So let’s say you’ve got a kid (or more) involved in organized basketball this winter. As opposed to other organized youth sports like soccer, football or baseball, basketball offers parents’ a bit of a reprieve on annually buying equipment. Except when it comes to the shoes, of course. The exorbitant prices of basketball sneakers are a well documented issue, and a source of great stress for parents. Why? Well, unlike the footwear needed for those other sports we mentioned, there’s a fashion component to basketball shoes that is very important to most kids. It’s not enough to just have a high performing shoe (if there even IS such a thing). Kids want to look good in them to impress other kids, leaving parents scrambling from store to store to find the perfect mix of form and function.
But let’s face it. Kids outgrow shoes at a ridiculous rate. Thus, as a parent, it doesn’t make much sense to spend hundreds of dollars on a basketball sneaker that will probably only get one year of use before it needs to be replaced. How do you navigate that tricky tightrope? With our help! Here are five solid kids’ basketball shoes from the big name brands that look great and offer good performance. And what’s even better? None of them cost more than $50!
A few general tips: don’t buy any kids’ shoes online before knowing for certain what size you need. Otherwise you might have to return them for a different size, adding more time to the process. Buying shoes a tad big is advisable as well: leaving about a thumb’s width worth of room at the top of the big toe will ensure that they can grow into their shoes and you’ll get more bang for your buck.
Even if your kids don’t know who Michael Jordan is, or exactly how profound his impact was on the game of basketball, it’s fairly certain they know all about his line of basketball shoes from Nike. Nike’s Jordan line has been the standard-bearer for basketball shoes for two decades, and they continue to be the most popular basketball shoe in the world, albeit at a hefty price. If your kids are asking for Air Jordan’s incessantly, don’t fret. There are a few models that won’t break your budget. One is the Jordan Pro Low, which retails for about $45 and is available in pretty standard color combinations. Another is the Jordan Flight 1, which also run close to $45 but offer a much wider range of color choices. If your kid wants a shoe that will match his or her basketball uniform, this is the Nike shoe to look for.
Remember…Nikes run narrow! If your kid has narrow feet, then it’s best to look elsewhere. One alternative is the Adidas Courtplay K. For about $35, this shoe offers tremendous ankle support and looks great. Another option, one with a little bit more ‘throwback’ appeal is the Reebok Courtee Mid. These old-school design high tops come in some awesomely crazy color combinations and best of all, they’re only $30.
Finally, we’ll suggest one more kids’ brand, and that would be And1. And1 burst onto the scene about a decade ago and has managed to stick around and compete with the big boys by offering a solid shoe at very reasonable prices. We’ve heard their quality is a bit better than Reebok and Nike as well so take a look at this list of And1 shoes all for under $50.
Enjoy the youth basketball season!