For the longest time, low top basketball shoes fell out of fashion because they were perceived as being “bad for your ankles”. Not true at all. It took the late great Kobe Bryant and the introduction of the Kobe IV to get everyone back on board with low tops. Low tops have since become some of the best on-court performers each year.
Nowadays lower-cut shoes are some of the most popular silhouettes and a lot of us can’t wait to get our hands on the low top versions of our favorite models. So with this in mind, here’s our list of the best low top basketball shoes.
Last updated 09.25.2023
Best Low Top Basketball Shoes Show
- Best Performance Low Top Basketball Shoes 2023
- Best Budget Low Top Basketball Shoes 2023
- Best Outdoor Low Top Basketball Shoes 2023
- Best Low Top Basketball Shoes: Retros / Casual 2023
Best Performance Low Top Basketball Shoes 2023
Best Low Top Basketball Shoe 2023
Nike Sabrina 1
Nike did a very good job with these, balancing the Kobe influences while creating a shoe and a new signature line with its own personality and unique vibe, and at the same time producing a top-notch performance basketball shoe. The Nike Sabrina 1 is a great first signature shoe for Sabrina Ionescu and is one of the best basketball shoes Nike has to offer in 2023/24. The Sabrina 1 is a top-notch guard-style shoe that will give you great traction (indoors), a speedy and reactive cushioning setup, along with elite lockdown and support. Read the full review. Price: $130
Nike KD 15
The Nike KD 15 has one key difference from the Nike KD 14: the collar height. It won’t alter the great performance the KD line delivers, but now we can include it on this list. The Cushlon foam midsole combined with the full-length Zoom Air Strobel are as comfortable, bouncy, and springy as you’ve come to expect from shoes in the KD line.
The best basketball shoe of 2023 just happens to be a low top. See the full review.
adidas Trae Young 3
The adidas Trae Young 3 is a massive improvement in regards to Trae Young 2. It is a very solid performance basketball shoe, it’s a quick, light, reactive, and grippy shoe that also boasts top-tier lockdown and stability. This also makes it one of those shoes that just won’t be everybody’s cup of tea. If you are an agile, springy player who doesn’t require much impact protection and enjoys a fast and secure ride on court, all packaged in a pretty outlandish design, the Trae Young 3 will be perfect for you. Read the full review. Price: $140
Nike KD 16
The Nike KD 16 is another great hoop shoe in Kevin Durant’s signature line, and it just happens to be a low top basketball shoe. We have a new gear-shaped traction pattern etched into a translucent rubber sole, an excellent cushioning system that combines a cushlon midsole a large zoom unit in the forefoot, and an Air Stroble that covers the midfoot and heel. Materials are nothing to write home about but the mix of textiles and synthetic leather works well on court, as do all the support features in the shoe. One of the better shoes from Nike this year. Price: $160
Puma Stewie 2
The Puma Stewie 2 is Bianna Stewarts’ second signature, and simply put it is just a great all-around performance model. The shoe boasts excellent indoor traction, a very well-balanced and bouncy cushioning system, and a very secure and natural feeling low-top build (making it an excellent guard shoe as well). It offers a very similar on-court experience to the Puma Clyde All-Pro, which is an all-time great. KEEP IN MIND that in the US the Stewie 2 comes in woman’s sizes, so if you want the correct men’s size you will need to go 1.5 sizes up (ie: 12M = 13.5W). Read the full review. Price: $125
Jordan Luka 1
The Jordan Luka 1 is an excellent first signature model for Luka Doncic. Luka Doncic and the Jordan design team did well on this low-top hoop shoe. Jordan Brand used the Luka 1 to introduce its newest foam: Formula 23. Right off the bat, you’ll feel how comfortable it is underfoot. Support is an obvious priority with the IsoPlate system acting as torsional support while really beefing up lateral support for extra support on stepbacks and defensive slides. And at $110 ($120 for the special editions), you get a lot of performance for the money. Read the full review. Price: $110
Serious Player Only Player 1
The Serious Player Only Player 1 is a brand new hoop shoe from a brand new sneaker brand. Serious Payer Only is a Chinese brand and their signature model, the Player 1, was designed taking inspiration from several different Kobe models. Getting your hands on a pair of Kobes is damn near impossible nowadays, and being able to enjoy a pair of basketball shoes that offer similar performance features at a reasonable price, is a great thing. Read full review. Price: $159
adidas Harden Vol 7
The adidas Harden Vol 7 might look like a mid-top, but that is just because of the sock collar. If you push that down, you can see that the Harden Vol 7 is most definitely a low-top. On top of that it is an excellent on-court performance basketball shoe, with great plush cushioning, great traction, and top-notch support features. Watch full review. Price: $180
Nike Kyrie Low 5
The Nike Kyrie Low 5 is aesthetically very similar to the flagship Kyrie 8 / infinity, but the shoe is quite different in performance features. The main difference is in the cushioning. The Kyrie 8 is way plusher, and the Kyrie Low 5 is more low profile and responsive. The Kyrie Low 5 is a great shoe, but, it only certain types of players will enjoy what it has to offer. Read full review. Price: $110
Nike Zoom GT Cut 2
The Nike Air Zoom GT Cut 2 follows one of the most hyped basketball shoes in recent memory, the Nike Zoom GT Cut. The GT Cut features a low-profile, lightweight setup that compares to last year’s mode. The React, full-length Air Zoom Strobel, and heel Zoom unit work well together and provide solid cushioning despite how low this shoe sits to the ground. It’s a quick guard’s dream shoe but big guys may want to look elsewhere. And even though it’s a low top, support is not compromised. Read the full review. Price: $150
Nike PG 6
Paul George’s signature line has consistently brought us, great on-court performers, and the PG 6 is one of the best within the line. It is the first model in the line to feature a 100% foam-based cushioning system, in this case, React foam. Traction and cushioning are the shoe’s strongest features, and support and fit are on point. The one weak point are the shoes materials which are cheap, but functional. A great low-cut option. Read the full review. Price: $110.
The transition is smooth and having all that exposed foam without an outsole just screams comfort. You also get really good traction and a great lightweight upper to go along with that. It almost feels like a running shoe that has been beefed up to be able to play basketball in them. Read the full review. Price: $160
Puma Rise Nitro
The Puma Rise Nitro succeeds the could-have-been-better Puma Fusion Nitro, and it looks like Puma listened to the possible improvements. The outsole is not only beautiful in our eyes, but they’re also functional. Their torsional and spring plates are combined into one to create the ProPlate, similar to the one used in the Puma Clyde All-Pro. The midsole is full-length Nitro-infused foam, much like the Puma MB.01 See the full review. Price: $125
Puma TRC Blaze Court
The Puma TRC Blaze Court continues Puma’s resurgence into the basketball performance sneaker scene. The outsole looks awesome and will perform awesome. It’s mainly made out of multi-directional lines that have herringbones in key places. Trinomic may now be foam-based as that is what they’re showing when you turn the shoe over. The rest of the midsole is ProFoam+ which is really comfortable. See the full review. Price: $120
Air Jordan 36 Low
The Air Jordan 36 Low is much like the regular Air Jordan 36, just with a slightly lower collar height. We still get the full-length Zoom Air Strobel that’s comfortable and bouncy and an additional Zoom Air unit in the forefoot for more impact protection. The Lenoweave upper may look like dental floss, but it is surprisingly supportive and extremely lightweight. The traction bites well, but it isn’t deep enough to recommend for outdoor use. Read full review. Price: $165
adidas Trae Young 1
The adidas Trae Young 1 is the first signature sneaker for the flashy Hawks star. Our first impression of the shoe wasn’t great, but once we got them on court, they have proven to be a great performer. This is another, “clearly for guards” shoe. So, again, if you’re looking for shoes for a bigger player, these might not be for you, but they are an excellent pair of low top basketball shoes. Price: $140
Best Budget Low Top Basketball Shoes 2023
Puma Court Rider 2
$110 is right on the line for a budget model, but the Puma Court Rider 2 is just a great, non-expensive basketball shoe. It is the follow-up model to LaMelo Ball’s shoe before he got his signature sneaker, the MB.01.
The shoe features excellent, low-to-the-ground cushioning which is on the responsive side, and awesome traction. But what really makes these shoes special are the layers of materials. The shoe combines textiles, mesh, and synthetic leather which makes the shoe fell more premium than they really are. Read the full review. Price: $110
Best Outdoor Low Top Basketball Shoes 2023
Nike KD 15
The Nike KD 15 is a wonderful basketball shoe all-around and a great outdoor option. Especially if you are able to get your hand on the EP version (which is usually available in Asian markets and features an XDR rubber outsole).
The cushioning is great for outdoor play. Cushlon is used as the primary foam carrier and on top of that is the full-length Nike Zoom Air Strobel unit to provide impact protection and bounce under your feet. It’s a combo that makes hours of outdoor hooping much more manageable. See the full review. Price: $150
Best Low Top Basketball Shoes: Retros / Casual 2023
We all know low tops look great off-court as well. Check out our top picks for the best low top basketball shoes for off-court use. You can rock some of these on court as well, but that’s up to you:
Nike Kobe 6 Protro Mambacita
The Nike Kobe 6 Protro Mambacita gives tribute to Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi, and the Mambacita foundation. It was one of the most highly coveted shoes of 2022. Everyone wanted a piece of the Mamba and his memory. All standard Protro features are still intact with the full-length Cushlon midsole and a forefoot Zoom Turbo unit. It’s playable, memorable, and historic. All the proceeds of this shoe went into the foundation. Read full review. Price: $180
The Air Jordan 1 Low OG Mystic Navy was released as a retro in 2015. This release from 2022 features many of the same aspects as that one. The Wings logo is in the proper place and done the right way. The midsole is still the same: a rubber cup sole with a polyurethane wedge and an encapsulated Air Sole unit. The insoles are better than last, and the leather upper is almost premium. See the full review. Price: $130
adidas Yeezy 350 Turtle Dove 2022
The adidas Yeezy 350 Turtle Dove 2022 is historically significant in sneaker culture. It was the first shoe in the modern era that had people camping outside and waiting to get their hands on a pair. It was also the shoe that ushered in what we now know as the resell market. The upper is pure Primeknit with nothing restricting it and the midsole is full-length Boost, the most comfortable cushioning at the time. See the full review. Price: $130