How to break in basketball shoes

How to break in basketball shoes the right way

Putting on a brand-new pair of basketball shoes will almost always cause some discomfort. Now anything excessive could mean you have the wrong size or they just aren’t the right shape for your feet, but it is natural for new shoes to feel a little tight or rub against the skin.

It is therefore important that you do not wear basketball shoes that have not been adequately broken in before game day or your next test. You have to give them time to try them on and let your feet adjust to them. Skip this part and you risk getting blisters on your feet!

In this post, we’ll look at how you can naturally break into your new basketball shoes and discuss some ways to speed up the process.

Before you buy new basketball shoes

But before that, let’s make sure you get the right shoes in the first place because some shoes are not designed for you, no matter how hard you break them in.

Choose the right size

You need to understand your own feet’s preferences when it comes to the shoes they will wear.

First, and most importantly, make sure you choose the right size. Wear tight shoes that are too small and your feet will be squeezed to the point of blisters on the toes and heel.

Wear new basketball shoes that are too big and your feet will slide around inside and they can easily come off while playing basketball.

The best way to get the right size is not to simply buy shoes in your size, but to try them before you buy. Many basketball shoes do not fit size but run large or small, which means you can never be sure that they will fit perfectly until they are on your feet.

If you buy online and can’t even try them on, be prepared to send them back unless they fit like a glove.

Choose the right type

Basketball shoes come in all kinds of shapes and styles. The last thing you should do is simply buy the pair of shoes your favorite player wears. Instead, consider how you will use it.

For example, if you’re going to play street basketball, you’ll want to buy outdoor basketball shoes that have soles that can handle rougher surfaces.

You also want to consider your play style. High-top basketball shoes and mid-top basketball shoes offer extra ankle support, while low-top basketball shoes offer less but give your feet maximum freedom which can be beneficial for dribbling/ball handling.

Finally, if you have wide feet, you want to make sure you get shoes that fit wider than your average shoe.

Buy ahead of time

It’s tempting to suddenly buy a nice pair of basketball shoes the day before your big game or just before the new season. But that’s the last thing you should do. You will perform better in your worn but comfortable shoes than a brand-new pair of basketball shoes that look the part but are stiff and limited in flexibility.

Instead, buy them a few weeks in advance so you have time to practice with them and wear them. This way, you will perform at your peak in that important basketball game.

Read also: When does NBA training camp start?

How to break in new basketball shoes naturally

Now assuming you have a pair of sneakers that fit you properly and have some time ahead of you, let’s discuss the best ways to break them in naturally:

Phase 1: Light activity

The phase that carries the greatest risk of developing blisters is when the shoes are brand new. The last thing you want to do at this point is going hard with them and wear them in a high-intensity game.

Not only does this make it much more likely that you’ll irritate your skin, but because you’re not used to how they feel, you also increase the risk of tripping or spraining your ankle, for example.

So the first thing to do is just wear them comfortably. Wear them around the mall. Go for a light jogging session. Wear them around the house (if that’s okay). If you are looking for the best climbing shoes for intermediate then you can read this article.

The important part here is that you do what you can to minimize developing injuries or foot pain that will keep you from wearing them for a few days and slow down the whole process. Things like wearing thick socks or moisturizing the skin of your feet can also reduce the chance of developing painful blisters.

Phase 2: Basketball drills and light exercise

While it may sound like just walking or running around in your new basketball shoes is enough, it’s not going to be enough.

In the past, we’ve talked about why basketball shoes don’t make good running shoes and vice versa. Running and playing basketball test your feet in completely different ways.

During basketball, there is a lot of lateral (side-to-side) movement and more power in movements, which means your feet will push more forcefully against the outer edges of your shoe.

To properly break in new basketball shoes, it is incredibly important to perform the kinds of movements you would make in a real game situation.

So after lightly using your new basketball shoes and stretching them for about one week, it’s time to step it up a notch by wearing them for practice and practice.

Stage 3: Play, play, play

The final phase is a much longer break-in phase. I’m not talking weeks, I’m talking months. Any basketball player will know that a shoe will become more and more comfortable over time. That is, of course, before they start to wear down to the point that their soles lack traction or their lining tears open.

See also: What is a 3 and D player in basketball?

How to break in basketball shoes faster

If you find yourself in a situation where you just don’t have enough time to naturally break into your new shoes, there are a few tricks you can use to speed up the process.

1. Soften them with your hands

The first thing you can do is to soften the shoes when you don’t even wear them. Simply hold one of the shoes by the heel in one hand and grab the other side of the shoe with the other hand. Continue to gently twist and bend the shoes in different directions. This will make the shoe less tight and the big advantage of this is that you can do it while you are at home and watching TV.

2. Use a shoe rack

Second, you can buy a 2-way shoe rack that stretches the length and width of your shoes. This is especially good for those with wide feet who need a little extra breathing room inside the shoe.

3. Tie shoes tightly

Finally, you can wear your shoes with the laces tied extra tight (although not also tight, of course). The logic behind this old method is that it stretches your shoes’ material, thereby speeding up the break-in process.


It’s important to make sure you break into your new shoes before serious play. Depending on the material and construction of the shoes, it sometimes takes no more than a few days for them to loosen sufficiently.

But either way, it is recommended that you gradually increase the intensity at which you use it to reduce the risk of irritating your skin or developing foot pain.

Finally, while everything can be done naturally, using your hands or buying a shoe rack can help speed up the whole process.

The more you wear basketball shoes, the more they loosen. This is the first thing to remember. So, when you buy them in the store, you can’t walk out with them right away. You will need about 5 to 10 sessions before the shoes loosen up enough to work for you on your D-day.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *