The Best Basketball Referee Shoes of 2024

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you.

Spread the love


When you think of basketball, the players always come to your mind first. However, a basketball game is only complete with agile referees. How do they keep up with fast players? Simple. They need to be comfortable on the court, and a great pair of shoes is their secret.

Simply put, the best basketball referee shoes are the ones that make you feel comfortable and protected. The price does not matter as long as it keeps you on the go. The rest of the article will discuss the most recommended basketball referee shoes, so keep reading.

Our Favorites for the Best Basketball Referee ShoesOur Favorites for the Best Basketball Referee Shoes

Basketball referees are not the first people you think about when talking about shoes. They are often overlooked since they are widely known as rule implementors. However, they need to wear the most durable shoes possible, just as much as players do.

Choosing the best pair of shoes might be a tedious task; the first factor you should consider is its durability and comfort. The design and overall aesthetic should be something other than your top priority. We have listed the best basketball referee shoes below so you will not buy a low-quality one.

Nike Men’s Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer

It is never wrong to choose Nike Men’s Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer if you are after solid traction and protection during an intensive basketball game. It is the best referee shoe for basketball since it can withstand long working hours without hurting your feet. 

Nike Air Monarch is also designed to be lightweight and rigid at the same time. It means that it does not hurt your feet while giving you the comfort and protection you need to keep up with the demanding basketball nature.

It also works well in hot weather seasons, so buying Nike Men’s Air Monarch is not a waste of money. Check out the points below for the good holy grails of these best-rated basketball referee shoes.

What makes Nike Men’s Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer unique from other basketball referee shoes:

  • Its overall protection is magnificent since it is designed with comfortable support. A Phylon foam and overall-length enclosed Air-sole unit were used for its midsole, which gives impact protection to every stride.
  • Nike Men’s Air Monarch Cross Trainer comprises two soles. The midsole is for comfort, while the outsole is for durability. The outsole has a solid rubber composition, which makes it perfect for any surface while giving enough traction due to its herringbone pattern.
  • It is perfect for any surface, especially wooden basketball courts because it has enough grip that protects you from tripping. Hence, it reduces your chances of getting injured.

Why choose Nike Men’s Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer:

  • You are guaranteed the best quality since the NBA partners with Nike. Hence, Nike referee shoes are expected to be of excellent quality and design.
  • If you are all for durability, this pair of shoes is the best for you. It is layered with foam midsoles and a solid outsole for comfort and durability.
  • The breathable upper leather makes you feel lightweight while running to and fro. It is best for referees because it is responsive to every move you make while protecting your feet from shocks and sprains.

Nike Men's Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer, Black/Black, 12.5 Regular US
  • MEN'S LEATHER SNEAKERS: Leather upper features overlays for support and perforations for airflow.
  • COMFORTABLE TRAINING: Foam Phylon midsole and full-length encapsulated Air-Sole unit cushions for comfort and support.
  • NATURAL MOTION: Solid rubber outsole is durable and provides traction over varied surfaces.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT GYM SHOE: Mesh shoe tongue enhances breathability and heel pull tab helps with easy on and off
  • NIKE MEN'S SHOE: Imported and man made with synthetic sole

Reebok Zig Energy 

Another top-tier basketball referee shoe that you should add to your wishlist is the Reebok Zig Energy. Its wider sole makes it easier for you to function well on the court with great comfort and protection. Simply put, it makes you feel like running is effortless.

If you work tirelessly for several days a week, Reebok Zig Energy provides you with the durability and comfort you need. It almost feels like walking on a pillow with cushioning and well-padded sole supports.

What makes Rebook Zig Energy unique from other basketball referee shoes:

  • The wide soles of Rebook Zig Energy make it look like a platform shoe. The broad protection makes it more durable and gives more shock-resistant support.
  • Its DMX Shear cushion is perfect for long working hours, especially if you constantly run around the court. It optimizes your ability to run faster and farther with less foot fatigue.
  • Its Zig sole is specifically made to absorb impact and lessen injury. It also makes you move faster on the court with ease and confidence because it makes you on the go by reducing leg muscle strains.

Why choose Rebook Zig Energy:

  • It has an Reebok Men's Zig Dynamica 2.0 Cross Trainer, Black, 10.5Ortholite sock liner ” /, but you can replace it with orthotics. This removable sock liner is a massive advantage since only a few shoes in the market have the same technology.
  • The primary reason you should choose this is that it gives you the ample support and comfort you need. Its soles may look weird initially, but you will love it in the long run—exactly how other users felt.
  • You will never want to return to your old shoes once you get used to their wide-sole tread. It feels like you are walking even though you are running intensively because of the soft support it gives.

The Runner-Ups for Best Basketball Referee ShoesThe Runner-Ups for Best Basketball Referee Shoes

Although the above are already the best basketball referee shoes, you should check out some alternatives that give you almost the same features and perks.

Choosing a pair of shoes is always a matter of preference so it would be best to source alternatives. Below are just a few of the runner-ups for basketball referee shoes that make you feel protected and lightweight.

Hoka One One Bondi 7 

You can never go wrong with the classics, so there is a reason why NBA top referees still prefer Hoka’s referee shoes. This shoe is perfect for rigorous running since it makes you feel like you are walking on the clouds.

Running on the court is no longer strenuous since it has wider outsoles and soft midsoles. Now that you are already stoked with this referee shoe check out why you need to add it to your cart now.

What makes Hoka One One Bondi 7 unique from other basketball referee shoes:

  • It has improved its classic features, making sit more palatable for various feet. Although it retained its breathable EVA midsoles, mesh upper parts, and Meta-Rocker technology, the plush memory collars can accommodate different ankle types—wider or narrow heels.
  • The rubber outsoles perfectly support your heels from strenuous activities. Therefore, you are protected from injury during games while maximizing your endurance.
  • It has wider soles, which make it easier to balance. Although more comprehensive, the weight is tenfolds lighter than it seems. Therefore, you can move around more accessible and faster without any complications.

Why choose Hoka One One Bondi 7:

  • It gives the same comfort, durability, and features as the newly manufactured models. Therefore, you will never regret choosing this shoe brand.
  • The cushioning system, soles, and design are perfect. You are guaranteed to look good and protected during a match. 
  • Top referees prefer it to other shoes because it combines modern and classic design and materials. 


HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 Mens Shoes Size 10, Color: Black/Black
  • Breathable open engineered textile mesh upper with seamless synthetic overlays
  • Breathable textile lining for abrasion-free wear
  • Removable textile lined, foam padded insole for cushioning and support
  • Durable full-length EVA midsole to absorb shock and offer stability
  • Durable synthetic sole with rubber inserts for grip

Asics GT 1000 8 

You can never go wrong with Asics running shoes because they are known for manufacturing quality products. Hence, Asics GT 1000 8 is guaranteed to go beyond your expectations.

The thing about this shoe model is that it is specifically designed to absorb shock and impact. Therefore, running on these shoes is expectedly comfortable since the materials are lightweight and manufactured by one of the best brands that make top-tier running shoes.

What makes Asics GT 1000 8 unique from other basketball referee shoes:

  • It is manufactured with all Asics technology, particularly the DuoMax support system for foot-arch area protection and the TRUSSTIC for excellent motion control.
  • Asics High Abrasion Rubber ensures the model can withstand for a long time. 
  • The Flytefoam material is lighter. Accordingly, it weighs 55% lighter than other materials weigh. 

Why choose Asics GT 1000 8:

  • Asics GT 1000 8’s upper is designed with breathable mesh. Therefore, it allows proper airflow. You can move around the court freely and comfortably.
  • One of the causes of injuries is overpronation. This shoe model is specifically designed to provide support overpronation. Hence, it decreases your chances of having ankle injuries.
  • It has removable sock liners. You can remove or alter its orthotics according to your preference. It allows you to adjust if it is too tight or if it has spare space.

ASICS Men's GT-1000 8 (4E) Shoes, 10XW, Black/Black
  • I.G.S (IMPACT GUIDANCE SYSTEM) TECHNOLOGY. ASICS design philosophy that employs linked componentry to enhance the foot's natural gait from heel strike to toe-off. DUOMAX SUPPORT SYSTEM. A dual density midsole system positioned to enhance support and stability, positioned sport specifically.
  • REARFOOT GEL TECHNOLOGY CUSHIONING SYSTEM. Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to midstance.
  • SPEVAFOAM 45 LASTING. Employs 45 degree full length SpevaFoam 45 lasting material for a soft platform feel and improved comfort.
  • FLYTEFOAM MIDSOLE TECHNOLOGY. Our FlyteFoam technology provides exceptional bounce back and responsiveness no matter the distance, utilizing organic super fibers to help reduce packing out that traditionally happens with softer, low density foams.
  • GUIDANCE LINE MIDSOLE TECHNOLOGY. Vertical flex groove decouples the tooling along the line of progression for enhanced gait efficiency. TRUSSTIC SYSTEM TECHNOLOGY. Reduces the weight of the sole unit while retaining the structural integrity of the shoe.

The Value Picks for Best Basketball Referee ShoesThe Value Picks for Best Basketball Referee Shoes

Price is another angle to consider when choosing a referee basketball shoe. It does not mean the quality is good when the price is high. Some cheaper products are way better than their expensive counterparts. Below are some of the best basketball referee shoes, but cheaper.

Under Armour Charged Assault 8 

If you work tirelessly for several days a week, Under Armour Charged Assault 8 will never disappoint you. It is slightly cheaper than some of the shoes above but provides you with almost the same amount of comfort.

What makes Under Armour Charged Assault 8 from other basketball referee shoes:

  • It has a great combination of durability, comfort, lightweight, and stability, which means that it is an excellent package for something affordable.
  • Imagine wearing this shoe while running. It feels like you are wearing nothing, but you still feel protected. It only weighs 9.9 ounces.

Why choose Under Armour Charged Assault 8:

  • First, it is slightly cheaper than most basketball referee shoes. You can enjoy the same feature at a lesser price.
  • The EVA sock liner and the charged cushion system make it perfect for long working hours. It also makes you feel like bouncing on the floor because it receives impact well.


Under Armour Men's UA Charged Assert 8 Wide 4E Running Shoes 11 Black
  • Lightweight mesh upper with 3-color digital print delivers complete breathability|Durable leather overlays for stability & that locks in your midfoot|EVA sockliner provides soft, step-in comfort|Charged Cushioning midsole uses compression molded foam for ultimate responsiveness & durability|Solid rubber outsole covers high impact zones for greater durability with less weight

New Balance Men’s 608 Cross Trainer 

Another shoe you should add to your budget list is the New Balance Men’s 608 Cross Trainer. It comes in premium materials, a basic design, and lightweight support. Hence, you will never regret buying these shoes.

What makes New Balance Men’s 608 Cross Trainer from other basketball referee shoes?

  • It has a perfect-sized sole, which does not make you feel like you are walking on massive platforms.
  • The midsoles are designed via EVA technology. It means you are protected from injuries due to rigorous activities.

Why choose New Balance Men’s 608 Cross Trainer?

  • If you are on a tight budget and don’t want to compensate for quality, buy New Balance Men’s 608 Cross Trainer. 
  • The materials used are not of bad quality despite being cheaper, so it makes you on the run without worrying about its quality.


New Balance Men's 608 V5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer, White/Navy, 10.5 Wide
  • Leather upper
  • ABZORB midsole cushioning aids in absorbing forceful impacts
  • Premium PU comfort insert

How to Choose the Best Basketball Referee ShoesHow to Choose the Best Basketball Referee Shoes

Considering various factors in buying the best basketball referee shoes would be best. It is not just a matter of design but a combination of comfort, durability, stability, and weight. Below are the things to consider when buying a referee shoe.

What color should you get?

Referee shoes follow strict guidelines in color. You can never wear a shoe with a flashy design and color on the court. Hence, black and a little accent of white is the standard requirement.

Would it make you comfortable to move?

The soles and upper parts are the things to consider when talking about comfort. Always choose the ones with breathable upper mesh with lightweight midsoles like foam. These materials will make you feel light but are protected from intensive activities.

Is it lightweight?

It is necessary to keep an eye on its weight. Make sure that it is designed with foam midsoles and somehow solid outsoles. A combination of these materials will allow you to keep moving forward.

Does it come with great grip/traction?

Excellent traction comes from quality shoe spikes. It does not mean that when a shoe produces loud squeaks, it can grip on surfaces. It would be best if you were a particle about its traction since it improves your balance and stability.

Is the cushioning good for your feet?

The best referee shoes are the ones that come in removable cushions. Choosing those you can remove the cushions is vital since your feet may not be compatible with the shoes. Hence, you can replace it with more light for extra protection.

What’s your budget?

Lastly, the price matters. It does not matter if it is cheap or expensive as long as it fits your feet perfectly. Quality should always be your priority. Some shoes are expensive but need more features. Meanwhile, there are cheap ones with ample shoe technology.

Wrapping Things Up: The Best Basketball Referee Shoes

If you are all for quality, the best basketball referee shoes are the Nike Men’s Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer and Reebok Zig Energy. They are designed with the best shoe technology, guaranteeing comfort, durability, stability, and protection. Them being the most trusted models, speak for themselves.

If you are interested in cheaper alternatives, the Under Armour Charged Assault 8is best for you. Although cheaper, the quality is not compromised. Hence, the most important tip is to look for something that fits your shoe well and provides you with enough protection. It is a matter of personal preference.

If you found this post helpful, check out our other basketball gear reviews here.

> Best Basketball Shoes for Big Men

> Best Basketball Shoes for Dunking

> Best Basketball Shoes for Centers

> Best Narrow Men’s Basketball Shoes

Picture of Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

If you found this helpful, help us out by sharing this post!


Readers of this post also read...

How is the NBA All-Star Team Selected

How is the NBA All-Star Team Selected?

Getting into the All-Star game is no simple feat. For some players, it may take several seasons of high-level play to get the nod. However, other exceptional talents come into the league with so much...

Read More
How Do Basketball Teams Qualify for the Olympics?

How Do Basketball Teams Qualify for the Olympics?

The Summer Olympics is the biggest stage in international basketball. These games have an unbridled cultural impact on a global scale. It brings the world together to appreciate a couple of weeks of high-level international...

Read More
What Does DTD Mean in Basketball?

What Does DTD Mean in Basketball?

Basketball is a world of its own with unique terms or jargon, in and out of the court. Through the years, more terms have been developed to represent specific things about the sport, and understanding...

Read More

Get our top basketball tips to become a better baller

Enter your email to get access to our best tips for success.