Best Basketball Shoes For Wide Feet: Enjoy The Spacious Footwear Feeling

The initial conception of the game known as basketball was an example of trial and error. In December of 1891 Dr. James Naismith, a physical education professor (yes, they called gym coaches “professor” back then) from the YMCA of Springfield, Massachusetts, wanted a game his students could play in an indoor gymnasium during bad weather.

His inspiration was an old medieval game called Duck on a Rock that was very similar to Capture the Flag. He needed a game that was vigorous but not rough and suitable for a walled-in gymnasium. When Dr. Naismith felt like he had worked out what he wanted, he wrote out the thirteen rules for his game and nailed a peach basket to an elevated ten-foot track.

As he thought no one would want to play a game called “Naismith ball” Dr. Naismith decided to call the game basketball after the peach baskets that became the world’s first basketball hoops. As Dr. Naismith got students to playtest his new game, he started working out the bugs, to compare the sport with video game development.

The first bug to knock out was the basket. Stopping gameplay to get the ball out of the basket was annoying, so he cut the bottom out of the basket. The soccer ball initially used had laces that made bouncing and dribbling difficult. When spectators tried to interfere with shots, the backboard was introduced.

In 1959, athletic instructor Tony Hinkle made further improvements to the game, starting with making the ball bright orange to make it easier to see. The modern basketball has no laces, just enough texture to be gripped easily with bare hands and is made of super springy rubber to give it that bounce.

Sometimes, trying to find the right kind of shoe can feel like trial and error. This is especially true if you have unusually wide feet. Even finding socks can be difficult for someone with wide feet! Thick socks will make your already large feet unable to fit the shoe. Filmy socks will be ripped to ribbons the first time you try them on. You just have to keep trying until you find what is just right.

If you play basketball, it may seem hard to find a pair of shoes that both fit comfortably and aid your playing style. Don’t despair! Have you seen the boats professional ballers wear on the court? I know they make my shoes look like baby booties! It makes sense. Of course, a tall person is going to need large feet just to keep from tipping over.

Helpful Tips on Purchasing Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet

The very first matter of concern when it comes to purchasing basketball shoes is the material that the shoes are constructed from. More often than not, you are going to get what you pay for.

Synthetic leather is unyielding and not a good choice. Materials with an elastic nature have a tendency to adapt to the width of the foot with more ease when compared to their less flexible counterparts.

However, you should always remember that knitted or woven materials can at times be liable to over-stretching. This can lead to failure to offer you the full support and stability control that an athlete expects from a shoe.

Another helpful hint to think about while purchasing basketball shoes for wide feet is how the outer soles look. If the traction pattern appears a bit larger than it does on typical basketball shoes, you can bet dollars to donuts that you’re purchasing just the right product.

In the only recent years, there has been a particular focus on creating innovative and more effective traction patterns with the purpose of improving total performance on the court.

The Reviews:

Basketball shoe manufacturers are now starting to train their focus much more on the technical advantages people with wide feet tend to have. However, they have not forgotten about aesthetics along the way. Now available on the market are basketball shoes that not only feel good and comfortable on your feet but look great on the person wearing them as well!

Many of the makes and models you’ll run into having a plethora of color choices to select from. This is actually an oddity in this market. Nike and Adidas tend to rule the market with Under Armor running up. But Reebok hasn’t gone anywhere!

1. adidas NEO Men’s Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Wide Basketball Shoe

adidas Men's Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Wide Basketball Shoes, Core Black/Matte Silver/White, ((8.5 W US)

Adidas has come a long way since the Dassler brothers got U.S. Olympic sprinter Jesse Owens to wear their spiked athletic shoes in the 1936 Summer Olympics. It has joked that Adidas stands for All Day I Dream About Sports.

Actually, it’s a portmanteau of the name of shoe developer Adolf Dassler, who got into a bitter sibling rivalry with his brother Rudolf. (Mutti Dassler must have liked the way “Dolf” sounded.) Today, Adidas tries to stay ahead of the game with innovative shoe technology.

The Adidas Performance Men’s Cloudfoam Ilation midsole provides the wearer with a soft and comfortable ride. The solid mid-cut style should appeal to the most discriminating buyer.

Features and Benefits

The memory foam footbed is comfortable and conforms to the unique shape of the foot. The shoe sports perforations to provide for better ventilation. The tongue, collar and rear quarter are all constructed of a supremely comfortable air mesh.

The patented Cloudfoam sockliner and midsole make for delightful lightweight cushioning. The rubber outsole is tenacious enough to give the wearer plenty of support on all kinds of terrain.

The lace-up system will keep your feet fully supported. They come in patterns of black, white and gray which could be seen as either dull or practical, depending on how you look at it.

Things We Like

  • The shoe is available in different widths.
  • The shoes are lightweight and comfortable.
  • The traction on these shoes is excellent.
  • There is plenty of cushioning.
  • The toe box is roomy.

Things We Don’t

  • Some complained about being poorly constructed.
  • Some claimed that the uppers are not leather as advertised.

2. Under Armour Men’s UA Fireshot

Under Armour Men's UA Fireshot Black/Metallic Silver/Black Athletic Shoe

Here we have the most current model from Under Armour, the Men’s UA Fireshot. These shoes are constructed from an amalgamation of textile, synthetics, leather, and rubber with the purpose of providing you with maximum support on all of the areas on your feet.

And that really and truly means all! This is a shoe made with the heel to toe comfort in mind. Though corporate headquarters is in Baltimore Maryland, Under Armour tends to prefer the British spelling of “armor”.

It’s a relatively new company, started in 1996 by Kevin Plank out of his grandmother’s basement and sold from the trunk of his car. One jockstrap worn by actor Jamie Foxx and the brand became an instant success.

Features and Benefits

The patented CompFit feels sufficiently supportive about the ankles and prevents lace bite for a smooth play. The rubber outsole is very hard, making this shoe durable enough to use outdoors.

The dual mesh and synthetic upper make a shoe that is sturdy yet breathable. The traditional lace-up closure makes for a secure fit. The plush padded collar adds even more comfort. The fabric lining makes for a good in-shoe feel.

Things We Like

  • The overall performance of this shoe is very satisfactory.
  • The traction is excellent.
  • Above all, this shoe provides supreme comfort.

Things We Don’t

  • It could use more cushioning.
  • They run a little on the narrow side.

3. Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Cyber Monday" - 555088 006

The kids still want to be like Mike! Well, he is the GOAT for a reason! Air Jordans are well known for their versatile look and for a timelessly classic silhouette that will forever be in style. Look for that Jumpman logo and the Nike swoosh to know that you’re getting the often duplicated but never replicated Air Jordan.

These shoes were designed specifically for Michael Jordan in 1984 by Peter C. Moore. In almost no time at all, the Air Jordans went from being simple if effective sports equipment to a fashion statement and a must for anyone into the urban look.

The Retro High shoes come in a myriad of colors. There are some neutrals, but also available are alligator green, fire engine red and island green. You’ll also see splashes of metallic gold, playful pink, tiger orange, and vivid vermilion.

Features and Benefits

Zoom Air shoe cushioning makes for a comfortable and lightweight shoe. The sculpted heel and high cut of the shoe make for better support and protection of the ankles.

Things We Like

  • The fit is true to size.
  • The traction is superb.
  • The toe box is flexible.
  • The shoes are comfortable and lightweight.

Things We Don’t

  • The shoes are not as breathable as they could be.
  • The feel is retro, but there’s really no innovation. This is more of a street shoe than one for serious gameplay.

4. NIKE Air Jordan XXXI Men’s Basketball Shoes

Nike Mens Air Jordan XXXI Basketball Shoes Varsity Red/Black/White 845037-600 Size 10.5

We weren’t going to put another pair of Air Jordans on the list, but they’re better than advertised! A lot of people like these shoes because they’re popular and cool looking, but they’re functional as well.

If you want real performance in a basketball shoe, Air Jordans are the way to go. Air Jordans XXXI has made some great leaps of innovation. It’s comfortable enough to be an everyday shoe but it’s pretty decent for the court as well. The gradient color effect in the weaving makes for a unique look.

Features and Benefits

The ventilated shell and extended foam design lead to a shoe that is both breathable and comfortable so it can be worn a long time with ease. Micro and Macro adjustment systems make the shoe easily adjustable for a better foot. The full-length Zoom cushioning feels wonderful. The cushioning around the ankles provides great support.

Things We Like

  • The ankle support is excellent.
  • No break-in period.
  • The shoe has an overall clean, minimalist style.
  • Quality materials make a quality shoe.

Things We Don’t

  • The traction is inconsistent.
  • The ankle collar may be a bit too thick for some wearers.

5. Reebok Men’s ROYAL BB4500H XW Fashion Sneaker

Reebok Men's Royal Bb4500h Xw Fashion Sneaker, Black/Shark, 14 4E US

Reebok still lets you be you! From the very start in 1890 with Joseph William Foster and Sons, the Reebok corporation has wanted nothing more than to help athletes run faster.

Reebok manages to have a classic feel but with modern shoemaking techniques to help you out there on the court. This is a mid-cut model that gives support without being too confining.

This particular make has a retro silhouette the 90’s kids are sure to love. It’s nostalgia with a modern twist. They tend to come in either solid black or solid white. Rather plain, but at least they go with everything.

Features and Benefits

A durable outsole ensures that it will be a long time before these shoes need to be replaced. The mesh tongue and upper provides ventilation to make a breathable shoe. The multi-tread outsole provides a good grip and the pivot disc helps you make sudden turns quicker. Extra cushioning provides ankle support.

Things We Like

  • Extra-wide 4E basketball shoes which is difficult to find.
  • Plenty of cushioning makes for a comfortable shoe.
  • The traction is excellent.
  • Lots of ankle support here.

Things We Don’t

  • There was a complaint about arch support.
  • They might have a short lifespan.

What Causes Wide Feet?

You may be asking yourself “Why are my feet so wide?” There are a number of contributing factors. Genetics can play a role as can the type of shoes worn and other things in life that can cause your whole body to change.

  • Genetics This is the most common reason for people to have wide feet. Let’s face it, genetics is a crapshoot and sometimes you get snake eyes. (or elephant feet as the case may be) If this is the case, nothing you can do but put your paws up and sing “Baby, I was born this way!”
  • Flat Feet This can be another curse of genetics. Technically, everyone is born with flat feet. The arch develops while the baby learns to walk and stand. Sometimes the arch doesn’t quite develop as it should. The arch can continue to change even after the person has stopped growing. When feet flatten out, this makes the foot wider.
  • Pregnancy If you are pregnant, it can be assumed that you’re not looking to shoot hoops any time soon. You’ll be shooting diapers into the trash bin soon enough. Around the second and third trimester, a woman’s body releases the hormone relaxin to loosen the joints around her pelvis. This also causes ligaments in the feet to stretch out.
  • The Wrong Shoes If you are wearing shoes that are too small and too tight, your feet are going to rebel. Constant pressure on your feet will make them swell up to the point that they really can’t fit into too-small shoes. Get shoes that are the right size and fit comfortably on your feet. Trying to force them into something smaller will just lead to trouble.
  • Carrying a Lot of Weight A very tall person with some extra muscle mass is naturally going to be a bit heavy. Let’s be realistic, now! Are you really “big-boned”? Is that really muscle mass? Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as being “undertall”. Discuss with your doctor whether your weight is healthy for someone of your height, build and age and take steps to maintain it.

How to Make Shoes More Comfortable if You have Wide Feet

If the shoes feel too tight you can use a shoe stretcher to widen one or both shoes a little. There are many different shoe stretchers on the market for different types of shoes. Get the one that fills your needs the best.

If the problem is one foot being bigger than the other, try placing an insole in the shoe for your smaller foot to make up the difference. A shoehorn is a handy tool for stretching the heel just that tiny bit more you need.

What You Should Look for When Comparison Shopping for Shoes

It can be a challenge to sift through hundreds of different types of shoes to find just the perfect pair for you. Here are the main traits you should be looking for in a basketball shoe.

  • Arch Support This is especially true if you have flat feet. If your wide feet are due to having fallen arches, you need a shoe that will comfortably support them.
  • Ankle Support All athletes need this to keep them from injuring themselves during gameplay. You may notice that some of the pros even wrap their ankles for just a little extra support.
  • Traction Whether you play on a slick wood floor court or a rough blacktop outdoor court you need shoes with good traction. Look at the treads on the bottom of the sole and see if they’re sturdy enough.
  • Style If you play in a formal game, this can be important. Check what the rules are for your local league. The NBA has had rules on what color shoes can be, but that seems to be in flux.
  • Flexibility It is very important that players with wide feet have shoes that bend naturally with their feet. Shoes obviously cannot be flexible as a glove but they should come as close as possible.
  • Underfoot Support This is often overlooked but should not be. Look at the tread pattern on the bottom. A repetitious pattern did not have support in mind. An unusual pattern will tell you that the shoe was designed with wide feet in mind.

What Could Be Improved By Wearing Shoes Designed For People With Wide Feet?

If you are truly one of those basketball players with wide feet, then you might like to know the ups and downs of wearing a pair of shoes that are beneficial for wide footed athletes. It goes without saying that the number one reason you have for buying a pair of sneakers to start with is for the upside.

Weight is an important factor when it concerns shoes. Have you given much thought to how your weight transfers towards your ankles and heels? Have you thought about how your shoes neutralize and balance the pressure?

These factors are vital. It has been well established that basketball shoes made for wide feet are in truth protecting your ankles and heels from injury and offering optimum comfort and security.

Whether you’re on a high school or college team, a local league, going pro or just play weekend pickups, basketball is challenging and competitive. You are constantly running and jumping on those feet. Thus, selecting the appropriate pair of basketball shoes is the way you want to go.

If you happen to be a player who has wide feet then that means you need to work around it and get the kind of footwear you really need. You should not simply rely on the fickle trends. You do you. Just love yourself and you’re set. Go with what you need for your feet to be both safe and secured.

Always keep in mind that it is easier and more fun to play basketball if you get your personal safety and health secured first. You do not want to do something as risky as play through the pain or be put on the sidelines because of an injury. You want and need to be both safe and in control. The only way to do this is to take some personal responsibility before you even get on the court.

What Is Wrong With Wearing Shoes That Are To Constricting?

People with wide feet generally find they have a lot to complain about. Too tight shoes can just make you cranky. Look what it did to the Grinch! Pain will make it hard for you to concentrate, so you won’t have any game while wearing too-tight shoes. Constrictive basketball shoes will only aggravate the situation.

You may think that the pain from tightness is only temporary and you just have to get used to it. Perhaps you believe that the pain will just go away on its own or that your feet will adapt to the shoes. This is in no way true. In forcing your foot to adapt to a too-tight shoe, all you are doing is creating damage that may be irreversible.

The common mistake of playing through the pain will not only lead to more pain presently, but it could also cause you to develop chronic health issues that may most likely be very hard to cure. Think with your head before you use your feet and do not take unnecessary risks.

How High Should The Uppers Be?

The upper part of a basketball shoe comes in three basic heights. There are the high top, mid-top and low top. Which one is best for you depends greatly on what exactly it is you do on the basketball court.

  • High These shoes have a high upper that wraps securely around your ankle for extra support and stability. On the downside, this means a little extra weight. Players who play the center of forward might find them ideal for their aggressive playstyle.
  • Mid These shoes sit right at the ankle without covering them. It provides moderate ankle support and supreme flexibility. If you’re a rookie basketball player, you may want to try these until you’ve figured out what position would be best for you.
  • Low These shoes are built with speed and agility in mind. The tradeoff is almost no ankle support. These shoes are best for guards who need something light as they zip up and down the court.

Keep stability and cushioning in mind as well. A moderate and lightweight cushion will give you support and flexibility. If your feet take a pounding on the court, maybe you can handle the weight of extra cushioning.

Laces are the most common fastening methods on basketball shoes, but the high tops sometimes come with hook and eye fasteners. Do keep in mind that fancy fasteners can add to the weight of the shoe. High tops have the best ankle support but low and mid-tops are less restrictive.


The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine strongly suggests that basketball players in high school and college should replace their shoes once a month. The pros probably go through them even faster. (They can afford it!)

If you play basketball a lot, you may need to invest in a couple of pairs so you can alternate them to make them last longer. Do not wear shoes that are clearly worn out. As the material wears down, this means the cushioning and stability are greatly decreased. This can lead to injury. Be safe and only wear shoes that have everything you need.

If you have wide feet, getting ordinary shoes can be an ordeal. When searching out athletic shoes, it can be even tougher. That does not mean impossible! Be attentive to your particular needs in a shoe and do some comparison shopping. Do some research, try some brands on and you are sure to find the perfect shoes just for you.

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