This is a question that has been difficult to answer over the years for many athletes and their parents. There are so many different brands and styles of basketball shoes that picking the right one can be overwhelming for a lot of people. Unfortunately, the answer is not as crystal clear as one is better than the other because it depends on the athlete, and how they play the game. We want to give you all the pros and cons of each style so that you can determine what is best for your Star Player.
Low top basketball shoes give a modern, fast and sleek look than old-school high-top shoes do not. Low tops are lighter and help you gain extra speed on the court. The light weight, which sometimes can be up to 20 percent lighter than standard high tops. This will help your fatigue level, giving you more time on the court because it is not as hard to pick up your feet. This extra speed will be most beneficial to a position like point guard, or anyone that uses their speed to gain a step on their defender.
Unlike high tops, low tops don't come up around your ankle, so they don't offer support for sudden turns and on-the-go landings. With ankle injuries topping the list of injuries among professional basketball players, many people are afraid to use low tops. Some believe that the lesser stability offered by low tops is likely to lead to ankle injuries. This might be true for people who don't train as athletes, such as people who play in local leagues or pick-up games.
Why High Tops Help
High tops are often heavier than low tops, but they offer extra benefits. They lace high enough to add ankle support and help reduce the number of players who turn their ankles with sudden direction changes. These shoes usually have more support and cushioning inside as well, which helps prevent stress fractures and other injuries, such as plantar fasciitis. However, how big a difference high tops make is still in question. Most research agrees that the number of ankle injuries in high tops vs. low tops are about the same, but many believe the injuries tend to be more severe when the players where low tops.
While there's no way to completely prevent ankle injuries when you play basketball, taking a few precautions when you wear low tops can help. Trainers recommend ankle braces, which come up a bit higher than high-top shoes. Another option is taping your ankles to provide extra support as you jump and execute fast stops and starts. If you go with the tape, use strong athletic tape and support your ankle by wrapping the tape under your foot as well as around your ankle.