If you’re on a budget and your running shoes are about to say their last goodbye, you end up thinking of your basketball pair as your savior; but…wait!
Can basketball shoes be used for running?
Basketball shoes can be used for running shorter distances (no more than 2 to 3 miles) for a limited time, but when used for longer runs they can cause fatigue. If you plan on running longer distances, get proper running shoes instead!
Different shoe types are designed differently to serve their specific purpose, they come with varying outsoles, insoles, cushioning, ankle supports, adjustability, stability, and flexibility levels keeping in mind the needs of the sport or activity they’re made for. Consider these points before you go on completely relying on your basketball footwear for running.
10 Points To Consider Before Relying On Your Basketball Shoes For Running
1. Design (Running Shoes vs Basketball Shoes):
Running shoes and trainers are made flexible and lightweight to provide a free and comfortable run, as running is a sport in which the movement is forward it is specifically designed considering movements in a forward direction.
They come with grooves and patterns on their out-soles to provide traction and grip on various types of surfaces, be it snow, sand, concrete, or any rough surface.
Cushioning in running shoes is also essentially present in almost all trainers, as it helps with absorbing the shock and pressure produced by the impact of repetitive fast landings from the sport.
Basketball shoes are specially designed for the court and are made stiff, firm, and heavy for the up and down, lateral motion, or simply put, all-round movements that take place while on the court and to provide higher stability with their weight.
With the flat surface that they have- they provide a fair amount of traction for the court which, likewise, is usually flat. Basketball shoes come with rubber out-soles to provide stability as well as just the required amount of flexibility needed for the court.
Furthermore, they are kept high on top to have additional ankle support in order to prevent any sprain or injuries.
2. Weight of the Basketball Shoe (Makes It Harer to Run Longer)
Since basketball shoes tend to be heavier, they can cause fatigue when used for longer runs, and if used regularly they can also cause serious damage to the feet and ankle from all of the pulling due to the weight of the shoe. For dedicated runners, investing in some good quality running shoes and trainers is a must.
However, for occasional short runs around the street, basketball shoes can do just fine.
3. Traction & Grip:
The way basketball shoes are designed, kept flat with rubber out-sole, is to provide required traction for the court and as well as work as shock absorbers and supply enough flexibility to allow all the jumping, abrupt stops, and movements involved in the activity.
However, running shoes and trainers are arched and come with different kinds of outsoles to deliver stability and a strong grip for running, these outsoles in trainers come different based on the type of running they’re supposed to be used in.
Trekking trainers come with thick lug patterns to provide traction on dirt, bumps, and on the ground; tracking shoes come with spikes that can help with building more speed and enhancing performance.
Hence, having completely divergent outsoles basketball shoes might not provide enough traction required for various surfaces you might encounter during running.
4. Will basketball shoes affect the running speed?
The weight from basketball shoes will highly affect your running speed, since they will not be comfortable and light-weight, going on running competitions wearing basketball shoes can make it quite challenging to win.
On the contrary, running shoes are light and are made specifically for the sport, which will help the forward movements as well as produce a better speed and performance.
5. Weight of the user:
It also depends on the weight of a person when considering a shoe and its performance, in case of wearing basketball shoes to running, it can prove to be a better choice to start the running journey with basketball shoes, as basketball shoes are heavy, they come with shock absorbers and have added ankle support.
Hence, they can actually be quite helpful in handling and supporting the body weight during running as well as in providing stability and traction.
These aspects are important if you’re on a bit heavier side, also do get a suitable pair of running shoes after a few test runs on your basketball shoes since they are not meant for frequent runs.
Another thing to consider before using your pair of basketball shoes for running is the brand that the shoe is coming from. Some brands do make lighter basketball shoes, with proper cushioning, support, and flexibility.
Even though they can be used for running but if it causes any sort of discomfort, using them should be stopped immediately. Furthermore, the lightest of basketball shoes are usually still heavier than trainers and running shoes so they may build up fatigue.
7. How Long Can Basketball Shoes Serve as Running Ones?
Basketball shoes can only be utilized for runs spanning on shorter periods of time, distances not more than 2 to 3 miles, and with lesser frequencies of usage since proceeding to go around with these shoes on longer runs and that too frequently or daily can pose serious risks and can cause fatigue, sprain, and injuries.
Hence, utilizing basketball shoes for running once in a while for short runs around the street can be all okay, if in case the pair of basketball shoes is one of the modern ones that are lightweight, and also come with some cushioning these days, can actually be quite fine to go on a long run with, however, it is still better to use running shoes for the very purpose to avoid any discomfort or risks.
8. Personal risks involved:
Wearing basketball shoes frequently on longer runs can cause some serious foot and ankle problems in the long run. Wearing the wrong shoe can make one lose their feeling in the feet or cause a tingling or burning sensation.
Putting on shoes that are not designed to hold the pressure, and provide needed support for an activity can also cause shin splints, sprain, joint dislocation in the ankle, plantar fasciitis, peroneal tendonitis, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring issues and poses many such risks on foot health.
Thus, using shoe types specifically designed for the sport and the article that suits you best in terms of comfort and support is the way to go to avoid and prevent any damages.
9. Shoe Health – Running Outdoor Damages the Health Of Basketball Shoes
Apart from personal health risks, using basketball shoes for running also damages the health and durability of your shoes. Since they’re made flat to be used on the flat surfaces of the court, if you use your basketball shoes outdoors, it is going to damage the sole and it can not be used indoors in the court anymore.
So, if you’re planning to use your basketball shoes again do not use them outside as concrete and rough surfaces of the outside world can be quite harmful to the shoe.
10. Is Alternation Between Both Shoe Types Safe?
Playing basketball includes running on the court, which serves as a reason for assuming it would be all okay to use basketball shoes for running as well.
They can be used to run, but it shouldn’t be a longer run than 3 miles. If you’re using it occasionally for some short runs around the street then it should be okay, however, if you feel any kind of discomfort or pain then you should stop using them for running immediately, that applies to all shoe types in general as well.
Running shoes are also not to be used on the court as they don’t provide much support for the movements caused by the game, they are not built to provide extra ankle support and they can not handle the thrush from up and down movements, hence wearing running shoes to basketball can cause serious injuries; the same risk is involved in wearing basketball shoes to longer runs.
Basketball shoes can be used for runs covering shorter distances with lesser frequencies and for a limited time, however, you have to consider body type when going on runs wearing basketball shoes, comfort level and traction the shoe provides during varying activities, as well as the risks that include in using shoes that aren’t designed for the activity if you’re thinking of using them on longer runs.
Consider getting proper running shoes if you’re planning to run frequently, choose your trainers depending upon the type of running you’re planning to opt for, and see if your feet like them or not.