As basketballs popularity has soared over the years, specialty footwear has been developed to support those with big feet small feet and even wide feet. This is where our article will take us today. On a hunt for the best basketball shoes for wide feet.
In his quest for a game that was equally as exciting as football but without the common injuries associated with the sport, James Naismith came up with one of the most fast-paced, exciting, and popular sports known to man, basketball. And with every new sport comes new gear. Gear that can help the players reach new heights and out pace their competition.
Shoes are one of the most important accessories used by the human body. They’re designed to carry the entire weight of the human body from the moment we wake up, until the time we go to bed. With such an important role to play it’s essential that we pick a basketball shoe that can withstand the additional punishment required to make it through a hard-played game.
Shoes have evolved over the last century. Technological improvements in their design and materials have led to better shoes that not only look stylish but also improve a players abilities. Sporting giants such as Nike and Reebok have invested billions of dollars in developing breathable fabrics, cushioning rubber soles and maximum gripping tread patterns or a solid traction pattern that improves the kinetics and protection that basketball shoes can provide.
Because each and every foot is unique with its own unique footprint, sportswear companies have begun to specialize certain lines to offer their customers more choices tailored to their specific needs. This can be a wonderful improvement over the generic styles from years past however it can also mean that the accessories of one sport may not always be completely suited to other sports.
There are a number of different shapes and sizes when it comes to feet and depending on the shape of your foot bones and the cartilage around them, you may find you need a shoe that is longer or wider than that of your teammates. Even though you both have roughly the same size feet. When it comes to wide feet, often purchasing half a size up can alleviate some of the problem but by having a longer shoe than you need you also run the risk of having your feet slip inside. This can be dangerous and lead to injuries.
Do I really need special shoes for wide feet
Just because you tried on a pair of the latest release of your favorite shoe brand and it felt tight around the edges does not mean you have wide feet. People with wide feet consistently find regular width shoes uncomfortable. But sometimes the fit of a particular shoe is just not designed with your particular foot in mind. There are so many different shapes and sizes of feet. Shoe designers do their best to accommodate the vast majority but it does not always work out for all of us. Sometimes that particular shoe is just not the right fit for your foot.
Like the wrong key in a lock. Sometimes the key looks like it should fit but just doesn’t. Your foot can be the same. Shoes from certain brands fit you like a glove maybe where others just feel wrong.
If you find your foot is consistently uncomfortable in a wide range of different brands of shoes than you may have a situation where you need to seek out shoes designed for wider feet.
Going One Size Up
I read this all over the net. If it doesn’t fit the width of your foot just go one size up. DO NOT DO THIS, PLEASE! All you are doing is increasing the chance of seriously injuring your feet. Going one size up doesn’t just feel uncomfortable but it allows extra room for your foot to slide inside and can cause blistering or tearing of the skin. If you are consistently finding your shoes uncomfortable and have tried other brands than give some of the shoes we’ve reviewed at the bottom of this article a try. But do not go up a size unless you feel the length is too short.
Identify the Pain Point
Identify which part of your foot is wide based on pain points or the location on your foot where you feel pain while wearing regular width shoes. Is it the mid section of the foot? Is it the toes area?
Those with wide feet may have also find they are flat footed as well or they have a wider than normal foot span where their toes spread further out than regular shoes can comfortably accommodate. Forcing your foot into a shoe that restricts your toes can lead to serious pain with excessive use. The front pad part of the foot is under a lot of stress while playing basketball. Players have to land on their toes first before the heel touches the ground and this can put extra pressure on toes that are already pressed uncomfortably together.
Figure out which area is giving you problems and find a shoe that is designed to give extra room in that particular area.
Find Your Shoe Twin
If you’ve seen the TV show friends, you know that most people have hand twins. Ok, maybe that’s not a real thing but we can use the same philosophy here. Most semi-professional and professional basketball players have a certain build to their body, tall and large. In fact, no other sport has players with this type of physique. So companies have been making basketball shoes with the size of these players large feet in mind for years. Building a shoe that can accommodate larger than average feet is much easier when selecting from a brand of shoe built around a player that also has wide feet. You may have to try a few to find which players brand of shoes fits as your “shoe twin”.
Features of the Best Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet
One of the first features that a player should look be concerned with is the type of fabric being used to make the shoes. If the fabric is of the right configuration, then it should adjust to the shape of the feet that it’s encompassing. The fabric should have a flexible and elastic nature to it with a sense of expandability. This will help immensely when it comes to trying to accommodate a slightly wider than average foot. Look for a synthetic mesh composition if possible such as nylon or mesh and stay away from some types of leather or synthetic leather which can be restrictive.
Keep in mind though that cushioning at the ankle zone coupled with leather or even synthetic leather can provide a feeling of security and stability so leather does have its place when searching for the right basketball shoe for wide feet. Ankle support can be one of the biggest factors to consider when choosing any type of basketball shoe. Leather or any alternate material used around the toe in the front can also act as a protective barrier.
The design is a close second as far as features go. A well designed shoe can make all the difference as far as comfort goes. Focus on the curvature of the sole. Some shoes naturally bow further out the sides which means there is a better chance it will accommodate a wider foot.
That is the part which absorbs the shock of the entire body and passes it on to the ankle. The shoe having this type of design, catering to the ankle and the angular portion. In addition to the design should also focus towards the front part of the shoe, which encases the toes. This part should be a little wide when compared to the design. Often where the mid area of the sole is over sized, you will find that the toes area or front of the shoe is slightly wider as well so even if it’s the front of your foot and not the midsole area that is slightly wide, look for shoes that may cater to both areas.
A larger than average toe box can help relieve some of the compression so look for a shoe with a wider toe area.
With the sole being the area that bares the brunt of the abuse our feet take while playing ball it should also be carefully considered when searching for the right shoes for wide feet. The sole is the first area to absorb shock from a jump. That wave of power is then transferred directly into the foot. If the sole is not equally comfortable and supportive then that burst of energy can begin to really take its toll on your body. So ideally you want the best designed soles on the market.
The research and development departments of major sports apparel companies have invested a great deal of time and money in developing materials which will absorb the maximum shock possible in an effort to protect your feet as best they are able. Take advantage of their expertise and remember, you get what you pay for and the sole is one area I would not try to skimp on.
Try to find a herringbone pattern tread if possible as they tend to offer excellent traction.
A proper fit is paramount to feeling comfortable in your shoes. As discussed above, one of the key requirements of people with wide feet is that the toes area should not feel cramped. It can be painful and fatiguing after prolonged use to have cramped toes in shoes that aren’t designed with your particular size of foot in mind. Look for shoes with extra space at the end and a bit extra width in the centre of the sole area.
If all else fails and the wider shoes still aren’t cutting it try shoes designed for flat feet to get some extra space at the heel and toe areas.
The next issue, which needs to be highlighted is traction. The base of the shoe plays an important role in protecting your feet and helping you keep control of your movements on the court.
You may find that the amount of traction your shoes have changes depending on your location. Also, if you are using the same shoes to play indoor sports and outdoor sports you may find that the dust and dirt on the bottom of your shoes diminish the amount of traction you have.
Some wooden courts or courts with artificial flooring have absorption properties built in, which reduces the shock on the feet when landing however, most outdoor basketball courts are made of asphalt and some even of concrete which has very little give and can be very slippery when wet regardless of the amount of traction you have built into your shoes.
Weather you are a laces lover or a velcro fanatic, it’s important to pick the right lockdown method for your shoes. Sometimes having wider feet means needing to purchase a size up. It’s unfortunate but true. If this ends up being the case for you, you will want to have a lacing system that lets tighten your shoes as much as possible to offset the over-size.
In this instance velcro may not cut it. You may have trouble getting as tight a fit as you would like where laces give you the option to really pull those shoes together to cinch your foot in and prevent unnecessary foot slippage. You want to be able to eliminate any dead-space between the top of your foot and the lacing area as well as reduce the amount your toes can move towards the end of the shoe while playing.
The lacing system plays a key role in the amount of ankle support a shoe can provide. Securing the shoe top area by locking your foot in place will offer the most ankle protection without adding any extra weight.
Jordan True Flight
The game of Basketball has had some great players but none as great as Michael Jordan. Nike was inspired by his games and decided to come out with an exclusive line named after him. This was created as an inspiration to please Jordans huge fan base and to carry the legend of the man that was and is “Jordan” through the centuries. The shoes are designed to be extremely lightweight and to fit all kinds of feet, both wide and not so wide. Players with wide feet can certainly have a go at these shoes, as this has all the right design requirements to support and accommodate wider feet.
The look of the product is a bit “old school” which is great for classic Jordan fans. The sole is made of solid rubber and the triangular design offers traction both on and off the court. They are polyurethane based and provide a superior level of comfort while playing. The fabric is a combination of leather, durabuck, and neoprene, along with a touch of nylon. This gives a feel of elasticity to the wearer. Leather lends a touch of durability and strength where needed as well as a splash of style to the entire shoe at large.
These shoes have some great ankle support to boot!
Many a player has strived to reach the rim, to soar through the air with ball in hand and slam it hard through net with authority and power, but so few reach it. With this goal in mind, Nike introduced a shoe that is designed to augment the skills of many average ball players and propel them to greatness. They call them the Hyperdunks.
Designed to offer a lot more support around the ankles, these shoes also provide the cushioning necessary to protect your feet as you come down out of a jump. A key element to successfully dunking over and over again.
Nike offers two versions of this fantastic shoe. One is the regular fit, standard rec shoe and the other version has been labeled as the flyknit. The flyknit is a bit pricier than the other version and is also a fairly different look to it I feel. Keep in mind that for wide footed players the regular version may not be the right fit for you as it may give you a slightly tight feeling. The flyknit however would certainly do the job nicely.
These shoes have great traction and are quite stylish and eloquent. The shoes come with a knitted fabric. The ankle area has an ankle collar, which gives great support and a comfortable feel. Looks wise, they look awesome. Probably one of the best looking shoes because of its knitted nature.
These may also be good shoes for those players with flat feet.
Another legend in the world of basketball is the great Lebron James. Nike has signed Lebron for a lifetime association with them. This pair of shoes comes in a series where Nike is trying to make every new version better than the last. Each new design is based off the feedback and reviews from the many players commited to wearing Lebrons shoes on the court.
These shoes come with a fantastic cushioning system which is the backbone of all great basketball shoes. You can really feel the extra layers of foot support built in to the base of the shoe when the laces are pulled good and tight. This extra feeling of comfort gives the wearer a sense of support that is unmatched by almost all other shoes. The sizing is true to its label which often means less breaking in time. It’s still important as always that the player orders gets an accurate measurement of their feet.
These shoes offer a high level of comfort and protection courtesy of extra fabrics and cushioning which does add a little to the overall weight of the shoe.
There is one part of the design which I feel could be improved on. The sock-like design bothers me just a little bit and makes it slightly less dynamic than the standard fit. This is definitely one of the top choices in our list of the best basketball shoes for wide feet.
Air Jordan XXXI
Air Jordan XXXI
A lot of thought and styling went into these shoes to make them the works of art they are today. There is an old Jordan-esque look to them with a high-performance twist. Near the toes, this has a little wider space for the toe to fit. This leads to an immense amount of comfort to all wide footed people. This looks as if this has been made for them only! The traction is one small grey area; otherwise, these shoes are a must recommendation for players with wide feet. On the design aspect, this has its signature Nike and Jordan look, which has been a trademark since the line was introduced.
This pair of shoes has been recommended time and time again for people with wide feet. In fact, the entire line has been manufactured keeping this point in mind to a certain degree. Nike has introduced a flyweave technology that has substantially increased comfort levels on the court which has been used extensively in these shoes. The beauty of this technology is that it doesn’t make you feel cramped allowing for oversized feet. It gives space and room to breathe.
There are a few similarities to the Adidas D Lillard shoes especially when it comes to the ankle area.
Finally, there is a great leather support built into the ankle area, which is required for wide footed players and non-wide foot players alike.
LeBron Soldier XI
The soldier series created waves in the basketball shoe community at the time of its launch. The Nike Lebron Soldier XI shoes have brought some new features with it to the court. The traction is incredible. By far one of the best pair of shoes when it comes to traction. It plays equally well on both indoor and outdoor courts. The cushion which is a mainstay of all basketball shoes is really good. There is zoom technology located in the heel, which helps give an extra boost of comfort when moving around in the court. To achieve an air of elasticity, Nike used a combination of both mesh and nylon materials. This allows good airflow to the feet during game time.
The opening of the tongue of the shoe is a bit small I feel. This could potentially create some minor issue for those with wide feet when putting them on but really such a minor issue it’s barely worth mentioning. This issue goes away completely once the shoe is worn in anyway. It adapts to the foot in many areas rather than trying to contort the foot to fit it.
The sizing seems to be bang on the lacing does a good job of locking down the foot. Once you lace the shoes into place you should have little to no movement whatsoever. This is one of the best features of this shoe I think.
Our Pick for the Best Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet
At the end of the day Air Jordan XXXI is my pick for the best basketball shoes for wide feet. These shoes really show off their versatility by accommodating a wide range of foot sizes. Nike is used to designing for larger, taller men and they really put some thought and effort into these great kicks.
Each pair of shoes has their unique features and individual fan base and users. An individual using Lebron James soldier series may never dream of using another range, but when trying to accommodate wider feet you may be forced into a brand or line you may not normally choose. Embrace it and make it yours if that’s the case. I find that there aren’t many “A” list players that I can’t get excited about or jump on their baller band wagon.
Nike has used a different technology, in the manufacturing of Air Jordan 9 that helps it stand out above the rest. Nike designer Thomas Bell is the brains behind the “Flyweave” technology that has helped make these shoes truly innovative. Nike has incorporated a unique and complex combination of warp and weft (a weaved pattern) threads that make these shoes extremely durable and supportive. The design is taken from the traditional weaving method, which has permeated through the ages and its strength and reliability have been sourced from materials used in the aerospace industry.
The Jordan series is incredibly innovative and the feedback received from both amature and professional players have led to a credibility that still makes it one of the top basketball shoes ever designed. .
Overall Air Jordan XXXI are the best shoes available for people with big feet in the game of basketball.
All the above shoes are in a class all their own. There is no doubt that the companies supporting, manufacturing, promoting and customizing these works of art have extensively researched and painstakingly developed these fantastic products to be the very best.
However, the players are really the ultimate brand ambassadors of the products. The goodwill generated by word of mouth lends credence to the fact that these shoes are a cut above the rest.
Some other shoes to check out that didn’t quite make our list include the Adidas D Lillard, Nike Air and Zoom Air. Both the Nike Air and Zoom Air are top picks for us in other reviews.
Lebron James has his line of “soldiers”, Jordan has his line of “Air” and so on help propel these products to the top. “If it’s good enough for Jordan, it’s good enough for me.” This makes picking a winner challenging.