For the Love of Low Top Sneakers: Some Tips and Ideas!

Tuesday Bote - April 7, 2021


Phoenix White Low Top Sneakers by Oliver Cabell


Sneaker trends come and go, but low top sneakers remain classic and unflinching in the seasonal trend change-ups. There is just something about a low top silhouette that demands a place in your shoe closet and begs to be worn at any opportunity. 

We look at our current favorite sneakers of 2021, all of them prevailing sneaker trends that will most likely keep trending till the end of the year. Not surprisingly, they’re all low top sneakers! 

Low Top vs. High Top Basketball Sneakers 

Low top sneakers are cut right below the ankle, unlike high top sneakers, which extend upward to above the ankle. High top sneakers are usually athletic shoes and are used chiefly for basketball. High tops are known to protect and brace the ankle better than low top sneakers. 

However, this does not mean that a low top sneaker is not suitable to wear for sports. Studies show that wearing low top sneakers does not necessarily cause ankle sprains, while high top sneakers don’t always effectively prevent them. Some athletes prefer to wear low top sneakers because they are lighter and give more freedom of movement, including low top basketball shoes Adidas endorser James Harden. The Adidas Harden Volumes of the latter are currently on-trend on low top men's sneakers lists for their eye-catching colorways. 

A pair of low top Phoenix Blacks by Oliver Cabell


What spurred the resurgence of low top sneakers Nike Zoom Kobe line in 2008, endorsed by the late basketball giant, Kobe Bryant. Other basketball low tops soon followed.

One of the most popular low top sneakers inspired by basketball shoes is Balenciaga’s Triple S sneaker, with a quadruple-stacked sole and an overall exaggeratedness that is anything but minimalist. The now infamous red and black colorway is a nod to Michael Jordan, but other colorways of this shoe have been popular as well.

More minimalist low top Balenciaga sneakers, or at least as minimalist as they can get, are Balenciaga Track and its newer update, Track 2. Both shoes’ uppers are multi-paneled, with several pieces of synthetic material and leather over a mesh base, giving the shoe adequate ventilation and texture. At the same time, both mid-soles and outsoles are multi-layered as well, employing Balenciaga’s penchant for cushioning technology. What makes these bulky sneakers minimalist? They’re only available in monochrome, either black or white.

Low Top Hiking Shoes


Let’s imagine that you’re going on your first light backpacking trip (when we say light backpacking, we mean there’s not a lot that you’re putting in your backpack that you’ll be carrying around) that will involve walking up, over and around a hill. Unless you foresee yourself becoming a complete mountaineer in the future, it’s not necessary to get yourself a heavy-duty pair of backpacking boots. A pair of low top hiking shoes will do, instead.

German Army Trainers in White by Oliver Cabell

High-cut hiking boots are more popular because of ankle support, but day hiking is possible with low top hiking shoes. Some travelers prefer low tops, which are lighter to wear and easier to pack for plane and train trips. They’re also more comfortable than hiking boots for in-between hikes. Just don’t stray from the trail too often. 

Low Top Minimalist Sneakers

The absolute classic sneaker is a low top white sneaker. There is nothing more unrelentingly stylish than a white leather sneaker unless it’s a low top black leather sneaker. No matter how simple and unimposing, low top leather sneakers in a neutral color look good on you, whether you’re a man or a woman, whatever your age and size, in whatever outfit you pair them with. 


Oliver Cabell’s Low 1 line features minimalist, statement, and distressed sneakers, guaranteeing a pair of low top sneakers for everyone. The solid color tones feature two different shades of gray, Slate and a darker Charcoal, a handsome brown called Lion, a brighter brown tone in suede called Camel, two shades of green in Birch and the lighter Tartufo, a pale pink Nude, a deep Burgundy, a handsome Navy, and an arresting Red. The Navy and Charcoal sneakers are also available in nubuck, which is similar to suede, except the hide’s outer layer are buffed to produce the velvety-type material. 

Low 1 Charcoal low top sneakers


You can choose between Black Low 1 sneakers with the white outsole or Jet Black with the black sole, which is so sleek that you could most definitely wear these with a suit. Meanwhile, there are several white sneakers in the Low 1 series: White; Ocean, which has a dark ocean blue heel tab and tongue; and Off White, Gum, and Transparent, each so named for the color/type of outsoles. 


A unique addition is called EDKH, short for Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself, which is found in small print on the sides of the sneaker. This shoe donates 20% of its profits to the Polaris Project, a non-profit and non-government anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking organization. If the EDKH sneaker is out-of-stock when you try to buy it, you can opt receive a notification when it has been restocked.

Low Top Distressed Sneakers


If you’re finding white sneakers too clean, bright and easily dirtied, you can check out Oliver Cabell’s Distressed line of sneakers, which are pre-scuffed to look worn intentionally. A controversial style trend of 2017 that had sneakerheads on the fence, the balance leaned towards it being a must-have and stayed on-trend despite persistent protests and anti-distressed propaganda. 


One of the reasons against the distressed shoe trend was that it didn’t make sense to sell a worn shoe at outrageous prices, as distressed luxury brands indeed did at the height of its popularity. 


Low 1 Cobalt Distressed Sneakers


However, the same cannot be said for Oliver Cabell’s Distressed line, for two reasons. Firstly, despite effectively looking distressed, the shoes still maintain the highest quality standards. Secondly, the sneakers don’t command the same prices as luxury brands. 


While Oliver Cabell indeed hand stitches gorgeous sneakers of premium quality materials - Italian full-grain calfskin leather, Italian full-grain suede, soft Venetian nubuck, lightweight Margom rubber for outsoles - you are only paying for top quality sneakers, despite its distressed appearance, and not for the long-handed way shoes would typically be available to you for purchase. 

Court Sneakers (Belmont) by Oliver Cabell

Who is Oliver Cabell?

Oliver Cabell is a direct-to-consumer brand, which means you can order your shoes directly from their website and they deliver your sneakers on free shipping if your order is above $100 (over $170 for international orders, and sent through DHL). This process removes the markups and costs of selling the shoes through 3rd party intermediaries. 


Of the low top sneakers in the Distressed line, our current favorite colorways are Drip, which is essentially a black distressed sneaker with the signature O emblem on the side, but with white paint dripped all over the shoe, and Chicago, whose red and black colorways are again a tribute to Jordan. 

Low 1 Laguna Women’s Sneakers


The brand features low top sneaker women sizes, including all the white and black variants, and a few designs you won’t find on the men’s site, such as the Laguna, a distressed toasted beige sneaker whose signature O appears as perforations on the side instead of as an emblem, and the Essential, with an O of silver glitter. 

Set your pace with low top sneakers

Low top sneakers, whether for sports or casual wear, or the athleisure trend it has helped popularize, is a fashion item that stands its ground and remains a must-have through the seasons. Now, it’s up to you to choose which low top sneakers you will be adding to your closet. Given the choices, you might need a more oversized shoe closet.