When purchasing footwear there are, by in large, three determining factors: performance, price, and personality. Purchasing decisions are ultimately a blending of the three ,but for the sake of simplicity, I shall discuss each one separately.
Performance needs are still the single biggest deciding factor in athletic footwear purchases. The majority of Athletic sneakers purchase are ,in fact,used for their designed purpose so it is paramount they perform at a high level. It is vital to access your performance needs and wants prior to buying. For instance, if you are purchasing running shoes, knowing your foot can help you in selecting the shoe you need. If basketball shoes are on the docket, you should be considering these factors: position and style of play, weight, traction, cushioning, stability and support and where you play, in your footwear selection.
I cannot overstate the necessity of thoroughly trying on any shoe you plan to use for performance purposes. When I say that, I’m not speaking of merely placing a shoe on, wiggling your toes, and then putting back in the box. Once you get them, move around in them, lightly simulate some of the movements you’d make in your desired activity. This can give you some insight into the how the shoe may perform.
Generally speaking, if you are a perimeter player, particularly a guard, you want to look at shoe that is lighter and more flexible; the shoe should move with your foot. It should fit well , both front to back and side-to-side, especially at the heel. Additionally, seek out a shoe that does well in the areas of stability and support because you don’t want a shoe that has a propensity to tip over on lateral movements. Shoes have devices such as outriggers, which is a slight portrusion off the lateral edge of the outsole that is designed to give the shoe a wider base and increase stability.
Big men, particularly if you play in the classic manner, your footwear will need to have a very supportive upper in order to stand to the rigors of paint play. As a bigger player, the midsole and cushioning will also need to be a bit beefier to accommodate you.
No matter what style you play, traction and the outsole is another factor that must be taken into account when selecting footwear. There are all sorts of traction patterns that grip the courts extremely well, however the herringbone pattern, the zig-zag pattern, is the most common. Traction pattern aside, check the flexibility of the rubber, as softer,but no too soft, more flexible rubber allows the outsole to grip the court better. If you play outdoors you want to get a shoe with a harder rubber, as a softer outsole won’t last as long on the blacktop.
For many, this is the deciding factor in their purchasing decision shoes are expensive and most of us have limited financial resources. However any price or financial limitations that you haven’t place should not be a stumbling block for finding quality well performaning footwear. You just have to assess what are your performance and then find footwear meet those within your price range. There is plenty of wonderful new technology in the sneaker market today however you don’t break the bank in order to find quality performance footwear it fits within your budget.
There is plenty of wonderful new technology in the sneaker market today,however you don’t need to break the bank in order to find quality performance footwear that fits within your budget. One way to do this is to exercise a little patience; it is said that good things come to those who wait and adage rings true in the sneaker world. Company specific retailers, such as Nike outlets, have a plethora of quality performance shoes at well below retail prices. Big box retailers, Finish Line comes to mind immediately, mark shoes down not long after their initial release if they don’t sell out in the first few days. Many high performing shoes can be found on sales racks. If you have an Athlete’s Foot in your locale, I can personally attest to this, check them out as often they will have high quality footwear below retail prices. Eastbay’s final score section also routinely has top performers at prices below retail, Jimmy Jazz routinely has footwear sales and if you have a Sports Authority, go there while you can.
There is no how-to for this aspect because it is completely subjective. Personality plays a role in purchases rooted in performance or price. Sneakers have become an outlet for people to express their personality and individuality (to a degree). For some bright and vibrant colors draws them; for others, it is the thrill of pursuing the rarest of kicks and the satisfaction of finding that sneakers. I will round out this section not with tips, but advice best said by our friends at Obsessive Sneaker Disorder: buy what you like and forget the rest.