Basketball Shoes are an essential part of every basketball player's wardrobe. As with any athletic endeavor one must have the proper footwear to be successful. The type of footwear that a basketball player wears can greatly affect how well he or she plays the sport.
Many basketball teams encourage their players to wear sneakers because they tend to be lighter than running shoes and provide better grip on the court to facilitate more controlled movement. While there really isn't much running involved in the sport of basketball, several other movements involved take a particular shoe specifically made for protecting the feet of a player while enabling for such things as footwork and lateral movement. As an example, a good example of this would be when a guard is on the court and tries to defend a basket. As the ball is swung around the floor several times the guard needs to be able to move his feet from side to side and rotate his ankle around so that he can block the ball with his non-dominant foot. A basketball shoe design that provides protection to this particular foot type is required.
Another requirement for those who play basketball is ankle support. Ankle sprains and twists happen quite frequently during actual play and often only realize what a big injury they may have after the fact. An ankle support is required in all basketball shoes to help prevent sprains and possible ankle injuries, so it only makes sense that they should be included in the design.
One additional aspect of basketball shoes is the outsole. The outsole has many uses. As mentioned above, ankle support is a primary function but the outsole can also help prevent damage due to frequent foot contact. A heavy weight player will often use a heavier outsole to prevent injury. Lightweight players will usually use a thinner outsole for better traction on the court.
Along with providing extra protection for ankles the outsole can also help prevent abrasions on the basketball shoes. Most sports shoes are made with synthetic mesh. Synthetic mesh is commonly referred to as "spandex". It is highly breathable making it ideal for sports where quick moves are made. Unfortunately synthetic mesh tends to quickly absorb the oil and sweat from the skin, which can promote the growth of bacteria. Some manufacturers use anti-bacterial chemicals to help combat this problem but these compounds can cause irritations to sensitive skin.
Leather upper basketball shoes are very popular because of their durability and comfort. When purchasing a basketball shoe it is important to make sure that the sole has enough cushioning to provide adequate comfort for long periods of time. Also, it is important that the basketball shoe has a rubber sole. A rubber sole provides more friction between the basketball shoe and the court thus reducing the risk of slipping and making the shoe more comfortable. However, there are some drawbacks to using rubber soles, especially in colder climates.
There are different types of outsole material that can be used in basketball shoes. The most common material used in playing shoes is rubber. Rubber soles are best suited for playing styles such as freestyle and low-top. The biggest disadvantage to using rubber soles is that they can become very hot when playing in warm weather and can slip and slide off the court. This can result in a loss of momentum and an awkward landing.
One of the most common styles of basketball shoes is the high-top shoe. High-top shoes offer excellent ankle support as well as protection from injuries due to falls. Many top brands include a pre-attached ankle support system with the shoes. The ankle support system will most likely need to be replaced every 10 years or so since the bones of the feet grow, so the ankle support needs to be able to keep up with the increased size.