Best Basketball Shoes For Centers (Honest Reviews And A Detailed Buying Guide!)

Last Updated on March 20, 2021 by Daniel Cuttridge

Being a tall man comes with both benefits and disadvantages. You’re always required to stand tall in a pickup game where you guard the middle like a great wall. If you play at the center, you need to be very fast, active, and alert. At this position, you need to running fast behind the ball, and sometimes, you can slip and get injured. At the same time, the strain on your back and knees may lead to some agonizing pain which might even stop you from playing.

As a tall player at the center, you need to figure out how to keep yourself from getting injured. Wearing the right pair of shoes helps to soften the high impact you get when you plant your feet. Getting the best basketball shoes for centers is the right choice for players who want to play at the center. The best basketball shoes for center should be lightweight and well-fitting with high levels of cushioning. In a basketball team, you’ll find five players; the shooting guard, the power forward, the center, the point guard, and the small forward.

Impact Protection

Centers normally bang bodies in the painted area, while forwards post up and attack the run, and guards move to the basket. All these activities normally take place in the painted area near the hoop, causing it to clog all the time. Playing at the center will expose you to a lot of impact with so many moving feet. One of the most important protection that big men need is impact protection.

Having the right impact protection ensures that you’re protected anytime your opponent throw themselves against you. Generally, in basketball, there are different scenarios that you should be expecting impacts from opponent. Knowing fully well that your ankles are very sensitive, you need the right level of support from the shoes. When shopping for basketball shoes, you should be considering cushioning and support that will help prevent your ankles from rolling. Stretched or torn ligaments might keep you away from enjoying your game. Also, keep in mind that recovering from injury is a tedious and costly process. 

Focus On The Game

In the early days of basketball, power forwards and centers are normally limited to the shaded lane beneath the hoop, but not anymore. There’s almost nothing like pure low post players in today’s basketball. Centers have had their game evolving now as the style and pace of basketball have changed. These big men now have expanded skill sets. Now, you’d notice that today’s forwards and centers now move all the way beyond the three-point arc. 

Now, players have to carefully choose the type of shoes they wear with the emergence of stretch four and five players. Choosing the best basketball shoes for centers requires close attention to their ability to shoot and play from outside. The selection process isn’t quite easy but you’ll be able to get the best with a detailed buyer’s guide. 

Things To Consider Before Making A Buying Decision 

There are numerous options when it comes to buying a pair of basketball shoes for centers. Certainly, you need to take into consideration the kind of design and build that best suits your playing position. To arrive at the best result from the beginning as a basketball player, you need to be aware of the type do design you’ll love to work with. Basketball players who want the best result when using their shoes should make use of our buyer’s guide. While there so many basketball shoes out there, the buying prices and the process might be a little complicated. Our buyer’s guide was prepared to help you make the buying prices easier by making you an informed buyer. The buyer’s guide contains factors and features that need to be considered before making a buying decision. 

Material

Before shopping for your preferred basketball shoes, you need to take into account some important factors, and the material used for the outsole, midsole, and upper is one of them. Talking of standards, rugged and durable rubber outsoles are the best option and they are available in different patterns and thicknesses. When in motion, midsoles play important role in delivering stability and balance. Also, when you wear shoes with good midsoles, you’re assured of greater comfortability. That’s why you should go for soft and comfortable midsoles. 

Some basketball sneakers come with thick phylon midsoles which improve shock absorption for big men as they jump to grab a defensive or offensive rebound. This type of midsoles is made of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), a plastic made of vinyl acetate and ethylene compounds. We like this type of midsole because it’s known to deliver a distraction-free feel and it’s also lightweight. The upper of basketball sneakers deliver great breathability and comfort, and it’s made of mesh fabric, leather, or synthetic materials. Make sure the upper of your sneaks don’t restrict flexibility. 

Grip

The grip of the shoe is one of the first things you need to consider before shopping for your preferred option. And thick rubber outsole still remains the best consideration for enhanced grip. Centers are usually big and tall, so they need a good heel-to-toe transition. There are different outsole patterns for different playing surfaces. Centers will find the regular herringbone pattern useful as it works well for them. When a player is trying to position himself under the basket, he needs great traction and the multi-directional patterns are ideal for improving traction. Since centers now extend their range, traction is becoming an important factor to consider even if it was not a top priority for forwards and big men in the old days of basketball. 

The Upper

Low tops are the conventional shoe cuts for guards while centers and power forwards usually wear high tops and mid tops. Wearing high tops helps deliver just the right support that these big men need during a game. High tops are popular for delivering better cushioning and ankle support but they are on the heavy side. Whenever you plant your feet on the paint, you need just that extra support to make your feet stronger and also give you a solid position.

 The overall stability and support of the shoes are very important not minding if the upper is equipped with mesh or synthetic leather. The most important thing is how the materials were blended together. A lot of NBA players make use of signature basketball shoes which were designed and built to suit their style of play. These signature basketball shoes are designed with top-class midsoles, outsoles, and uppers apart from their elegant looks. 

Lightweight 

Normally, there’s an inverse relationship between the weight and performance of the shoes. The lesser the weight, the greater the performance. Go for basketball shoes with a lightweight design. Lightweight shoes help you to turn quickly, run faster, and jump higher. 

Comfortability 

Here’s another crucial factor to consider before making a buying decision. You can never be at the top of your game if you’re wearing a pair of sneakers that are uncomfortable. Flash and stylish designs are quite beautiful but in the long run, it is cushion and comfort that’s going to help improve your game. 

Durability 

The durability of your preferred basketball shoes is one of those vital things you should look out for before making a purchase. No basketball player would love to buy a pair of sneaks that’ll have a hole through its sole or any other kind of damage in no time. So, check for the material used for every crucial part of the shoe to ensure durability. 

Traction

You will never become the best player if you’re using a slipping or sliding pair of basketball shoes. Put in mind the traction and grip quality of your preferred shoe before buying. Basketball can be played both indoor and outdoor, so take note of the kind of shoes you are buying. 

Style

If you want to make a resounding statement with your style in basketball, your shoes most be incredibly stylish and elegant. There are different brands with numerous styles and designs. Many shoe models are named after most of the best players in the game. If you’re stylish and fashionable player, go for brands known for stylish design. Colors also matter in the quest of making a statement with your style in basketball. So, go for the most beautiful colors that suit your personality. 

Price 

Lastly, you need to be aware of the price range of your preferred basketball shoes. As a beginner, going for the budget-friendly option is advisable. However, more expensive basketball sneaks tend to be more durable with great cushioning and comfort. But that’s not to say that cheaper options are of bad quality. Most of our picks come with reasonable prices when their qualities and top-notch features are considered. 

Best Basketball Shoes For Centers – Comparison Chart 

Best Basketball Shoes For CenterReason For PickHighlighted FeatureSupport System 
Best ChoiceHeal-molded yarn upperBran’s lacing system 
Adidas Marquee BoostBasketball Shoes For CentersHigh-Quality PerformanceUnique zonal herringbone patternsMolded ankle collar 
Nike Hyperdunk X Basketball Shoes For CentersBest TractionEngineered mesh and neopreneNike Air Zoom Turbo Units 
Adidas Own The Game Basketball Shoes For Centers Best DesignHeel pad and midsoleOrthoLite Sockliner 
Best For Youth BasketballersMulti-angle cushioning Nike Air Zoom Turbo Units 
Under Armour Men’s Curry 6 Basketball Shoes For CentersBest For Surface AreaOne-piece design Full length HOVR cushioning
Adidas Men’s Harden LS 2 Basketball Shoes For CentersBest FitInternal neoprene Customizable lacing system Strap lockdown
Jordan React Elevation Basketball Shoes For CentersBest Cushion SetupZoom in the forefootLacing system 
Jordan Why Not Zer0.1 Basketball Shoes For CentersBest OutsoleFull-length Zoom Air cushioning technologySolid lockdown system 
Adidas N3XT L3V3L 2020 Basketball Shoes For Centers Best BrandAll-knit materialLightstike cushioning 
Under Armour HOVR Havoc Basketball Shoes For CentersBest For ResponsivenessHeel counter Mid-foot shank

1. Best Choice: Nike LeBron XVII Men’s Basketball Shoes For Centers

The Nike LeBron XVII Men’s basketball shoes for centers is our first pick. Nike has gotten a rich history of manufacturing world-class basketball footwear and other sportswear in general. They have maintained a good name for more than a decade now. One major reason why most customers run to this brand is because they are assured of quality products, and these shoes are no different! 

Talking of top-notch construction, the Nike LeBron XVII was designed with a construction of heal-molded yarn uppers. Besides, Nike used Knitposite, a very soft and unique material for the upper of these shoes. This kind of material used makes the upper more durable and breathable. We loved that the model is true to size for big men and women as it comes in the usual sizes. 

What makes this pair so special? There’s an integration of the most comfortable and crucial Max Air Units across the heel of this pair, making it suitable for absorbing high shock impact from heavy landings. Not minding your weight, you’ll be supported fully by the LeBron XVII. 

That’s not all. For good reaction to the pressures you get from high-impact areas while playing basketball, Nike equipped this pair with powerful air zoom units. All centers and forwards will find these shoes helpful and useful. What more? Some end-users appreciated that the shoes come as wide and they can be easily put on and off your feet.

 For a snug and secure fit, Nike inputted a stable collar around your ankle. Lastly, there are 15 mm soft foam pads that deliver the highest cushioning and comfort needed by big men and women at the center of the court. For the extra locked-in heels, the shoes feature a bran’s lacing system with a nice plastic clip. 

Key Features 

1. Bran’s lacing system 

2. 15 mm soft foam pads

3. Stable ankle collar 

4. Powerful air zoom units

5. Max Air Units across the heel

6. Heal-molded yarn uppers

Pros

1. Comfortable with soft foam pads

2. Great outsole 

3. Durable construction 

4. Extra locked-in heel

5. Breathable 

6. Suitable for absorbing high shock impact from heavy landings

Cons 

1. Quite expensive 

2. High-Quality Performance: Adidas Marquee Boost Basketball Shoes For Centers

Adidas has the biggest name in the basketball footwear industry. Their product are classic, well-designed, and more affordable. The Marquee Boost comes with a great upper made with pure textile material, making it breathable and more comfortable. Besides, this model features thick pads heel collar for added foot and ankle support. Are you are fashionable player who loves beautiful colors? Then this pair is right for you. It comes in beautifully white, black, and vibrant gold color. For easy and secure fit during the heat of the moment, this model features the molded ankle collar. 

Also, the midsole is very comfortable since it was equipped with expanded thermoplastic polyurethane which enhances the whole flexibility and durability of these shoes. That’s not all! The responsive midsole of this pair makes it lovable by almost every center. Most big men and women will find this model very useful since it helps them reduce the pressures from impact from hard landings.

 The Adidas Marquee Boost boasts of a lot of top-notch features for an affordable price, making it a budget-friendly option for all big men. For excellent grip and traction, there’s a very effective zonal herringbone pattern on the outsole. We picked this pair mainly for its beautiful and classic design coupled with high-quality performance. Overall, you’ll fall in love with these sneakers the moment you set your eyes on them because of their beautiful and alluring smooth textile lining and elastic lace closure. 

Key Features 

1. Alluring smooth textile lining 

2. Elastic lace closure 

3. Zonal herringbone pattern

4. Molded ankle collar

5. Expanded thermoplastic polyurethane

Pros

1. Much supportive 

2. Comes in beautifully white, black, and vibrant gold color

3. Breathable 

4. Very comfortable 

5. Reasonable price 

6. Beautiful and classic design coupled with high-quality performance

Cons 

1. Sometimes tight when newly bought 

3. Best Traction: Nike Hyperdunk X Basketball Shoes For Centers

The Hyperdunk X from Nike is the bestselling basketball shoes for centers all around the world. Thanks to the basic lockdown and lacing system of this pair, you’re assured that your feet are safely locked in place for maximum lockdown. The upper of these shoes were made of engineered mesh and neoprene, making them exceptionally breathable. For more durability and flexibility, there are extra Fuse overlays that wrap the sneaks in the high wear areas. 

We loved the responsiveness, great bounces, and maximum impact protection offered by these sneaks, thanks to its Nike Zoom Air Cushioning Technology. The feedback from end-users concerning its rubber outsole is remarkable. The outsole was equipped with a wave traction pattern. You don’t need to worry about slipping or falling off on the court because these shoes assure great balance and second to none stability. 

Key Features 

1. Nike Zoom Air Cushioning Technology

2. Basic lockdown and lacing system

3. Extra Fuse Overlays 

4. Wave traction pattern

5. Rubber Outsole 

Pros

1. Excellent responsiveness

2. Great bounces

3. Maximum impact protection

4. Exceptionally breathable 

Cons

1. None

4. Best Design: Adidas Own The Game Basketball Shoes For Centers

Just like we said before, Adidas is one of the most reliable brands in the sportswear industry. You’re assured of quality and good performance from all of their products. The Own The Game line of basketball shoes is ideal for all centers who loves fashion and beautiful colors. The these shoes come in classic white and black color, which makes them so attractive. Besides the proper fitness and durability of this item makes it well known in the market today. 

There’s a mesh upper with polyurethane, making up for the great comfortability for lateral movements. Furthermore, these shoes feature Cloud foam cushioning. The heel pad and midsole were made of EVA material which is known for its exceptional plush and soft feel. To complement that, there’s also an OrthoLite sockliner that is useful for added comfort. What’s more? The sturdy rubber outsole is quite great for excellent traction and grip. This pair is no doubt one of the best basketball sneaks for centers. 

Key Features 

1. An OrthoLite sockliner

2. EVA material

3. Mesh upper with polyurethane

4. Rubber sole 

5. Heel pad and midsole

Pros

1. Very comfortable 

2. Durable rubber sole for extra stability and grip 

3. Supportive 

4. Exceptional plush and soft feel

5. Comes in classic white and black color

Cons

1. Poor breathability 

5. Best For Youth Basketballers: Nike Kyrie 6 Basketball Shoes For Centers

If you play at the center position, you should understand the importance of playing with sneakers with high cushioning and support. That’s why we recommend this pair of Nike Kyrie 6 basketball shoes for all big men and women. Thanks to its Nike Air zoom Turbo unit, your underfoot will be kept busy anytime you push off your edges during those crucial moments on the court. We loved the midsole! It’s just so soft, smooth the heel-to-toe transition, and very supportive.

 Besides, there’s an adjustable strap that wraps the laces to keep your feet stable and locked in place to avoid foot or ankle injuries. The upper mesh is made of strong leather, making it ideal for use in youth basketball leagues. This upper messy is made of excellent material to deliver exceptional breathability. The unique outsole of this pair covers up the sides of the upper, making it ideal for boxing out and rebounding. Almost all the end-users of these shoes gave positive feedback on the support and stability provided. Thanks to the strap across the midfoot equipped with the molded 360-degree traction. 

Key Features 

1. Upper mesh is made of strong leather

2. Nike Air zoom Turbo unit

3. Durable outsole

4. Multi-angle cushioning 

5. An adjustable strap

6. Heel-to-toe transition

Pros

1. Durable construction 

2. 360-degree traction for excellent grip 

3. Exceptional breathability

4. Reliable brand 

5. Reasonable price 

Cons 

1. Longer break-in period 

6. Best Surface Area: Under Armour Men’s Curry 6 Basketball Shoes For Centers

The last on out list of the best basketball sneakers for centers is the Men’s Curry 6 from Under Armour. It is another high-quality product from Under Armour with top-notch features. Curry 6 model is ideal for all basketball players who love to have a pair of basketball sneaks equipped with the best outsole for great grip and traction on any surface. The midsole and insole of this pair is remarkable, thanks to the full length HOVR cushioning that was integrated into them.

We noticed that most end-users of the previous version had some issues with the cushion quality but that’s not the case with this new version. Under Armour had designed this pair with all the complaints in mind to satisfy disappointed customers. In terms of traction and stability, this pair was equipped with the right features to offer you the kind of grip that is needed for centers. Curry 6 has no tongue, it’s simply a one-piece design that makes up for the increased surface area. 

The upper mesh is made of synthetic leather with translucent layering for enhanced breathability. That’s not all! There’s more. Thanks to the unique zonal herringbone pattern in the outsole, you’re assured of excellent floor grip and traction. 

Key Features 

1. Unique zonal herringbone pattern

2. One-piece design

3. No tongue 

4. Full length HOVR cushioning

Pros

1. Increased surface area

2. Offers great grip and traction on any surface

3. High-quality insole and midsole 

4. Breathable upper mesh 

Cons

1. Outsole durability can be improved 

7. Best Fit: Adidas Men’s Harden LS 2 Basketball Shoes For Centers

Looking for a pair of basketball shoes for centers with tight fit, high flexibility, great breathability, and maximum comfort? If yes, you’ve come to the right place. The Men’s Harden LS 2 from Adidas is an ideal sneak for all big men and women. Since they fit true to your size, this pair offers a snug and secure fit. There’s a lacing system that makes sure your feet are well locked in place for ultimate support. 

For great bounces, excellent responsiveness, and good impact protection, Adidas integrated Boost cushioning technology to the Harden LS 2. What more? We loved the rubber outsole of this pair because it provides just the kind of traction that will help you make those quick moves during the game. Lastly, the upper of these shoes is made of mesh cleatie and internal neoprene for enhanced durability and cushioning. 

Key Features 

1. Boost cushioning technology

2. Rubber outsole 

3. Customizable lacing system

4. Mesh cleatie

5. Internal neoprene

Pros

1. Great bounces 

2. High impact protection 

3. Nice responsiveness 

4. Snug-fitting 

5. Remarkable feet lockdown 

6. Great breathability 

7. High flexibility 

Cons

1. Overall durability can be improved 

8. Best Cushion Setup: Jordan React Elevation Basketball Shoes For Centers

Jordan has been a lot of basketball player’s favorite brand for so long, and the React Elevation is no different! You can use this pair almost on any surfaces. Whether it’s on clean courts, dusty courts, and outdoor courts, you’ll be at the top of your game with these sneakers. For a great cushion setup, Jordan integrated React foam in the heel and Zoom in the forefoot for added comfort and incredible high impact protection. 

The material used for the construction isn’t the best but still offers you good support and cushioning. For good foot lockdown, this model features a lacing system that helps keep your feet in ace to avoid overpronation or ankle injury. The true to size is second to none. Nobody complained about the lateral containment or stability. Except for the low-quality material used, the Jordan React Elevation is a must-have for every center for a good playing experience. 

Key Features 

1. Lacing system 

2. React foam in the heel

3. Zoom in the forefoot

Pros

1. Great Cushion setup 

2. Great traction and grip quality, works fine on all surfaces 

3. Affordable option 

4. Locks your feet well 

5. Incredible high impact protection

Cons

1. Material used not the best

9. Best Outsole: Jordan Why Not Zer0.1 Basketball Shoes For Centers

Here’s another top-class product from the famous Jordan brand. If you’re a center looking for a lightweight pair of basketball shoes, there’s no other better choice out there than this model. Synthetic material was used for the upper mesh, making it breathable, supportive, and very flexible. For an added support, you’ll enjoy a solid lockdown. That not all. There are also immense heel counters that lock the feet in place, preventing internal sliding and supporting the heel. 

As a player, you would love to have complete freedom to bounce high without the fear of slipping or sliding. That’s the kind of confidence you get when using this pair on the court. The full-length Zoom Air cushioning system makes up for the best comfortability and maximum comfort. Lastly, these sneaks come in a variety of colors like Black, Blue, Grey, Orange, and White. The only issue with this pair is its traction pattern. The traction pattern of these shoes is unreliable. Apart from that, you should find these shoes useful. 

Key Features 

1. Lace-up lockdown

2. Full-length Zoom Air cushioning system

3. Synthetic upper mesh 

4. Lightweight design 

Pros

1. Comes in a variety of different colors 

2. Heel counters that lock the feet in place

3. Breathable 

4. Supportive and very flexible 

5. Stable containment 

6. Premium feel 

Cons

1. Traction isn’t durable 

10. Best Brand: Adidas N3XT L3V3L 2020 Basketball Shoes For Centers

The Adidas L3V3L 2020 is a new version of the N3XT. The main upgrade here was made in its traction quality. The traction quality was incredibly enhanced from the very first version. One of the eye-catching features of this new pair was the inclusion of the Lightstrike cushion which delivers great responsiveness and high impact protection. The material used for the production process is top-notch, very nice, and durable. 

The upper of N3XT L3V3L 2020 was equipped with an all-knit material for maximum comfort on your feet. It features a laceless system, making it more unique and different from all other kinds of basketball shoes on our list. Though most users complained that the sneaks run a little long in the toe area, the entire fit is still manageable and okay. Furthermore, the N3XT L3V3L 2020 delivers a lot of support and the end-users had no problems laterally in the heel. All in all, this version is more preferable to the old version, and it also costs less but still has some issues with dust. Furthermore, some end-users complained that the shoes are hard to put on at first. 

Key Features 

1. Lightstrike cushion

2. Durable outsole 

3. Premium material 

4. Laceless upper 

5. All-knit upper 

Pros

1. Unique design 

2. Affordable option 

3. Great responsiveness 

4. Plush cushioning 

5. High impact protection 

Cons 

1. Hard to wear at first 

2. Poor traction quality 

11. Best For Responsiveness: Under Armour HOVR Havoc Basketball Shoes For Centers

Under Armour had built the first version of the HOVR Havoc and end-users seem to be delighted with its incredible features and benefits. But how does this second model perform? Well, it does perform well! The HOVR cushioning integrated is a nice blend of impact protection and responsiveness, not too stiff or too soft. The material used for the construction is great, feels good in-hand, feels comfy on-foot.

 It is a really nice version that does a good job locking your feet in place to avoid ankle twists or other ankle-related problems. For more enhanced stability and support, these sneakers come with a heel counter, outrigger, and mid-foot shank. The only problem with this pair comes from its inconsistent traction. The traction took a step back and it’s unreliable even on clean courts. 

Key Features

1. Mid-foot shank 

2. Heel counter 

3. Outrigger 

4. Solid midsole

Pros

1. Premium materials 

2. Great responsiveness 

3. Impact protection 

4. Helps to lock down feet in place 

5. Delivers support and stability 

Cons 

1. Unreliable traction and grip 

Why Most Centers Chose High-Tops​

For a long time, basketball sneakers are usually designed to be higher than normal sneakers, cutting beyond the ankles. In today’s basketball, high-tops sneakers have been mostly overthrown by light and flexible low-tops. You’ll see a lot of players wearing this new type of sneaker but that’s not to say that there are no players who still prefer the high-tops. As a matter of fact, most centers prefer high-tops sneakers. High-tops sneakers are known for delivering a sense of security and additional support which come in handy during some game fights under the basket. You’re also assured that even if other players mistakenly step on your feet, you’re protected. 

Why Cushioning Is So Important

Cushioning is very important to consider when buying a pair of basketball shoes for centers but we’ve seen popular guards like Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry wearing signature sneakers equipped with very firm ans low mid-soles. This means that guards don’t need much cushioning. However, that’s not the same with the big men. Since these players are bigger and taller, they tend to have additional weights which puts much more stress on their joints, meaning that they need more comfortable and softer shoes to lessen the pressure placed on their feet. Centers should preferably go for great cushioning systems like Adidas’s Boost or Nike’s Zoom, which is best known for its great comfort and impact protection. 

Closing Thoughts – Rounding It Up! 

The center is normally referred to as the big man and they most likely to be the tallest player on the court. One of the most important positions on a basketball court in the center. The centers normally stay in the low post area close to the basket. Their main job is to play the ball with great efficiency and protect his basket. Centers don’t just use any shoe, their shoes are carefully and specially designed to offer good traction, cushioning, ankle support, impact protection, and lockdown.

 You need to make use of our detailed buyer’s guide if you want to get the right basketball shoes for your needs. Try to consider all the factors listed in the buyer’s guide to making a wise buying decision. Thanks to our recommendations and buyer’s guide, you can now choose the very best basketball shoes for centers that will help you get the best playing experience on the court. We’ve come to the end of this lengthy article. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or comments. Thanks!

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