Best Nike Low Top Basketball Shoes In 2021

best low top basketball shoes

Before Nike launched Kobe Bryant’s first signature low-cut shoes in 2008, high tops were more popular in the NBA. However, the popularity of low tops has surged ever since.

Low cuts are known for allowing flexible ankle movements and quicker response time on the court. And Nike has been at the forefront of the basketball footwear tech, churning out model after model of performance low cut basketball shoes.

In this list, we’ll check out the best Nike low-cut basketball shoes that deliver an all-round performance.

Best Nike Low Top Basketball shoes Review

1. Jordan Youth AIR 1 Low – Gym Red Black Pebbled

Nike air jordan 1 low top basketball shoes

A casual take on Michael Jordan’s first signature shoes, this Air Jordan 1 Low combines the style and comfort that the Jumpman collection is known for.

The gym red and black of the Chicago Bulls and a nice looking Swoosh on the lateral adds a trendy appeal. You have the number 23 on the laces and the Jumpman logo on the tongue for a signature shoe vibe.  

The iconic Air-sole tech in the midsole provides plush cushioning, giving you that sinking, memory foam-like feeling.

The major drawback is the minimal padding in the ankle area, which isn’t as comfortable as the Airforce 1.

Main Features

  • Chicago Bulls’ black and red colorway with a black Swoosh
  • Air-sole tech for comfort
  • Ingrained leather upper for durability

Pros

  • Cool color blocking
  • Extremely comfortable for daily wear
  • Versatile design
  • Top-notch materials
  • Classic design

Cons

  • Soft leather creases easily
  • Stiff heel

 Verdict

The Air Jordan 1 Low is an all-round great shoe. The hot colorway makes it a great lifestyle shoe, while the classic design stays trendy for long, making it a valuable addition for sneakerheads.

 2.  Air Force 1 Women’s Basketball ShoeNIKE Women’s Shoe

nike low top women's basketball shoe

These Airforce 1 ’07 women’s shoes offer the same charms that made the original silhouette one of the best basketball shoes in history. This women’s shoe excels in terms of comfort and versatility.

The low cut provides a classic look, while the rippled leather lends a clean, slimmer line and refined details. 

For durability and support, these Nike basketball shoes for women feature external layers on the leather and fabric upper. The Airforce 1 ’07 has perforated inserts for breathability, keeping your feet fresh and dry.

The major highlight is the versatile design that goes with anything — both casual and semi-formal outfits. A metallic “AF-1” is sewn on to complete the iconic look.

Main Features

  • Leather upper with a mesh inner lining provides durability
  • Solid white outsole adds style and provides traction
  • Nike Air cushioning and padded tongue and collar for plush comfort

Pros

  • High-quality construction
  • Attractive colorways
  • Versatile design 
  • Reasonable price point
  • Comfy

Cons

  • Size runs smaller
  • Tightness in the toe box 
  • Chunky outsole

Verdict

If you need basketball shoes that never go out of style, this stylish AF1 delivers. They uphold the model’s reputation for comfort and durability. The classic and simple design pairs with a variety of clothing. 

3. Nike Men’s Kobe Mamba Focus Basketball Shoe – Men Kobe Momba Focus Basketball Shoe

Nike Men's Kobe Mamba Focus low top Basketball Shoe

Homage to Kobe Brian’s sportsmanship, these Kobe Manna Focus Basketball shoes are made for competitive basketball games. Similar to the Kobe 6, the snakeskin-like upper provides stability and control. TPU eyelets shaped like snake eyes lend to the mamba-inspired design.  

The low-profile outsole keeps you close to the hardwood, helping you maintain a good feel of the court. These basketball shoes feature Zoom Air unit, which Nike claims helps cushion hard landings.

With molded Swoosh-shaped outrigger and an external heel cage, the Mamba Focus keeps you contained without excess weight. The low-top design gives freedom of movement to your ankles.

Main Features

  • A low profile helps you maintain a feel for the court
  • Zoom Air cushioning unit provides responsive support for hard landings
  • Embossed upper enhance containment and stability
  • Low top design provides lightweight support for your ankles

Pros

  • Premium look and feel
  • Excellent outdoor option
  • Great support and lockdown
  • Solid ground grip
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Budget-friendly signature shoes

Cons

  • Traction not impressive on clean courts
  • Cushioning offers poor compression and bounce

Verdict

Though this Mamba Focus offers a premium feel, the cushioning and traction are below par compared to competitors like Adidas Dame 5 or Nike PG3. However, its sleek design and high-quality construction have garnered praises from buyers.

4. Nike Men’s Air Force 1 ’07 An20 Basketball Shoe – Men air force 1 ’07

Nike Men's Air Force 1 low top basketball shoe

This men’s version of the Air force 1 07 basketball classic shoes offer the same appeal as the original Airforce 1 with the detail and comfort of modern shoemaking technology.

Airbags in the sole absorb shock while allowing for a better grip and sprint, letting you conquer both the streets and the basketball courts.

The Airforce 1s are known for their spacious toe box that provides extra wiggle room for the toes, ideal for wearers with wide feet.

This low-cut Airforce 1 can be your go-to sneakers for everyday wear. The clean silhouette and monochromatic look make it versatile for pairing with casual wear, semi-formal pieces, or even your favorite team jerseys.

Main Features

  • Encapsulated Nike Air cushioning unit for lightweight cushioning
  • Elegant and classic aesthetics
  • Strategically placed overlays provide durability, fit, and support
  • Perforations throughout for breathability

Pros

  • High-quality construction
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Roomy toe box
  • Excellent traction
  • Perforations on the toe box
  • Versatile design

Cons

Not lightweight

Verdict

Though more of a lifestyle shoe than for competitive games, the Nike Air Force 1 07 excels in many ways. It’s affordable and flexible enough to combine with a variety of outfits, and very comfortable.

5. Nike Air Jordan 1 Basketball Shoes

nike air jordan 1 low top basketball shoe

This remake of the iconic Air Force 1 offers a stylish and sporty look that will trend for a long time. The sturdy leather upper provides enhanced containment, while the low-cut silhouette lets your foot move freely.

Like other versions of the AF1, the Air Jordan 1sneaker features an encapsulated heel Air-sole for responsive cushioning. The rubber outsole has deep flex grooves for flexibility and traction for those sudden, sharp cuts.

With a premium build, retro vibe, and attractive colorways, this Air Force 1 Retro Low is perfect with virtually any outfit. The bold Swoosh on both the medial and lateral side lends a trendy appeal.

Main Features

  • Encapsulated heel Air-sole for responsive cushioning
  • The rubber outsole has deep flex grooves for flexibility and traction
  • Bold Swoosh on both the medial and lateral side lends a trendy appeal

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Comfortable
  • Great fit
  • Impressive traction

Cons

  • Minimal support and lockdown
  • Not the most durable
  • The fit feels a bit tight

Verdict

The Air Jordan 1 Retro Low offers a classy design, premium build, and overall comfort. Sneakerheads and Air Jordan fans who need a unique pair of Air Jordan will find this a great addition to their basketball shoe collection.

6. Nike Men’s Shoes PG 5 Black CW3143-001

Nike Men's PG 5 Black low top basketball shoe

The PG5 features the same lacing system for foot lookdown, a multidirectional tread pattern seen in the PG4. These Nike basketball shoes are made for players who prefer lightweight, responsive, and streamlined shoes for whatever positions they play.

The PG5 is extremely comfy, thanks to the Air Dot Strobel unit. With a wide base and large outrigger, the PG5 provides great lockdown and lateral support. And though not premium, the material is lightweight and breathable.

Unfortunately, the traction doesn’t bite hard like the Kobe 9, but it has a solid ground grip.

Main Features

  • Full-length Nike Air Strobel delivers flexible cushioning
  • Multidirectional tread pattern for reliable traction
  • Lacing system for foot lockdown

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Great court feel and performance
  • Impressive traction
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Looks great

Cons

  • Arch support and durability could be better
  • Feels pretty rigid
  • Materials feel cheap
  • Tight fit

Verdict

Overall, the PG5 provides a solid launching platform for players that need lots of cushioning.  However, the outsole is not durable enough for outdoor games. Also, while the PG5 isn’t as plush as the PG4, it provides a better court feel, responsiveness, and lateral support.

7. Nike Men’s Shoes Zoom Freak 2 -Black

Nike Men's Shoes Zoom Freak 2 low top basketball shoe

Mimicking the ferocity of NBA Defensive player Giannis Antetokounmpo, this Nike Zoom Freak 2 offers maximum ankle support and speed. The outrigger design of the sole allows for more stability and explosivity.

The Freak 2 fits a big snugly, providing ankle support. The multidirectional outsole performs well on the hardwood as well as outdoors. In terms of style, the Freak 2 features a more traditional midsole and sleeker shoe structure compared to its predecessor.

The vintage Freak logo completes the sporty vibe, while a small strap at the back provides more heel support.

The high point of these shoes is the lockdown in both the heel and lateral positions, ensuring no foot slippage during hard slides and stops. The plastic outsole extends up the heel area to act as a heel counter, keeping your foot in place.

 Main Features

  • Zoom Air Technology for lightweight responsiveness
  • Web lacing on the forefoot for a lockdown fit
  • A large reverse Swoosh accent
  • TPU Forefoot clips

Pros

  • Comfortable and roomy
  • Secure lockdown
  • Excellent ankle support
  • Lightweight frame and firm sole
  • Multidirectional traction
  • Great court feel

Cons

  • Lacks midfoot shank
  • Tight around the ankles
  • Poor ventilation
  • Needs breaking in
  • Minimal shock impact

Verdict

The Nike Zoom Freak is an affordable signature shoe with all-round performance. It delivers maximum ankle support and speed. You get decent performance in terms of fit, lockdown, and traction. Besides, users have commended the great court feel and performance.

8. Nike Kyrie Flytrap Men’s Basketball Shoes – Best for Money

nike mens low top basketball shoes

This budget version of the Kyrie 4 mirrors the same tech—knitted and breathable mesh, Zoom Air cushioning at the forefoot, and curved midsole for stability.

The Kyrie Flytrap is a great performer at an affordable price point. The woven cloth upper with additional stitching provides extra strength, firm flex, and stability.

The insole cushion is minimal. You get the phylon and small Hex Zoom Air that only covers the ball of the big toe. The modified herringbone traction sole, however, provides a solid grip.

The textured Nike Swoosh and Nike logo improve the aesthetics, while the asymmetrical burrito-style tongue adds comfort and makes the shoe easier to wear and pull off. 

Main Features

  • Injected Phylon midsole with Zoom Air Unit for flexible cushioning
  • Modified herringbone outsole on the outsole for traction
  • Asymmetrical burrito-type tongue for customizable fit and easy entry
  • Woven mesh upper for durability and breathability

Pros

  • Breathable design
  • Cool colorways
  • Great for wide feet
  • Durable construction
  • Works

Cons

  • Loose fit
  • Impact protection is lacking
  • Traction could be better

Verdict

Overall, the Kyrie Flytrap is a solid performance shoe on-court, offering enhanced grip, lockdown, and responsive cushioning. It is stylish, lightweight, and made with cool materials, offering a sleek look. This Nike basketball shoe is ideal for explosive perimeter players looking for a minimalist shoe with maximum responsiveness and rides very low to the ground.

 9. Nike Men’s Air Marvin Low Basketball Shoe

Nike Men's Air Mavin Low top Basketball Shoe

The Nike Air Marvin Low is a great entry-level basketball shoe that offers value for money. You get the maximum blend of breathability, durability, and impact cushioning. The upper part is made of synthetic leather and breathable mesh side panels, lending a retro vibe.

For enhanced impact protection, the Air Marvin Low has an encapsulated Nike Air unit at the heel. And the herringbone pattern on the outsole provides a solid ground grip on both hardwood and the blacktop.  

The Air Marvin rides low to the ground, thanks to the Phylon midsole. It’s a great option for quick guards.

Main Features

  • Low profile silhouette with a rounded toe box
  • Phylon midsole for cushioned comfort
  • Encapsulated Air-sole unit provides enhanced impact protection
  • Molded sockliner delivers form-fitting support
  • Durable outsole with herringbone pattern for solid ground grip
  • Half-bootie construction with padded collar

Pros

  • Impressive design
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Excellent traction
  • Great support

Cons

  • Tight fit
  • Cushioning is not responsive enough for basketball

 Verdict

Despite its budget-friendly pricing, the Nike Air Marvin Low gets the job done on and off the court. The blend of leather and synthetic material is stylish and holds up to daily use. These Air Marvin low look great and make for affordable casual and activewear for your daily activities.

10. Nike Unisex Child Basketball Shoes

nike unisex child low top basketball shoe

These Nike unisex basketball shoes for kids offer a sturdy and comfortable option for everyday use. They are super convenient to put on. With the lace-up closure and adjustable hook-and-loop strap, no tying of lace, just straps on.

The wide fit makes it perfect for kids with wide feet. For a stylish, trendy look, this basketball shoe features Nike Swoosh and logo details. The perforation detail on the toe provides ventilation, while the padded collar and tongue offer plush comfort.

These Nike child basketball shoes have soft lining with comfort footbed, wrapping your feet in plush comfort. And the rubber outsole helps prevent slipping.

Main Features

  • Breathable Lace-up closure adjustable hook and loop strap
  • Padded collar and tongue provide comfort
  • Nike Swoosh and logo details for a trendy vibe
  • Perforations on the toe box for ventilation
  • Rubber outsole prevents slipping
  • Soft lining with comfort footbed

Pros

  • Perfect for wide feet
  • Sturdy and firm construction
  • Easy to strap on
  • Cute everyday shoes for kids
  • True to size
  • Versatile design

Cons

  • Plus sizes don’t have Velcro

Verdict

This Nike unisex basketball shoe is convenient for kids to wear on and take off and versatile for various activities. Whether playing tennis or basketball, running, or daily outdoor walking, they hold up to use. 

Check out the best mid top basketball shoes out there.

FAQ

Are low-tops better for basketball?

Low tops allow for more movement during a game, ideal for players who make cutting movements and need a lot of speed. Studies have shown that low tops can provide more flexibility in ankle movement, as there’s no delay in the muscle’s reaction to an ankle turn. However, high tops are best for players in charge of rebounding the basketball. They require less muscular effort during muscle activation. Regardless of the top height, a proper locked-in fit is more important for performance and overall safety.

Is Nike Zoom Rize good for basketball?

The Nike Zoom Rize is a versatile basketball shoe. It has excellent traction on clean courts. But on dusty courts, you will have to wipe from time to time. Though the 10mm Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot provides bounce and flexibility, the court feel is not impressive. Many users have mentioned slight issues in quick lateral cuts, but the heel support is great.

Are Nike running shoes good for basketball?

Nike running shoes are not designed for fast, agile movements and jumping like basketball shoes. They are made for repeated motions. However, basketball shoes have a rigid sole and thick midsole cushioning and ankle support, allowing you to land from a rebound without turning your ankle or putting pressure on your feet.

Do low tops make you faster?

With high-top shoes, the extra fabric meant to protect your ankles may delay your movement. Low tops have a quicker response time than high-tops. If you’re a guard, you get that extra inch while jumping or running. However, high tops provide more support for big men when they’re on a rebound.

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by Janice T. Strauss
Janice is fashion designer and model for 7 years. She is working as an outfit and fashion expert with various brands and fashions houses. She is a mom of 2 children and a lovely human being.

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