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Are Basketball Shoes Good For Running?

Deciding what shoe to get can leave a person with paralysis by analysis, and while I hope this brief analysis helps, the true answer to the question of whether basketball shoes are good for running may really just depend on you.

  • Are you a runner that needs another pair of running shoes or just someone that may run occasionally and play basketball occasionally?

Running shoes are substantially lighter with a lot less ankle support as well as less heel protection. If you plan on going on 10 mile runs, you will be lugging around a lot of extra weight for no reason. Nike’s Air Jordans for instance, weigh nearly 500 grams (roughly a pound), while a quality running shoe may weigh 250 grams or less. Yes, a running shoe may weigh half as much as the same size basketball shoe, and while 8 ounces may not sound like much, when there are roughly 2,000 steps in a mile, your legs will feel it for sure. Wearing Basketball shoes for the occasional run should be fine, but if you are a runner, you likely have an extended gate and the ankle support may do more harm than good.

  • Are you gravitationally enhanced and out of shape in general?

People that are overweight and looking for a running shoe may find a basketball shoe to be a viable option. Being overweight, you will likely not have the long strides that require the added flexibility an actual running provides, and you may actually benefit from the added ankle and heel support while you shed the pounds.

  • How serious is your basketball game?

Regardless of your running style or your general physical characteristics, wearing a quality basketball shoe for long runs, will likely cause excessive wear on the sole. Basketball shoes are designed to be used on a smooth hardwood floor, not on asphalt, or worse yet concrete, so your likely to see a significant reduction in grip on the court.

  • Is fashion part of the decision?

While fashion wasn’t part of the question, everyone wants a shoe that looks nice whether on the basketball court or running a marathon. While a lot of people are not interested in celebrity endorsements, NBA player endorsed shoes do tend to draw a premium and probably make for a more “fashionable” set of kicks (that’s cool talk for shoes).

In general, if you need a running shoe, get a running shoe. Basketball shoes are heavy, not flexible, and could actually do more harm than good. Consumers that play an occasional game of basketball and may do a fun run here or there will probably be perfectly happy with a basketball shoe. Consumers that want to take both sports seriously, or run long distances, should get specific shoes for each sport.

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