What Happened to the Performance Basketball Sneaker?


All we’ve been hearing about is retro this and retro that, but if you’re really trying to ball on the hardwood, those shoes from ’89 aren’t going to work in 2013. If you don’t want to get left in the dust, and in the past, you might want to leave your retros at home and look for something a little more up-to-date, and here’s why.

Back in the ’80s and ’90s, it was all about form over function. Bulky kicks for the big men and stylish materials and designs for everyone else. In this day-in-age, all that stuff means is that you’ll look good on the court, but your skills will be a little lacking.

For one, basketball shoes now are lighter. With the speed of the game getting faster and faster, running around in some shoes that are comparable to boots isn’t going to be beneficial. In the case of basketball, every ounce counts.

Back in the day, if your shoe fit, you wore it. Now, the shoe’s got to do a lot more and give a little back. Technology like Zoom Air has been implemented to give athletes a little boost and propulsion, so if you come down with force, the sole will respond and rebound.

Wearing high-top sneakers used to mean ankle support, but over time, basketball shoemakers have figured out that it’s more about supporting the ankle, rather than just wrapping it up. So, if you’re rolling around in some retros, be prepared to roll that ankle.

Retros are fine and all, and they’ve transitioned nicely into becoming casual sneakers, but they’re in their twilight and the casual scene is where they’ve chosen to retire. Do yourself a favor and grab a pair of new shoes with new technology. Out with the old, in with the new.