If you like to play basketball, you probably have some basketball shoes. It might happen that you ever thought about wearing basketball shoes for other things besides playing basketball, like running. So, if you are wondering are basketball shoes good for running, in this article, we will try to help you to figure it out.
Is wearing basketball shoes suitable for running?
Here we are going to discuss whether it is suitable to wear basketball shoes for running or not.
Our discussion will depend on the properties of both basketball shoes and running shoes, which differ them, and how those differences limit both types of shoes from wearing for different applications.
Also, we will talk about what will happen if you wear basketball shoes while running, and wear running shoes to play basketball.
The basketball shoe features
Basketball shoes are specially designed to help you in fast direction changes and sprints on short distances.
Usually, they are designed to additionally secure and suppress the impulse that comes to the heels, since most of the impulse from jumping and stomps, which often happen during the game, comes to the heels.
Moreover, majority of the basketball shoes have soft soles that are made of rubber, since basketball games are mostly played on indoor courts. It is important to mention, that most basketball shoes are high-top, in order to ensure some extra ankle support for overcoming fast steps, that are usual for basketball players.
Basketball shoe types
Here we have listed the types of basketball shoes that are used by players in basketball, and have different properties.
High-top basketball shoes
High-top basketball shoes are the most used models among others. They secure the feet up to the ankle and look similar to boots. High-top shoes are the perfect option if you need a high level of ankle stability and to ensure ankle protection.
However, most of the quick and dexterous defenders do not prefer to wear them, since high-top shoes limit their movement freedom due to the extra support of the ankle. Therefore, the type of shoe that players wear depends on their playing style.
Mid-top basketball shoes
These are the middle ground between high-tops and low-tops, hence the mid-top name.
Mid-top shoes are probably the most versatile ones among other types since they either provide quite good flexibility while ensuring a pretty high level of ankle support and safety. That is probably the main reason why the majority of the National Basketball League players prefer mid-top shoes to other types of basketball shoes.
low-top basketball shoe
Low-top shoes ensure full movement freedom for players during the game, since they have low cut, which means they have less filling around the ankle. However, they have one disadvantage, which is a higher probability of getting your ankle injured.
Also, low-top shoes are most suitable for running among other types of basketball shoes, even though not as good as regular running shoes.
Running shoe features
Typical running shoes are mostly designed for supporting the heels and forefoot areas. They should be designed that way, they can suppress all the energy coming from the stride since all of the body weight and momentum falls on those areas of your feet.
They also need to be lighter, more flexible, and more convenient to help you overcome long-distance running. Moreover, to make it comfortable to run on hard surfaces like concrete, proper running shoes usually have rougher and harder soles.
Why you should not wear basketball shoes for running
We do not recommend you use the basketball shoes as the substation for the running shoes, since they are designed for sudden and short movements in a restricted area, for which they are made heavier and have thinner cushions.
Basketball players, usually, do not run much in forward directions, and run in side directions, with sudden stops and short sprints during the game.
That is why, it is important that basketball shoes can handle strong and quick side movements, and provide additional ankle support.
They also feature a wider and flat sole in order to give basketball players more stability.
When wearing basketball shoes is suitable for running
In some cases, you may use basketball instead of running shoes, but there are a lot of restrictions that you have to follow if you do not want to harm your feet and other parts of your body.
For example, if you are running to lose weight and are carrying more pounds than usual, the extra ankle support and stability plus the added traction of basketball shoes can be helpful.
Also, you may be wearing basketball shoes if you are running short distances, where the impact on your feet will not be very significant.
Since basketball shoes and running shoes are made for different purposes they have different features that do not suit other activities.
What to avoid while wearing basketball shoes for running
So, if you still decided to use basketball shoes instead of wearing running shoes, you should be aware of the restrictions that you need to follow, in order to save your health.
Basketball shoes and running shoes comparison
Here we will discuss the differences between basketball shoes and running shoes, by relying on some characteristics of both types of shoes.
Always pay attention to the surface on which you are going to run. Surfaces like concrete or muddy and dirty surfaces are only suitable if you are using running shoes. If you are going to run on mountain slopes, it will be safer to use trail running shoes.
Be careful with the amount of time and distance that you run. Physiotherapists and fitness experts recommended that walking long distances would cause a sore ankle, muscle aches, exhaustion, etc. It would also increase your chances of a leg injury in the future.
As we know basketball shoes and running shoes are designed for different types of activities. If the first one is made for wearing on an indoor basketball court, while the second one is more for outdoor wearing, to run on surfaces like concrete or mud.
Most basketball shoes typically have lighter and softer soles, that are suitable for wearing indoors. Because of their plain soles, they often provide comfort in jumping or running speedily on the court.
The built quality of basketball shoes varies according to the brands and models.
At the same time, running shoe has stronger soles and usually removable insoles. Thus, it is easier to clean it from dirt and mud. The midsole in these shoes helps absorb the landing shock when running and prepares the traction you need for running.
Basketball shoes and running shoes also have different looks, that show differences in their performances. If the basketball shoes can be low-cut, mid-cut, or high-cut, varying due to the preference, the running shoes, at the same time come low-drop and high-drop.
Basketball players mostly use high-top basketball shoes for decreasing the probability of injuries.
While low-t basketball shoes give the player more freedom of movement.
Though, these ones are indoor basketball shoes that are only useful when you play on the basketball courts.
The durability of a basketball shoe is one more feature that differentiates it from a running shoe. Running shoes usually have a higher lifespan than basketball shoes.
Basketball shoes will lose their new view faster than running shoes during usage for running, since they are not designed for running on surfaces like concrete, mud, etc. While running shoes are quite versatile, and are suitable for running on different surfaces and in severe weather conditions.
If you will use the basketball shoes for running on regural basis they will start to wear down after a couple of weeks, because they are not suitable for different surfaces types. Therefore, they are also heavy and have a greater chance of wearing off earlier than running shoes.
If the basketball shoes are perfect for quick side-to-side movements, the running shoes are better in forward motion.
Basketball shoes are also not suitable for long-distance running and will make you feel tired faster while running shoes will let you run longer distances since they are less heavy.
The weight of the shoes is also one of the properties that determine, whether they are good or bad for running. Running shoes are mostly lighter than basketball shoes. This feature helps you in running, most of the time.
On the other hand, basketball shoes today are mostly heavier and will take more effort to increase the running speed. They have heavy midsoles that secure you from getting injured while jumping during a basketball game.
They are made for indoor courts, with soft and burnished surfaces.
Basketball shoes are perfect for short movements during the game, since they support your heels, and not as suitable for running since you should not be striking with your heels.
This hard and flat design also can place additional strain on certain areas of your foot and cause problems in your feet such as plantar fasciitis.
Basketball shoes have heel cushioning that is concentrated in the midfoot area, which makes the sole lighter and better for quick maneuvering.
Running shoes have more cushioning on the heel and forefoot, which helps your body overcome a shock that is roughly equal to two and a half times your body weight while running.
As we have discussed all the advice and restrictions related to replacing running shoes with basketball shoes, to conclude we want to say that we do not encourage you to do that, only if in special cases.
Nevertheless, if you will follow our advice on what to avoid during running in basketball shoes you may wear them for running sometimes.
Frequently asked questions
- What’s the difference between basketball shoes and running shoes?As we said before, they have a lot of differences in features, like style, weight, cushioning, soles, and durability.
- Are basketball shoes good for working out?You may use them for working out, but for a restricted amount of time.
- Can you use Nike basketball shoes for running?There is no difference in the brand of the basketball shoe, they are mostly not suitable for running, especially for long distances.
- Can I use basketball shoes as sneakers?You may use them to walk, but still for a restricted amount of time. You better use typical running shoes or walking shoes for that purpose.