Do NBA Players Wear New Shoes Every Game?

NBA fans already have so many questions about NBA players. It is no secret but still, everybody is so much interested in these players’ inside dressing room life. And the most asked question is do NBA players wear new shoes every game? It is the obvious thing that you all want to know the exact answer to this question.

There are a lot of rumors and fact-finding organizations that work to find the truth behind the scenes of NBA matches. This article covers almost all the shoe types of NBA players that are mostly worn by all the famous and successful players.

Do NBA Players Wear New Shoes Every Game

Do NBA players wear new shoes every game?

NBA players walk and run on the ground wearing shoes for up to almost 3 miles in a single match. And that’s a lot of running and jogging in one evening, therefore, players always make sure that they wear the best shoes. Otherwise, their performance, speed, and maneuverability can get affected leading them to lose the match just because of their shoes.

NBA teams also never risk their players’ health and fitness therefore, to prevent any injuries; they never let them wear damaged shoes. So what do NBA players do with their shoes after playing a match?

When does an NBA player change his sneakers?

To make it a short and crisp answer for you they change their shoes a lot. But that doesn’t really mean that you have to assume they change them after each game. It is just that they change them whenever they think they’re going to get hurt or perform less because of their shoes. A report was published in 2018 about the NBA players in the Denver Post.

The report claimed that NBA players change almost up to 50 pairs of shoes every season. And that is not sourced from any ordinary source. It’s because this information is officially provided by the equipment manager of the Nugget named Sparky Gonzalez. And if this name is linked to the news report, you know that it is a reliable source for basketball news.

What do the stats say?

Oh, wait! How long do you think is an NBA season? You’ll be amazed to know that an NBA season is exactly 82 games long. That means if you calculate the information report about the NBA players changing their shoes. It comes out as each player changes their shoes after every 1.64 games.

And that’s not too frequent for an NBA player but as a want-to-be, it may seem very frequent to you. It also depends on the number of games their team loses because they mostly think they lose because of their shoes.

The figures are not final because the number of matches in a season change when you include some playoff matches. The Nugget is a big team and they had played 96 matches in the pre-COVID season starting from 2018 and ending in 2019. That season they played 96 matches as we have already told you and as usual 82 matches were the regular season matches.

But 14 matches were additional playoffs that the team had to play. Well, we are not going to get into the details of who won and who lost how many matches. Because we are going to calculate the total number of times they have changed their shoes in that time interval.

What about other NBA teams?

There have been players who said they drag their shoes to more than two games. There was a great player known as the journeyman Matt Barnes who used to use the same shoes until three games. Klay Thompson from the Golden State Warriors, a very famous player told in an interview that he drags his shoes for surprisingly 10-12 games. That means it all depends on the players’ choice of how many times they want to change their sneakers.

And a special case of the big man Anderson Varejao who was a player in the Cavs used to love his sneakers for some reason. And that is why he used to wear them until when they fall apart, and sneakers falling apart usually take up to twenty-five games on average.

How often do they change their custom-made shoes?

The love for custom-made shoes is overwhelming for anyone because it gives you that special feeling. And that’s why more than half of the NBA players wear custom-made shoes in the matches. In custom-made shoes, you get this feeling that nobody else has what I have. Like I have something special in my collection.

And then they are the most stylish ones with sometimes, the players’ names on the sneakers. Mostly all of the custom-made shoes are worn at the Christmas Day matches from noon to midnight. Also, it has become a big thing that ESPN devotes a special story to one of the NBA players each year. They select their favorite players from all of them and then create a special story of them for the people to know about their love for them.

The celebrity stars have been found asking their fans about which pair of sneakers should they wear during a match. Josh Hart, a big name had worn a pair of sneakers custom made for him. He made the company make them for him because he wanted to show his love and fandom for a very famous video game.

Mostly, players wear custom shoes when they have to dedicate something to someone, birthdays, Halloween, or any public holiday event, and sometimes play-off-related shoes. Well, it is obvious that all the NBA players have a lot of money and they can afford to have such frequent custom pairs of shoes.

And that’s why they just try to find a reason for doing something special. Once they got the reason, they go and ask their favorite brands like Nike, Adidas, Jordans, New Balance, and Under Armor. Honestly speaking if I were that kind of successful and famous player in the NBA, I would have also enjoyed this perk to the fullest.

What happens with the old sneakers of the NBA players?

If you really want to know about the sneakers that the NBA players abandon, then we’ll tell you today. Some of the players as we have told you earlier that they wear them until they get torn. Therefore, there’s nothing left in a pair of torn sneaks and that’s why they throw them off. But some players hit milestones in their careers and then those sneakers become special for them.

That’s why they keep them whole their life until they have to sign them and sell them for charity or whatever purpose. While some players also change their sneakers frequently and that’s why they don’t keep all of their old sneakers in their dressing room. They just sign them if those sneakers are in good condition and give them to charities or to their loved ones.

A comparison for NBA players between new shoes and old shoes

There are a lot of pros and cons of having new shoes as well as old shoes. Read further to completely understand the point that we are raising here.

New Shoes


  • Your outlook becomes fresh. Also, you can select what you like the most out of all the famous brands like Jordans, Kyries, and Kobes.
  • New shoes give you a lot of support in the game while maneuvering. Those are specially made for NBA players and their athletic feet in mind. That’s why they prove to be a big help before getting worn off.
  • New pair of shoes always have a new sole that is great for gripping the floor when you have to take turns a lot during a match.


  • You have to buy only those sneakers that fit best. Otherwise, they can cause heel, foot, ankle, or many types of injuries even in their first match to the player leading to the loss.

Worn Shoes


  • Worn shoes are already set for your feet and you can rely on them as you have tried and tested them before.


  • Worn shoes don’t provide a lot of traction like the new ones. They are rather slippery and that’s why they can lead you to lose the match.
  • Worn shoes have no warranty on how long they can be with you. That’s because they can break down into pieces even during your match like Zion Williamson.

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Why do NBA players wear new shoes every game? Well, all of them don’t. It’s because most of them keep wearing the same pair of shoes even to their third match. Basketball on the other hand doesn’t require too much equipment to play. It’s just a ball and the hoop.

After that, you can spend all the rest of your money on buying a good pair of shoes for you. Even if you don’t play in the NBA, you should have good shoes in the practice too because there’s always a chance to go forward.

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