Best high-tops 2024

A white sneaker with colorful spots above the outsole to replicate Fruity Pebbles.
Credit: Farfetch

A white sneaker with colorful spots above the outsole to replicate Fruity Pebbles.
Credit: Farfetch

Looking to move away from the sea of low-tops dominating the sneaker scene? Acquiring a pair of the best high-tops is a great way to break the mold and set yourself apart. However, finding the right pair can be tough amidst the plethora of options.

The current market is flooded with exceptional high-tops, boasting designs that vie for the title of the year's best sneakers. Navigating this diverse landscape isn't easy, which is why we've put together a list of the best of our own to help you out. Our focus? A fusion of design, style, and a nod to sales and overall appeal to cater to varied tastes.

Of course, subjectivity comes into play, and trust us, this list features some pretty out-there designs that may not be to everyone's taste. However, shoes like the "Black White" Jordan 1s are more refined, making them easier to pair with almost any outfit than the Nike LeBron 4 "Fruity Pebbles". They may be some of the best Nike shoes out there right now, but their design is definitely a little more out there than most.

Enough preamble though, let's dive into it...

Best high-top shoes

  1. Nike LeBron 4 "Fruity Pebbles" - best Nike shoes
  2. Air Jordan 1 High "Yellow Ochre" - top Jordan sneakers
  3. adidas AE 1 "Best Of Adi" - a great pair from adidas
  4. New Balance 650 "Light Aluminum" - a superb option from NB
  5. Dungeons & Dragons x Converse Chuck 70 Leather Hi "D20 Dice" - best Converse
  6. Haribo x Vans Sk8-Hi "Haribo Black" - a great high-top Vans collab
Nike LeBron 4 "Fruity Pebbles" product image of a white sneaker with colorful spots above the outsole to replicate Fruity Pebbles.
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Credit: Nike

1. Nike LeBron 4 "Fruity Pebbles"

Best Nike high-tops

We're kicking off with a revived LeBron classic as earlier this year Nike brought back a 2006 player exclusive in the "Fruity Pebbles" LeBron 4.

The colorway is inspired by the beloved cereal, which you may have guessed already, incorporating shades of white, red, green, and purple, along with vibrant speckles that echo the appearance of, well, Fruity Pebbles. This design not only nods to LeBron James' cherished childhood treat but also injects a playful and nostalgic flair into basketball footwear.

Featuring advanced cushioning and a Foamposite shell upper too, these sneakers are designed for comfort and performance. With its striking colors and meticulous details as well, the "Fruity Pebble" 4s are a great asset and would be a great addition to practically any collection.

Air Jordan 1 High "Yellow Ochre" product image of a white and dark yellow high-top Jordan featuring black laces and Swoosh down the side.
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Credit: Nike

2. Air Jordan 1 High "Yellow Ochre"

Best Jordan high-tops

The "Yellow Ochre" Jordan 1 High pays homage to some of the best Air Jordan colorways of the past, but with a bit of a vibrant twist. Its striking dark yellow shade injects a dynamic energy into the timeless silhouette, setting it apart from some of the brand's other more recently released models.

Highlighted by accents of black and sail, it stands out with superb style. Made from premium materials and prioritizing comfort too, it encapsulates the essence of Michael Jordan's unparalleled athleticism and legacy.

If you're looking to own a piece of sneaker history in the modern era, make sure you don't sleep on the "Yellow Ochre" Jordan 1 High, arguably the best Jordan 1 colorway on the market right now.

adidas AE 1 "Best Of Adi" product image of a black knitted shoe with Cloud White overlay wrapping up from the sole.
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Credit: adidas

3. adidas AE 1 "Best Of Adi"

Best adidas high-tops

If you're a fan of basketball, then this collaboration between adidas and Anthony Edwards should be right up your street.

Primarily built for the court, they feature a hybrid BOOST and Lightstrike midsole, offering unparalleled lightness and exceptional energy returns during dynamic plays. This translates well into everyday wear too, providing a ton of support and cushioning to keep you comfortable for hours.

Design-wise, they feature a black fabric base with a Cloud White TPU overlay that extends up from the sole unit to the ankle. The sneaker also features green accents and branding on the tongue and heel, plus the toe box is made from a reflective material that'll shine bright in low light.

It's up there as one of the best adidas shoes around right now, and definitely a great option to consider if you're after a higher-cut pair of trainers.

New Balance 650 "Light Aluminum" product image of a light grey and white high-top featuring New Balance branding on the lateral side.
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Credit: New Balance

4. New Balance 650 "Light Aluminum"

Best New Balance high-tops

In a nod to the revered sneaker styles of the '80s and '90s, New Balance relaunched the 650 model in 2022 with an array of collegiate-coloured designs. However, New Balance decided to pair things back a little in 2023 by releasing this refined "Light Aluminum" colorway.

Arguably one of the best New Balance shoes on the market, this sneaker features a classic combination of leather and mesh that takes center stage, adorned with a captivating blend of light grey and Rain Cloud hues that gracefully cascade across the forefoot and heel.

To complement the subtle palette, the shoe also features an illuminating Marblehead tone that embraces the mesh collar and tongue, adding a layer of visual intrigue to this relatively refined sneaker.

By combining muted, neutral tones, this New Balance high-top should be easy to pair with basically any outfit, thus making it a handy addition to almost any sneaker collection.

Dungeons & Dragons x Converse Chuck 70 Leather Hi "D20 Dice" product image of a half-grey and half-white pair of Converse high-tops, with the colours split vertically down the middle.
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Credit: Converse

5. Dungeons & Dragons x Converse Chuck 70 Leather Hi "D20 Dice"

Best Converse high-tops

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, Converse released this special-edition leather Chuck 70; a unique collaboration that infuses the classic sneaker with the fantasy essence of the iconic role-playing game.

The design really does stand out thanks to the vertical split right down the middle. On one side, you get a greyed-out, darker feel like some of the mysterious dungeons you may encounter in the game. However, the other side is much brighter, boasting a slightly off-white tone that matches the midsole and laces.

There are a ton of nods to D&D when you look closely too, with the tongues featuring unique dragon-inspired branding, a "dice giveth, dice taketh away" quote spread across either side, the number 20 embroidered on the heels, and the Dungeons & Dragons logo plastered across it.

It's one of the best Converse shoes out there right now, and it's certainly a must-have for fans of the legendary RPG.

Haribo x Vans Sk8-Hi "Haribo Black" product image of a black high-top with a light blue collar and side teamed with white accents and writing.
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Credit: Vans

6. Haribo x Vans Sk8-Hi "Haribo Black"

Best Vans high-tops

One of the most interesting capsules released by Vans in recent memory has been the Haribo Collection. Among the collection, the "Haribo Black" Sk8-Hi stands out as a particularly appealing design due to its subtle, easy-to-pair aesthetic.

The sneakers showcase the renowned Haribo tagline: "Kids and grown-ups love it so, the happy world of Haribo." This iconic slogan takes center stage on the quarter panels, with its message of inclusivity and global impact resonating in ten different languages.

While the rest of the shoe embraces the classic Sk8-Hi elements, there is an additional homage to Haribo at the back. The heels are adorned with stitched, multicolored gummy bears, paying tribute to one of the brand's most beloved candies.

Undoubtedly, this collaboration between Haribo and Vans is a triumph, making it one of the best Vans shoes and, ultimately, a highly desirable addition to any sneaker collection.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Building out your sneaker collection isn't always straightforward, and can often lead to a ton of questions. Don't worry though, we've answered some of the most commonly asked questions, specifically about high-tops, below.

Can you wear high-tops with shorts?

Yes, you can definitely wear high tops with shorts. High-top sneakers can be a stylish and versatile choice to pair with shorts, creating a cool and casual look with the right outfit. That said, you'll want to consider a couple of factors when it comes to styling them.

Firstly, it's worth playing with proportions. When wearing high-tops with shorts, it's essential to create a balance. If your shorts are more fitted, you can pair them with sleeker, slim-profile high-top sneakers. For looser or baggier shorts, chunkier high-tops can add a touch of streetwear flair.

You'll also need to make a decision between wearing socks or going sockless. Of course, this depends on your personal preference and the style you want to achieve. Going sockless can create a more relaxed and summery feel, but wearing no-show or ankle socks should be more comfortable and prevent any discomfort from rubbing. You can even wear longer socks that remain visible over the top of your high-tops - the choice is entirely yours.

Remember, fashion is subjective, and ultimately, the most important thing is to wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident. So, feel free to rock your high-tops with shorts and create your own unique style statement.

How do you lace high-tops?

Lacing high-top sneakers can be done in various ways, depending on your preference and the desired look. However, one of the most commonly used methods, and one we've outlined numerous times in guides such as "How to lace Jordan 1s", is the crossed lace approach.

To begin this method, insert the shoelaces into the bottom eyelets of your shoe, ensuring that both ends of the lace are even in length.

Then, take one lace end and thread it diagonally through the eyelet on the opposite side, creating an "X" shape across the center. Do the same with the other lace end.

Continue lacing diagonally, crossing the laces over each other and threading them through the eyelets until you reach the top of your shoe. Ensure that you maintain the laces at an equal tension throughout the process for a secure fit.

Once you reach the top eyelets, you can choose to tie the laces together in a standard bow, or you can leave them undone and loose - a common style used when rocking high-tops.

Remember, lacing methods can vary, and there are plenty of creative ways to lace high-tops. Feel free to explore different techniques and experiment with patterns or even alternative materials like colorful shoelaces to add a personalized touch to your sneakers.

Do high-top shoes offer better protection than low-top shoes?

High-top shoes and low-top shoes differ in terms of their design and coverage around the ankle. While high-top shoes offer more ankle support and protection, it is not accurate to say that they universally provide better protection than low-top shoes. The level of protection offered by a shoe depends on the specific activity, the individual's needs, and various other factors.

It is true high-top shoes extend above the ankle, providing additional support to the ankle joint. This can be beneficial in activities that involve lateral movements, jumping, or sudden changes in direction, such as basketball or hiking on uneven terrain.

However, the higher design of high-top shoes can limit the range of motion in the ankle joint. This restriction may be undesirable in activities that require extensive ankle mobility, such as running or certain sports that involve a lot of sprinting.

Ultimately, while high-top shoes can provide added ankle support and protection, it is important to consider the specific activity, personal preferences, and individual factors when choosing footwear. Both high-top and low-top shoes have their advantages and disadvantages, and the level of protection ultimately depends on the context and requirements of the activity you plan to engage in.

Are high-top sneakers comfortable to wear?

High-top sneakers are comfortable in our opinion, but it ultimately depends on personal preferences and factors such as the specific shoe design and materials used to create the sneaker.

Generally speaking, comfort is influenced by several factors, with the correct fit perhaps the most important detail. High-top sneakers, as well as low-top shoes, should provide enough room for your toes to move comfortably and should not feel excessively tight or loose anywhere.

Cushioning, especially in the midsole, is also important as it can enhance comfort by absorbing impact and providing support during walking or other activities. Cushioning and padding around the higher collar will also help by supporting and absorbing impact around your ankles.

On that note, high-top sneakers are known for providing additional ankle support, which can be beneficial for those who desire extra stability. However, you may find the higher design restrictive or uncomfortable if it limits your ankle mobility required for certain activities.

Therefore, we'd suggest you try on high-tops in person and walk around in them to assess their comfort level for yourself. Additionally, reading reviews or seeking recommendations for specific models or brands known for their comfort can help guide your decision.

Therefore, we'd suggest you try on high-tops in person and walk around in them to assess their comfort level for yourself. Additionally, reading reviews or seeking recommendations for specific models or brands known for their comfort can help guide your decision.

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