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Best Basketball Referee Shoes 2021 Reviews

Did you know: “An NBA official referee runs as much as 4 miles throughout the game†(New York Times)

This statement implies that referees also require proper comfort, grip, and breathability while they are making runs inside the court.

All in all, the need for the best basketball referee shoes becomes evident. Why? Because such shoes offer a comfortable midsole, have got proper air circulation channels, and they also ensure a strong grip both indoors and outdoors.

In this context, we are here today to talk about some of the top-rated basketball referee shoes available in 2021. The choices are made while keeping budget, size, shape, comfort, and durability in mind.

Cutting right to the chase, let us have a look at some of the best basketball shoes for referees as follows:

Best Basketball Referee Shoes Comparison Chart

Here is the comparison chart of the top-rated Ref Basketball Shoes available on the market.

ASICS Men's GT-1000 8Synthetic +
FlyteFoam Check Price!
Nike Men's Air Monarch
LeatherPhylon Foam +
Air Unit
Check Price!
ASICS Men's GT-1000 7Fabric +
FlyteFoam +
Check Price!
New Balance Men's 623100% LeatherEVA + ABZORB Check Price!

Best Basketball Referee Shoes Reviews 2021

1. ASICS Men’s GT-1000 8 – Best Referee Shoes for Basketball 2021

ASICS Men’s GT-1000 8GT-1000 8 from ASICS is all about comfort, durability, balance, and breathability. The shoes feature a solid construction that ensures longevity and an improved life span. That’s one of the reasons we’ve put it on the top of our list.

Let us have a look at some of the technical aspects that these basketball referee shoes offer:

Important Features You Must Know:

 High Quality & Comfortable Midsole: 

Starting with the basics, the shoes have got a Flytefoam midsole technology to keep the feet balanced to make them comfortable basketball shoes.

Adding to that, the DuoMax support system (dual-density midsole) also plays a vital role in ensuring deep comfort and relaxation.

A midsole with so many features and options allows the referees to keep running without any hassle.

 Rubber Outsole Offers Enormous Traction: 

Moreover, the outsole has been made up with AHAR (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber) material to ensure a strong grip and traction. Therefore, it’s easy for the referees to move quickly to be there for making important calls during the game.

 Immense Breathability: 

Moving along, thanks to the synthetic plus mesh upper construction, the shoes are extremely breathable. ASICS basketball shoes for referees make sure that there is enough air circulation to keep the feet as dry as possible.

 Impact Guidance System with SpevaFoam 45 Lasting: 

In the end, we’d like to mention the Impact Guidance system (I.G.S) being installed in the basketball shoes. This technological advancement offers a natural position to the heel and toe area to avoid extreme tiredness.

Besides, the presence of SpevaFoam 45 could not be ignored. It enhances the comfort to a new level and improves the support and stability to the feet area at the same time.

Technical Specifications
  • Black/Peacoat/Grey/Yellow colour variations.
  • Synthetic and Mesh construction.
  • FlyteFoam midsole.
  • AHAR rubber outsole.
  • SpevaFoam 45
  • IGS system.
Asics GT1000 8 are indeed the best basketball referee shoes out there. Be it comfort, support, stability, or keeping the feet sweat-free, you can always trust on these basketball shoes. Go get em before it’s too late.


  • Breathable mesh upper.
  • Supportive and comfortable midsole.
  • Strong traction via AHAR rubber outsole.
  • Durable and sturdy overall construction.
  • Lightweight basketball referee shoes.
  • Affordable price tag.
  • Not recommended for basketball athletes.
  • Some referees have had size adjustment issues.

2. Nike Men’s Air Monarch IV – Best Nike Basketball Referee Shoes 

Nike Men’s Air Monarch IVUp next, we have got the Cross Trainers from Nike, which has been proving to be an essential footwear option for the basketball referees. For starters, the basketball shoes have got an impeccable designed combined with durability, comfort, and support. Adding to that, the cushioning is well up to the mark.

Let us take a look at some of the key highlights that these Nike basketball referee shoes offer:

Important Features You Should Know:

 Leather Upper: 

First off, the upper of the shoes have been made from genuine leather for immense balance, ruggedness, and sturdiness.

Not only that, but perforations are also present to keep the shoes away from excessive sweat. Hence, referees can move anywhere in the court without facing any problem.

 Comfortable and Supportive Midsole: 

Moving along, we really liked the fusion of Phylon Foam and Air Unit in the core construction of the midsole. It, therefore, allows the basketball referees to keep their feet comfortable enough.

The midsole also maintains a proper natural posture of the feet by supporting the toe, arch, and heel area.

 Strong Grip Indoors and Outdoors: 

Plus, the synthetic plus rubber outsole combo combined with the patented Nike grooving pattern works like a blessing. It ensures a strong grip both indoors and outdoors to facilitate the referees in the best possible manner.

 Long Lifespan: 

Closing the section with how durable and sturdy the Nike Air Monarch IV are. They’ve got a manmade leather + synthetic core construction.

Thence, you need to invest in them only once and they’ll be there for you for many years to come.

Key Specifications
  • Man-Made
  • Leather upper
  • Black/White/Metallic Silver colour variations.
  • Rubber + synthetic outsole.
  • Low-top shaft to arch measurement.
  • Phylon Foam + Air Unit Midsole.
The Air Monarch IV with a stupendous shape and robust construction are a premium choice for referees who want to make crucial calls during intense games. Go get the shoes if you have more than enough money in your pocket.


  • Extremely durable basketball shoes for referees.
  • Offers perfect size adjustment.
  • The low-top design supports the heel area.
  • Perforations in the upper ensure breathability.
  • Ensure a strong grip and traction.
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor basketball courts.
  • Some sizes are quite expensive.
  • Make loud noise on a wooden court.

3. ASICS Men’s GT-1000 7 – Basketball Ref Shoes 2021

ASICS Men’s GT-1000 7GT-1000 7 by ASICS are the shoes that official basketball referees prefer to wear during intense NBA games. The shape and design of these shoes resemble GT-1000 8 that we discussed above. However, this model is quite affordable and ensures a strong grip both indoors and outdoors. That’s the reason we’ve added it to our list of best basketball referee shoes.

Some notable features about ASICS referee basketball shoes are as follows:

Important Features You Should Know:

 Flytefoam and SpevaFoam Midsole Technology: 

First off, the basketball official shoes meant for referees comes with an extremely comfortable and supportive midsole.

The adjoining for Flytefoam and SpevaFoam technology not only balances the feet but also provides sheer comfort and relaxation.

Hence, referees can make quick movements into the courts without any hassle.

 Rubber Outsole: 

Talking of the outsole, it’s been made with durable and sturdy rubber. Additionally, the basketball ref shoes from Asics also have got a unique grooving pattern.

That’s why we recommend these basketball shoes to be utilized both indoors and outdoors.

 Fabric and Synthetic Upper Ensures Improved Support: 

Last but not the least, the best ASICS basketball shoes for referees have got the fabric and synthetic upper. Visible pores are included to maintain the airflow inside.

That’s why your feet won’t get sweaty even with quick movements.

Technical Highlights
  • Black/Red Alert/Black Phantom colours.
  • Fabric and synthetic core plus upper.
  • Rubber outsole with grooves.
  • FlyteFoam + SpevaFoam midsole fusion.
  • Lace-up design.
ASICS GT-1000 7 offers a comfy fit and a strong grip on different courts. Besides, they are quite affordable. We’d obviously suggest you to get this footwear if you cannot afford expensive referee basketball shoes.


  • A blend of durability, comfort, and strong traction.
  • Midsole keeps feet in a natural position.
  • Multifunctional use (Indoors and outdoors)
  • Extremely affordable.
  • Fabric might rip apart with frequent use.
  • Use with care and precautions.

4. New Balance Men’s 623 – Best NBA Referee Shoes

New Balance Men’s 623At last, we have the brand new Men’s 623 footwear option from New Balance, which is literally killing the wave. The main reason official NBA referees prefer it is that it offers versatility as well as longevity.

Moreover, some of the features that these referee sneakers for basketball offers are as follows:

Most Important Features You Must Know:

 EVA Midsole and Footbed: 

First things first, New Balance Basketball shoes feature an EVA injected midsole combined with EVA footbed.

This midsole is no doubt the best in business when it comes to all-day-long comfort. Support is well up to the mark already.

 Leather Upper with Visible Perforations: 

Mind you that the core and the upper part of the shoes is made up of 100% genuine leather. Along with that, visible pores are installed to keep them as breathable as possible.

As a result, official NBA referees can avoid excessive sweat, especially during the tense gameplay moments.

 Durable Rubber Outsole: 

Last but not the least, the impact of a grooved rubber outsole could not be ignored. Not only it enhances the traction, but the outsole also improves the reflexes and quick movements.

Key Specifications
  • Black/Brown/Grey color variations.
  • 100% leather core and upper.
  • EVA plus ABZORB midsole combination.
  • EVA footbed.
  • Rubber outsole
The black referee shoes from New Balance are getting the hype they deserve. It’s recommended that you get them especially if you are an official NBA match referee.


  • Comfortable and durable leather construction.
  • Ideal for refereeing official NBA matches.
  • Upper is breathable enough.
  • Strong traction via rubber outsole.
  • Low-top design supports ankle and heel.
  • Laces are too short.
  • Tongue area is poorly built.

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Basketball Referee Shoes in 2021?

Basketball refs become lazy when it comes to choosing one of the most essential accessories of the game, i.e. “basketball shoes.â€

That said, searching for a perfect footwear option could waste your time and that’s why we are here to help you out.

The buying guide, mentioned below, is specifically crafted for you to get acknowledged about what to look out for in referee basketball shoes.

Give it a thorough read as follows:

  1. Brand Consciousness:

When it comes to basketball, the only brands you’d find worthy enough are either Nike or adidas.

However, recently, ASICS and New Balance are also entering the basketball industry with some robust footwear options.

That being said, brand consciousness is a good thing when it comes to choosing referee basketball shoes.

We’ll agree that the shoes from adidas and Nike are a bit expensive. Nevertheless, the quality, support, comfort, and durability, these manufacturers offer is quite exceptional.

SO, our stance is that if you are aiming for a long-term investment, then better consider getting the cross trainers either from Nike or adidas or you can choose ASICS as a second priority.

  1. Never Compromise on Comfort:

Comfort should always be the first priority for the basketball referees. Why?

As we already mentioned a fact above that an NBA official referee covers a distance of around 4 to 5 miles in a single game. Therefore, it’s necessary that while you are moving, the footwear you are wearing are comfortable enough.

In this aspect, never ignore the midsole construction. Midsoles with proper cushioning and latest technologies could make your feet at rest and in a natural position at the same time.

Besides, midsole can also help your feet to be as relieved as possible while you are running inside the courts to make important calls.

Therefore, I’d suggest that never compromise on comfort. Else, you’ll face the consequences after refereeing in few games.

  1. Right Size:

Choosing the basketball referee shoes with right size works like a charm.

Many referees ignore this option when it comes to selecting the footwear. As a result, when they get a small sized shoe, it will rip off immediately or it will simply not offer the comfort you expect from it.

Contrary to that, the shoes with large size might either cause blisters or sloppiness when you have to make quick movements.

Therefore, we always recommend measuring your size in a nearby shoe shop before purchasing footwear.

Although it will involve time wastage, but you’ll end up getting the basketball sneakers with right size. So, it is what it is!

  1. Durability Matters:

You as a basketball referee would not want to invest in footwear that works for few months only.

That said, compromising on the durability of the shoes would not only waste your money. But, it will also cause damage to your feet.

This is the main reason we recommend getting basketball shoes with sturdy construction.

Make sure that the core construction involves either leather, fabric, or synthetic materials. Moreover, the knitting must be top-notch so that the outsole won’t rip apart easily.

Keep these things in mind if you don’t want to end up in a mess of wearing poorly built basketball referee sneakers.

  1. Proper Air Circulation:

Air circulation indirectly refers to breathability.

Now, we have noticed that many people don’t care about this feature enough. However, it does impact the overall movement.

Imagine: You are wearing shoes with no proper air channels. What would happen after some time? Your socks and feet will be soaked in sweat and you won’t be able to move with agility and proper balance.

Sounds absurd right?

That’s why it’s necessary that you take a close look into the construction of upper. If it’s made up of mesh and synthetic, then there’s no need to be worried.

However, if you want to invest in leather shoes, then make sure that the upper has got visible perforations for proper air circulation.

This way, you’d feel more confident and comfortable while refereeing a basketball game.

  1. Strong Grip:

Referees just like basketball athletes have to make quick movements and it isn’t possible with shoes that offer poor grip.

Shoes with poor grip are actually a headache as they can not only cause slips but can also injure your legs or calves.

Hence, it’s necessary to get referee shoes with strong traction. In this context, we recommend purchasing basketball shoes with a durable rubber outsole and a unique grooved pattern.

  1. Versatility:

The shoes you get for refereeing should be versatile enough. They must be durable and sturdy enough to be utilized both indoors and outdoors.

This way, it will become easier for you to wear the same footwear whenever you have to manage an indoor or an outdoor basketball game.

Now, from where you’ll get such shoes? You need not to worry! All the best basketball referee shoes we’ve mentioned above are suitable for indoor as well as outdoor environments.

So, you can take a close look at them and make your decision accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

  1. What are the best basketball referee shoes?

The shoes that offer a supportive posture to the feet, are comfortable enough and could work both indoors and outdoors are meant best for referees. We recommend the brand new Nike Air Monarch IV Cross Trainers as this footwear is proven to work for a long time while keeping your feet as comfortable as possible.

  1. What shoes do NBA referees wear?

Referees must abide by the official NBA rules, which state that the match official must wear black coloured basketball shoes. Besides, there must be no logo or trademark on the shoes. So, keeping all these things in mind, we recommend getting the ASICS GT-1000 8 for official NBA referees.

  1. Who is the best referee in the NBA?

NBA releases the chart of best performing referees every year. So, according to the official stats, James Capers tops the list with 209.143 Total Points per Game. James has played a crucial role in conducting smooth and unbiased NBA matches between some of the fiercest basketball rivals.

Summing Things Up:

Basketball referees need to take care of their feet just like a normal athlete as they have to run a lot during the game.

That’s why, it’s recommended to get the best basketball referee shoes for immense comfort, balance, strong grip, and proper breathability.

At last, we’d also want to mention our winner in the form of Nike Air Monarch IV Cross Trainers. These shoes are best meant for referees who often suffer from feet muscles tiredness and cannot move quickly into the court.

So, get them and you’ll improve your game managing skills easily.

That would be all from our side!

Good Luck choosing a perfect footwear pair for your next game!


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