Can You Use Basketball Shoes for Weightlifting?

You’re probably asking yourself if basketball shoes are good for weightlifting.

Men Wearing Basketball Shoes

Well I’m here to give you all the answers you need.

I have personally used basketball shoes for my weight training for the last 5 months and I have had no issues.

In fact I prefer them over cross trainers due to the immense comfort and support they offer, which is good especially for barbell training.

But I’ll get to all the nitty-gritty stuff in this article. Enjoy.

Lets Look at Some Influencers

I follow lots of fitness influencers because I’m a fitness fanatic myself.

The majority of them (well probably all of them actually) opt for basketball shoes for their workouts instead of cross trainers or weightlifting shoes.

Do they do this just for the good looks and better pictures?

Absolutely not.

They wear basketball shoes because they are hands down much more comfortable, in my opinion.

This is especially true for those who focus more on barbell and dumbbell training, as this requires more stability than using machines (which is where the ankle support comes into play).

What to Look For in a Basketball Shoe to Use for Weightlifting

There are few things to keep in mind when shopping for a basketball shoe for your lifting workouts.

These things are:

Comfort but not too much comfort – Comfort is good because it allows our minds to focus on the things that matter the most, such as our form, reps, numbers, sets, etc.

However, there is such thing as too much cushioning when it comes to things like squats, lunges, deadlift.

These heavy lifts require a great amount of force generation which can be dampened by a shoe that feels like a pillow.

The cushion absorbs the energy and makes the lift much less effective. In case you already have a comfortable shoe, take them off and try the lift in your socks. Don’t worry, this is common so you won’t look silly.

The good news is that most basketball shoes come with a hard insole anyway.

Ankle Support – I would say great ankle support is the epicenter of a basketball shoe for lifting.

This is what holds you in a stable position for all your heavy lifts and helps prevent injuries.

Heel Support – Weightlifting requires lots of heel support. It is one of the body parts that takes the brunt of the force.

The good news is that basketball shoes offer IMMENSE heel support because they are made to withstand high jumps and running.

Flat Insole or Heightened Heel?

This all comes down to personal preference.

Some prefer a flattened heel when doing squats, deadlifts and other barbell exercises, and that’s why you will sometimes see people take their shoes off.

On the other contrary, others like a heightened heel.

A heightened heel helps hit squatting depth easier but also makes it more difficult to maintain balance.

Here’s an article that covers this in detail.

Are Basketball Shoes Good for Squats?

That’s an easy yes.

You do not need to go out and buy a fancy pair of squatting shoes just to gain the benefits.

You can definitely use basketball shoes for squatting and all variations of squats such as: snatches, cleans, push press, jerks, military press, and more.

That’s because they provide all the support and cushioning of a squatting shoe.

There really aren’t many differences other than squatting shoes may have a little more support.

So Are Basketball Shoes Good for Weightlifting?

Of course they are!

I actually prefer basketball shoes over anything else because they have all the comfort, support, and stability I need.

I have used basketball shoes for my weightlifting exercises for the past 5 months and really love them.

They are extremely comfortable especially with exercises like squats, leg press, barbell rows, military press and shrugs.

I will continue using my basketball shoes for as long as they perform, and will buy more when they retire.

Real weightlifting shoes are not needed and you can gain the exact same benefits just by using basketball shoes.

There You Have It!

Well there you have it, everything you need to know about using basketball shoes for weightlifting.

I’ve already explained why it’s 100% possible and a great alternative to real weightlifting shoes, but the rest is up to you.

By the way, these are basketball shoes I’ve been using for my workouts.

I hope you found all the answers you were looking for in this article.

Do you think basketball shoes are good for weightlifting? Let us know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Can You Use Basketball Shoes for Weightlifting?”

  1. Hello Brandon,
    I used to play basketball a lot, and I always wore high top basketball shoes that provide ankle support. It is good to know that I can use this type of shoe for weightlifting. Thank you for sharing your experience of lifting weight wearing basketball shoes.

    • You’re welcome Makenson.

      I am a huge believer in using these shoes for weightlifting because I have done it for years, so that’s why I know they definitely work.


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