It’s been a while since the Kobe IV, a low top signature, made its debut. Five years later, lows are still considered taboo on-court.
Statistically speaking, there are more injuries (ankles especially) from those that wear mid or high top sneakers on-court versus low tops but even then most players are too scared to try a pair out for themselves. If you are one of those players, let me put your mind at ease with The Best Low Cut Basketball Shoes Available Now. If you are going to try out a pair of lows on-court, one of these should be your first.
Nightwing2303 is the owner / publisher of KicksOnCourt and contributor to Sneaker Report. He hoops on the regular and loves sneaker tech as much as he loves food, and he really loves his food. You can keep up with Nightwing2303′s on and off court adventures on Twitter and Instagram.
No. 10 - Air Jordan XI Retro Low
Some hoopers love balling in retro sneakers and there is one that usually sticks out in everyone’s mind when they think of basketball and Retro, the Air Jordan XI.
If you wanted to keep things classic then the recent Retro editions of the Air Jordan XI Low is a great on-court model. They feature a secure fit, durable upper, comfortable full length Air cushion and great traction.
No. 9 - Air Jordan XI Retro Low IE
The Air Jordan XI is a classic but the Air Jordan XI Low IE was the first Air Jordan to release in low top form since the Air Jordan 2. Much like the aforementioned retro, this will boast the same top notch performance while providing you with classic Retro styling but with one major noticeable difference— ventilation. These are great whether you are indoor or outdoor and they can usually be found for retail or slightly less if you hunt via eBay auction.
No. 8 - Nike KD V Elite
The KD V was nice but it left most wishing they would have kept things low. If you like Zoom Air and a super secure fit then the KD V Elite is the way to go. Ventilation is sacrificed a bit but everything else – once broken in – performs beautifully. You can find these now at most Nike Basketball retailers but if you wait a little longer then you can scoop them up for the low since the KD VI is about to release next week.
No. 7 - Nike Hyperdunk 2011/ 2012 Low
We’ve already established that the Nike Hyperdunk line is one of the most versatile when it comes to on-court performance per player position and if you wanted to try a great fitting low top then the Hyperdunk – much like their higher cut predecessor – is a great place to start.
The Hyperdunk 2011 is the best option for those who wish to have Zoom Air as their cushion source while the Hyperdunk 2012 is great for ballers that love foam cushion like Lunarlon.
No. 6 - Li-Ning Way of Wade
Quite possibly one of the best performance shoes that is not widely available. Sure, they aren’t quite a low but they also aren’t much of a mid either. The Li-Ning Way of Wade offers great fit, one of the best fitting leather shoe I’ve ever worn, and pretty good traction depending on court conditions. Cushion is low to the ground for good coverage while maintaining court fee and they aren’t too bad looking. The only problem now is tracking down a pair.
No. 5 - Jordan CP3.VI AE
If you have a need for speed then the Jordan CP3.VI AE is what you’ve been yearning for. The original Jordan CP3.VI was nearly perfect and the AE version picked up the slack where the originals lacked. Nice forefoot cushion, great fit, moderate ventilation and some of the best traction around.
No. 4 - Nike Zoom Kobe IV
The Nike Zoom Kobe IV was my favorite Guard shoe for years after it debuted. There are obviously some better options now but this is the shoe that really broke the mold when it came to low tops and basketball. We’ve always had lows available throughout the years but having a signature line feature the low cut was pretty rare, it turns out the leap of faith paid off as these have one of the best fits and traction around. Yes, even by today’s standards. Only thing they lack is long lasting forefoot cushion but personally, the Lunar Foam feels as close to custom as possible.
No. 3 - Nike Zoom Kobe VI
The Kobe IV is one of my favorites to this day. Once the insole molds to your foot, the feeling the shoe brings is amazing. Cushion is great, traction is good while the fit and ventilation are well above average. This was one shoe that I wore until they fell apart and that is something that I rarely get to do anymore.
No. 2 - Nike Zoom Kobe V
The Nike Zoom Kobe V is the best fitting Kobe out of the entire line… period. The upper doesn’t last too long but while it’s in one piece, it’s amazing. Same cushion setup as the Kobe VI, forefoot met Zoom unit and heel Zoom unit, which is a great setup for Guards or players that love court feel. Only thing these really lack is great traction but if you are an indoor hooper that plays on well-kept floors then you’ll be perfectly fine.
No. 1 - Nike Kobe 8 SYSTEM
They aren’t the perfect low top shoe but they’re as close as they’ve come. Trying new things is great but sometimes you end up with a shoe that misses the mark a little… like the Kobe VII. The Kobe 8 on the other hand is amazing. Who knew that Engineered Mesh would ever work on a basketball shoe let alone a low top basketball shoe? Cushion is great and if you dislike Lunarlon then there are Zoom Air versions of the shoe available to accommodate that preference. Traction is the shoes downfall but not in the way you would typically think. It works great but if you love to hoop outdoors then you will want to stick with one of the models featured in the 6-10 spot on the list.