Basketball players often overlook the importance of investing in a pair of high-quality, durable athletic shoes. With movements like jump shots, lay-ups, and pivoting, these athletes face a high risk of ankle sprains, stress fractures, and ligament tears. The average basketball player can reduce the risk of injury significantly by purchasing shoes with good ankle support and shock absorption. Wearing high-top basketball shoes is also one of the best means of preventing ankle sprains.
Above all else, basketball shoes should be comfortable. Experts recommend replacing basketball shoes before the soles become smooth and the upper portions of the shoe begin to stretch too much.
What to look for in basketball shoes
Basketball requires jumping, running, and sudden directional changes like pivoting. As a result, basketball shoes have to provide stability, flexibility, and shock absorption.
Here are some tips to consider when selecting basketball shoes:
- Choose lace-up shoes, they keep the heel stable and reduce pressure on the toes
- Make sure the shoes have a broad toe box
- Try shoes on when standing and spread your toes to make sure there is sufficient toe room
- If your feet are different sizes, always fit the larger foot
- The heel of the shoe should be firm and snug
- Select shoes with leather or open weave synthetic uppers
- High-top shoes are preferable to three-quarter or low-top shoes, they provide the best ankle support
- Always replace basketball shoes when you begin to see signs of wear
Issues created by improper fit
Basketball players spend most of their time pounding their feet into the ground. It is no wonder foot and ankle injuries are common in the game of basketball. Without proper footwear, injury will usually occur.
Two types of injuries to the feet and ankles can occur during basketball play: acute injuries and chronic injuries. Acute injuries result from a sudden movement or collision; for example, twisting or landing improperly from a jump. Chronic injuries are injuries that develop over time. One of the primary causes of chronic basketball injury is improper footwear.
Common injuries seen in basketball players include:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Ankle sprains
- Ligament tear
- Plantar fasciitis
- Pulled muscles
- Shin splints
- Stress fractures
If you suffer any of these injuries while playing basketball, be sure to visit your doctor for treatment.