Basketball is a sport that requires a lot of running. As such, many assume they can go on runs in basketball shoes. However, it is not quite that simple.
Running shoes, as their name suggests, are specially designed to help people run long distances. In contrast, basketball shoes are made for the sport.
That difference may not seem like a big deal, but it creates a few discrepancies that need to be analyzed before deciding what footwear to take out on your next jog.
Every Shoe is Different
In order to understand the shoes you can run in, we first must analyze how the types inherently differ.
Shoes made for running come with sleek designs meant to handle longer distances rather than changes in direction or sudden bursts of speed. They are light, flexible, and have a certain amount of durability that can handle the outside world.
In contrast, basketball shoes are made for the court. That means they come with special construction that helps them resist all of the rapid cuts, jumps, starts, and stops the sport requires. They have shock absorbers and extra ankle support as well.
In that way, each shoe protects a different area of your foot.
Picking the Shoe for You
Basketball and running shoes are similar, but they each come with their own distinct traits and abilities. While it is never recommended to use running shoes on a basketball court (they simply do not have the proper ankle support) basketball shoes can be used while running.
Even so, that does not mean each brand or style can be used on a jog.
Running is all about being as light as possible, where basketball shoes are all about support. That cushion works well when playing on hardwood, but it can add on extra weight to other activities.
That may not be a problem for a short run, but it will build up fatigue during more involved runs. Even lighter basketball shoes have more weight than the average running footwear.
That does not mean you need lighter shoes to run, but it is something to be aware of when choosing to wear basketball shoes on your next jog.
In addition, the heel cushioning is much different on basketball shoes than it is in running ones. That can be problematic because it puts extra stress on vulnerable parts of your foot and can lead to issues like plantar fasciitis.
Running shoes also tend to be more comfortable than basketball shoes. However, this is only an issue for people who run a lot. More casual runners won’t see much of a difference in cushion between the two shoe types.
Reasons to Run
Though basketball shoes are not recommended for every run, and while they do come with certain setbacks, there are a few situations where running in bulkier shoes makes sense.
Heavier runners may actually want to start out with basketball shoes before transferring to lighter trainers. Not only do such models provide enhanced traction, but the added ankle support can do a lot towards offsetting extra weight.
Running shoes also do not have as much shock protection as basketball shoes. Though that doesn’t come up a lot, being able to offset the natural pounding that comes from running on dirt or paved roads can help people with more fragile feet.
Just note that the heel protection afforded by running shoes is extremely important when running on concrete, snow, and sand. Always stick to lighter brands when moving across such surfaces.
A Short-Term Solution
The bottom line is, long distance or more serious runners should never wear basketball shoes while jogging. The shoes simply don’t have the proper protection to handle that impact over and over again.
However, those who run a few miles each week should have no problem utilizing basketball shoes in different ways. Running in shoes made for the activity is always preferred, but there are alternative choices if that is not an option.
Note that, if you ever experience pain in your ankles, heels, legs, or knees while running in different shoes you should stop immediately. It is not always the shoe to blame, but switching up styles helps you figure out what best protects your body during physical exertion.
Useful Resource: 7 Running Tips to Avoid Injury