Why Basketball Shoes are NOT Good for Running – Explained

The short answer is that you can play professional basketball in running shoes. The real question is whether to wear running shoes for both sports? After all, they’re both pieces of athletic footwear. So why are basketball shoes not good for running?

Are Basketball Shoes Good for Running

Different shoes serve varying purposes. For example, baseball and football cleats provide optimal performance when used in their respective sports. With that said, basketball shoes aren’t good for long-distance running. 

With running shoes, these pieces of footwear need streamlined designs to handle long distances. On the other hand, for basketball, shoes made for this sport have to resist the stresses of the court. Understanding these differences should provide improved overall experiences for the physical activity you choose. 

Reason #1 - Basketball Shoes Have Thin Cushions

Running Shoes vs. Basketball Shoes

Do you imagine yourself running long distances while wearing flip-flops? Although it’s possible, but your feet will be sore after the run. Remember, the thin cushions of flip-flops don’t make them ideal for long-distance running. 

You can find a similar thought when comparing basketball shoes to running shoes. Take note that basketball shoes have thinner cushions than running shoes. 

Albeit the cushions in basketball shoes aren’t as thin as flip-flops, running long distances while wearing footwear made for that sport will hurt your feet. 

Therefore, basketball shoes are ideal for short bursts of movement than using them continuously for extended periods. 

Reason #2 - Basketball Shoes are Heavy

basketball shoes are heavy

Even if you use basketball shoes for running long distances, you’ll feel the weight of the footwear weighing you down soon. 

Take for example the Nike Air Jordan XXXIV, which is one of the best basketball shoes for wide feet. This particular footwear weighs 13.1 ounces. In comparison, the Altra Rivera, which is a great running shoe, only weighs 8.4 ounces for the men’s version and 6.7 ounces for the women’s model. 

Reason #3 - Basketball Shoes Aren't Designed for Running

basketball shoes aren't designed for running

In other words, basketball shoes have designs that can interfere with long distance running. For instance, high-cut basketball shoes, like the New Balance OMN1S, has a height that goes over the ankles. This relatively tall height may hit your calf, causing discomfort. In some cases, it might even cause blisters and wounds. 

Many basketball shoes aren’t also as flexible as most good running shoes. In turn, wearing basketball shoes for long distance running can adversely affect your gait or running form. 

How Long Should You Wear Basketball Shoes?

How Long Should You Wear Basketball Shoes?​

If you want to wear basketball shoes for a long time, make sure to only wear them twice or thrice per week at most. Also, only use your basketball shoes when you’re playing the sport. If so, then the footwear should last you for around 3 to 6 months at least. 

On the plus side, you can wear basketball shoes for casual occasions. For instance, you can use basketball footwear for short trips to the grocery store. Additionally, many basketball shoes have hard outsoles, making them ideal for walking on hard surfaces.

Still, if you have other pairs of shoes, use them for casual occasions instead of relying on your basketball shoes all the time. That way, you can increase the longevity of your shoes. 

The Bottom Line

Basketball shoes aren’t ideal for running because of their constructions and designs. Make sure to wear the right shoe for appropriate scenarios and environments to reduce and eliminate the risks of injuries. Furthermore, wearing the right shoe can help increase comfort during appropriate physical activities.

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