Are Basketball Shoes Good For Gym?

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You may have wondered 'are basketball shoes good for the gym?" if you're a fan of playing basketball and weight training.

If you're planning on loading up the plates on your top barbell, you'll want to ensure you're getting the right protection, support, and levels of comfort from your footwear in order to hit some personal bests.

With that being said, we've put together this guide where we discuss some of the pros and cons of basketball sneakers and whether we feel they would suit going to the gym in.

Let's begin.

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Are Basketball Shoes Good For Gym? - The Sole

An in-depth study by Run Repeat found the best footwear option for weightlifting, especially when squatting, was a flat-soled shoe because they produced a more upright trunk and reduced the stress on your lower back when compared to wearing running shoes.

If you take a pair of Harden Vol. 5's as featured in our best basketball shoes list, you'll see they come with a flat sole that maximises ground contact and should, therefore, be suitable for weightlifting training in the gym.

Are basketball shoes good for  adidas product image of a singular black shoe with a multicoloured cow-like patternym
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Image Credit: adidas

In fact, the 2019 World's Strongest Man winner Martins Licis wore Nike basketball shoes during training as they had flat soles and offered considerable support, particularly around the ankles.

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Are Basketball Shoes Good For Gym? - Support

As previously touched on, basketball shoes are designed to provide considerable amounts of ankle support because one of the most common injuries in the sport is either an ankle inversion or flexion.

This may be beneficial in the gym as you can experience ankle pain during exercises such as calf raises, but having a pair of shoes like the Air Jordan XXXVI's might help to counteract this.

Are basketball shoes good for gym Nike Air Jordan product image of a singular white and gold basketball shoe
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Image Credit: Air Jordan

However, basketball shoes also come with a huge amount of padding in the midsole to disperse shock which is unideal for lifting because footwear like SABO Deadlift Shoes are designed to keep your feet as close to the ground as possible in order to avoid absorbing any of your power.

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Are Basketball Shoes Good For Gym? - Protection

If you look at weightlifting shoes, you may notice the majority of the footwear incorporates padding for protection or, at least, has a stiff outer layer designed to increase stability.

Thankfully, basketball shoes are also designed to be stiff in order to preserve your body, especially your ankles, as a 2019 study into midsole stiffness found stiffer shoes elicited a decreased peak ankle plantarflexion.

Much like with weightlifting shoes, a stiff pair of basketball sneakers should allow for an optimal transfer of force during a lift, as well as improved stability.

Are Basketball Shoes Good For Gym? - Durability

Playing a full basketball game puts a huge amount of pressure on your footwear, therefore, basketball shoes need to be durable in order to survive.

Thankfully, this is only a good thing when it comes to lifting because, during deadlifts or squats, in particular, you're asking your shoes to withstand a lot of explosive downward force which is another reason why gym trainers, like the inov-8 Fastlift 335, come with noticeably hard soles.

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Are Basketball Shoes Good For Gym?

Ultimately, the shoe closest to perfect for whatever style of training you partake in at the gym will probably be one designed for that specific purpose.

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However, we feel basketball shoes for weightlifting, in particular, possess a number of qualities comparable to some of the best gym shoes around.

While the added cushioning in the midsole may not be ideal, the stiffness, support, and flat soles make basketball shoes a viable option to wear and train with in the gym.