If you quickly want to know my recommendation for the best high top basketball shoes, then go for the Nike Air Jordan 34.
Whether it’s Nike, Adidas or Under Armour, high tops have been a staple in the NBA both on and off the court. And if you are looking for some new high-top basketball shoes for your next ball game, you have come to the right place.
In this article, I will be reviewing the following best high top basketball shoes that you can get your hands on:
- Nike Air Jordan 34
- Adidas Men’s Pro Bounce
- Adidas Dame 5
- Nike LeBron 17
- Nike Kyrie 7
- Nike Air Zoom GT Jump
How To Choose Good High Top Basketball Shoes
If you are looking to upgrade your basketball shoes and uplift your playing experience, it is important to understand some of the important factors when picking out the best high-top basketball shoes for you.
Basketball shoe buyers should not limit their options solely on brand names. Brands like Puma and New Balance may produce cool-looking basketball shoes but they may not be suitable for you.
With that being said, let me break down some of the things to consider to help you find your signature high top basketball shoe.
If you are new to this term, it simply refers to the shoe’s outsole pattern and how well it resists slipping and sliding.
To find the best high tops, you have to look at the following criteria:
- Surface type
- Design pattern
- Rubber composition
Often, the surface type is dependent on the type of playing ground, whether it’s indoors, outdoors, or on your driveway.
The designs are not just for style but are also for practicality. The traditional herringbone pattern is optimal as it responds well to multi-directional footwork and lateral movements.
Rubber comes in different levels of hardness and grip strength, depending on the quality and density.
You want to feel good while playing and don’t want to feel like you are playing on bricks.
Some of the high top basketball shoes have an additional cushion or padding, and each one will give you an extra level of bounce. These are the types of shoes that I will be looking for in this review.
You can plant your heel to the ground to test the bounciness of the basketball shoe soles.
The overall fit of the shoe is important too. For me, it is considered a good quality basketball sneaker if the materials allow your foot to breathe without suffocating it.
Support refers to the shoe’s ability to bear your weight and the weight of your foot while moving and sliding. The sturdier the shoe, the more support you will get.
You also want to make sure the shoes are tough enough to withstand wear and tear, which is another sign of quality.
Of course, you would have shoes that are durable, and that would last as long as possible.
It is best to find basketball shoes made with sturdy but breathable materials because who knows how often you will be running and jumping on the court.
It is inevitable that all shoes go through wear and tear over time, so you might as well find a pair that will last as long as possible.
6 Best High Top Basketball Shoes
The following shoes are the best high-top basketball shoes available on the market. These high top shoes will surely elevate your overall basketball experience.
Let’s start with one of the most iconic Jordan sneakers in the NBA, the Air Jordan 34.
Continuing the line of Air Jordan-branded sneakers, this pair of Air Jordan sports amazing traction on the court. You will not have to worry about slipping or sliding with these.
The Air Jordan 34 works well on all court types, indoors and outdoors, but you will see wear on the outsole more on outdoor courts, making this shoe more meant for indoor courts.
The cushioning consists of a snug and lightweight phylon midsole.
Like with any pair of basketball sneakers, they will take time to break in, but once they do, they will feel like you are playing on-air thanks to its lightweight feature.
The Jordan 34 uses a full-length Zoom Air Strobel unit to make your shoe feel bouncier than usual, but the protrusion will cause a bit of wobble in the underfoot.
Either way, it provides great stability on the court, similar to how NBA stars rock AJ 34 on the hardcourt.
The leno-weave materials make the shoe see-through and breathable. If you want to sport a cool pair of socks while wearing these, the paper-thin material will let you do so.
Your foot will be well-contained and protected, thanks to the solid support of the midsole.
Overall, this is a great pick if you want a long-lasting and durable pair of basketball shoes and high tops.
- Super lightweight and well-ventilated
- Great traction
- Snug midsole
- Does not gather dust easily and can easily be removed
- Expensive; priced higher compared to others in this list
- Sizing may be tricky
- Not the best for outdoors
Leave it to Adidas to give us some of the best high-top basketball shoes on shelves, and the Pro Bounce is no exception.
In terms of traction, I’d say that this pair is indeed phenomenal. Regardless of the playing surface, your game will not be affected, even with dust.
You also get a perfect balance of responsiveness, bounce, and impact protection.
It is a big plus for me when high tops do not require break-in time, and these shoes are an example of that. One slip inside, and you’re good to go.
The Pro Bounce is a very light shoe, which is great for smaller players, making it one of the best basketball shoes for people in the smaller height category.
The materials are flexible and breathable for extra comfort. This is what I love about the Adidas Pro Bounce.
If you want materials that feel more premium instead of cheaply made, then consider other high tops in this list, but other than that, you will not be disappointed with this one.
- Does not gather dust easily
- No break-in time
- Responsive shoe
- Material may feel a little cheap
Some shoes have disappointing traction, but the Dame 5 is really good for an outdoor shoe.
You get a lot of grip and rarely have any slip or slide.
These basketball shoes have a great heel-to-toe transition with a good amount of flex, so running with these will be no problem.
Onto the cushion, the Dame 5 uses full-length soft cushioned padding to protect your midsole. You may feel a little too much compression at first, but it breaks in after more usage.
Material-wise, the stitching provides a lot of ankle support. The ankle padding gives a great level of lockdown and protection, and that’s what endeared me to this pair.
Not perfect quality, but it gets the job done for a budget price.
However, the shoes are on the larger side, so for some, the fit may not be snug and may take some time to break in as well.
- Budget pricing
- Nice and snug fit
- Responsive shoe
- Bouncy midsole
- Not the best in terms of durability
The Nike LeBron 17 is one of my all-time favorite high top basketball shoes.
But, for now, let’s start with the lowest point of this shoe, which is traction.
Because the outsole pattern is made of little blocks (resembling the top of a crown, since, you know, the King) instead of herringbone, the feeling may not be very consistent.
To put it in perspective, you will get a good amount of stops on a clean court, but it may seem like the opposite on a dusty one.
You will feel a noticeable slide on a dusty court, even when you play lightly, which might be a concern for some.
But the plus points of these LeBron basketball shoes are the cushioning and the top quality materials used.
The amount of compression you get is insane, thanks to the Max Air unit and Zoom unit for a good amount of bounce and impact protection.
The mesh-like material conforms to your foot very well and feels comfortable and light.
You can always count on big men like LeBron James to drop another signature shoe that is oozing with style.
- Good cushioning setup
- Gives a lot of bounce
- Quite expensive
- Poor traction
- Poor court feel due to the outsole
5. Nike Kyrie 7
Kyrie Irving’s signature shoe, the Nike Kyrie 7, is a well-rounded high top basketball shoe that puts a lot of emphasis on responsiveness and mobility.
Thanks to the ever-reliable Zoom Air units, the comfort of these shoes is noteworthy. If you like to jump a lot while you play, your feet will be forever grateful.
The fit gives you a good lockdown as well, so your feet will be able to move freely without being restricted.
Ventilation and traction are good but not perfect.
You will get a good grip but may also feel a slight slipping from time to time. Despite its lightweight feature, your feet will get a little sweaty, but for what it’s worth, it won’t matter much.
Unfortunately, the Nike Kyrie shoes are not the most durable.
The Kyrie 7s are best suited for indoor courts, and you are likely to find more wear and tear on an outdoor court.
They are also not designed for longevity. The more I wear these, the sooner I will have to replace them. So I am very conscious of wearing these outdoors.
- Great comfort
- Provide a lot of mobility
- Snug fit
- Not the best in terms of durability
- Inconsistent traction
The Nike Zoom GT Jump is a pair that you must try out for yourself.
To start things off, let’s first get into what makes this shoe a must-try: the cushioning.
These basketball sneakers almost make you feel like jumping on a trampoline, hence the name Jump.
You can feel the latest technology and material being used in the cushion of this shoe.
If you are a player who does a lot of jumping and rebounding during the game, this shoe is a great choice; thanks to its Zoom Air properties.
Despite the amount of Zoom Air cushioning, the Nike shoe is very light and offers excellent impact protection.
I will have to take a few points away from traction, however.
Although there is a good grip on most surfaces, you may feel a slight slip now and then, especially on dusty courts.
Luckily, it won’t be enough to cause serious injuries.
In terms of materials, this Nike shoe cleverly uses Jumpwire mixed with mesh for breathability and more stability while you play.
On foot, it feels super lightweight but supportive and snug without compromising your movement.
Without a doubt, the Nike Air GT Jumps are one of the best high top shoes to cop if you are looking to deliver on bounciness.
- Best cushioning for jumping and rebounding
- Ample impact protection
- Smooth heel-to-toe transition
- Zoom Air units provide maximum cushioning
- Traction may not be the best
- For some players, the bounciness may be a little distracting
The Awesome Choice
Here’s a quick recap on what I would recommend as the best high top basketball shoes to buy.
The Adidas Dame 5 is a solid performer if you want to save money.
It is expensive to manufacture top quality basketball shoes with all the new technologies, but this pair is an exception because of its affordable price.
The Adidas Pro Bounce basketball shoes are some of the best shoes that Adidas has pumped out. Tight grip, balance, weight, protection, extra support, plus some extra points for style.
It is a great value high top basketball shoe that you will not regret copping.
You can always count on Nike, probably the most popular basketball shoe brand, to give us one of the best basketball shoes.
I’d say that Nike Air Jordan 34 is arguably the best Nike Air Jordan high tops. With excellent cushioning, quality materials, and high durability, the Nike Air Jordan 34 is the most comfortable shoe you can get your hands on if price is not an issue for you.
There you have it; my list of the best high-top basketball shoes.
Whether it’s Nike, Adidas or Under Armour, finding the best basketball shoes and more so high tops requires time, effort, and sometimes trial and error.
But I do hope this list was helpful nonetheless.
Who knows? Soon, you may find yourself playing like some of the greatest basketball players, like LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, and more.
Don’t forget to practice hard and keep improving your skills to bring your game to the next level.