How Should Basketball Shoes Fit? [10 Best Tips And Tricks]

Looking for a new pair of basketball shoes might be exciting and fun, but it’s actually not that easy as you might think. Finding the shoes that fit properly can be a hard task and now you might be thinking, “How is that so?” Just have the one that looks stylish and sharp. Isn’t that so?

Actually, there are a lot more things to consider when buying shoes. In this article, we are going to throw light on how should basketball shoes fit but before we get rolling, it is crucial to know, why is shoe fit important? Have a look at the answer!

Why is Fit Important?

As a basketball player, other than your body, shoes are your only piece of personal equipment that can play a role in your performance. So make sure they fit correctly. With a perfect pair of cleats, you can play with full confidence without any injury worries. Here are some of the reasons that’ll help you realize the importance of fit sneakers.

1. Comfort

The basketball shoes are worn for only a couple of hours during the game so make sure you choose the one that provides you with the perfect comfort level. Obviously, no one would want to play in sneaks that hurt your feet or your feet feel exhausted in it. If its comfort level is not up to the mark, it can cost you the match as you’ll be thinking all about it and won’t concentrate on the game.

2. Performance

Everyone wants to be the best player out there in the field and perform better than others. We have seen that in close games, good players take advantage of any edge and use it to their advantage. If you desire to do the same, shoes with the right fit are essential for this. This will help you in showcasing your talent and make the best of your abilities by jumping, running, or stopping.

3. Support and Care

The right amount of support is also a necessary factor to consider before you buy your basketball sneaks. Shoes that provide the perfect support and balance prevent foot and ankle injuries and keep you engaged in the game. Cleats with the proper fit provide you with excellent support and hence, enhances your performance.

4. Speed and Versatility

In a challenging game like basketball, players need to make killer crossover moves, stop at once, or make quick turnarounds. For this to happen, your shoes must provide you with the required speed, versatility, and support. Without these things, you won’t be able to change directions easily or quickly make a jump when needed. Other than this, the shoes must be durable enough to withstand the heat and pressure during play.

How Should Basketball Shoes Fit?

For buying basketball shoes that perfectly fit your feet, there are many things to keep in mind before you finalize the purchasing deal. First of all, consider the type of player that you are. For example, a forward or center player would need to have robust and heavy shoes that provide him with extra support and care, while a point guard needs a light pair allowing him to make quick movements.

Also, don’t just desire a shoe just because of its popularity or your favorite player wears it. Every human is different from the other and needs specific features in a shoe. The one that your friend wears, might not be perfect for your feet. Other than this, put the shoes fully on your feet when trying for it. Lace the shoes properly, wear socks, try both left and right, and move around a little to see how they feel.

Here are some of the important things to consider that’ll help in choosing the right pair of shoes for you.

1. Broad Toe Box

It is the front half of the cleats where your toe is placed. Everyone wants their toe to move freely and is not crammed in or crunched together. For this, a gap of about a couple of inches between the tip of the shoe and your big toe is desirable. Too much space is also not desirable because then it can get caught on the ground.

A broad toe box is important because it alleviates tightness and prevents squeezing your toes. Too much tight or narrow basketball shoes apply a lot of pressure on your toes which can cause blisters. It may also lead to calluses and corns formation. If your new shoes are too tight, spare a moment to have a look at our article, How to Soften the Back of New Shoes.

2. Ankle Support

Excellent ankle support is one of the most important factors to consider when buying basketball shoes. Good ankle support adds to a player’s performance while poor ankle support can lead to many injuries. The upper part of the shoe should fit firmly around the ankle and if it does, it can be then tightened with the laces easily.

Make sure any part of the cleats must not cut into your Achilles as it can be quite scratchy and uncomfortable. I am absolutely not saying to choose shoes that are too tight and it may block your circulation but they should be wide enough to keep your foot in place and give a sense of easiness. It will be great to buy leather-made basketball shoes because they come with extra ankle support and are highly durable as well.

3. Upper part

The upper portion of basketball shoes covers the top of your foot and is also known as the vamp. This part of the shoe usually wraps around your foot-top snuggly but make sure it doesn’t irritate or feel bumpy. The tongue of the shoe might dig into your foot if the upper part is too tight. So wisely choose that pair that flexes with your foot and supports it.

4. Arch Support

It is also essential in most basketball shoes. However, make sure arch support is not too extreme, or else it may cause soreness and discomfort. The Comfort level of your feet plays an important part in a player’s performance so choose your cleats wisely. Adequate arch support can be determined when you stand flat-footed. If the arch of your foot matches up with the arch of the shoes, that’s the pair of cleats you should order at once!

Make sure the basketball shoes provide you with the perfect support to prevent injuries during play. But avoid those cleats that feel like having a knob in the side of your foot. If you feel that’s the case, it means the shoes have a high arch or a bit too tight.

5. Torsion

For low-cut or lightweight basketball shoes, torsion is pretty important. If you are that twisty player of the team and are always ready to make quick and killer moves, look out for shoes that have acceptable torsion and provide you with maximum freedom. For big men, usually, look for a stable basketball shoe, and for these cleats, torsion should be minimum.

6. Base and Heel Height

If we talk in general, a broad shoe base is preferred. For big men, who want their shoes to be balanced and stable, shoes with a wide base would be great. Make sure your heel doesn’t slip up or down when you wear the shoes or if it does, find a better pair. Only a little heel movement is desirable because its excess can cause injuries to your feet.

Heel height is also important to look for before finalizing your deal. 4 to 5mm heel height is usually considered to be perfect as most of the players want enough thickness along with balance and stability.

7. Lacing System

For holding your feet in place, a good lacing system is essential in basketball shoes. If your feet feel comfortable and in place after tightening the laces, these are the shoes you should prefer. If the laces are right, you may still feel your foot make quick movements and slide around with ease even if the shoes are too big or wide.

For a perfect fit in your basketball shoes, the lacing system plays a major role. It keeps the foot locked in the heel counter which reduces pressure on your toe, resulting in improved performance of the forefoot during play.

8. Bend

The bend of your shoe will be in the same place where your foot bends near the ball of your foot, in case the shoes have a proper fit. It will bend closer to your arch if it is too small and if it’s too large, it will bend near to your toes. In both cases, injuries might occur during play. It can also lead to foot pain, blisters, or other serious problems.

9. Heel Counter

This part of basketball shoes is of great importance as it provides stability and balances your heel. It prevents your heel from sliding in any direction and provides great support to your feet. It also has a slight amount of cushion for comfort but this must not be too much or elevated. The heel counter should have an adequate amount of firmness so that your feet and heel feel comfortable and stable.

10. The Outsole

Excellent outsoles of basketball shoes can greatly increase a player’s performance on the field because they show quick responses to directional changes. They must have exceptional traction as well. The outsoles have many different traction patterns but the most common one is the herringbone pattern. It has been tested to produce outstanding traction.

Flat soles are also something you should look for in basketball shoes. They provide great support during agility movements or rapid directional changes.

How to Select Right Basketball Shoe Size?

Choosing the right pair of basketball shoes is pretty crucial especially when you are a key player of the team. Wearing the wrong size sneaks can not only affect your performance but may also cause your feet to experience problems like blisters, ankle issues, or ingrown toenails. Let’s discuss how to select the right basketball shoe size.

1. Know Your Needs and Position in the Team

Although there is something in common among the basketball players in general still, every player has its own needs and degree of flexibility. You can access the right pair of sneaks for yourself by taking into consideration your role in the team. For example,

  • Are you a defensive player or an aggressive shooter?
  • Are you a power player or a speedy player?

Support and flexibility are the two things that widely differ in shoes, based on your playing style. Shoes that offer great flexibility usually lack support while on the other hand, more supportive shoes lack flexibility. So it’s important to know which one exactly you need. 

However, cushioning is something all players should look for irrespective of their position in the team. Another factor, determining your shoe size, is the shoe weight. The average weight of basketball cleats is 10 oz. So check their weight first before purchasing any shoe.

2. Proper Ankle Height

As discussed above, the right size basketball shoes depend on your position in the team. For example, if you are a speedy player, high-top sneakers are not the shoes you should purchase because they can limit your movements and hinders your running ability. With that in mind, quick runners should select low-top or mid-top shoes to allow them to run swiftly. If a player performs multiple roles in the team, the mid-top shoe should be his choice.

For defensive players, who make a lot of “start and stop” movements, high-top sneakers are ideal. It serves perfectly for agile players who make a lot of jumps or do pivoting. Players who don’t necessarily run should opt for high-tops.

3. Width and Size

Most of the people did not update themselves with the latest measurement of their feet and buy the same sized shoes year after year. Well, it might surprise you that your shoe size might differ year by year. It is because of various factors such as injuries, age, or weight gain. So before purchasing basketball shoes, make sure you know the exact width and size of your feet. In case you mistakenly bought shoes that are a bit large, have a look at the article, How to Make Shoes Smaller: 8 Best Ways.

4. Ask the Sales Person

If you don’t know the right size of your feet, don’t worry. Ask the sales associate to measure your feet and then choose the shoes that fit your feet. Note it and then use the same size in case you buy online in the future.


Finding the perfect basketball sneakers can be fun, but it is also challenging due to the various factors to consider. Since they aren’t cheap, make sure you buy the right size that fits into your feet. A great fitting basketball cleat will help you up your game during crunch moments and hence, you might win!

Some players always stick to one brand because of the way they consistently fit. If you also love a specific brand that fits into your feet, make sure you share it with us in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you.

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Muhammad Adil
By Muhammad Adil

Adil has been combining his love for fashion with his passion for writing for years. He enjoys tinkering with Shoes, scoping out the latest watches, and whiling away the hours at the computer - usually by writing about his findings.

Enhance Fashion is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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