Difference Between Running Shoes and Basketball Shoes Explained Briefly!

When you buy through links on basketballreviewer.com, As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

It’s very important to know about the difference between running shoes and basketball shoes. Choosing the correct shoes for any sport is very crucial before you embark on either running or playing. Medical professionals have always argued that choosing a shoe specifically for a certain sport can help prevent severe injuries.

Just because running is involved when playing basketball doesn’t mean you can use a running shoe to play the sport. Basketball playing involves many other movements that need shoes specially designed to allow movement and protect the player’s foot hence making basketball shoes unique and different from shoes used in running.

difference between running shoes and basketball shoes

The Differences Between Running Shoes and Basketball Shoes

Support, Cushioning, and Traction

Manufacturers make basketball shoes specifically for supporting lateral movement while running shoes are made intended for straight-line movement.

Because running shoes require fully supported ground impact, they are made with a lot of cushioning and support. However, in running shoes, there is minimal support for the ankle.

Traction of running shoes also differs from basketball shoes. Traction in running shoes is doubled to increase sticking to the surface. This double traction is not necessary for a basketball court.

Weight, Comfort, and Design

In terms of weight, design, and comfort, running shoes are very different from basketball shoes. Some athletes have confessed that they feel like they are not wearing shoes when running. Flexibility in any running shoes is important because too stiff shoes can injure you. They are supposed to bend and must be pliable.

With the increasing technology, running shoes have been made even more lightweight without compromising protection and cushion. Companies are designing more comfortable and weightless running shoes without compromising quality.

On the other hand, basketball shoes are designed to provide full lateral support which is the movement used in the court. They provide a player with ankle support and most of them have either mid or high-top designs. Basketball shoes also allow fluid movement yet offer a good grip on the court and are specially made for intensive use.

Basketball playing involves constant jumping, stopping, direction switch, and running therefore a basketball player needs a shoe that can withstand this. This is why basketball shoes are bulkier than running shoes.

Because of the quality of the padding, cushion, and weight in running shoes, basketball shoes cannot be used interchangeably with them. Even though you can use basketball shoes to run, because of the absence of the arch and sole protection your feet may be hurt and sometimes you may even have an ankle injury.

Running shoes are designed differently and they lack the sturdiness to cushion the constant impact of jumping and running required in a basketball game.

Summary of the Differences between Basketball Shoes and Running Shoes

Basketball Shoes:

  • Very elastic.
  • Absorb a lot of shocks.
  • Designed for lateral movement.
  • The perfect grip that protects slipping.
  • Heavier than running shoes.
  • Provides excellent ankle support.

Running Shoes:

  • Very flexible to an extent that they can bend.
  • Are lighter.
  • Provides excellent traction.
  • Top-notch tread for maximum balancing.
  • Provides good cushion and comfort.
  • Soles have a good grip.


Q1: Can running shoes and basketball shoes be interchangeable?

Basketball shoes and running shoes are very different from one another. Basketball shoes are designed for multi-direction movement while running shoes are only designed for one direction movement.

Because of the constant switch of direction, jumping, and running, basketball shoes have a thick sole, good grip, and rigid heel to offer good stability, ankle support, and absorb shock.

Q2: Can basketball Shoes be used for a GYM?

Basketball shoes are meant for traction, support, and all side movement. They are high top shoes that majorly provide ankle support. B-ball shoes are normally heavy and bulky; therefore they are not good for long workouts and gymnastics.

Q3: What should I know about basketball shoes?

When settling on ball shoes, search for a general level and wide outsole to give you the most extreme equilibrium. For excellent grip, look for outsoles that are hexagonally patterned and with a herringbone, because these are intended to help secure your feet and prevent sliding.

Q4: Are basketball shoes worth it?

When playing basketball you can wear anything you wish however it is always best to use a sport-specific shoe. Basketball shoes are designed with high tops to reduce sprained ankles because of the constant switch of directions. They are additionally designed to evenly distribute landings, unlike other sports shoes.

Final Words

Choosing sport-specific shoes is one of the most crucial decisions to make as a player or athlete. Using sports shoes interchangeably sometimes can lead to serious injuries that may ruin your career. Running shoes are designed for running however sometimes you can use them for exercise.

On the other hand, basketball shoes are made bulkier and with a thick sole and good grip because of the constant jumping, multi-directional movement, and running. Be sure to select the right shoes for the sport you want to engage in.

Related Posts-


Welcome, everyone! I'm John C. Clerk Founder of Basketball Reviewer, an American living in Wurtsboro, NY. I am great fan of Basketball. I love everything about writing where my favorite topic of writing is sports basically basketball. I am father of two kids and love to play basketball with my kids, kayaking, skateboarding etc. If you would like to chat with me please feel free to reach out via facebook or twitter or email.

Leave a Comment