Buying a basketball sneaker can be a real challenge these days due to the huge selection on offer in your local store.

There are so many variables to bear in mind when you’re in the market for a new sneaker to help improve your game. You might be all about the look, you could be brand loyal, or you may be one of those ‘marginal gains’ types, looking for a sneaker to make you 0.1% better at your game. All are valid concerns when you enter a store, and that’s before price, comfort, and the other usual considerations that come into play.

If you are in the market for a new pair of basketball sneakers, here are a few tips you might want to follow to help you with your purchase.

How to Buy Your Next Pair of Basketball Sneakers

Your Position

Assuming you want to buy sneakers to play basketball in, rather than kicking it with your friends and chilling, then you might want to consider your position on the court. For instance, if you play guard, it’s a position that requires quick movement on court. Look for something low top, which doesn’t have the ankle support, but helps you move fluidly. If you are a forward, a high-top shoe might be better for you. Sure, they’re bulkier, but they have more support and coverage of the foot and ankle, suitable for more aggressive players. The level of ankle support is crucial, and if that’s a consideration for you then our article on the “17 Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support Reviews” in 2022 can help.

Join a Community

In the modern age, you can research everything online, and that doesn’t have to mean a quick Google search either. There are forums and vibrant online communities you can join specifically designed around the sneaker community. One such community is SoleSavy, which gives members the latest sneaker news and advice as well as technical tools. From finding out when the latest sneaker will drop to simple reviews and advice, an online community such as this can help you get one step ahead when walking into your sneaker store.

Beware the Signature Sneakers

Many of today’s top players have their signature shoes, but that doesn’t mean you should make that the focus of your purchase. Kevin Durant has a whopping 14 models, so even if you know which player you wish to emulate, simply picking up his sneaker isn’t easy. Be careful with signature sneakers too, as they’re not all great. Input reports Kyle Irving called his own sneakers trash. We’re not saying discount a signature pair, but the name of an NBA star doesn’t automatically mean a great sneaker.

Aesthetic

The final, obvious choice is how the shoe looks to you. You have to be comfortable on the court, both in terms of how you’re foot feels and how you feel. There’s no point in getting a sneaker that is perfect for your game but that you hate to look at, as you’ll feel uncertain in yourself. Find something that feels right for you in terms of aesthetics. There might be certain colors you hate wearing, or you might wish to have an understated sneaker, so people underestimate you. Either way, color, and style is more important than you might realize.