Are Basketball Shoes Supposed To Be Tight? [Verified Answer]

Written By Sunny

Buying the first basketball pair is quite tricky because basketball courts need well-fitted shoes for perfect shots.

And before bouncing on the court, the most asked question is, what basketball pair tightness is considered ideal?


Well, In this article, you’ll find all the answers and justification along with some fitting information, that I gathered from my basketeers’ team and trainers’ feedback.

So, read along!

Should Basketball Shoes be Tight or Loose?

Neither too tight nor too loose, the ideal basketball shoe offers a snug fit. You have to choose balanced fittings because wearing tight shoes can damage your ankle and arch area. Contrary, loose-fitted shoes increase the slip tendencies that can lead to severe injuries.


There is a huge misconception among basketball fans, they think players used to wear tightly fitting shoes.

For good playing, you should select comfortable shoes yet offer a snug fit. You must need limited space in your basketball shoes for flexible movement.

In one line, you need a shoe that is strong and well-fixed but with enough space for feet to wiggle like our basketball.

How Tight Should Your Basketball Shoes Be?

As I have already mentioned, the ideal basketball shoes should offer a snug fit. Snugly fitted shoes are crucial when you are non-stop bouncing with your basketball. You don’t need to pick any loosely fitted shoes, as it is improper for your feet.

Nonetheless, before choosing a tight shoe for your basketball shoes, you may be confused about how tight you can afford. And it is obvious!

Here are the facts you should consider before picking any basketball shoes:

Select Right Size Shoes

Buying perfect-sized shoes is the most important part of every shoe shopping. It’s essential because the right size shoes not only offer comfort, but the shoe also provides enough space to wiggle.

Don’t worry, no need to buy a size big or small for your bouncing. Because there are a lot of options in the market, that specially made for basketeers.

Measure your shoe size properly, and pick the measured size athletic shoe.

You can find the traditional methods along with some new techniques on the mentioned content.

Shot With Different Types of Shoes

Do not stick in one shoe, try multiple types of basketball shoes and find which shoe suits you better.


You will find a lot of branded basketball shoes that insert Podulon, Hyperfuse, and Flywire to make an ideal pair for all NBA players. You should also find shoes that are specially designed for indoor basketball courts.

I want to say, explore your shoe sense for choosing your b.ball sneaker.

Take Time to Proper Fit

Take time as much as you can for proper fitting. No need to complete this procedure in a hurry. Wear your new pair in your practice but avoid to wear in the final tournament.

Initially, athletic shoes are quite stiff, which causes severe injuries. Don’t rush to complete the break-in process, give them enough time to properly stretch out.

As we know, “good things take time, great things take a little longer”.

So, if you need the ultimate comfort, you have to keep calm until the pair offers you that.

Choosing Shoes Considering Your Foot Issues

If you suffer from any kind of foot issues like bunions, Achilles tendons, or wide feet, you should consider that issue while choosing b.ball shoes.

If you have width wide feet or half size problem, experts suggest buying the half size up for your desired fittings. Because if you have more space, you can fix them by tightening your laces.

Contrary, if the shoe offers a congested area where your feet hardly fit, that shoe can leave behind severe ankle pain for you.

Don’t Force With Your ill-Fitted Shoes

Sometimes we try to fit our ill-fitted shoes, and that’s actually a bad practice for everyone. And that bad becomes worse when the shoe increases the ankle rubbing situation, which is quite tough to prevent.

Though, you can reduce ankle rubbing tendencies by applying some methods. It doesn’t end here, an ill-fitted shoe is quite harmful to your feet and overall leg.

So, do not try to adjust the ill-fitted shoes with your feet.

According to my opinion, a trial is mandatory when you wish to buy an athletic pair for your specific sports. Because every tough sport needs a special kind of shoes like basketball.

If you are still puzzled about basketball shoe fitting, you should check my other writing piece where I already elaborate on the fittings of basketball shoes.

Remember, wear snug-fitted shoes on your basketball court, not too tight nor too loose.

How Much Space Should You Need in Your Basketball Shoes?

An ideal cagers sneaker should fit perfectly, with enough space in your toe and heel area. In front of the toe box, you require a minimum of 1 inch (2.54 cm) to wiggle your foot frequently. You also require a half-inch space in the heel back area.


The mentioned place is essential to restrict foot cramps and ankle pain.

For a clear concept, choose a shoe for your play court that has enough room for your fit and offers a snug fit on your midfoot.

That body-hugging fit reduces the slippery propensities. And that roomy area offers breathability, which makes your feet dry and cool during summer.

Should Basketball Shoes be Tight at First?

Being a basketball player, I found that b.ball shoes should not be tight at first. Actually, ideal basketball shoes should not be tight, yet they must offer a close fit for safe and easy movement.

For instance, I used to wear, US 7.5 size, but wear Jordan US 8 size on my basketball court. That size is a little loose, I love to adjust my shoes according to my foot shape, it feels like I’m wearing something customized.

Now I’m suggesting some must-have features you should consider during picking any basketball shoes.

Here are the criteria you must check before buying:

  • Try to decide on shoes that offer a little more space than your regular pair. For this offered space, you can adjust the shoes as like as you need.
  • If you still feel loose after adjusting the laces, you should go one size down.
  • In this pair, if you find limited room for your feet, grab that pair and give extended time to break in.
  • Do not tie the laces too compressed, it hampers your blood circulation.
  • Usually, there are two types of basketball shoes that are, high, medium, and low-top shoes. So, tie your shoelaces conforming to shoe type and foot type.

Fitting is crucial for your basketball court, and I check my shoes by following this step. Over time, the shoe must stretch a little, but not as much that other shoe can.

If you find a little more stiff shoe, then you can stretch your shoe a bit by using a shoe stretcher for instant comfort. This stretcher is the most traditional method of stretching out.

Tie Your Basketball Shoe Laces: Tight or Loose

On the basketball court, shoelaces play a vital role in your bouncy movement. Like the fitting of basketball shoes, the laces also need perfect tying, not too tight nor too sloppy.

Let’s know how should you tie up your Basketball shoelaces:

  • Start to tie the rope from the very first eyelet holes. And make a cross between the two holes unit.
  • High arch and low arch, the cross-tying technique is suitable for both feet.
  • After each cross, tighten the laces as much as your feet can tolerate the pressure.
  • And keep tying up the laces from the bottom to the ankle. And try to tighten the laces on your ankle if you have low arch issues.
  • However, if you have a high arch, after the forefoot you should stop the crisscross process and tie up straight for better arch support.

Before the basketball tournament, athletes typically follow the procedures outlined above to tie their shoelaces. There are a lot of techniques on the internet, but I specifically love this method the most.

Wrapping Things Up

Eventually, winning a basketball tournament is quite dependable on the shoe and its snug fittings.

And I hope, after reading this well-informed piece, now you have proper knowledge of how much tight you should wear your shoes for better results.

If any related question tickling on your mind, connect with me via a comment, I’ll always be there.

Happy reading!

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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