For many years there has been a disagreement among basketball players as to which is the superior shoe for the game- high tops or low tops? Proponents of both types swear by them, and will not budge from their fiercely held beliefs. One might think you simply have to look at what professional players are wearing, but they are also suffering a fifty-fifty split on the subject, with half of them wearing high tops and the other half wearing low tops!

This has created quite a lot of confusion among young players who go to the store and wonder if they should get the Jordan high tops or the Jordan low tops (is there any other brand?)! Flip a coin? We have given this some thought and done a bit of research, and yes, there might be a better way to decide based on the physical demands of the game and the position you intend to play! Let’s take a closer look as we try to settle the high-top vs low-top debate beginning with each type’s pros and cons!

High Tops- These basketball shoes get their name from their distinctive high collar, which was designed as support and protection for the ankle.

The high-top pros are:

  • Excellent support for the ankle and knee joints
  • Soft-cushioning to protect the foot from impact
  • Rugged, durable design

The high-top cons are:

  • Their construction makes them heavier
  • Ankle movement is reduced
  • They slow down response time

Low Tops – These basketball shoes look a lot like tennis or running shoes, but they are actually quite different in their construction. Low tops are based on football boots that give the player flexibility and better movement about the pitch.

The Low-top pros are:

  • Better flexibility and superior foot movement
  • Responsive and lightweight
  • Allows the player greater control and speed

The low-top cons are:

  • Don’t have the strength and durability of high tops
  • Not as much cushioning for knee and ankle joints
  • Less support for the ankles, making them more vulnerable

Looking at the above we feel there is a pattern emerging in which the choice depends on what type of player one is.

High tops look best for large fellows who don’t move around the court as much, players with positions like Centre and Power Forward that require one to be more physically imposing would do well with high tops. Bigger-sized players also have more pressure on their ankle and knee joints, so high tops would be better no matter what position they happen to play.

Low tops are possibly the better choice for smaller, faster players like Guards or Shooters who need to move quickly and retain more flexibility. These nimble fellows are naturally light on their feet and could profit from wearing the lighter, low-top basketball style shoes.

In the end, there is still no one hundred per cent answer to the question, but the evidence does perhaps provide some guidance. It really boils down to the player’s personal preference, so young players should consider trying both styles out to discover which one suits their play style better!