The Top 5 Basketball Shoes For Centers + Big Men (2024)

Updated: January 26, 2024

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 G.T. Jump 2

  • Data-driven multi-pattern traction grips well on indoor courts.
  • Among the best-cushioned shoes you’ll find, with a Phylon midsole, full-length Zoom Strobel, two forefront Zoom Air units and a react column in the heel.
  • TPU plate boosts both the bounce and the stability with dual lace cables for a firm lockdown.

Fan Average

3.30
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Review Average

4.9

2. New Balance Two Wxy V4

  • Solid traction that resists dust and has the durability to play on any style of court
  • The FuelCell technology and Fresh Foam gives explosive energy return for an ideal combination of comfort and rebound power
  • ABZORB pillars in the forefoot and heel absorb impact, with a molded heel counter for excellent foot lockdown

Fan Average

3.43
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Review Average

4.7

3. Adidas Dame 8 EXTPLY

  • Rubber outsole with a zonal herringbone pattern that grips well during quick lateral shifts.
  • Responsive Bounce Pro midsole is more rigid than past Dame iterations but provides good energy return from the TPU propulsion plate.
  • True-to-size fit with a supportive upper, midfoot strap and internal heel counter that combine with the wide base for good stability.

Fan Average

5.00
Rate the shoe
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes)

Review Average

4.7

4. Puma MB.03

  • Aggressive multidirectional traction pattern that wraps around the forefront of the rounded outsole
  • Compression-molded EVA midsole, combined with Nitro foam pucks in the forefront and heel, give it firm, stable cushioning, though with little court feel
  • One-to-one fit with excellent heel-to-toe lockdown thanks to the TPU heel counter and a midfoot shank plate to prevent twisting

Fan Average

4.20
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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes)

Review Average

4.9

5. Air Jordan 38

Air Jordan 38
  • Biting, dust-resistant traction is ideal for indoor courts, though lacks the durability for outdoor play.
  • Responsive midsole with a double-stacked forefront Zoom units that give them a ton of bounce and excellent jump height.
  • Great ankle support from the extended collar and neoprene ankle pillows.
Air Jordan 38

Fan Average

3.44
Rate the shoe
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (86 votes)

Review Average

4.7
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