If you’re playing basketball this year, whether it’s for a high school or college team or in a recreational league, you will probably have a decision to make: what kind of shoes should you wear? Dr. Gary Evans, Dr. James Korponay and Dr. Caren Evans, New York City podiatrists, weigh in on what makes a good basketball shoe not only for your feet, but for the rest of your body as well.

High tops are champs

According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, about 68% of professional basketball players wear a high top sneaker. The structure of these shoes, as you might guess, helps to prevent sprains, although it’s important to remember that most sports injuries are caused be a lack of conditioning. Working out prior to games and cooling down afterwards are invaluable measures to take.

Replace regularly

It may surprise you to learn that professional basketball players replace their shoes every two to three games. In contrast, most high school athletes wear the same pair of shoes throughout an entire season, even though the shock absorbing and stabilizing components of their shoes break down just as quickly. While professional athletes have the salary to afford new shoes frequently, medical professionals like your New York City podiatrist suggest a new pair of shoes every month. For this reason, it isn’t necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of flashy shoes, but ones that offer heel and ankle support, as well as movement and flexibility.

Tape it up

It might be tedious, but taping your ankles with athletic tape prior to each practice and game is an excellent way to prevent injuries. Using pre-wrap (elastic foam-like tape) first, each ankle should be stabilized with “stirrups” of tape going upwards. There are tutorials available online, and your New York City podiatrist can also show you how to achieve the longest-lasting and most supportive wrap.

If you’d like specific recommendations on basketball shoes, call our New York City office to make an appointment with Dr. Gary Evans, Dr. James Korponay or Dr. Caren Evans before lacing up and heading onto the court.