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How to Choose the Best Basketball Shoes

Academy Staff
5 min read

Stepping onto the court is easy but achieving legendary status on the court – that’s a different story and certainly requires much more effort. This begins with practicing the fundamentals, honing your skills, and putting in the work.

It is also about choosing the right gear, including the correct ball type, clothing, and footwear. The right pair of basketball shoes are especially important for making an impact on the court.

What to Look for When Shopping for Basketball Shoes

When it comes to basketball shoes, most people think that the only purpose they serve is to add style points to your game. Basketball shoes do much more than add a fashionable flair to your court time. The proper pair of basketball sneakers delivers the support, comfort, and traction a basketball player needs to move fluidly up and down the court, hustle for rebounds, and play their game. Important factors for choosing basketball shoes include:

· Traction – Players would slide around on the hardwood court or slip out of bounds and risk potential injury without being able to stop precisely in their tracks when needed.

· Support – Your shoes must stand up to your weight or to your demands, especially for your play style if you’re primarily a post player.

· Comfort – Playing through pain is harmful and could increase the chances of chronic pain or long-term injuries.

Which basketball shoes are best for you? Academy Sports + Outdoors offers a wide selection of men’s and women’s basketball shoes and basketball shoes for kids. Here are some tips to help you choose the right pair of basketball shoes for yourself or the mini baller in your home.

The Parts of a Basketball Shoe


When thinking about the right support, you must consider the correct uppers on your sneakers. The upper is the top or upper part of the shoe.

Uppers often deliver the bold style and colors we are used to noticing on the court, but they also play a large part in the amount of support the shoe provides. The uppers can be low top, mid top or high top and each of those translate to different types of support.


Midsoles combine comfort and cushioning. When it comes to staying comfortable on and off the court, the midsoles are worth strongly considering when making your shoe selection. Most midsoles are crafted of various types of lightweight, plush materials, from EVA foam and compressed foam to pressurized air for a light ride, or they feature dense and durable polyurethane material for an option that absorbs more shock and impact.

Brand-specific cushioning technologies boasted by the top basketball shoe brands also live in the midsoles. All these elements combine with the purpose of ensuring your comfort on your travels – or in basketball – preferably lack thereof.

Outer Soles

Basketball is all about fast-paced movements, quick jumps, and ankle-breaking pivots. Traction and outsoles are important elements for every basketball player to consider. Outsoles are the rubber and sometimes synthetic material bottoms of basketball sneakers.

Outsoles carry the job of gripping the floor so that players do not slide and slip around as they move. The ideal outsoles offer maximum court grip and supply optimal balance to help ensure that players stay sure footed and steady on their feet.

The Best Basketball Shoe Type is Best for Your Play Style

When it comes to providing support, uppers are in charge. They achieve different levels of support through high top, mid top and low top basketball shoe styles. Although this detail about basketball shoes is often considered to be aesthetic, low-, mid- and high-top basketball shoes bring something different to the table to help each type of basketball player bring his or her skill set to the court.

Low Tops

Low top basketball shoes support speed and agility. They feature low profiles and minimal ankle support to help guards and defensive stoppers – players whose speed is critical to the game – achieve their need for speed. Low tops can also make for a trendy style option when looking for kids’ basketball sneakers for everyday wear.

Mid Tops

“M” is for mid top basketball and for multi-position players. Mid tops feature an upper that sits directly at the ankle to provide some coverage like a high top, while being less restrictive like a low top sneaker. This design makes it easy for multi-or all- position players to make moves and transition between their skills with ease and finesse.

High Tops

High top basketball shoes wrap around the ankles to provide the most stability and support. Although this does increase the weight of these shoes a bit, high tops make the most ideal shoe for forwards and centers. Because these players are often the largest participants on the court, they tend to need extra ankle support to prevent strain and sprains as they crash the boards and wrangle for position beneath the basket.

Choosing the Right Shoes for Basketball

You now have some insight on how to find the right basketball shoes that can help you begin your journey towards becoming a court legend. Remember that shoes do not make up for what players lack in skill; they only assist in how players improve through hard work and focus. The right shoes will give your game a key assist with proper support, comfort, and traction.

To find the top basketball shoes when it comes to style and performance, visit Academy in-store or shop online.