Basketball footwear is usually designed using a higher cut towards the ankle. The primary reason for this high cut design is to assist with ankle stability while jumping.
With jump shots, lay-ups, slam dunks, pivoting and rapid changes in direction the forces on the ankle can be extreme.
The demand for sudden directional changes also requires a unique sole design.
The features essential in any good basketball footwear include:
Laces are essential because they help to keep the foot back in the heel counter of the basketball shoes. This allows the forefoot to function properly and efficiently and also reduces forward pressure onto the toes.
BROAD TOE BOX
This is essential to prevent lateral compression (i.e. squeezing of the toes). If the basketball shoes are too shallow, this can cause pressure on the toes which may lead to blisters, the formation of corns, callus, ingrown toe nails and/or bruised toe nails. For further information on foot and ankle injuries visit our foot pain page.
Always try the shoes on when standing as feet elongate and spread with stance. Insufficient toe room can result in nail problems and effect stability. Ensure the shoe fits the longer of your two feet and approximately 1/4" to 1/2" (8-12mm) of room beyond the longest toe is available.
WARNING: If purchasing your shoes over the internet, be sure to check your size. Measure your longest foot with your socks on while standing using the size charts provided by stores such as Shoebuy.com and others.
Basketball shoes should bend only at the ball of the foot where the toes bend and not through the arch.
The heel counter should be firm and feel snug as this helps to keep the heel and the foot stable.
Leather uppers are preferred for their durability and ability to breathe. Avoid synthetic man made materials unless the upper is an open weave fabric similar to that which exists in many sneakers.
SHOCK ATTENUATION AND THE OUTER SOLE
Basketball shoes exhibit flat soles which help to accommodate sudden stopping and rapid directional changes. Outer soles are designed for superior traction in various different directions.
This should be minimal. Only a small amount of twisting motion should be available in a stable basketball shoe.
A shoe with a low heel elevation of approximately 4 to 5mm is typical in basketball footwear.
This is generally broad. The smaller and narrower the heel base is, the less contact you have with the ground thereby increasing your instability.
Remember: Get your shoe fit right by measuring your right length and width otherwise your game will suffer.
More information on basketball shoes, foot pain and sports injuries can be be found here.
WARNING : This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist, your Doctor or your foot specialist.
Still have a question about your foot problem, leg pain or you just need some footwear advice?
Visit our Foot Problems page and ask us a question about your specific problem. We'll do our best to help.
To find a Podiatrist or Foot Doctor near you visit our Find a Podiatrist page and click on your country.