Can Basketball Shoes be used for Running & Walking?

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The vast majority of basketball players run around the court wearing high-top shoes designed specifically for basketball, but can they be used solely for running?

Can Basketball Shoes be used for Running & Walking

Basketball Shoes

The high-top design is made to support the ankles during quick movements that cause sudden strains on bones and joints. It’s there to help prevent injury during dribbling, jumping, and landing, where straining or even breaking an ankle is a common sight.

Padding in the sole is usually positioned in the center to allow for more explosive foot action, so how do they compare to running shoes?

Running Shoes

Made out of breathable material, they are very light in weight and usually have a low profile design without ankle support, since running is a straightforward movement and puts much less strain on ankles than basketball.

The soles are soft primarily in the heel and toe area to help reduce the impact of landing, as running can put as much force on your feet as three times your body weight.


Basketball shoes can be used for short distance running but will drag you down after a while due to their bulky and heavy build. Whether you’re training for a marathon or simply like to jog, it’s best you invest in some quality running shoes.

Are basketball shoes good for walking?

Basketball shoes are obviously designed with a specific purpose in mind. To help make professional basketball players excel at their game. But you may have noticed that they’re highly sought after as must-have fashion items.

But can you actually walk around comfortably and safely in basketball shoes?

How the design of Basketball Shoes affects your movement

You must admit the high brow boot styling of a basketball shoe looks pretty good, especially when worn with the latest in casual clothing. Whether you’re wearing shorts or jeans, basketball shoes make you look hip and help you draw much attention to yourself.

However, since form follows function, it’s important to consider why basketball shoes are shaped the way they are. Flip a pair of basketball shoes over and the first thing you notice is how distinctly flat the sole of the shoe is. Basketball is an indoor sport and the surface used is completely flat.

The design, therefore, fits perfectly to the surface and no tire style grip patterns need to be cut into the sole. At the same time, the soles are still made to grip extremely well.

It also suits the movements made by a basketball player who often has to change direction suddenly. You can often hear the distinct squeaks when players are shuffling around at a fast pace, stopping, starting, twisting, and blasting off again in the opposite direction.

The Shape of the Shoe

The shape of the shoe also helps them to engage in short bursts of running perfectly well. But remember this is not the same as long distance running where the shoes are built with better support and cushioning in mind.

The higher than normal heal design of basketball shoes allows players to launch themselves forward at a moments notice.

Added stability becomes vital to prevent injury when moving around in this way. Hence you will find basketball shoes tend to be sturdier and much heavier than running shoes and cross trainers.


So back to our question. Can you wear basketball shoes for walking? You probably can if you want to look good. But if you’re walking to improve your health the added weight and sturdy structure will cause much strain and fatigue. Running shoes will be a better bet because they’re lighter and offer more cushioning.

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