Are Basketball Shoes Good for Running? Comparison of Pros and Cons for Runners

Maybe you’ve finished your basketball game and are thinking about going for a run. While looking at the basketball shoes on your feet, you might wonder are basketball shoes good for running? Many people assume that wearing basketball shoes for running is the same as wearing running shoes. This is due to the fact that basketball naturally requires players to run extensively on the court. But can basketball shoes be used for running?

There are many differences between running and basketball shoes. In this article, we’ll delve into the debate over running with basketball shoes and recommend the best basketball shoes for running!

If you’re wondering are basketball shoes good for running, they’re typically fine. Even though the difference between basketball shoes and running shoes is immense, you can run in any type of shoe that is comfortable for you. And if you want to know can you play basketball in running shoes, the same concept holds true.

Can You Run in Basketball Shoes?

Can basketball shoes be used for running? Overall, running with basketball shoes is fine. There is no negative health impact if you decide to run wearing basketball shoes. However, if you want to protect both your shoes and your ankles, don’t make it a habit.

Basketball shoes are not a replacement for running shoes because they are designed differently, with different purposes. This crucial difference between basketball shoes and running shoes is the reason it’s a good idea to purchase these two types of shoes separately.

Pros and Cons of Wearing Basketball Shoes for Running

If you are considering running in basketball shoes, it is important to understand the pros and cons of doing so.

Pros of Wearing Basketball Shoes for Running

Wearing basketball shoes can be a good option for running short distances. They can provide a nice level of comfort for a short morning or evening run. Even though basketball shoes tend to be heavier than running shoes, they can still support short runs.

Cons Of Wearing Basketball Shoes for Running

Basketball shoes are not designed for long-distance runs. There’s an increased likelihood that you’ll experience fatigue and potential moisture buildup if you take your basketball sneakers for a long run.

Basketball shoes do not provide the necessary shock absorption when running. Running in basketball shoes on a daily basis may contribute to conditions such as plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the fibrous tissue along the bottom of your feet.

Running Shoes vs Basketball Shoes

Basketball shoes are heavier and support jumping, while running shoes are lighter and have more cushioning to minimize the impact of repetitive pounding during a run. Running shoes are specifically made for sustained running, whereas basketball shoes are designed for playing ball on the court, which involves short sprints.

In addition, the soles of basketball shoes tend to wear down quickly because they are built for soft basketball courts, while running shoes are built to handle a variety of surfaces.

Now that we’ve discussed running shoes vs basketball shoes, let’s take a closer look at the basketball shoes’s specifics.

Characteristics of Basketball Shoes

Basketball shoes are designed to support sudden movements and changes in direction. They usually have shock absorption and additional protection around the heels. They also often have a high-top design to help support the ankles.

Basketball shoes used for running

Types of Basketball Shoes

Let’s find out what type of basketball shoes are available.

High-Top Basketball Shoes

High-top basketball shoes have a higher ankle area and provide your ankles with maximum stability.

Mid-Top Basketball Shoes

Mid-tops are halfway between high-tops and low-tops. They provide some coverage and support for the ankles.

Low-Top Basketball Shoes

Low-tops are the best type of basketball shoe for running, as they are cut lower and have the least amount of padding around the ankle. They offer the most freedom and comfort.

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Characteristics of Running Shoes

Running shoes are designed to specifically support the foot by absorbing the impact of strides. They support long-distance running because they are lightweight, comfortable, and provide stabilization. They have durable soles that are meant to be used for track and trail running.

Not all running shoes are built the same. Some are more suitable for shorter distances/sprints, while others are good for marathons and long-distance running. Running shoes may also be designed for heel strikers or midfoot strikers.

A female running in specifically designed support running shoes

The Main Differences Between Basketball and Running Shoes

If you are wondering can you run in basketball shoes, it is first useful to compare basketball vs running shoes. Basketball shoes often have a reinforced toe cap for protection against toe injuries, whereas running shoes usually don’t. Basketball shoes feature durable materials such as leather for maximum support. On the other hand, running shoes prioritize flexible, breathable, lightweight mesh materials.

Running shoes are designed to be lightweight in order to prioritize easy movement, while basketball shoes are heavier because their purpose is to provide support and stability to the feet and ankles. Also, many basketball shoes have extended high-top collars for ankle support, whereas running shoes have a lower-cut design.

How to Choose Basketball Running Shoes: Basic Recommendations

When choosing basketball shoes for running, there are a number of factors to consider.


Your shoes should provide you comfort during extended wear and not cause you any foot pain.


Your shoes should provide you with the stability needed to handle your activity on the basketball court.

Ankle Collar Length

You can get high-ankle, mid-ankle and low-ankle shoes, depending on whether you want a heavier shoe that covers your ankle or a lightweight one that facilitates easier movement.

Height of the Cushioning

The cushioning in your shoes is what helps keep your feet comfortable while running. Some people prefer more cushioning, while others prefer less.


The traction on the bottom of the shoe keeps it from slipping. It’s important to choose shoes with traction that is durable and appropriate for the terrain you are running on.

4 Best Basketball Running Shoes

Let’s look at some of the best basketball shoes for running.

  1. The Nike Cosmic Unity ‘Amalgam’ men’s basketball shoes that have a unique design and are highly appreciated by customers.
Best Athletic Shoes
Nike Men’s Shoes Cosmic Unity Amalgam DA6725-500

These are fantastic athletic shoes with a thin and durable outsole. They are lightweight and feature partially recycled materials in the upper.

Material: Sustainable materials and recycled content
Sole Material: Responsive and cushioned midsole
Outsole (tread feature): Durable rubber with multidirectional traction
Drop: Moderate heel-to-toe drop
Breathability: Enhanced airflow for comfort
Comfort: Plush cushioning and support
Special Features: Eco-friendly design, innovative materials
Type: Versatile performance basketball shoe with sustainability and performance
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2. The Adidas Dame 8 basketball shoe is a versatile sneaker that is suitable for both men and women. The sneakers have a stylish design, about 30 different colors and a wide size range.

Support By Running
Adidas Unisex-Adult Dame 8 Basketball Shoe

These shoes feature an air mesh upper for breathability and dual-density Bounce Pro cushioning, which provides the ideal tradeoff between support and energy return.

Material: Durable and supportive upper
Sole Material: Responsive Bounce cushioning
Outsole (tread feature): Herringbone traction pattern for grip
Drop: Moderate heel-to-toe drop
Breathability: Improved airflow for comfort
Comfort: Plush cushioning and secure fit
Special Features: Damian Lillard signature design
Type: Basketball performance shoe with good traction
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3. The Nike LeBron Witness VI Black is a men’s basketball shoe with a stylish design and a high rating among buyers. The upper of the sneaker is made of reinforced mesh, which provides additional stability. The outsole is made of Phylon rubber and has Max Air cushioning, which is designed to dissipate impact energy and improve elasticity.

Maximum Support And Stability
Nike Lebron Witness 6 Black/Deep Royal Blue-Siren Red (CZ4052 005)

These Nike shoes offer maximum support and stability for your foot. The Air Max cushioning absorbs impact and offers immediate responsiveness.

Material: Supportive and breathable upper
Sole Material: Responsive foam midsole
Outsole (tread feature): Herringbone pattern for court grip
Drop: Moderate heel-to-toe drop
Breathability: Enhanced airflow for comfort
Comfort: Cushioned and secure fit
Special Features: LeBron James signature design
Type: Basketball performance shoe with support and style
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4. The Under Armour Adult Lockdown 6 is Basketball Shoe belong to the Lockdown collection from the famous Under Armour brand. The feature of the sneakers is their light weight and durability. The upper of the sneakers is made of leather and has mesh inserts to provide additional breathability. The cushioned insole provides comfort both during play and walking.

Comfort And Breathability
Under Armour Unisex-Adult Lockdown 6 Basketball Shoe

This Under Armour model is made from durable leather, with mesh panels for comfort and breathability. They also have a plush foam sockliner for increased underfoot comfort.

Material: Supportive and breathable upper
Sole Material: Cushioned EVA midsole
Outsole (tread feature): Herringbone traction for court grip
Drop: Moderate heel-to-toe drop
Breathability: Enhanced airflow for comfort
Comfort: Padded collar and cushioning
Special Features: Durable and supportive construction
Type: Basketball performance shoe with support and traction
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Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens If You Run in Basketball Shoes?

Wearing basketball shoes when running for an extended period may cause ankle pain and other issues.

Are Basketball Shoes Suitable for Running and Walking?

They are definitely suitable for running and walking, but they should only be worn for short-duration activities. It is not a good idea to make long-distance running and walking in basketball shoes a habit.

Are Basketball Shoes Better Than Running Shoes?

It depends on your personal preference and the activity you choose to engage in. If you’re a basketball player, then basketball shoes are a better choice. And if you’re a runner, running shoes tend to be better.

Summing Up!

Basketball shoes can be used for running in a pinch, but are not the ideal shoe for the activity. Running in basketball shoes over the long term may cause pain in your feet and could even result in injury. Have you run in basketball shoes before? Share your experience in the comments!

Also Read:


  • Effects of shoe weight on landing impact and side-to-side asymmetry // PMC: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8360605/
  • The Science of Sneakers: High-Tops vs. Low-Tops // Inside Science: https://insidescience.org/news/high-tops-low-tops
  • Basketball Shoes & Injuries // American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM): https://www.aapsm.org/mlbball.html

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