Kobe 4 Low Top Basketball Shoe

The 10 Best Low Top Basketball Shoes

For the longest time, basketball shoes were bulky high-tops designed to provide support and protection. But as the game of basketball evolved to become quicker and more athletic, basketball shoes adapted and became lighter, more flexible using less material.

The shoe that made low-tops popular and mainstream among NBA players, as well as recreational athletes, was the Nike Kobe 4. Released in 2009, this Kobe signature sneaker started a trend that was quickly picked up by models like the Hyperdunk Lows or the KDs.

Nowadays, low-tops have gained widespread adoption among NBA players thanks to a few advantages they have over the traditional high tops.

Advantages of Low Tops:

  • They are lighter and more flexible
  • They offer a better range of motion
  • They make it easier to wear an ankle brace

These are the top-rated low cut basketball shoes currently on the market:

  • 9.1 rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • The Puma Clyde All-Pro is another outstanding release from Puma.
  • Great for any position or player who likes responsive cushion and a minimal feel.

  • 9.0 rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • The Under Armour Anatomix Spawn 3 is one of the best budget shoes you can buy.
  • Great for any position or player who wants a balanced cushion setup.

  • 8.9 rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • Steph Curry's first shoe under his new brand is a standout.
  • Great all around hoop shoe for guards and wings.

  • 8.8 rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • The Nike Cosmic Unity is made from 25% recycled trash but doesn't perform like trash at all.
  • Best for players who need a good mix of impact protection and court feel.

  • 8.8 rating based on 6 expert reviews
  • The PG 5 is a great all-around performer and a nice upgrade over the PG 4.
  • Works best for players that prefer a minimal, lightweight, and responsive shoe no matter what position they play.

  • 8.8 rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • Good traction, soft Lightstrike cushioning, and a fast, low-to-the-ground silhouette
  • Best for guards looking for a fast, low-to-the-ground, and supportive shoe

  • 8.7 rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • The Nike Air Zoom G.T Cut is a great low-profile shoe packed with Nike's latest tech.
  • Players that like a fast and responsive shoe.

  • 8.7 rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • Damian Lillard's 7th signature shoe is a significant upgrade over last years model.
  • A perfectly balanced shoe that fits any position or player.

  • 8.7 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • A nice blend of old-school leather and new-school performance textiles and synthetics
  • Great shoe if you are looking for beastly traction and minimal, responsive cushioning

  • 8.5 rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • The Adidas Exhibit A is a solid new entry into Adidas's non-signature basketball shoe lineup.
  • Great for players that have a quick and shifty play style.

Top 10 Low Cut Basketball Shoes

1. Puma Clyde All-Pro

Performance Rating:
9.1
The Puma Clyde All-Pro is another outstanding release from Puma.
Overall rating based on 4 reviews
Pros:
Top tier traction
Great materials
Cons:
Could have more impact protection
What do the experts think?
The traction on the Puma Clyde All-Pro is outstanding and was compared to the Kobe 9 by reviewers. The durability is solid and should be fine for occasional outdoor use. The cushion setup features the improved ProFoam+ which is softer and has more compression. This cushioning is still more on the responsive side though. Another highlight of this shoe is the upper material which is super minimal, lightweight, and very comfortable after breaking in. Going true to size will give you a snug fit that wraps around your foot really well. Reviewers had no issues with the support as it comes with all the standard features we've come to expect from basketball shoes: a wide base, outrigger, and a solid internal heel counter. Overall the Puma Clyde All-Pro is a fantastic all-around performer and a steal at $130!

2. Under Armour Anatomix Spawn 3

Performance Rating:
9.0
The Under Armour Anatomix Spawn 3 is one of the best budget shoes you can buy.
Overall rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
Awesome traction
Great cushion setup
Cons:
Heel curve causes some instability
What do the experts think?
The traction of the UA Anatomix Spawn 3 is great on clean and dusty courts and the outsole is durable enough for occasional outdoor use. The cushion setup is one of the highlights of the shoe and features full-length Micro-G with a great mix of court feel, bounce, and impact protection. Considering the budget price, the materials are pretty good and get the job done just fine performance-wise. These fit true to size and provide a slightly loose fit. The materials stretch out a little over time. The support is solid and has you covered with good lateral containment. Lateral stability is good overall but the heel curvature causes a little instability. Overall the UA Anatomix Spawn 3 is an outstanding performer for the price.

3. Under Armour Curry 8

Performance Rating:
8.9
Steph Curry's first shoe under his new brand is a standout.
Overall rating based on 5 reviews
Pros:
Stop on a dime traction
Great cushioning
Cons:
Weird sizing
What do the experts think?
The Curry "Flow" 8 is the first signature shoe released under the new "Curry" brand and they get off to a good start! The traction is the best aspect of the shoe and features an all-foam outsole that is crazy grippy. The cushion is also nice and comfortable while providing great court feel and responsiveness. Reviewers considered it the best cushion of the Curry lineup. The materials consist of a flexible knit upper that is comfortable with synthetic overlays for structure. These fit short and a little wide - going up half a size should work for most people. The support and lockdown are what you come to expect from a Curry and will give you no issues. Overall the Curry 8 is a great hoop shoe that most players will enjoy. These are definitely worth the $20 increase to $160!

4. Nike Cosmic Unity

Performance Rating:
8.8
The Nike Cosmic Unity is made from 25% recycled trash but doesn't perform like trash at all.
Overall rating based on 4 reviews
Pros:
Balanced cushion
Great support
Cons:
Inconsistent traction on dust
What do the experts think?
The Nike Cosmic Unity is part of Nike's sustainability push and made from at least 25% trash. Is the performance on the court trash as well? The traction features a traditional herringbone pattern that performs well on clean courts but struggles a little on dusty surfaces. The cushion setup uses the same Zoom Air Strobel as the KD 12 and 13 and provides nice impact protection and responsiveness. The midsole is very low to the ground and gives your great court feel. The knit materials are nice to the touch and very durable. Performance-wise you'll have no issues! The support provides everything you've come to expect from performance basketball shoes with solid lateral stability and containment. Overall the Nike Cosmic Unity is a solid performer in every category. Just watch out if you play on dusty courts often.

5. Nike PG 5

Performance Rating:
8.8
The PG 5 is a great all-around performer and a nice upgrade over the PG 4.
Overall rating based on 6 reviews
Pros:
Phenomenal traction
Responsive cushioning
Cons:
Cheap materials
What do the experts think?
The traction pattern of the PG 5 is very similar to the Kobe 9 pattern and provides top-tier traction indoors. Unfortunately, the outsole isn't durable enough for outdoor use. The cushion tech is similar to last year but feels pretty different. The PG 5 isn't as plush but provides a better court feel and more responsiveness. The materials are what you've come to expect from the PG line: They feel pretty cheap but they perform well and are comfortable on foot. The PG 5 fits like most PG models slightly narrow and snug. True to size works well. The support and lockdown are very good thanks to a wide base and large outrigger - reviewers had no issues here. Overall the PG 5 is a great all-around performer and a real bargain at a list price of only $110.

6. Adidas Harden Vol. 4

Performance Rating:
8.8
Good traction, soft Lightstrike cushioning, and a fast, low-to-the-ground silhouette
Overall rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
One of the lighter Adidas shoes
Great all-around performance
Cons:
No longer uses Boost cushioning
What do the experts think?
The Vol. 4 is the first shoe in the James Harden signature line that comes without Boost cushioning. But that's not necessarily a bad thing as the Lightstrike cushioning provides a much lighter shoe that still feels very comfortable to play in. The traction works great on clean courts and requires only minimal wiping on dusty courts. Materials differ between colorways, you can choose between Primeknit or Mesh uppers - they all get the job done! If you are looking for a supportive, fast, and low-profile basketball shoe then the Harden Vol. 4 is a great choice!

7. Nike Air Zoom G.T. Cut

Performance Rating:
8.7
The Nike Air Zoom G.T Cut is a great low-profile shoe packed with Nike's latest tech.
Overall rating based on 4 reviews
Pros:
Cushion is responsive yet bouncy
Plays very fast
Cons:
Heavier than expected
Unnecessary material around the heel area
What do the experts think?
A majority of reviewers agree that the traction for the Air Zoom G.T Cut performed very well on clean courts and only needs occasional wiping on dusty courts. The combination of the drop-in React midsole and the Zoom Air Strobel underfoot helps to create a very responsive ride that still manages to be bouncy. However, one reviewer did note that their React midsole felt a little bit firm. Materials on the shoe are breathable and feel comfortable on foot. The fit is snug and slightly narrow in the forefoot area. One reviewer recommended sizing up half a size if you have wide feet. Most reviewers agree that the Nike Air Zoom G.T. Cut is an excellent performer loaded with tech that justifies the price tag.

8. Adidas Dame 7

Performance Rating:
8.7
Damian Lillard's 7th signature shoe is a significant upgrade over last years model.
Overall rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
Balanced cushioning
Solid traction indoors and outdoors
Cons:
Not the most premium materials
What do the experts think?
The traction on the Dame 7 performs well - significantly better than the 6. Good news if you play outdoors a lot: the outsole is made of very durable rubber and performs well on the blacktop. The Lightstrike foam cushion setup is also an upgrade over the 6 and is a good balance of impact protection, court feel, and responsiveness. The materials are of decent quality, well ventilated, and get the job done performance-wise. The support offers good lateral stability and containment but the low cut doesn't provide any additional ankle support. Overall, the Dame 7 is a great all-around performer - especially for the price!

9. Puma Clyde Hardwood

Performance Rating:
8.7
A nice blend of old-school leather and new-school performance textiles and synthetics
Overall rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Premium leather and knit materials
Beastly traction
Cons:
Slightly heavy
Basic foam cushioning
What do the experts think?
Puma is still relatively new back in the basketball shoe game, but the Clyde Hardwood is a hit! The traction is great (and squeaky) on clean courts and with an occasional wipe, you're good to go on dusty courts too. The ProFoam cushioning feels rather basic and minimal but gets softer after a while. Overall the setup is more catered to players looking for court feel and response. The genuine leather in the heel and the textiles and synthetics in the forefoot are soft, comfortable, and feel very premium. The support is excellent thanks to a wide and flat base and heavy caging on the lateral side. Overall, the Puma Clyde Hardwood is a great mix of old-school leather and modern performance with beastly traction and decent cushioning.

10. Adidas Exhibit A

Performance Rating:
8.5
The Adidas Exhibit A is a solid new entry into Adidas's non-signature basketball shoe lineup.
Overall rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Lightweight
Has everything you need for support
Cons:
Stable cushion sacrifices impact protection
What do the experts think?
Reviewers agree that the traction on the Adidas Exhibit A is very reliable. It performed consistently on both clean and dusty courts while needing only minimal wiping. The Lightstrike cushion leans more towards the firm side of things, but it is lightweight and responsive. There's a small amount of impact protection in the heel, but the setup is clearly catering towards players the favor court feel. The materials perform well on the court, they are comfortable and feel good to play in. Support in the ankle area of the shoe is a strong point. Coupled with a wide base for lateral stability, the Exhibit A is a very supportive shoe. Overall, Adidas has delivered a solid performer with the new Exhibit A. It features everything you could want for traction and support. On top of that, it's built well and positioned at a great price of just $110.

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