What are the mechanical differences between regular sneakers and basketball sneakers for?



How are they any different? I know they are built differently, but does it really make any difference performance wise? And what is the reasoning behind the differences? Asking because in today’s world, basketball sneakers look more like “fancy” running shoes to me then before when they were high topped and beefier. Is it all just a gimmick?

In: Engineering

I can’t speak to the more specific differences but for the most part basketball shoes go up higher on your ankle so that you don’t roll your ankle, as it’s a relatively easy thing to do in basketball.

For starters, what are “regular sneakers”? Most shoes have a purpose, sneakers in particular are any form of “athletic shoe”. That means they can be for running, playing tennis, basketball, biking, etc. Ultimately, any sneaker you wear can be used for basketball, and any “basketball” sneaker can be worn as other sneakers might be. Specific sneakers might have some minor modifications that suit the specific purpose in mind but “basketball sneakers” are a form of “regular sneakers”.

As for specific minor differences, I can see them not needing to be as light and minimal as running shoes. In running, with good form and proper time to adjust, light and minimal shoes are usually best. Basketball shoes on the other hand don’t need to be as light and have a more regular risk of someone stepping on your feet, so they might be a little heavier and thicker to offer protection against that. Basketball also has lots of changing direction, stop and go movement, jumping, etc – so shoes might include additional ankle support (as stated by another) or better shock absorption (which isn’t normally needed as much as some people believe in running).

Ultimately the differences will depend on what the manufacturer of said basketball shoe decides to include that they don’t include in their “regular” sneakers.

BBALL: better ankle support, rubber compounds designed with wood court floors in mind.. improved ability to rotate on the ball of your foot.. stronger bonds between upper and lower, especially outside edge of shoe, usually more wrap around of the sole around the foot


running: lateral stability, outdoor tread patterns, longer wearing compounds, lighter weight for running,