Just like a knight needs a trusty sword, a basketball player needs a reliable pair of shoes. Many people ponder over the need for specialized basketball shoes. However, if you look at the kind of movement, traction, and support required in the game, you’d quickly realize the answer. The quality and fit of your shoes can significantly influence your performance on the court and even help to prevent injuries.
How to Know What Size Basketball Shoes to Buy?
Finding the perfect fit for basketball shoes can seem like a daunting task. To begin with, you must understand your feet, particularly in terms of size and shape. Most of us are familiar with our shoe size, but do we know the width of our feet or the height of our arch? These things are critical when selecting the right pair of shoes.
Should you choose to buy from a physical store, it can be a great advantage to try on different options in multiple shops to understand how various brands and designs feel. Remember that sizes may differ across different leagues of shoes. The last step is to always check the shoe’s length from heel to toe, ensuring a broad toe box for the natural movement of your toes.
Should Basketball Shoes be Tight or Loose?
In general, basketball shoes should not be too tight or too loose. They should feel snug but comfortable. Tight shoes can restrict movement and cause discomfort, while loose shoes might not provide the necessary stability and support, increasing the risk of ankle injuries. Your heel should be secure in the heel counter, and your foot shouldn’t slide within the shoe.
Do Basketball Shoes Run Big or Small?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it largely depends on the brand. Some basketball shoes run true to size, while others might run big or small. This is why it’s crucial to try on the shoes or at least refer to the brand’s specific sizing chart before making a purchase.
Should Your Toes Touch the End of the Shoes?
Ideally, your toes should not touch the end of the shoe. There should be about a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe (which isn’t always the big toe) and the end of the shoe. This provides room for your toes to move and wiggle, thus preventing toe injuries.
High Top Basketball Shoes vs. Low Top Basketball Shoes
The choice between high top and low top shoes often depends on the player’s position and personal preference. High tops provide more ankle support and are usually the preferred choice for post players who are at higher risk of ankle injuries due to their position on the court. On the other hand, low tops are lighter and allow for better speed and agility, making them a suitable choice for guards and wing players who need to make quick movements.
How to Break in Your New Basketball Shoes
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
The break-in period for new shoes generally takes a few days. Start by wearing them around the house for a couple of hours each day.
Wear Them When You’re Not on The Court
During the first few days, avoid wearing your new pair of basketball shoes for intense physical activities. Start with light walking, gradually increasing the time and intensity over a period of seven days.
Wear Two Pair of Socks
To expedite the process, you can wear two pairs of socks. This will stretch the shoe a bit and help it adapt to the shape of your foot.
After the initial period, incorporate some basketball drills. This helps the shoe adapt to the movements specific to the game. A 15-minute jog or a few periods—an hour of dribbling drills—should do the trick.
The final step in the break-in period should be a real team practice. After your shoes have adjusted to your feet, you can use them in a real game situation. It’s advisable to wait until you’ve broken them in completely before using them in an important game.
The role of basketball shoes in the game cannot be overstated. They not only contribute to a player’s performance but also to their comfort and safety on the court. When choosing basketball shoes, always remember that the perfect fit is not just about the size—it’s about the match between the shoes and the player. Make sure to consider your game position, foot shape, comfort preference, and the shoe’s quality before making a decision.