WearTesters was founded in 2010 by Chris Chase and Drew Whitcomb in response to their inability to find accurate and informative shoe reviews online.
Today, WearTesters is the #1 shoe, athletic apparel, and sporting goods review website. This is how we test and review the products you see in our articles and videos.
Our site and YouTube channel exist to provide comprehensive footwear, apparel, sporting goods, and athletic technology reviews. The detailed review and testing process used by our veteran team of expert testers is designed to provide recommendations and insights that help people determine the best shoes and apparel for them. Our primary goal is to help our readers and viewers save time and money.
Many readers make purchasing decisions using our expertise, recommendations, and the information we provide. Because our readers rely on us for accurate reviews, we maintain independence from brands and offer straightforward and honest opinions on all the products we test.
All this being said the reason we can provide such accurate and in-depth reviews is thanks to our rigorous testing methodology. Our team tests hundreds of sneakers each year in real-world conditions. Each pair is tested for approximately 2 weeks before the complete performance review is created.
Our method allows us to push any shoe or piece of gear to its limits, find any potential weakness or shortcoming it may have, as well as identify any stand-out features or highlights. This method is adapted according to sport, position, foot type, or whatever niche the product is designed for.
Now, let’s review how we test by category:
How We Test And Review Show
- How We Test Basketball Shoes
- How We Test Running Shoes
- How We Test Volleyball Shoes
- How We Test Pickleball Shoes and Paddles
- How We Test Cross Training Shoes
- How We Test Golf Shoes
- How We Test Athletic Apparel
- How We Test Sports Gear
- Our Team
- Affiliate Disclosure
How We Test Basketball Shoes
On top of testing each shoe for two weeks, we also always test basketball shoes both outdoors and indoors to test how they perform on different surfaces.
We concentrate on 5 main characteristics: traction (how the shoe grips the court), cushion (what level of impact protection the shoe provides), materials (quality of materials used), support (level of stability and security you will experience in the shoe) and fit (how the shoe conforms to your foot).
These 5 features are analyzed on how they perform independently and how they perform together, which will give you a very good feel for how good the shoe really is. Our goal is to offer the best and most detailed information at all times to help our audience find the best basketball shoes for their particular needs and playing style. Keep in mind that all of these best basketball shoes will accommodate any position or player as long as the shoe in question meets your specifications or requirements.
A great basketball shoe should be able to grip the playing surface in a way that allows you to cut, change directions, and stop on a dime, provide a level of cushioning that protects your joints from the multiple impacts you will endure while playing, the shoe’s upper should be comfortable but at the same time lock down your foot, the shoe should also provide support and give you confidence in more explosive movements and, lastly, you will want a shoe with durable materials worthy of the price tag.
How We Test Running Shoes
When we analyze running shoes, our criteria changes significantly compared to basketball shoes. The demands of each sport are completely different as are the attributes you need from a good running shoe.
When testing running shoes we analyze several characteristics. First is the midsole, which includes cushion, propulsion, geometry, stiffness, and more. Second is the outsole where we review traction/grip, versatility, durability, and more. Lastly, we review the upper including fit, comfort, durability, breathability, break-in time, and more. These features are all tested in various running modalities.
This includes easy or recovery runs colloquially known as jogging. Long runs measuring 10 miles and over. Shorter fast-paced runs called intervals or tempo runs done both on the track and various other surfaces. Testers also utilize road races and trails depending on the purpose of the shoe. This varied usage helps our team assess how and when the shoe will excel or fall short.
How We Test Volleyball Shoes
Volleyball is a sport with very similar on-court demands to basketball. In fact, many volleyball players choose to play in basketball shoes because they can provide everything needed to perform well during a match. Basketball shoes are also easier to find and more readily available.
The best volleyball shoes let you move around the court, jump at full speed, and protect your feet and joints at the same time. Traction, lockdown, cushioning, stability, heel-toe transition, and support are all key features in a performance volleyball sneaker.
Key differences between basketball and volleyball shoes are the surfaces each sport is played on, and the importance of reaction times.
Volleyball, aside from being played on parquet (wood) and concrete, like basketball, can also be played on grass or sand, and the demands of those surfaces are completely different. We considered this when testing volleyball shoes and created criteria for each playing surface.
How We Test Pickleball Shoes and Paddles
Pickleball, similar to volleyball and basketball is a court sport, and has similar demands to both sports, but also peculiarities all its own. It’s also a sport that can’t be played unless you have a paddle, so, logically, we test those as well.
Pickleball shoes need to provide similar attributes to basketball shoes but with less emphasis on jumping/landing. Grippy traction, adequate impact protection, performance-driven materials, good support features, and a nice 1 to 1 fit are all important. But we’re also looking for other attributes. Lateral containment and grip are top priority, as well as reactive cushioning and support features. You’ll need both to speedily get you from one side of the court to the other.
And then there’s the paddle. When analyzing Pickleball paddles, we look at the power you are able to generate, the level of control, the spin you’re able to produce, the swing weight, and the feel in hand. Each player has their own pickleball paddle preferences so we detail them in our review to make it easier to decide between all the current paddle options.
How We Test Cross Training Shoes
In this case, we are looking for a blend of performance and versatility. There are so many different exercises that can be performed in a gym, and each demands different characteristics out of your footwear.
Heavy weightlifting requires a flat, stable base with minimal cushion, plyometric training will require support and good traction, cardio will probably require more cushion, etc. Shoes can be specific to certain workouts or follow the do-it-all path. We help you narrow down your list to the shoes that fit the way you work out.
We test the essential criteria as we do in our basketball and running shoe reviews: traction, materials, support, cushion, and fit. Then we offer our thoughts on how to best use the shoe in the gym. Training shoes get extra points for universality and versatility but that may not always be what you’re looking for. Our team helps you see which marketing claims are real and which shoes are the best match for your gym routine.
How We Test Golf Shoes
Things to consider when choosing your next pair of golf shoes include cushion, stability, traction, materials, and more. Looks are also important as golf is often a business opportunity in addition to a sport. High-end style is important in that context.
Finding the right combination of these criteria to fit your needs is what will benefit your golf game the most. We lay out all the pros and cons so you can find the shoe that checks the right boxes.
Each of the golf shoes we write about has been rigorously tested on the golf course and the driving range by a seasoned golfer.
How We Test Athletic Apparel
Testing athletic apparel will depend completely on the purpose of the garment in question. A waterproof running windbreaker obviously requires a completely different testing process than a pair of moisture-wicking basketball shorts, or a pair of sunglasses. Therefore, our testers are required to use these products in the conditions they were meant for over a significant period of time.
Under these testing conditions, we study, first and foremost, if the product does what it’s meant to at a high level. Aside from that, build and material quality, comfort, portability, and durability are all things that we take into consideration before providing our final verdict.
How We Test Sports Gear
The way we test sports gear is very similar to the way we test apparel: it completely depends on the purpose of the item. Testing a pickleball paddle is integrally different from how we test an outdoor-specific basketball versus how we test GPS running watches. When we get our hands on interesting new gear or technology, we test for a significant amount of time to play the intended sport. Sometimes, we even use the gear in unintended ways. We all know products whose usage has changed over the years and we try to mirror the way normal athletes will use the product in a variety of situations.
If a purchase is made using our links, our work is sometimes (but not always) supported with affiliate commissions from retailers. If you don’t like the product and return it to the retailer, our commission zeroes out. We recommend the best products regardless of whether we have an affiliate relationship. All of our retail partners are told our number one commitment is to our readers. Without our readers, WearTesters wouldn’t be where it is today. The trust readers give us is key. It allows us to do what we love on a daily basis and we’re dedicated to protecting that trust.