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The 10+ Best Basketball Shoes for Centers 2024


We’ve already listed the best basketball shoes for point guards, the best basketball shoes for shooting guards, the best basketball shoes for small forwards, and the best basketball shoes for power forwards Now we’re going to dive into the best basketball shoes for centers.

The center position has always been reserved for the biggest and toughest players on the court. The center anchors the defense and is the main rebounding and shot-blocking option on the floor. Even nowadays with “mold-breaking” lighter and more versatile centers out there like Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid, it’s rare to see a center under 6’9″ and lighter than 250 lbs.

For this reason, NBA centers, and centers in general, should reach for shoes with great impact protection and support. Heavier players put a lot of stress on their joints as they jump, cut or change directions, which also means a lot of stress on the shoes they are wearing. This is even more important for skilled bigs that make various moves.

We thoroughly test a ton of different hoop shoes every year and try to determine the best models for a variety of different categories. So let’s jump into our top picks for the best basketball shoes for centers.

Updated 03.21.2024

Best Basketball Shoes for Centers Overall 2024

Best Basketball Shoe For Centers 2024

Nike GT Jump 2

It’s nice to see the changes Nike made in this shoe. They have taken everything that was great in the first model and tweaked it to make the GT Jump 2 that much better as a performance basketball shoe. But this shoe is still one of the best-cushioned shoes we have ever seen, which, combined with the upgraded materials and fit make it the best basketball shoe for centers you can pick up right now. Read the full review.

Total Score

Jordan 38

This year’s Jordan Flagship model is a beast and a big improvement on the Jordan 37. The Jordan 38 is lightweight and nimble, with tons of ventilation, a great no-nonsense traction setup (which in this colorway is etched into a translucent rubber sole), and a very well-balanced layered cushioning system. This cushioning system combines a Phylon midsole, a full-length Zoom Air Strobel, and a slab of Cushlon 3.0 nestled between the outsole and the midsole. The shoe retails for $200 which is steep but the Jordan 38 will be one of the best shoes of the year. Price: $200. Read the full review.

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Nike Air Zoom GT Jump

The Nike GT Jump might be the ultimate “center shoe”. It excels in everything a center might need on the court which is probably why it was Nikola Jokic’s go-to model during the 2021-22 season.

The GT Jump packs an insane amount of cushion into a sleekly designed shoe. The shoe is equipped with 2 large volume Zoom Air units in the heel and forefoot, a cushlon midsole, and a full-length Zoom Air strobel on top of it all. On top of that, the GT Jump features a synthetic upper that requires no break-in time and is breathable and lightweight, but also highly durable and supportive. Easily one of the best you can pick up for the center position. Read the full review.

Price: $200

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Anta KT 7

The Anta KT 7 is 2022 NBA Champion Klay Thompson’s signature shoe. Another shoe that will work well for centers, even though it’s designed for a different position. The Anta KT7 excels in both cushion and support. The cushion is the highlight of this tech-heavy model.

Anta describes the KT 7 cushion set-up as a nitrogen-infused foam, which is bouncy yet stable simultaneously. The midsole is wrapped on the lateral side and exposed on the medial side, similar to Adidas’ previous setups with Boost. The shoe also features Anta’s 3D Hug system that works with the carbon fiber torsion plate to offer some Grade A support. Read the full review. Price: $150

Total Score
Buy Anta KT 7

Wade Shadow 4

The Wade Shadow 4 makes an appearance in our Wade All City 11 review. The midsole is composed of two technologies. The main foam you’re going to feel is Cloud, an EVA-based foam. The forefoot features a BOOM puck which is Pebax-based. Don’t worry if they feel stiff to start. We promise the break-in will be worth it. This will provide enough impact protection for our big men and women down low. Price: $119 $99

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Buy Wade Shadow 4

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes for Centers 2024

Check out our full list of the best outdoor basketball shoes here.

Way of Wade All City 12

The Way of Wade All City 12 is a very solid all-around performance model with no real weak points, and several strong points. The full-length Boom cushioning is very well balanced, the multipurpose traction is excellent, and containment and support are top-notch as well. They can handle any type of playing surface and they will suit almost any position and playing style making the All City 12 stand out among other similarly priced basketball shoes. Read the full review. Price: $150

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Buy Way of Wade All City 12

Best Budget Basketball Shoes for Centers 2024

Check out our list of the best budget basketball shoes here.

Nike Air Max Impact 4 

The Nike Air Max Impact 4 is the best budget basketball shoe currently on the market. Fortunately for centers, the shoe excels in impact protection and support.

The shoe features a surprisingly soft foam and a heel Air Max unit that pack a ton of impact protection. On top of that, the shoe features great support and containment features. Everything on the shoe feels like a steal for a shoe under $100. Read the full review. Price: $90

Total Score
Buy Nike Air Max Impact 4

Thinking of a shoe we should add to the best basketball shoes for centers list? Comment below or message us on Instagram or Twitter.

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