So, when it comes to basketball shoes, there are both high top and low top basketball shoes, with both of them currently being in style. A decade ago, it was the high-top basketball shoe that reigned supreme, and for good reason, but nowadays this has changed. Sure, many players still wear high top basketball shoes, but there also seem to be just as many which now wear low top basketball shoes. So really, what are the best shoes for basketball?
So, is there a difference when it comes to low top vs high top basketball shoes? Is one better than the other? It’s what we are here to figure out right now.
Low Top Basketball Shoes
Low top basketball shoes are of course ones which stop below the ankle, or in other words, they do not cover the ankle. Let’s go over the main talking points here and why this may be both good and bad, depending on the player in question.
Free Movement – One benefit that you do get from low top basketball shoes is that they do tend to be more maneuverable and allow for quick turns and explosive speed. Simply put, your ankle joint is not impeded by a thick fabric collar covering it. In other words, because your ankle is not covered, you have a much wider range of motion and more flexibility, thus making it easier and more comfortable to jump, make quick turns, and all of that other fun stuff. They are more flexible and easier to wear.
Less Weight – Something else to keep in mind here is that low top basketball shoes are going to be much lighter than high tops. Sure, that extra fabric might only make a difference of a few hundred grams, but as any basketball player knows, when it comes to dunking and jump shots, even a little bit of weight can make a big difference. When it comes to big jumps, it’s definitely the low top basketball shoe that wins this debate. They are lighter, easier to maneuver in, and therefore you can lift off much higher off the ground.
Cooler – Yet another advantage to wearing low top basketball shoes is that they are also much cooler. If you think about it, all that fabric on a high top basketball shoe is going to create a lot of warmth, it can make your feet really sweaty, and it might also contribute to causing blisters too.
This is not really something you have to worry with low top basketball shoes, because having less fabric means that your feet have more exposure to air and can breathe easier. It’s another reason why low top shoes are way more comfortable.
Less Protection – On the other side of the equation, low top basketball shows are often considered to be much less safe and more dangerous than high top basketball shoes. Simply put, if you happen to bang into something with your ankle, or somebody steps on it, with low top basketball shoes, there is nothing there to protect your ankle from getting banged up, bruised, and broken. There is just nothing there to offer protection, and that can be a problem.
No Ankle Support – The biggest reason why many basketball players still do not like low top basketball shoes is because they offer absolutely no ankle support. Twisted, sprained, and broken ankles are all very common injuries in basketball, and this problem is only made worse with low top shoes.
There is nothing there to support your ankle from rolling or moving a direction it shouldn’t be moving in, and for many players, that is a problem, and it does usually lead to higher incidences or injury.
High Top Basketball Shoes
High top basketball shoes, ones that totally cover the ankle and have a high cuff are still quite popular, and yes, they also have their pros and cons.
Better Ankle Support – Something to keep in mind with high top basketball shoes is that they do offer great support for the ankle. Because there is a large fabric cuff supporting the ankle, it’s much less likely that your ankle can roll, break, or move in the wrong direction. It’s all about supporting the ankle to prevent injuries.
Increase Level of Protection – On that same note, high top basketball shoes do offer you a shield for your ankle. It’s a fairly thick chunk of fabric, something that offers good protection in the event that somebody steps on your ankle or you bang into something. As you can see, in more ways than one, these high-top shoes can help prevent various injuries from occurring.
A Bit Heavier – A big downside to high top basketball shoes is that they are a fair bit heavier than low tops. All of that extra fabric does add a good deal of weight to the equation, and this can make it harder to jump and make split second movements.
More Restricting – High top basketball shoes can also be quite restricting. When compared to low top shoes, they have much less flexibility and movement capabilities. Simply put, you cannot move as fast in them due to all of that extra fabric covering the ankle joint.
Less Breathable – High top shoes have a lot of extra fabric, which then leads to more warmth, sweatier feet, and a more uncomfortable experience overall.
The bottom line is that whether you want to wear high top or low top basketball shoes really depends on you, what you are looking for, and what your goal is. On one hand, low top basketball shoes are lighter, easier to maneuver in, and cooler too, but they also don’t have ankle support and offer less protection for the ankle.
When it comes to high top basketball shoes, the exact opposite is the case, as they are heavier and harder to maneuver in, and they make your feet hotter too, but they also have ankle support and great ankle protection. So, once you figure out what is important to you, you can then make a choice and take your basketball training to the next level.