If you play basketball, you have most likely experienced that hair-raising moment after coming down from a layup, when you are not quite sure what will become of your ankle. You have landed on the edge of your foot, something gave way. Is it twisted? Is it sprained? Getting the best basketball shoes for ankle support should be a high priority if you’ve ever had an ankle injury – or even if you haven’t!
With the sheer amount of jumping involved in the sport, it is essential to pick up a pair of basketball shoes that will keep you off the injured reserve list and on the court. So, we decided to compile a list of the 10 best basketball shoes for ankle support, so you can make the right choice for your ankles.
Our editor and reviewers are always checking for the latest shoe release dates and quite a few shoes are introduced to the market annually. However, just because a shoe is the latest model to the marketplace, that does not mean it’s the best one for the job. Several of our top picks are not from the newest or latest year. Some are models from years ago, but still get the highest marks for comfort from reviewers and buyers who need extra ankle support! In fact, we have some shoes from years ago. We feature the Nike Hyperdunk 2016 since the 2017 and 2018 models did not offer the degree of ankle support as did the 2015 and 2016’s.
What to Look for in Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support?
The first factor when purchasing a shoe with excellent support is the style. Here, we are looking to avoid all low-cut and mid-cut shoes, as the high-cut style will help limit excessive ankle movement. Of course, this will make it less “free” feeling for some, but if the point is to limit the risk for ankle injuries, then we’re on the right track. We don’t want any ligaments to stretch too far or for other ankle injuries to occur. With this in mind, we will be cutting away about half of all basketball shoes on the market, slicing down to the very best for the job.
Secondly, the best of the best shoes will have factors in them that will cut right to the root of the cause—coming down awkwardly off of a jump. In a similar vein, shoes that can absorb the energy coming off of a problematic fall will start off with a high ranking on this list.
From there, we will be looking at a few different shoe elements that work into the ankle support conversation, but with a little less urgency. The most important of these is traction, which will keep any player from slipping and putting their ankle at risk of twisting. The final specifications that should be brought into consideration are those less glamorous features that comprise the quality of any shoe, but not necessarily relating to ankle support. These are comfort, weight, looks and price.
With all of this in mind, it is time to definitely list the 10 best basketball shoes for ankle support. However, it will important to decide for yourself how much you value ankle support versus something like weight, leading one to be more explosive. There is any variation of the perfect shoe for the perfect person, and this list will only focus on ankle support for the most part.
Watch an Ankle Injury Happen in Real-Time!
Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support Reviews
Here’s our top choice! The Nike Air Command Force basketball sneakers take on an old-school look with features that can help you dominate on the court. One characteristic of this shoe that stands out is the Full-length Nike Air unit. This unit makes the shoe feel lightweight due to the soft cushioning and protects the bottom of the foot from the impact caused by running up and down the basketball court. If you suffer from flat feet, this shoe will help you give it your all on the basketball court without the discomfort of your feet.
Now, just take a look at these suckers! As you can see, the Air Command Force shoes are higher than most sneakers. This means that basketball players can move fast and cut on the court with enhanced ankle support; decreasing the chances of injury. This sneaker is also equipped with leather material that will ensure you a long-lasting, durable sneaker.
The Nike Air Command Force basketball sneakers will not only help you on the court, but they can be used as your everyday shoe thanks to their unique 90’s style. They are meant to be a modern version of the 1991 classics, so be aware that you technically are purchasing a shoe made in today’s world rather than a shoe made in the early 90’s.
- High ankle offers superior support
- Lightweight cushioning will keep your foot comfortable
- Impact protection compensates for the lack of arch
- Some buyers feel these sneakers are “too high”
- Stitching on the inside irritates some buyers
- Runs small
Nike’s Zoom LeBron Soldier IX is Nike’s answer to bad ankles, and it lives up to the heavy marketing that Nike is putting into it. Because this is a premium Nike shoe, it does feature rather high up on the cost range, but it does possess the style and explosiveness to make it worth it.
Interestingly, this shoe does not have laces and instead features a three-layered strap system. One strap is low down on the foot, the other straps up your foot where laces would normally do their work and a third ankle strap locks in your ankle. For this list, that ankle strap makes all of the difference and gives you all of the support needed to take to the court with confidence.
The shoe features multi-directional traction that is definitely good but not amazing. Additionally, the Zoom LeBron Soldier IX’s come with zoom units in the heel and forefront of the shoe that provides cushioning and springy responsiveness, which is especially helpful for those players with enough weight to trigger the technology. That is where this shoe will prove the most helpful, with those big men with weak ankles, who like to put up near the rim.
Under Armour’s UA Lockdown is probably the most cost-effective shoe on this list. It is everything you could need out of a basic ankle supporting basketball shoe. Now, coming right after the Zoom Soldier IX, this shoe does not have the aesthetic appeal of Nike’s flagship shoe. But, it is extraordinarily practical and comfortable.
Under Armour’s patented EVA sock liner provides all of the cushioning and support that you might need for a few hours of playing pickup. The shoe also provides enough traction to get you through a sweaty game, with Under Armour’s very own multi-directional traction pattern on the rubber outsole. Finally, this shoe is made out of lightweight leather and a few other very light synthetic materials. No matter what, it should not weigh you down when you are going up for a layup or rebound.
So while this shoe may appear a bit clunky, you are in fact paying a pretty low amount for the quality of the shoe. If you can ignore the lack of sexiness that this shoe has compared to a number of others on this list, you could be walking away at the end of the day with a steal.
The UA ClutchFit Drive 3’s are some of the highest top basketball shoes that you will ever see on the court (next to the Air Command Force from Nike). They lace up for what seems like days, but this is what makes them that much more effective at halting ankle sprains at the source—they are Under Armour’s best bet at giving you the utmost ankle support. Still, the height of the shoe does not cut down on mobility, and this is an all-around good shoe.
Put side-to-side against the UA Lockdown, the UA ClutchFit Drive 3 is probably a better overall shoe, but it is almost double the price. The ClutchFit is assuredly higher quality and better for your ankle, but that is if you are willing to shell out the money for it.
The price is put to work with Under Armour’s signature ClutchFit technology, which Under Armour advertises as a “second skin” for your foot. It is uniquely form-fitting altogether for the foot and does the work of giving you both comfort and support. When it comes to traction, the outsole on this shoe is not incredible, but that does not make it an altogether unattractive shoe.
Though not the newest in the Hyperdunk lineup (that would be the 2017’s), the 2016 installment of the Nike Hyperdunk is a great shoe that has a more pronounced ankle support construction than the 2017 version. It also comes in a regular version and one that is Flyknit. Despite their considerably different looks (Flyknit vs. regular), these operate on a similar level, it is merely a preference between what type of material you want or can afford. The Flyknit version has a knitted sock type of collar that is excellent for ankle support, while the normal version merely has textile material that covers the ankle and gives it plenty of support. The Flyknit is considerably more expensive, as well.
This has some of the best traction of any of the shoes on this list, with Nike multi-directional rubber patterning on the outsole. So, that means that slipping and sliding to the detriment of your ankle should not be too much of an issue. While these provide quite a bit of ankle coverage, one aspect to keep in mind is that these shoes are not made especially with the ankle in mind. They are merely a pair of really good high-top shoes that will stylishly give you everything you need. And if you have the money to hash out for the Flyknit version of the Hyperdunks, then you will be rolling in some of the most interesting and stylish shoes on the market.
The Drive 4 is undoubtedly one of the top contenders for those who would love some extra ankle support. The ankle collar is one serious feature and once it’s done up tight, it works hard to keep your lower leg upright! Depending on your gait and your comfort tolerance levels, the collar may even be too stiff (if that’s possible). There’s not a lot of stretch or give in the material so you may feel that it actually fights your natural movement, but it’s subtle. One of our reviewers raved about how comfortable the ankle collar was, while another said it was less than comfortable, and that he did not appreciate its lack of “give”. Remember, these shoes have been tested extensively before they’re brought to market, so you know that none of the problems are restrictively intense! There’s a structural plate that runs from the forefoot to the heel and that keeps this shoe from bending in a bad way! Micro G (foam cushioning) is used in this version (that’s a good thing) since it’s one of the best cushions on the market. It’s dense, responsive and super durable.
As far as traction goes, there are few better than the Drive 4! The deep, grippy herringbone tread is incredibly effective – even to the point of being “too effective” if the shoes are not laced up tightly. Your foot may move around a bit inside the shoe unless the laces are pulled very “snugly”.
Overall UA has a winner here and the price makes it a steal! Once again – less than half the price of some higher end Nike models. UA has done it right, and if I didn’t already have more ball shoes than I need, I’d add this one!
Adidas’ D Rose 7 is the Adidas response to the Nike Hyperdunk 2017. They are very comparable shoes, even down to the pricing and the fact that there is a regular version and a knitted version. The knitted version uses Adidas’ primeknit technology that does not stray too far from Nike’s method. However, this model does not have the same type of ankle collar made out of knitted material that Nike does have. Additionally, the D Rose 7 primeknit does not commit to the knitting idea, that Nike does. There is quite a bit of non-mesh material that makes this shoe less flexible and comfortable than the Hyperdunk.
Similar to the Hyperdunk, the traction on these shoes is incredibly good, and the shoe is supported in every way that Adidas can possibly can. With Derrick Rose’s name behind this shoe, there is assuredly going to be enough support to make sure that you do not lose an ankle on a pinpoint turn.
All in all, this is a high-quality shoe, but where it falters is that in every situation it can be compared to the Nike Hyperdunk 2017, it is somewhat of a lesser model. So, if you are sweet on Adidas, or just merely like the style, then these shoes are for you.
The Crazy Explosive Shoes are one of the best offerings yet from Adidas. Once more, they follow the trend of having a regular version, along with one that is knitted and more expensive. Similar to the D Rose 7, the primeknit edition of this shoe is not fully knitted and features a number of combined synthetic materials that match the knit. So, again, it is not as flexible as a Nike knitted shoe, but that is good for ankle support. I’d stay away from the knit version. I would also avoid the Crazy Explosive 2017 model since the ankle collar is not meant for support. It’s no more supportive than a thick sock (which is what it looks like). Stick with the version you see in this review if you’re looking for ankle support.
The traction rating on this shoe is one of the tops on the list, due to the material of the outsole and patterning. So, fears of slipping and ruining your ankle that way are alleviated with the Crazy Explosive.
We really think this is a fantastic shoe, and not enough can be said. It is perhaps one of the most cushioned and comfy shoes on the market right now. The fit altogether is also snug, as the foot sleeve is made with care.
Under Armour continues to update their most popular and effective shoe, backed by their most famous sponsor, Stephen Curry. The Curry 3, true to its name is the top of the line, latest in Under Armour technology.
When it comes to ankle support, if Stephen Curry is going to represent these shoes and wear them in game situations, the Curry 3’s will have to have a solid amount of ankle support with all of the cutting that Curry normally does. So, Under Armour locked these shoes down with their patented Threadborne upper, which is lightweight but also supportive. The shoe has a carbon fiber shank to provide some stability for landing off of jumps, and assuring that there is not too much rollover motion.
Not dealing with support, out of all of the other Under Armour shoes on this list, the Curry 3 is definitely the best looking. It is incredibly sleek and all-around well-made. However, they do feature rather high up on the cost list, and you might want to look at Adidas or Nike models before checking out with these in tow. The color options are HUGE and you can these in bright red, maroon, 50 shades of grey (hmm…), white, black, and even teal!
We can bore you with the details, but let’s just start off right and say “YOU WILL NOT TWIST YOUR ANKLE IN THESE!” Okay, if you do, don’t sue me. That was my opinion based on giving them the once over, a quick jog up the court and then a whack of research.
These classics have a ton of technology but the most important ones are threefold. Number one, they have excellent lateral (anti-ankle-roll-over) qualities. Number two, they have a tall ankle rise, and number three, they have a tight strap that makes them even more “attached” to your ankles in order to minimize any movement of your ankle without also moving the “immovable” shoe material itself.
Of course, all the great AJ 8 stuff remains on these shoes like MJ’s number 23 on the straps, a chenille tongue and an additional brand logo on the ankle.
The AJ 8’s are a great example of a shoe that is years old but maintains an edge over nearly ever newer shoe when it comes to ankle protection.
Unveiled in the latter half of 2016, the Air Jordan XXXI is not the latest shoe to be released by perhaps the most famous sneaker brand in all of basketball, but it’s PERFECT for our purposes of keeping your ankle steady! These are similarly shaped to the past Jordan’s but offer quite a bit of newness as well. The shoe itself is made of flyweave until it hits the upper, where it transitions into synthetic leather in a very cool looking way. This is unique to the rest of the shoes on this list, and it has a completely different look.
Overall this is a really good shoe with a quality fit due to the internal bootie. The upper has an interior ankle collar, along with the leather, that gives quite a bit of support. As if that was not enough, there is padding that is anatomically designed to fit into the negative space around the ankle. This works dually as a comforting agent and it keeps your ankle locked in place.
There are two cons to this shoe, those being the price and the traction. The outsole is one of the worst on this list, so expect some slippage there, which may be cause for concern with the ankles. When it comes to the price, this is one of the most expensive, disregarding some of the knitted versions of certain shoes.
You might be surprised to learn that shoemakers cater to all kinds of specific requests and purpose-oriented shoes. Ankle support is important, but what about issues like players who have fallen arches, or what about the best basketball shoes for someone who wants to jump higher? Do you have wide feet? We can help! Check out our reviews for the best b-ball shoes for a variety of purposes and for flat feet!
Also, you’d be doing yourself a disservice (if you have weak ankles or past ankle injuries) if you didn’t check out our article and reviews on basketball ankle supports. This is a great option if you decide to take a different direction, and get a pair of shoes that does not focus on ankle support at all!