Lebron wears Nike. Kobe sports Adidas. And Shaq is in Reebok. But what shoes do the guys running up and down the court tracking their every move wear?
Sprinting 48 minutes up and down the court, night after night without substitutions can take a huge toll on an NBA referee’s body. For games, the refs must choose durable and comfortable shoes to avoid injury, increase speed, and aid in quick direction changes.
A quick poll shows that, though many of them are clad in all-black Nike and Adidas when it comes to game-time, the largest portion of refs are lacing up in a New Balance shoe. Styles differ. But overall, these officials are fans of New Balance’s shock absorption, stability, arch support, and design for lateral movement. Of course, a few Referees stay true to the brand that, by many accounts, revolutionized basketball. According to one game official, his Converse shoe gives him the best lateral and arch support of anything on the market.
Unlike the players, the referees do not have shoe deals, and they have to make a few pairs last through each season. This makes it imperative that the shoes they wear stand up to the grueling pace of an NBA game.