How to Break in Basketball Shoes

There is no greater feeling for a basketball player than the purchase of a new pair of shoes.  There is just something about the style and feel that makes you want to start balling on the court as soon as you can.  But, as many players know, it can take some time to break in the new shoes to feel the comfort you most desire.

Today we will look at some ways that you can break in your basketball shoes and get them onto the court in a much quicker fashion.

Purchase Well in Advance

Because you will need ample time to break in your basketball shoes, it will be important that you make your purchase a few months before your tryouts.  This will give you time to return them if you don’t feel comfortable in them and provide you with enough time to make them feel like old sneakers by the time you hit the court.

Wear Them Around Your House

Just like a runner, you would never want to put on a brand new pair of sneakers and jump right into the action.  If you do, you will experience a large amount of foot pain. Many shoes have leather components to them, so it takes a while to get the leather to bend in the direction that you want.

Once you purchase your shoes, plan on wearing them around your house.  Try to get up and be more active in the home so you are constantly working them in.  It is also a good idea to lightly jog up and down the street with your shoes on.  This should not be a high- intensity run, but a simple and quick run to help your feet and shoes move in unison.

Sock Choice

Deciding on the socks you plan on wearing is also critical to the breaking in of the shoe process.  In the very early stages of breaking in your basketball shoes, layer your socks with an additional one to two socks.  This may make your shoes feel snug, but it will help to stretch out the shoes in a quicker fashion.  The extra layers will also provide you with the comfort you need to wear tight shoes initially.

How to Break in Basketball Shoes

After doing that for a week, walk around in the socks you plan on wearing during the practices and games.  The shoe should be stretched a bit at this point to give you some breathing room with your lighter socks.  You will want to do some light jogging again to see how the shoes feel with your normal socks.  This will also be a good sign to you if you may need to buy thicker socks to avoid any blisters.

Basketball Drills

After two weeks of wearing the shoes lightly and taking them on a few runs, it is time to push them a little further.  Think about some drills that you will need to take part in to get ready for basketball.  While wearing the shoes, be sure to practice those drills.  This will give you an idea of how they hold up with some obscure and awkward moves that you may have to make in a game.

During this period, you may also need to adjust the laces.  You will feel and understand if the shoes are too tight or too loose.  Because these drills will force you to move your feet in many directions, the shoes will tell you very early on if adjustments are necessary.

Full Out Competitive Basketball

At this stage, try to get a group of people together and compete in a high-intensity game of basketball.  Ideally, you will want to play on the court that your games will take place to see how the shoes handle the floor, but it’s not essential if you can’t. 

Regardless, you will want to test the shoes in a live game action.  This should occur before tryouts so you can adjust the shoes as needed beforehand.  You should feel confident in the durability of your shoes on the first day of tryouts.

Comfort over Style

This can be a tricky category because people like to wear flashy shoes.  If you decide on a flashier basketball shoe, you will need to make sure they are comfortable enough for you to compete in.  You will also want to recognize your strengths as a player when purchasing a particular style of shoe.

If you need more stability and ankle support, consider high-top basketball shoes.  If you feel you need a bit of freedom while still having some ankle support, you will want to consider purchasing mid-top basketball shoes.  And, finally, if you are a speedier player that doesn’t need a ton of ankle support, you can purchase the low-top basketball shoes.