The Best Basketball Shoes for Kids – Avoid Damaging Their Feet and Knees

I have put together a selection of the best basketball shoes for kids that are the most effective ones in keeping your child’s feet and legs healthy, as they provide targeted support to specific areas of the foot.

Are you looking for a pair of supportive basketball shoes for your children? Did you know that certain basketball shoes provide extra support and cushion to targeted areas of the feet? This will minimize the impact that your kids’ feet and legs take every time they come in contact with the ground.

The risk for injury is higher in sports with more jumping and quick direction changes such as basketball. Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world for all ages and a way of life for millions of American children. It is a great form of exercise for them and they have fun playing it, but it is also a contact sport, and injuries occur frequently.

At the specialized children’s shoe store where I work, carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others.


Pro Tip: If you’re pressed for time, you can go straight to the selection of the best basketball shoes for kids.

The Importance of Providing Your Child with the Correct Types of Basketball Shoes

In children, most toe, foot, or ankle injuries occur during sports, play, or falls. Sport-specific shoes are engineered to provide the support, motion control, and cushioning that minimize foot injuries associated with a particular activity.

Wearing the correct pair of basketball shoes will minimize the chance of injuries on the field. Sport-related shoes play a huge role in keeping your kids’ feet and legs healthy.

I am going to provide you with a selection of the best basketball shoes for children in terms of support and comfort, but please keep in mind that if your children don’t wear the correct shoe size, they won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. For example, there are a lot of children out there with wide or extra wide feet, and if you provide them with a pair of shoes that are too narrow, you will end up creating all sorts of issues with their feet such as blisters, calluses, and corns.

I will describe the best basketball shoes for kids in terms of support and structure, but I will also show you the only basketball shoe style that will fit the shape of a child with wide, or extra wide feet.

Basketball Shoes for Kids – The 4 Most Important Features!

Sprained ankles are one of the most common basketball injuries. To prevent injuries parents should provide their children with shoes that are specifically made for basketball. These types of shoes are designed to provide maximum ankle support and excellent traction when playing. Buying basketball-specific shoes will be a much cheaper investment in the long run as a form of preventative medicine.

There are 4 important features that your kids’ basketball shoes must provide to keep your kids’ feet and legs healthy:

1️⃣ Firm Heel Counters: This feature helps cushion, support, and protect your kids’ heels every time they come in contact with the ground. A basketball shoe that provides a firm heel counter will also reduce the chances of sprained ankles.


2️⃣ Substantial Outsoles: This feature helps minimize the impact that your kids’ feet and legs every time they come in contact with the ground.


3️⃣ Shoelaces over Velcro Closure: Shoelaces will provide more support and stability to your child’s feet. They will also push your kids’ heels back, protecting, supporting and securing them against the back of the shoes.

4️⃣ Traction: There are a lot of sudden stops and movements that involve quick direction changes in basketball. Shoes with good traction will allow your children to make these movements without hurting themselves.

 In addition to having the appropriate support and structure, the shoes must also fit the shape of your child’s feet perfectly.

When shoes are not fitted properly, they directly contribute to foot injuries. A shoe that is fitted too long has the same negative impact as a shoe that is fitted too short. Let me show you two examples below:

  • If shoes are fitted too long, they will compromise your children’s stability and make them more prone to falling, especially when playing basketball where they have to run fast and engage in quick direction changes. Shoes that are too long will allow too much extra space around the ankles, which may cause the ankles to roll, twist, or turn in an awkward way. lastly, if there is too much room inside the shoes your child’s feet will end up moving too much inside the shoes, and that constant movement and friction might lead to foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
  • Shoes that are fitted too short may hurt your child’s foot as well. Basketball players make sudden stops all the time. If the shoe is fitted too short, it might not only make your child more prone to falling but it will cramp the toes, causing all sorts of problems such as bunions, calluses, corns, and ingrown toenails.

This brings me to this next question: Are you 100% sure that you know your child’s exact foot size?

I always recommend parents to take their children to their local children’s shoe store that they trust, the issue is that most stores have been closing down and parents need to end up buying their kids’ shoes online. There is nothing wrong with this, but you must know your child’s exact foot size to know what size to order.

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

I created a resource that describes the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home. If you follow the instructions correctly we will retrieve your child’s exact foot size and whether your child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.


Now that you know what features these basketball shoes will provide and how to figure out your child’s foot size from home, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best basketball shoes for kids.

Keep in mind that I only write reviews of sandals that I have fitted before, otherwise I wouldn’t know how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.  Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Basketball Shoes for Kids

Take a look at the description below each shoe to find out if that style is capable of fitting your child’s foot shape (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide).

Does Your Child Have Wide or Extra Wide Feet?

If your child happens to have wide or extra wide feet, there is a different resource that describes the best wide basketball shoes for children with wide or extra wide feet.

These Shoe Styles Provide the Best Traction

To avoid common pitfalls, basketball shoes must provide excellent thread at the bottom of the shoe. Proper and adequate traction will allow your child to adjust to quick direction changes and sudden stops, which are common in basketball. As a matter of fact, in most instances, the speed a player can make a direction change or a sudden stop will be determined by the level of thread in the shoe.

For your child to get all the benefits that basketball shoes have to offer, they must pull their shoelaces tightly comfortably.

Shoelaces are the main players that provide your child with stability, and they also keep their ankles locked, protecting them from injuries. Make sure you use all the eyelets (holes) of the shoes for maximum support and stability. If your children don’t know how to tie their shoelaces yet, make sure you double knot them before they start playing.

The Best Basketball Socks for Kids – Extra Cushion and Support!

Getting the right type of basketball socks for your child has the same level of importance as getting the correct type of basketball shoes when it comes to keeping your kid’s feet healthy. Did you know that wearing the wrong type of socks can create a myriad of problems such as ingrown toenails, bunions, blisters, infections, and many other conditions?

The physical nature of basketball relies not only on a solid pair of basketball shoes, but also on basketball socks that will keep the feet supported and protected each time they land on the hard floor. They also come with benefits such as preventing the feet from sweating excessively and reducing friction between the feet and the shoes!

Below you can find a list of the best basketball socks for kids that I have fitted before:

Is Your Child Experiencing Foot or Leg Pain During Basketball?

Children’s foot and leg pain might occur as they engage in high-impact activities and sports. I am going to start this section by explaining how your child’s foot and leg pain can be simply due to your child not stretching enough before and after the game or practice. If your child does stretch regularly and the pain persists, then it may be a sign that your child needs extra support inside their shoes.

Did you know that there is a type of sport insert that has proven to significantly reduce, or completely eliminate foot and leg pain? The sport insoles that I recommend will fit inside your child’s basketball shoes and provide them with extra arch and ankle support. Be aware that these insoles will only work for shoes that have a removable insole.

Not wearing the appropriate sport shoes will lead not only to foot and ankle problems, but leg, hip, and back pain as well. Keep in mind that alignment begins with your feet and moves up to influence the rest of your body.  Remember that the use of basketball shoes will be the best way of protecting your child’s ankles and feet from getting injured.

I want to emphasize more expensive shoes don’t automatically translate into better for your child.

Contact Us – Get a Personalized Recommendation! 

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your child. My e-mail address is:

[email protected]

Is there any other basketball shoe style that you can recommend for kids? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from them.