How To Break In New Basketball Shoes (Step By Step)

By Alex Mercer

April 27, 2021

Buying new basketball shoes is exciting. Many basketball players want to step on the hardwood right away and start breaking in their shoes. The problem is, the shoes come directly from the factory, and are in a box for weeks, sometimes months.

Basketball shoes can be broken in by wearing them 10-15 minutes a day doing light activity. Wearing them for more than 15 minutes directly after purchase will feel stiff and sometimes cause blisters.

In this article, we will show you step by step how to break in basketball shoes soon after purchase.

How To Break In New Basketball Shoes

Breaking in basketball shoes takes time. It’s not something that can be done overnight. Here are the steps we recommend you take to break into new basketball shoes.

  1. Before we start, you need to make sure the shoe fits well.
  2. The first thing you should do is break in your shoes with light activity before the first time you wear them to a basketball game or practice.
  3. Before you put on your shoes to play basketball the first time, condition your feet and ankles with high-top basketball socks or even blank ones from the store. Basketball is a tough sport and can cause blisters when new shoes are being worn with no support.
  4. Your new basketball shoes will be very stiff at first and take some time to break in. Do not try to ‘break them in’ quickly by playing hard-nosed, physical games of basketball right away.
  5. Once you have your new basketball shoes and have worked them out for 10-15 minutes, you can wear your shoes to basketball practice or games.

Before using your shoes once, do not put on socks and play for more than 15 minutes straight in them (for socks or even regular sneakers). It can cause blisters on your feet if the shoe is too tight.

Light activity like walking around a shopping center or going to Dunkin Donuts for coffee will help the shoe conform easier and stretch out over time. If you are doing this while wearing socks, make sure they are high-top basketball socks that support the ankle (not regular dress socks).​

You should go for a short walk to break them in, especially if you plan on playing basketball in them.

Instead, you should give your shoes 10-15 minutes of light activity after purchasing them.

This will allow the shoe to conform to your feet and allow it to stretch out over time. You do not want an incredibly tight basketball shoe causing blisters on your feet right away.

If they feel even a little bit tight, wait another 5-6 minutes before switching them out for the next practice and game. You do not want to wear basketball shoes that are too tight at first because they can cause blisters on your feet right away.

This is when it’s important to make sure you’ve conditioned your feet and ankles before playing in your new basketball shoes.

Why Do Basketball Shoes Hurt My Feet?

Basketball shoes can hurt your feet if they are brand new or if they’re tied too tight. They can also be uncomfortable if they’re too big for your feet or if you have bad ankles.

If they are new shoes, make sure you wait before playing in them to give them time to conform to your feet. Try them on for size when they first come out of the box at the store but do not play in them until you have conditioned your feet and ankles. This will cause blisters otherwise.

Try an ankle brace if basketball causes pain in your ankles because it may help protect against injury. If this doesn’t work, see a doctor for more options on how to handle the pain from playing basketball. It’s often a recurring issue and can be difficult to fix without help from doctors or physical therapists.

Do Basketball Shoes Loosen Up?

Basketball shoes do loosen up the more than you wear them and condition in them. If you bought the basketball shoes directly from the store, it would take 5-10 physical activity sessions before they are officially loosened up.

All it takes is a 15 minutes walk after the basketball shoes are bought. But you should try them on for size when purchased, and don’t play in them until your feet are conditioned.

This will help your shoes conform to your feet and allow them to stretch out over time. If the basketball shoes are too tight now, it can cause blisters when you play in them for the first time.

See Our Complete List Of Helpful Basketball Articles Here.


Breaking in your basketball shoes is pretty straightforward. Do light activities like walking around a shopping center for 10-15 minutes. Then put on your ankle braces or high-top basketball socks and run around for another five minutes.

Do this before putting them on again for practice or a game, and you should be good to go. As soon as they’re broken in, they will feel much more comfortable and conform to your feet’ shape over time. It’s definitely worth the wait, especially if you have pain or blisters when playing in new shoes.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

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