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The 8 Best Basketball Shoes for Centers 2024

best basketball shoes for centers

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 07.12.2024

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.

9/10
Total Score
#nike_DJ9431-003

New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2

The New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 just might be New Balance’s best basketball shoe to date. With this shoe, you’re getting elite traction that can handle outdoor play with ease, a thick plush cushioning system (that’s also ideal for outdoors), excellent materials and build, and this is completely subjective, one of the best-looking hoop shoes of the year. Read the full review. $82.44 from$129.99 37% off Extra 15% off applied

9/10
Total Score
Buy New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2

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.

9/10
Total Score
#nike_FD2326-800

Nike LeBron 21

The Nike LeBron 21 promises to be a beast on court. It can be described as a remix of the Nike LeBron 20, and that shoe was amazing, in particular, it stands out because of its versatility. The cushioning system makes it an excellent choice for explosive and shifty bigs. Barring any unfortunate surprises, this will be one of the top models this year, one of the most universal, and one of the most comfortable on court, as well as an attainable Kobe substitute. Read the full review. Price: $200

9/10
Total Score
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nike lebron nxxt gen ampd

Nike LeBron NXXT Gen AMPD

The Nike LeBron NXXT Gen AMPD is a solid and well-rounded basketball shoe. For $170 you’re getting almost everything the Nike LeBron 21 has to offer, and that shoe is currently our top pick for the best overall basketball shoe of the year. It is also a basketball shoe that almost any type of player will enjoy, and a more than decent option for outdoor play. If you are looking for a more inexpensive version of the flagship LeBron, this is the shoe you are looking for, and even if you aren’t, this might be one of the safest bets out there in terms of on-court performance. Read the full review.

9/10
Total Score
#nike_FJ1566-102

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

9.5/10
Total Score
Buy Anta KT 7

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

8.5/10
Total Score
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

9.2/10
Total Score
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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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