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Basketball Equipment

Basketball shoes and beyond

If you want to slam dunk, or make three-point or the game-winning jump shot, then you'll need a few essential pieces of high-quality basketball equipment.

Basketball Shoes

For two decades, professional basketball players have been telling us that a large part of their success has to do with the men's basketball shoes they wear. Of course there's a whole lot more to the game of basketball beyond the men's or women's basketball shoes you wear, but they're still a critical part of your performance on the court.

When you buy basketball shoes, you need to ask yourself a few questions. First, are they comfortable? A too-tight fit or loose ankle will keep you sidelined with discomforting blisters or even more troubling injuries. Jog around the shoe store and even try a few jumps so you know these shoes are comfortable, don't slip and, if you plan to join an organized league or team, will aid your attempt to make the cut.

Second, where are you playing? If the answer is outdoors, then the shoes will need to last despite rough surfaces and inclement weather conditions – in other words, it might not be a good idea to spend $200 or more on a pair of basketball shoes that will get eaten up by the pavement or Mother Nature in a few weeks.

Basketball Hoops

If you're serious about improving your game, you should look at various basketball backboards and basketball hoops designed for home use. The opportunity to participate in basketball training at home can be very helpful, especially for young players. If you decide that some home hoops will help your game, find a store that has the net unpackaged and put together – that way you can test out its backboard and hang on the rim. Some basketball rims and backboards are sturdier than others, and you want to be confident that neither will fall apart the first time you or your friends organize a street-side game.