7 Best Low Top Basketball Shoes, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2022

Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic on
7 Best Low Top Basketball Shoes, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2022

Basketball shoes are often said to be better off as high-tops because the high collar is there for more stability. However, scientific evidence does not support this notion. Low-top basketball shoes are reported to be as effective as mid-tops and high-tops on the court.

We went on to review over 100 low-top basketball shoes and discovered just how many excellent options there are among these low tops. From the cheaper ones to the premium models, we found shoes with outstanding grip, cushioning, and an overall sense of support.

How we test basketball shoes

Here at RunRepeat, we give each basketball shoe a CoreScore from 1-100. This score is an indicator of how liked the shoe generally is.

A corescore is computed by weighing in all the reviews that we could get. So far, we were able to get inputs from the following:

  • More than 800 expert reviewers via Youtube, their own blogs, and other platforms
  • More than 62,000 players and ordinary users who leave their comments and ratings on retailer sites. 

Given the extensiveness of our review, you can trust that each Corescore that we present is a comprehensive quantitative assessment of each low-top shoe for basketball.

Best low top basketball shoes overall

Nike Air Zoom BB NXT
Nike Air Zoom BB NXT

CoreScore

88
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 217 users
86 / 100 from 19 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Nice fit
  • Impressive cushioning
  • Great lockdown
  • Durable
  • Breathable
  • Out of the box comfort
  • Good traction

Cons

  • No ankle support

Verdict

Nike Air Zoom BB NXT is light with plenty of cushion. Looking at it, it has a lot of cushion, but when you pick it up and even wear it, the shoe is surprisingly light! When lacing it up, the shoe i very comfortable and responsive. The extensive sole makes it look tall despite it being a low-top shoe. BB NXT definitely has an advanced design to feel this good.
Nike Air Zoom BB NXT full review

Best Nike low top basketball shoes

Nike Lebron 18 Low
Nike Lebron 18 Low

CoreScore

91
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 489 users
87 / 100 from 7 experts

Pros

  • Indoor grip
  • Plush cushioning
  • Comfortable upper
  • Supportive fit
  • Stylish looks

Cons

  • Too high off the ground
  • Not for outdoors
  • Cheap-feeling materials

Verdict

True to the LeBron name, the low version of the Nike LeBron 18 puts performance as its topmost priority. Still, it is not for everyone; smaller and quicker guards will surely have a hard time appreciating it. Big men who prioritize comfort, on the other hand, will have hit the jackpot with this shoe.
Nike Lebron 18 Low full review

Best Jordan low top basketball shoes

Air Jordan 13 Retro Low
Air Jordan 13 Retro Low

CoreScore

88
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 146 users
90 / 100 from 1 expert

Pros

  • Top-notch leather upper
  • Impressive cushioning
  • Great traction
  • Head-turning aesthetic
  • Creases less than original
  • Good durability
  • Supportive fit

Cons

  • Needs break-in time
  • Lacks padding
  • Pricey

Verdict

Usually, old Air Jordan shoes are considered more as nostalgic collectibles than on-court performers due to their high prices. The Jordan 13 Retro Low, however, is a sleek-looking basketball sneaker that testers actually recommend for hooping. Its midsole provides ample protection and responsiveness while its traction is grippy after some break-in time.
Air Jordan 13 Retro Low full review

Best Adidas low top basketball shoes

Adidas Trae Young 1
Adidas Trae Young 1

CoreScore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 50 users
89 / 100 from 12 experts

Pros

  • Balanced cushioning
  • Versatile
  • Comfortable fit
  • Excellent support
  • Stylish
  • Guarantees compliments
  • Good traction

Cons

  • Not breathable
  • Not fit for wide-footed players

Verdict

Trae Young's first signature shoe is a fair indoor performer. A major concern is that different versions of the shoe also perform differently. Buyers may want to dig deeper into the specs of the Adidas Trae Young 1 to make sure they get what they need.
Adidas Trae Young 1 full review

Best low top outdoor basketball shoes

Puma Clyde All-Pro
Puma Clyde All-Pro

CoreScore

93
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 62 users
96 / 100 from 10 experts

Pros

  • Pronounced court feel
  • Amazing traction
  • Insane lightness
  • Nice bounce
  • Grounded and stable
  • Effective moisture-control
  • Comfortable tongue
  • Cushioned heel
  • Very smooth heel-to-toe transition
  • Aesthetically appealing

Cons

  • Lacks forefoot cushion
  • Narrow structure
  • Needs break-in

Verdict

Since the Clyde Court Disrupt, Puma Hoops's Clyde line has been dishing out worthy alternatives to the usually pricier and more popular Adidas and Nike kicks that flood the market. The Puma Clyde All-Pro is assessed to be even better than, or at least comparable to, the Nike Kobe 9, which critics say is among the greatest basketball shoes. The All-Pro's bad points are either easy to remedy or there just because of a personal preference.
Puma Clyde All-Pro full review

Best value low top basketball shoes

Nike Mamba Focus
Nike Mamba Focus

CoreScore

88
Great!
4.7 / 5 from 2,549 users
77 / 100 from 6 experts

Pros

  • Durable
  • Responsive midsole
  • Premium-looking materials
  • Satisfactory support and lockdown
  • Delivers a minimal feel
  • Great for casual wear

Cons

  • Insufficient traction
  • Stiff cushioning
  • Cheap materials

Verdict

While the Nike Mamba Focus' offers premium-looking materials and sleek style, its cushioning, fit, and traction fell short in delivering what wearers expected from it. That said, basketball fans agree that this footgear is not worth having, unlike the Nike PG3 and the Adidas Dame 5, which delivers better results and retailed near the Mamba Focus' price point.
Nike Mamba Focus full review

Stability features for (low-top) basketball shoes

As said, collar height does not do much in terms of providing support and ensuring stability. What features, then, better ensure support and stability?

Lace.png

Closure System. Basically, a closure system is the main mechanism that keeps the show on your foot. In basketball, a lace-up closure is the most common. You can maximize the benefits of this by knowing how to tie your laces. Learn more about this here.

heel counter.png

Heel Counter. For most low-top basketball shoes, or basketball shoes in general, the rear part of the shoe is made of sturdier material to form the heel counter. This feature helps keep the foot in place especially during aggressive movements.

Midfoot Shank. When movements become more aggressive, you risk twisting your foot. A midsole with a shank embedded in the middle of it helps prevent this from happening.

Inner Sleeve. The insides of a shoe are often lined with a form-fitting and comfortable material to enhance its fit. Neoprene and some soft fabric or rubber are the most commonly used material for this.

side clip.png

Side clips. Usually found on the lateral side, clips that are made of sturdy plastic are often laid to serve as additional support features especially if the upper material is made of stretchy materials.

Low-top basketball shoes: A Kobe Bryant effect

It was in 2008 when Kobe Bryant’s first low-top basketball shoe– the Kobe IV– was released; and he rarely wore high-tops in his games since then. This release is widely regarded as the start of the popularity of low-tops in the NBA.

kobe 4 protro.png

The Kobe 4 Protro

The fourth Kobe is so iconic that Nike and Kobe Bryant released a protro version of it in 2019. A protro is practically a retro with modern technological updates to ensure its court worthiness.

What prompted Kobe to go low? 

Having spent a good part of his childhood in Italy, he was exposed quite extensively to football (known as soccer in the US). The shoes worn by football players are often low-top. He thought that if football players can make it with low-tops, there’s no reason that basketball players can’t!

Which NBA stars followed suit? 

The use of low-top basketball shoes has become so popular in the NBA. Many of the NBA guys that are sponsored by Nike are seen wearing low-top Kobes on the court. 

New NBA stars such as Paul George, James Harden, and just very recently, Giannis Antetokounmpo (with the release of his first shoe the Nike Freak 1) are huge Kobe fans. Their signature shoes sport low collars in keeping with their idol’s game-changing initiative.Though he usually wears high-tops on court, LeBron James and Nike also produce low-top versions of his highly celebrated signature basketball shoes. Stephen Curry does the same, though his fifth and sixth Curry shoe debuted as low-tops.

To know how to get the right low-top basketball shoes for you, access our detailed guide for the best basketball shoes.

Author
Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

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.