Culture of Hoops

Guide to Buying Basketball Kicks

If you have money to burn and don't plan to actually hoop, get these. Otherwise, follow the guidelines below. Photo courtesy of Achim Hepp/Flickr

If you have money to burn and don’t plan to actually hoop, get these. Otherwise, follow the guidelines below.
Photo courtesy of Achim Hepp/Flickr

With the huge amount of basketball kicks on the market, it could be hard to find the one pair for you and, most importantly, your feet. In case you thought of buying into what the guy in the store is saying, understand that going this route won’t always work. It could be that he or she either tells you to buy the most expensive shoes available or will show you any random pair of sneakers that has a connection to basketball since he or she doesn’t hoop himself/herself and they’re just trying to get some commission money. Of course, you cannot apply those stereotypes to everyone, and you could still find that dude or chick that knows about performance shoes in a store.

However, here are some quick guidelines for you to help you cop that right pair of basketball kicks.

1st Rule: NO RETROS!

Yes, I mean it. I know retros are fancy and it could be that the last shoe your dad used to ball in was a Jordan 4 back in 1989, but trust me, you can find better. Retro shoes are what they are – old, retro and so is their technology. Look for a newer shoe that released no earlier than 2010 and your feet and knees will be happy.


There are a lot of signature pairs on the market and I know everybody wants to feel like LeBron or KD, but the fact is, you aren’t LeBron James or Kevin Durant. I don’t say this to be mean, but when you first start to really play basketball, you don’t know what type of player you are yet. Do you need stability around the ankle or do you need a shoe that allows you to move around the ankle a lot? Exactly, you don’t know yet, so leave the signature shoes for later, when you know what your needs in a shoe are and reach for an all-around basketball model like Nike Hyperdunks, for example. It will have enough cushioning, will be still lightweight, and will allow quick movements.


Of course you shouldn’t pick the cheapest pair that will fall apart during your first practice, but you don’t need a $300 pair of basketball kicks. Actually, nobody needs a $300 pair of basketball kicks. There is no effing way somebody needs that. Anyway, there’s no need to buy the most expensive pair since the first pair is like a trial pair. And even later, when you know what the perfect shoe type may be, there are always good pairs that are on sale because they released two months ago and didn’t sellout right away.


The last and most important rule is to pick a pair that fits well. It’s not true that your feet have to get used to a new shoe. Especially, when it’s a performance shoe – it’s just wrong thinking. In the case that the shoe is the right one, it will fit perfectly and be comfortable, regardless of the move you make and the time you practice in them.

With these quick rules, it shouldn’t be a problem to find the right sneaker for you. The shoe you wear while performing any sport is as important as the execution since it protects you from injuries that could become chronic in the future. So take your time and try on different pairs until you find the best fitting.

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