How Should Basketball Shoes Fit?

The market is full of basketball shoes from which to choose and with an on-going trend in sneakers that appears not to be going away, you might be wondering what to choose. But fashion aside, how do you pick the best basketball shoes for the court that fit well?

Of course, no one wants to wear a pair of ugly sneakers but fit and how they feel should really come first if you’re serious about playing basketball. And, it goes without saying, that how comfortable they are is a priority. 

To help, here are a few pointers on how to get the best fit for basketball shoes.

Room for Toes

This age-old tip of always leaving room for your toes applies just as well when picking out a pair of basketball shoes.  Remember that all shoe manufacturers are different so even if you pick out the same shoe size always try them on. Look out for heel slippage at the back which indicates the shoes are too large. 

If the shoe fits too snug around your toes, chances are that your toes may blister while jumping and running during the game. It may also result in corns, calluses, and toenail problems. The trick to finding the right room for your toes is to spread your toes while you slip your foot into the shoe. And if there is enough room for your toes to do that, then you have found the right fit!

Shoe Uppers

These come in three types:

  • High
  • Mid
  • Low

This depends on personal choice and what style and designs you favor. But don’t forget comfort, that’s really important when thinking about which design to choose. Uppers are available in two types of material, either soft or hard. Soft uppers are made from a mesh fabric that allows them to breathe but also gives mobility and flexibility.

Soft uppers are typically found in low tops. Hard uppers use plastic and rubber which offer sturdy and stable shoes that are durable too. These are commonly found in high and mid tops and are more suitable for aggressive players.

High Shoe Uppers

High top basketball shoes have raised ankles designed to wrap around your ankles. There’s a misconception that high top basketball shoes offer more stability and support, but that’ not entirely true, plenty of people decide not to go for high tops.

One reason might be the added weight that this style of shoe brings. But if you play forwards or centers or have an aggressive style of play, then these shoes might be for you.

Mid Shoe Upper

The mid-top sits, as you would expect, in between the high and low top designs. It sits right at the ankle and provides some ankle support and mobility. It’s a great choice for the all-rounder player on the court.

Low Shoe Upper

These offer a lower profile than high tops and less ankle support but they are great for agile players as they give greater freedom of movement over the court. 


The midsole cushions the sole and is an essential component to a player’s comfort and the correct fit of a shoe. Get the right cushioning and it’ll enhance your game as it prevents stress on pressure points on the feet during the game.


The vital element that touches the court when in play. Typically made from rubber or synthetic materials, it provides traction and grip. Look for a flat and wide outsole to get the right balance on the court, and for the perfect grip check outsoles with either a  herringbone or a hexagonal design.


After you’ve got the perfect comfort and fit from your shoes, next you can concentrate on the aesthetics of a basketball shoe. Look for styles and designs that fit your personality, that make you feel good and give you confidence. When you feel good it’ll be reflected in your gameplay. 

Last Words

Wear ill-fitting shoes and your game will suffer, ensure you chose shoes that fit well, offer adequate ankle support and stability and traction. Remember ankle height, pick a flat sole with a broad midfoot tread and a style that reflects your personality.