Basketball shoes are the most important tool on the court. Having the best low top basketball shoes provides a lot of advantages. It usually means better traction, better quickness, and more explosive steps around the defense. But don’t be fooled into thinking you need to sacrifice support for great low top shoes. Our list is heavily researched to find you the best low top basketball shoes of 2017 that combine everything in one package. Traction. Support. Cushion. Court-feel. And more.
Have fun and let us know what you think in the comments!
- 1 The Best Low Top Basketball Shoes Comparison Chart
- 2 The Best Low Top Basketball Shoes Reviews
- 2.1 1. Kobe KB Mentality 2 Shoes Review
- 2.2 2. Adidas Dame 3 Shoes Review
- 2.3 3. Adidas Harden Vol. 1 Shoes Review – best low top for wide feet
- 2.4 4. UA Curry 2 Low Shoes Review
- 2.5 5. Nike Air Max Infuriate Low Shoes Review – best outdoor low top shoe
- 2.6 6. Nike KD 9 Shoes Review
- 2.7 7. UA Clutchfit Drive 3 Low Shoes Review
- 3 Final Thoughts
The Best Low Top Basketball Shoes Comparison Chart
|Shoe||Our Ratings||Price||Review||See More|
|KB Mentality 2|
|$$||See Review||See on Amazon|
|$$||See Review||See on Amazon|
|$$$||See Review||See on Amazon|
|Curry 2 Low|
|$$$||See Review||See on Amazon|
|Nike Air Max Infuriate|
|$||See Review||See on Amazon|
|Nike KD 9|
|$$$$||See Review||See on Amazon|
|UA Clutchfit 3 Low|
|$$||See Review||See on Amazon|
The Best Low Top Basketball Shoes Reviews
- Legendary traction
- Lightest shoes at 9oz
- Solid cushion
- Lacking on support
- Not for weak ankles
These first two shoes on our list are basically equal. We just personally like the look of the KB’s better so it ranked #1 for us. The Mentality 2 shoes are a powerhouse in low top performers. In fact, not only is it here on this list, but the Mentality 2’s are also on this list of outdoor shoes and this list of lightweight shoes and this list for guard shoes.
The Mentality 2’s have insane traction!
That’s as straightforward as it gets. Kobe shoes tend to have really good traction, and these KB Mentality’s are no exception. In fact, they’re damn near legendary with only a few shoes qualifying for that category. The secret seems to be the unique traction pattern mixed with the hard and soft rubber sole. The rubber material clearly changes in different areas of the pattern and it’s for good reason. Clearly, every other shoe manufacturer should take notice and figure out how to build on this fantastic design.
The lightweight cushion is solid.
The KE Mentality’s are built with minimalism in mind. Weighing only 9oz, they definitely feel like a feather on your foot. That is a good and bad thing depending on the player. If you play hard and forceful, these may not feel like enough support. But if you’re a quick and nimble guard, these are perfect.
The cushion is a lightweight full-length Lunarion padding. It’s a great combination of weight and form fitting support. It won’t protect well against hard crashes from rebounds, but it responds well to changing direction and acceleration. It’s clearly a B+ type of cushion, but most people can live with that easily.
Support on the Mentality is lacking.
It’s not the worst support we’ve seen. And you expect a little less support on low top shoes anyway, but it’s important to discuss. If you’re a player with weaker ankles, don’t get low top shoes. They just don’t have the support you need. Instead, check out our list of ankle supporting shoes here.
For those who value speed and quickness over support, welcome to your gold standard. The Mentality’s are the best blend between quickness and support (favoring quickness). So for all the point guards and quick cutting backcourt players, these have what you need.
And the price is excellent
KB Mentality shoes have always run on the reasonable side of pricing. Not everyone wants to pay an arm and a leg for the latest LeBron shoes. Thankfully, we have great options like these shoes at a very reasonably price.
Feel free to check out the KB Mentality 2s on Amazon.
- Great price
- Great cushion
- Great traction
- Solid support
- Lack of color variety
The Dame 3 shoes are the dark horse of low top basketball shoes on our list. Few people think of Adidas being a great brand since they’ve lost so much market share to Nike and Under Armour. But don’t sleep on these Dame shoes. They’re everything you really want at a good price. And they have also made the list for guards and for outdoors.
The cushion on the Lillard 3 is fantastic.
It’s near the top of the list for best cushion ever in a basketball shoe. Seriously. Adidas went all out to create the new Bounce technology in last year’s Lillard 2 model and it worked wonders. Now they’re just keeping up the greatness. It’s a full length cushion that is both comfortable and responsive. It rides low to the ground but still gives you a soft landing and a bouncy feel when running. You will absolutely feel these shoes and love them under your feet. It just flows so smoothly.
The support is great for low top shoes.
Typically low top basketball shoes make a big sacrifice in support to get the lightweight design people want. Thankfully, the Dame’s don’t sacrifice much support for the same feel. It truly comes down to the impeccable lock-down of the laces that supports your foot. Most people think support comes from “high” profile shoes, but lock-down of the laces is far more important. When you lace up these Dames, your feet are completely engulfed by these shoes until you untie. It’s perfect.
Add in the excellent design of the heel counter to balance everything out and things keep getting better. What’s even more impressive is the base being wider than the upper. This unique feature keeps you stable even when you land awkwardly on someone’s foot. Support and fit are top notch with these Lillard 3s.
The traction is near legendary, even on dusty floors
Looking at the shoe, you’ll think “there’s no way that has any grip,” beacuse that’s what we thought. It just looks weird for a pattern. But wow did it shock the life out of us! It’s like having glue on your feet. It’s a dead stop immediately when you want it no matter which direction you take. Honestly, it’s the best traction of any 2017 shoe so far and is definitely in the discussion for best traction ever.
The price is great for the Dame 3 shoes.
Definitely a great value overall here. If you can get past the unusual color pattern, the Lillard shoes are a clear steal for quality.
Feel free to check out the Adidas Dame 3 shoes on Amazon.
3. Adidas Harden Vol. 1 Shoes Review – best low top for wide feet
- Solid traction
- Good cushion
- Great lock-down
- Inconsistent fit
- Limited colors
Another Adidas model making waves without people even realizing it. Everyone is hung up on LeBron’s or Kobe’s or KD’s or even Curry’s. Meanwhile, Adidas keeps pumping out very high quality shoes at very affordable prices. The first version of the Harden shoe is definitely a strong contender for low top shoes. And it should be considering how well James Harden has been playing recently.
Traction is solid on these Harden’s.
So bottom line is the traction is good. Not outstanding, but really good. The reason it’s not outstanding is because it was clearly created for Harden’s playing style. Harden uses a lot of step-backs, stutter steps, and long Euro-steps in his game. Those are tough moves to have great traction with and also have great overall traction. The pattern and design was mapped for Harden. So it’s very good traction for normal players and it’ll work great for you. Just beware that dusty floors can cause problems.
Cushion is another solid feature on these low-riding Harden’s.
Adidas is still dominating with their full length BOOST technology that revived their image a while back. These Harden’s are getting near the pinnacle of performance for BOOST. It absorbs impact great yet still has a very low feel to it. And it’s surprisingly bouncy for how low it feels (not the bounciest every, but decent). The BOOST is even supportive enough to keep you upright on hard cuts. When cushion is done wrong, too much plush can lead to rolled ankles. Harden’s are done right.
Fit and support are good…. except for some weird situations.
So some reviews are floating around that the fit is extremely inconsistent (even in the same pair of shoes). People have mentioned that one shoe fits long and the other short. Or one shoe feels wide while the other is narrow. The majority though see a solid fit on the Harden’s overall. The forefoot is a little wider than normal (wide footers rejoice). Everything else locks in perfectly on your normal fit size.
The heel is heavily padded for you and the lacing system works great. You’ll enjoy how locked in you feel in these Harden shoes.
Pricing is where it should be.
The price point of the Harden shoes is right where we expect it to be. It’s not too expensive. It’s a great performing shoe so it’s still a good value in our book.
Feel free to check out the Harden 1s here on Amazon.
- Excellent traction
- Responsive cushion
- Good fit
- Lacks good heel support
We’ve seen Under Armour take the Curry brand of basketball shoes to new heights recently. Not only in terms of performance, but also marketing. But let’s be clear, if the performance sucked, no amount of marketing could save it. Thankfully, performance has been great on the Curry brand and these Curry 2 Low’s are no different.
Traction is top 3 best all-time in shoes.
The Curry 2 original mid had arguably the top 3 best traction ever, and they kept the Low design the same. So that is a major plus. It’s a unique pattern that almost looks like a star, but it performs much better than we would assume. Combine the pattern with the soft rubber material and you are going to stop perfectly in every direction. Only major amounts of dust would hurt this traction pattern, but obviously the dust would destroy most other shoes. Don’t try taking these shoes outdoors though. That soft rubber that gives such great traction indoors will not last long outside.
Cushion is responsive and quick for guards.
What does it mean that cushion is responsive and quick? Well, it means when you power step forward (aka driving to the hoop), instead of feeling a plushy pillow type cushion that sinks you foot, you’ll feel a firmer push back from the cushion. Under Armour calls this type of their cushion Charged and it’s only improving. Micro G cushion is the more plush version that’s going to suit big centers and power forward more because it’s more impact protection. So if you play hard with lots of tough impact, these Curry Low’s are not for you. They’re meant for quicker guards and wings.
The fit is nearly perfect, but support overall is lacking.
The Curry 2 Low’s utilize a technology called SpeedForm as their building material. It’s a relatively common technology is many shoes so it’s not brand new to Under Armour. But their implementation in the Low’s is better than it’s ever been for UA. When you sink your foot in, you’ll feel the Speedform wrapping around your foot (especially the forefoot) and giving the impression of a custom fit.
But the heel support is where the Low’s lack. The original Curry 2 already had a “minimalist” approach to support. Under Armour only utilized the bare essentials for support in the heel counter which worked good for those originals. However, on the Low’s, UA changed the material used and heel support takes a step backward. If you are a heavy forefoot player, this won’t be too noticeable. But for most players this will matter.
The price is in line with most low top shoes.
Under Armour has always put the Curry brand in a reasonable price point and we have always appreciated that. Thankfully, the 2 Low’s are in the same boat. You’ll definitely enjoy the “bang-for-the-buck.”
Feel free to check out the Curry 2 Low’s here on Amazon.
5. Nike Air Max Infuriate Low Shoes Review – best outdoor low top shoe
- Good durability for outdoors
- Excellent traction
- Good ventilation
- Perfect fit
- Excellent price
- Cushion is lacking
The Nike Air Max Infuriate is the definition of a fantastic budget model shoe that no one even knows about. While everyone is busy with the signature models from Nike (LeBrons, KD, Kobe, etc.), these shoes hold their own with even the top signature models. Performance is key and these shoes have it. Plus they’re durable enough for outdoor play!
Traction here is excellent.
Another unique pattern on the traction pad, but this diamond model mixed with herringbone throughout is absolutely killer. It has all the right traction in all the right places. You’ll see the bottom has the diamond pattern throughout the shoe, but sprinkles in herringbone patterns around the ball of your feet and the outer edges. Why? Because that’s where you need maximum traction with cutting. Herringbone is still king in the “design of traction” world and it shows us why on these Nike’s.
Fit is perfect and support is solid.
These shoes fit like a glove. Nothing else really to say. Get your normal size and you’ll be locked in. Obviously, if you have wide feet feel free to try them on first. The lacing system was designed to pull your foot all the way back into the heel counter and it all just works. The support comes mainly from the strong midsole because there are extended side walls that give structure for your foot during hard cuts. The heel was brilliantly designed to wrap around your foot and give proper height support without sacrificing sturdy landings. Very impressive for budget models.
The cushion is lacking and takes time to break in.
These Nike’s utilize the Air Max style of cushion combined with Phylon for padding. Normally, Air Max cushion is made for bigger players, but they slimmed down the Air Max pads which improved the “guard feel.” And by adding a layer of Phylon, it provides a decent experience, but not great. First, the Phylon is stiff to begin with. It takes several games to finally break it in and feel the softer side of Phylon, and the experience gets much better.
The price is fantastic.
It’s the most budget friendly model on the list. And for the ratings we’ve given it, it’s a steal compared to the other top name brands on this list. Plus it doesn’t hurt to pick these up just for outdoor wear since they’re so cheap.
Feel free to check out more on the Air Max Infuriate’s here on Amazon.
- Great traction
- Near legendary cushion
- Lightweight (only 12 oz)
- Support is lacking
- Fit isn’t great
- Higher price
We all know Kevin Durant and we have all heard of his shoe line. These KD 9’s are a great addition to the family of Durant shoes. And they have already made another list for us on the lightweight shoes. Lastly, most people don’t know Kevin Durant has some form of flat feet, so if that’s something you need, stick with KD lines.
Traction is excellent on the KDs.
It’s deceiving when you look at the shoes. They look odd for traction and we weren’t sure how it would work. Thankfully, it’s fantastic. The traction bites hard and works well even in moderately dusty environments. It’s not legendary traction, but definitely top tier traction. We would expect nothing less from one of the best players in the NBA right now.
Cushion is legendary on the KD 9s.
Simply put, Nike dominated with these full length Max Zoom features. If you need good impact protection, you got it here. If you need smooth transition while running and cutting, you got it here. If you want responsive feelings, you got it here. It’s everything you want and need in cushion. Here’s the best part, you get all these features AND lose nothing in mobility and flexibility of the shoes. If cushion is the most important feature in shoes for you, these KD shoes are your top choice.
Fit and support are lacking on most KD models, and here too.
The construction of Durant’s shoes are the culprit for this. It’s a unique one-piece upper design that either fits perfectly, or not at all. You really need to find a store to try these on first. Most people have better feelings going down a half size. But, because the opening is so tight, they’re a pain to get on. If you wear ankle braces, definitely try the shoes on with the braces to see how it goes. Support is only good here if you get the fit correct. Messy fit will lead to terrible support.
The price is not desirable.
With the signature line, comes the signature price point. It’s a bit higher than most shoes on this list. Now, if you need great cushion on your feet, or you need better arch support, it’s worth the price.
Feel free to check out the KD 9’s here on Amazon.
- Good traction
- Good cushion
- Good Fit
- Lacking support
Under Armour comes in with their second major hit for low top shoes with these ClutchFit Drive Low’s. Some people may remember back before Steph Curry was the sensation he is now, Steph actually wore ClutchFit shoes. He was the major athlete wearing them before he got his signature line. So clearly the ClutchFit lineup has been doing well under the radar for a while.
Traction is solid on the Drive’s.
Another example of odd looking traction patterns actually working well. The ClutchFit’s have this unique mix of diamond-in-the-middle with herringbone everywhere else. Both the forefoot and heel have this diamond pattern that is designed to provide stable traction. Then the herringbone design helps with the wild movements of your outer and inner foot during cuts and slashes. It absolutely performs better than it looks and overall it’s a solid design. Definitely not the best on our list, but not bad at all.
Cushion is back to Micro G good.
If you’re a lifelong Under Armour basketball shoe fan, you’ll remember back when they invented the cushion style Micro G and it revolutionized cushions. It was everything you ever wanted in a shoe. Plushy but not too much. Responsive but not too stiff. Comfortable but not too heavy. It was amazing! Then, UA moved to a hybrid version of this which they called Charged. It was good for guards because it emphasized responsiveness, but it sacrificed cushion for bigger players impact. These Clutchfit 3s bring back the Micro G! And it’s fantastic….except not in the heel. For some reason, they swapped Micro G for Charged in the heel and it’s noticeable. If you land on your heel a lot, you’ll feel the difference and it’s just not the same. So it’s a bitter-sweet return for Micro G overall.
Support is minimalist approach and lacking.
Under Armour did all the basic things for support. It’s a good fitting shoe for the most part (true to size). It’s got the heel cup to keep the foot upright on hard cuts. It’s got the “bear trap” lacing style created by UA to lock in the foot correctly. It’s got a standard TPU shank to prevent torsion (aka forefoot going one way and heel going another). But the only real aspect preventing you from rolling an ankle is the traction on the wide-based forefoot. Not the greatest idea for us. It does the job OK if you’re a strong forefoot player, but definitely lacks for anyone dropping to the heel occasionally.
The price is good for most budgets.
We’ve definitely found some good low top shoes for the money, and these Clutchfit Drive 3 Low’s are right in that range. Not too high, but certainly not a cheap pair at all.
Feel free to check out the Clutchfit Drive 3 Low’s here on Amazon.
We really hope you’ve enjoyed this detailed breakdown of the best low top basketball shoes in 2017. We put a lot of work in to find and analyze these shoes. But we’re not perfect and can miss things sometimes. Feel free to leave a comment if you like our list or think we forgot something. We always love hearing your feedback.