What are high-top basketball shoes? These are those that have collars that extend above the ankle. High-tops are not to be confused with boots. This cut became popular when now streetstyle giant Converse started releasing them in 1977.
High-top basketball shoes are believed to provide excellent ankle support. This leads to an unfounded belief that if an athlete is not wearing high-top shoes for basketball, he assumes a great risk of injury.
The Best High-top Basketball Shoes and their Technologies
Here at RunRepeat, user and expert reviews are collected to get the CoreScore of shoes from big names such as Adidas and Nike. We also look into new brands like Anta and Peak. While they do not draw that much attention yet in the US, they already have a good number of shoes on the market.
Of course, the top shoes from the said brands include a bunch of high-tops. Some of the most notable ones are briefly discussed in the subsections below.
Adidas Crazy Explosive Primeknit. Adidas’s Crazy Explosive series has been known to usher in new technologies and materials. The Crazy Explosive Primeknit is not an exception. In most review sites, these high-top basketball shoes top the list. The Adidas Crazy Explosive Primeknit has over ten colorways. It comes with full-length Boost for responsiveness. It also has a thermo polyurethane heel cage to prevent heel slippage. The outsole boasts the coral traction pattern for maximum floor control. The upper features the Geofit technology for a one-to-one fit.
Adidas Crazy Explosive 2017 Primeknit. Just like its predecessor, the Crazy Explosive 2017 Primeknit is one of the best high-top basketball sneakers on the market. It is constructed using forged thermo polyurethane yarn, and it features unique wave patterns on the upper. It is lightweight, durable, and flexible. The glove-like fit of these high-top basketball shoes are further secured by its anatomical lacing system. The full-length Boost in its midsole delivers enhanced comfort and impact absorption without sacrificing court feel.
Adidas D Rose 7. The seventh D Rose high-top basketball shoes are only the third in the series to feature Boost, which is usually thick on the heel for impact absorption and thin on the forefoot for court feel. The solid outsole features a full-length herringbone traction pattern. The upper is made of engineered mesh with fuse overlays in high-wear areas. The molded collars of these high basketball shoes are stretchy enough to accommodate ankle braces.
Adidas D Rose 7 Primeknit. The Primeknit version of the D Rose 7 is another great high-top shoe for basketball from the The Stripes. It is identical to the regular D Rose 7 except, of course, for its Primeknit upper.
Adidas Crazy Explosive. The Adidas Crazy Explosive has lived up to its name and has become one of the court’s most ferocious beasts. It comes with full-length Boost for excellent comfort and impact absorption. For stability, the shoe comes with a thermo polyurethane cage and a full-length torsion plate. The upper of these high-top basketball sneakers comes with the Geofit technology for a glove-like fit. It also has an anatomical lace system to lock the foot down. The shoe concludes with a digitally designed traction for maximum floor control.
Adidas Light Em Up 2. These high-top basketball shoes may not be as famous as the previous models above, but the Light Em Up 2 is definitely a breath of fresh air. It tops the charts despite being a budget model. The shoe comes with full-length Bounce for impact protection and stability. The thick foam in the heel and the thin foam in the forefoot create smooth transitions. Excellent on-court performance is ensured by the flex grooves and the full-length multidirectional herringbone pattern on the outsole. The Adidas Light Em Up 2’s upper is made of engineered mesh, keeping the foot dry at all times. The material also conforms to the foot’s shape. For additional comfort, the ankle collar is well-padded.
Anta KT 3. The KT3 is the only high-top basketball shoe in Anta’s roster. It is also the only model with a removable ankle strap. The responsiveness of the Anta KT 3 comes from the EVA midsole that contains two foam pads with different densities. They are found at the forefoot and heel. The upper is made of knit reinforced with nylon and fuse. To prevent foot and heel slippage, the midsole comes with a TPU cage and the heel comes with an external cup.
Nike LeBron 15. There are already reports regarding the possible release of the LeBron 16. For the meantime, the LeBron 15 takes the stage as the best Nike high-top basketball shoes. It is the first LeBron shoe model to get a hybrid of the Zoom and Air Max technologies at the midsole. Both technologies are lightweight and provide impact protection. Another first is the Battleknit upper of these high top basketball sneakers. It is a high-grade Flyknit that gives a 3D reptile effect. It delivers stretchability and comfort without compromising durability. Versions of the LeBron 15 can have any of these materials in the outsole: gum, solid, and translucent. These options give new buyers a chance to personalize their style.
Nike Hyperdunk 14. The Hyperdunks usually top the ranks design-wise. TheNike Hyperdunk 14, for its part, is an oldie but a goodie. These 2014 high-top basketball shoes come with a targeted forefoot and heel Lunarlon. The rubber outsole features herringbone with thick grooves and pressure maps for excellent performance. Breathability is guaranteed by Hyperfuse, which is a light and thin upper material. These high-top shoes for basketball are released in over a dozen colorways.
Nike Air Force 180. These bulky high-top basketball shoes are 90s classics that never go out of style. In terms of performance features, theAir Force 180is easily overtaken by many modern basketball shoes. Style-wise, however, these retros are obvious mainstays. These Nike basketball shoes come with the unbeatable herringbone. This pattern has deep and flexible grooves for dust resistance and a stable grip on the court. The uppers of these high-top basketball sneakers are made of synthetic leather with molded rubber overlays in high-wear areas.
Nike Kobe 9 Elite. These high-top basketball shoes sure live up to its elite status. It might be a lot pricier than most basketball shoes, but the Nike Kobe 9 Elite makes up for its price. The shoe has an excellent and lightweight Lunarlon midsole. The rubber outsole is quite thin and works best indoors. It comes with a footprint-like traction pattern that has strategically placed pressure points. The sock-like fit of the Flyknit upper provide is made more effective by Flywire. The extended collar supports the ankle well. The entire setup prevents unnecessary side-to-side movements.
Nike LeBron 13 Elite. Another elite high-top basketball shoes from the Swoosh, the LeBron 13 Elitefeatures a protruding and highly responsive hexagonal Zoom Air system. The uppers of these high-top basketball sneakers are made of mesh that is covered with Kurim rubber. Not only does this type of rubber deliver durability and support, it also gives attractive aesthetics. The patterns on the upper have a webbed effect.
Air Jordan 7 Retro. These Jordan high-top basketball shoes take users back to Michael Jordan’s back-to-back championship in 1991 and 1992. The Phylon-wrapped polyurethane midsole of the shoe comes with encapsulated Air sole units at the forefoot and heel. This cushioning setup delivers great support and comfort. The inner sleeve of these Jordan basketball sneakers is made of neoprene. It provides a sock-like fit to the foot. To hold it all down, these high basketball shoes has the standard lacing system. The upper the retro version of the seventh Air Jordan is made of either nubuck or a combination of genuine and synthetic leather, depending on the colorway.
Air Jordan 8 Retro. The Air Jordan 8 is the first strapped Air Jordan. It features a criss-cross strap that tightens when pulled and locked at the side. The Phylon midsole comes with forefoot and heel Air units for a more stable ride. Being one of the heaviest Air Jordans, these high-top basketball shoes tip at least 18 ounces. The upper is a layered masterpiece. The inner layer is a well-padded bootie for a comfortable and almost one-to-one fit. Depending on the colorway, the external layer is made of either leather, nubuck, or suede.
Air Jordan 13 Retro. The material that the upper of the AJ 13 is made of is sometimes changed with the colorway. It can be full-grain leather, synthetic leather, textile, or suede. To provide superb cushioning, the shoe has Zoom units at the forefoot and heel. Pods are strategically placed for flexibility. These high basketball shoes are inspired by ‘Black Cat,’ a moniker Michael Jordan had when he was still in Wilmington, North Carolina. Tinker Hatfield designed the outsole in such a way that it looks similar to a cat’s paws. The retro of the thirteenth Air Jordan also has quilted side panels and a Jumpman logo that looks like a holographic cat eye.
Air Jordan 20. Because of its unique design, many people don’t consider these Jordan sneakers as true high-top basketball shoes. These signature kicks feature a midfoot strap and an ankle leash. The Phylon midsole is equipped with the latest Independent Podular Suspension to ensure a smoother and more comfortable ride. The Air Jordan 20 has received backlash regarding the usefulness (or lack thereof) of its ankle leash and how quick it is for the outsole to lose traction. Fortunately, its sales never went down as sneakerheads grab a pair for the sake of nostalgia and the overall comfort it provides.
Air Jordan 28. The most noticeable feature of these high-top shoes for basketball is the zippered shroud that also acts as the shoe’s second skin. This setup provides excellent lockdown, great ankle support, and prevents ankle roll injuries. The Flight plate System in the midsole sits on top of the two unlocked Zoom units found at the forefoot and the heel. A fingerprint-like tread pattern graces the outsole of the AJ 28. This pattern makes cuts, crosses, and instant directional switches possible.
Reebok Shaqnosis. These high-top basketball sneakers from Reebok come with perforated synthetic leather uppers. The Shaqnosis features the Hexalite technology at the heel and forefoot. The technology is lightweight and durable. It is characterized by the honeycomb pattern on its surface. The outsole features a combination of wavy herringbone, circular, and zigzag patterns. It also has thick and deep grooves for flexibility. For huge players who need stability and impact protection upon landing, these high-top shoes for basketball have outriggers and adequate arch support.
Reebok Shaq Attaq. The Shaq Attaq, which is the first in Shaquille O’Neal's line of signature shoes, was designed by Judy Close in 1992. These high top basketball sneakers come with the Graphlite technology. It is a lightweight and durable plastic fiber that provides stability. The solid rubber outsole has herringbone that ensures great on-court grip and control. As a classic basketball shoe model, the Reebok Shaq Attaq does not veer away from the traditional lockdown setup. It comes with plastic eyelets for its flat shoelaces. The tongue features the Pump technology that makes it possible for the wearer to customize the shoe’s fit.
Reebok Shaq Attaq 4. Just like its predecessor,the Shaq Attaq 4comes with a neoprene sockliner with an embedded Pump. The midsole comes with Hexalite. The upper is made of nubuck and mesh for a durable and breathable ride. The entire shoe sits on a solid rubber outsole that features herringbone.
Under Armour Curry 2.5. The UA Curry 2.5 is a unique high-top basketball shoe with a burrito-style lockdown. The shoe is equipped with Charged that absorbs impact and returns energy for an explosive on-court performance. The full-length and multidirectional traction pattern on the outsole delivers great floor grip and control. The upper is made of a combination of full-length mesh and molded synthetic leather. It is further made durable by its polyurethane overlays.
Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 3. The UA ClutchFit Drive 3 comes with a full-length herringbone traction pattern with triangular insets on the forefoot and heel. The responsiveness of these high basketball shoes comes from its Micro G midsole. The heel features a layer of Charged cushioning for impact absorption. The upper is equipped with the Clutchfit technology for stretchability, breathability, and support.
Under Armour Longshot. These high-top basketball sneakers are a well-performing budget pair from Under Armour. The midsole of the UA Longshot is equipped with full-length Micro G for impact absorption and comfort. The shoe has a Charged insole to ensure step-in comfort. The upper is composed of mesh and soft leather. These materials are known for the ventilation and durability that they provide.
Under Armour Drive 4. The UA Drive4 is a high-top basketball shoe that comes with a full-length EVA midsole with Micro G at the heel. The thick outsole rubber is designed to withstand any court surface. It comes with a widely-spaced herringbone pattern for an unstoppable action on court. The full-length bootie construction comes with a breathable and lightweight mesh. For support, these high basketball shoes come with an external heel counter, a molded collar, and die-cut EVA in the inner walls.
Under Armour Rocket 2. The Rocket 2 is one of the best high-top basketball sneakers comes from Under Armour. It has a solid rubber outsole, and it features a full-length herringbone pattern with a deep cross flex groove at the middle of the forefoot. It has shorter and shallower grooves on the lateral and heel. As for cushioning, these high-top shoes for basketball boast a Micro G midsole and insole. Synthetic leather and foam make up the upper of the Rocket 2 from Under Armour.
High-Top Basketball Shoes that are Stylish
Even as mid- and low-tops are gaining popularity, high-top basketball shoes never go out of style primarily because of those who steadfastly prefer them over any other. They create videos and blogs to share the ways they style their beloved high-tops. Definitely, the high-tops’ wearers do not need to know how to play hoops to rock these hotties. They just need to know how to style them properly. One sneaker fanatic claims that there are three types of high-top basketball sneakers, and each has a specific styling that suits it.
Thin high-top sneakers. Good examples of thin high-top sneakers are Converse high-tops. Wearers usually lace the shoe up to the last eyelet, and then just let the pants hang to cover the collar. This Youtuber suggests bringing the laces up to the second to the last eyelet only so that the collar can still be folded down. The sneakers are then paired with jogger pants. The wearers can also fold the edges of their jeans up so they do not cover the shoe. However, if you’re wearing hooping high-top basketball shoes such as the Nike Kobe 9 Elite or the Air Jordan 28, you just wear straight- or slim-cut jeans and just let the pants hang to cover the extended collars.
Mid high-top sneakers. Most classic Nike shoes and Jordan sneakers belong to this category. They are the favorites of most wearers because mid high-top basketball sneakers can be worn on any occasion and be paired with any outfit. This Youtuber’s advice is to not tuck the edges of the pants into the shoe. He also advises against tucking in your shirt. An exception would be when skinny jeans are worn. Keep the outfit simple and minimal so that the sneakers shine. These type of high-top shoes for basketball can look formal when paired with plain leather jackets.
High neck top sneakers. According to this Youtuber, this type of high basketball shoes are not to be paired with plain shirts. These sneakers have to be matched with a jacket and a pair of dark skinny or slim-cut pants. Loose cut pants are a no-no, as they will make the wearer look like and old-fashioned cowboy.
These ideas should be taken with a grain of salt. If these recommendations don’t look good on you, don’t force it. Try it with a twist and maybe it will work. Take note that fashion and style are unlimited. If you are wearing a tuxedo and want to pair it with Converse or Jordan high-top basketball sneakers, what can they do? Just wear whatever suits you and makes you comfortable.
High-top Basketball Shoes that Work with Ankle Braces
Injuries are common occurrence in basketball. Ankle braces are used to strengthen the foot after an injury. However, not all high-top basketball shoes can accommodate ankle braces. Briefly discussed below are some of the high-top shoes for basketball that allow ankle braces.
Under Armour Curry 4. The UA Curry 4 might have a mediocre CoreScore but these high-top shoes for basketball get the votes of those who need to wear ankle braces. Because of the shoes’ seamless uppers and highly stretchable collars, the braces are securely locked down when the shoelaces are tied.
Under Armour Drive 4. Because it is made of breathable mesh and features an adjustable tongue, the upper of the UA Drive 4 can securely accommodate ankle braces. It also has an external heel counter that provides further stability to the ankle braces.
Anta KT 3. As mentioned, the KT 3 is among the top high basketball shoes. Turns out, it also serves those who need ankle braces. The entire upper is made of fuse and nylon. The material can somehow stretch and accommodate the braces.
There are also a few low-top shoes and mid-top basketball sneakers that can hold ankle braces. However, the majority of wearers more readily choose high-tops.
High-top Basketball Shoes That Offer Great Ankle Support
There are articles online that claim that science has yet to prove that high-top basketball shoes prevent ankle injuries better than other types of footwear. Still, a huge chunk of wearers and sneakerheads recommend high-top basketball shoes with that premise. It’s not at all bad, especially that there really are high-top options that offer great support and lockdown. Some of them are discussed here.
Adidas D Rose 8. The D Rose 8 delivers great ankle support because it has Geofit in its upper. The technology is in the ankle collar. It basically is a thick foam padding that hugs the back of the foot well.
Adidas Crazy Explosive 2017 Primeknit. The 2017 Crazy Explosives from Adidas are high-top basketball shoes that deserve to be in the spotlight. The substantial support that each shoe delivers comes from its light Primeknit upper that is uniquely constructed using forged thermo polyurethane yarn.
Adidas Crazy Explosive. The Crazy Explosive series seems to produce noteworthy high-top basketball shoes. Like many Adidas high basketball shoes, the Crazy Explosives come with lightweight neoprene uppers. They have Geofit technology at the rear part for better lockdown.
Air Jordan XXXI. The Jordan brand is famous for producing top-notch and high quality basketball sneakers. If you want great ankle support, the AJ 31 is the high-top basketball shoe to go for. Its one-piece construction is reinforced with Flywire to prevent annoying and potentially dangerous side-to-side movements. In addition to that, the ankle collar has anatomical pods for ankle containment.
Nike LeBron Soldier 10. More than just a pretty face, the LeBron Soldier 10 is really an excellently supportive high-top basketball shoe. The straps alone can already give the ankle a one-to-one fit. To ensure comfort and breathability, the upper is made of three layers of textile and foam.
Nike LeBron 13. The thirteen LeBron James basketball shoes have a supportive sock-like fit that many appreciate. Foot containment is further ensured by Flywire and Hyperposite in the upper.
Nike Hyperdunk 2016. These high shoes for basketball is almost of every list of top-notch sneaker options because of the great ankle support that it delivers. The midfoot of the Hyperdunk 2016 from Nike has the company’s celebrated Flywire technology. The collar securely wraps the ankle for comfort and support.
Reebok Shaq Attaq. Some may think that these high-top basketball shoes for are too old, but the Shaq Attaq sneakers are actually gold when it comes to support and lockdown. It is one of the stablest and most durable high-top basketball sneakers out there. The shoe is equipped with Reebok’s Pump technology, which wearers can literally inflate to get the desired fit.
Reebok Royal BB4500 Hi. Reebok classic Royal BB4500 Hi has a cushioned collar, midsole, and tongue. Many get these high-top shoes for basketball because of their nostalgic appeal.
Under Armour Curry 4. The Curry 4 is easily among the most reliable high-top basketball shoes ever released. The shoe has a microfiber quarter panel that provides support. These high basketball shoes also have internal sleeves that ensure a comfortable fit.
Under Armour Curry 2.5. New shopper have many reasons to pick up the Curry 2.5. These high-top shoes for basketball come with a burrito-style construction and an asymmetrical lace-up system to provide stable support. The foot still feels comfortable because there is Charged in the midsole.
Under Armour Drive 4. Besides being great for ankle braces, these high basketball shoes are also delivers good ankle support. Many believe that mesh uppers are not reliable, but the Drive 4 proves them all wrong. Together with the shoe’s full-bootie construction, external heel counter, and molded ankle collar; the mesh upper delivers reliable support and fit.
12 best high basketball shoes
Air Jordan Legacy 312
Air Jordan 13 Retro
Air Jordan 5 Retro
Adidas D Rose 9
Air Jordan 2 Retro
Nike LeBron Soldier 13
New Balance OMN1S
Adidas Pro Bounce 2019
Nike Zoom Rize
Nike Air Force Max
Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.