Skip to Content

3 Basic Types of Basketball Shoes

Learn all about the basketball shoes, its history, the diferent types, the different styles, the different materials and how to properly wear them.

A pair of black and white basketball shoes with a basketball.

Basketball shoes have gone way beyond the court. They’re the super stylish accessory adored by celebrities of all types and the must-have item when a new pair comes out in stores. You probably already know a little bit about the history of basketball shoes and the different styles that are out there, but do you really know which types of basketball shoes you should be wearing for everything you’re going to be doing?

History of Basketball Shoes

Basketball shoes were created by the Converse Rubber Shoe Company and a basketball player named Chuck Taylor in 1917 with the release of the Chuck Taylor All Star. It was a shoe with a canvas upper with a rubber sole and it dominated the basketball shoe market. Throughout the decades, Chuck Taylors were the basketball shoes to have. 

Large display of Nike sneakers and basketball shoes at the Nike Chicago Store.

Basketball was still relatively new in 1917. The game had only been invented by James Naismith in 1891. Converse itself was founded in 1908…as a rubber shoe company making galoshes. Until 1962, all Chucks (and therefore, all basketball shoes) were high-tops. It was in 1962 that Converse introduced a low-cut style. In 1966, they introduced the first colors to their designs. Previously, all Chucks were available only in black and white, according to Mental Floss.

Nike changed the game in 1972 with the Bruin. Nike took a sharp turn away from the model of the basketball shoe put forth by Converse, constructing their design with leather and suede, as opposed to canvas. 

The evolution of the basketball shoe

Puma was the first shoemaker to create a signature shoe. When they introduced the Clyde in 1973, a shoe named for New York Knicks player Clyde Frazier, they started a trend that is still going strong decades later. This design featured a gold script reading “Clyde” beneath the Puma logo, making it the first signature sneaker in style history, according to the Bleacher Report.

Puma Clyde red sneaker

Many credit the Dr. J. Pro Leather shoes as the inspiration for the modern basketball shoe designs of today. This 1976 design featured “Dr. J” in gold script on the side of the shoe. 

One of the most famous basketball shoe designs of all time is the Air Jordan I, created by Nike in 1985. These shoes launched the line of Jordan shoes that would follow, a name that is still iconic in the basketball shoe game. Michael Jordan and Nike basketball shoes are linked together in fashion history.

What basketball shoes do

Basketball shoes are a multi-million-dollar industry. When the newest pair drops, people are willing to drop hundreds of dollars just to get them. Basketball shoes have become high-fashion and you will see them everywhere, both on and off the court. But these shoes are about way more than style. Basketball shoes actually are designed to enhance performance and cushion shock.

Temple Owls forward Jake Forrester (10) and Southern Methodist Mustangs forward Isiah Jasey (22) during a basketball game between the Temple Owls and SMU Mustangs January 18, 202, at Moody Coliseum, Dallas, TX.

Playing basketball can be intense. The game puts a lot of stress on the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Basketball shoes are designed to absorb shock while still providing flexibility for feet to allow for jumping, twisting, moving, and sprinting.

Parts of a basketball shoe

Basketball shoes may have all kinds of cool extras and awesome styling and details everywhere. But for the most part, basketball shoes are made up of four parts: the upper, the insert, the midsole, and the outsole. Basketball shoes are also called athletic shoes and sneakers, or sneaker shoes.

The upper part of the shoe is made to support the foot and keep it in place. This is where the lacing system is located. 

Not every basketball sneaker has an insert. This is a detachable insole that offers arch support. Every shoe does have a midsole. It’s made to be soft and cushioning. Midsoles in basketball shoes are commonly made with gel, air, EVA foam, and other materials that are made to be cushioning and durable. 

Green high cut sneakers on wooden floor.

The outsoles are made with rubber and cut into gripping read patterns. Rubber’s natural shock resistance provides bounce and support, adding impact protection and support to basketball shoe styles.

How Many Types of Basketball Shoes Are There?

The world of basketball sneaker styles is vast. And when you think of different types of basketball shoe styles, you probably think of brands of basketball shoes. There are some really famous ones out there that have become actual collector’s items. But all those famous names and specific brands are still just types of basketball shoes. And when you get right down to it, there are only three basic types of basketball shoes.

High top

High-top Jordan basketball shoes

High-top basketball shoes are the tallest design and they’re notable because they cover the ankle. This does provide excellent support for the ankles and feet. However, these are the heaviest type of basketball shoes. This can affect speed and slow down the wearer. This is not a minimalist shoe style. High top shoe designs are made to provide maximum ankle stability.

All basketball shoe types are made to offer impact protection but high top styles provide even more stability and ankle support, wrapping around the entire foot and ankle. High top basketball shoe types are popular off the basketball court, too, with many favoring this style above the other options. High top shoe styles do provide the most ankle protection possible, but nothing can entirely prevent ankle inversion and other ankle injuries.

Mid top

Man in mid-top basketball shoes standing with one leg on basketball.

Mid-top basketball shoes are ankle-high. This keeps ankles flexible while still providing some ankle support, though not as much as high-tops. Like the name says, mid-top basketball shoes are somewhat between the height of high-top and low-top basketball shoes. They provide some ankle stability but not as much as high top basketball shoe styles.

Low top

Basketball player tying his low-top basketball shoe.

Low-top shoes are cut so they end under the ankle. This offers the greatest range of flexibility but offers the least amount of ankle support. They do not offer any ankle protection at all but they do make it easier to move quickly, pivot sharply, and maneuver effectively. It’s easier to run in these shoes, so you can move at your fastest in a pair of low tops.

It’s easy to confuse tennis shoe styles with low top shoe styles, but these two types of shoes are made very differently. Basketball shoes are made with more shock-absorbing materials and cushioning than tennis shoe and running shoe designs. The design differs from other athletic shoe styles, too. Basketball shoes often have a thick, cushioning midsole that adds more bulk and weight compared to other types of shoes.

Basketball Shoe Features

All basketball shoes are made with a rubber outsole with a traction pattern that’s designed to provide grip without compromising turning and movement ability.

Player tying his shoe laces on a basketball court.

Many modern basketball shoe designs are made with synthetic leather or another synthetic material instead of canvas, the material that was used to create the first basketball shoe styles. Synthetic leather is considered to be more animal-friendly than genuine leather, though genuine leather basketball shoe designs are still popular.

Indoor and Outdoor Basketball Shoes

Basketball is an indoor sport, but there are special outdoor basketball shoe types that are designed especially for outdoor basketball. Outdoor courts can put more wear and tear on your shoes than indoor courts. Outdoor basketball shoe styles may have a different traction pattern to prevent wear and optimize outdoor play, though they are still made with a rubber sole. 

Street basketball player performing power slum dunk.

Like indoor shoe designs, outdoor basketball shoe styles are made in high top, mid top, and low top options.

How to Choose Your Shoes

If you’re wearing basketball shoes for style, then you choose the type that has the look you want. But if you’re looking for a pair of basketball shoes you can actually wear on the basketball court, you need to buy what’s going to work best for your playing style. The three basic styles of basketball shoes are designed the way they are based not on looks. These designs are very specific to certain playing positions on the court.

Basketball player scores a goal during a game.

Post players who spend a lot of time in the paint need high-top basketball shoes. The high-tops give them ankle support while they’re being jostled around under the basket. Post players do a lot of jumping and landing, so they need the extra support that high-tops will give them. The only time a low top shoe might be worn instead is when the post player has on an ankle brace or something else is hindering them from wearing a high top shoe. Post players are typically the big men on the team, so it makes sense that they need the tallest shoes.

However, you don’t want your point guard in a pair of high-tops. A guard who handles the ball a lot needs to be able to run, move and juke all over the basketball court. This means that low-tops are the best type of basketball shoes for these players.

A player who may switch between being a guard and a forward, someone who can bang around under the basket and then step back to let a shot fly or whip over a pass to a teammate, will get the best performance from mid-top basketball shoes.

What Are Your Shoes Made Of?

The material used to make your basketball shoes is just as important as the style they’re made in. Though canvas and cloth basketball shoes are still available, leather is far more common and considered to be a superior design. Leather has less tendency to stretch and sag over time, so the shoes will continue to fit well and perform well. Both genuine leather and synthetic leather upper design are popular for all different types of basketball shoes.

Display of basketball shoes during Youth Festival Faces & Laces.

Some basketball shoe types are made with mesh and synthetic fabrics, which provide more breathability than all-leather or all synthetic leather designs. This creates shoes that are light in weight and more breathable, but also more prone to cracking and stretching than all-leather basketball shoe types.

Basketball soles are made with rubber soles that are highly flexible and somewhat bouncy. The soles absorb the shock that comes from stepping, jumping, running, and moving. Rubber soles provide support for the feet and arches, which is essential whether or not you’re being athletic.

How to Wear Basketball Shoes

Basketball shoes are a big fashion. Everyone wants that latest style that just came out and it’s a status symbol to own many pairs of name-brand basketball shoes. Even major celebrities and recording artists wear them to the most high-class events, so it’s acceptable and stylish to wear basketball shoes absolutely everywhere. But basketball shoes can be expensive. So before you buy, make sure you know how to properly wear basketball shoes. Get a pair that fits well so you get maximum comfort and performance.

Orange basketball and player's legs on an outdoor court.

You should have enough room between the front of the shoes and the front of your toes to insert your thumb. This is enough room for your toes to comfortably spread out, which gives you a better balance. Tight shoes can actually cause damage to your toes.

Make sure the shoes are wide enough for your foot as well. The bottom of your foot should have enough room to spread out comfortably inside the shoes. However, you don’t want there to be too much room. If your feet are sliding around in your shoes, they are too big and they are unsafe to wear. Your feet should be inside the shoes snugly, with just some slight movement around the heel. If your shoes are too loose, you could suffer from a sprained ankle.

When to wear your shoes

Since basketball shoes are designed for basketball, you can always play a quick game with your friends in a pair. But you absolutely shouldn’t reach for your basketball shoes if you’re going on a jog. It seems natural that basketball shoes can also be running shoes because you run when you’re playing basketball, but it’s not true.

Man wearing basketball shoes sitting on stairs.

Because basketball shoes are typically cut a little higher than running shoes, they interrupt your long-distance running stride and can actually do damage to your knees and ankles if you run in basketball shoes a lot. Wear basketball shoes for playing basketball or for great style, but not for your morning run.

Basketball shoes are ideally designed for wood and asphalt. They’re not great on trails. Don’t treat your basketball shoes like hiking shoes, because they aren’t going to give you the traction you need on rough trails. Your feet could slip and end up getting hurt.

How to choose your shoes

What’s the right shoe for you? How do you know which type of basketball shoe is the right shoe? 

 Nike Jordan series basketball shoes display in a mall.

Buy your basketball shoes based of course on the style you like, but also on how you’re going to be wearing them. Choose a pair that fit well and that are made well. You know how you’re going to wear your shoes, what you’re going to be doing in them, and what looks good to you. Now that you know a whole lot more about basketball shoes, you can always get the right sneaker style for your feet.

Women in Basketball

You probably think of men’s basketball shoes first. You picture a pair of Nike Air Jordans or Nike Kobe sneakers, perhaps. But the history of women in basketball goes back just as far as the men’s game.

Basketball players Diandra Tchatchouang and Antonia Delaere in action during a basketball match.

According to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Senda Berenson took an immediate interest in basketball when it was first invented in 1891. She adapted the rules of the game for women and introduced basketball to her classmates at Smith College in 1892. Her rules were published in 1899. In 1923, the Women’s Division of the National Amateur Athletic Federation was created. The first national women’s basketball championship was held in 1926.

Women’s basketball and women’s basketball shoes have been around for quite a while! Men’s basketball shoes may get all the glory but women ball hard, too, and they’ve been doing it for over a century now.


There are only three types of basketball shoes but within these categories, there’s a whole lot going on. If you have a lot more questions about basketball shoes, so do lots of other people. Get the answers to the most common questions about basketball shoes and you’ll be on your way to becoming an expert.

Do basketball shoes make a difference?

Are basketball shoes different from other types of athletic shoes shoes, such as running shoes or tennis shoes? It’s easy to stage your own quick in-home experiment and find that out. Go to your closet and take out a basketball shoe. Also take out a running shoe. Hold each one in your hands and you will feel the weight difference.

Sneakers display in a store.

According to a study cited by Chron, basketball players switch directions every two seconds. Basketball shoes are made with shock absorbers, padding, and impact-absorbent soles. They cushion and protect the feet from not only all that movement, but provide impact protection from all that running, jumping, lunging, leaping, and landing. Mostly landing. The design of basketball shoes helps to prevent ankle sprains and other basketball court injuries.

Basketball shoes truly are designed for the sport of basketball. This is why basketball shoes are not suitable for other types of sports. Typically, basketball shoes have a tread with a herringbone pattern. This pattern works perfectly for a hard court.

What are the best basketball shoes?

There are many, many different brands on the basketball shoe market. The different types of basketball shoes (high-top, mid-top, and low-top) are ideally suited to specific types of basketball that are being played. Therefore, the best basketball shoes for you may not be the same shoes that are the best for Lebron. The basketball shoes you wear depend on the type of player you are, the level of support you need, and of course, the style you like. 

Man holding Nike Air Max shoe.

Choosing the right basketball shoe based on your style of play and your feet is important. Take your time with the decision if you’re going to be playing ball in your shoes. If you’re wearing your shoes purely for style, go with the most comfortable fit.

Can you wear basketball shoes for running? 

There’s a ton of sprinting in basketball, so you might assume that basketball shoes are good for running, too. But you’d be wrong. Running shoes and basketball shoes are very different from each other, though you may not be able to see those differences immediately. Running shoes are more lightweight and sleek, without some of the extra cushioning that basketball shoes have. 

Players during basketball match.

Basketball shoes are also ideally suited for hard floors. Running shoes are designed to go anywhere, from rugged trails outside to indoor running tracks. The sole traction pattern is different on these two styles because these shoe styles are made to do different things.

Can you wear basketball shoes for other sports, like volleyball or tennis?

Basketball shoes are heavier and more cushioning than other types of athletic shoe styles. Shoes made for volleyball and tennis are lighter in weight and they are made differently. They have a much more lightweight construction so they are more ideally suited for these sports. The sole traction pattern and design are different from what you find in basketball shoe types.

Man playing tennis on a court.

Are basketball shoes supposed to be tight?

How should basketball shoes fit? This is the question everyone has and it makes sense because basketball shoes have their own thing going on. 

Basketball shoes actually aren’t supposed to fit the way your other shoes fit. You need to know how your basketball shoes should fit so you know how to get a pair that gives your feet the solid support, excellent traction, and soft cushioning they need.

Basketball player wearing Nike red shoes during a game.

There should be about a thumbnail’s length of space between the end of the shoe and the end of your longest toe. Your toes should also not feel squeezed or even snug. There should be plenty of room for them to spread out.

The midsole area of the shoe shouldn’t provide a lot of extra space. You don’t want a lot of movement here. The heel area, meanwhile, should actually feel a little snug. You don’t want the heel to slip up or down on your foot. 

If you have a narrow foot, you may need to look for a shoe with a more narrow fit so your feet stay well-supported. Don’t choose a style that pinches your toes because it fits everywhere else. Many shoes are made for a more narrow foot fit, so keep shopping. 

Are basketball shoes good for working out?

Basketball shoes may be a good workout shoe for you, depending on the type of workout you’re going to do. If you plan to run on the treadmill, you need running shoes and not basketball shoes. But if you’re going to do an intense cardio workout, basketball shoes should work just fine. Basketball shoes can be worn as lifting shoes as well, so they’re good for many types of workouts. 

Man sitting in the park wearing a pair of Nike air Jordans.

How do basketball shoes prevent injuries?

Nothing can ever completely protect an athlete from injury. Ankle inversion, ankle sprain, pulled ligaments, it happens. This is the risk of participating in any sort of athletics. However, wearing the right basketball shoes can greatly reduce the risk of certain types of injuries and will also prevent leg, hip, and back pain that can occur when you wear the wrong shoes.

According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, the average high school basketball player can reduce the risk of injury by replacing their basketball shoes frequently. Team podiatrist for the Utah Jazz, Michael Lowe, recommends changing shoes monthly. Professional players change their shoes this much or even more frequently than this. 

Team running down the court during basketball game.

Basketball shoes that absorb shock reduce the shock that impacts the body, which reduces the risk of injury and reduces pain. Shoes that are supportive and fit well will help prevent injury. Ill-fitting or worn-out shoes can actually increase the risk of injury. Your body needs impact protection and a gripping traction pattern to keep you supported and keep every step sure.

How do basketball shoes improve performance?

Basketball shoes are made with cushioning and shock absorption that help reduce impact to the body. This lessens pain in the body and helps the player stay supported, which puts less strain on the muscles. Arguably, this can help the athlete play longer, train longer and stay in the game longer. The gripping traction pattern gives the player more control of their movements, preventing slipping.

Basketball match of Ukrainian Superleague Parimatch.

Why are basketball shoes so expensive?

According to Business Insider, the average price of a pair of men’s basketball shoes is $110. A pair of Jordan Nike shoes is about $145. Why? 

Basketball shoes are often more expensive than other types of shoes, even other types of athletic shoes because they have so much technology built-in. Basketball shoes are made with extra cushioning, excellent traction, and shock resistance. This is why they are heavier than other types of shoes. It takes more material to make basketball shoes, so they cost more. 

Basketball shoes display inside Bouncewear.

A basketball shoe is not a lightweight shoe. The extra materials used to make them mean the price has to be higher than other types of shoes that require less to make.

For signature shoe styles and design lines associated with popular basketball players and other personalities, the price will be a bit higher still. In these cases, you are paying a little bit more just for the name because the name is associated with high-end style. Any fashionista will tell you that the big brand names and the high-end styles are going to cost a little more.

Where did basketball shoes come from?

The Converse Rubber Shoe company invented the first-ever basketball shoe in 1917, but sneakers were invented way back in the 1700s. They were rubber-soled shoes that were known as plimsolls but they were pretty standard and not so stylish. In 1892, the U.S. Rubber Company created a pair of sneakers with rubber soles and canvas tops. They named them Keds. 

A pair of Keds shoes.

In 1917, Converse unveiled their canvas-and-rubber basketball shoes and changed the fashion world forever. This paved the way for Nike, Under Armour, and all the shoe companies that would follow.

Do basketball shoes increase your vertical jump?

Shoes have been claiming to not just support your athletic performance but to actually improve it for a long, long time. There’s an entire “Seinfeld” episode about shoes worn for basketball that increase vertical leap. But is that possible?

There’s a pair of shoes on the market that’s getting a lot of buzzes that claims to increase vertical leap. There’s always a pair of shoes claiming to do something special. And usually, that’s just marketing. There seems to be no tested and proven scientific evidence that supports this. However, if testing proves that any basketball sneaker can significantly increase a player’s performance, it will change the way people look at basketball shoe technology.

Basketball player making slam dunk.

Basketball shoes can make it less painful for you to spring back from a landing and absorb shock when you jump up thanks to the cushion and shock absorption. They can even provide you with gripping traction so your movements are steadier. 

However, your athletic abilities are your own. They are not given to you or taken away by a pair of shoes. You can strengthen your muscles and work on your leap in any pair of shoes and improve it with hard work…but not necessarily with a pair of certain shoes. 

How should basketball shoes be laced?

There are multiple ways to tie basketball shoes. The crisscross is a very popular style because it’s very supportive. Start by threading the lace through the bottom eyelets on the shoe. These will be the two eyelets that are closest to your toes. Thread the lace through so that the middle runs across the top of the shoe, leaving you with two equal lengths of lace on either side. 

Man tying his shoe laces on a basketball court.

Take the left lace, cross it over to the right and lace it through the next empty eyelet. Repeat this with the right lace, crossing to the left side. You will have a crisscross or “X” pattern. Repeat this process until you get to the final eyelet, crossing over to the opposite side and then threading the lace through each eyelet. 

How can you make basketball shoes more comfortable?

If your basketball shoes are uncomfortable, it’s likely that they don’t fit properly or perhaps they are worn out and the cushioning is no longer effective. You can add insoles to a pair of shoes to make them more comfortable. 

Photo of a foot wearing basketball shoe.

However, if your shoes are uncomfortable, the best thing you can do is get a new pair of shoes that do feel good and fit well. Wearing uncomfortable shoes can cause blisters, foot pain, and other problems that you don’t want. Shoes that hurt your feet may have an outsole that’s so worn down it’s no longer providing shock absorption, which isn’t doing your joints any favors.

How should you clean basketball shoes?

You want to keep your kicks looking good, even after you play in them. Your shoes are going to get dirty no matter what you do. But if you clean them regularly, they will look newer longer.

Wipe off the dirt from shoes using an old toothbrush. A soft-bristled brush is perfect for getting rid of dirt, sand, and other junk that clings to shoes. Work carefully, moving in slightly circular motions. Don’t get aggressive.

Cleaning white sneaker with soapy water.

Mix liquid laundry detergent with warm water. Use this to wipe down your shoes with a soft cloth. Use another cloth and plain water to rinse the soap off the shoes. Allow the shoes to dry. If the laces are dirty, you can remove them from the shoes and wash them in the sink with some soap and water or simply replace them with a brand-new pair. 

If your white soles are looking dingy, mix a little bit of whitening toothpaste with soap and water and use this mixture to wipe down the soles. They should brighten up instantly.

What shoes do most NBA players wear?

Many, many new shoe designs come out every year and NBA players tend to change their shoes a lot. No NBA player wears the same pair of shoes for very long because shoes lose cushioning and their shock absorption power lessens. 

Lebron doing a free throw.

The most popular brands among NBA players tend to be the most popular brands among all customers. Nike and Adidas shoes are seen frequently on the hardwood. These two mega shoe companies are responsible for most NBA player shoe contracts.

Should you buy basketball shoes a half-size bigger? 

When you’re looking for basketball shoes, don’t worry about the number of the size. Focus on getting the right fit around your feet. Your heel should be snugly in the shoe so that your foot stays well-supported. Your toes should have room and should not be tight or constricted inside the shoes. Get the right fit and don’t worry about the numbers.

Middle school basketball game

Do NBA players buy their own shoes?

NBA players are famous for their shoes. The greats, the most popular players, end up with their own signature shoe lines that typically cost more than non-signature shoes. But many, many players in the NBA have merchandising agreements with major companies, such as Nike shoes and Adidas. Through these deals, known as “merch” deals according to SB Nation, players are given merchandise from that company up to a certain dollar amount. 

FIBA 2014 World Basketball Championship - Turkey vs. USA

The player can do whatever they like with this merchandise, which includes frequent pairs of men’s basketball shoe styles, whether they keep it for themselves or give it or sell it to someone else.

What are the rarest basketball shoes?

Basketball shoes have become collector’s items. Some shoe styles sell for big bucks on auction websites and there’s actually a big market for classic and vintage shoe designs. But when it comes to picking just one shoe to be the rarest in the world…that’s a tough question to answer. 

Nike Air Mag boots along with Hover Board and Sony video cam inside a car.

There are less than 200 pairs of Nike Dunk SB Low Paris shoes in existence, according to Business Insider, which makes them extremely rare. 

The Michael J. Fox Foundation auctioned off a pair of Nike Mag self-lacing trainers, a pair of shoes seen in the movie “Back to the Future, Part II.” Since there are likely very few pairs of these shoes in existence, and perhaps only this one pair, this is another extremely rare shoe style.

However, there are many pairs of custom shoes that NBA players add their own designs to. Since these shoes are custom, there is only one pair in existence. Some of these custom designs have been worn during NBA games, which makes them even more valuable and collectible. 

Which shoes are banned in the NBA?

Through the years, the NBA has banned several different shoe designs. The original Nike Air Jordan sneaker was actually banned because of its black and red design, which wasn’t allowed in the NBA at that time. Jordan got a warning for wearing the shoes, according to ESPN. This remains one of the most popular retro Nike shoe designs. Nike Air Jordan designs have achieved a rare status in the world of shoe collections, as these are among the most popular and most-wanted basketball shoe styles.

The NBA has also banned the APL Concept 1, a rather controversial shoe. Designed by Athletic Propulsion Labs, Concept 1 is said to have jump enhancement technology that quite literally allows players to perform better. Whether or not it’s an endorsement of the shoe’s technology is uncertain, but the NBA has banned Concept 1 during games. It hasn’t been scientifically proven beyond doubt that these shoes improve a player’s explosiveness on the basketball court but if you get a kick out of wearing NBA-banned shoes, this is a fun pair to try.

The Nike Jordan Melo M10 debuted with a cool-looking chrome heel counter. Unfortunately, it was a safety hazard. Bright court lights reflected off the chrome, turning the shoes into a dangerous weapon. The chrome even caused problems with the TV cameras, creating glare for viewers at home. The NBA banned the shoes. They weren’t the first or the last Nike basketball shoes to be banned.

Stephen Curry has landed in hot water with the NBA twice for his shoes. Both times, Curry was guilty of the same violation. In 2018, he customized a pair of Under Armour shoes to match his jersey, turning them into Under Armour Curry shoes. It was an issue because the jersey was made by Nike and the shoes were made by Under Armour, an entirely different brand. The elements on Curry’s jersey were approved to appear on his jersey but not on his shoes…and merchandising and marketing agreements can get pretty silly, sometimes. 

Curry had the same problem when he added a logo to his shoes during another game. 

Karl-Anthony Towns got a pair of his shoes banned when he custom-decorated them to pay homage to the Netflix series “Stranger Things.” Frank Kaminsky had the same problem with a pair of Nike Jordan Melo M13 shoes that he customized with the branding for his podcast.

De’Aaron Fox was forced to change his Nike Kyrie 4 men’s basketball sneakers mid-season because they were too bright and colorful. Fox slipped into a pair of Nike LeBron shoes instead. Josh Smith and several other Hawks got into similar trouble for wearing a pair of brightly-colored Adidas Top Ten 2000 shoes. Bright basketball footwear is a repeat problem in the NBA, with many players getting called out for violating this rule.

Do NBA players wear new shoes every game?

NBA players can choose to wear new shoes with every game they play and some do. Some players wear the same pair of shoes for three or four games, but most do not wear the same shoes for games beyond this. Newer shoes cushion better and fit better, which helps players perform better. After just one intense professional game, basketball shoes start to wear out and lose their shock resistance. 

Jordan 13 Retro Lakers basketball shoes on parquet floor during a professional match.

What is the most expensive basketball shoe?

To date, the most expensive shoes ever sold at auction went for $615,000. This was a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1 High men’s basketball shoes, which were worn by Michael Jordan in a game in 1985. The auction house Christies sold nine pairs of Jordan’s shoes. Thanks to the distinctive Jumpman, Nike Jordans are one of the most recognizable sneaker brands in the world and they’re always extremely popular sellers among Nike basketball shoes.

Nike Air Jordan 1 retro high basketball shoes

How do you break in your basketball shoes?

You may get blisters and foot pain if you put on a brand-new pair of shoes and then play a fast-paced, intense basketball game. Wear the shoes for a couple of days first, following all your normal routines. This will help the shoes get used to your feet and get them ready for a real game of basketball. Wearing the shoes for a couple of days will help loosen the stiff rubber outsole so your shoes are more flexible and ready for a game.


Sports Aspire: How to Break in New Basketball Shoes