Are Basketball Shoes Good For Running?

By Alex Mercer

November 7, 2021

If you happen to play basketball, chances are you own a pair of basketball shoes. Did you finish the game and want to go for a run now? While looking at the basketball shoes on your feet, an idea pops up in your mind: what if you just run with these shoes? Well, that’s not a bad idea. But are those basketball shoes good for running?

Basketball shoes are fine for running. But they should not be used as a replacement for running shoes. Running on concrete or mud is different from running on the basketball ground. So, if basketball shoes are used to run long distances, such as more than a couple of miles, it’d eventually harm your feet.

Hence, running shoes are better than basketball shoes if you’re a serious runner. Whether you’re on asphalt or concrete or even muddy roads, running shoes are the ones that will help you tread long miles.

Basketball Shoes Vs Running Shoes – What’s the Difference?

Running shoes and basketball shoes are different in terms of quality, style, durability, etc. In contrast, basketball shoes have softer soles and are heavier built. Running shoes, on the other hand, have better grips that are suitable for the outdoors.

Many might think there is no difference between sports shoes and running shoes. However, this is not the case. Just like other sports shoes, basketball shoes have distinct specifications which make them different from running shoes.

Basketball shoes


Basketball shoes and running shoes serve different purposes. The former is used for indoor courts while the latter tackles the mud and dirt of the rustic world. Since they have various uses, it is only understandable that their built-in features are also different.

Basketball shoes have softer and lighter soles. They are great for running indoors. Because of their plain soles, they often provide comfort in jumping or running speedily in the court. The built quality of basketball shoes varies according to the brands and models.

Running shoes, on the other hand, have rugged soles. The insoles in running shoes are often removable. Therefore, they are easy to clean off of the mud and dirt. The midsole in these shoes helps absorb the landing shock when running and prepares the traction you need for running.


How basketball shoes and running shoe look says a lot about their performance. Where basketball shoes come mainly in a low cut, mid-cut, or high cut depending on the preference, running shoes can be low drop or high drop.

High-cut basketball shoes are often preferable because they lower the chances of injury. Low-cut shoes, on the other hand, provide more movement freedom. But these styles are helpful on the basketball court only.

The unique feature of basketball shoes makes them not suitable for running. If you’re wearing high top basketball shoes when running, you will not get the required speed. Low top ones, again, will hurt your feet in the long run.


Weight is probably the most crucial issue in understanding why you can’t run in your basketball shoes. Basketball shoes are usually heavier than running shoes. Therefore, it is difficult to pick up speed or have decent impact force from the ground.

Basketball shoes are made for indoor, softer, and polished surfaces. The midsoles in these shoes are heavier, which can protect you from injuries when jumping swiftly on basketball courts.

To run, you need shoes that are comfortable for long distances. Running shoes are usually lighter and more comfortable. They help protect your ankle while running and ensure comfortable tracking too.

Shoe Durability

Basketball shoes would generally offer less durability than running shoes. They cannot tackle extra pressure from running on different surfaces. So, they would start losing shine in a shorter time, where running shoes would take a more extended period to wear off.

Running shoes are made for the ease of running on different road types. Dry roads in summer, wet and muddy in the monsoon or winter’s snowy roads, your running shoes can take them all. Their solid construction and lighter weight help you stride on perfectly for a long time.

Meanwhile, basketball shoes will start to wear off if you continue running with them for more than a few weeks. They are unable to generate an impact force on various surface types. Therefore, they are also heavy and have a greater chance of wearing off earlier than running shoes.

See All The Equipment Needed To Play Basketball Here.

Can You Run Wearing Basketball Shoes?

You can run wearing basketball shoes. There is no direct negative health impact if you do. However, to protect both your ankle and your shoes, it is preferable not to make it a habit.

Basketball shoes are alright for running short distances while considering the runner’s weight. Many fitness experts suggest overweight people wear basketball shoes for running. For skinny runners, it is usually better to avoid running in basketball shoes, as these shoes are heavy. Moreover, how often you run outside and how long are necessary considerations in deciding to run with basketball shoes.

Most fitness enthusiasts do not recommend wearing them to jog outdoors. If you’re only running a few miles a week, then they are safe to consider. However, sticking to them for your daily jogging might not be a good idea. Wearing basketball shoes to run for a prolonged period would hurt your ankle. In addition to ankle pain, it will soon start affecting the upper parts of your body also.

Running shoes are comfortable because the soles provide the necessary grip. Mostly, these shoes have curvy soles that balance out the pressure all over your feet. But basketball shoes do not do that. They are for jumpy running on a polished floor, which means lack of speed and impact force on asphalt or mud. Therefore, they will slow you down while jogging, and you’ll feel exhausted quickly.

You can, of course, run in your basketball shoes. But try not to do it regularly so that you can protect your feet from additional pain.

Things To Avoid when Running with Basketball Shoes

Running in your basketball shoes harms your shoes’ long-term health. Wet or muddy roads should be avoided while wearing basketball shoes. You can run short distances of up to a couple of miles with your basketball shoes. 

Moreover, the surface is also essential. Most people who run outdoors do so on concrete or asphalt. Depending on the weather, outdoor joggers also encounter mud or wet roads. Basketball shoes are hazardous on these kinds of roads.

On muddy roads, basketball shoes would feel even heavier with the mud and dirt. Again, slopes or mountains should not be climbed with basketball shoes. Mountain slopes are incredibly slippery places; therefore, if you do not have the right shoes, you might end up jeopardizing your safety and causing yourself serious injury.

You should also avoid walking more than a few miles on consecutive days. Physiotherapists and fitness experts recommended that walking long distances would cause a sore ankle, muscle aches, exhaustion, etc. It would also increase your chances of a leg injury in the future. Thus, do not wear basketball shoes over long distances.


If you’re wondering, are basketball shoes good for running, it’s not. However, if you do wear them, maybe you will not feel as much pain initially. However, they will harm your feet in the long run.

Though basketball shoes are great for playing basketball, you should get a pair of running shoes for running. That will make running a comfortable and great experience for you!

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

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