Have you ever wanted to play basketball and wanted to find the best women’s basketball shoes? Well, you came to the right place.
Our team of expert reviewers, composed of women’s basketball players and coaches have banded together to help you find the 5 best women’s basketball shoes for 2021.
This guide will teach you:
- The top 5 best women’s basketball shoes
- What makes women’s basketball shoes special
- What to look for when choosing your own women’s basketball shoes
And much more!
But first, have a quick look at the products we rated as the best of the best on the market on the table below.
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Among the many women’s basketball shoes we tried in 2021, the Nike Air Force 1 for Women stood out on top.
This shoe offers a great balance of comfort and support. Its low-top design allows for more flexibility while still providing a bit of height. Plus, wearers can experience other first-rate features without spending more money than intended.
What's In This Guide?
Our Top 5 Best Women’s Basketball Shoes for 2021
Among the many different women’s basketball shoes we bought and tested, the following products are the items that came out on top.
How to Measure a Women’s Basketball Shoe Correctly
If you’re not sure what your shoe size is, no need to worry. Here is a step-by-step guide for you, and it’s not that difficult to do.
- Find a pen or pencil, a ruler, and some paper
- Put the piece of paper flat on the ground and put one of your bare feet on it. If one of your feet is longer than the other, measure the longer one. Also, make sure that your foot is straight, not diagonal on the piece of paper.
- Using your pen, mark the point just behind your heel. Then mark the point at the tip of your longest toe.
- With the ruler, measure the distance between both marks. Make sure that you’re measuring a straight line along with the paper.
- Once you have your measurements, compare them to the size chart of your chosen brand. If your measurements fall between two sizes, round up to the bigger size.
- Once that’s done, you can accurately choose the right shoe size for your feet, regardless of the brand.
What Makes a Woman’s Basketball Shoe Special?
Women’s basketball shoes are different from regular shoes in that they are specifically designed for playing basketball. Now, basketball can be an intense game, so you’ll need a shoe that can match that intensity. The sport itself has a lot of sprinting, running, jumping, and lots of quick maneuvers that can twist an average person’s knee or ankle.
The shoes designed for women’s basketball must protect the players from such intensity. Women’s basketball shoes need to provide ankle and arch support whilst still be flexible enough to be responsive if the player needs to make a sudden turn. A good shoe must also have good shock absorption for jumping, and sudden stops and starts.
But what makes women’s basketball shoes different from men’s basketball shoes? Well, aside from the overall style and colors available, the size and fit of these shoes are different as well. Men generally have wider feet than women, so women’s basketball shoes tend to be narrower as a result.
Of course, since women’s feet tend to be narrower, this also means they need help with their push-off. As a result, women’s basketball shoes have rounded toes, as opposed to men’s shoes, which are squared-off. This rounded-out design gives women extra surface area when running.
Women’s basketball shoes are also designed to compensate for wider hips by having extra midsole stabilization. This helps support women’s feet since they tend to turn inwards as they take their steps.
Should You Consider Men’s Basketball Shoes?
If you can’t find the design and construction you like as a female basketball player, you can consider men’s basketball shoes. Many WNBA players even wear men’s basketball shoes or wear women’s variants of men’s sports shoes.
However, you still need to take note of the difference in sizing. Although many basketball shoes are unisex, you should always remember the length difference between men’s and women’s shoe sizes is typically 1.5 inches.
Additionally, men’s basketball shoes tend to range from size 8 to 13. On the other hand, women’s basketball shoes go from size 6 to 11. Therefore, if you wear men’s shoes to play basketball and it’s the wrong size, you’re going to run into issues (no pun intended).
How Often Should You Change Basketball Shoes?
The average lifespan of a basketball shoe is around 350 to 500 miles. This means that you should replace the footwear about once every couple of years. Wearing worn out shoes can contribute to injuries.
Still, depending on how much time you play, how often you should replace your shoes will vary. High school and college basketball players typically only need to replace theirs every couple of months because they tend to practice and play the sport as frequently as possible. Some individuals would even wear their basketball shoes as their daily drivers.
What Should You Look for When Buying Womens Basketball Shoes?
It can be a bit overwhelming when choosing women’s basketball shoes. You end up living with your choice for quite a few games, at least until you decide to buy a new pair. Even worse, a bad decision can lead to injury if you’re not careful. Well, this guide is here to help. Here are some of the things you need to consider when buying your women’s basketball shoes.
- Upper Fit
The upper, as the name suggests, is the upper part of the shoe that covers your entire foot. Depending on how it fits, and the materials used for its construction, your upper can change how you play. If you’re looking for a sturdy shoe, then an upper made from leather should do the trick. Of course, leather uppers tend to be less flexible and less breathable than synthetic materials. Finding the balance between comfort and flexibility is very important when looking at a shoe’s upper.
- The Midsole
The shoe’s midsole is where most of the cushioning are found, making it an important part of the shoe you need to keep an eye on. A thicker midsole might mean better comfort and support, but that also means it’s a lot bulkier, reducing the overall responsiveness of your shoe. Of course, some brands have their ways of improving cushioning without sacrificing weight or flexibility.
In basketball, the outsole of the shoe is the main point of traction. A good outsole design can help keep your feet planted during those quick maneuvers. If you want to maximize balance and responsiveness, look for a shoe with flat and wide outsoles. You normally wouldn’t need thicker outsoles if you are playing on an indoor court, but if you pan on playing hoops outside, choose a shoe with thicker outsoles.
The interior cushioning should be incorporated with a form-adhering foam or arch-supporting material. An adequate cushion can prevent your feet from getting worn out, particularly for long basketball games.
- Consider your Position
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all shoe for all basketball players. The best shoes for you can change a lot depending on how you want to play your game or your position. Guards, for example, need to be agile and quick, so they’ll need shoes that don’t hinder their flexibility. Low-top shoes will be perfect for them.
If you play as a forward, you’ll need a good pair of shoes to help keep you supported during those aggressive plays. High-top basketball shoes can help provide this coverage and give you additional support.
Pick #1 - Nike Air Force 1 Women’s Basketball Shoes
The low profile is perfect if you are looking for a shoe that gives excellent flexibility without sacrificing support and comfort. Overall, this pair of shoes are great for guards, or anyone who needs to do quick movements.
The leather upper also makes it easier to clean and maintain your basketball shoes, whilst the non-marking rubber soles also give you excellent traction, allowing you great balance during those fast-paced games.
Of course, given that it has thicker cushioning, we found that the shoe can be a bit too dense or heavy for our liking.
Pick #2 - Adidas 2020 D Rose Basketball Shoe
The outsole is made of solid rubber, with a traction pattern that can help prevent wiping during a game. If you like playing as a guard, the traction design can give you plenty of advantage during quick movements and cuts. The outsole itself is very flexible and thin, making it effective for both outdoor and indoor play.
The cushioning on the Adidas D Rose also gives an excellent response, thanks to a midsole with a thicker heel and thinner forefoot padding. This gives you a good heel-to-toe transition without sacrificing the shoe’s responsiveness.
Of course, being an Adidas shoe, it suffers the same issue as the other basketball shoe designs of the brand. Namely, they tend to be a bit bulky, but still manage to stay light.
Pick #3 - Nike Women’s Air Jordan 2
The traction pattern at the bottom of the shoe offers excellent traction, even when used on dusty courts. Of course, it does have a bad habit of taking in too much dust, so cleaning it often is a must. Regardless, the thicker rubber means the Air Jordan offers great performance on indoor and outdoor courts, let alone dusty ones.
We’ve found that while playing, the Air Jordan 2 doesn’t offer much breathability, so expect very sweaty feet after a long game. If that’s not a problem for you, then these pair of shoes are worth getting.
Pick #4 - Nike Air Jordan OG Women’s Basketball Shoes
The cushioning offers plenty of support at the heel but remains lightweight and is very responsive. The midsole uses a carbon fiber plate that helps improve stability and adds extra arch support. The traction itself is pretty good and can give you excellent traction control in any direction in most courts.
The high top profile also provides extra ankle support. One problem we found though is that the toe box might run a bit wide. It’s good for people with wider feet but might not give good support for people with narrow feet.
Pick #5 - Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Basketball Shoes
The Air Jordan 5 Retro is a stylish pair of basketball shoes that can perform well in and outside of the court. It makes use of Nike Air cushioning on the heel and the forefoot, giving the wearer a nice, responsive feel without sacrificing support. The cushion itself is thicker at the back than at the front, which forces the heel higher than the forefoot.
We did find the shoes to be a bit heavy. You might not feel the difference at first, but once you’re halfway through the game, it might feel like you have a pair of bricks strapped to your foot.
Our Top Pick - Nike Air Force 1 Women’s Basketball Shoes
Thanks to its excellent balance of comfort, support, and flexibility, we will have to give our number 1 pick to the Nike Air Force 1 Women’s Basketball Shoes.
It’s an excellent purchase in many ways, but what sold us is the low-top design. You get excellent flexibility without sacrificing ankle support, making it an excellent shoe for quick movements in any direction.
Click here to see the low price on Amazon.