7 Best Low Top Trainers in 2024

Sheena
Sheena on
7 Best Low Top Trainers in 2024
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Low-top trainers 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 trainers, 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 scrutinised, we have chosen the best shoes in different categories, which you can easily access here in this article.
 

How we test trainers

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 trainers checked and tested in the real world. We personally use the trainers 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 trainers overall

Adidas Ozweego
95
Superb!

What makes it the best?

Among all the low-top trainers that we wear-tested, the Adidas Ozweego reigned supreme because it never skimped on support. In addition to that, we never had problems with stability even if the midsoles were soft enough for us to think that there were pillows underfoot.

Many question the amount of support that low-top trainers could give, but we think this Adidas sneaker should be spared from such suspicions. The upper materials, the laces, and the rigid sidewalls all worked together to keep the foot in place even during aggressive movements. 

The Ozweego literally left no space for any form of instability because of its uber wide platform. Our calliper measured it to be 121.0 mm wide at the forefoot and 98.9 mm wide at the heel. The averages were only 108.9 mm and 83.4 mm, respectively.

Though it was not the softest, the midsole still delivered a lot of comfort. We really could not complain. Our HA durometer pegged its softness at 26.8 when the average was only 30.9. 

While the upper materials worked as they should, it still did not erase the fact that they didn’t look premium at all. Those who like fancy stuff should look somewhere else.

Pros

  • Unbelievably comfortable
  • Long-lasting outsole
  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Great for all-day wear
  • Very stable and ideal for wide feet
  • 90's retro vibe with futuristic details
  • Compliment magnet
  • Lots of colorways
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Lack of quality materials
  • Not the most breathable
Full review of Adidas Ozweego

Most comfortable low top trainers

Nike Zoom Vomero 5
96
Superb!

What makes it the best?

With its retro charm and cushioned yet bouncy ride, the Nike Zoom Vomero 5 gives a refreshing and enjoyable experience in our wear tests. Without any restrictions, its thin mesh upper and lightweight design ensure a cool and effortless ride. Among low-top trainers in our lab, the Vomero 5 excels in comfort.

Wrapped in a thin mesh with wide chain links, the Vomero 5 maximises airflow, preventing any form of sweat and heat buildup. During our smoke test, air escaped rapidly, earning a perfect 5/5 rating for ventilation.

Each stride feels easy and unburdened thanks to its lightweight construction, weighing just 11.1 oz (316g), 21.2% below average. The shoe maintains its adaptability and matches the current lab average for sneaker flexibility.

Surprisingly plush, the Vomero 5 boasts a cushioned feel even with its moderate stack, thanks to two Zoom Air units that offer a gentler and bouncier ride. With a softness rating of 28.0 HA, it's 9.7% softer than average, ensuring all-day comfort and impact protection.

However, priced at £170, it comes at a premium compared to the average low-top shoe (£130). Those seeking budget-friendly options may need to explore further.

Pros

  • Nostalgic 2000s aesthetic
  • Excellent breathability for summer
  • Cushioned like a running shoe
  • Lighter than average
  • Very comfy in-shoe feel
  • Flexible and forgiving on foot
  • Wear-resistant outsole and inner lining
  • Better lockdown with a gusseted tongue

Cons

  • Mesh is easy to tear
  • Not for flat feet/overpronation
  • Pricey
Full review of Nike Zoom Vomero 5

Best classic low top trainers

Adidas Samba
90
Good!

What makes it the best?

Our intensive lab and personal wear tests in various settings solidified the Sambas’ reputation as the finest classic low-top sneaker. Its clean and minimalist aesthetic remains suitable at any time of the day, month, year, and even decade! It’s part of the Adidas Originals that goes way back from the ‘50s, with features extending beyond looks. 

The light, low-cut, and fluid design of the Samba allows it to be a versatile everyday kick. Our scales reveal its 12.1 oz (342g) weight is impressively 14.1% lighter than average. Adding to its natural feel is the adaptive midsole that flows with our feet, emerging 40.9% more flexible than the average sneaker.

One main reason why Samba managed to maintain a minimalist figure is the absence of a foam midsole. This gives us a better sense of the ground for quicker adaptation to unpredictable surfaces and promotes stable strides. Further ensuring our surefootedness is the grippy gum rubber outsole with two-directional lugs, inspired by its original purpose as a American football shoe.

However, we caution buyers that the lack of cushioning may feel uncomfortable when standing and walking for long hours. Those who prefer a plush and cushioned ride can explore other trainers.

Pros

  • Clean and minimalist style
  • Unbelievably affordable
  • Real leather and suede
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Long-lasting construction
  • Lighter than average
  • Highly flexible build
  • Good grip for casual use

Cons

  • Poor breathability
  • Tongue slides to the side
  • Not for all-day wear
Full review of Adidas Samba

Best chunky low top trainers

New Balance 9060
94
Superb!

What makes it the best?

Even if the 9060 from New Balance stacked up on its midsole, it was never at the detriment of stability. Surprisingly, this shoe was among the most stable low-top trainers that we’ve ever had the pleasure of wear-testing. Its tasteful chunkiness and superb stability made it the best chunky low-top in our inventory. It was a bonus that this sneaker was also made of genuine suede. 

The average midsole was 31.3 mm thick at the heel and 20.0 mm thick at the forefoot. The New Balance 9060’s numbers went as high as 37.3 mm and 26.0 mm, respectively, making it among the chunkiest low-top on record.

Despite its chunkiness, this sneaker never felt unstable because its platform was amazingly wide. Using our calliper in the lab, we learned that it was 121.0 mm wide at the forefoot and 103.1 mm wide at the heel. These numbers are mind-blowingly higher than the averages which were 108.9 mm and 83.4 mm, respectively.

What made this New Balance low-top sneaker even more endearing for us was the fact that it was made of real suede. We became sure of this because of the fire test that we performed on the upper.

It was just a bit disappointing that this shoe was not the most breathable. We could only give it a so-so score of 3 out of 5 for breathability after our smoke and light test in the lab.

Pros

  • Next-level comfort
  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Quite heavy-duty
  • Dope aesthetics
  • True to size
  • Looks better in person
  • Premium-grade materials
  • Stable

Cons

  • Limited colour options
  • Squeaks
  • A tad warm
Full review of New Balance 9060

Best vintage low top trainers

What makes it the best?

The first thing that we worried about when we saw this shoe’s low collar was: Would the Reebok Club C 85 Vintage be supportive and stable enough? Thankfully, it really was! We could even say that containment was among its strengths, making it the best vintage low-top in our list. Of course, there were other aspects that we appreciated. The most notable ones were its flexibility and durability.

This shoe was pretty low to the ground. Our calliper measured the midsole to be only 23.2 mm thick at the heel and 14.7 mm thick at the forefoot. The average numbers for these points were 31.3 mm and 20.0 mm, respectively. This configuration allowed us to feel more in control. The low profile also helped a lot in ensuring stability and groundedness.

Needing only 17.3N of force to be bent at a 90-degree angle, the Club C 85 Vintage from Reebok was a lot more flexible than the average sneaker. The latter would require 23.2N. Because of its flexibility, it was easy to do certain movements, such as tiptoeing and sudden direction changes, while wearing this Reebok sneaker.

As for its durability, we were kind of expecting it because it’s made of real leather. True enough, the upper convincingly passed our durability tests in the lab.

We just wished the toebox had more space for our forefoot. The big toe area was only 69.8 mm wide when the average was as high as 75.2 mm.

Pros

  • Flexible and comfy
  • Generously padded
  • Lightweight
  • Durable toebox
  • Fine quality finish
  • Extremely stable
  • Good traction on most surfaces
  • Old-school wonder
  • Versatile
  • Goes with most outfits
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Short-term support
  • Firm midsole
  • Creases easily
  • Lacks airflow
Full review of Reebok Club C 85 Vintage

Best retro low top trainers

ASICS Gel 1130
94
Superb!

What makes it the best?

The ASICS Gel 1130, which retained its unmistakable look, used to be a stability running shoe. Hence, it was able to deliver a lot of stability even as a low-top. Even if its midsole was only of average thickness, it was still able to deliver a lot of softness. Its stability, plushness, and undoubtedly nostalgic look made this shoe the best retro low-top in our book.

The ASICS Gel 1130 came out of the brand’s vaults largely unaltered. Save for a few technological tweaks, it still retained the look that made it such a sought after piece in the past.

The shoe also retained a lot of its stability features. Aside from having rigid sidewalls and a moderately stiff heel counter (scoring 3 out of 5 for stiffness), the ASICS Gel 1130 had an insanely wide platform. Our calliper measured it to be 111.8 mm wide (ave 108.9 mm) at the forefoot and 90.1 mm wide (ave 83.4 mm) at the heel. There was no way our feet would still fall off the footbed with that much space.

Comfort was ensured by the amazingly plush midsole. Our HA durometer gave it a softness rating of 19.0, which is way lower (therefore way softer) than the 30.9 average. Even if we were walking for a long time while wearing this shoe, we were never in pain because we were aptly protected from impact.

Our experience of comfort would have been more complete had the shoe been more breathable than it was. We subjected the ASICS Gel 1130 to our breathability tests, and it got a disappointing score of only 2 out of 5.

Pros

  • Top-notch materials
  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • Supportive foothold
  • Stable platform
  • Grippy, running-inspired outsole
  • Feels lightweight with a padded interior
  • Roomy at the big toe
  • Wide-feet friendly
  • Real suede and leather
  • Cool 90s dad shoes retro vibe

Cons

  • The leather version lacks breathability
  • Quite stiff
Full review of ASICS Gel 1130

Best premium low top trainers

What makes it the best?

Among low-top trainers we tested on the streets and in the lab, New Balance 990 v6 stood out as the most premium shoe. It has a light yet robust construction that’s infused with modern cushioning for enhanced comfort. Defying the usual misconception that low-top trainers lack support, 990 v6 delivers remarkable stability in our strolls.

Its light nature isn’t obvious visually, yet our scales confirm a mere 12.9 oz (366g) and our feet experienced free-flowing ventilation. The upper has real suede layers, as our torch test proves, but its mesh panels allow for maximum breathability (5/5), as our smoke test confirms.

Moving to the midsole, the cushion feels soft and springy to the touch. Our dissected shoe reveals a familiar face often found in New Balance running shoes: the FuelCell foam. Each stride feels strongly supported by the soft and stacked cushion. Our durometer reveals it’s truly a plush 28.3 HA.

Despite being a low-top, 990 v6 offers reinforcing guidance through its firm ENCAP rim around the heel and its vast landing base to secure our balance. Our calliper reveals very generous forefoot and heel measurements of 113.8/88.0 mm vs. the 108.9/83.4 mm average, leaving no room for instability.

However, we found 990 v6 a little stiffer than the average sneaker, by 18.1% to be specific. Those inclined towards greater flexibility may find alternatives more suitable.

Pros

  • Unexpectedly lighter than average
  • Real suede and quality materials
  • Extra thick cushioning for all-day wear
  • Comfortable and springy FuelCell foam
  • Mind-blowing arch support and stability
  • Exceptionally hard-wearing outsole
  • Fantastic breathability
  • Well-padded all around
  • Six(!) widths available

Cons

  • Very delicate toebox mesh
  • A bit stiff
Full review of New Balance 990 v6
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 catalogues to find the next "it" sneaker. Scrutinising hugely popular and underrated kicks is her favourite pastime.