The Top 5 Basketball Shoes For Centers + Big Men (2019)

Being a big man can be a blessing and a curse. You’re always wanted in a pickup game to play center and you can guard the middle like nobody else. At the same time, the strain on your knees and back can lead to debilitating pain and may even keep you off the court. If you’re tall and you want to stay in the game, you need to figure out how to avoid the pain of the center.

The key for big men is to find a shoe with high levels of cushioning. When you’re tall, you often weigh more than average (even if you’re skinny), leading to excessive forces being placed on your knees and back. To minimize the damage, you want to wear shoes that soften the impact you are placing every time you plant your feet.

The shoes below are those that have been reviewed and rated as the best basketball shoes for centers who need to protect their body.

1. Nike Hyperdunk X

  • The multi-directional pattern on this shoe creates traction that matches up with any previous Hyperdunk shoe.
  • The Zoom Air cushioning in the Hyperdunk X provides a level of comfort that is a huge upgrade on the Hyperdunk 2017.
  • The Hyperdunk X has a high quality lacing system and otherwise solid design that provides good levels of support.

Fan Average

4.50
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Critics Average

4.2
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Fan Average

5.00
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Critics Average

N/A
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3. Air Jordan 33

Air Jordan 33
  • The traction is considered solid but noisy. Those who play primarily outdoors will want to consider another shoe.
  • The shoe has been criticized for requiring a long break in period but once you get past that point, it's smooth sailing.
  • Despite having no laces, the Air Jordan 33 has excellent support, bolstered by its rear strap system that encourage heel lockdown.
Air Jordan 33

Fan Average

4.15
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Critics Average

4.4
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4. Nike LeBron 16

  • Remarkable traction that works outdoors almost as well as it does indoors. The LeBron 16 features a wave herringbone pattern and whisks away dirt and dust easily.
  • A stiffer cushioning than the LeBron 15, but the 16 is now quicker and smoother off impact. Excellent use of Max Zoom.
  • Fit can be optimized with variable width lacing, and the solid support, including the stiffer Air cushions, is what you've come to expect from LeBron's beefy signature line

Fan Average

3.86
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Critics Average

4.7
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5. Adidas Pro Bounce 2018

  • The spiral pattern traction pattern offers high level traction on both indoor and outdoor courts.
  • High levels of court feel and the namesake bounce make the Pro Bounce 2018 a comfortable shoe.
  • While the Pro Bounce 2018 may not look like it has much support, the overall shoe construction means that your shoe will stay in place no matter what pressure you put on it.

Fan Average

4.38
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Critics Average

4.4
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