The right basketball shoes can make or break a game. Especially when it comes to those who play center.
We jump for rebounds, blocks, and the occasional dunk. All that jumping puts a lot of pressure on our frail knees.
Nike G.T. Jump 2
The bounciness of the Zoom Air and the cushioning of the Nike React Foam make these the best overall shoes for centers this year!
Best for Outdoors
Nike KD 15
A Flyknit upper for comfort and deep grooves that can be used on any court indoor or out makes these the best outdoor shoes for centers this year!
Best Under $100
Nike Kyrie 8 Infinity
Are you a big guy looking to ball on a budget? Look no further! These shoes are breathable and lightweight, allowing you to rim run with the best of them.
Grab the rebound. Hit the outlet man.
Sprint to the rim, Mark!
Sir, yes sir.
I sprint down and get my position in front of the basket with a defender on my back. I wait for the guard to pass me the ball.
And wait, and wait…
I finally get the ball, turn, and slam it home. Two points.
I like to hang on the run for a second or two before letting go. When I do, it’s like landing on a cloud of cotton candy your parents bought you at the fair with a bit of uncertainty about all that sugar.
Not only do the right basketball shoes prevent injuries and boost your confidence, but they’ll also keep you from slipping on the court like a cartoon character. This slippage can be held to a minimum if you know how to make basketball shoes more grippy as well.
There are tons of options out there, so let me help you narrow down the field.
I’ve rounded up the best basketball shoes for centers this year that offer unbeatable performance, support, and comfort.
What Are the Best Basketball Shoes for Centers?
Here are my top picks for the best basketball shoes for centers this year.
- Three doses of Zoom Air (bottom layer of the upper and two forefoot units) give you more bounce off the floor. It combines with the jump plate, wrapped with rubber for added support and durability, for an extra spring.
- Nike React foam in the heel offers cushioning and comfort when landing suddenly and powerfully. The molded heel has an engineered curve for energy absorption and support.
- The exoskeleton look and feel uses negative space to make the shoe lightweight
- Herringbone traction uses a data-informed design to create a grip on the court. Linear and lateral lines provide multidirectional grip that helps reduce slipping and sliding.
- Lacing directly through the medial and lateral webbing loops adds forefoot and maximum ankle support.
- Engineered mesh provides lightweight, breathable comfort and containment.
The Nike Air Zoom G.T. Jump 2 is a good basketball shoe for centers due to its unreal cushion that helps you jump higher and land softer than ever before. One caveat is the price point, but these things will last a long time as long as you take care of them.
Introducing the Nike Air Zoom GT Jump – a great pair of basketball sneakers for centers. With an Air Zoom unit in the forefoot, these basketball shoes provide responsive cushioning for a comfortable and smooth ride. Its lightweight design and breathable upper offer maximum agility and comfort, while its durable rubber outsole ensures excellent traction on any surface. The Nike Air Zoom GT Jump will take your basketball shoe experience to the next level.
Basketball shoe with responsive cushioning for a comfortable and smooth ride
Air Zoom unit in the forefoot provides additional support and stability during games
Lightweight design and breathable upper offer maximum agility and comfort
Durable rubber outsole delivers excellent traction on any surface, making these a good pair of outdoor basketball shoes as well
Sleek and stylish design makes it a great addition to any rotation
The Nike Air Zoom GT Jump is a lightweight and responsive basketball shoe with an Air Zoom unit in the forefoot for added support, making it perfect for bigs and a very supportive shoe overall. However, some hoopers may find the sizing to be slightly small and may need to make manual adjustments in the toe box.
The signature shoe of All-Star guard Klay Thompson, the Anta KT8 basketball shoe is designed to elevate your game to new heights. With its lightweight and breathable construction, the KT8 offers maximum comfort and agility on the court. Its responsive cushioning provides excellent impact protection, while the durable outsole ensures superior traction. Step up your performance with the Anta KT8. Check out our Anta KT8 performance review.
- Lightweight and breathable construction for enhanced comfort and agility on the court.
- Responsive cushioning system for excellent impact protection and added bounce.
- Durable outsole with superior traction to maximize grip and stability during quick movements.
- Innovative design with a sleek profile for a stylish look on and off the court.
- Supportive fit with a secure lacing system to keep your feet locked in place.
- Enhanced ankle support for added stability and injury prevention.
- Versatile performance shoe suitable for various playing styles and positions.
- High-quality materials ensure durability and long-lasting performance.
The Anta KT8 is a basketball shoe collaboration between NBA player Klay Thompson and Chinese sportswear brand Anta, known for its lightweight and breathable construction, but some reviewers consider it to be a bit pricey option in the market.
This is a big-time shoe used by Dwayne Wade and D’Angelo Russell. Even though it’s used a lot by guards, this is a great pickup for any big man whose playing style allows them to do more than rebound and score near the basket.
- Lightweight and Durable: Crafted with high-quality materials, the Wade Shadow 4 is built to last while keeping your feet comfortable all day long.
- Enhanced Traction: The innovative outsole design provides exceptional grip on any surface, giving you the confidence to take on any challenge.
- Responsive Cushioning: Experience ultimate comfort with the advanced cushioning technology that absorbs impact and delivers a smooth and responsive ride
- Breathable Upper: Stay cool and dry with the breathable mesh upper that allows for maximum airflow, preventing sweaty feet during intense workouts.
- Stylish Design: With its sleek and modern look, the Wade Shadow 4 is not just a performance powerhouse but also a fashion statement.
The Wade Shadow 4 is a high-quality pickup for any and every big man. Again, it’s worn a lot by D’Angelo Russell, but it includes responsive cushioning systems to help take the strain off centers and power forwards who are constantly jumping for rebounds and dunks. The lightweight materials may wear easier, but that’s the only caveat to this basketball shoe.
With its lightweight design and responsive cushioning, the Wade 808 2 Ultra V2 offers unparalleled comfort and support. The breathable upper keeps your feet cool during intense workouts, while the durable outsole provides excellent traction. Elevate your performance to the next level with the Wade 808 2 Ultra V2.
- Lightweight design for enhanced agility and speed
- Responsive cushioning for maximum comfort and energy return
- Breathable upper to keep your feet cool and dry during intense workouts
- Durable outsole for excellent traction on various surfaces
- Sleek and stylish design for a modern look
The Wade 808 2 Ultra V2 is a high-performance basketball shoe that offers a customized fit and comfort with its drop-in full-length BOOM midsole. One of its pros is its responsiveness and energy accumulation over previous models, while one con is the limited availability of certain colorways.
Meet the Air Jordan 36 – a high-quality pair of basketball shoes for centers. With its Flywire technology and Zoom Air cushioning, this shoe delivers unparalleled support and comfort on the court. Its lightweight design and breathable upper offer maximum agility and mobility, while its durable rubber outsole ensures excellent traction and grip during quick cuts and jumps. Whether you’re dominating in the paint or taking your game beyond the arc, the Air Jordan 36 will help you elevate your skills and dominate the competition.
Basketball shoe designed with Flywire technology for stability and support
Zoom Air cushioning in the midsole offers great support, comfort and responsiveness on the court
Lightweight and breathable upper enhances agility and mobility during gameplay
Durable rubber sole provides exceptional traction and grip on any surface
A sleek and stylish design complements any basketball outfit
The Air Jordan 36 is a pair of basketball shoes that offer exceptional support and comfort on the court with its Flywire technology and Zoom Air cushioning. A very fun shoe to play in that basketball enthusiasts will love. While it is a high-performance hoop shoe, some may find the price to be on the higher end.
A stylish and versatile sneaker that combines comfort and performance. With its cushioned Air sole unit, it provides superior impact absorption and maximum support. The durable leather upper ensures long-lasting wear, while the rubber outsole offers excellent traction on various surfaces. Whether you’re hitting the streets or the gym, the Nike Air Deldon is designed to keep you looking and feeling great.
- Cushioned Air sole unit for superior impact absorption and support
- Durable leather upper for long-lasting wear
- Rubber outsole for excellent traction on multiple surfaces
- Versatile design suitable for various activities, from casual outings to gym workouts
- Breathable materials to keep your feet cool and comfortable
The Nike Air Deldon is a basketball shoe known for its inclusive design, featuring the innovative FlyEase technology for easy on-and-off. One pro is its accessibility, while one con is that the traction could be improved, according to some reviews.
Here are the second best basketball shoes for centers this year and KD’s signature shoes. A couple of shoe features include a Flyknit upper that conforms to your foot and a responsive cushioning system. These basketball shoes ensure a comfortable and explosive performance on the court. Their rubber outsole provides top-tier traction, allowing for quick and agile movements, and its durable construction ensures longevity throughout the season, making them a great pair of outdoor basketball shoes. Get ready to dominate the game with the Nike KD 15. Check out our Nike KD 15 performance review.
Flyknit upper conforms to your foot for a comfortable and secure fit
A responsive cushioning setup provides explosive energy with every stride
Rubber outsole with a multidirectional traction pattern ensures excellent grip on the court
Durable construction ensures longevity throughout the season
Dynamic colorways add a stylish touch to your game-day look
The Nike KD 15 basketball shoe is a shoe that even NBA centers wear and offers a comfortable and secure fit with its Flyknit upper, as well as excellent grip on the court due to its rubber outsole. These are not only great for indoor courts but also a great pair of outdoor basketball shoes that function extremely well on outdoor basketball court terrain. One potential downside is that the shoe may be slightly heavy for some players, but all in all, it is a great outdoor option.
If you’re looking for some shoes you can play outdoor hoops in, feel free to check out our post on the best outdoor basketball shoes this year!
Introducing the New Balance Two WXY V3 – one of the best basketball shoes for centers and a pair of the best basketball shoes overall this year. Some shoe features include a durable yet breathable upper and stable sole unit. These basketball shoes offer excellent support and traction on the court. Its REVlite midsole provides responsive cushioning, allowing for explosive movements and quick cuts. Its sleek design also offers a stylish touch to your game-day look. Dominate the competition with the New Balance Two WXY V3. Check out our New Balance Two WXY v3 performance review.
Versatile basketball shoe suitable for a variety of activities, including running
A durable yet breathable upper offers excellent ankle support and comfort
A stable sole unit provides enhanced traction and grip on the court
REVlite midsole delivers responsive cushioning for explosive movements and quick cuts
Lightweight design ensures maximum agility and performance
- The sleek and stylish look makes it the perfect addition to your game-day
The New Balance Two WXY V3 is a versatile pair of basketball shoes for centers, with a durable and breathable upper and stable sole unit that makes these very supportive shoes. Most basketball shoes out there do not have this type of versatility. One potential downside of these basketball sneakers is that some users may find the fit to be slightly narrow in the toe box and have a longer break-in window.
Introducing the Nike Kyrie 8 Infinity – the best basketball shoes for centers this year under $100! With a lightweight design and responsive cushioning, it provides explosive energy to dominate the court. These Nike basketball shoes have great shoe features, including an enhanced traction system that allows for quick and agile movements, while its durable construction ensures longevity throughout the season. Big guys everywhere will elevate their game with the Nike Kyrie 8 Infinity! Check out our Nike Kyrie 8 Infinity performance review.
Lightweight design for enhanced speed and agility
Responsive cushioning provides explosive energy with every stride
Enhanced traction system allows for quick and agile movements on the court
Durable construction ensures longevity throughout the season
An innovative lacing system provides a secure fit and added support
Breathable materials keep feet cool and comfortable during intense play
Dynamic colorways add a stylish touch to your game-day look and help you stand out from many basketball sneakers
The Nike Kyrie 8 is a lightweight basketball shoe that provides explosive energy and quick movements on the court, making these perfect basketball shoes for big guys. Although it’s in the top spot, these are great budget basketball shoes and high-quality outdoor basketball shoes as well. Their innovative lacing system offers added support, but some may find its sizing to run small.
The Nike Air Max Impact 4 is a basketball shoe designed for explosive performance on the court. Its durable upper provides excellent support and stability, while the Air Max cushioning delivers maximum impact protection. With its grippy rubber outsole and sleek design, the Air Max Impact 4 is the perfect combination of style and functionality for serious ballers.
- Durable and supportive upper for enhanced stability and lockdown during intense basketball games.
- Air Max cushioning system provides exceptional impact protection and responsiveness for explosive jumps and quick cuts.
- Rubber outsole with a multidirectional traction pattern offers excellent grip on the court, enabling precise movements.
- Lightweight construction for optimal agility and freedom of movement during gameplay.
- Sleek design with stylish aesthetics for a modern and athletic look.
- Breathable materials and mesh panels promote airflow to keep your feet cool and comfortable.
- Lace-up closure ensures a secure and customizable fit.
The Air Max Impact 4 is a lightweight basketball shoe with Max Air cushioning in the heel for confident jumps and comfortable landings, perfect for players seeking both performance and comfort. However, it’s important to note that some reviewers mention that the shoe may run slightly narrow, so it’s recommended to try them on for the best fit.
If you’re looking for more cheap shoes, check out our best cheap basketball shoes post.
What Are Basketball Shoes for Centers?
Basketball shoes for centers are shoes developed specifically to adapt to the responsibilities big men have on the court.
Centers are often bigger guys, so their basketball shoes need to have added support in order for the player wearing them to avoid rolled ankles and knee injuries.
More weight causes more wear and tear on shoes, which is why the materials used on these shoes are some of the best in the business.
As a center, I have learned over the years that there are only a handful of shoes that give me the support and comfort needed for me to play the way I play.
Choosing the best basketball shoes is an important decision for centers, as it can affect their performance and prevent injuries.
It’s difficult to find the best shoes for you.
You’re not alone!
Whenever I look for basketball shoes, I try to find features that highlight my strengths and protect my feet while playing.
Through trial and error, I’ve narrowed down my search to certain features that protect my feet and ankles while also allowing me to be the most effective on the court.
The basketball shoes I’ve discussed in this article are designed specifically for centers, offering a combination of support, comfort, and style.
When selecting your basketball shoes, be sure to consider your style of play and the features that matter most to you.
Above all, choose a shoe that fits you well and provides the necessary support to keep you safe and successful on the court.
Do I Really Need Special Center Shoes?
Short answer: Yes.
Trust me, I’ve spent my entire life as the biggest guy on the court. I’m sorry to say not all shoes work for us. (Which sucks because some of the other shoes are really really cool.)
What Basketball Shoes Do Most NBA Players Wear?
I hate to say it, but this question is almost impossible to answer.
PJ Tucker alone wears, like, over 100 pairs of shoes a year. LeBron and KD will wear their signature shoes. Check out an NBA game to see what your favorite player is wearing.
What Shoes Does Nikola Jokic Wear?
Jokic wears the Nike Air Zoom G.T. (Mentioned above!)