The Difference Between Cross Training Shoes & Basketball Sneakers

Trying to find the perfect athletic shoe can make you crazy.There are so many features, models and styles that it isn’t hard to grow weary when looking for sneakers. Different shoes may be designed for different reasons, and without proper knowledge of athletic wear, you may feel a little lost. If you are looking for a pair of sneakers to workout in, and also play a little bit of sports in, then you’ve probably looked at both cross trainers and basketball sneakers, but which one is better? Their differences vary greatly in terms of versatility, support, stability, cushioning and sole materials.

Cross Training Shoes & Basketball Sneakers


The design of cross trainers and basketball shoes give each type of sneaker a great deal of versatility. Cross trainers are designed to be very functional. They have a low-top construction which allows them to be utilized in many different sports and activities. Basketball shoes however, are specifically designed to be used playing basketball. They come in low, mid and high top designs based on what type of ankle support a player is looking for.


Cross trainers and basketball sneakers are both created out of a variety of cushioning materials, including both ethylene vinyl acetate and polyurethane. Both materials are super lightweight, however ethylene vinyl acetate is a bit lighter. Polyurethane on the other hand, offers more cushioning and support while being denser and more durable. Both cross trainers and basketball sneakers use the same materials for cushioning, but each shoe type has different cushioning patterns. Basketball shoes often have a thicker layer of cushioning material than cross trainers, while cross trainers often have little cushioning throughout the shoe. Basketball shoes also offer reinforced areas of cushioning near the toe and heel. This helps bring support to the player’s foot. Cross trainers do not offer any reinforced cushioning areas.


On the basketball court, traction is key to playing a great game. Constant slipping will slow down a player, and in turn, cause them to play poorly. For this reason, basketball shoes have large rubber soles made for indoor courts. The rubber sole will also have various traction patterns built into them in order to provide a solid grip to the floor. Cross trainers are often made with durable rubber soles such as carbon rubber or blown rubber. Both these types cause the outsole of cross training cleats to be soft and light. This allows cross trainers to be utilized on both basketball courts and tennis courts.


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