Making it big in the sports industry requires athleticism and discipline, but did you know that most athletes share the same secret weapon? Yes, they do, and it’s all about using the right equipment—a good pair of shoes is among them.
Famous athletes like Usain Bolt and Michael Jordan have excellent shoes that lead them to the finish line and pinnacle of success. However, can basketball shoes be used for running? The answer is maybe. If you’re considering whether or not you can use your basketball shoes as running shoes, get started and learn through the end of this blog.
What is the Difference Between Basketball Shoes and Running Shoes?
Each pair of shoes are designed with complexities to respond to the needs of athletes, depending on the type of sports you play. Different sports have different skill sets to master based on the technicalities and nature of the game, and shoes are no different. Hence, running in basketball shoes is not a good idea after all.
Perhaps you are thrilled to know the difference between basketball shoes and running shoes; not to burst your bubble, but you need to keep your cool first and understand why using basketball shoes for running seems off.
The short answer to this question is that they are built differently, with different features and purposes. The bulleted list below will help you learn more about their differences.
- Running Shoes are Designed for Long Runs
In the case of running shoes, they are made to ease the strains you may feel along the way while going out for a long run. They are made to make you comfortable while doing physical activities that involve your feet support.
- Basketball Shoes are Designed for Rigid Plays
Basketball shoes, on the other hand, are specifically customized to ease the discomfort you may feel during a stiff and physically demanding match with landing, clamping, etc.
- They Target Different Muscle Groups
Although basketball also consists in running to and fro on the court, basketball shoes are designed with shockproof technology and other features that target different areas of your feet. Hence, one of the two shoe types may cause significant inconvenience or even injury if forcibly used.
- Running Shoes Have Thicker Soles and Lighter Materials
On the other hand, running shoes are made with thicker soles plus lighter materials, making them better for longer distances because they feel more comfortable and light. As running involves the coordination of your heels, you must choose a pair of shoes that provides you with ample protection from heel-related injuries.
Returning to the intriguing question, what is the difference between basketball and running shoes? Can you wear basketball shoes for running?
Finding the right running shoe for basketball players who wish to do more running can be challenging since your feet are used to the comfort only basketball shoes can provide. Nonetheless, it would save you from possible injuries if you choose the right shoes at the right time and in the right sport.
After all, basketball shoes can be technically used for running if you insist. Still, it would be better to make minor modifications, such as adding an insole to protect your feet from sharp and rough objects on trails and concrete floorings.
3 Features of Basketball Shoes
Having mentioned the differences between these two types of shoes, this time, you will be learning the detailed features that make basketball shoes unique from other sports footwear.
- Shockproof and Absorption
Since basketball involves a lot of sprints and jumps, basketball shoes are designed to absorb the impact around the heel areas due to the sudden and quick physical execution. Hence, it prevents heel-related injuries that a regular shoe like running cannot provide.
- Rubber Soles
Basketball court floorings are built using hardwood, which robber soles are ideal to operate on. Rubber soles are softer and provide the bounce effect that can lessen the impact during landings. Therefore, it also prevents you from getting injured during intensive play.
- Ankle Support
If you are a professional basketball player, your shoes may have ankle support designs. This technology makes you more confident to optimize your potential and ace any game inside a court. Unfortunately, running shoes do not have the same feature.
3 Features of Running Shoes
Like basketball shoes, running shoes have distinct materials that are used to prevent injuries in this kind of sport. Below are the features of running shoes that basketball shoes cannot provide.
- Heel and Forefoot Support
When running, your heel and forefoot receive the entire body weight, and running shoes are equipped to prevent injuries in every stride. Although they provide shock absorption like basketball shoes, they target different foot areas. Thus, it is a wrong move to use any of them outside their purpose.
- Lighter Materials
Even if you say basketball requires running, basketball shoes are not designed to endure long runs. Running shoes, however, are lighter and comfortable to wear even for a more extended period. It allows you to run faster because the material is lighter to carry.
- Rougher and Harder Soles
Running footwear have more rigid soles than basketball shoes designed for hardwood floorings because they are meant for trail and concrete floorings. In this case, your feet feel more comfortable stepping on these surfaces that are sometimes sharp and rough.
What Happens If You Wear Basketball Shoes for Running?
The sections above have discussed the specifications of basketball and running shoes and why using them interchangeably in physical activities is a bad idea. It all boils down to the fact that both shoes are designed differently and specified for different aspects and purposes.
If the arguments above are insufficient to convince you, you must also be educated about the consequences of forcibly using one of these shoes outside their intended uses.
Again, you are technically allowed to follow your personal decision to use basketball shoes for running, but you should not forget that it comes with risks you would not like to experience. The question this time is, is it reasonable to run in basketball shoes? If so, what are the benefits or risks?
If you are up for a challenge and break the monotony of your athletic endeavor, you may opt for a more demanding activity, such as running in basketball shoes. However, it would be best if you were physically prepared for the risks involved because these shoes are not designed for these activities.
- You are prone to Injuries in the Achilles Tendon
You may find it a fun and fresh experience at first, but the constant strain in your feet may put unbearable pressure on your Achilles tendon, among other tendons in this part of your body. If ever this constant strain persists for a more extended period, you will expectedly feel pain and even result in an injury.
If you are passionate about doing it, it would be best for you to consult an expert about these issues, like a licensed physical therapist and sports coach, to ensure you will not reach the limiting point or assess whether your biomechanics is beneficial.
- It causes ankle instability
If given a signal, you will notice that using basketball shoes while running takes a massive toll on your running speed. It can also cause increased ankle instability and make you vulnerable to injuries. Basketball shoes should be on your last option list if you compete in a marathon.
- It poses more harm than good
To summarize the argument, forcing your biomechanics does more harm than good. You are not exempt from injuries even if you are a professional basketball player. Hence, sticking to the original plan and prescribed shoe type is the safest route to success and safety.
Are Basketball Shoes Good or Bad for Running?
If you are looking for a definitive answer to this question, you may not find one because it depends on the case. Using basketball shoes is not that bad in some cases; however, it usually has detrimental consequences.
From a technical aspect, you can freely run in basketball shoes for running if you are left with no choice. It is up to you if you are ready for the consequences along the way. Hence, basketball shoes as a running shoe alternative are not prohibited.
Nonetheless, are basketball shoes good or bad for running? The answer is yes, and maybe because it works well when the running track is uneven or when you are running on a rocky surface. They provide excellent protection and support, which is somehow beneficial.
However, it does not work that way at all times. Even if you say running in basketball shoes is ideal on uneven surfaces, it does not mean running shoes are not equipped for these cases. After all, running shoes are designed for all characters.
Running shoes are specifically made for running, and basketball shoes, in like manner, are used for basketball. Remember, these two shoes have different spot protection because basketball and running are total opposites by nature. If you force it, you may injure some unprotected portion of your feet if you use the wrong one.
Overall, running using basketball shoes can be a great experience when you use them minimally and gradually. Do not go out on your first try because you may injure yourself to assess its compatibility—greed is close to trouble.
You can run in basketball shoes for short distances and with limited exertion. As long as you take the time to break them in and use the right shoe for your running style, running in basketball shoes will be a great experience!
Wrapping Things Up: Can Basketball Shoes Be Used for Running?
The best basketball shoes for running do not exist, but the best running shoes for running do. Shoes are just like athletes with different skills and positions; they are designed for various purposes.
Still, can basketball shoes be used for running? The answer is yes, but not advisable. Basketball shoes are made for strenuous landings, rebounds, etc. Meanwhile, running shoes are ideal for long runs.
Hence, use the ideal shoes for specific sports if you care about your physical well-being. Although you can technically use basketball shoes for running, you are certainly not ready for the repercussions.
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.