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Basketball Sneakers: What Parents Need To Know

By JulieD

When buying basketball sneakers for your child,  here's what parents need to know: 

  • Buy shoes specifically made for basketball.  Basketball shoes or sneakers are specially designed to provide good ankle support and excellent traction on the court.
  • When buying basketball shoes or sneakers, support should be the primary concern
  • Look for a synthetic interior that will provide support, combined with an internal foam package that will soften landings and provide a snug fit.

Because the mid-sole material of a basketball shoe takes a pounding and eventually loses its ability to provide your child's foot with adequate support or cushioning, experts, such as Dr. Michael Lowe, past President of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, and long time team podiatrist of the NBA's Utah Jazz, recommend that basketball shoes be periodically replaced, even if the bottom sole shows no sign of excessive wear. If your child is playing youth basketball 5 to 6 times a week, buying new shoes every month would be ideal.  For those playing 2 to 3 times a week, replacement shoes every 3 to 4 months is recommended.

Wearing shoes longer, says Dr. Lowe, greatly increases stress to the foot, leg and related soft tissue and bone structures. In time, the stress will create a fatigue injury that then renders the player unable to participate in his or her sport. The incidence of overuse injuries can be greatly decreased simply by replacing shoes frequently.  Buying new shoes are thus a relatively cheap investment in preventative medicine.