Are Basketball Shoes Good For Running?

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If you're into your cardio and enjoy basketball, you've probably wondered 'are basketball shoes good for running?'

We've previously compared running and basketball shoes for everyday use, however, this guide focuses on the pros and cons of basketball sneakers for your 5k and 10k's, before we deliver our overall verdict.


With that being said, we'll start with comfort...

Are Basketball Shoes Good For Running? - The Padding

When looking at the top running shoes, like these Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%'s featured in our best running shoes list, you'll probably notice they come with huge amounts of padding to displace the high-impact shock from your legs and ankles as you run.

Are basketball shoes good for running Nike product image of a pair of mango citron red sneakers.
Image Credit: Nike

Its purpose is to protect your lower body as running can be quite taxing on your joints, however, the cushioning also helps make the trainers more comfortable, which is ideal when running longer distances.

By comparison, basketball shoes also come with an immense amount of shock-absorption like, for example, these LeBron 18's that feature similar Nike Zoom Air technology to the Alphafly's.

In terms of protection, a 2018 study measuring basketball landings found regular-cushioned shoes showed significantly greater tibial shock compared with highly-cushioned shoes, which explains why the majority of the top manufacturers pack as much padding into its shoes as possible.


Are Basketball Shoes Good For Running? - Lightness

While the majority of modern basketball sneakers, like these Dame 7's found in our best basketball shoes list, are created as light as possible using woven-mesh uppers, they're still not likely to be as light as some of the top running shoes.

Are basketball shoes good for running adidas product image of a singular blue and white trainer
Image Credit: adidas

For example, the Dame 7's weigh around 2.45lbs, whereas a beginner's pair of Brooks Revel 5's weigh approximately 0.54lbs.

One of the reasons why lightweight footwear is key for running is because it can feel as though you're running slower in heavier shoes, thus resulting in you pacing yourself differently to normal.

In fact, a 2016 study into the weight of shoes found that participants ran about 1% slower for every 3.5 ounces of lead added per shoe which means, in terms of basketball shoes, you may find yourself running slower if compared to wearing running footwear.

Are Basketball Shoes Good For Running? - Support

We previously touched on the padding of basketball shoes, however, that isn't the only support you need from your trainers whilst running.


In the case of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21's, you'll find they have been designed to support your instep to keep your feet straight, thus reducing the likelihood of you falling over and injuring yourself.

Moreover, trainers like the adidas 4DFWD's come with midsole technology, designed to generate a great deal of forward motion.

By contrast, most basketball shoes allow for far more lateral movement and are engineered to protect your ankles because one of the most common injuries in basketball is either an ankle inversion or flexion.

While ankle support is useful for running, you may find the added protection, especially with high tops, a bit restrictive on your form and technique.

Are Basketball Shoes Good For Running?

The bottom line is, we feel for longer distances or more serious runners, you should look for a pair of top running shoes instead of wearing basketball sneakers as they simply don’t have the proper protection to handle the repeated impact of your feet.

However, if you only plan on tackling short distances then you will probably have no problem utilising basketball shoes if a pair of suitable running trainers wasn't an available option.


It is worth noting though that you should run in whatever you feel comfortable in because, as covered in our guide to whether basketball shoes are comfortable, feeling satisfied with your footwear is crucial for keeping your motivation high and performing to the best of your abilities.

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