Finding a great pair of basketball shoes as a big man is not as easy as it used to be. The NBA game is shifting away from slow and heavy big guys, towards smaller and more versatile players, and the same is happening to basketball sneakers.
Signature shoes these days are almost exclusively reserved for guards like Kyrie Irving, Paul George or James Harden and the only taller guy that has a signature sneaker with one of the big brands is Kevin Durant – not exactly a traditional center!
But fortunately, there are still some sneakers that work well for traditional big guys, and in this article, I am going to show you how to find them!
How to find your perfect pair of basketball shoes as a center:
- Most centers prefer high-top sneakers
- The cushioning should provide a lot of impact protection
- The shoe should be very supportive
Let’s see why that is:
Why most Big Men chose High-Tops
Traditionally, basketball sneakers were cut higher than regular sneakers, ending above the ankles. While that is no longer a case, with light and flexible low-tops becoming more and more popular, most big guys still prefer high-tops.
These shoes provide additional support and a sense of security which is important for the battle under the basket. The ankle collar also helps to protect against other players stepping on your feet, and the additional weight doesn’t matter for most big guys because they don’t rely on their quickness anyways.
Why Cushioning is so important
Guards like Steph Curry or Kyrie Irving don’t need a lot of cushioning, and this shows in their signature sneakers which come with very firm and low mid-soles. Obviously, that won’t work for heavier basketball players!
The additional pounds of big guys put a lot more stress on the joints and which means they need softer and more comfortable shoes to reduce the amount of pressure they put on their feet. Cushioning systems like Nike’s Zoom or Adidas’s Boost, which offer a lot of impact protection and comfort, are are a great choice for centers.
The following shoes have been selected from the list of all popular basketball sneakers as of March 8, 2018. They all fulfill following criteria:
- They are High Tops
- Cushioning was rated better than 8.0/10 on average
- Support was rated better than 8.0/10 on average
You can check out all shoe reviews and apply your filters as you like here.
- Comfortable Boost cushioning, premium materials and great traction
- Works for players of all positions
- Very supportive leather upper, great traction, and responsive Zoom Air cushioning.
- Perfect if you like old-school basketball sneakers
- Very supportive high top with amazing traction and support
- Perfect if you are looking for traditional high-top basketball shoes
- The combination of Air Max and Zoom provides an insanely comfortable cushioning
- Works extremely well for big guys that need a lot of impact protection.
- Old school design with modern Boost technology
- Works best for players of all positions who have narrow feet
Best Basketball Shoes for Centers
Traction and cushioning perform very well and the support is absolutely amazing because of the solid materials used. The fit is more problematic as the leather doesn't conform to your feet as well as modern textile materials do.
If you like old-school basketball sneakers then you will love the Kobe 1 Protro, but if you are looking for a minimal and fast shoe then this isn't for you.