Have you seen the 2002 movie “Like Mike” featuring Lil’ Bow Wow? The then 14-year-old rap sensation played the role of an orphan - Calvin Cambridge – who dreamt of being a successful NBA star. Long story short, his dream came true when he found some old sneakers with the inscription MJ on them. Once he put them on, his athletic abilities became exceptional, earning him a place in the NBA even as young as he was. The moral of the story is that with the right basketball shoes, you can get into the NBA right now (or not!).
Yeah, we know it was a movie! Yeah, we know it’s fantasy, but kindly allow us to use that lovely movie to press home the importance of having the best basketball shoes when playing the game we all love. You need them as much as you need a great basketball
With all the quick side-to-side movements, twists, turns, jumps, runs, abrupt stops, slam dunks and more we associate with the game, you can’t afford to pick just any shoes. You need basketball shoes that can handle the challenge of the game and provide the player with the support, traction and comfort s/he needs to be at his/her best.
When choosing your basketball shoes, there are things to consider. First, you need to look at the player’s style. The way a player loves to play will, to a large extent, determine the kind of shoes they need. We’ll elaborate on this later.
You also need to look at where you’ll be playing most of the time. Indoor courts with hardwood playing surfaces, demand different shoes from outdoor asphalt playing surfaces. Perhaps you play on your driveway with a simple hoop system
. If you’re serious about your game, then you just might need multiple pairs for the different playing courts.
With this guide, you will get what you need to help you choose the right basketball shoes. So, before you get your game on, inflate you ball with a basketball pump
, inflate your confidence with the right basketball shoes, and play it “Like Mike”!
We all know there are basketball shoes and there are basketball shoes. What we’re looking at here isn’t what Lebron James wears. We’re looking at good quality basketball shoes you can get easily. We did our research and found for between $30 and $95, you can get a good pair of basketball shoes.
Many things affect the price of a pair of basketball shoes. The material used, the brand, model, signature series etc. Within the price range we’re looking at, you’ll find shoes of different makes, styles and features. Select whichever appeals to you the most. Just know they were carefully selected because we know they offer you value. These are not low quality, cheap basketball shoes. Rather, they’re the ones worth parting with your cash for.
Choosing the right basketball shoe involves looking first at the player and then at the shoe. We shall list the features to look out for and consider. These features include:
- Shoe cut – high-cut, mid-cut and low-cut
- Material – leather, synthetic
- Type of midsole
- Type of outsole
- Size and fit
- Closure system – laces, zipper, velcro, strap
How do these features affect your choice? Let us explain.
Construction and Design
As we stated earlier, the kind of player will determine the best kind of shoe. You have the speed player, the all-round player and the aggressive player.
A speed player needs lightweight shoes allowing for flexibility while offering comfort and support. Shoes with low-cut uppers are usually the best choice for this kind of player. For a power player, the emphasis is on stability and full cushioning. This kind of player needs the ankle support from high-cut uppers. To get the stability and support they require, they usually need heavier shoes. Meanwhile, an all-round player also needs ankle support and cushioning but not as much as the power player. This kind of player will usually need shoes with mid-cut uppers.
Most players go for the high-cut uppers because of the ankle support and stability they offer, so if you’re unsure what’s best for you or the intended recipient, this is the salient choice.
In terms of materials, leather is on the decline for sports shoes. This is because newer synthetic materials have been developed with superior breathability and strength. As a result, do not assume leather is better. Instead, consider the properties of each shoe choice and their reported benefits.
One of the most important parts of the basketball shoe is the midsole. The midsole is the part between the upper and the outsole. This is the shock absorbing part of the shoe where the cushioning takes place. This part is usually made with EVA or polyurethane. EVA is more lightweight than polyurethane but lacks its denseness and durability. The greater the balance between the weight and the cushioning, the better. Some manufacturers are beginning to create proprietary cushioning technology that grants increased cushioning without necessarily increasing the weight.
Choosing basketball shoes for a specific kind of court requires some emphasis on the outsole. Generally, your shoe’s outsole should be flat and wide enough to provide you with a stable base, helping you avoid ankle rollover as you twist and turn. If you will be playing outdoors more than indoors, you need to get shoes with more durable outsoles. Playing indoors on a wooden playing surface is not the same as playing outdoors on an asphalt playing surface. It should be expected that shoes appropriate for outdoor play will be heavier than those made for indoor play.
Performance and Ease of Use
The kind of closure system your shoe has will have an impact on your performance. If your shoes are secure, with no sense they’re coming loose, you will concentrate more on your game.
Good old laces have been securing shoes for ages and they still do. Some shoes however use different systems like zippers, straps and Velcro. Of all these systems, Velcro is the least reliable. It is however ideal for young players who may not be able to properly tie a lace. It’s also fast and convenient. Ensure you choose a closure system that will be comfortable and secure for you.
No matter how wonderful your basketball shoe is, if it’s a bad fit, you won’t enjoy its benefits. Buying shoes online can be a bit more difficult than buying in stores as you do not have the luxury of testing them out before purchasing them. It is therefore very important to make sure you know you right size as you make your choice.
Are you a regular basketball player? Then you know the importance of your shoes. Are you on a tight budget? You can still find wallet-friendly shoes with good performance. With our guide’s tips in mind, let’s look at our 5 chosen products.
Hopefully, we’ve helped you make a confident choice. If you’re still unsure, see what other options our featured brands have to offer – we chose them for their reputations for quality and value. Whichever one you choose, make sure you have fun using it. Happy swooshing!