Last updated on August 29th, 2023 at 08:08 pm

Do You Need Basketball Shoes for Basketball?

Basketball and basketball shoes go hand in hand. But, do You Need Basketball Shoes for Basketball? Or can you play in normal shoes as well? Find out in this article.

Generally, you can play basketball without basketball shoes, but it’s not recommended. However, basketball shoes are created to meet the needs and comforts of a basketball player. A good pair of basketball shoes will improve your game, be more comfortable and decrease your risk of injury! 

Wearing basketball shoes is not necessary, but it is helpful. Not only will you jump higher and run faster, but you also look appropriate for the game. So, do you need basketball shoes for basketball?

Take it from someone who thought wearing running shoes to play basketball was a good idea. Thirty minutes and a twisted ankle later, I learned my lesson. If you want to know more, keep reading!

Why Do You Need Basketball Shoes? {3 Reasons}

If you are new to basketball, it is normal to wonder why you need basketball shoes. What could they provide that normal shoes do not? 

Well, allow me to tell you exactly why you should buy basketball shoes.

1. Provide Extra Grip

We know that basketball is a sport that requires many twists and turns, and it is also played on a shiny indoor court, so the risk of slipping is high. Basketball shoes allow you to remain confident in your movements because your chance of falling in basketball shoes is lower.

So if you see a player coming straight for you, you can dodge them like a pro without the fear of slipping, slowing you down! 

How is that possible? Well, basketball shoes have specific traction patterns that give you a solid grip on the court. Herringbone traction and storytelling traction are two popular traction patterns commonly found on the soles of basketball shoes, which allow you to make drastic turns without slipping, thus, improving your game. 

2. Higher Jumps

Jumping is an essential part of basketball. If you want to slam dunk the ball right through the hoop, you need a good and solid jump. Basketball shoes have specially designed cushions at specific points in the shoe, which give you a boost!

They also absorb impact without hindering your range of motion. All these factors of basketball shoes allow players to improve their game.  

Consider this if you still question whether basketball shoes will improve your game. If basketball shoes did not improve playing ability, why would professional players buy and play in them? 

3. Protecting From Injury

Getting injured while playing is any athlete’s worst nightmare. Your skill decreases because you become out of practice and the fear of further injury makes you less confident while playing. That is where basketball shoes help you out! 

  1. Slipping and Falling 

Ordinary shoes and sneakers bend, which leads to embarrassing slips on the court and serious foot injuries. Your basketball shoes will put up quite a fight before they bend. 

Basketball shoes have a plate in the midfoot area so your feet cannot bend; if you ever fall or land badly, your feet will not suffer severe injury. 

  1. Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are the most common injury faced by basketball players. The high tops in basketball shoes are for more than just looking cool. These high tops provide support and decrease the likelihood of rolling your ankle and high ankle sprains.  

A common problem with basketball players is Achilles tendon injuries due to how much bending and twisting your feet do while you play. The high tops of basketball shoes help reduce the chance of this! 

  1. Blisters

Sports such as basketball put a lot of stress on your feet; leading to pain and blisters, which can develop into more serious issues. The cushioning and comfort provided by basketball shoes ensure a pain-free playing experience, provided they fit you well. 

The best basketball shoes have thick soles and provide a strong grip on the court. These shoes are made with the player’s safety in mind. 

They might be heavy on the wallet but they’re effective. Buying and playing with basketball shoes does not guarantee that you will never get an injury, but it decreases the likelihood of injury significantly.  

Read More: Can You Wear Running Shoes For Gym?

Alternatives to Basketball Shoes

You need the right tools to do the right job. Similarly, you require the right sports shoes to cater to the sport’s specific needs. If you were to run a marathon in basketball shoes, not only would you be uncomfortable, your speed would decrease, and you are likely to get injured.

 So are there any alternatives to basketball shoes? 

If basketball shoes are outside your budget right now, there are some other alternatives that provide more support than regular sneakers.

Tennis and basketball are two sports that have similar ranges of motion. Players of both sports are required to make fast movements and need stability. Hence, tennis shoes are a good alternative to playing basketball in. 

Cross-training shoes also have cushioning that provides comfort to players, but the added weight of cushioning can slow down players. 

It’s always better to invest in a pair of basketball shoes. If your only problem is budget, you can find several good quality basketball shoes for under fifty dollars! 

Final Thoughts 

Nowhere is it written that you can play only with basketball shoes. Heck, you could play barefoot (though I wouldn’t recommend it)! But buying basketball shoes will make playing much easier for you. The increased traction and jumping ability provided by these shoes are unmatched. 

It also helps protect you from an injury that will stop you from playing altogether. So, I highly recommend you buy yourself a pair of basketball shoes before your next game! 


Q. Are Basketball Shoes Good for Running?

Basketball shoes are not good for running. Basketball shoes serve a different purpose; they are made for indoor use, so they have thinner soles that could hurt you, and their high tops might protect you from injury on the court but will restrict your movement while on a run. 

Q. Can You Wear Basketball Shoes to Play Volleyball?

Basketball and Volleyball are both indoor court sports. They also require a similar range of motion, so you can wear basketball shoes to play volleyball. It might not provide you with the exact comfort of volleyball shoes, but it is an excellent substitute! 

Q. How Long Do Basketball Shoes Last?

The life of your basketball shoes depends on how much you use them. As a standard measure, if you play 2-3 times a week, you must replace your shoes every 3-4 months. You must replace your shoes monthly if you play 5-6 times a week. The more you run and play, the quicker you will need to replace your shoes. 

3 thoughts on “Do You Need Basketball Shoes for Basketball?”

  1. Pingback: Can You Use Running Shoes for Gym? {WHY GYM SHOES ARE BETTER}

  2. Pingback: Training Shoes for Running: A Smart Choice or Not? - The Shoe Rig

  3. Pingback: Are You Lacing Your Basketball Shoes Right? - The Shoe Rig

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