How Should Your Basketball Shoes Fit? | Facts You Should Know

Written By Sunny

As an inspiring basketball player, you might want the trendiest or the best-looking pair of sneakers available in the market. You should never forget, that fit is arguably the most essential aspect when it comes to basketball shoes. 

If you’re confused as to how your basketball shoes should fit, then don’t worry! I’ve come up with this guide so that you can get the best fit in your basketball shoes.  how-should-your-basketball-shoes-fit

So, How should your basketball shoes fit?

There should be a thumbnail’s length of space between the end of your shoes and the end of your longest toe. The midsole is the area where your feet are the widest. Your feet should set in comfortably around this part without too much space or congestion. Finally, your heel should feel firm and snug.

Now that you know the essential aspects of how a pair of basketball shoes should fit, keep on reading to know all other related factors, too.

How Can You Obtain the Best Fit in Your Basketball Shoes?

By now, I think you know there aren’t any hacks or methods (you can apply to your shoes) to automatically get, smooth and snug fit in your basketball sneakers.

You’ll have to consider some aspects to achieve an excellent fit for optimum performance. Basketball shoes should fit differently in contrast to non-sports shoes, having a snug fit in some places but leaving room in others so that you get proper mobility on the court.

But before that, you check out how to Remove Dry Paint From Shoes.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to obtain the best fit:

Toe Space


Do You remember your parents used to buy shoes more significantly than your exact size? There used to be extra room so that you could gradually grow into them. Well, this time around, you will need an extra space not so that you could develop into them but for the sake of toes. 

According to well-renowned foot experts and basketball players, there should be a thumbnail’s length of space between the end of your shoes and the end of your longest toe.

And, why so? Your toes should have good wiggling room, and they should not be cramped in and around the toe box. They should have enough space to be spread out comfortably.

An improper manner of toes around the toe area results in foot issues such as toenail problems, blisters, calluses, or corns.

Do check our latest post on the how to Soften The Back Of New Shoes.

Proper Width

Which part of the foot is the widest? If you look carefully, it’s the midsole which is the middle of the foot. Around these points, your feet are the widest. Your foot should fit in effortlessly over this part of the shoes.

According to foot experts, your foot shouldn’t have much movement in this area, and it should not be forced to expand to cover the remaining width.


With every step, the foot bends, and the bend takes place at the ball of the foot, not at the midsole part. Your shoes must bend where the toes bend (which is at the ball of the foot). If your boots turn in other areas, it means that the fit is quite loose.

You may also like to read about how to make Big Shoes Fit?

Least Heel Movement

The heel needs a different fit compared to the toes. Your heels should feel snug and firm inside your shoes. Why so? Because the tighter your heels are, the more stable your movements are.

You can allow a minimal amount of motion. 

The last thing you’d want is your heel slipping up and down or in and out of your shoes. The amount of space your heel should have is similar to that of your toes (a thumbnail’s length of the room).

Arch Support


This one’s critical because improper arch support can cause pain and discomfort. The arch of your shoes should match up nicely with the angle of your feet when you stand flat-footed. 

You should have the feeling that you have proper support. If you feel like you lump your shoes (while standing), better you avoid them. The surface of the node indicates the shoes are narrow or have too high an arch.

Check out my new post on how to Clean The Bottom Of Shoes.

Proper Ankle Support

Good ankle support is essential as ankle injuries in sports are often frequent. The upper part of your basketball sneakers should fit firmly around your ankle, with the option of lightening it with the shoelaces.

You’ve to make sure it’s not too tight, or else there’s the chance of cutting down your blood circulation. Aso, you’ve to make sure no part of your prized sneaker cuts into your lower leg or Achilles as this can lead to much discomfort.

If you manage to combine all these features properly only, then you’ll have the perfect fit in your basketball shoes. You can ensure all these by merely going down to the store by yourself and buying the shoes.

You can quickly try different brands or models and choose the one that suits you best. With a proper fit, you’ll have the confidence to beat any of your opponents and set the court on fire.

Why is Good Fit Crucial in Basketball Shoes?

As a basketball player, your shoes are the most important and only genuine piece of personal equipment.

Finding the perfect fit may take time but once found, you’ll have the confidence to play at your full potential and many more! Allow me to indulge you in some of the main reasons for a proper fit.

Here are the reasons why good fitting basketball shoes are crucial:


All of us want to be the best player. To achieve that, we look for any edge we can find and use it in our favor. Finding the right pair of shoes depending on the body and style of play is a part of that process.

And a good fit in the right pair of shoes will allow you to take your game to the next level. You’ll be able to run, jump or cut without anything having to stop you.


You’ll be wearing your basketball shoes for at least an hour or two, be it a practice session or a game. I’m sure you won’t want any discomfort or whatsoever. Like me or anyone else, you too shall be craving that comfort, and to ensure this, a proper fit is essential.

Concentrating on the game While carrying any sort of discomfort is anything but possible. Frankly speaking, it’s near impossible to wear any pair of shoes that are uncomfortable. All you’ll be thinking is about the aches.

Related content you should read about are Volleyball shoes Good For Flat Feet?


Why is it so? While comfort’s an important feature, support’s an absolute necessity. Without proper support, there’s a big chance you’ll end up injured. If you somehow manage to obtain a nasty injury in your lower leg area or the ankle, it could potentially keep you off the court for a long time to come.

The only way to avoid such a catastrophe is to ensure a proper fit; you’ll have the appropriate support necessary to stay unchanged with the right fit.

Some more guides on Tennis Shoes Vs Sneakers.

Do Basketball Sneakers Run Big or Small?

It varies from one brand to another. Let’s say you have a preferred option based on a specific brand, and much to your surprise, your actual size may not fit in a pair of sneakers (your preferred choice) from your chosen brand. In comparison, your exact size will fit in seamlessly in a couple of shoes from a different brand.

What does ‘run big or small’’ mean? When people say sneakers run big, you’ll need to go half a size smaller; similarly, you’ll need to go half a size larger if it runs small.

Another point you should remember is that some shoes cater to wide-footed players. So if you have extra wide feet, there’s no need to panic. All you have to do is find the brand that has extra comprehensive options.

It won’t be so harsh as most well-known brands have this option. If possible, go through the customer reviews.

Check out the easiest way to know about Bobs Shoes VS Toms.

Do Basketball Shoes Run True to Size?

In general, basketball shoes run right to size (in most cases), but that doesn’t indicate the shoes will fit you right away. Some brands make basketball shoes that are true to size but have certain features that prevent you from having your desired fit.

How Tight Should You Tie Your Basketball Shoes? 

You should tie your shoes tight for proper support but make sure it doesn’t make you uncomfortable. Loosely tied basketball shoes not only look sloppy but are a ticking time bomb! You may come across an accident at any moment.

Surely you don’t want a spell at the sidelines because you tripped over your shoelaces. There’re a few lacing methods that come in handy depending on the type of foot.

Follow our guide to know how should your Basketball Shoes Fit?

Here are the methods to help you tie your basketball shoes:

1) At first, take the laces through the first pair of eyelets at the base of your shoes.

2) Now, thread the shoelaces for the next set of holes until they reach the top of your shoes. Be careful as you don’t want the laces to tangle together. This pattern allows the boots to be tightened without putting too much pressure on the foot.

3) Finally, Crisscross the laces along with the remaining eyelets, then tie your shoes as you usually do.

On the other hand, if you have high arches, this lacing method may help you.

1) At first, thread your shoes in a crisscross pattern throughout the bottom group of the eyelets. 

2) Now, take a left and suitable shoelaces straight up the shoes on both sides to create a higher arch for more stability.

 3) Finally, now that you’ve reached the final arrangements, crisscross the laces again close to the shoes’ highest point. 

Related Questions People Ask

Do basketball shoes stretch out?

They do! And basketball shoes should be flexible (ideally) but only at specific points and firm in others. Everyday life hacks for stretching shoes may not work. However, with the extra effort, you can do it to some extent.

Do NBA players get new shoes every game?

In simple terms, Yes! But only if they want that is. Most NBA players usually wear a pair of shoes between 4 and 20 games. However, some claim to wear them until they break down.

How Can You stretch your basketball shoes?

To stretch a pair of basketball shoes, you can use a wooden shoe stretcher. With it, you can control how much the shoes are pushing. You can use spot stretching plugs to target the problem areas. It’s simple to use the tool and not create any mess. 


When you want the best fit in your basketball shoes, you have to get quite a few aspects right. Once you get the combination right, only then you’ll have your desired fit. A good fit is essential as it can affect your performance in many ways.

I hope my guide has aided you in getting the best fit in your basketball sneakers. In case you’ve any confusion feel free to let me know down in the comment section.  

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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