Can You Run In Basketball Shoes?

Are you wondering, can you run in basketball shoes? Basketball shoes aren’t the ideal type of footwear for running, but they can be used by beginners.

If you have ever played basketball as an amateur athlete, you probably own a pair of basketball shoes. If you have a pair lying in the back of your closet, you may have thought about using them to start running. While basketball shoes aren’t always the best choice, they can be a good option, especially in some situations for casual runners. 

Basketball Shoes Provide Extra Support

Basketball shoes are designed so that they can provide support to the ankle and heel while an athlete runs around a basketball court and jumps. This is the primary reason why they are high enough to cover the ankle; the shoes are meant to stabilize this part of the foot.

When you’re jumping, this is useful, but when you’re running, this extra support is a mixed bag. People who are new to running, particularly those who have issues with their ankles and knees, will likely benefit from the extra support that basketball shoes provide.

People without these issues, however, will find that this extra support will prevent them from getting maximum force when they push off the ground with their toes. This will cause them to expel more energy or simply not be able to run as fast.

can you run in basketball shoes
Basketball Shoes are high enough to cover the ankle to stabilize this part of the foot

Basketball Shoes Have Extra Cushioning

The extra cushioning in the soles of basketball shoes is meant to protect the foot when it hits the ground after a jump.

For a runner, however, this extra cushioning means it will be more difficult to push off the ground. The extra cushioning will force the runner to use more force on the front part of their foot with every step. Eventually, that will mean the runner will not run as fast or tire sooner.

You might also be interested in our explainers on can you run in Metcons and how to wear running shoes with jeans.

When To Avoid Basketball Shoes For Running

While basketball shoes are fine for running short distances, try to avoid them in these circumstances:

  • Cross-country running: The extra padding and support will only serve to slow a person down over a long distance.
  • Varied terrain running: Basketball shoes are designed to be worn on wood or concrete courts. Their soles will fall apart much quicker on surfaces such as asphalt and sand.
  • Running for speed: These are just not ideal shoes for competition running. They are often too heavy and cumbersome to truly build speed.

If you liked this post, you might also be interested in our explainer on can you run in bike shorts

white basketball shoes with red padding
Basketball shoes with extra padding will slow a person down over a long distance

FAQs About Running In Basketball Shoes

How Will Basketball Shoes Hurt Your Feet When You Run?

If you have to wear basketball shoes for long distances, odds are you will eventually start to feel pain in the pad of your foot. This is because these shoes will force you to apply additional pressure onto this area of your foot in order to lift off the ground. Over a long distance, this can eventually turn into a problem.

How Will I Know When It’s Time To Swap Out My Basketball Shoes For Running Shoes?

If you’re just starting to run, you may find the basketball shoes give you extra support around your ankles, which can actually help some people. Once you get far enough along that you no longer need this support, however, it’s probably time to start shopping for running shoes. You may also want to consider investing in shoes if you’ve hit a point where your run times just aren’t improving.

Is Buying Two Pairs Of Shoes Worth The Cost?

Remember that if you choose to use your basketball shoes for running, you’re likely going to wear them out a lot faster than you would if you were just using them on the court. In the long run, buying another pair of shoes will likely cost about as much as you would spend if you only purchased basketball shoes.