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:

  • 8.9 rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • The Li-Ning Way of Wade All City 12 is a fantastic shoe with close-to-top-tier traction and cushioning.
  • The Way of Wade All City 12 is best for guards or players who play fast and rely on court feel and responsiveness.
  • 8.9 rating based on 11 expert reviews
  • The Nike LeBron 21 maintains its high level of performance while improving its support and stability.
  • The Nike LeBron 21 is fit for all play styles because of the mix of traction, cushioning and support.
  • 8.9 rating based on 7 expert reviews
  • The Li-Ning Way of Wade 10 features an outstanding cushioning setup alongside its grippy traction.
  • This shoe is an excellent pick for quick, explosive players who enjoy a bouncy feeling in their shoes.
  • 8.9 rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • Following the footsteps of the original Puma MB.01, the low-top remains one of the top performance options on the market.
  • Players who want an all-around performer with no weaknesses.
  • 8.8 rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • The Curry 10 makes slight improvements and continues to be a top-tier performer.
  • Anyone that utilizes traction to maximize footwork
  • 8.8 rating based on 11 expert reviews
  • The Nike LeBron 20 excels with its bouncy cushion and solid traction, but it has something to offer every player.
  • Quick and explosive players will enjoy this shoe the most.
  • 8.7 rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • The New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 delivers comfortable cushioning with ample impact protection.
  • Explosive players who emphasize a vertical play style will appreciate the New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2.
  • 8.7 rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • The Curry 11 remains a fantastic basketball shoe. The traction is excellent, and the cushioning provides more impact protection.
  • The Under Armour Curry 11 is the perfect shoe for quick and shifty guards.
  • 8.7 rating based on 6 expert reviews
  • The LeBron NXXT Gen has grippy traction and responsive cushioning.
  • This shoe is a good pick for players who don't need maximum cushioning but still want Zoom.
  • 8.7 rating based on 7 expert reviews
  • The TWO WXY V3 is one of New Balance's best basketball shoes because of its fit and traction.
  • Shifty guards who rely on traction will love this shoe.
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Top 10 Low Cut Basketball Shoes

1. Li-Ning Way of Wade All City 12

Performance Rating:
8.9
The Li-Ning Way of Wade All City 12 is a fantastic shoe with close-to-top-tier traction and cushioning.
Overall rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
Comfortable and responsive Boom foam
Grippy traction on all surfaces
Cons:
Shoe retains a lot of heat
What do the experts think?
Li-Ning continues to put out top-quality performance shoes with this year's All City 12. The traction performs consistently well on all surfaces, and the rubber holds up outdoors. Li-Ning's Boom foam cushioning is a favourite among reviewers. It feels responsive and offers plenty of court feel. Reviewers had no complaints about any of the support and lockdown features. The materials feel sturdier than last year's model without sacrificing comfort. The Li-Ning Way of Wade All City 12 is a top-notch performer. It has no noticeable weaknesses, and the traction and cushioning excel.

2. Nike Lebron 21

Performance Rating:
8.9
The Nike LeBron 21 maintains its high level of performance while improving its support and stability.
Overall rating based on 11 reviews
Pros:
Bouncy cushioning
Upgraded support and materials
Cons:
Slightly narrow fit
What do the experts think?
Nike and LeBron hookup for the 21st entry in his signature shoe line. This time, with improved materials and stability. Most reviewers agree the traction performance is solid, especially on clean courts. Make sure that you wipe on dusty courts. The cushioning feels springy and bouncy. The Cushlon foam and Zoom units provide a balanced feel. The upper materials are where the shoe sees the most change. The leather feels more supportive, and the tongue is breathable, too. With the revamped upper, the support and lockdown are better. Lateral containment is incredible and secure. Nike continues in the right direction with the LeBron signature line. The Nike LeBron 21 makes slight tweaks to improve the materials and support.

3. Li-Ning Way of Wade 10

Performance Rating:
8.9
The Li-Ning Way of Wade 10 features an outstanding cushioning setup alongside its grippy traction.
Overall rating based on 7 reviews
Pros:
Incredibly bouncy cushioning
Amazing traction
Cons:
High price tag
Soft rubber isn't suitable for outdoors
What do the experts think?
Reviewers describe the cushioning on the Way of Wade 10 as incredibly bouncy. It's easily the most raved-about feature of the shoe. Its outsole traction is soft and grippy, perfect for indoor play. The materials are lightweight and perform well, but reviewers mention they could be more premium based on the shoe's price. Support and lockdown aren't an issue. There were no reported problems from any reviewers. Li-Ning and Dwyane Wade's latest signature model, the Way of Wade 10, is an excellent basketball shoe that can contend for performance shoe of the year.

4. Puma MB.01 Lo

Performance Rating:
8.9
Following the footsteps of the original Puma MB.01, the low-top remains one of the top performance options on the market.
Overall rating based on 4 reviews
Pros:
Aggressive, grippy traction
Balanced cushioning setup
Cons:
Cheap feeling materials
What do the experts think?
Not much changed between the original Puma MB.01 and the low-top version. The traction is still reliable on all surfaces. Puma's Nitro foam is a balanced cushioning setup offering both impact protection and responsiveness. The fit can be narrow, but the materials are comfortable and get the job done performance-wise. The shoe also has solid support features to keep your foot secure and contained. Overall, the Puma MB.01 Low continues the trend of Puma releasing quality performance basketball shoes.

5. Under Armour Curry 10

Performance Rating:
8.8
The Curry 10 makes slight improvements and continues to be a top-tier performer.
Overall rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
Top-tier traction
Comfortable materials
Cons:
Impact protection isn't the best
What do the experts think?
As we've come to expect, the Flow traction is fantastic. It's some of the best traction available. The cushioning is responsive and low to the ground. The shank also offers some additional bounce. The materials feel similar to the Curry 9 from last year. It does feel a tad bit more comfortable, though. Support and lockdown are better than last year because of a better heel counter and more supportive construction. Overall, the Curry 10 improves on last year's model and remains a top performer because of the outstanding traction.

6. Nike Lebron 20

Performance Rating:
8.8
The Nike LeBron 20 excels with its bouncy cushion and solid traction, but it has something to offer every player.
Overall rating based on 11 reviews
Pros:
Bouncy cushion setup
Tacky traction compound
Cons:
Not much court feel
High price tag
What do the experts think?
The traction on the LeBron 20 is tacky, and it grips most court surfaces. The occasional wipe is needed, but it doesn't hinder performance. Nike toned the cushioning down from previous models, but it's still insanely bouncy. The materials are comfortable, thin, and breathable on foot. It also helps to keep you contained during play. On fit, some reviewers praised the LeBron 20 for its snug, 1-to-1 fit. Other reviewers had split opinions on how the shoe accommodates wide footers. The lacing and materials work together to keep your foot contained on the footbed. Reviewers didn't have any complaints when it came to the support of the shoe. Overall, the Nike LeBron 20 is an impressive all-around performer. The traction, cushioning, and support are versatile enough to offer something to most players.

7. New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2

Performance Rating:
8.7
The New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 delivers comfortable cushioning with ample impact protection.
Overall rating based on 5 reviews
Pros:
Soft, comfortable cushioning
Stable fit and support
Cons:
The shoe retains some moisture
Lacks some responsiveness
What do the experts think?
New Balance delivers a comfortable shoe with impressive performance features in the New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2. The traction is grippy and substantial, especially on clean courts. Reviewers experienced some sliding on dusty courts. New Balance's Fresh Foam X provides a soft, comfortable ride. The foam provides excellent impact protection. All reviewers enjoyed the quality of the materials. The support and lockdown comes from the stable and secure fit. The shoe is forgiving and well-contained. The New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 improves on many of the previous model's shortcomings. The cushioning is a standout feature.

8. Under Armour Curry 11

Performance Rating:
8.7
The Curry 11 remains a fantastic basketball shoe. The traction is excellent, and the cushioning provides more impact protection.
Overall rating based on 5 reviews
Pros:
Improved impact protection
Flow traction
Cons:
Low volume, snug fit
What do the experts think?
Under Armour and Curry Brand continue to provide slight improvements to their main signature shoe line. The Flow outsole is excellent. The performance is elite, and it performs better on dust this year. Under Armour uses a dual-density foam setup for cushioning this year. It provides additional impact protection under the heel. The fit is snug, with some reviewers mentioning it feels like a 1-to-1 fit around your foot. The materials aren't premium but are lightweight, comfortable, and breathable. Like previous models in the line, the support is secure, especially around the heel area. The Under Armour Curry 11 sticks to the tried and true formula of the last three models. The traction remains the best on the market.

9. Nike LeBron NXXT Gen

Performance Rating:
8.7
The LeBron NXXT Gen has grippy traction and responsive cushioning.
Overall rating based on 6 reviews
Pros:
Sticky traction
Comfortable and responsive cushioning
Cons:
Lower material quality
What do the experts think?
The Nike LeBron NXXT Gen features a map of Akron as its traction pattern. It grips nicely indoors and outdoors. The foam feels firmer than the LeBron 20, but the Zoom units and shank keep the shoe comfortable and responsive. Material quality is a downgrade, but there is no drop in performance. Support and containment are not issues either. The materials work to keep you locked into the shoe. The latest entry in the LeBron line of shoes has a lower price point than the flagship model and offers just as much performance.

10. New Balance TWO WXY V3

Performance Rating:
8.7
The TWO WXY V3 is one of New Balance's best basketball shoes because of its fit and traction.
Overall rating based on 7 reviews
Pros:
Tacky traction
1-to-1 fit
Cons:
Not a plush cushion
Poor outdoor durability
What do the experts think?
The latest shoe in the TWO WXY lineup, the V3, has tacky traction that grips incredibly well on indoor courts. Reviewers agree that cushioning is the main drawback of the shoe. The foam is not as plush as other shoes, and there is minimal impact protection. On the other hand, reviewers agreed that fit is the shoe's best feature. The fit is near-perfect and close to 1-to-1. Because of the glovelike fit, the support and lockdown are also solid. There were no reports of issues with the stability either. The materials are thin, comfortable and supportive. One reviewer said the uppers are one of the best available. The New Balance TWO WXY V3 is an excellent performance basketball shoe with outstanding traction and fit.

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