What Are The Features Of Basketball Shoes?
Basketball shoes play a very big role on the court. They can make or spoil your game and that is why it is very important to find a pair that is right for you. The task of looking for the best pair can sometimes be overwhelming because it is a process of trial and error before you finally find the best.
So how do you select the best pair? This article will take you through the features you need to look at before you settle for a pair of basketball shoes. What you need to look at are three basic categories: The cushion, traction, and finally the ankle collar.
What Are The Features Of Basketball Shoes (Briefly Described)?
01. The Ankle Collar
The length of the ankle collar is one of the distinguishing features of the basketball shoes that make a pair ideal for specific basketball players and play styles. So how does one choose the simplest pair?
I. High ankle shoes
High ankle shoes feature a strengthened high ankle collar that completely covers a player’s ankle. These types of shoes are mostly bulkier but they are best for centers and forwards. They offer great cushioning, support, and ankle protection for the forwards and centers that are usually involved in constant jumping and blocking shots.
II. Mid ankle shoes
These shoes feature a mid-ankle collar that half covers the ankle. They are all-around performances basketball sneakers most suited for shooting guards and light-bodied forwards.
Mid-ankle sneakers balance both the features of the high ankle and low ankle shoes therefore good for both agility and jump. They are versatile shoes that can be used by any basketball player who is looking for a balance between speed and jump.
III. Low Ankle Shoes
These are the lightest basketball shoes and are ideal for players who are after speed and shiftiness. The lightweight and ankle flexibility of low ankle sneakers help in running up and down the shooting guards and point guards. These shoes are less strenuous and with them, you are assured of a comfortable ride.
Cushioning is the most essential feature of any basketball shoe because it helps achieve a comfy fit and usage of the shoes.
Depending on use, there are various types of cushioning. However, you need to look at a couple of things in a shoe’s cushion before you decide on purchasing one.
I. Height of cushioning
The height of a basketball shoe’s cushion is worth considering as it also determines how high a player’s foot is from the ground. There are no set standards on how high a shoe’s cushion should be, it all depends on a player’s preferences. However, there are disadvantages if the cushion is too high.
When the cushion is too high it means a player is further from the ground and this can lead to a lack of stability and possible injuries. On the other hand, if a cushion is too low, it means impact protection is almost zero but the stability and court feel will be good.
An average cushioning is the best because it provides a balance between impact absorption and court feel or stability.
II. Bounce of the cushion
Bounce of the cushion is simply the amount of impact protection a type of cushion setup can provide a player. Cushion setup varies depending on the type of technology and foam utilized to balance between stiffness and softness of the cushion setup.
The reason why there should be a balance between stiffness and softness is that when a cushion is too soft responsiveness is zero. On the other hand, when a cushion is too stiff, there is less support for jumping, and impact protection is not enough.
This, therefore, disadvantages forwards who are involved in constant jumping. It is good therefore to find a pair that balances between stiffness and softness so that you enjoy both impact protection and responsiveness.
Traction is the grip at the bottom of the shoes that allow a player to be agile and shifty. As a basketball player, it is important that you look for traction that not only offers a good grip but also one that is durable. Look at the following criteria to achieve this;
I. Indoor Or Outdoor
Basketball shoes are made with traction for either outdoor courts or indoor courts. Traction meant for indoor courts is soft and somehow sticks onto the floor. On the other hand, shoes meant for outdoor courts have hard soles that can endure the rough asphalt used to make outdoor courts. To avoid slippages and injuries know the type of court you are going to play on and choose your traction accordingly.
II. Traction Pattern
The rubber pattern of the sole that determines how grippy the shoes are is called the traction pattern. For basketball shoes to have a good grip, the pattern of the traction is supposed to be multi-directional. Multi-directional means that the patterns should reach all directions.
How much do the best basketball shoes cost?
The price of basketball shoes depends on the quality and the brand. Most performing basketball shoes can cost you an arm and a leg. The best ones range between $120- $150, team silhouettes or signature ones can go up to $180. However, there are also good basketball shoes that are priced reasonably.
In the online sportswear stores and marketplace stores, there are a plethora of basketball shoe brands and types to choose from. It all depends on what you are looking for in a shoe if you are looking for speed know the type that is good for speed and if you are looking for ankle protection by now you probably know what type of shoe to go for. Remember to also consider the type of court you are going to play on.