Best Low Top Basketball Shoes [2020 Review]

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Basketball involves many fast movements and quick actions that require players to run, jump up and turn speedily. Whether you are an experienced player or a beginner, eventually you’ll need to invest in the best low top basketball shoes to help you enhance your game on the court. 

If the shoes fall short of your playing position or are not offering you maximum comfort, they can put you at a disadvantage. To help you enhance your performance, we have reviewed several top models on the market.

Our Top Low-Top Basketball Shoes Reviews

Brand
Best Overall
Air Jordan Retro High
Best for the Money
Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive
Best Cheap Pick
Under Armor Curry 3Zero
Product
Nike Men's  Lebron XIII Black Basketball Shoe - 10...
adidas Performance Men's Crazy Explosive...
Under Armour Curry 3 ASW
Material
Leather
100% Synthetic
Synthetic
Sole
Rubber
Rubber sole
Rubber
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Air Jordan Retro High
Product
Nike Men's  Lebron XIII Black Basketball Shoe - 10...
Material
Leather
Sole
Rubber
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive
Product
adidas Performance Men's Crazy Explosive...
Material
100% Synthetic
Sole
Rubber sole
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Under Armor Curry 3Zero
Product
Under Armour Curry 3 ASW
Material
Synthetic
Sole
Rubber
Rating

Best Overall Low-Top Basketball Shoes: Air Jordan Retro High

Nike Men's  Lebron XIII Black Basketball Shoe - 10...

The Air Jordan Retro high basketball shoes boast of the most advanced technology. These shoes come with a cutting edge cushioning system to enhance control and responsiveness. 

These shoes feature hex pods traction on the outsole while the large bars act like herringbone. They also have bars in several directions for maximum coverage regardless of the direction you are moving.

If you play regularly on lightly dusted or clean courts, you may find this pair an excellent choice as they are consistent with no issues. Zoom Air Hexagon cushioning makes these shoes feel comfortable on your feet.

This pair also has hexagonal zoom pads: one pod in the heel and three in the forefoot. These two zones measure 13 millimeters in thickness and cover a huge amount of space.

This thickness will allow you to feel impact protection, explosiveness, and bounce while playing on the court. The fit on the Retro High basketball shoes is true to size. 

However, you should always ensure you pick the right size for your feet. If you are a player with high arches, it will be good if you try on these shoes first because the layer on top of the mid-foot does not stretch and could be an issue for some players. 

Although this pair may feel awkward when you put them on your feet, they offer a great experience once they are broken in. 

The Air Jordan shoes come with quality features to make sure you enjoy unmatched support. The shoes have a wide base for added stability during the game. The base also cradles your feet nicely because it is wider than the upper.

When it comes to mobility and flex, this shoe offers plenty. The only issue is that you won’t feel it stretching. However, you will enjoy playing on the court without feeling you are stuck in one position.

What sets this basketball shoe apart is its cushion and traction. These shoes are an ideal choice for larger players due to their support, mobility, and flexibility. You may want to keep looking and pass on this shoe if you are a small guard in need of light and quick moves.

What We Like 

  • Combination of mobility, support, and flexibility
  • Great traction on dusty courts
  • 13 millimeters cushioning
  • Zoom Air Hexagon technology
  • Suitable for large players

What We Don’t Like

  • Not ideal for players with high arches
  • Hard even after being broken into
  • Unsuitable for small guard players

Best Low-Top Basketball Shoes for the Money: Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive

adidas Performance Men's Crazy Explosive...

If you are looking for a pair of shoes with great traction, check out the Adidas Performance Men's Crazy Explosive. These shoes can meet every player’s needs on the court. 

Their Power Coral Traction technology helps you stop quickly at any time while playing and run in any direction. Their outsole is a translucent rubber that will allow you to enjoy more grip than usual.

While these basketball shoes deliver impressive performance on a clean court, it may require some wipes if the court has a lot of dust. So, if you are considering playing in such environments, look for other options. 

One great feature of this pair is its Boost cushioning that offers maximum comfort. It ensures your feet remain comfortable in the shoes while you are making different cuts.  

These Adidas shoes also provide great heel to toe transition and impact protection. In addition, they are very responsive to your movements during the game. However, it will be good to stick with your true basketball shoe size if you opt to choose these shoes.

We recommend choosing half a size small if you have narrow feet. This is because the inner bootie of the pair takes up any dead space, which makes the shoe fit snugly like a glove. 

The support that these shoes offer your feet won’t also go unnoticed. Even though they are not the most supportive shoes available, the pair still does a great job.

The stable, flat, and wide platform will ensure your feet get the support it requires to play the game. We suggest wearing ankle braces with these basketball ball shoes if you are looking for ankle support. 

The visual appeal or style of the Crazy Explosive shoes is a matter of personal preference. However, the shoes feel nice on your feet, whether you like the appeal or not. If you lean towards the latter, be assured that the pair delivers greater performance than its looks.

Overall, the Adidas Performance shoe is ideal for players that want to take their performance to another level. Additionally, its mesh tongue offers excellent breathability to keep your feet cool and dry.

What We Like 

  • Power coral traction for maximum grip
  • Boost cushioning for added comfort
  • Great lacing system for stability
  • Mesh tongue for breathability
  • Impressive performance

What We Don’t Like

  • Not ideal for dusty courts
  • Unsuitable for outdoor use
  • Not as supportive as its rivals
adidas Performance Men's Crazy Explosive...
  • boost is our most responsive cushioning ever: The more energy you give, the more you get
  • Xeno upper
  • Updated lacing system for reduced pressure on laces

Best Cheap Low-Top Basketball Shoes: Under Armor Curry 3Zero

Under Armour Curry 3 ASW

Basketball players looking for a pair of shoes that can help them make cuts with confidence and ease, dribble or even get the game going will find the Under Armor Curry 3Zero shoes a perfect choice. 

This pair of shoes boast of an excellent combination of total control and infinite support. Additionally, you won’t go wrong with these shoes because they allow you to experience an unmatched feel for the court without weighing you down. 

The shoes come with a hard rubber compound, a pivot point located in the forefoot, thin grooves, and a simple herringbone pattern. Its traction is great and will allow you to have an enjoyable experience indoors if your court is on the clean side.

The outsole tends to attract a lot of dust and other debris that require frequent wiping to remove it out of the grooves, especially if the court is dusty. 

Keeping the court clean is important because you may experience some slippage if the outsole has some dust. Apart from that, basketball players that like step backs, v-cuts and jab steps, will appreciate the responsive traction of the Curry 3Zero shoe on the court.

Also, if you do not like any bounce in your shoes and want a court feel so that you are ready for quick releases and crosses, this pair is a great option because it does not have much cushion and responsiveness like other types. 

One good thing about this unique charged cushioning system is that it makes coming off-screen for some quick shots feel solid and natural because there is no bounce feel.

This means if you are a player that likes getting past your opponents using a change of direction, this cushioning will be a great match. However, if you have weak knees and need more impact protection, you may want to keep looking. 

Although the fit on these basketball shoes is true to size, some players with narrow and regular feet as well as those that like a snug fit may find a half size down a better option. However, the fit doesn’t conform to your feet. The lacing and padding system that Curry3Zero shoes use is great, which makes the lockdown in the heel excellent.

What We Like 

  • Unique charged cushioning system
  • Excellent traction and solid support
  • Simple herringbone pattern
  • Great lockdown and true to size
  • Ultra-lightweight

What We Don’t Like

  • Charged cushioning lacks impact protection
  • Unsuitable for players with wide feet
  • Not ideal for dusty courts

Best Lightweight Low-Top Basketball Shoes: Adidas Performance Men’s Crazylight

adidas Men's Shoes | Crazylight Boost Low...

If you are looking for a shoe that will give you an endless supply of energy and boost your game, look no further than the Adidas Performance Men's Crazylight

Also, if you are afraid of playing in a low-top position and still want to try it, read this review carefully because the traction used is one of the best. The shoe’s traction will prevent you from sliding or slipping on the court no matter how hard you attempt to stop or cut.

The outsole consists of a hard rubber compound and features a herringbone pattern that looks like a tire tread. The good thing about this traction pattern is that it does not get clogged up as you play. This means the traction is still great whether the court is clean or dirty.

In addition, this pair comes with a full-length boost cushion, which has several boost pellets placed in the midsole that absorbs impact to give you that extra bounce. 

If you are a veteran or a bigger player, this shoe may not be perfect for you because the cushioning feels firmer, which is hard on the knees.

Although the shoe is narrow at the base, sizing is true. You should go up a half size if you wear wide shoes. One area that you should not forget to check is the heel because you may experience heel slippage if you don’t try it before buying to ensure the size is right for you.

We recommend trying on the Men’s Crazylight pair before purchasing so that you are sure you chose the correct size. Although this is a low-cut basketball shoe, the support is great and is offered by the fit and Boost cushion.

The Boost cushion creates responsiveness and impact protection without sacrificing stability. However, if you pick the wrong size, you won’t enjoy maximum support from the shoe and cushion.

If you don’t mind a low-cut and like to play in a pair that offers good cushioning and incredible traction, this shoe is worth the purchase because it’s one of the best low-top currently on offer. However, the Adidas Performance shoes may not be an ideal choice for experienced players.

What We Like 

  • Great traction regardless of a clean court
  • Boost cushioning and true size
  • Rubber sole for maximum traction
  • Heel cup for lockdown
  • Lightweight

What We Don’t Like

  • Seasoned players may require more cushioning
  • Heel slippage if you pick the wrong size
  • Narrow at the base
adidas Men's Shoes | Crazylight Boost Low...
  • boost's energy-returning properties keep every step charged with an endless supply of light, fast...
  • Jacquard synthetic and textile upper for ultimate comfort
  • Molded heel collar piece for perfect fit

Best All-Round Low-Top Basketball Shoes: Adidas Performance Men’s D Rose

adidas Men's D Rose 7 Basketball Shoe, Medium Grey...

The Adidas Performance Men's D Rose checks all the boxes of a quality shoe as it is comfortable on your feet and also great on the court. The traction used is unmatched as the Great Chicago Fire inspired it. The pair has a thick rubber and a simple herringbone pattern flying in every direction.

It also doesn’t matter whether you wear the shoes on an outdoor or indoor court since they offer great performance on both surfaces. You will also be able to change directions and stop on a dime regardless of how hard you stop to make cuts.

This basketball shoe is perfect for players that need a serious grip on lateral moves, especially when cutting sideways. The D Rose pair is equipped with a full-length boost cushion to ensure you are comfortable on the court. 

Additionally, the protective setup will ensure you enjoy the court feel while playing the game without sacrificing protection. The only thing these shoes won’t give you is the bouncy feeling. If that is what you are looking for, opt for the Crazy Explosive shoes. 

While the shoe runs narrow, sizing is true to size. So, you should try this pair on if you have wide feet to ensure they fit correctly before purchasing them. 

Additionally, you will enjoy a solid lockdown while you are on the court if you pick the right fit. Your feet won’t also slide. They have incredible support with lockdown wings, spring plate, and the outrigger.

The Adidas basketball shoes also have thick padded ankle collars that contour naturally to the ankle. This provides your ankles with great protection. So, you won’t have to feel unsupported while wearing these shoes.

These basketball shoes are one of the greatest pairs you can buy as they have strong features such as support, cushion, and traction. They also work well for most foot shapes and are reasonably priced and offer all the good stuff without requiring you to spend a lot. 

What We Like 

  • Ideal for outdoor and indoor court
  • Boost cushion for comfort
  • Great grips on lateral moves
  • Padded ankle collar

What We Don’t Like

  • Sizing runs narrow
  • No bouncy feeling
  • Hard toe tip
adidas Men's D Rose 7 Basketball Shoe, Medium Grey...
  • boost's energy-returning properties keep every step charged with an endless supply of light, fast...
  • Engineered mesh and synthetic upper provides maximum breathability; Synthetic overlays provide...
  • Molded collar offers support and works well with a brace; Minimalist and lightweight design

Low-Top Basketball Shoes Features and Considerations

Picking quality basketball shoes will make you feel comfortable both off and on the court. The right shoe will also help you improve your game while playing. However, before buying your shoes, you need to know your capabilities and playing style.

A pair of low top basketball shoes with a basketball ball beside it

To ensure you find the best low top basketball shoes, look out for the following to check if the shoes suit your needs. 

Shoe Type

There are three major types of basketball shoes, and each type offers some advantages and disadvantages. When considering the type to buy, you should keep the differences in mind and select the one that caters to your needs. 

Low-Tops

These shoes are perfect for point guards because they are lightweight. Low- tops are also ideal for people that rely on speed and athleticism. 

However, you may want to avoid them if you have a problem with ankle injuries because you won’t get much ankle support. So, if you want to get your money’s worth and also improve your game, you should choose the right traction along with style and comfort.

High-Tops

These basketball shoes ensure your feet remain stable while on the court. They also offer a little extra height to provide your ankle with an extra layer of support and prevent injuries. However, this adds some weight to your shoes, which makes them unsuitable for players that rely on speed.

Mid-Tops

Unlike low-tops, mid-tops will give you a good amount of ankle support without adding a lot of weight. This makes them a great option for people with foot or ankle issues. Also, if you are a versatile player with some strength and speed, this is the right shoe for you. 

The shoe will also give you the best movement and a lot of flexibility. The only problem with them is that they do not offer the stability and support of the high-tops.

Player Type

No basketball shoes are the same as they are designed with certain specifics in mind.

One crucial factor you should consider is the type of player you are: a fast player, a power player, or an all-around player.

This factor will help you determine the perfect shoes for you.  

  • All-Around Player: Basketball shoes with cushioning and moderate ankle support are an excellent choice if you are an-around player. You will also have a lot of options to pick from because you will be searching for the most traditional basketball shoe type, and most types fall into this category. 
  • Fast Player: If you are a fast player, a pair of lightweight shoes will be an ideal choice for you. The pair offers flexibility, cushioning, and moderate support. It will also make your feet feel light. Generally, fast players tend to lean towards basketball shoes with a lower cut. 
  • Power Player: If you are a power player, you need to find shoes that provide maximum stability and cushioning to protect your feet every time you rebound or jump to shoot the basketball. So, you will have to look for heavier shoes to meet your needs while on the court.
Basketball player trying to move with the ball while wearing low top shoes

Cushion

Cushioning is essential for all types of basketball players. It does not matter if you are an old player looking for something easy on your joints, a player that logs 30 minutes a game or a bigger player. When it comes to putting on your basketball shoes, what matters is the type of cushion your feet will have while you are on the court. 

Since there is a lot of diversity among basketball players, you will also find diversity in cushioning. That said, it’s good to know the type of cushioning system in your shoes since there are many brands you will have to consider. Let’s take a look at some of the reputable basketball shoe brand’s cushioning:

  • Jordan FlightPlate: Jordan utilizes FlightPlate technology to help you move faster while playing. Its cushioning combines internal fibers and pressurized air to create responsive spring back cushioning.
  • Under Armour Cushioning: This technology uses a two-piece system that combines a layer of soft, plush foam on top of a thick, firmer layer to offer you comfort and support. 
  • Adidas Boost: Boost technology combines the performance benefits of responsiveness and soft cushioning to create a cushion that gives you an unmatched experience. Typically, you will get back more from Boost if you give more energy. 

Traction 

Basketball involves slashing, stopping, cutting, and other quick movements. As such, you need to make these moves without being afraid of sliding. This is where choosing a shoe with good traction comes in handy. The good thing is that most basketball shoe companies create the best traction patterns to ensure basketball players enjoy the highest amount of grip.

The high-level traction will enable you to stop quickly, change directions instantly, and also cut faster. This means traction can either break or make your shoe’s performance while on the court because it has a big impact on how you play your game.

Whether the shoe is new or one you have used for a while, if it is not giving you the grip you desire to make moves as you play, you may need to look for another pair. 

Support

It is crucial to choose a pair of shoes that support your feet. This is because basketball involves jumping and cutting, which requires adequate support, especially for people with ankle issues.

Three people wearing different kinds of basketball shoes

If you are a basketball player looking for shoes that will keep your ankles supported to avoid future injuries or have a history of weak ankles, then shoes that provide enough support are worth considering. 

Since ankle injuries are common in a basketball game, you should avoid mid-cut and low-cut shoes. While this may minimize your options for finding great basketball shoes, the benefits are worth it. You will still find a great shoe that meets your needs like a high-cut style. This style limits ankle movement while increasing ankle support and lowering the risk of injury. 

Although most shoes can prevent injuries, the additional support minimizes wear and tear on your joints and the amount of stress on the ankle. Whether you are a seasoned or beginner player, it is always good to weigh your options, especially when it comes to longevity and your health. So, you should consider the support your shoes provide while playing on the court.

Shoe Size

The shoes should fit correctly on your feet. If you need any help figuring out the right size, look out for the following things: 

  • Thumb Space Clearance: When you try on the shoe, stand up and check where your toe is, then place your thumb on the shoe once you feel your toe. This will help you to know whether your preferred shoe passes the thumb space clearance test. 
  • Broad Toe Box: It’s important to give your toes some breathing room. So, if your basketball shoes are too shallow, they can put pressure on your toes and cause injuries like bruised toenails and blisters. The injuries can also cause discomfort and impact your performance negatively. 

For women basketball players, avoid buying shoes designed for men because they are made of a wider frame. This makes them unsuitable for women’s feet. That said, the best thing to do would be to look for women’s basketball shoes that meet your needs. 

Lockdown

No two basketball player’s feet are the same. So, even if you find the right size, you may still feel there is something that is not right with your new pair of shoes. 

However, this experience is normal since some shoes only require time to break in. Also, manufacturers incorporate features that enable you to have some control over how the shoes fit on your feet. Here are some common features:

Basketball player holding a ball with one hand while wearing his low top basketball shoes

Slip-On Construction

Shoes with this feature provide fact movements. However, their effectiveness depends on finding the right size.

The shoes also offer some level of flexibility, which is determined by the material used in its construction.

Generally, slip-on shoes are built with materials that stretch and conform easily to the shape of your feet like the Adidas basketball shoes. Most of the time, slip-on construction shoes are paired with lacing systems to allow you to use them for an extended period because they factor in wear and tear.

Laces

Shoelaces are important because they will give you the highest level of control while on the court. However, the tightness that laced-up shoes provide depends on how good the player is at tying. It’s also important to mention that the materials used to build the lace may have some impact.

Strap

Typically, straps are usually used with other lockdown mechanisms due to the vulnerability of the velcro fasteners’ straps and the aggressiveness of the game. Straps are usually in basketball shoes just for visual appeal. 

Comfort

Even some of the most technologically advanced basketball shoes get ditched if they are not providing the amount of comfort required. Although the experience of comfort is subjective, some elements in a shoe determine the level of comfort it can provide. 

The first thing to check should be the material the upper part is built with. You should ensure it is made of mesh for optimum breathability. Some manufacturers also use stiff leather for structure and durability. 

However, they put perforations in the leather to enhance airflow in your shoe. The amount of padding in the ankle collar and tongue is another element to consider as they come into contact with the dynamic parts of your feet during movement.

If your shoe collar and tongue lacks enough padding, it can cause discomfort and painful blisters. Removable items like insoles can also determine the overall experience of comfort you will get from your shoes.

Wrap Up

What you put on while on the court matters a lot. A good pair should be comfortable, supportive, help you stop quickly, and also protect your ankles. If you are a basketball player, treat yourself and pick a pair of the best low top basketball shoes we have reviewed on our list. The shoes offer good traction, support, comfort, durability, and are reasonably priced to suit your budget.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.