Children playing basketball in the open court wearing basketball shoes for kids

Ultimate Buying Guide for Basketball Shoes for Kids

Basketball is a very popular sport, especially among younger generations. And, if your kid is planning on playing this sport, it is a good idea to look out for basketball shoes for kids

Playing this sport has many benefits, such as healthy body development, better self-esteem, and improved social connection, among many others.

Kids’ shoes are vital in ensuring that they thoroughly enjoy the game. Thus, it is important to consider some factors before buying your kid’s basketball shoes. 

Therefore, we will explain the anatomy of the shoes, what type of shoes, and what to look for when making a purchase. You can use these tips to help you choose the most appropriate basketball shoes for your kids out of the many brands and types currently available.



What is Basketball Shoe?

Basketball shoes are made to withstand the game’s demands. Basketball players change directions every two seconds and make brief sprints all the time. 

Thus, these types of footwear are designed to absorb stress and give ankle stability while allowing players to move laterally due to constant running and jumping. 

Basketball shoes are made with a focus on performance, comfort, and style. Knowing which features are most suited to the kid will help your little one quickly get from the bench to the paint.


In the beginning, you can look out for some universal basketball shoes for your little one. But, as time passes and they are getting more professional, you want to change it for a few reasons.

First, the foot size will grow, and the kid will require other footwear suitable for their needs. Second, it is good to determine a kid’s playing style and ability before choosing a different shoe. 

Do they like long-range shooting, or are they more comfortable in the key? Do they prefer agility and quickness to strength and aggression in the game? Are they going to attack the boards for every rebound or stay back and take advantage of opportunities in transition?

These are, of course, things to consider once your kid has some experience and knows exactly what he/she wants. 

No athlete, even the young ones, wants to be over-or under-equipped in their footwear. Once the kid figures out what kind of playing style it has, you will find it much easier to find the features they want.



Basketball Shoes VS Running Shoes

Running shoes are made to be light and comfy. These shoes, unlike basketball shoes, are built to withstand extended distances rather than brief bursts of speed and abrupt changes in direction. Road running shoes, made for jogging on pavement, are the most prevalent form of running shoes.

You can tell the difference by analyzing shoes. You can see the difference in the design of the shoe, the weight, comfort, and tread.

Running shoes don’t provide as much support as basketball shoes, so your kid is taking a lot more impact.

These shoes might seem like a good option if you cannot buy basketball shoes for some reason. However, we recommend that, as soon as possible, look out for basketball shoes for your kid to get the most out of his game.


Anatomy of the Basketball Shoes

Typical basketball shoes are divided into three main sections: the upper, the midsole, and the outsole

The attributes of each element of the shoe will impact its longevity and performance. This is a rule of thumb even for different types of shoes for kids. As a result, determining which features are best for your kid’s needs and playing style is critical to getting the correct gear.


The Upper

The first option to make when it comes to the top area of basketball shoes is the height you desire. Basketball shoes come in three heights: low, mid, and high, each appealing to a different playing style.

Low-top basketball shoes – Because of their low profile, low basketball shoes provide little ankle support and are designed for speed and agility.

Mid-top basketball shoes – As the name implies, provide a happy medium in terms of ankle support for players. The top material sits just above the ankle, providing some coverage without being completely enclosed. These particular shoes provide more versatility.

High-top basketball shoes – This shoe wraps around the kid’s ankle for extra stability and support. Extra weight is often associated with this extra coverage.

Besides the height of the basketball shoes, the upper security is also very important. Many closure methods are available; however, laces are the most popular.

Basketball sneakers with zippers, straps, or hook-and-loop closures are also available. These closures can give additional ankle support, especially in high-top versions, as well as additional coverage above ordinary laces. But, keep in mind that more coverage equals more weight.


The Midsole

The midsole of a basketball shoe is where the cushioning is located. As a result, this component is one of the most important aspects of a shoe’s functionality. 

The majority of midsoles are made up of different foams. EVA and compressed EVA foam will be the lighter alternatives compared to polyurethane midsoles, which are thick but long-lasting.

The midsole also incorporates brand-specific cushioning technologies, mostly in the heel and forefoot. This technology is included to provide additional cushioning at pressure spots that will be exposed to a lot of stress during a game.


The Outsole

The outsole of a shoe is made of rubber or synthetic materials and provides traction. Choose basketball shoes with an outsole that is relatively flat and wide in order to ensure maximum balance.

Look for outsoles with a herringbone or hexagonal pattern for increased traction. They are will keep your kid’s feet safe and prevent from sliding up and down the basketball court.

Almost every basketball shoe is made for indoor playing. Indoor hardwood courts are more forgiving than outdoor clay courts. So, if your kid is going to play solely on outdoor terrain, go for a shoe with a thicker, more durable outsole. Also, bear in mind that asphalt might wear down the tread on kid’s shoes as well.


What to Look for When Buying Basketball Shoes for Kids?

Consider these seven things before you decide to buy basketball shoes for your kid.

Weight of the shoes

This is a very important element to consider. Basketball shoes for kids and teens should be light and not too hefty

This will allow the kid easier and faster movement when playing. Plus, this type of shoes would be more comfortable for the youngster and would prevent strain and issues in the joints. This also minimizes the likelihood of the kid being too exhausted.

If a kid wishes to fully enjoy and play basketball effectively, the weight of the shoes must be light.



A well-cushioned shoe is recommended because kids are not as strong as adults. Compared to adults, kids have weaker bones, so they are more likely to shatter or dislocate due to stress.

When they land after jumping, well-cushioned shoes will absorb the impact. It will also give the required lift, allowing them to focus on playing rather than lifting themselves and aiming at the net.

This will stimulate their interest in basketball and increase their chances of succeeding in the sport.



Nothing is more irritating than changing shoes regularly due to wear and tear. This is why, while purchasing basketball shoes for a kid, the durability must be carefully considered.

A long-lasting shoe is preferable, so you can continue to use it repeatedly without becoming damaged. Kids play a lot in various settings, so it’s hard to predict how much harm the shoe will sustain. A sturdy shoe may take more damage than a regular shoe, which means it can be worn for longer periods of time.

The durability, as well as the sustainability of the shoe, is sometimes linked to its price, although this is not always the case. As a result, pricing should not be the only factor to consider when selecting a long-lasting shoe. You can try to search on the internet, ask a friend, a professional in the shoe store, and find out. 



The breathability is a very important factor since we do not want kids’ feet to suffocate in overstuffed shoes. A basketball shoe’s top component’s quality depends on what type of raw material was used during the manufacturing process.

The kid will be quite uncomfortable if the shoe has poor breathability. This isn’t ideal since, especially in basketball, the youngster has to feel comfortable with what he’s, or she’s wearing.

A shoe with high breathability also enables smooth wind flow, keeping the kid’s feet fresh, cool, and comfy. It significantly lowers sweating in the foot while playing and avoids a bad odor after usage. Besides, no one likes smelly feet; thus, breathable shoes will help prevent this.


Price can be the last and the first thing to consider before purchasing. There are different budgets; in any case, it is important to consider them before buying basketball shoes.

Of course, nobody wants to spend all your savings to buy a pair of shoes. Instead, you should look out for something that is both inexpensive and high-quality. Create a budget, then select one that is in line with it. Keep in mind that the most costly product isn’t always the greatest choice.


Closures and the grip

Proper lace closure and good traction are crucial for good pair of basketball shoes. This is very important since it prevents the kid from having severe injuries. 

The shoelaces should not loosen or come undone throughout the game. If it happens while the game is on and the kid does not notice it, it may trip down and fall.

The traction of your kid’s shoes should be sufficient to halt during a game if needed. Doing so prevents accidents and enables them to play more efficiently.


Shoe design 

Both kids and adults like wearing fashionable footwear. Even little ones like shoes they can be proud of and brag about. 

Spending money on shoes is pointless if your kid does not like the design or overall look of the footwear.

You can ask your kid for their opinion on the type and color, and design of shoes they like. Allow them to choose one in which they feel most comfortable. Thus, choose an appealing and pleasant shoe to the kid’s eye.


  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.