whether he is an offensive or defensive player
  • Whether he makes more direct plays or assists

Cushioning is crucial for all players. Support and flexibility are trade-offs because a more flexible shoe typically offers less support and vice versa, so sometimes it is necessary to choose between one or the other based on playing style.

Another factor affecting playing ability is shoe weight. Nobody wants to run and play in a heavy shoe, particularly players who need to make aggressive shots. The typical standard is that a basketball shoe should weigh about 10 ounces, give or take an ounce. If the shoe’s weight is not listed on the box, the sales associate should be able to look it up, or it can be measured on a postage scale or other small-weight scale.

2. Choose the Ankle Height

Basketball players who hold a specific position need to choose their shoes according to their role on the team. All-around casual players need a more general shoe that will prove helpful in all situations. Anyone who needs to move with speed will generally not want a high-top sneaker, as the firm ankle support of a high-top also has a downside in that movement is restricted. Running in a high-top shoe is not easy, so mid-tops or even low - tops are a better choice for these players. The mid - top is a great choice for all-around players who need to perform many different roles during any given game. High - tops are best for those who make a lot of stop-and-start moves, such as pivoting and jumping. High-tops also work for those casual players who play half-court games or games or on small courts, as their need to run is not as great.

3. Get the Right Size and Width

It may sound obvious, but finding the right size shoe is extremely important. Many men buy the same size shoes year after year without having their feet remeasured. Age, weight gain, injuries, and even repeated stress on the foot (such as stress that comes with sports activities) can change the dimensions of the foot over time. Some people may think that there is something wrong physiologically when their feet start to hurt, but many times this discomfort or pain can be alleviated by wearing a different size shoe.

Sizing the Foot

Shoppers should have a sales associate measure their feet every time they go to buy basketball (or any other) shoes, whether it is once a year or even every six months. Many stores even have Brannock devices (the classic slide measuring tool) available for customers to use on their own.

When shopping online, buyers can measure their feet at home by tracing them on paper. The steps for doing this are as follows: Wearing the usual athletic socks, sit down and place one foot on a sheet of paper. Trace the outline of the foot with a pencil held vertically. Measure the distance from the back of the heel to the end of the longest toe and subtract 0.20 to 0.25 inches to account for the width of the pencil. Then measure the span of the foot across the widest point of the ball of the foot and subtract 0.20 to 0.25 inches from this figure as well. Repeat these steps with the other foot.

Find a shoe size chart online and use these measurements to find the correct shoe size and width. Some charts go by centimeters instead of inches, so multiply the inch measurement by 2.54 to convert it to centimeters. There is no one standard shoe size chart, unfortunately, so try to find one that is connected to the brand of shoes desired. If this is not possible, look for a sizing chart that claims to be accurate or universal; this will be as close as possible to the correct size, and it will provide the best starting point, as it is still necessary to try shoes on before making a final decision on fit and comfort.

Finally, if a shoe does not come in the correct width, move on to another style or brand. Never sacrifice fit for fashion. Narrow, regular, and wide basketball shoes are available, so do look for them.

4. Try On The Basketball Shoes

Just about everybody tries on shoes when they shop in brick-and-mortar stores, but one must also consider that an online footwear purchase is not complete until the shoes have been tried on. It is impossible to know if shoes fit right and feel good without wearing them for a few minutes. For this reason, most online sellers offer return policies on shoes. Just be sure not to remove tags or wear the shoes outside where the soles can get dirty or scuffed.

To try shoes on, wear them with regular athletic socks and lace them up fully and correctly. Try both shoes on at the same time, as many people have at least a minor discrepancy in size from one foot to the other. Wearing both shoes allows for a true test of the shoes’ performance. Once the shoes are on, walk around, do some stop-and-start moves, pivot, jump, and run. Imitate any moves that might be performed on the court. Check to be sure that the shoes do not pinch the feet, hinder motion, or generally feel like they are constricting. This may be a sign that the shoes are too short or narrow. Conversely, be sure that the shoes are not rubbing the feet (especially at the heel or ankles) and that the feet are not sliding around in the shoes; this could mean that the shoes are too long or wide.

Do not be afraid to try shoes on in a size that does not correspond to what a size chart indicates, or even another pair in the same size. Remember that every company makes their shoes a bit differently, and even individual pairs can come out slightly different: after all, when differences in shoe sizes are sometimes a matter of only 1/8 inch, a minor variation in cut or sewing can result in a shoe that is slightly different from others of the same size.

5. Check Prices and Quality

Quality is sometimes difficult to judge in a store; only after wearing a pair of shoes for a while does the quality become evident. However, there are a few ways to ensure quality from the outset. First, buy shoes from a well-known, well-respected brand. Some of these brands include Nike, Converse, Adidas, Puma, New Balance, Fila, and Reebok. Next, check to see that any sewing is done neatly and evenly, with no loose threads. Glued parts of the shoe should not look as if they might easily come loose. Both shoes in a pair should be uniform.

As with many fashion items, price is not always a sign of quality but sometimes merely of a certain label, trend, or status symbol. Some very expensive basketball shoes are worn primarily as street shoes for looks. Among practical basketball shoes intended for game wear, however, price is generally an indicator of a good shoe. Most of the costly shoes are costly for a reason: they are well engineered and designed, with high-tech cushioning technology, firm support, and sturdy construction. Having painful or injured feet affects everything a person does in life, so taking good care of one’s feet by buying the best shoes should be a top priority.

Where to Find Basketball Shoes

Top-quality basketball shoes are available at sporting goods stores, shoe stores, and department stores. Fashion basketball shoes are also available at discount stores; however, these are usually not of the quality required for serious sports performance. Occasionally, you may be able to find a pair of barely-worn sneakers at a yard sale, consignment shop, or thrift store, although the likelihood of finding the correct fit is low. A wide variety of athletic footwear can be found online through e-retailers, classified ads, and auction sites.

How to Buy Basketball Shoes on eBay

eBay offers a wide selection of basketball shoes, wider than any selection you would find in a brick-and-mortar store. Just go to the home page, hover over the Fashion link, and select Men ’ s Shoes. Then, select Athletic styles and click on Basketball Shoes. You can then sort the results by your size and width. You can also specify brands and colors. Budget shoppers will appreciate the price range sorting option; choosing New or Used options also helps with budgeting.

Another way to shop for basketball shoes on eBay is to visit the Sporting Goods portal. Hover over the Team Sports link and go to Basketball. Navigate to Clothing, Shoes, & Accessories and select Shoes and then Men. Sorting by brand, color, price, and condition is available here just as it is in the Fashion section.


Snazzy, eye-catching basketball shoes are everywhere, but finding a pair that fits well and feels comfortable is another story. Know what is needed from the shoe, whether it is superior cushioning, firm support, or optimum flexibility. Decide whether a high-top is needed for strong ankle stability or if a lower cut is ideal for those who are always running across the court. Always measure feet before every major shoe purchase. Try the shoes on and test them out; do not rely on the size marked on the box to get a good fit. Last, be sure that the quality of the shoes is on a level that matches what is required from them. By following these guidelines, basketball shoes will fit and feel great and perform well for years.

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