Links on this page may earn us a commission.
Here are the best Low Top Basketball shoes in terms of mobility, ankle support, and cushioning!
The best low top basketball shoes are the ultimate mix of form and function. Ever since Kobe wore his iconic Kobe 4 and won the NBA Championship and MVP award back in 2008, low-top basketball shoes have become a popular choice amongst those at the highest level of play.
With several studies pitting the high top and low top basketball shoes against each other, today we finally have a verdict on whether or not low cut basketball shoes are the right fit for you!
The best low top basketball shoes offer greater freedom of movement at ankle level, making them an excellent choice for players that rely on explosive, sudden maneuvers to outplay their competitors. On the other hand, high tops tend to be better for heavier players in charge of rebounds (because of improved proprioceptive feedback during landing)
However, the difference between both models, from a performance standpoint, is minimal. Top players have won NBA championships and MVP awards using low top and high-top basketball shoes, so it’s evident that it all comes down to personal preference.
Today, we’ve reviewed over 136 models from the best clothing brands for men to find the best low-top basketball shoes for this year. Each of these models features a mix of cutting-edge technology, superb grip, and next-level ankle stability to keep you injury-free and quick throughout the years!
The Kobe AD NTX Best Lightweight Basketball Shoes
The Kobe AD NTX is a significant improvement to its predecessor (the Kobe AD), and it’s considered one of the best Kobe shoes today. It features a translucent rubber outsole for superb grip, a single-piece fabric upper design for a one-to-one fit, and a highly responsive cushion system.
These light basketball shoes offer a one-piece upper with a shroud knit material for enhanced heat dissipation. These Nike basketball low tops come with a first layer made from a single piece of lightweight synthetic mesh textile that covers your feet just like mini socks do.
The Kobe AD NTX also comes with Nike’s reliable TPU threading to seamlessly join the shoe lacing system to the upper fabric. This novel design allows for a superior lockdown feel that stays with you throughout the game.
The Kobe AD NTX also comes with a full-length drop-in Lunarlon midsole that delivers next-level comfort to your feet. Together with the thick Air Zoom unit located beneath your heel, you’ll experience NBA-level shock absorption and energy return on each jump, allowing you to take your game to the next level.
Last but not least, these Nike basketball low tops feature a translucent rubber outsole that prevents slippage during dribbles and sudden breaks. The AD NTX micro-tread traction pattern spreads across the outsole, all the way to the medial side of the midsole, keeps you stable during explosive cuts or complex maneuvers. Overall, the AD NTX is one of the best low top basketball shoes because of how well it adapts to complex footwork and speed.
The Nike Cosmic Unity Light Basketball shoes
The Nike Cosmic Unity is considered one of the best low top basketball shoes for outdoor and indoor use due to its performance-centered, sustainable design. These Nike low cut basketball shoes feature at least 12 percent recycled content, as it incorporates recycled polyester and polyurethane in certain areas, such as its sock liner and foxing. The eco-friendly design of the Cosmic Unity calls for a short break-in period, but once they mold to your feet, you’ll get superior outdoor protection and a great court feel.
These Nike low cut basketball shoes also offer a fantastic lockdown feel, stability, and improved mobility thanks to their flexible design. The grippy outsoles complement a mid-section Zoom Airbag that keeps your feet protected from large energy differentials and high jumps.
Furthermore, these outdoor basketball shoes showcase a zig-zag herringbone pattern that perfectly adapts to blacktop surfaces. The web pattern thickness on their eco-friendly soles makes them ideal kicks for outdoor and indoor courts, allowing you to stay grounded during quick cuts and crosses on your pickup games.
Adidas Harden Vol 3 Lightest Basketball Shoes
The Adidas Harden 3 takes the saying “less is more” to the next level, making them one of the best low top basketball shoes ever released. Issued in 2018, the Adidas Harden 3 still stands as one of the lightest basketball shoes suitable for both indoor and outdoor courts.
These Light basketball shoes use thick and strong fabric in a no-dead-space upper design that wraps around your foot. Underneath the Harden 3’s lacing system, there’s a couple of lacing points with nylon straps that snug the entire fabric across the feet instep area, securing your inner foothold ahead of intense training sessions or sweat-breaking games.
The Harden 3 midsoles present a more balanced offset than its predecessors, as the heel thickness slightly sinks in favor of a more horizontal surface that gently rises towards the tip of your toes. This design choice makes jumping more comfortable without compromising any support on your Achilles, thanks to the compressed padding introduced in its back end.
Traction-wise, the herringbone outsole in these light basketball shoes is surprisingly durable, as their tightly spaced zig-zag lines provide excellent grip in both outdoor and indoor courts. The elegant design, smooth heel-to-toe transition, superb impact protection, and great court-feel make the Harden 3 one of the best Adidas basketball shoes ever.
Nike PG 5 Low Top Basketball Shoes
The Nike PG5 isn’t just a pair of light basketball shoes: they are solid launching platforms that provide tons of cushion for anyone prone to foot injuries.
These Nike basketball low tops are noticeably more feathery and lighter than their predecessor. Plenty of internal padding around your ankle, together with a single large Achilles notch, keeps your heel in place and secures your footing as you go all out on the court. Plus, its lacing system further keeps your feet locked in over its footbeds.
The PG5 outsole features a multi-directional tread pattern that excels in outdoor courts. The weave-like design of these light basketball shoe outsole properly catches your movements when playing on abrasive surfaces, allowing continuous stop-and-go maneuvers even after jumps.
Last but not least, the colorways on these Nike basketball low tops are stylish and eye-catching, ranging from colorful to more sober options. Feel free to use them to round up sporty and casual outfits you haven’t used in a while!
The LeBron 15 Low Top Basketball Shoes
The LeBron 15 is not only amongst the best low top basketball shoes: it’s also considered one of the best LeBron shoes ever released. These high-performance sneakers introduced the flexible Battleknit upper to the collection and forever changed what Nike low-top basketball shoes looked and felt like.
The Zoom and Max Air technology combination in the sneaker’s midsole proved a major hit in the NBA and amateur courts. LeBron shoes are known for their fantastic cushioning and traditionally high-top design, but the LeBron 15 low top basketball shoes changed the game. Somehow, these sneakers combine outstanding shock-absorption with the unrivaled ankle mobility that only Nike low cut basketball shoes can deliver. It’s a superb choice for players that value both cushioning and freedom of movement since it offers the best of both worlds.
The Puma Clyde Hardwood Low Cut Basketball Shoes
The Clyde Hardwood is Puma’s signature comeback product after a 20-year hiatus from the basketball gear scene. These sneakers are one of the best low top basketball shoes in terms of performance, breathability, and overall looks. The full-length ProFoam technology offers fantastic energy return on each stride and jump, while the forefoot webbing provides next-level support and stability on cuts and cross-overs.
The materials used on these low-top basketball shoes are top-tier. Not only are they one of the lightest basketball shoes to debut on the hardwood, but they’re also soft, breathable, and durable on the outside. The vintage looks provide that off-court drip you can flex during the weekends or incorporate into your college party outfits when the mood strikes.
The Nike PG2 Lightweight Basketball Shoes
The Nike PG2 is, without question, one of the best low top basketball shoes ever released. Paul George said, “I got my hands full, but I got the right shoes for the job” when asked about these shoes. If the endorsement of a legendary seven-time NBA All-Star sounds impressive, then wait until we dive into the sneaker’s specs.
The PG2 low-top basketball shoes directly improve every single feature that the highly successful PG1 had. The new stretch zone in the forefoot comes with dynamic wings to enhance the overall support and lockdown feel around your feet. This new system delivers superior lateral stability to execute explosive offensive moves and smooth defensive blocks throughout the game.
The Zoom Air 10mm bags underneath the sock liner coupled with the full-length rubber outsole offers cushioning and grip that rivals the best traction basketball shoes out there. As if that wasn’t enough, The Nike PG2 lightweight basketball shoes are terrific on-court performers that come with an affordable price tag, especially when you consider the high-quality materials it uses.
Whether it’s purely psychological or not, most players agree that the best low top basketball shoes offer that much-needed freedom of movement they need on the court. While Kobe may have spearheaded the lightweight basketball shoes revolution, players like Steph Curry and James Harden keep The Mamba’s legacy alive even today.
You’ll be happy to know that the best low top basketball shoes get featured in the best fashion websites for men as essential footwear. You can flex these fashionable sneakers at the gym or during your next date, knowing that you’re wearing the best that the sports and fashion industry can offer!