Outdoors Magazine

Anatomy of a Basketball Shoe

By Perry Hua

Parts of a Basketball Shoe

Parts of a Basketball Shoe - Outer - Anatomy of an Athletic Shoe - Athlete Audit Parts of a Basketball Shoe - Inside - Anatomy of an Athletic Shoe - Athlete Audit Parts of a Basketball Shoe - Outsole - Anatomy of an Athletic Shoe - Athlete Audit
  1. Upper – Can be made out of a variety of materials, such as leather, synthetic mesh, synthetic leather, canvas, etc.
  2. Cut length – Basketball shoes come in low-cuts, mid-tops, and high-tops, each offering differing levels of mobility and ankle support
  3. Eyelets – Small holes in the eyestay keeps laces in place
  4. Eyestays – Keeps laces and eyestays in place
  5. Lacing – Laces are very common although straps, velcro, zippers, and hook-and-loop closure systems can also used
  6. Toe – The very end of the shoe, some basketball shoes make use of a toe guard for added durability
  7. Vamp – The part of the shoe behind the toe that covers the forefoot and midfoot, should be flexible
  8. Ventilation holes – Provides some breathability to eliminate excess moisture
  9. Heel panel – Covers the heel portion of the shoe
  10. Tongue – Often thin but padded for comfort
  11. Insole – Essentially a bed for your feet, provides comfort and support. Some are removable so you can add your own
  12. Midsole – Fits in-between the insole and outsole. Is often thinner in the forefoot and thicker in the heel
  13. Heel cushioning – Many basketball shoes have some form of heel cushioning for shock absorption, such as air bubbles, gel cushioning, etc.
  14. Outsole – The rubber sole of a basketball shoe. It’s very durable and provides superior traction on slick indoor courts
  15. Tread – Most use herringbone tread that is flat and non-protruding for the most contact on indoor courts. May have flex grooves for flexibility

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