Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.
Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.
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Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.
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High top kicks have always been popular due to the perceived additional ankle support that they provide. This is why there are so many basketball shoes that have a high-cut collar, as players need more support and protection around the ankle while out on the court.
Additionally, many high top basketball sneakers have passed on to lifestyle use due to their stylish edge and sporty appeal. Not only are high top designs sought-after for their additional ankle support, but also their edgy look brought on by the high collar. They are also known to be highly versatile, worn with different casual and athleisure attires.
It also helps that the kicks come in a wide variety of colorways, including the popular combo black and red, along with neutral color options such as silver, black, white, and red. Other colors include blue, yellow, green, and many more combinations.
Most Popular High Top Basketball Shoes
Since there are many noteworthy high top basketball-inspired kicks, it won’t be easy to list them all in one place. Listed below are some of the best high top basketball sneakers, grouped according to whether they are in the men's category or the women's section.
Notable Men’s High Top Basketball Sneakers
1. Nike Air Foamposite Pro
Nike Basketball introduced Foamposite technology in 1997 with the release of both the Foamposite Pro and the Nike Air Foamposite One. The pair was designed by Eric Avar, featuring a distinct wavy foam upper and a large Swoosh on the sides. Avar took inspiration from the hard shell of a beetle insect, coming up with the durable molded foam innovation for the upper.
NBA player Penny Hardaway debuted the Foamposite One.
These kicks are very expensive at a $230 price point.
Men’s sizes from 6-15 were released. These high top basketball shoes generally run true to size.
Wide-footed buyers recommended getting a half size up as they felt that the sneaker had a narrow fit.
2. Jordan Son of Mars
Throughout the late 1980s to the early 1990s, the Air Jordan brand was able to successfully market its shoes thanks to a series of quirky ads. Legendary director Spike Lee appeared in the ads as Mars Blackmon, alongside Michael Jordan himself. One of the iconic catchphrases from the ads was "It's gotta be da shoes.” To honor Lee’s character and role in the brand’s rise, the colorful Son of Mars off-court shoe was released in 2012.
This model is a hybrid shoe inspired by iconic design elements from the Air Jordan III, IV, V, VI, and XX.
It comes with a premium price of $160.
These men’s high top basketball sneakers fit as expected, with sizes available from 7-15.
Narrow-footed users commented that the shoe had an extra comfy and roomy toe box.
3. Jordan Spizike
Released in 2006, the Jordan Spizike was introduced in tribute to the relationship between the Air Jordan brand and film director Spike Lee. Lee had appeared in the brand’s ad campaign during its early years along with Michael Jordan. Thus, he helped the brand establish itself in the consciousness of many. It’s a hybrid sneaker that took elements from the Air Jordan III, IV, V, VI, IX, and XX, with its main silhouette inspired by the Air Jordan V.
Among its many colorways are White/Cement, Black/Cement, and the OG white, red, and green color combination.
At a price of $175, these kicks are considered to be expensive.
These high top basketball sneakers come in men’s 7-18.
Several wearers have attested that it fits narrow in the toe box, recommending that half size bigger would be better.
4. Adidas Forum Primeknit Winter
Built for intense court activity, Adidas first introduced the Adidas Forum model in 1984. In 2017, the brand updated the iconic silhouette with the release of the Adidas Forum Primeknit Winter. This enhanced version featured a winter-ready structure designed to keep the feet warm during rain or snow. Among its striking details are the stylish sock-like Primeknit upper and protective bootie cut.
This sneaker is lined with a weather-resistant membrane that delivers a waterproof structure and an extra warm feeling.
It has a premium price tag of $170.
The shoe is offered in men’s sizes from 5.5-12.5. It runs true to size.
5. Adidas Tubular X 2.0
Adidas introduced the first Tubular shoe back in the 1980s. It was constructed for basketball but failed to garner much interest. As a result, the model was designated to the brand’s archives until the Adidas VP of Global Design, Nic Galway, brought it back to life in 2014. Following the shoe’s widespread success, the brand followed it up with the Tubular X 2.0 in 2017. It was made to be more slimmed down and lightweight.
The name of the shoe comes from the design on the forefoot, which showcases a panel in the shape of an X.
This sneaker is averagely priced at $130.
Sizes are offered in men’s 3.5 up to 13.5 as well as women’s 5.5-10. Many users have confirmed that it fits as expected.
6. Jordan Instigator
The Jordan Instigator was inspired by the iconic Air Jordan 1, which launched the Air Jordan brand when Michael Jordan first wore it out in the court in 1985. These men’s high top basketball shoes offer support that’s on point along with a modern off-court style. The branding is made to be subtle, with the famous Jumpman logo found on the tongue.
The shoe’s most striking detail is its patent leather toe, which seamlessly fades and blends into the suede material towards the back.
These high top basketball sneakers are offered at a slightly high price of $150.
Men’s sizes were issued, ranging from 5.5-14, with a true-to-size fit.
7. Nike Air Force 1 07 High
The AF1 High from Nike was the first basketball footwear from Nike to feature its Air cushioning innovation. When it was first made into a high-top, the model became highly sought-after, highly valued today by many sneakerheads. The edition was updated with the Nike Air Force 1 07 High, which used circular patterns on the outsole instead of the original herringbone to better facilitate quick and sudden actions out on the court.
Other notable editions from the series include the Nike Air Force 1 07 High LV8 and Nike Air Force 1 High 07 NBA.
These kicks come at an affordable cost at $100.
Sizes are offered in men’s 6-18, and the shoe is said to fit as expected.
8. Nike Lunar Force 1 Duckboot
In 2008, Nike first debuted its Lunarlon technology, which offered soft cushioning and bouncy responsiveness for basketball players. Years later in 2012, the brand decided to incorporate the innovation to the silhouette of the Air Force 1. The result is the Nike Lunar Force 1, which was updated with such versions as the Lunar Force 1 Duckboot. This model, released in 2015, is built to withstand the cold and rainy weather.
These men’s high top basketball shoes have an aggressive outsole pattern that’s designed to offer maximum traction across different terrains in different weather conditions.
This is an expensive model that retails at $170.
Men’s sizes are available from 6-15 along with women’s sizes from 5-12.
A few reviewers have revealed that the sneaker runs small.
9. Nike Air Pippen
NBA champion player Scottie Pippen helped the Chicago Bulls win six titles. In addition, he was also hailed as one of the best forward players in history. Nike signed an endorsement deal with Pippen in 1997, which led to the release of six signature shoes. The launch of the Air Pippen series has led to much success, with fresh new colorways released from time to time.
One of this shoe’s recent colorways is the “Wheat” version, which featured an off-white midsole and a brown-colored outer and inner material.
A premium price of $160 is set for this sneaker.
Men’s 7-15 sizes are available, running true to size according to most users.
10. Adidas Crazy 1 ADV Sock Primeknit
The Adidas Crazy 1 series came about through the brand’s partnership with basketball legend Kobe Bryant. Although the partnership was short-lived, it did lead to the release of a couple of kicks: the Kobe and Kobe Two models. The shoes received little success. In 2017, the brand decided to enhance the Kobe shoe with a new design and name, resulting in the Adidas Crazy 1. In the Crazy 1 ADV Sock Primeknit, Adidas upgraded the model with a ribbed knit design on the upper.
This shoe has a triple-white color option that’s been called All-Star Weekend or ASW by some retailers as it was released during NBA’s All-Star Weekend.
At $140, these men’s high top basketball sneakers are averagely priced.
The sizes offered are in men’s 5-13, with many buyers confirming that the model fits as expected.
Top Women’s High-Cut Basketball Kicks
1. Nike Air Force 1 High SE
The Air Force 1 is one of Nike's most iconic kicks, transitioning from court use to streetwear. It was previously continued then brought back after a couple of years. Since then, many kicks have been added to the Air Force 1 collection, including the Nike Air Force 1 High SE. This special edition upgrades the shoe with a high-cut collar and many new colorways for individuals to choose from.
Depending on the colorway, the upper could be made of leather, textile, or synthetic material.
It’s offered at a reasonable price of $110.
These women’s high top basketball shoes were issued in sizes ranging from 5-12.
A few commenters complained that the shoe had a narrow width.
2. Nike Dunk Sky Hi Essential
Part of the Nike Dunk collection, the Nike Dunk Sky Hi Essential’s silhouette comes from one of Nike’s most iconic basketball kicks. The brand gave the shoe a feminine and stylish edge with this model. Among its striking features is a hidden wedge, which delivers a boost of elegance and height. This chic sneaker has a sporty flair in addition to its vintage appeal. Another worthy edition from the series is the Nike Dunk Retro QS.
Celebrities such as Kristen Bell, Jessica Biel, and Minka Kelly were seen wearing the kicks.
Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow character also wore the shoes in the Captain America: Winter Soldier movie.
These women’s high top basketball sneakers offer value for the money at a price of $130.
Women’s sizes from 5-13 were released. The majority of purchasers found that the model fits true to size.
3. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Seasonal High Top
No list of iconic basketball kicks would be complete without the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top. This model, which is one of the editions of the legendary sneaker, offers more colorways for people to choose from. It comes in fresh colors that are ideal for the spring season; hence it is called seasonal. Additionally, the shoe has an OrthoLite insole for premium cushioning.
It has an attractive budget-friendly price tag of $60.
Although it is listed as a unisex shoe, the sizes are in men’s 3-18. Ladies can get their size by going down two sizes than their usual.
4. Converse Chuck II High Top
The Chuck Taylor All Star model has retained most of its design since its first iteration in 1917. However, almost a century later, Converse decided to update the design, releasing the Chuck II shoe, offered in both low top and high top versions. This enhanced sneaker provides additional comfort with more luxurious details, all while retaining the original design that many people throughout generations have been fond of.
Its upper is made up of polyblend material while the insole is made to be well-cushioned with Lunarlon technology.
These cheap high top basketball shoes deliver bang for the buck at a price point of $75.
Offered sizes are in women’s 5-15 and men’s 3-13. It has been reputed to run true to size.
5. Air Jordan 1 High Zip
The Air Jordan 1 has been reissued in many editions and versions since the world first saw it in 1985. Years later, the Air Jordan brand decided that it was time for Michael Jordan’s iconic sneaker to turn towards the female audience. In the Spring 2018 collection, the Air Jordan 1 High Zip was introduced. This model retains the original’s detailing, enhancing the look with an edgy zip-up closure.
The shoe varies in the upper material depending on the colorway. Suede material is used by the pastel color options while leather is used for the neutral colorways.
These women’s high top basketball sneakers have a slightly expensive price point of $150.
It is found in women’s 5-18 sizes. Some reviewers have found that the model runs large, so sizing down may be necessary.
6. Nike Lunar Force 1 Flyknit Workboot
This model updates the Nike Lunar Force 1 Duckboot with a Flyknit upper along with deluxe leather overlays. As a result, the shoe offers flexibility, durability, and additional support in areas where they are most needed. Additionally, the sneaker has an ankle strap for extra comfort and support. Meanwhile, its gum outsole is designed with aggressive tread to deliver traction across different surfaces, even in wet conditions.
This shoe’s interior is lined with wool to keep the foot warm.
It is set at an expensive price of $200.
The sizes come in women’s 5-10 as well as men’s 7-13. Some buyers have revealed that it runs a half size large.
7. Adidas Superstar UP Strap
The Adidas Superstar was one of the most famous basketball kicks from the 1960s up to the 1970s. It then transitioned into street style use, most notably worn and made famous by the hip-hop group Run DMC. Several iterations of the shoe have been released due to its continuing popularity, one of which is the feminine Adidas Superstar UP Strap. These striking women’s high top basketball shoes have a hidden wedge and an elegant silhouette.
Other notable features include the Velcro strap on the ankle and oversized tongue.
These kicks are reasonably priced at $110.
Sizes can be found in women’s 7.5-11.
Several users have shared that it runs small, so they suggested getting a half size larger than usual.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to wear lifestyle high top basketball shoes?
The best high top basketball-inspired sneakers are known to be versatile, with a wide range of outfits typically suiting them well. They have been found to be ideal for street wear as they have a balance of sporty and edgy details. Below are several tips on how to style them.
For the men, high-cut basketball shoes offer an edgy street appeal, which is why this type of kicks would work well with jeans and pants, especially those with a straight cut or skinny design.
Men’s shorts would also go well with the shoes, along with athleisure pieces such as joggers. A simple t-shirt, sweatshirt or pullover will add a sporty flair.
When it comes to styling high top basketball footwear, ladies can opt to create a sporty look or a casual one. Leggings, shorts or joggers along with a hoodie, tank top or pullover will create an ideal athleisure appeal for everyday wear.
Meanwhile, ladies can also create a laidback look with the shoes by pairing them with jeans, shorts or skirts. A t-shirt along with a bomber or denim jacket will complete the cool and casual flair.
2. Where to get high top basketball sneakers?
High top basketball shoes are available at many online and physical stores. Websites such as Amazon and Zappos offer a wide range of them, along with smaller online retailers with more limited options. Department stores or brand outlets could also carry many basketball-inspired models of the high top variety.
3. What color palette goes well with high top basketball shoes?
Finding the colors that would complement one’s shoes would depend on the colorway of the model. However, neutral shades such as white, black, and grey are known for being staples, which can go well with different colors of sneakers. The key is to balance the colors in one’s outfit so that the overall look will not seem overdone.
4. What is the price range of high cut basketball-inspired kicks?
There is a wide variety of high-cut basketball kicks, which is why they vary in price. The price range starts from the budget-friendly category which consists of cheap high top basketball shoes. One example is Converse models, which retail for $60. It ends at a very expensive price point of $200 and above, such as the Nike Foamposite One and Pro models, each of which retails for $230.
5. Are there certain benefits that one could get with high cut basketball sneakers?
Shoes that have a high-cut collar are known to provide additional protection and support around the ankle than low-cut kicks. This is why many sports, such as basketball and skateboard, that utilize a lot of ankle movement favor high-tops.
In addition, basketball-inspired sneakers are known for having more features for cushioning and support as well as traction as they were first designed for use out on the court.
6. How could one take care of high top basketball shoes?
Just like any other type of sneakers, there are proper ways on how to clean and maintain high top basketball kicks. Below are a few tips on how to retain their shape, color, and quality for a longer period.
Leather polish should be used on leather kicks to help maintain their shine and quality. It also helps in lessening the damage of small scratches and nicks.
Suede material should be brushed by a suede or bristle brush.
To clean canvas shoes, mix a small amount of mild detergent with warm water. Apply the solution to the sneaker using a small piece of cloth. Use another cloth and warm water to remove any extra soap. Air drying is recommended.
The use of shoe trees will help to maintain the shape of the sneakers.
Before storing footwear in a closet or rack, make sure that they are adequately aired out to get rid of odors and moisture.
7. What is the fit and sizing of high top basketball-inspired lifestyle footwear?
Different brands of shoes offer different ranges when it comes to sizing. However, the kicks are usually available in sizes 5-15 for the men and size 5-12 for the women. The fit would depend on the model. In general, they run true to size, but some may be found to have a narrow fit or a large or small sizing.
8. Do basketball lifestyle shoes look too bulky?
Many basketball kicks have a bulky appearance due to their well-padded structures, which offer protection and support for players. This could be the case for some basketball-inspired lifestyle shoes as well. However, brands often slim down their models when they are transitioned for casual wear, so it may depend on the model itself.
9. Do high top basketball models make one look tall or short?
High-cut kicks can make one look short or tall, depending on how one styles the shoes. It the collar of the sneaker is hidden by a pair of pants or wide-leg jeans, then the wearer will not appear to be shorter. However, the leg may seem short if one makes the collar visible, such as when the kicks are worn with skinny jeans.
10. How could one describe the style of high-cut basketball footwear?
Due to their former use as sports footwear, basketball-inspired casual shoes have an athletic vibe which makes them appropriate for pairing with active or athleisure wear. Their high-cut collars lend them a street-ready flair that also gives them a versatile appeal.