Basketball Shoes: A Safety Issue or A Stylistic Choice?

From basketball to baseball to soccer, many American children sport a new pair of shoes for every sport they play. But do you really have to make an emergency run to a sports goods store for a new pair of cleats, basketball shoes, or skates every time you switch from baseball to soccer, soccer to basketball, or hockey to ice dancing? Read on to get to the heart and ‘sole’ of the issue.

With over 36 million American kids involved in some sport, the rise of the DICKS’s Sporting Goods and REI’s of the world continues to increase. When it comes to specialty sports gear and shoes, these stores, which have aisles upon aisles of these products, stand to make a profit. But while some pieces of sports gear, like football helmets, baseball catcher’s equipment, and rugby mouthguards, are inarguably crucial to keeping a child or teenager safe, do cleats and basketball high-tops carry the same level of individual protection?

Many experts, mom bloggers, and parents of active kids agree– having a good pair of basketball shoes, soccer cleats, or baseball cleats is essential when protecting against bone or muscular injuries. Take basketball high-tops, for example– they are designed to provide additional ankle support, have thicker soles to provide better grip on the courts and less shock to the soles of your feet and have lighter materials to assist with jumping. Soccer cleats are the same way– they have spikes on the bottom of the shoe for traction on the grass, and they come without the toe-spike of baseball or softball cleats to provide a clean, efficient kick.

Outside of having one pair of cleats for softball or baseball, soccer, and football, and one pair of basketball shoes do you need specific shoes for each sport? Experts say nope! A pair of cleats for natural grass, and maybe a pair of cleats for turf should be all you need across sports. However, some leagues do have specific rules regarding things like plastic or metal spikes, toe-spikes, and the lacing on some shoes. Keep these factors in mind when purchasing a pair of cleats or basketball shoes and you’ll be able to keep your ankles safe, your costs down, and your coaches happy!

Do you have any tips on how to purchase or maintain sports shoes? Let us know in the comments below!


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