The Top 5 Basketball Shoes For Centers + Big Men (2022)

Updated: June 1, 2022
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 Kyrie Infinity

  • Traction pattern similar to the Kyrie 6 gives a dependable grip, even on dusty courts.
  • Forefoot Zoom Strobel unit adds bounce and impact protection, with a Zoom Air unit in the heel and midsole tooling for a smooth, comfortable stride.
  • Strong lateral containment, ankle support, and heel support for a locked down feel across the foot.

Fan Average

3.90
Rate the shoe
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes)

Review Average

4.6

2. Nike LeBron 19

  • The outsole does an okay job gripping the court, but doesn’t have as much bite as the previous LeBron 18.
  • The outsole does an okay job gripping the court, but doesn’t have as much bite as the previous LeBron 18.
  • Soft, comfortable upper with dependable support and lockdown for maximum stability.

Fan Average

3.85
Rate the shoe
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (120 votes)

Review Average

4.2

3. Adidas Harden Vol. 6

Adidas Harden Vol. 6
  • The popular herringbone traction from the Vol. 3 is back, giving the Vol. 6 a great bite even on wet courts.
  • Boost foam cushioning and Achilles heel cushion pods have a responsive feel.
  • The rubber sidewall adds lateral stability, while internal ankle pods provide a secure lockdown to support agile movement.
Adidas Harden Vol. 6

Fan Average

3.88
Rate the shoe
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (112 votes)

Review Average

4.4

4. Nike Zoom Rize 2

  • Traction is solid and grippy on a range of indoor and outdoors surfaces.
  • Enhanced compression and plush cushioning is a clear improvement over its predecessor, the Zoom Rize.
  • Very good support, even with a base that isn't particularly wide. You'll feel secure.

Fan Average

3.95
Rate the shoe
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (44 votes)

Review Average

4.4

5. Air Jordan 36

Air Jordan 36
  • Simple but effective multi-directional herringbone tread, similar to that on the 34 and 35.
  • Full-length Zoom Air strobel board with additional forefoot unit, for a super-springy response that balances cushioning with court feel.
  • A wide base and 1-to-1 fit, combined with a midfoot shank plate and internal heel counter, gives players all the support features they need.
Air Jordan 36

Fan Average

3.48
Rate the shoe
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (246 votes)

Review Average

4.2
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