Finding the Best Basketball Shoes for Kids and Youth in 2020

Best Basketball Shoes for Kids

Did you know that some NBA players can’t spend more than a few games in the same pair of shoes?

Maybe you don’t need to switch kicks that often, but you definitely want a pair that gets the job done, especially when you have a young baller with a passion for the game.

You want to get them a pair that will help them dominate the season. However, you also want it to be a pair that you love and has all the right features.

Proper footwear is necessary for young athletes’ bodies and safety. Here’s all about finding the best basketball shoes for kids and youth in 2020.

1. The Best Basketball Shoes for Kids: Features You Should Look For

Here are some of the top qualities in a youth basketball shoe that you should consider.


It’s just a reality that kids can be pretty tough on shoes.  While buying shoes every season is sometimes fun, it’s not always affordable or economic. While it can be tempting to simply look for cheap basketball shoes for kids, it’s important to remember that quality matters, so it’s often worth paying a little extra for shoes that will last.

If you need a durable option, take a look at the Takeoff Junior.  These kicks have a sturdy tread pattern fit for both indoor and outdoor playing.

The shoe gets its name from the lightweight aircraft-inspired top section, which balances out the robust feel.

In addition to the sturdy build, the shoe’s Ghillie lacing is designed to secure your child’s foot in place.  This can prevent unevenly applied pressure from causing any future wear and tear.


The ability to cut and easily change direction is an important part of any sport.

Basketball shoes can’t use the teeth of cleats for grip in the same way that non-court sports do.  So they have to rely on materials like rubber or ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) to hold traction.

The Cyclone Juniors are some of our best kids basketball shoes because of their premium grip.  They have a tread zoned Herringbone pattern on the bottom that provides multidirectional traction.

The outsoles are also made of rubber which is the best material for slick or gritty surfaces like an indoor or outdoor court.

Rubber outsoles can have traction advantages over EVA outsoles, but each material has unique uses.

Since EVA is a great material for support, the Cyclones have an EVA midsole that reinforces the shoe.


Support is essential for a basketball shoe to prevent short-term and long-term injury.

A quick way to find shoes with premium support is simply to look at the shoe’s ankle.  If it looks and is reinforced in this area, it will likely be one of your stronger options.  However, you should always have your child try on the shoes and test the ankle.

You may also want to consider shoes with a mesh collar surrounding the ankle in addition to the tall sides.

Although shoes with better support typically have taller sides, they can be irritating if the ankle is constantly rubbing against the sides.  A mesh collar improves breathability and comfort especially around the ankle, while supporting it.

The Ascender Mid Juniors combine these features.

They have a very narrow top to support sharp cuts and change in direction while running.  Although the shoe is closed in and secure, the soft mesh top provides breathability and minimizes irritation on the ankle.

These shoes are specially designed for pivoting or cutting to the basket.  Not only can these shoes handle aggressive play, but they also have a thin-ribbed herringbone pattern to promote maximum grip.

Cushion and Comfort

Although durability, grip, and support are important features in basketball shoes, your child will connect with the shoes based on comfort.

Comfortable shoes often have lightweight features that make the shoe easy to wear but they don’t perform well on the court.

The Chosen One II Juniors are designed to offer both cushion and comfort without sacrificing support or performance.

Not only do these shoes have an EVA midsole, but they also have a tactical EVA vamp mesh material that produces three features at once: flexibility, durability, and breathability.

To further reinforce the shoe, there are two straps that secure the mesh midsole in addition to the laces running top to bottom.


Kids can often be picky about their clothing, and basketball shoes are (unfortunately) no exception. The best youth basketball shoes for your child will often be based on your child’s individual taste but when looking at basketball shoes for kids, girls and boys shoes are often quite different in terms of colour and style. While it may be tempting to purchase a pair of basketball shoes in your child’s favourite colour, remember to make sure that function and fit comes before the form.

2. Starter Shoes and Shoes For Younger Children

If you’re just looking for something your child can ease into, then consider a lightweight shoe.  Having lightweight features like a tennis shoe offers more mobility and flexibility but you can also decide whether you want a bulkier build later.

The Chosen One II Juniors and the Takeoff Juniors are some of your best options for starter shoes.  Both are lightweight kicks that offer support and grip.

These are some of the main features to focus on for young ballers.  The more reinforced features are typically suited to older players who need further support since their feet are developing.

3. For Older Children

The more kids grow, the more susceptible to overuse injuries they become.  This is due to extended playing time since many older children start to play more seriously.

To combat this, look for shoes with substantial midsole paneling.  The midsole, or layer between the outsole and insole of a shoe, should be designed to reinforce support.

This layer is also generally where shock-absorption occurs.  Adequate shock absorption will give your child the freedom to jump and cut without strain.

You should also be on the lookout for shoes with EVA midsoles.  Although certain types of EVA can make the shoe heavier, EVA in the midsole offers firm support.  This is why you’ll likely find heavier shoes for older children.

Since older children are typically in a developmental phase, they’re also more at risk of bacterial growth.  With older kids, it helps to have shoes that porous and breathable.

If you’re looking for shoes with qualities for older kids, consider the Size ‘M Up Junior series.

To help prevent bacterial growth, the show has a breathable top for increased airflow.  The full length of the midsole is injected with EVA to ensure support and shock absorption.

The Right Footwear is Key to a Great Game

Your child’s shoes are an important part of their basketball journey.  However, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process.  A large part of it involves knowing what type of player your child is or what features you value the most.

Getting the best basketball shoes for kids simply means having the right footwear technology that suits each individual child.

To get started, find a stockist or specific retailer in your area today.