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 11.23.2022
Best Low Top Basketball Shoes
- Best Performance Low Top Basketball Shoes
- Best Budget Low Top Basketball Shoes
- Best Outdoor Low Top Basketball Shoes
- Best Low Top Basketball Shoes: Retros / Casual
Best Performance Low Top Basketball Shoes
Best Low Top Basketball Shoe
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. This shoe kept what worked in previous models and brought back the low collar cut that KD fans enjoy. See the full review. Price: $150
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
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
Jordan Luka 1
The Jordan Luka 1 was highly rated by our team, and that’s saying a lot. 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
Nike Cosmic Unity 2
The Nike Cosmic Unity 2 features the now-famous full-length Zoom Air Strobel that provides all the cushioning we love with beefy stability. The traction consists of multi-directional pattern and the shoe fits true to size. Another great all-around shoe that should work well for most players. Is the sustainability aspect a marketing gimmick? Yes. But overall, the Cosmic Unity 2 is a well-rounded, great shoe. 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
Puma MB.01 Low
The Puma MB.01 Low offers many of the same performance features as the regular Puma MB.01. It offers more ankle mobility due to its lower collar height. The traction is grippy while it lasts. The Nitro-infused foam remains responsive and offers adequate impact protection. You can play in these for 2-3 hours without your knees giving you a hard time. If you can find them, we highly recommend picking up a pair. Read the full review. Price: $120
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
Nike PG 6
Paul George’s signature line has consistently brought us, great on-court performers. While the PG 6 isn’t the best Paul George signature shoe, it is still a very good performance model. 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 points, and support and fit are on point. The one weak point is the shoes materials which are cheap, but functional. A great low-cut option. Read the full review. Price: $110.
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
Best Budget Low Top Basketball Shoes
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
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
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