How Tight Should A Basketball Shoe Be?

Last updated on May 10th, 2022 at 09:48 am

A properly fitting shoe should always feel like a firm handshake; snug but not crushing.

An extremely tight basketball shoe is not only uncomfortable to wear but can also affect our overall performance when playing.

When shopping for your next basketball shoes, comfort should always be one of the main things that you should consider. An ideal basketball shoe should be tight enough to provide proper ankle support.

While the shoe should be tight enough, it should not restrict the flow of blood or the player’s mobility.

Ankle support is crucial, especially if you are an explosive player or a player who loves to execute crossovers or quick cuts. If you decide to settle for a pair that is too loose, then you will probably have your basketball shoes flying around like KDs.

While the fit might vary from one player to another, there are those aspects that are universal. Irrespective of the gender, a proper fitting basketball shoe should not only be comfortable but should also ensure the stability of our feet.

What is The Proper Fit of a Basketball Shoe?

A proper fitting basketball shoe should always feel like a firm handshake. The shoe should not only offer a snug fit all around your leg, including the ankles and midsole, but should also leave plenty of room for your toes to avoid any type of discomfort.

Although one person’s preference might differ from that of another person, there are certain aspects that remain universal.

1. Women’s vs Men’s

Before anything else, it is important to note that women’s shoes differ from men’s shoes. Because of the shape and size of women’s feet, women’s basketball shoes are narrower. Men’s shoes are wider, mainly because of genetics.

Men have wider feet and thus, many of the shoes in the market have a wider frame.

This is one of the main reasons why both men and women are not encouraged to wear shoes of the opposite sex, especially during workouts and competitive play.

Technically, a woman would have to spread her feet to fit into a man’s shoes, while a man would have to restrict his feet to fit into a woman’s basketball shoe. Hence, when shopping for basketball shoes, it is important to first pick a basketball shoe geared towards your gender.

2. Type of feet

The second step would to be consider the type of your feet. If you have wide feet, then it is important to choose a pair of basketball shoes designed for players with wide feet. We recently reviewed the best basketball shoes for wide-foot players. Check it out.

If you have either narrow or flat feet, then you might want to pick a shoe that is ideal for your feet type.

3. Toes

Before settling for basketball shoes, ensure that there is enough space between the foremost part of the shoe and your biggest toe. Technically, space should be about the length of your toe at max.

Lack of space between the biggest toe and the foremost part of the shoe can lead to various complications including blisters, calluses, corns or toenail problems. If the space is bigger than a toenail, then it can lead to stability issues and vulnerability to injuries.

Apart from the space at the front, your toes should be able to spread properly. Shoes that are too constricting from the side often inhibit our ability to move our feet.

Thus, when shopping for your next pair of basketball shoes, you should ensure that you settle for one that has the right amount of space at the front while still offering a snug fit.

3. Width and Bend

The width of the shoe is usually the widest part. Properly fitting basketball shoes should have minimal to zero spacing on the width. Just a snug fit. Technically, they should not be any movement at all on the width.

When the width is too tight, then it ends up not only restricting the player’s movement but also can lead to several injuries. Thus, it is important to ensure that whatever shoes you settle for offer a snug fit at the width.

In addition, a properly fitting basketball shoe should not bend at the width, but at the balls of the player’s feet. If you find your shoe is bending at the midsole, then that is a sign that the shoe is way bigger or wider.

If you notice your shoe is bending in other regions, then this is a sign that the shoe is loose.

4. Heels

Unlike the toe region where you require a little space, the heel section should not only offer a snug feel but should be firm as well. Shoes that are firm at the heel not only ensure your stability but will also go a long way in ensuring that you are not susceptible to injuries.

While there can be a little of space on the heel, the space should not be big enough to allow the movement of your heel.

Getting the Right Fit: Steps To Getting The Right Fit

1. Measure your foot

The size and shape of our feet can change. Thus, it is important to either measure or have our feet measured by professionals.

While many people rely on the fact that they have always won a specific size for some time, things change and that is why you need to have your feet measured at least after every 1 or 2 years.

2. Always fit your basketball shoes on the larger foot

Many people have a foot that is larger than the other one. It could either be your right or left foot. If you want to know your larger foot, always pay attention to how any of your current shoes fit.

Many times you always notice that despite the shoes being the same size, there is one that is more restricting than the other one.

3. Consider the depth of the basketball shoe

When shopping for your next pair of basketball shoes, it is important to ensure that the basketball shoe of your choice is deep enough for your toes. If you have hammertoes or any other condition, an ideal basketball shoe should be able to give you a proper fit.

If the toe box is small, then your toes are going to rub against each other. This, in turn, will either result in sores or calluses.

4. Avoid planning to stretch the shoes

When getting a new pair of basketball shoes, you should totally avoid planning to stretch the shoes. If the shoe does not fit properly, then you should instead opt for another pair.