Air Jordan 1 High Top

The 10 Best High Top Basketball Shoes

Classic basketball shoes like the Chuck Talor or the Air Jordan 1 feature a high top silhouette with the shoe extending up above the ankle bone. This extra support is intended to provide more stability for the ankle joint and help protect players from ankle sprains and other injuries.

These days, low tops have become much more popular and safe thanks to advances in technology and design (wide bases and lateral outriggers provide more stability), but there are still a lot of basketball players out there so prefer high top basketball shoes.

Why pick high tops?

  • Big and heavy players in particular feel safer and more protected wearing high tops
  • Many prefer the classic and old school look of high tops
  • Modern materials significantly reduces the weight of shoes

The following list is a quick overview of the 10 best-rated high cut basketball shoes currently on the market:

  • 9.0 rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • An update to the Jordan 34 that performs just as well if not better.
  • The perfect shoe for players of every position who want a premium experience.

  • 8.8 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • The "takedown" version of the Nike AlphaDunk is a very versatile performer
  • Suitable for all players, especially big guys looking for support and comfort

  • 8.8 rating based on 6 expert reviews
  • Kyrie's 6th signature shoe is an evolution of previous models and probably the best Kyrie so far
  • Great traction and support with a low-to-the-ground, responsive cushioning

  • 8.7 rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • New Balance's first basketball sneaker in a long time really knocked it out of the park
  • A durable performer with comfortable cushioning, good materials, and great traction on clean courts

  • 8.6 rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • The huge Max Air unit in the heel and 2 Zoom Air units in the forefoot provide crazy cushioning
  • Top choice if you are looking for a comfortable, supportive shoe with a ton of impact protection

  • 8.5 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • The Jordan Jumpman 2020 feels like a cheaper version of the excellent Air Jordan 34
  • A great overall performer that comes at a very affordable retail price

  • 8.4 rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • Russell Westbrook's third signature shoe is still very flashy but feels a lot less bulky than the predecessors
  • Works great for explosive players who like to stand out on the court

  • 8.2 rating based on 6 expert reviews
  • LeBron's 18th signature shoe has one of the best cushion setups available.
  • Great for big guys who like soft and comfortable cushioning.

  • 7.7 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • Full-length Nike Zoom Air Strobel, Flynit materials, and FlyEase lacing system
  • Good choice if you are looking for shoes that are comfortable and easy to put on

  • 7.5 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • Nike's successor to the popular Hyperdunk line is a very disappointing performance shoe
  • Only works for slow, heavy big guys looking for support and impact protection

Top 10 High Top Basketball Shoes

1. Air Jordan 35

Performance Rating:
9.0
An update to the Jordan 34 that performs just as well if not better.
Overall rating based on 5 reviews
Pros:
Awesome cushion setup
Very supportive
Cons:
Rubbing around heel/arch
What do the experts think?
The traction on the Jordan 35 is similar to the 34 and performs just as well. You will get consistently great grip and stopping power - just don't ruin them playing outdoors. The addition of a large volume Zoom Air unit in the heel makes the cushion of this shoe even more comfortable and responsive. The materials are premium and have a good mix of old school and new textile materials. They are breathable and don't need breaking in. The support is even better than the 34 and has nice lateral containment, stability, and ankle support. Overall the Jordan 35 is an awesome performer that lives up to the hype and the expensive retail price!

2. Nike Zoom Rize

Performance Rating:
8.8
The "takedown" version of the Nike AlphaDunk is a very versatile performer
Overall rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Super bouncy Zoom cushioning
Very well-fitting shoe
Cons:
Slight lateral support issues in the forefoot
What do the experts think?
The Nike Zoom Rize is a new medium-priced Team model and a takedown version of the more expensive Nike AlphaDunk. The traction works very well on clean courts, but on dusty courts, you will need to wipe from time to time. The huge 10mm Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot is super bouncy and comfortable but doesn't give you a ton of court feel. The materials start off a little stiff, but they provide a lot of lockdown and loosen up quicky. The support is great in the heel and midfoot but multiple reviewers mentioned slight issues on quick lateral cuts. Overall, the Nike Zoom Rize is a very versatile basketball shoe that performs well in all categories.

3. Nike Kyrie 6

Performance Rating:
8.8
Kyrie's 6th signature shoe is an evolution of previous models and probably the best Kyrie so far
Overall rating based on 6 reviews
Pros:
Amazing traction
Nike Zoom Turbo cushioning
Cons:
Runs smaller than other Kyries
What do the experts think?
The traction of the Kyrie signature series is always great, and the Kyrie 6 is no different as you get amazing stopping power in every direction. The Phylon cushioning in the heel of the Kyrie 6 feels a lot softer than in previous models and the Zoom Turbo in the forefoot has a nice bounce to it. The materials are soft, comfortable, and provide a lot of support and lockdown for quick moves and crossovers. Overall, the Kyrie 6 feels like an evolution of the Kyrie 5 with a lot of small improvements that make up a great shoe - probably the best Kyrie so far!

4. New Balance OMN1S

Performance Rating:
8.7
New Balance's first basketball sneaker in a long time really knocked it out of the park
Overall rating based on 4 reviews
Pros:
Comfortable Fuel Cell cushioning
High-quality and durable materials
Cons:
Rubber picks up dust quickly
What do the experts think?
The first New Balance basketball sneaker in a long time gets a lot of love from sneaker critics: The herringbone traction pattern has you stopping on a dime on clean courts, but the translucent rubber picks up a lot of dust if you play on dirty courts. The Fuel-Cell foam cushioning is the highlight of the shoe and provides you a very well-balanced and comfortable ride. The upper materials are of high quality and should last for a long time, even if you play outdoors. Overall, the New Balance OMN1S comes highly recommended for players of all positions that look for a well-balanced performer.

5. Nike Lebron 17

Performance Rating:
8.6
The huge Max Air unit in the heel and 2 Zoom Air units in the forefoot provide crazy cushioning
Overall rating based on 5 reviews
Pros:
Insanely comfortable cushioning
Premium upper materials
Cons:
Steep $200 retail price
Heavy
What do the experts think?
The Lebron 17 is one of the most expensive basketball shoes on the market, does it justify it's $200 retail price? Reviewers' opinions on the traction were split: the Solebrother called it "god-levels" especially on a translucent rubber pair while Nightwing2303 didn't like the white solid rubber, even on clean courts. The cushioning, however, was loved by everyone. A huge Max Air unit in the heel is combined with Zoom in the forefoot and they provide a ton of impact protection and bounce. The new Knitposite upper material is thick, soft and comfortable - but it gets pretty hot after a while. Overall, the Lebron 17 is a great performer, especially you are a heavier player looking for a comfortable and supportive shoe.

6. Jordan Jumpman 2020

Performance Rating:
8.5
The Jordan Jumpman 2020 feels like a cheaper version of the excellent Air Jordan 34
Overall rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Very comfortable cushioning
Affordable retail price
Cons:
Slippery on dusty courts
What do the experts think?
The Jordan Jumpman 2020 looks like a budget version of the Air Jordan 34, but is the performance comparable? The traction is really squeaky and performs great on clean courts, but tends to attract a lot of dust on dirty courts. The Phylon cushioning in the heel is soft and comfortable while the forefoot Zoom gives you nice bounce and responsiveness. Materials are what you would expect from a budget model - they don't feel premium in-hand, but they absolutely get the job done! Overall, the Jordan Jumpman 2020 is a performer without real weaknesses and a great deal at a retail price of only $110.

7. Jordan Why Not Zero.3

Performance Rating:
8.4
Russell Westbrook's third signature shoe is still very flashy but feels a lot less bulky than the predecessors
Overall rating based on 5 reviews
Pros:
Big Zoom Air unit in the forefoot
Less bulky than previous models
Cons:
Lateral sliding on dusty courts
Materials don't feel very premium in-hand
What do the experts think?
Russell Westbrook's third signature sneaker is still as flashy as his playing style, but how does it perform? The traction gets mixed reviews: critics liked it on clean courts, but lateral cuts can be problematic on dusty courts. The forefoot Zoom Air unit gives you a smooth and responsive ride and the foam in the heel provides solid impact protection. Materials don't feel or look anything close to premium but they get the job done performance-wise and are less bulky than in the previous models. The support & lockdown are really good thanks to the traditional lacing system, midfoot strap, and huge Achilles pillows. Overall, the Why Not Zer0.3 is an evolution of Russell's signature series and will work especially well for explosive players looking for a nicely-balanced sneaker.

8. Nike Lebron 18

Performance Rating:
8.2
LeBron's 18th signature shoe has one of the best cushion setups available.
Overall rating based on 6 reviews
Pros:
Outstanding cushion
Premium materials
Cons:
Poor lateral stability and containment
Uncomfortable tongue
What do the experts think?
The traction of the Lebron 18 is good on clean courts, but inconsistent on dusty courts. The rubber of the outsole is durable enough for outdoor use. The cushion is one of the best setups you can buy today! The combination of full-length Zoom Air, Cushlon, and Max Air offers top of the line comfort with solid responsiveness. The $200 retail price is justified by materials that feel premium and durable, but some reviewers had issues with the tongue rubbing at the top of the foot. The Lebron 18 fits true to size, but the Batleknit materials take a little to break-in. The support is the low point of the shoe as reviewers had issues with lateral stability and containment due to the soft and high-off-the ground outsole. Overall the LeBron 18 is a comfortable shoe that is more suitable for big guys who can take advantage of the cushioning and don't make a lot of hard cuts.

9. Nike Air Zoom UNVRS

Performance Rating:
7.7
Full-length Nike Zoom Air Strobel, Flynit materials, and FlyEase lacing system
Overall rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Super comfortable full-length Zoom Strobel
Cons:
Lacking traction
Heel slippage and containment issues
What do the experts think?
The Nike UNVRS does some things really well but can't convince critics overall. Cushioning is by far the best thing about this sneaker: the full-length Zoom Air Strobel board is comfortable, bouncy, and a favorite among all critics. The traction was disappointing to most testers. Even on clean courts, the rubber doesn't provide hard stops and slides out too often. The Flyknit upper materials are comfortable but not supportive enough for explosive basketball moves. The FlyEase lacing system is easy to use but has some issues with heel slippage. Overall, the Nike Air Zoom UNVRS is a very comfortable shoe for casual use, but not well suited for explosive basketball play.

10. Nike AlphaDunk

Performance Rating:
7.5
Nike's successor to the popular Hyperdunk line is a very disappointing performance shoe
Overall rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Huge Air Zoom unit
Cons:
Horrible traction
Very bulky
What do the experts think?
Is the Nike AlphaDunk a worthy successor to Nike's popular Hyperdunk line? Unfortunately, the traction is absolutely horrendous - even on clean courts. Some reviewers didn't even want to play in these because they were afraid to hurt themselves! The huge Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot provides a lot of bounce and impact protection but sacrifices court feel. The upper material is very strong and supportive but doesn't feel great in-hand. The Nike AlphDunk is a good fit for big guys looking for a shoe that feels like a tank. Quick and shifty players shouldn't buy this shoe because of the lacking traction and court feel.

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