Guide to Basketball Shoes That Make You Taller

Essential Guide to Basketball Shoes That Make You Taller

Muhammad Saleem Shahzad

Basketball, a sport that combines agility, speed, and strength, is also a game where height can be a significant advantage. So, for those of us who might not be blessed with towering stature, finding basketball shoes that can give us an extra boost in height is a practical concern. This comprehensive guide explores the world of height-increasing basketball shoes, offering you the knowledge you need to make an informed purchase.

1. The Intrigue of Height-Increasing Basketball Shoes

The intrigue surrounding basketball shoes that make you taller is quite widespread. The shoe market teems with countless releases every year, making it a daunting task to find the perfect pair that fits your preferences, including the desire for a bit of extra height on the court. This guide will delve into the mechanics of height-increasing shoes, the pros and cons of wearing them, and a curated selection of top-performing basketball shoes that can give you that extra elevation.

2. Top Picks: Tallest Basketball Shoes

Now, let's look at some top picks of the best basketball shoes that make you taller. These models excel in providing elevation while also maintaining all-around performance.

2.1 Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 3

The Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 3 is a remarkable basketball shoe, particularly for those on a budget, yet it doesn't skimp on height-enhancing features or overall performance. Its main attribute contributing to increased height is the thickened midsole. This design aspect is crucial as it elevates the wearer slightly off the ground compared to standard basketball shoes.

Despite this elevation, the ClutchFit Drive 3 maintains a delicate balance between cushioning and responsiveness. This is particularly important for basketball players who need to make quick, agile movements on the court. The shoe's engineering ensures that the additional height from the thicker midsole doesn't detract from its agility and speed capabilities. Players can move swiftly and respond rapidly to the game's dynamics without feeling weighed down or restricted by the shoe's added height.

2.2 Nike LeBron 17

The Nike LeBron 17 is a standout basketball shoe, especially known for its significant elevation features and exceptional comfort. The key to its height-increasing design lies in its sole construction. It boasts a substantial Max Air unit in the heel, providing considerable lift. This is complemented by two Zoom Air units placed strategically in the forefoot, further augmenting the wearer's height. This combination not only contributes to an increase in stature but also ensures a smooth, cushioned feel underfoot, crucial for players who spend a lot of time on the court.

Comfort and impact protection are where the LeBron 17 truly shines. The thick sole components, including the Max Air and Zoom Air units, work together to offer unparalleled comfort. This design offers significant shock absorption, reducing the strain on the feet and legs during high-impact plays. However, this emphasis on cushioning and elevation might slightly lessen the court feel. The thicker sole can distance the player's foot from the court, leading to a less responsive feel during play.

2.3 Nike LeBron 19

The Nike LeBron 19 is a significant advancement in basketball footwear, particularly for players seeking both elevation and stability. This shoe is characterized by its heightened profile, a result of its robust sole design and comprehensive cushioning system. The thick sole not only contributes to the shoe's aesthetic but more importantly, provides a noticeable increase in height for the wearer. This feature is especially beneficial for players looking to add a physical edge to their game, giving them an extra boost above the court.

What sets the LeBron 19 apart is its focus on stability, a critical aspect for shoes that offer additional height. Taller shoes can sometimes lead to a higher risk of ankle rolls or instability during fast-paced movements. However, the LeBron 19 addresses this concern with its design that offers enhanced support around the ankle and a stable base that reduces the risk of tipping or losing balance. This stability is achieved through a combination of the shoe's wider footprint and the strategic placement of cushioning materials, which work together to provide a secure and steady experience on the court.

2.4 Nike KD 14

The Nike KD 14 is a versatile basketball shoe that caters to a wide range of players, known for its moderate elevation features and excellent all-around performance. The key to its height-enhancing capability lies in its well-designed, cushioned sole and midsole. These elements are crafted to provide a slight increase in height, offering basketball players an advantage on the court without being overly conspicuous or affecting the shoe's overall performance.

This shoe stands out for its exceptional balance between cushioning, responsiveness, and height gain. The cushioning ensures comfort during play, particularly important during high-impact movements or long durations on the court. Responsiveness, on the other hand, is crucial for quick, agile movements, allowing players to change direction swiftly and react instantly to game situations. The KD 14 manages to combine these features while still offering a modest elevation, making it a unique option in the basketball footwear market.

3. Quick Glance at Tallest Basketball Shoes

For those in a rush, here's a snapshot of some of the tallest basketball shoes that also deliver fantastic performance.

Shoe Best For Retail Price Elevation

UA ClutchFit Drive 3

Budget Buyers



Nike LeBron 17

Comfort Seekers



Nike LeBron 19

Explosive Big Guys



Nike KD 14

Most Players, 3's-5's



Air Jordan 34

Most Players



Air Jordan 36

Most Players



Nike Zoom Rize

2's-5's, Explosive Athletes



Nike Air Zoom G.T. Jump

Cushion Maximalists, Frontcourt Players



4. How Shoes Provide Elevation

Understanding what makes a performance sneaker taller is crucial. Why do certain shoes make you sit higher off the ground? Without a shadow of a doubt, the shoe's midsole is the most significant factor for foot elevation.

4.1 More Bounce Equals More Height

Basketball shoe midsoles, the middle part of the sole, are typically made of specific foam, sometimes combined with synthetic compounds. This blend provides shock absorption, energy return properties, and step comfort.

A shoe with a firm, thin midsole, yielding minimal cushioning properties, will make your foot sit very close to the ground. This type of shoe won't give you much in terms of height but will offer speed and precision.

On the other hand, a sneaker with a thick & dense midsole designed for maximum impact protection and efficient energy return will make your foot sit higher off the ground, making you appear taller.

4.2 Other Contributing Factors

While the midsole is the major player in a shoe's elevation, some other factors can contribute, albeit to a lesser extent:

  • The thickness of the outsole
  • The drop height from heel to toe

5. The Difference between Low-profile and Elevated Shoes

The difference between low-profile and elevated shoes can be significant in practice. An average pair of basketball shoes elevates you about 1 inch from the ground, while shoes with the tallest platforms can elevate you by up to 2 inches. This might not sound like much, but it can make a noticeable difference, especially to the wearer.

6. Pros and Cons of Elevated Shoes

Like everything, wearing a basketball shoe that elevates you more than your natural anatomy has its benefits and drawbacks.

6.1 Pros of Elevated Shoes

  • Impact Protection, Comfort, and Springback: A thicker midsole usually means the shoe is designed for players who need more energy return and more prominent shock absorption.
  • Joint & Ligament Protection: More impact protection means you can play more confidently and possibly enhance the longevity of your knees, joints, and ankles.

6.2 Cons of Elevated Shoes

  • Less Response: Having a thicker, plush midsole often results in less court feel and less responsiveness.
  • Stability Issues: Having an especially thick layer of cushioning underfoot often means you won't feel as stable during certain movements on the basketball court.

7. Making the Right Choice

With the multitude of options available, making the right choice can be challenging. However, understanding the mechanics of height-increasing shoes and knowing the pros and cons can help you make an informed decision. Whether you prefer low-profile shoes for speed and precision or elevated shoes for impact protection and comfort, there's a perfect pair out there for you.

8. Insoles: A Game-Changer

The addition of insoles to your basketball shoes can not only enhance their performance but also possibly increase their ride height. While not necessary for everyone, they can be a game-changer for some.


Whether you're aiming for a competitive edge or simply want a bit more height, choosing the right pair of basketball shoes can make a significant difference. This guide aims to be a reliable source of information, offering practical advice in the world of fashion and equipment, focusing on comfort and inclusivity.

What are your thoughts?

We would love to hear your thoughts on this. What is your experience with elevated shoes vs. low-profile options? What's your preferred route? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.

Share the Knowledge

If you found this guide interesting and helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and fellow basketball enthusiasts. After all, sharing is caring!

Remember, the right pair of shoes can make a huge difference on the court. So, choose wisely and play well!

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This article was written by Muhammad Saleem Shahzad, Managing Editor of Fashion and Manufacturing. With more than a decade of experience in the Fashion industry, Muhammad reports on breaking news and provides analysis and commentary on all things related to fashion, clothing and manufacturing.