Your basketball shoes play an important role in how well you perform, as well as in reducing the risk for injury. Low-quality or worn-out basketball shoes can lead to not only ankle problems, but leg, knee, hip and back problems as well. There are a number of good basketball shoes on the market that combine the right elements to provide proper support and help relieve your knees from jarring.
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A basketball shoe must be comfortable, yet provide the support you need. Basketball can be very demanding on the knees, considering the various twisting, turning, jumping and running maneuvers that accompany play. Knee injuries are one of the most common types of injuries in basketball, and while a basketball shoe can't prevent them, it can alleviate some of the discomfort from knee pain and previous knee injuries. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine recommends that basketball shoes be changed monthly during a season for optimal support. Regularly changing shoes has also proven to help reduce injuries.
A basketball shoe's stability is vital to disseminating the amount of stress placed on a foot and leg during play. Your knee directly benefits from a shoe that stabilizes your foot. A snug, yet comfortable fit in a shoe is safer than a playing with a shoe that allows for your foot to move around. The support around your foot and ankle helps control a player's movements and thereby reduces the chance of a serious injury that can affect your foot, as well as your knee. Stability in a shoe also means discerning what kind of player you are. If you are a power player for example, you'll need a heavier shoe than a fast player.
Perhaps the most important aspect of a basketball shoe if your have knee problems is the amount of cushioning it provides. A shoe's cushioning absorbs the shock that is created when you're running on the court. This jarring impact can take its toll on your knees over time, which is a common reason for knee pain. Sole padding in a shoe reduces the jarring and helps alleviate some of the abuse your knee endures, though no shoe can absorb 100 percent of the shock created upon impact.
You should never wear a shoe if it is not comfortable. Don't rely on the "breaking it in" theory, hoping that the shoe will become more comfortable the more you wear it. An uncomfortable shoe will affect your playing style, which could further put your knees at risk. Choose a pair of shoes that provides a combination of the above-mentioned factors, along with comfort. KicksGuide.com includes these elements in its overall ratings system to determine the best basketball shoes. Shoes that provide stability, cushioning and comfort are about the best types of shoes for knee problems.