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 10 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 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 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.
  • 8.5 rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • The Air Jordan 38 Low provides all the performance of the 38 with a lower cut.
  • All players can take advantage of the comfortable cushioning and reliable traction.
  • 8.5 rating based on 7 expert reviews
  • One of Puma's best basketball shoes. The traction is outstanding, and the cushioning is comfortable.
  • Players looking for a versatile shoe that's not expensive will love the Puma All Pro Nitro.
  • 8.5 rating based on 10 expert reviews
  • The Nike Air Zoom G.T. Cut 2 continues to offer plenty of cushioning and solid overall performance.
  • Shifty players who enjoy lots of cushioning
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Top 10 Low Cut Basketball Shoes

1. 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 10 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Air Jordan 38 Low

Performance Rating:
8.5
The Air Jordan 38 Low provides all the performance of the 38 with a lower cut.
Overall rating based on 4 reviews
Pros:
Improved containment and stability
Traction and cushioning remain unchanged
Cons:
Dust pickup
What do the experts think?
Jordan Brand did a solid job on their latest release, the Air Jordan 38 Low. The traction performance remains the same on the Low. It performs exceptionally well as long as players wipe the dust. The full-length Zoom Strobel remains a favourite amongst reviewers. This shoe has one of the best cushioning setups on the market. Reviewers also enjoyed the containment and stability of the 38 Low, especially around the heel area. There are no complaints about the material usage. Reviewers say the shoe feels comfortable on foot. The Air Jordan 38 Low delivers impressive performance in a low-cut form factor. The traction and cushioning combo remains elite.

9. Puma All Pro Nitro

Performance Rating:
8.5
One of Puma's best basketball shoes. The traction is outstanding, and the cushioning is comfortable.
Overall rating based on 7 reviews
Pros:
Improved cushioning comfort
Outstanding traction
Cons:
Materials feel cheap
What do the experts think?
Puma's latest All Pro model picks up where the previous model left off. Reviewers agree the traction is phenomenal. The shoe performs whether the court is clean or dusty as long as you remember to wipe it. The Nitro foam is the softest iteration yet. It's comfortable with some bounce. The base is broader, and the lacing setup has improved eyelets to help keep you feeling stable and secure. Cheap materials are the only downside. Regardless, the shoe feels breathable and comfortable. The Puma All Pro Nitro is one of Puma's best releases.

10. Nike Air Zoom G.T. Cut 2

Performance Rating:
8.5
The Nike Air Zoom G.T. Cut 2 continues to offer plenty of cushioning and solid overall performance.
Overall rating based on 10 reviews
Pros:
Plush and bouncy cushioning
Drop-in midsole offers a lot of support
Cons:
Not the most durable materials
What do the experts think?
The second installment in the G.T. Cut lineup features solid traction, but a break-in time is needed. It also isn't as good as the original. Cushioning for the shoe continues to offer some of the best bounce and impact protection. The drop-in midsole also features an improved liner for extra grip. The material used on the shoe makes it feel lighter, but some reviewers mentioned missing the plastic side wall previously on the lateral side. Players that enjoy a snug fit will enjoy the fit on the G.T. Cut 2. There's a lack of torsional stability, but the rest of the support and lockdown features perform well. The Nike Air Zoom G.T. Cut 2 is a solid performer with fantastic cushioning.

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