How Much Height Do Basketball Shoes Add? [The Real Truth]

It’s all about the shoes, baby.

Whether it’s to make us look taller, run faster, or just feel more confident, shoes play a big role in our lives.

As any basketball fan knows, shoes make a huge difference in your game. With the right pair of sneakers, you can jump higher and run faster. Some shoes can even make us taller!

But how much height do basketball shoes add?

It turns out that basketball shoes add between one and two inches to your height. Typically, the heel of the midsole will add more height than the forefoot.

That may not seem like much, but it can make all the difference in the world on the court.

Let’s understand why!


Why Is Height Important For Basketball Players?

Height is one of the most important traits a player can have when it comes to basketball. A height advantage allows you to shoot over defenders, grab rebounds, and block shots. So if you get the opportunity to add height with your shoes, you should take it.

A University Of Utah study discovered that height is correlated with winning position and rebounding rates (particularly in NBA playoffs).

Basketball match in process

Height specifically helps basketball players because it gives them an advantage when shooting the ball. When they can shoot over defenders, it makes it more difficult for the other team to block the shot. 

In addition, tall players are more likely to grab rebounds and block shots since their height gives them a more extended reach than shorter opponents.

The tallest player in NBA history is Manute Bol, who was 7 feet 7 inches tall. He had a significant advantage over his opponents because of his height. He was able to shoot over defenders and block shots with ease.

Other tall NBA players who have had success in the league are Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard. Shaquille O’Neal, who is 7 feet 1 inch tall, was one of the most dominant players in the NBA. He was able to score at will and rebound with ease.

However, there are a few very successful players that are short as compared to others. Allen Iverson is one of them.

Do Basketball Shoes Make You Look Taller?

Yes, basketball shoes make you look taller because basketball shoes have a thicker sole than regular shoes. But, generally speaking, basketball shoes can give you a bit of an advantage when you’re playing against someone who’s wearing typical shoes.

Take the Nike LeBron James Soldier X, for example. These basketball shoes have a thick sole that can add up to 1.5 inches of height. And if you’re looking for even more height, there are elevator shoes with soles that are even thicker.

So, if you’re looking to add a little bit of height to your appearance, wearing a pair of basketball shoes is a great way to do it. Not only will you look taller, but you’ll also be able to play better basketball.

As a related read, read my article on Steph Curry’s height when he was 16.

What Are Basketball Shoes Soles Made From?

The soles of basketball shoes are made from durable rubber that provides good traction on the court. The rubber is also flexible, which allows the shoes to move with the player’s foot. 

basketball shoes add height to players

In addition to adding height, a quality sole is essential for players as they run, jump, and pivot. The rubber also protects the shoe’s longevity by protecting against wear and tear. This is useful when you use your basketball shoes for badminton, for example, or playing any other rigorous sport.

As a related read, read our article “Does Basketball Make You Taller“.

The Outsole

The outsole is the part of the sole that makes contact with the ground. Since it’s made of thick and rugged rubber or a synthetic material such as polyurethane, the outsole is what provides durability and traction.

Usually, the soles are covered with special treads such as herringbone, which provide traction for the player.

The Midsole

The midsole sits between the outsole and the insole. It is typically a foam made of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) or polyurethane (PU). The midsole provides cushioning for the player’s foot and helps absorb shock.

That makes a massive difference if a player suffers from shin splints or has knee issues. Other shoe models such as Converse, for example, don’t offer such advanced cushioning.

The Insole

The insole is the part of the shoe that comes into direct contact with the player’s foot. The insole is usually made of foam or a synthetic material. The insole provides comfort for the player, and it also helps to keep the shoe in place on the player’s foot.

Having a quality insole is especially important if the player has pain in the Achilles tendons.

What Are The Pros Vs. Cons Of Basketball Shoes That Make You Taller?

So, what are the pros and cons of basketball shoes that make you taller? Some people might like the idea of shoes adding to your height, while others might find that it makes them feel awkward and unbalanced.

More Impact Protection, Comfort, & Bounce

On the pro side, taller shoes can offer more bounce and impact protection. In addition, since taller shoes offer a thicker midsole, they can help to cushion your feet and reduce the impact of jumps and landings. 

Basketball player with basketball in a game

This is important for athletes, who need all the protection they can get in order to stay healthy and perform at their best.

The most common injuries from high-impact landings are ankle sprains, knee sprains, and Achilles tendonitis. These injuries can sideline players for weeks or even months, so it’s essential to take measures to prevent them.

Wearing shoes with a thicker midsole can help to cushion the feet and reduce the impact of these landings.

When you’re wearing shoes with a thicker midsole, it feels like you’re walking on air. The extra bounce and cushioning make it feel like you’re floating on top of the ground, which can be really comfortable and reassuring.

A contributing factor for that, of course, is lacing up your kicks correctly.

More Cushion Means Less Court Feel And Responsiveness

When you’re playing ball, you need to feel the court. That’s why I’m not too fond of thick midsole basketball shoes. Since they minimize your court feel and responsiveness, you can’t move as quickly in them.

They also don’t have excellent energy return – an essential need for explosive basketball players. You want that energy to propel you forward when you make a move.

With thick midsole shoes, that’s not always the case. The cushion disperses the force you exert into the ground rather than returning it to you.

I always go with a thinner midsole because it gives me the best court feel and responsiveness. As a result, I can move around more efficiently and make more precise moves.

Plus, the energy return is stronger, which helps me jump higher and move faster. Try them out for yourself and see what you think. However, note that generally, basketball kicks are not designed to make you jump higher.

Lack Of Stability & Balance

On the con side, taller shoes can make you feel unbalanced. They can also be more difficult to walk in and harder to move around in. 

On the other hand, if you’re not used to wearing taller shoes, they can take some getting used to.

Overall, I think that the pros outweigh the cons regarding shoes that make you taller. They offer more bounce and protection, making me feel more confident on the court. 

Does The NBA Measure Height With Shoes?

Some people might wonder how the NBA measures the height of players for the NBA combine. Do they measure with or without shoes? Before 2019 the NBA measured with shoes on – they called this “shoe height.” 

Does The NBA Measure Height With Shoes

After 2020, the NBA measured without shoes – this is called “barefoot height.” The NBA made this change because they wanted to measure the players’ heights more accurately.

What Are Shoe Lifts?

Shoe lifts are a type of shoe insert that increases a person’s height. They are not meant for basketball and can be dangerous if used while playing sports. 

Shoe lifts can cause ankle and knee injuries because they change how a person’s foot and ankle moves. This can cause the player to over-extend their ankle or knee and get injured.

While they’re not safe for sports, shoe lifts are an excellent way for people who want to add a little bit of height to their appearance. They come in different heights, so you can choose the right lift for you. 

There are also different lifts, such as heel lifts and insert lifts. Heel lifts are the most common type of lift, and they are inserted into the heel of your shoe. Insert lifts are a bit smaller than heel lifts, and they are inserted into the insole of your shoe.

On the other hand, if you’re not used to wearing taller shoes, they can take some getting used to.

What Are Jump Training Shoes?

Jump training shoes are shoes that help you jump higher. They are often heavier than other shoes to increase your vertical leap. Some jump training shoes such as Jumpsoles completely isolate your calf muscles and force you to use them to jump.

Isolating the calf muscles forces them to work harder, making them stronger and better able to generate power. 

jump training shoes add to your height
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One European study analyzed a group of participants using jump training shoes over an 8-week period. The results of this study show that jump training with raised forefoot platforms is an effective way for athletes to increase their agility and performance.

So do you need jump training shoes?

No, you don’t need jump training shoes to jump higher. However, they can help you achieve your jumping goals faster. So if you’re looking to increase your vertical leap, then jump training shoes can be a great investment.

Note that if you want to jump higher, there are many basketball training programs that teach just that.

Do Basketball Shoes Make You Jump Higher?

Yes, basketball shoes help you jump higher. This is because they provide you with more stability and traction, allowing you to jump off the ground with more power. 

So, while the shoes themselves may not make you jump higher, they provide a platform that will enable you to reach your maximum jumping potential. And, in the world of basketball, that can be the difference between making and missing a shot.

Feel free to check our article about some affordable shoes under 150 bucks.

What Basketball Shoes Add The Most Height?

Forefoot Height

ModelHeight (inches)Height (Millimeters)
Nike Lebron 170.926 inches23.53 mm
Nike Lebron 150.904 inches22.97 mm
Nike Hyperdunk0.735 inches18.66 mm
Nike Kyrie Flytrap 40.734 inches18.65 mm
Nike KD 110.734 inches18.64 mm
Height includes the measurement from the bottom of outsole

Heel Height

ModelHeight (Inches)Height (Millimeters)
Nike Lebron 151.267 32.18 
Nike Lebron 171.190 30.22 mm
Nike KD 111.03426.26
Adidas D Rose 91.02526.04
Nike Kyrie Flytrap 40.97624.80
Height includes the measurement from the bottom of outsole

How Much Height Do Basketball Shoes Add? (A Comparison)

While some shoes may add a mere half-inch or so to your height, others can give you a few extra inches. It depends on the type of shoe, the construction, and how it fits.

Generally speaking, basketball or athletics shoes will give you the most height. These shoes contain thicker soles and more cushioning, which can add a couple of inches to your height. For example, such are some Nike Jordan models for wide feet.

Conversely, style or fashion shoes will typically have thinner soles and less cushioning so that they won’t add as much height.

How Much Height Does Nike Lebron 17 Add?

The Lebron 17 shoes add 1.190 inches (30.22 mm) in the heel. In the forefoot, they add 0.926 inches (23.53 mm).

The Lebron 17’s are notorious for having a thicker midsole than most shoes, which can add height for people looking for a taller shoe.

One reason why the shoe adds so much height is that it boasts a complete Nike Air unit. So not only is it large, but it also provides excellent shock absorption. The outsole also features a durable rubber tread that helps you grip the court and makes the shoe very stable. 

For a full Lebron 17 performance review, check out this video:

This version of the LeBron 17 also has a taller height, which gives you an edge on the competition.

“The King” is a specimen of a man, and his namesake shoe provides performance for players of all sizes. 

Overall, the Nike Lebron 17 is an exceptional basketball shoe for anyone looking for superior cushioning and support.

Hopefully, this article was able to help you understand the answer to: ​​How much height do basketball shoes add?


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