High Cut VS Low Cut

Types of Cuts

You might think I am going to talk about what type of cut to the basket is more effective, a high cut or a low cut. Nope!

I’m talking about the type of basketball shoes players choose to wear. 

If you are in the high-top camp you like the shoes laced up just above your ankles. If you are like me, who loves the low top, you like your shoes well below the ankles. 

The argument around wearing high-top basketball sneakers is the ankles are better protected against a sprain. Low-top shoes were supposed to be dangerous for the ankles. I never agreed! 

Here’s the problem with this reasoning. 

When a player has a sprained ankle and is taped up, to add support, the top of the tape is typically several inches above the ankle- way higher than a high-top shoe. 

How in the world can a shoe that stops at the ankle joint add any support? AND isn’t it possible the ankle can gain more awareness and “feel” when it’s unencumbered? 

I think so.


Comfort, Style, and Preference

In my senior year in college, I sprained my ankle by stepping on another player’s foot. This earned me daily rehab with the athletic trainer. He advised that I continue to wear low-cut sneakers because my ankle needed to learn how to stabilize for itself. Obviously, I was all for it because I didn’t care for high-tops. 

Some high-top shoes now are designed to end above the ankle on the sides but at the Achilles tendon, there is a big dip for comfort. Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of stability around the ankle?

Many basketball players I have been in contact with expressed they prefer a high-top because they feel more protected. Yet, other players don’t like the feeling of something around the ankles.


Bottom Line

Regardless of your belief in which is best and your personal preference, the bottom line is how well can a high-top shoe support an ankle joint?

If the shoe doesn’t restrict lateral movement to a high degree wouldn’t there be a great chance of sprain?

In my opinion, it really comes down to comfort, style, and individual player preference. 

Choose what makes you feel best when you play. To me, the low-top shoe is most comfortable and I like the look. Others feel just the opposite. Pick your shoe based on what you like, not whether it’s going to protect you better.


Whichever type of basketball sneaker is chosen, your players need amazing movement skills. The CBSS makes the difference, not the shoe.



Categories: basketball speed