The Top 5 Basketball Shoes For Centers + Big Men (2023)

Updated: January 4, 2023

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

3.67
Rate the shoe
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (46 votes)

Review Average

4.6

2. Nike LeBron 20

  • Traction is absolutely outstanding.
  • Cushion is bouncy with amazing court feel. Big upgrade over last year's LeBron.
  • Despite the lower profile of the shoe, stability remains rock solid.

Fan Average

3.93
Rate the shoe
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (42 votes)

Review Average

4.6

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

3.78
Rate the shoe
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (162 votes)

Review Average

4.4

4. Nike Air Zoom G.T. Jump

  • Consistent herringbone traction with dependable grip on indoor courts.
  • A cushion foam midsole and full-length Zoom Air Strobel unit are ideal for players who do lots of blocks and rebounds.
  • Wide, stable base with wraparound cushioning that locks the foot down well.

Fan Average

3.47
Rate the shoe
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (94 votes)

Review Average

4.5

5. Air Jordan 37

  • 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.

Fan Average

3.64
Rate the shoe
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (70 votes)

Review Average

4.7
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