Hiking In Basketball Shoes: Yay Or Nay?

Hiking is easily one of the most relaxing things you can do for free if you find a good location. However, when you start hiking, you may be surprised or confused about which shoes you should be wearing, especially if the only shoes you have available are your basketball shoes.

You can take short hiking trips through the mountains or a forest with your basketball shoes, as they provide more than enough grip to keep you stable. If you are going on longer hikes, basketball shoes will not work as they are not waterproof, provide almost no ankle support, and have thinner soles.

Several things enable basketball shoes to be almost perfect for your hiking needs; however, several things make them challenging. We recommend that you understand the ins and outs of why hiking shoes may work before conquering the world.

Are Basketball Shoes Good For Hiking?

The basic design and grip of a basketball shoe make it perfect for helping you stay on the paths while hiking; however, these shoes are meant for flexibility. Further, the shoes are light enough that they won’t make you tired after a few minutes of walking and hiking through even the toughest routes.

We recommend using basketball shoes if you have no other shoes and your hiking route is only a few kilometers long. The shoes do not have thick enough soles to properly protect your feet or help them keep the shape that needs to be held while walking without supporting your ankles.

The biggest issue you will face when using basketball shoes is that your feet will become hurt after a few hours of walking. While the shoes can handle impacts and run while playing basketball, your feet face the sustained strain while hiking becomes too much to protect your feet properly.

Why Would It Be A Bad Idea To Hike Longer In Basketball Shoes?

Your feet and ankles will become damaged as the shoe does not provide the right support to keep your feet from being damaged. While basketball shoes have proper grips, they generally have smaller soles that cannot provide cushioning when walking on rocks, branches, and other obstacles.

Basketballs shoes have less ankle support than normal running shoes as well; this is to ensure that you can move and jump freely while playing the game. However, this is almost the opposite of what you need while hiking, as your ankles need to be supported while walking on inclines, rocks, or through the mud.

Further, when walking through mud, over streams, and other wet environments, basketballs shoes are quick to become soaked through. Unlike water shoes, basketball shoes are slow to dry as well, meaning that you can get trench foot from the shoes while hiking across a mountain.

Why Would Basketball Shoes Be A Good Option?

If you live near a hiking trail or camping near hiking trails, basketball shoes may well be perfect for your needs. As they can be worn doing almost anything else, the short duration of these types of hikes should not cause your feet any problems or pains.

Most people only have one pair of shoes for fitness, with basketball shoes being the most often found with people living in the city. This has made basketball shoes the go-to footwear that people love to wear when starting to exercise, usually even when they do other types of training.

Hiking in basketball shoes for a short time is the perfect footwear, allowing you to overcome any challenges you may face comfortably. Further, we have seen many people use basketball shoes when they only want a quick trip through the mountains or the bush.

Which Basketballs Shoes Will Work For Hiking?

When it comes to which basketball shoes will be helpful while hiking, the challenges can feel monumental, with most shoes being much too expensive to walk through mud regularly. When you want to have a truly versatile shoe, you need to know which ones will be tremendously helpful.

We always recommend one of the following shoes when you get your basketball shoes that are meant to do many things all at once. Using the most expensive, fashionable basketball shoes you may have for your hiking is never a good idea if you want your games to stay perfect.

  • Nike Training Basketball Shoes: Lightweight, affordable, stylish, and with an extra strap to ensure they will stay snug on your feet; these are what we recommend for the basic hiker. As they use a lot less material and provide a proper grip onto your feet, they will perfectly help you stay grounded.
  • Nike Lebron Witness IV: We include these because they start at the affordable $51.35 mark, have the name behind them to last, and are extremely easy to clean. Further, their higher support around the angle allows them to provide some strength when hiking.
  • Nike Unisex-Child Team Hustle D8: When it comes to hiking with basketball shoes, it is much more likely to happen with children than adults. At $40.03, it is perfectly affordable to allow your children to not worry about what they’re wearing while enjoying the hike you are both on.
  • Adidas Unisex-Child Harden Stepback: The biggest challenge you and your children will face while hiking short trails in the dirt and sand. Normal basketball shoes will have white soles; however, this pair of shoes at only $34.95 is black and can hide even the worst mud and sand.
  • Nike Men’s Air Visi Pro Vi: Lightweight, pitch black, and with a thicker sole than normal at $69.89, it is the only shoe that we would recommend going on longer hikes with. Allowing you to play games, exercise comfortably, and go hiking without too much trouble.
  • PUMA Legacy Disrupt: Starting at just over $50, these are perfect for basketball, walking, or any other training needs you may have for your shoes. We recommend these when you are only going for light jogs through a shorter hiking trail as they can be quite easy to get dirty.
  • Under Armour HOVR Havoc 2: Coming in various colors, the Under Armours are perfect for when you want something that feels a bit more custom. At $94.99, these are a bit more expensive but offer thicker soles to allow you to comfortably hike, run, play, jump, or relax.

Why Do People Wear Running Shoes While Hiking?

Many people who are just entering the world of hiking mistakenly think that many people go long-distance hiking with running shoes. Usually, these people use the hiking trails as an exercise route, running, basketball, or exercise shoes.

However, these people rarely go on longer hikes or hiking with heavy backpacks through areas that have rarely seen any humans. You will usually find that it can be challenging when doing longer hikes in normal exercise shoes, as your feet are damaged and hurt while walking.

While lighter shoes will help you walk further without getting tired, these lighter shoes do not provide the support you will need in the long run. When hiking, it is important to remember that it is a lot of extreme force applied at odd angles, not quick force being applied at normal angles.


Basketball shoes can help you do light hikes because of some of their support. However, we recommend still getting a proper set of hiking shoes or boots to help you overcome the challenge of hiking further.

Whatever you do, please don’t try to play basketball in hiking shoes; you won’t reach even knee height!

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