by Keith Kingston
Choosing basketball shoes is easy because they all tend to have a very similar design. While the sizes and styles might vary, the actually design of bb shoes is fairly uniform and standard.
Choosing basketball shoes is easy when you realize that they are all high cut towards the ankle. The primary reason for this high cut design on basketball footwear is that is provides the player’s ankle with extra stability whilst the player is running, turning and jumping on the court.
With jump shots, lay-ups, slam dunks, pivoting and rapid changes in direction all now playing a major part of the game, the demands on a player’s ankles is quite extreme.
The features that are quite literally essential in any good pair of basketball shoes should include:
Lace Ups – Laces as opposed to Velcro enclosures are essential because they help to keep the player’s foot set back properly in the heel of the shoes.
In Velcro shoes there is a tendency for the foot to creep forward in the shoes which restricts the foot from performing properly and can add to the pressure on the toes.
Broad Toe Box – A broad toe box is essential to prevent a squeezing of the toes from occurring. If the shoes are too shallow, this can lead to blisters and the formation of corns, callus, ingrown toe nails and/or bruised toe nails.
Thumb Space Clearance – Players should always try on any potential basketball shoes in a standing up position because their feet will elongate and spread in this position.
By trying shoes on in a sitting down position a player can inadvertently purchase the wrong size shoe which can lead to nail problems and effect the stability of the foot in the shoe during a game. In a standing position there should be at least 1/4″ to 1/2″ of room beyond the longest toe for maximum comfort.
Forefoot Bend – When tested, basketball shoes should only bend at the ball of the foot near the toes, not through the archway area.
Heel Counter – The heel counter on a basketball shoe should be firm and feel snug when the heel is placed inside the shoe. This is one area where you want snugness, not plenty of room.
Uppers – Wherever possible you should buy shoes that have leather uppers as they are far more durable and allow the foot to breathe more readily than those that are made using synthetic materials.