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:

  • 9.1 rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • The latest Air Jordan mainline signature model is, once again, a top-performing shoe.
  • Great for players that are looking for a top-tier performance basketball shoe.
  • 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 8 expert reviews
  • The tech-loaded Nike GT Jump's performance is outstanding.
  • Best for players with an explosive play style looking for good cushioning.
  • 8.5 rating based on 7 expert reviews
  • The Nike Kyrie 8 is a welcome improvement in the Kyrie lineup.
  • Best for players looking for a shoe with no real weaknesses.
  • 8.3 rating based on 6 expert reviews
  • The Kawhi 2 is an improvement on the 1 in almost every way.
  • Forwards and centers that need strong traction and stability.
  • 8.3 rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • The Nike LeBron 19 is better in almost every way compared to last year's model.
  • Perfect if you enjoy extra cushion and impact protection.
  • 8.3 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • An update to the LeBron Soldier line without the forefoot straps.
  • Great for big guys who like forefoot cushion and need a lot of support.
  • 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.
  • 8.0 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • The Adidas D Rose Son of Chi features good traction and solid support.
  • Players with quick playstyles and don't need lots of impact protection.
  • 7.9 rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • A very affordable Nike budget model with good overall performance
  • A good choice for outdoor courts

Top 10 High Top Basketball Shoes

1. Air Jordan 36

Performance Rating:
9.1
The latest Air Jordan mainline signature model is, once again, a top-performing shoe.
Overall rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
Absolutely no issues at all with the traction
Cushion feels amazing
Cons:
The outsole can be a tiny bit unsteady
They fit narrow and snug
What do the experts think?
The Air Jordan 36 continues the recent trend from Jordan brand and picks up right where the last two models left off. The traction is phenomenal. It performs well on both clean and dusty courts. All reviewers agree that the cushioning used in the 36 performs amazingly, but they also agree that the Air unit protruding from the outsole is unnecessary. The fit is snug and narrow, so if that's not your cup of tea, consider sizing up. Materials are slimmed way down this year. They make the shoe lightweight without sacrificing much in terms of comfort and durability. The surprisingly strong upper and the outsole materials wrapping upward towards the midsole make the support in this shoe solid. Being the latest signature shoe in the lineup, the Air Jordan 36 delivers and is yet another high-quality performance basketball shoe.

2. 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!

3. Nike Air Zoom GT Jump

Performance Rating:
8.8
The tech-loaded Nike GT Jump's performance is outstanding.
Overall rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
The tech works well together for performance
Jump frame is as good as advertised
Cons:
A bit on the heavier side
What do the experts think?
The final release in Nike's GT series, the GT Jump, manages to find a way to make all of the tech Nike threw in it work well together. The traction gripped all the different surfaces that reviewers tested it on while still keeping up with the cushioning. When it comes to cushioning, if you're a fan of Nike Zoom, you're going to love these. It's bouncy, provides ample impact protection, and is very fast to play in. Nike uses Jumpwire combined with synthetics and meshes to keep the shoe breathable without compromising performance. Most reviewers also agree that the Jumpframe is a standout aspect of the shoe. It helps secure the foot so that the player doesn't feel unstable on top of the cushioning. Although the wait was long, the Nike Air Zoom GT Jump delivers, and it's one of the best shoes to come out this year.

4. Nike Kyrie 8

Performance Rating:
8.5
The Nike Kyrie 8 is a welcome improvement in the Kyrie lineup.
Overall rating based on 7 reviews
Pros:
Consistent traction
Amazing forefoot Zoom Strobel
Cons:
Materials could feel more premium
What do the experts think?
As controversial as Kyrie Irving is, his signature basketball shoe continues to be a quality performer. The traction is what you come to expect from the Kyrie lineup. It performs well, similarly to the previous models. For the Kyrie 8, Nike implemented a forefoot Zoom Strobel that adds a new dimension of bounce while still remaining low to the ground. The materials used feel comfortable while providing quality performance. They're also thin and breathable. The lacing system helps to provide a fit that won't cause issues for most people. Reviewers also agree that the lateral containment and lockdown provided are excellent. When it comes down to it, the Nike Kyrie 8 is an excellent shoe that caters to many different playstyles.

5. New Balance Kawhi 2

Performance Rating:
8.3
The Kawhi 2 is an improvement on the 1 in almost every way.
Overall rating based on 6 reviews
Pros:
Improved materials
Grippy traction
Cons:
Not the best for impact protection
No additional width options with this model
What do the experts think?
Kawhi Leonard's latest signature model with New Balance is a solid step in the right direction. The traction bites on just about any surface after an initial break-in period. New Balance keeps the shoe feeling low to the ground and responsive with the full-length FuelCell setup. It isn't the plushest, but it helps players feel nimble. The materials used on the upper of the shoe are lightweight, breathable, and make the shoe feel very supportive. Working together with the materials, the heel counter and outsole tread that wraps up the shoe, keep your foot feeling secure. These features make support and lockdown a non-issue in the shoe. Most reviewers had no issues with the fit, but they did mention that New Balance doesn't seem to offer this model in extra widths. Overall, the New Balance Kawhi 2 is a strong performer that provides excellent traction and stability.

6. Nike Lebron 19

Performance Rating:
8.3
The Nike LeBron 19 is better in almost every way compared to last year's model.
Overall rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
They provide good support and stability
The cushion feels incredible
Cons:
Traction can be inconsistent at times
They fit a bit snug
What do the experts think?
The latest entry in LeBron's signature shoe line gets off to a shaky start with reviewers mentioning that the traction performs inconsistently. As always with the LeBron line, the cushioning is the standout performance aspect. The shoe has ample impact protection while still finding a way to feel bouncy due to the forefoot Zoom Air. The fit can be snug. However, the materials do loosen up once broken in. Speaking of materials, they are much improved this year. The upper feels light and is comfortable straight out of the box. There are no issues with support and lockdown. In fact, the lateral containment is even a highlight for the LeBron 19. Overall, the Nike LeBron 19 is a fun shoe to play in with its crazy cushion setup, improved materials, and solid support. The only downside is the traction.

7. Nike Lebron Soldier 14

Performance Rating:
8.3
An update to the LeBron Soldier line without the forefoot straps.
Overall rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Very supportive
Huge forefoot Zoom unit
Cons:
Inconsistent traction
Stiff heel cushion
What do the experts think?
The traction of the Lebron Soldier 14 performs pretty well but takes some breaking in and doesn't hold up very long outdoors. The cushion setup features a really nice forefoot Zoom unit that reviewers liked, but court feel and heel cushioning could be better. The materials are really nice at this price point and conform very well to your feet. They are also good in terms of ventilation. The fit is close to 1 to 1 and fits true to size. Reviewers thought they were hard to put on at first and didn't like the shroud over the laces. Once they are put on, they are very supportive and lock your feet in-place nicely. Overall the LeBron Soldier 14 is a very solid performer at a reasonable price and a lot of fun to play in!

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. Adidas D Rose Son Of Chi

Performance Rating:
8.0
The Adidas D Rose Son of Chi features good traction and solid support.
Overall rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Traction is consistent on all surfaces
Supportive and low to the ground
Cons:
Materials aren't the best
What do the experts think?
Adidas's latest D Rose shoe, the D Rose Son of Chi, Is a solid performing shoe at a great price of just $100. The shoe has traction that performs surprisingly well on all surface materials. It feels great to play in. Adidas uses Bounce cushioning in this model, and reviewers agree that it feels responsive. The impact protection is adequate but could be better. It doesn't use the best materials, but they get the job done. The fit feels snug since the materials don't stretch much. The lateral support in the shoe is very sturdy. There are no issues with stability either. One reviewer did note that this may not be the best shoe for those preferring mobility over stability. Overall, the Adidas D Rose Son of Chi is a good option in the budget-friendly price range.

10. Nike Renew Elevate

Performance Rating:
7.9
A very affordable Nike budget model with good overall performance
Overall rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
The traction pattern is durable and performs
Supportive upper materials
Cons:
Materials feel and look cheap
What do the experts think?
The Renew Elevate is one of Nikes cheapest budget models, does it show in its performance? The traction pattern works well on outdoor courts and clean indoor courts. On dirty courts, you will need to wipe off the dust from time to time. The cushioning setup is divisive: one reviewer thought the Renew foam was soft and bouncy while another thought that it was too firm and didn't provide enough impact protection. The Mesh materials look and feel cheap but provide enough support and feel comfortable on-foot. Overall, for only $80 you get a decent performer, comparable to the KD Trey 5 VIII, but a little more supportive and with lower material quality.

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