Do Basketball Shoes Make Good Running Shoes?

When it comes to sports, choosing the best shoes for the particular activity can be difficult. You might even be wondering if shoes designed for one sport, like basketball, can be used for something else, like running. So, do basketball shoes make good running shoes? We've done the research to bring you the answer.

Generally speaking, basketball shoes are not ideal for distance running. Basketball shoes are heavy, and they have taller sides that provide ankle support for quick direction changes. Additionally, the tread on basketball shoes is designed to grip the court, and using them on different surfaces wears them out prematurely. On the other hand, running shoes are light, and they generally don't provide much ankle support.

If you still have some questions about basketball shoes and their limitations, don't worry. In this guide, we'll talk about the longevity of basketball shoes and more. Just keep reading!

A collage of running shoes and a basketball shoes, Do Basketball Shoes Make Good Running Shoes?


Basketball Shoes Vs. Running Shoes

Here we'll discuss the differences between basketball shoes and running shoes in greater detail.

Basketball Shoes

Basketball shoes are specifically designed to be used on an indoor basketball court. The tread on the bottom of the shoes grips the court (which is made of wood, tile, or another similar flat material), allowing players to quickly change direction, pivot, and jump. The gripping quality of these shoes is what creates the classic squeaking sound that has become synonymous with basketball.

In general, basketball shoes don't have quite as much cushion and support as other shoes. These shoes have high tops that protect players' ankles when making these sudden movements. Naturally, this added level of protection slightly reduces the range of motion.

Running Shoes

Running shoes are extremely light, and they have lower sides that give runners' feet a full range of motion. These shoes are made out of a mesh material that lets the feet breathe, making them perfect for long-distance running.

Unlike basketball shoes, running shoes have very thick soles and ample cushion that gives runners all of the needed support for distance running.

Overall, wearing shoes specific to the sport will yield the best performance results and provide you with the most comfort.

How Long Should Basketball Shoes Last?

Ultimately, the mileage you can expect from a pair of basketball shoes depends entirely on usage. In general, if you play basketball one or two times per week, your shoes should last for about four months. If you play almost every day, your shoes will probably need to be replaced after only a month or so. To be more precise, one podiatrist recommends getting new basketball shoes after about 70 hours of play.

With that being said, however, it's important to consider how your particular activity level affects your basketball shoes. If you play basketball daily but merely shoot around and leisurely trot, your shoes should easily last for several months. On the other hand, if you play for hours at a time one or two times per week at a high level of intensity, your shoes will need to be replaced more frequently than the aforementioned timeframe.

How Do You Know When Basketball Shoes Are Worn Out?

There are a few ways to tell that your basketball shoes are worn out.

  1. If you notice a sudden increase in joint pain and muscle soreness after playing, the culprit might be worn-out shoes that have lost their structural integrity.
  2. If the tread on the bottom of the shoes is noticeably worn in any way, it's time for a new pair. As mentioned, the tread is one of the defining characteristics of basketball shoes, as it helps players move more efficiently on the court.
  3. If the inner lining that wraps around the ankle is noticeably worn, it's safe to assume that the shoes are worn out.
  4. If there are holes, rips, or tears on the body of the shoes, they are well past their serviceable life.

Do NBA Players Get New Shoes For Every Game?

Simply put, NBA players can get new shoes for every game if they so choose, but not all of them do. Some prefer to wear shoes that have been adequately broken in while others prefer to get new ones after every game or after every few games.

Can You Run On A Treadmill With Basketball Shoes?

It's not recommended to run on a treadmill with basketball shoes. As mentioned, basketball shoes are designed to facilitate quick direction changes on a basketball court. They lack the cushioning and support of running shoes which makes them less than ideal for continual forward movement.

Additionally, as discussed, the tread on the bottom of basketball shoes is designed strictly for use on indoor basketball courts. The rubbery fast-moving belt of a treadmill will make quick work of the precious tread of your basketball shoes.

Simply put, when it comes to running on a treadmill, stick with conventional running shoes. Running shoes are lighter, and they are specifically designed for long-distance forward movement. In addition, running shoes are more breathable than basketball shoes, so they are significantly more comfortable for prolonged physical activity like running.

Is It Bad To Run In Converse?

Since their inception, Converse shoes have become popular both on and off the basketball court. As such, you might be wondering whether or not it's a good idea to run in them. In general, Converse should be reserved for their intended use—basketball. Converse lack the overall support that running shoes provide. Thus, long-distance running with Converse will likely result in joint pain and shin splints, and nobody wants that.

How Do You Break In Basketball Shoes?

Getting a nice new pair of basketball shoes is always exciting, but it's important to break them in before you wear them for a game. Failing to do so can result in hot spots and blisters, and this can easily ruin your game. Luckily, breaking in basketball shoes is easy.

  1. Be sure to buy the shoes a couple of weeks before they will be worn to an event for the first time. This will give you plenty of time to ensure that they are properly broken in.
  2. For the first 3 days or so, wear the shoes around the house for 15-30 minutes each day. Be sure to wear the same kind of socks you will wear during a basketball game. This will make the shoes begin to adjust to the shape of your feet.
  3. After a few days, gradually begin wearing the shoes for a longer period of time each day. After about a week, you should be able to wear the basketball shoes comfortably around the house for an hour at a time.
  4. Once you can comfortably wear the shoes for an hour or more at a time, gradually begin to increase the level of activity while wearing the shoes for a few minutes each day. Make quick movements and pivots, and make direction changes that mimic those experienced during a basketball game. Once you can do so with no discomfort, your shoes are properly broken in and are ready for the first game.

Be sure to do all of this indoors either on wood, tile, or carpet. This will preserve the tread of the shoes.

In Closing

A collage of running shoes and a basketball shoes, Do Basketball Shoes Make Good Running Shoes?

We hope this guide has helped you better understand why it's best to limit your basketball shoes to the court. Remember, to stay at the top of your game, be sure to replace your shoes as needed.

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