7 Best Mid Top Basketball Shoes in 2024

Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic on
7 Best Mid Top Basketball Shoes in 2024
We earn affiliate commissions at no extra cost to you when you buy through us. Why trust us

Mid-top shoes are a great option for all-around players. Lighter than a high top, yet slightly heavier than a low top, the mid-top or mid-cut basketball shoes offer more versatility, allowing you to stay agile and locked in securely.

If you want the best of both worlds, look no further than the mid-top basketball trainers. In fact, we’ve rounded up the best mid-cut style models out there across different brands. We’ve tested them and put them through all sorts of scrutiny. 

Each brand offers its own highly-rated signature shoes from past and present NBA Legends, as well as non-signature options. We have chosen our top picks, check them all out!

How we test basketball shoes

To make the recommendations, each model on the list is put through a rigorous testing process. Aside from our standard wear tests and on-court assessments, we bring all the shoes to the RunRepeat shoe testing lab for a battery of mechanical tests. Here’s exactly our approach:

  • We buy all the mid-top basketball shoes using our own funds. This ensures that all our in-depth reviews are devoid of any taint of bias or brand loyalty.
  • Inside the RunRepeat lab, we cut the shoes into pieces. This allows us to examine each essential part and measure 30+ parameters such as ankle support, bounce, flexibility, grip, and many others.
  • We put in many hours of playing time to determine the level of performance, comfort, and durability of each model.

Best mid-top basketball shoes overall

What makes it the best?

Mid-tops are known for ankle support, and the Adidas Harden Vol. 7 surely did not disappoint in that regard. Aside from providing rearfoot support, this shoe was also big in preventing twists and providing ample impact protection. It is because of all these benefits that we consider this shoe the best mid-top to date.

The amazing hold around the rearfoot is definitely because of the stiff heel counter and side pretty responsive walls. We scored the heel counter a solid 4 out of 5 for stiffness after giving it a good squeeze in the lab. As for the sidewalls, they effectively held the rearfoot in place; and we were able to avoid slips because of them.

Just like the heel counter, the shoe’s base also got a 4 out of 5 for torsional rigidity after we manually twisted it in the lab. The rigidity of the platform helped protect us from greatly uncomfortable foot twists or rollovers.

We used an HA durometer to assess the midsole, and the results were nothing short of jaw-dropping. The midsole only has a firmness score of 11.0 when the average is as high as 26.6. The amazing softness effectively neutralized the impact of our aggressive steps and harsh landings.

This shoe is just not for those who want generous tongue padding. Our caliper measurements showed that the tongue is only 4.7 mm thick when the average can go as high as 9.4 mm.

Pros

  • Super amazing traction on dustless courts
  • Heel-to-toe transition is smooth
  • Well-pronounced court feel
  • Fairly dependable impact protection
  • Comfortable and supportive heel area
  • Very good overall containment
  • Laces offers exceptional lockdown
  • True-to-size fit
  • Easy to put on and take off

Cons

  • Ventilation has to be improved
  • Shoe is on the heavier side
Full review of Adidas Harden Vol. 7

Mid-top basketball shoes with the best support

Jordan Zion 2
91
Superb!

What makes it the best?

Among all the mid-tops in our records, the Zion 2 is the indisputable standout when it comes to ankle support. The collar and the heel counter excellently worked together to keep the rear part of our feet securely in its place. Aside from this, we also enjoyed a really consistent bite on different court types, and this was further complemented by the tremendous amount of ground feedback that we got while wearing this shoe.

The thick collar did wonders in keeping our ankle comfortable and well-supported. No matter the angle of our positions, we never had to worry that the rear part of the shoe would just give in. Of course, the sturdy heel counter also had a significant role to play. After all, the heel counter got a 5 out of 5 in terms of stiffness when we squeezed and twisted it as part of our assessments in the lab. 

The traction that this shoe had during our test games didn’t leave much to be desired. Its bite on the court surface was just as consistent as it could get. We did sidesteps, stepbacks, quick direction changes, and sudden twists to trick our opponents, and it never failed to give us the bite that we needed.

Using a caliper, we learned that the cushioning right under the heel and forefoot are 1.9 mm and 2.7 mm thinner than average. Even the insole is 1 mm thinner than the typical ones used in many basketball shoes. Because of this setup, we were able to enjoy a lot of court feel, which in turn afforded us more control over our fine movements.

What we didn’t like about the whole Zion 2 experience was its weight. At 15.2 ounces or 431 grams, this shoe just adds so much to the average 13.7 ounces or 387 grams. If you want to feel light on your feet, we believe this shoe is definitely not for you.

Pros

  • Strong side-to-side grip
  • Tremendous support
  • Very pronounced court feel
  • Reliable energy return
  • True-to-size fit
  • Breathable
  • Good for bigger men
  • OK for outdoors
  • Casual style

Cons

  • Dust-prone outsole
  • Lacks impact protection
  • Seriously needs breaking in
Full review of Jordan Zion 2

Mid-top basketball shoes with the best comfort

Adidas Dame 8
89
Great!

What makes it the best?

Among all the mid-top basketball shoes that we tried, it’s the Dame 8 from Adidas that made such a lasting impression when it comes to comfort. It is because of this shoe’s remarkable impact protection and dependable twist resistance. We are also in awe of its amazingly wide platform, which helped us attain and maintain stability all throughout our games.

Our lab HA durometer confirmed the softness that we enjoyed the moment we put this shoe on. Compared to the average midsole which has a rating of 26.6, the Dame 8’s tooling is a lot softer at only 20.3. 

Torsional resistance was also one thing that we were especially thankful for. We never had to worry about painful foot twists because of how stiff the base felt. In fact, after manually twisting it in the lab, this shoe got a 4 out of 5 for torsional rigidity.

At the forefoot, the platform is 5.7 mm wider than the average. At the heel, the Adidas Dame 8 added a staggering 8.0 mm! The additional surface area effectively contained splays and inevitable lateral displacements, ensuring high levels of stability from start to finish.

We just didn’t like it that this shoe cannot really get rid of heat. This shoe only got a 2 out of 5 in our breathability test after we saw that smoke couldn’t really pass through the upper material easily.

Pros

  • Good traction on clean courts
  • Impact protection in the heel
  • Forefoot responsiveness
  • Secure lockdown
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Side-to-side stability
  • Wide-foot friendly
  • Okay for outdoor courts

Cons

  • Dust magnet
  • Fiddly heel lining
Full review of Adidas Dame 8

Best mid-top basketball shoes for outdoor courts

What makes it the best?

Among all the mid-tops that we tried, it’s the Cosmic Unity 3 from Nike that gave the most convincing performance outdoors. Aside from its effectively firm outsole, we were also floored by its perfectly durable toebox and immensely stiff midsole. 

Outdoor courts are not always the most well-kept. Yet, we never felt any debris even when we stepped on them because of how firm the outsole was. In the lab, our HC durometer gave it a rating of 86.5 when the average is only 81.5. 

The durability of the toebox is surely a highlight of the Nike Cosmic Unity 3. Even twelve seconds of high-pressure drilling couldn’t leave a significant mark on the materia, prompting us to score it a perfect 5 for abrasion resistance.

A lot of us played as guards, and we appreciated so much the stiffness that the midsole delivered. It allowed us to gain more control over our movements. Using an HA durometer, we pegged its hardness at 33.3 when the average is only 26.6.

We cannot recommend this shoe to players who want a well-padded tongue. Our caliper measured the tongue padding to be only 4.9 mm thick, making it much thinner than the 9.4 mm average.

Pros

  • Perfect for outdoor courts
  • Outstandingly durable
  • One of the most stable shoes
  • Wide platform
  • Very secure lockdown
  • Reliable traction on all courts
  • Breathable enough
  • Sustainable materials

Cons

  • Firm sole with poor impact protection
  • Heavier than average
  • Break-in needed
Full review of Nike Cosmic Unity 3

Mid-top basketball shoes with the best breathability

What makes it the best?

When it comes to breathability, it’s the LeBron Witness 7 from Nike that shone the brightest among all the mid-tops that we have played in. Besides good ventilation, this shoe also delivered a good deal of rearfoot support and torsional rigidity, making us more confident with our steps. 

In our lab, we do breathability tests by pumping smoke into a shoe and see if its upper material allows the smoke to escape easily. With the Witness 7, we saw that the smoke rose without much resistance, so we gave it a score of 4 out of 5 for breathability.

Much of the lockdown that we experienced around the rearfoot came from the pretty stiff and supportive heel counter. After giving it a good squeeze in the lab, we gave the heel counter a solid 4 out of 5 for stiffness. 

Twists are painful and annoying, so any player understandably wants to steer clear from it. Good thing that the base of this shoe was pretty rigid and stable we didn’t even have to think about twisting our feet. After twisting it manually in the lab, this shoe got a perfect 5 for its outstanding torsional rigidity.

We just have to point out here that the Nike LeBron Witness 7 is not really the most durable shoe. Twelve seconds of Dremel drilling already poked a hole in it, and it pushed us to rate it a 1 out of 5 for toebox durability.

Pros

  • Highly effective traction
  • Impressive impact protection
  • Optimum comfort
  • Breathable upper
  • Reliable heel lockdown
  • Good lateral stability
  • Great outdoor option
  • Fashionable design

Cons

  • Lacks court feel
  • Poor upper durability
  • No outriggers on the sole
Full review of Nike Lebron Witness 7

Best budget mid-top basketball shoes

What makes it the best?

Sold for only £80 per pair, the Under Armour Lockdown 6 is definitely among the most affordable kicks out there. Fortunately, the fact that it’s a lot cheaper than the £140 average is not the only good thing about this shoe. We also fell in love with its durability, lightness, and sufficient impact protection.

We felt the sturdiness of the upper just by touching it. We were glad when our Dremel tests in the lab gave us a convincing confirmation. Both the toebox and the heel counter padding showed significant abrasion resistance, both garnering a pretty high rating of 4 out of 5. 

Compared to the average hoop shoe that weighs 14.22 ounces or 403 grams, this shoe is indeed lighter at only 13.09 ounces or 371 grams. The 1.13 oz weight difference already allowed us to speed up with much more ease.

While the heel stack is actually 1.0 mm thinner than average, we did not feel any issue with impact protection. On the contrary, we felt sufficient cushioning during harsh movements. We did not suffer from pain or even discomfort.

If there is an aspect that needs improvement, it would be this shoe’s width. Our caliper measured the footbed to be only 95.9 mm wide at its widest, making it a lot narrower than the 101.0 mm average. Wide-footers should stay away at all costs.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Good impact protection
  • Wear-resistant materials
  • Lighter than average
  • OK for the outdoor court
  • True to size, good fit
  • Suitable for all-day wear
  • Stylish appearance

Cons

  • So-so grip
  • Dull cushioning
  • Not very supportive
  • Lacks breathability
Full review of Under Armour Lockdown 6

Mid-top basketball shoes with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

We firmly believe that the Air Jordan XXXVII’s cushioning system is the best among all the mid-tops that we tried. It offers a unique blend of bounciness and court feel. We also liked that this shoe was speedy and outdoor-ready when we did our tests.

During our test games, the shoe’s court feel allowed us to execute fine movements and change directions pretty quickly. Also, because of the bounce in the forefoot, we didn’t have to expend so much energy just to accelerate.

Speaking of accelerating, doing so was easy not only because of the bounce but also because of how the AJ XXXVII aerodynamically clasped our feet. We felt one with the wind when we were running up and down the court while wearing this Jordan premium shoe.

Playing outdoors was also not a problem with the AJ 37. Its outsole and overall structure were durable enough to withstand the harsh elements outside. We even used it for some light trek on rough terrains with no issues!

We aren’t big fans of the initial stiffness, though. This shoe required a break-in period and the blisters, though they are healed now, were such a hassle.

Pros

  • A nimble performer
  • Dust-resistant grip on indoor courts
  • Incredibly bouncy forefoot
  • Nice court feel
  • Extreme breathability
  • True-to-size fit
  • Comfortably supportive
  • High-quality laces
  • Outdoor-ready

Cons

  • Not enough plushness
  • Cheap-feeling upper materials
  • Has to be broken in
Full review of Air Jordan XXXVII
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.