Are Basketball Shoes Good For Working Out? (Must-Read)

Get up and get moving!

It’s time to get your blood flowing, people!

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of your body calling you to action.

But wait, before you rush off to the gym, there’s something you should ask yourself first.

What are the right shoes for your workout?

You could go ahead and lace up your trainers. Or…you could put on some basketball shoes.

So today, we’re going to look at an important question: Are basketball shoes good for working out?

Yes, you can wear basketball shoes when working out. They are good for certain exercises that require you to have a lot of movement or change direction quickly. However, if your main workout routine involves deadlifting or squats, then it’s probably not the best shoe type to wear.


Are basketball shoes good for working out?

The first thing you need to know about whether or not it’s a good idea to wear basketball shoes while you work out is what type of activity you’ll be doing during your workout.

For example, if most of your workout consists of weightlifting and strength training, wearing basketball shoes with thick soles may make it hard for you to generate power and balance yourself while holding weights.

For upper body exercises, using dumbbells, pull-ups, chin-ups, stretching or certain types of yoga poses, basketball shoes are great.

If most of your workout consists of running or speed drills where you’ll constantly be changing directions while moving fast, then wearing basketball shoes is also perfectly fine.

If you suffer from a leg conditions such as shin splints, consider getting the best basketball shoes for shin splints of 2023. It will ease your life a lot.

Here’s another suggested read: are Converse good for basketball?

Can you lift weights in basketball shoes?

Yes, you can lift weights in basketball shoes, but it’s not recommended for all types of strength training. Also, keep in mind that basketball shoes are not typically made for lifting weights, as they have a sole that’s not as sturdy as weightlifting shoes.

The main thing to consider is: what type of weightlifting will you be doing?

If you’re going to be doing a lot of powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, or strength training that requires a more stable shoe with a flat sole, then it’s probably best not to wear basketball shoes.

However, if your workouts consist of some upper body lifts, such as dumbbells or cable machines, you can wear basketball shoes for those exercises just like you can wear shoes casually.

While you can get away with wearing basketball shoes, there are benefits to wearing weightlifting shoes that shouldn’t be ignored.

weight lifting in basketball shoes

When you put the weight down onto the heel, it helps engage the muscles in your legs that you need to build bigger and stronger. Also, many people who typically have trouble with squats find it easier when they wear weightlifting shoes for this reason. Such shoes also help if your feet are narrow.

If you mainly do light weights or use dumbbells, then basketball shoes will work just fine. 

If you are doing heavier lifts or exercises requiring stability and a hard surface to push off would be better done in a weightlifting shoe. 

So, are basketball shoes good for working out?

When it comes to lifting weights, it is up to the individual to decide what type of shoe they feel most comfortable in for the particular workout. And to be clear, basketball shoes are not recommended for wrestling.

In addition, if you suffer from bad knees, then consider getting the best basketball shoes for bad knees.

Is it OK to use basketball shoes for running?

Yes, basketball shoes are perfectly fine for running as long as you’re not overdoing it. Some people even use them to play badminton. In addition, basketball shoes utilize more cushioning and support, which can be helpful when you’re pounding the pavement hour after hour.

They also tend to have a wider toe box, which allows your toes to splay out and grip the ground as you run. The toe box prevents your foot from sliding around inside the shoe and helps keep you stable.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using basketball shoes for running.

A player running in basketball shoes

First of all, make sure that the soles of your shoes are in good condition and still provide plenty of traction. You don’t want them to start slipping on your treadmill or on the ground.

Also, don’t wear them if you’re running long distances! You really should wear running shoes for a long-distance activity, or else you could be risking injury. Such a nasty injury is getting blisters. More about blisters and basketball here.

Overall, using basketball shoes for running is fine for shorter distances or doing an exercise that isn’t very intense, but it’s important not to over-use them.

And if you suffer from pain in the Achilles, which is quite common in athletes, check out our article son the best bball shoes for achilles support.

How do basketball shoes affect gym performance?

You must pick out an appropriate shoe before starting your training regimen because this will impact how engaged you are during the exercise and how long your feet last.

As a related read, check out my article “Do NBA Players WorkOut During The Season“.

Let’s look at how basketball shoes can help you achieve peak performance during your workout.

The sole

Basketball shoes have a stiff sole built to withstand the constant abuse of jumping, running, and quick stops. In addition, you can keep an extra spring in your step if you wear these shoes because they are equipped to handle all sorts of motions.

The tread is another essential component affecting which trainer you choose for the gym. The sole should be made out of a non-marking material, which will resist dirt and other stains, but still provide an adequate grip against the floor.

This will ensure your footing is steady, especially when you are doing complex lifts or doing another activity (like a balancing exercise) that would typically cause you to slip and slide with a lesser grip.

The upper

For working out, you want something that fits well and is breathable. In addition, you will definitely be breaking a sweat in your shoes, so you need them to wick away moisture to keep your feet as dry as possible.

Pair of basketball shoes

Typically, a mesh upper will be the best option because this will feel comfortable and provide a breathable surface for your feet.

However, even if you start out with a solid exterior, your shoe should still provide an opening for airflow on the sides or on the tongue of the shoe.


Lastly, it would help if you considered the width of your feet when selecting a shoe. Some basketball shoes are available in multiple widths, while others are one or two different sizes, so be sure to consider this before you choose the perfect pair for gym use.

Basketball shoes have a wide toe box because this allows for movement. You won’t have to worry about feeling confined or having your toes smashed together in a narrow trainer.

If you make sure to pick out an appropriate shoe, you will experience less aches and pains during and after your workout.

The last thing you need is an uncomfortable pair of shoes while working out because this will distract you from exercising and even cause injuries.


One significant benefit of using basketball shoes for working out is that they provide plenty of support.

You may not even realize it, but a wrong pair of shoes can lead to muscle fatigue and misalignments in your body. This will only set you up for future injuries, so you want to be sure that you have the proper footwear to do any exercise with ease.

Finally, using basketball shoes with support provides an additional level of comfort. They will be snug and help keep your feet secure as you do any fitness activity.

High tops are usually not needed if you prefer to work out on the treadmill since there is less risk of injury during an exercise regimen that involves walking.

However, it helps to wear shoes with more support for other activities because they can help prevent sprains and strains.


The more you work out, the better, but there are certain precautions that you should take to maximize your performance and protect yourself from injury.

Basketball shoes help protect your feet from blisters and other foot problems.

a child in basketball sneakers jumps up. Only its feet in the hop close

The padding in the shoe helps absorb shock and protect your feet from impact. In addition, the tight fit of the shoe keeps your feet from moving around inside the shoe, which can cause blisters.

The solid shoe construction prevents your foot from twisting or bending too much, which can also lead to blisters.

If you are prone to getting blisters or foot problems, wearing basketball shoes during your workout can help prevent them from happening.


Basketball shoes can hold up against the rigors of a strenuous workout.

You can rely on your shoes to not only keep up with you but also propel and guide you as you work out. 

Basketball shoes are more than suitable for many workouts, such as upper body workouts, but less ideal for other lower body workouts.

In addition, read on to find out how long basketball shoes last.

Last but not least, the price is important too. If you’re planning on working out regularly with your shoes, chances are, they will wear out faster. Thus, consider, getting some cheap ones. Here’s a list of the best ones under 50 dollars in 2023.

Are basketball shoes good for lifting?

Basketball shoes aren’t necessarily ideal for lifting, but they can get the job done. They also work well if you don’t have access to lifting shoes, but if you have them, it’s best to use those as they will be more beneficial.

Basketball shoes are not the best solution for lifting weights or similar activities because the sole on a basketball shoe is cushioned, while the soles on weightlifting shoes have flat surfaces that securely grip while being thinner and providing better stability.

The bottoms of weightlifting shoes have a thick layer of foam, increasing control and decreasing shock transferred to your joints. 

In contrast, there is little support on the bottom of a basketball shoe, making it difficult for lifters to maintain their balance before getting injured from jerking movements.

Here’s a nice list of the best basketball shoes for lifting.

Are basketball shoes good for deadlift?

No, basketball shoes are not good for deadlifting. The main drawback of basketball shoes is that they have too much cushion.

The padding in basketball shoes helps you jump higher and stay more stable when running, but that added cushion is a disadvantage for deadlifting.

With deadlifts, stability is key to a safe workout. That’s why a flat, solid surface works best for deadlifting. Conversely, an unstable surface like one with excessive cushioning cannot generate enough power to lift heavy weights safely.

muscular powerlifter preparing for exercise deadlift

Unlike basketball shoes, flat soles allow you to generate power easily. Power generation is essential for deadlifting because the power has to come “out of the ground” for you to pick up a heavyweight off the floor.

Basketball shoes have a layer of foam between a hard, plastic shell. This means that the shoes have a lot of “give” when you step on them. But, unfortunately, this is what causes your foot to sink into the shoes.

In a deadlift, it’s more critical for you to push through the floor than cushion your weight. If you’re not pushing entirely through the floor when lifting, then you’re wasting energy that you could use to lift heavier weights.

So, basketball shoes are not good for deadlifting. They don’t have the right kind of soles to keep you safe while lifting heavyweights. If you want to improve your form and generate the most power, stay injury-free, and invest in some new shoes made for lifting.

Should you squat in basketball shoes?

No, it would help if you didn’t wear basketball shoes when squatting. When selecting a shoe for squatting, try to use one with an elevated heel. A high heel enables you to squat more profound, which can help improve your range of motion and flexibility.

Elevated heels in shoes can assist you in moving your femur forward during the exercise motion. This will allow you to keep your torso upright and avoid bending too far ahead.

The elevated heel will also help keep your balance during the squatting motion. Just make sure the shoe is stable, so you don’t lose your balance and hurt yourself.

Basketball shoes typically have a lot of cushions, which isn’t good for squatting. Cushion limits your ability to produce force.

Many experts say that you should wear shoes that allow you to move and spread your feet naturally when it comes to squats.

What are the best shoes for squatting or deadlifting?

Check out the cool video below:

The best and cheapest option for a good lifting shoe is a basic Converse Chuck Taylor.

These shoes are great because there is no cushion, which makes it easier to feel the ground and get a good grip.

Chuck Taylors are a classic shoe that has been popular for many years. They were created in 1917 and named after Chuck Taylor, a famous basketball player. The shoes were durable and versatile, which made them perfect for athletes.

Now, they are hardly considered basketball shoes. Instead, they are more common in the skateboarding and hip-hop communities.

Given their construction, they still have a lot of utility outside of fashion for squatting or deadlifting. 

One downside is they aren’t as stable as you might like and can make it tough to balance or hold heavyweight in the bottom of a squat position.

Are basketball shoes good for cross-training?

Wearing basketball shoes for cross-training is a wonderful idea if your favorite aspects of cross-training include jogging, weightlifting, and some other type of exercise that involves muscle contraction.

Cross-training is a type of workout that involves doing different exercises (outside of the athlete’s specialty) to work out different parts of the body.

Are basketball shoes good for cross-training

Since basketball shoes are so versatile, they make great cross-training shoes. Their ankle support and durability will help you stay on your feet through a variety of different exercises.

For instance, the high traction is exactly what you need to stick with it if you are running.

And if your upper body training includes some weightlifting, they’re also equipped for that.

While basketball shoes may not be as good as specialized shoes for each activity, they are a solid “jack of all trades” that can assist you in your cross-training without slowing you down.


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