Tips for Buying New Basketball Shoes

Our basketball footwear experts share their tips on finding your perfect pair of kicks for the court.

All About The Outsole

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Players stand out on the court with swift movements and multidirectional footwork. And your basketball shoes need to keep up with the pace of the game.

Your footwear’s outsole is the rubber bottom of your shoe. This component provides support, structure, protection and grip. In basketball, outsoles traditionally have a herringbone pattern outsole. This design has long provided support for multidirectional movement on a variety of surfaces.

More modern basketball shoes are outfitted with hexagonal patterns, which are offer pinpoint traction on key zones of the outsole.  Check out product information for details on your shoe’s traction pattern and features.

Go High Or Low?

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Basketball shoes come in two basic silhouettes—high-tops and low-tops.

High-top basketball shoes feature an extended, often padded ankle collar that provides ankle support on the court. This popular design offers a more traditional look for your game. Low-top basketball shoes have a lower ankle collar, which tends to produce a lighter weight shoe.

Which one is right for you? It’s largely a matter of player preference. Often, “speed” players who desire a lightweight shoe opt for low-cuts, while aggressive power players like the support of high-top basketball shoes.

Up Your Shock Value

A shoe that provides shock absorption is key for basketball players of all skill levels. If you read product information, you’ll find that many shoes come lined with a responsive foam padding—EVA and polyurethane are common, for example. Basketball shoes also frequently come with a textile inner liner, or sockliner, that promotes fit, shock absorption and moisture wicking.

Some leading footwear manufacturers, like Nike, offer a built-in air pocket to absorb and disperse the impact players often deal with on the court. This may add some weight to your shoe while it ups your comfort level on the court.

Make Your Statement

Basketball shoes are all about making a statement—perhaps more so than any other type of athletic footwear.

These shoes frequently come in bold, vibrant colors and prints that look just as fresh off the court as they do on. Your favorite NBA icons often turn to personal inspiration for their designs. LeBron James once designed a pair of shoes based on the car he drove in high school. So try picking up a pair of shoes for the court and another pair for the street.

Meet your match today: Checkout men’s basketball shoes and women’s basketball shoes at DICK’S Sporting Goods.