7 Best Low Top Sneakers in 2024

Sheena
Sheena on
7 Best Low Top Sneakers in 2024
We earn affiliate commissions at no extra cost to you when you buy through us. Why trust us

Low-top sneakers are among the most common type of kicks. So common, you can expect every brand to carry tens or even hundreds of this in their line-up. Given the numerous choices, it's easy to find yourself in a pickle. But, don't worry. We are here to make shoe shopping a lot easier.

Besides giving you a few handy tips on how to find the best sneakers, we're also here to help narrow down your options. Using our filtering system (aka super comprehensive testing procedure) does the trick. From the shoes we have acquired and extensively scrutinized, we have chosen the best shoes in different categories, which you can easily access here in this article.
 

How we test sneakers

Marketing campaigns and hype don't matter to us when picking the best low-top shoes. To know which sneaker performs, we dive deep into the nitty-gritty details of each one - the good and bad included. And we do this by doing the following:

  • We get the shoes by paying using our own money. Essentially, we don't want to be associated with any brands to keep our views and opinions as pure and as unbiased as possible.
  • Get the sneakers checked and tested in the real world. We personally use the sneakers in carrying out our daily life activities, such as staying in, going out, roaming around, doing light jogs, and more. 
  • Weigh, dissect, and compare the shoes in our private lab. We measure the different parameters of the shoes to help us understand more how and why the shoes perform the way they do.

 

Best low top sneakers overall

Vans Old Skool
93
Superb!

What makes it the best?

The king of all low-top sneakers is one that has: sensational comfort, near indestructibility, and a silhouette that is eternally significant. After dedicating an inordinate amount of time to testing and reviewing thousands of low-tops, we found the ultimate best in the form of Vans Old Skool. 

Just like other low-tops, the Old Skool underwent our meticulous testing process. With the help of our lab equipment, we saw how sturdy the construction of the shoe is. Its outsole is super durable, reminiscent of its skating heritage. The canvas upper held up pretty well before finally succumbing to the abrasions from our power drill with a metallic brush tip. All in all, the sneaker is a true legend in its own right. 

We also hit the road with the kicks and they showed us why it is the rightful king of low tops. From the get-go, the kicks were extremely comfy. It felt like a mattress of comfort upon every step. Plus, Vans Old Skool is so breathable our feet stayed cool all throughout! 

Almost fifty years since its first release, the Old Skool has come a long way from being a skating silhouette to its iconic status as a staple lifestyle sneaker. According to our database, the low-top has accumulated more than 230 colorways and limited edition releases today—proof of its perennial popularity. 

However, we also found through lab testing that the canvas upper is a stain magnet and very difficult to clean. Those who do not want to worry about getting their low-top kicks dirty should look elsewhere. 

Pros

  • A classic silhouette deserving of any wardrobe
  • Easy to wear in
  • Super comfortable
  • Fits true to size
  • Incredibly breathable thanks to the all-canvas upper
  • Clean aesthetics
  • Very durable outsole
  • Brakes well on the board

Cons

  • Not very durable in comparison to other modern skate shoes
  • Collect stains easily
Full review of Vans Old Skool

Best classic low top sneakers

What makes it the best?

After testing hundreds upon hundreds of sneakers, the Adidas Stan Smith has emerged at the pinnacle as the finest classic low-top. Its silhouette is so inherently clean and iconic that it remains suitable for wear at any time of day, during any month of the year. Yet, its attributes extend beyond aesthetics. We've also ascertained that this sneaker boasts a durability that has enabled it to endure for over fifty years since its initial introduction.

With an impressive array of over 420 colorways and special edition releases, we embarked on a journey to verify if the Stan Smith still lives up to its illustrious reputation. Carrying the sneakers into our shoe lab, we immersed them in rigorous trials. During the abrasion test, we subjected the leather upper to intensive scuffing using a metal brush attached to a power drill. To our great surprise and delight, the sneaker exhibited no indications of scratching – a true testament to its legendary status.

We also conducted a stain test on the low top and it adeptly repelled the chalk and dye that we applied to the toebox. A swift wipe was all it necessitated to restore the leather to a sparkling clean state. Even during the water-resistance test, the Stan Smith demonstrated commendable water-tightness, except in the region near the perforations.

The low-cut design of the Stan Smith allowed it to be a versatile everyday footwear. However, we caution shoppers that the Stan Smith lacks adequate arch support. Those in search of classic low-tops with robust support should consider exploring alternative options.

Pros

  • Classic silhouette
  • Numerous colorways and collaborations
  • Easy to style
  • Durable
  • Weatherproof

Cons

  • Runs large
  • Lack of support
  • Takes some time to wear in
Full review of Adidas Stan Smith

Best tennis-inspired low top sneakers

Reebok Club C 85
91
Great!

What makes it the best?

Durable leather construction. Lightweight silhouette. Exceptional comfort and breathable. This is how Reebok Club C 85 stole our hearts to become the best tennis-inspired low-top among thousands of sneakers that we tested and reviewed. Combined with its rich heritage and history, the deal was sealed.

The 30+-year-old tennis sneaker is a force to be reckoned with. And it delivered beyond expectations. During our rigorous lab testing, it outperformed other tennis low-tops, particularly in terms of durability. Using a wire brush attached to a Dremel drill, we deliberately scuffed the leather. Yet, true to its legendary status, the C85 brushed off the abrasions as if they were nothing!

On the court, we donned the kicks and engaged in action. Despite intense play on concrete and asphalt courts, these tennis sneakers emerged unscathed. During our matches, we also noticed that the kicks breathe as if they possess lungs. The perforations on the toebox facilitated air circulation, keeping our feet fresh even under the scorching sun. And to top it off, the kicks are astonishingly light!

After playing, we were surprised to discover that the sneakers are very easy to clean. All it took was a simple wipe and the dirt on the leather was—poof!—gone

Nevertheless, the Reebok Club C 85 is not the best choice for individuals with narrow feet. We observed that they tend to be slightly on the loose side. For sneakerheads who prioritize snug-fitting low-tops, it might be wise to explore other options.

Pros

  • Ideal price point
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight
  • Water-resistant
  • Surprisingly breathable
  • OK for sockless wear

Cons

  • Lacks modern inner shanks for support
  • Slightly loose fit
Full review of Reebok Club C 85

Low top sneakers with the best durability

Nike Air Max 97
89
Good!

What makes it the best?

In terms of durability, the Nike Air Max 97 stands as the unequivocal best among all the low-tops we tested. Through thorough testing within and beyond our lab, we discovered that the sneaker's mixed material upper is a visual spectacle constructed like a tank. To top it off, the AM97 doesn't compromise on comfort and style.

To assess the sneaker's durability, we turned to our power drill, equipping it with a wire brush. Powering on the drill, we vigorously scuffed the mesh-and-leather upper for several minutes. After the test, the AM97 emerged practically unscathed, devoid of scratches. With no visible signs of wear and tear on the upper, the sneaker's resilience is truly remarkable.

Venturing onto the streets, the shoes further demonstrated their dependable durability across diverse settings and surfaces. Throughout our walks, we also relished the superb comfort of the AM97. Its sock liner feels luxuriously smooth, and the overall silhouette remains light on the foot. Strolling the streets in these sneakers is an absolute pleasure.

Back at the lab, we conducted a stain test on the sneaker. However, when we poured dye into the toebox, the mesh absorbed a significant portion of the color, and removing it proved to be challenging. Due to this, we advise those seeking wash-friendly low-tops to explore alternative options.

Pros

  • Good all-season sneaker
  • Good for sockless wear
  • An identifiable piece of fashion history
  • Fits true to size
  • Near indestructible
  • Lightweight
  • Feels as athletic as it looks
  • Great even for winter

Cons

  • Takes some time to wear in
  • Attaches to stains easily
Full review of Nike Air Max 97

Best low top sneakers for cold weather

Nike MX-720-818
88
Good!

What makes it the best?

The ideal low-top for cold weather should encompass warmth, water resistance, and a fashionable aesthetic suitable for fall and winter. The Nike MX-720-818 not only meets these criteria but surpasses them. Our extensive testing of various low-tops revealed that this sneaker's synthetic and leather upper, presented in a futuristic silhouette, outperformed its competitors.

At first glance, the MX-720-818 resembles a shoe-shaped sleeping bag, but its performance exceeds expectations. In our initial wear test, we were greeted by the cozy interior of the sneaker. Its comfort level mirrored that of a warm Christmas embrace.

Within the controlled setting of our lab, we conducted a scratch test on the spacesuit-inspired synthetic upper. Utilizing a metal brush attached to a power drill, we subjected the upper to scuffing. Remarkably, the material exhibited resilience and remained free from any indications of damage.

Our evaluation of the Nike MX-720-818's water resistance involved pouring water onto the upper. As anticipated, the synthetic and leather construction deflected the liquid to the sides, preserving a warm and dry interior.

Beyond its water-repellent properties, the sneaker's overall futuristic aesthetic harmonizes with the damp autumn weather and frigid winter conditions. However, it's important to note that we observed the shoes to be slightly stiffer than average. Individuals seeking a more flexible low-top option may want to check elsewhere.

Pros

  • Flashy design
  • Fits true to size
  • Sleeping-bag like upper
  • Abrasion- and stain-resistant
  • Year-round wear

Cons

  • Too warm upper
  • Too stiff for all-day wear
Full review of Nike MX-720-818

Best value low top sneakers

Adidas Busenitz
92
Great!

What makes it the best?

We rigorously tested and reviewed numerous low-top sneakers, ultimately identifying the Adidas Busenitz as the epitome of value for money. Delivering dependable durability, exceptional comfort, and even weatherproofing, the low-top is truly worth every penny. 

According to our comprehensive database, a pair of Adidas Busenitz retails at $80. In contrast, the average cost of a low-top stands at $112.8. This positions the Busenitz as 29% more affordable. Furthermore, the mean price of an Adidas low-top rests at $117.7.

Despite its below-average price tag, our lab tests confirmed that the Busenitz refuses to compromise on durability. We went at it using our Dremel drill equipped with a wire brush tip. After scratching the upper for a considerable amount of time, it remained unscathed. We also took the shoes for a trip around town and both the upper and the outsoles showcased incredible grit and resistance from abrasions.

Remarkably, despite its modest price point, we discovered the Adidas Busenitz to be effectively watertight. In our lab experiments, water poured onto the upper was deflected towards the sides.

However, it's essential to note that these kicks lack breathability. As a result, we don't recommend these sneakers for individuals seeking affordably priced, breathable low-top options.

Pros

  • Incredibly durable
  • Fits true to size
  • Grippy as anything
  • Technical shoe for responsive skating
  • Surprisingly weatherproof
  • Classic silhouette
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Takes a long time to break it
  • Narrow in the toe box
  • The big tongue isn't for everyone
  • Not very breathable
Full review of Adidas Busenitz
Author
Sheena
Sheena
Sheena is a wordsmith turned sneaker addict. Her sneaker fixation intensified as her passion for writing grew. A hands-on mom of two sweet yet spunky kids (plus three dogs and two cats), she finds solitude in leafing through shoe catalogs to find the next "it" sneaker. Scrutinizing hugely popular and underrated kicks is her favorite pastime.