Are Basketball Shoes Good For Running?

The main purpose of shoes is not only to protect our feet but also to provide stability, comfort, and support. Different activities require different types of shoes, for example, waterproof sandals or flip-flops for going to the beach or hiking boots for a hike, or ice skates for skating. But humans have always liked to do things their way and at times just for following the trend or simply due to being too lazy they might mix up their shoes. One might wear non-waterproof shoes for a pool party or wear high heels to the convenience store. Most of the time there is no harm done but there are a few instances it can get dangerous. This article is about one such controversy that is “Are basketball shoes good for running?”

Basketball Shoes vs Running Shoes

Are basketball Shoes Suitable For Running?

The answer to the question regarding using basketball shoes for running cannot be a one-word answer, i.e. yes or no. Basketball shoes are different from running shoes but they can be used as running shoes only when certain conditions are met. Running is the type of exercise that not only burns calories but also tones muscles. Basketball is the kind of sport that involves a lot of running around and basketball shoes can also be worn while going for a run. But they should not be used regularly.

While running shoes should be light, basketball shoes should provide support. The cushioning in those shoes is ideal for the game of basketball but might be heavy for other exercises like running. It is fine to wear basketball shoes for a short run, but if they are worn for a longer time then their weight would tire one out. Even the lightest basketball shoes tend to be heavier than the average running shoes. There is another issue regarding using any kind of sports shoe for running. The shoes sometimes rub against the Achilles tendon. To avoid getting blisters from it one should always choose a basketball shoe that is comfortable and true to size.

Basketball Shoes vs. Running Shoes

Basketball shoes are quite different from running shoes not only in their external appearance but internally as well. While running shoes like sneakers provide support to both the forefoot and the heel, basketball shoes do the same, especially for the heels. In the case of the running shoes beside the whole body weight, there is also the momentum due to the motion of the body moving forward, so they are designed to absorb the shock of every step taken. While playing basketball much of the jumping and stomping put an impact on the heels and hence their design for extra heel protection.

Running shoes are made to be used on concrete, tracks, or uneven roads and so they have a hard and rough sole that would last. On the other hand, basketball is usually an indoor sport played on the hardwood. For this reason, their soles are also made from soft rubber. Running shoes are mostly lighter than other shoes. But basketball shoes are heavier in weight and are actually good for those looking to lose weight through some light running. They provide extra stability as well as support to the ankles. 

Can Basketball Shoes Be Used For Running?

Basketball shoes can be used as running shoes only under a few conditions. They are as follows:

  1. They should fit well since they are heavier than normal running shoes.
  2. They should not be worn for longer distances.
  3. They should not be used over surfaces such as sand, concrete, or snow.
  4. They should not be used indoors if they are being used while running.
  5. They should be used mostly for those looking forward to losing weight as they provide perfect support and stability to the ankles.

Are Basketball Shoes Good For Walking?

If basketball shoes go well with the outfit and one wishes to wear them on a casual walk then one shouldn’t care what others say. But the thing that they should take care of is to choose low-cut shoes that would not only allow them mobility but also keep the ankles comfortable. These shoes should also be worn on solid and flat surfaces. It is advisable to clean the soles once in a while to maintain their traction for a long time. Wearing high top basketball shoes with shorts is another thing to avoid. The tongue might rub on the skin and cause discomfort.

If they are used daily as casual wear then they need to be aired so there’s no bad smell and they remain fresh for the next use. Both the features i.e. arch and ankle support and cushion design make them comfortable for the feet. But it is to be kept in mind that the basketball shoes used as casual wear should not be used to play basketball. Separate pairs should be used if they are used for both playing basketball and walking. If they are used as casual wear their durability would also be less than when used for playing basketball. Basketball shoes made for the outdoor are more suitable to be used with casual wear instead of those made for the indoors. The ones made for indoor games would lose their grip if used on concrete or cement, unlike the outdoor basketball shoes that are made to have an outsole harder than them.

Problems Using Basketball Shoes For Running:

When a runner runs, their foot and body follow the forward motion for which their heel lands first then the foot rolls forward when they again push off with the ball of their feet. These are the mechanics of running that humans use to run faster and longer. Basketball shoes make the activity of running more stressful so they tire one out faster. It is made of heavier materials meant for playing basketball which makes it harder to stride forward after a while. The designs that are high cut or mid cut are not suitable for running shoes.

Anyone who chooses to run in basketball shoes should limit the duration and frequency of their runs. It is advised to run a maximum of two times for about two to three miles every week. It could lead to serious injury if one keeps wearing the wrong footwear for the wrong activity every time. Using wrong footwear is said to even have caused stress fractures in individuals among other reasons. Stress fractures are caused due to highly impacting continuous motion that results in tiny bone breaks in the lower bones of the legs. Using them also increases the risk of Achilles tendon injury due to a lack of proper support and cushioning in a run.

Is It Safe To Run While Wearing Basketball Shoes? 

Certain factors have to be met if one wishes to run while wearing basketball shoes. Since it is a sport that involves both walking and running around besides other things they can be used for running. But this is only for short distances because basketball is played where one can only sprint inside the court. To avoid any sort of foot injury it is better not to use basketball shoes for longer distances. They should be used once or twice a week for running instead of every day. Due to them being heavier than normal running shoes, they are ideal for the ones wanting to lose weight.

What Is The Difference Between Running Shoes And Basketball Shoes?

There are about five major differences between running shoes and basketball shoes in regards to cushioning support, weight, soles, and movement. The cushioning in running shoes is mainly in the forefoot and the heel rather than being concentrated in the midfoot region like in basketball shoes. Running shoes are lighter in weight compared to any basketball shoes. Basketball shoes are made with softer soles since they will be used on a smooth basketball court indoors. Running shoes have the opposite when it comes to their soles which are harder in comparison to involving outdoor activities like running on concrete and roads. Running shoes are made with only the forward movement in mind while in the case of basketball shoes they are needed for side to side movements besides a little bit of sprinting.

Are Basketball Shoes Good For Running On Treadmill?

When it involves powerlifting and body-building exercises, basketball shoes can be pretty useful. But when it comes to any type of running be it on the road, trail, or a treadmill, one is advised to use regular running shoes instead. It would definitely reduce the performance during any aerobic exercises such as running due to their composition and weight. Unlike running shoes, they are not flexible enough and the extra weight makes the runner fatigued and uncomfortable soon enough. High cut basketball shoes can restrict the movement of the feet during a run and result in sore ankles afterward. Expect for the mid-sole region there is not much cushioning in the rest of the sole which makes them unsuitable for running long distances.


Basketball shoes and running shoes have several similar traits while they might be used for different activities. Running shoes are never recommended to be used during a basketball game while basketball shoes can be used for running once in a while. According to the trend, people might match basketball shoes with their outfits. That is absolutely harmless and based on their preferences, but to use them for a morning jog or during a workout is a completely different thing. Basketball shoes are all about supporting the feet while running shoes must be the lightest and most flexible. So the answer to the question “are basketball shoes good for running” would be affirmative only when used occasionally and for short distances.

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