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 08.02.2022
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: Retos / 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
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
Under Armour Curry 9
The Under Armour Curry 9 may look similar to the Curry 8 but it takes everything in that shoe and ramps it up. Both feature Under Amour’s Flow cushioning, but the latest model is simply more comfortable than the Curry 8.
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. The best low-top basketball shoe currently available. Read the full review. Price: $160
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 PG 5
The Nike PG 5, Paul George’s fifth signature model and the follow-up to last year’s solid but not well-rounded Nike PG 4. The PG 5 offers some really great features and others that aren’t so great. The shoe features some really great traction (that is not durable outdoors), full length, firm but responsive cushion, and a supportive upper. These are really meant for indoor play. Read 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
Nike LeBron 18 Low
The LeBron 18 Low is a weird one because it’s nothing like its higher counterpart. The materials are the shoe’s low point but they do their job well. Other than that, everything on the shoe is great. If you’re a fan of cushion, a fan of all-around performers, or just a LeBron fan you will like these. A good versatile pair of low top basketball shoes, for all types of players. Read the full review. Price: $160
Under Armour Curry 8
The Curry 8 is the first shoe launched by the new Curry Brand (an Under Armour sub-brand), and the first shoe to showcase the new UA Flow foam. Flow is awesome and immediately becomes UA’s best cushion. The Curry 8 also offers beastly traction that unexpectedly held up great outdoors. If that weren’t enough, the lightweight sock-like knit upper is really comfortable and more stable than expected because of the typical wide platform that Steph Curry seems to prefer. Price: $160
Nike Air Zoom GT Cut
The first model in Nike’s Greater Than series, the Air Zoom GT Cut is an impressive start. If you liked the Nike Kobe 8 you will probably love these. The GT Cut features a low-profile, lightweight setup. A drop-in React midsole, full-length Air Zoom Strobel, and extra heel Zoom provide solid cushioning despite how low this shoe sits to the ground. The shoe is built for quick, shifty guards. Bigger players might want to look into other models. Read the full review. Price: $160
Nike Cosmic Unity
The Nike Cosmic Unity is the result of combining the best features of the KD 12 and the Kyrie 7. The shoe features the now-famous full-length Zoom Air strobel that provides all the cushioning we love with beefy stability. The traction consists of grippy herringbone 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 is a well-rounded, great shoe. Read the full review. Price: $122.97
Brandblack Rare Metal 2
The Brandblack Rare Metal 2 is a great on-court performer, once you get past its initial break-in period. The Rare Metal 2 rewards patience. The traction is the shoe’s best feature and it is incredible. The shoe has no business being as supportive as it is at its weight. The cushion is similarly deceptive and is way more comfortable than you’d expect. Extra points for the unique design. There is no other basketball shoe like it. Read full review. Price: $250
Puma RS Dreamer
The PUMA RS Dreamer is easily one of the best-looking shoes currently on the market. The only thing that could be improved is the cushion. Regarding everything else, it checks all the boxes. The Puma RS Dreamer features a great fit, solid support, and really good traction. Just add a cushy insole and you’re good. Read full review. Price: $125
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: Retos / 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:
New Balance 550
The New Balance 550 is a flawless retro and a great pair of low top basketball shoes. Great craftsmanship, wonderful materials, and just awesome looking. This forgotten retro was brought back to life by New Balance in a big way. They have become one of the hottest casual basketball shoes out there and just a great shoe. Read full review. Price: $150
Air Jordan 11 Low IE OG Bred 2021
These guys are almost identical to the original release and one of those shoes that you could still use on-court (MJ did so no excuses). They feature solid rubber herringbone traction, a phylon midsole, and a full-length Air-Sole unit. Solid retro with some performance value. Read full review. Price: $170
Reebok Question Low Green Toe
These might be the best-looking shoe on the list. A wonderful retro that’s almost identical to the PE that Rajon Rondo rocked his rookie season with the Celtics. They are fresh as hell. You could try to use these on the court, but they are so pretty you might not want to. Read full review. Price: $120
Jordan 13 Low Singles Day
The Air Jordan 13 Low Singles Day is set to release on Singles Day, November 11th. The shoe pays homage to an unofficial Chinese holiday that calls out to bachelors and bachelorettes alike. A weird concept but there’s no denying they are different and the 13 is a classic silhouette. Read full review. Price: $200