How Should Basketball Shorts Fit?

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Are you trying to find out how should basketball shorts fit? Great news, we know the answer to that question. That question is quite important, actually. We know you don’t want to go on the court in shorts that’s so wrong it affects your performance. We will go through all the factors that may influence your decision on what shorts you get, and we will help you determine the best type of shorts to get.

What's the Importance of Wearing Proper Basketball Shorts_What’s the Importance of Wearing Proper Basketball Shorts?

Wearing proper basketball shorts can affect your game in more ways than one. If you don’t wear the right type of basketball shorts, you may find that your comfort, performance, temperature, and leg protection may all be negatively affected. The biggest question that we need to answer here is, what is considered proper basketball shorts?

That’s a critical question because the answer may be different based on who you ask. You see, each player has their style, and that style, along with their playing style, will ultimately determine what type of basketball shorts are “proper” for them. Do you remember those old And1 mix-tapes? Look at those long baggy shorts being worn by those legendary ballers. Do you think that you could be as great with your moves as they were while wearing those shorts? If you ask them, those shorts were “proper,” but they may not be the same for you.


Have you ever put on some new kit that you just got, and it didn’t feel right? Like, it’s not yours, like it belongs to someone else. Imagine playing in a game or even just shooting around with that feeling weighing on your mind. One of the worst things is to be uncomfortable in your clothing. It throws off everything. It would help if you always tried on your basketball shorts before you commit to them. If you buy online, try to buy from a place with a good return policy. We know from personal experience that you don’t move as well or shoot as well if your pants feel as if they belong on someone else’s body.

What's the Importance of Wearing Proper Basketball Shorts


Some players go with functionality and have little care for style, but for others, style is everything. Some players want their shorts to be trendy. These days, basketball shorts are going back towards the shorter end of the spectrum, and we see more and more players donning this look. Kind of mid-thigh. Personally, Just above the knee is just right. For others, to be stylish, their shorts have to have a big name logo like a Nike or Under Armor so they can floss on their friends. Another somewhat popular style is basketball shorts with cartoons or other bright graphics.


Performance should be the main point of interest for all serious basketball players. Everything you put on should contribute to maximizing your performance to be the best. Your basketball shorts should be no different. The material, waist size, length, and color should all be geared towards getting you to perform at your best. Make sure you don’t wear shorts that are too big, tall, small, or tight in such a way that your movement is hampered. Choose shorts made from light material that does not hold moisture, and stay away from dark colors if you are playing in the sunshine. Dark colors tend to attract heat.


Are you asking what basketball shorts protect? Well, your legs. Remember that your legs can get scrapes and bruises if they aren’t covered. This is especially true if you are a player that goes all out to retrieve loose balls. If your shorts are too short, your legs are exposed, so consider this before your purchases.


You want your legs to be warm, but not too warm. Longer basketball shorts will keep your legs warm and game-ready during timeouts and quarter breaks when you are sitting on the bench. Yes, you can wear tights, but those are a different thing for you to buy if you would only buy just for warmth. You will perform better if your muscles are kept warm, so this is a big factor to consider before buying those super short basketball shorts you see the guys wearing.How Long Should Athletic Shorts Be


Some competitions will give rules on the uniform measurements, color combination, and logos that you are allowed to wear, so these are all factors that you will need to consider when ordering your shorts. Some teams also have rules that govern their players’ uniforms, so you should also keep this in mind. Check with your coach to see if there are any internal team rules or external league rules that you need to observe for your uniform to be up to code.

How Long Should Athletic Shorts Be_How Long Should Athletic Shorts Be?

Various factors will influence the length of basketball shorts. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Competition rules

It is not very common, but some competitions will set rules outlining the acceptable measurements that your uniforms have to be. There are various reasons why these rules are in place, such as uniformity among players in the league, uniforms of similar sizes are easier to manufacture if the manufacturing is done in one place, minimizing skin exposure in female leagues and leagues for younger kids.


Some athletes are very stylish, and they not only reflect their stylish personality outside the line but also within the lines as well. So, it is not too unusual when an athlete uses the current trends and styles to determine what length their shorts should be, regardless of functionality. We do not recommend this practice, though. Remember that your primary goal should be to remain competitive and not to remain stylish if you can incorporate both into your uniform, great. If not, choose functionality.

What Size of Basketball Shorts Should You Buy


Comfort is extremely important while playing a lot of sports. People just perform better in clothes that they are comfortable in. With that said, we recommend that you wear your athletic shorts at a length that makes you the most comfortable while playing. Do not sacrifice your comfort if, in the end, it will affect your performance. If you are not a picky dresser, you should then put functionality over comfort. Remember to try on the shorts that you will play in before buying so you can determine what length shorts will be most comfortable. In addition to how a pair of shorts may feel, you should also consider how you will feel when fans are watching you, so if you are shy, you may want to opt for longer shorts.


The sporting activity that you are involved in will greatly impact your decision on how long your shorts should be. For example, soccer shorts are usually shorter than basketball shorts but also longer than track shorts. It would help if you tried to get shorts for the specific activities you are involved in, but it is possible that you can interchange some shorts with activities as well. Be careful with this as things can go wrong. For example, if you wear long, baggy basketball shorts to a track meet, you are going to lose a lot of races.

What Size of Basketball Shorts Should You Buy_What Size of Basketball Shorts Should You Buy?

The short answer to this question is your size. That’s it, plain and simple. Check the basketball shorts size chart, and buy your size. The tricky part is figuring out what your size is. You may not know your size to begin with, or your weight may be fluctuating, so you may have some issues selecting the right size, especially if you are shopping online. If you are buying from a store, just try them on. If you are buying online, check the size chart or basketball shorts length chart for the product. We can’t stress this enough, ALWAYS CHECK THE SIZE CHART. Many companies do not always use the same size chart, so an M from one company may be an S from another.

Size Waist (cm) Hip (cm) Leg Length (cm) Height (cm)
XXS 57-65 72-80 81.5 < 170
XS 65-73 80-88 82 170-183
S 73-81 88-96 82.5 170-183
S Tall 73-81 88-96 87.5 183-196
M 81-89 96-104 83 170-183
M Tall 81-89 96-104 88 183-196
L 89-97 104-112 83.5 170-183
L Tall 89-97 104-122 88.5 183-196
XL 97-109 112-120 84 170-183
XL Tall 97-109 112-120 89 183-196
2XL 109-121 120-128 84.5 170-183
2 XL Tall 109-121 120-128 89.5 183-196
3XL 121-133 128-136 85 170-183
3XL Tall 121-133 128-136 90 183-196
4XL 133-145 136-148 85.5 170-183
4 XL Tall 133-145 136-148 90.5 183-196

How to Measure Basketball Shorts

How to Measure Basketball Shorts_How to Measure Basketball Shorts?

You may have the size chart of your desired shorts available but have difficulties interpreting it. Let us help you out with that. It is usually ok to just measure the waist and length of the shorts for standard sizes, but we will guide you through it all. It is best you get a pair of shorts that you already have to use as a point of reference.


Measure the entire waist area of your body using a tape measure.


Measure the entire hip area of your body using a tape measure.


Measure from your waist to the desired length down your leg.

Why Do NBA Players Wear Tights Under Their Shorts_

Why Do NBA Players Wear Tights Under Their Shorts?

There are a variety of reasons why a player will opt to wear tights under his shorts. Check them out below.


One of the least important reasons why you may see players wearing tights is the style element. The tights style is now a fad, and some players like to be in style. Not all tights are compression tights, and players will wear them because of the color scheme, along with other reasons. Players also wear compression tights for style.


If you wear an article of clothing long enough, you will get to the point where you feel like you can’t play without it. Some players also like to feel their unmentionables held tightly together, and tights do that for them.


The compression element of tights is something that works wonders for most athletes. Wearing compression tights can help heal injuries faster, prevent injuries, to begin with, improve recovery time and add other benefits. The compression aspect of these garments promotes increased blood flow to the region, and this is the secret sauce.


Warm muscles are better than cold ones. Tights usually cause your muscles to be warmer, and this helps with your leg temperature. Wearing tights will keep you warmer for longer periods making you ultimately perform better for longer periods as well. In addition to this, the warmth helps to protect you from some injuries.

Skin Protection

There are some doggy players who go for every loose ball and get into every skirmish for the ball. These players often find themselves getting scratches and bruises from other plates, the floor, and even the ball, believe it or not. Wearing tights protect the otherwise exposed areas of the leg or foot from these skin problems.

Wrapping Things Up: How Should Basketball Shorts Fit?

We firmly believe that the best basketball shorts should be sized based on performance, even though we understand that there are other factors that will ultimately influence what type of shorts you get. We think you should get an adjustable, elastic waist shorts that are sized for you, so it does not fit too tight or too loose. The shorts should be right around mid-thigh to right above the knees. This fit is usually optimal for best performance.

Did you find this post helpful? Then you may also like our other basketball FAQ articles here.

> How to Style Basketball Jerseys?

> How to Wash a Basketball Jersey

> How to Wash a Swingman Basketball Jersey

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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