Best 10 Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support

There are very few ambitious basketball players who have never sprained an ankle. Whether you get your ankles broken by a vicious crossover or you land on someone else’s feet after a layup – it’s bound to happen someday.

Fortunately, you can reduce the risk of injuring your ankles by getting a pair of basketball shoes that provide a ton of ankle support. These shoes will increase the stability of your feet and protect against excessive movements of your ankles that could result in sprains or worse ankle injuries.

Warning: If you are recovering from a severe ankle injury or if you sprain your ankles easily and frequently, getting ankle support from your shoes might not be enough.

Many NBA players get their ankles taped before every game or wear ankle braces to provide additional stability. Check out this article to learn more about ankle braces and to find out which one helped save Steph Curry’s career.

The following list shows you the top 10 basketball shoes for ankle support.

The ranking was generated by summing up the findings of 721 expert reviews of 153 different basketball shoes and ranking them by the average score they received in the category “support”.

Nike Lebron Soldier 14

  • 9.5 support rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • An update to the LeBron Soldier line without the forefoot straps.
  • Great for big guys who like forefoot cushion and need a lot of support.

Air Jordan 35

  • 9.3 support rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • An update to the Jordan 34 that performs just as well if not better.
  • The perfect shoe for players of every position who want a premium experience.

Under Armour HOVR Havoc 2

  • 9.0 support rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • Comfortable fit and premium upper materials
  • Best for players looking for a supportive shoe with well-balanced cushioning

Nike Kyrie 6

  • 9.0 support rating based on 6 expert reviews
  • Kyrie's 6th signature shoe is an evolution of previous models and probably the best Kyrie so far
  • Great traction and support with a low-to-the-ground, responsive cushioning

Adidas N3XT L3V3L 2020

  • 9.0 support rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • An upgrade over the first model and an all around performer
  • Any type of player who wants to be light and quick on their feet

Air Jordan 34

  • 8.8 support rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • The lightest Air Jordan ever is a great all-around performance basketball shoe
  • A great option if you are looking for a light & stylish shoe with no real weaknesses

Jordan Why Not Zero.3

  • 8.8 support rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • Russell Westbrook's third signature shoe is still very flashy but feels a lot less bulky than the predecessors
  • Works great for explosive players who like to stand out on the court

Jordan React Elevation

  • 8.5 support rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • A great all around performer at a solid price.
  • Great for any position or style of play.

Nike Lebron 17

  • 8.4 support rating based on 5 expert reviews
  • The huge Max Air unit in the heel and 2 Zoom Air units in the forefoot provide crazy cushioning
  • Top choice if you are looking for a comfortable, supportive shoe with a ton of impact protection

Jordan Jumpman 2020

  • 8.3 support rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • The Jordan Jumpman 2020 feels like a cheaper version of the excellent Air Jordan 34
  • A great overall performer that comes at a very affordable retail price

The Top 10 Most-Supportive Basketball Shoes

1. Nike Lebron Soldier 14

9.5
support rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
Very supportive
Huge forefoot Zoom unit
Cons:
Inconsistent traction
Stiff heel cushion
What do the experts think?
The traction of the Lebron Soldier 14 performs pretty well but takes some breaking in and doesn't hold up very long outdoors. The cushion setup features a really nice forefoot Zoom unit that reviewers liked, but court feel and heel cushioning could be better. The materials are really nice at this price point and conform very well to your feet. They are also good in terms of ventilation. The fit is close to 1 to 1 and fits true to size. Reviewers thought they were hard to put on at first and didn't like the shroud over the laces. Once they are put on, they are very supportive and lock your feet in-place nicely. Overall the LeBron Soldier 14 is a very solid performer at a reasonable price and a lot of fun to play in!
Colorways of the Nike Lebron Soldier 14:

2. Air Jordan 35

9.3
support rating based on 4 reviews
Pros:
Awesome cushion setup
Very supportive
Cons:
Rubbing around heel/arch
What do the experts think?
The traction on the Jordan 35 is similar to the 34 and performs just as well. You will get consistently great grip and stopping power - just don't ruin them playing outdoors. The addition of a large volume Zoom Air unit in the heel makes the cushion of this shoe even more comfortable and responsive. The materials are premium and have a good mix of old school and new textile materials. They are breathable and don't need breaking in. The support is even better than the 34 and has nice lateral containment, stability, and ankle support. Overall the Jordan 35 is an awesome performer that lives up to the hype and the expensive retail price!
Colorways of the Air Jordan 35:

3. Under Armour HOVR Havoc 2

9.0
support rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Premium materials
Comfortable fit
Cons:
Inconsistent traction
What do the experts think?
The first Under Armour HOVR Havoc was a hit with reviewers, so how does the second version perform? Unfortunately, the traction has taken a step back and is inconsistent, even on clean courts. The HOVR cushioning is a nice mix of responsiveness and impact protection, not too firm but not too soft either. Materials feel surprisingly premium in-hand, comfortable on-foot and do a great job locking your feet down. The mid-foot shank, outrigger, and heel counter provide a lot of support and stability. Overall, the HOVR Havoc is a good performer that could have been great with more consistent traction.
Colorways of the Under Armour HOVR Havoc 2:

4. Nike Kyrie 6

9.0
support rating based on 6 reviews
Pros:
Amazing traction
Nike Zoom Turbo cushioning
Cons:
Runs smaller than other Kyries
What do the experts think?
The traction of the Kyrie signature series is always great, and the Kyrie 6 is no different as you get amazing stopping power in every direction. The Phylon cushioning in the heel of the Kyrie 6 feels a lot softer than in previous models and the Zoom Turbo in the forefoot has a nice bounce to it. The materials are soft, comfortable, and provide a lot of support and lockdown for quick moves and crossovers. Overall, the Kyrie 6 feels like an evolution of the Kyrie 5 with a lot of small improvements that make up a great shoe - probably the best Kyrie so far!
Colorways of the Nike Kyrie 6:

5. Adidas N3XT L3V3L 2020

9.0
support rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
Comfortable laceless upper
Responsive and plush cushioning
Cons:
Traction suffers on dust
Hard to put on at first
What do the experts think?
The traction on the N3XT L3V3L 2020 was definitely improved from the first version, but still had some issues on dust. The cushion was one of the highlights as reviewers loved the impact protection and responsiveness of the Lightstrike cushion. The materials are also very nice, using an all knit upper that is comfortable on foot. The lack of laces works well and the upper conforms to your foot. The fit is okay but runs a little long in the toe area. It is recommended to go down half a size. The support is great and the reviewers had no issues laterally or in the heel. Overall, the N3XT L3V3L 2020 is a great upgrade from the previous model, and at $30 less, it's worth picking up if you like to play fast.
Colorways of the Adidas N3XT L3V3L 2020:

6. Air Jordan 34

8.8
support rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
Super bouncy cushioning
Herringbone traction stops on a dime
Cons:
Expensive retail price
What do the experts think?
With the XXXIV, Jordan Brand decided to take less inspiration from their retros and instead focus on providing a lightweight, top-notch performer. Did they succeed? The traction of the AJ34 features a herringbone traction pattern that works well in all conditions. The cushioning isn't as plush as in previous models, but it's also much less clunky and provides a fun, well-balanced ride. The materials aren't super-premium, but they are flexible, lightweight and breathable. Even though the AJ34 is much lighter than other Air Jordans, support and stability don't suffer because of the wide and stable base and the Eclipse plate in the midfoot. Overall, the Air Jordan 34 is a great performer and by far the best Air Jordan since the AJ29!
Colorways of the Air Jordan 34:

7. Jordan Why Not Zero.3

8.8
support rating based on 5 reviews
Pros:
Big Zoom Air unit in the forefoot
Less bulky than previous models
Cons:
Lateral sliding on dusty courts
Materials don't feel very premium in-hand
What do the experts think?
Russell Westbrook's third signature sneaker is still as flashy as his playing style, but how does it perform? The traction gets mixed reviews: critics liked it on clean courts, but lateral cuts can be problematic on dusty courts. The forefoot Zoom Air unit gives you a smooth and responsive ride and the foam in the heel provides solid impact protection. Materials don't feel or look anything close to premium but they get the job done performance-wise and are less bulky than in the previous models. The support & lockdown are really good thanks to the traditional lacing system, midfoot strap, and huge Achilles pillows. Overall, the Why Not Zer0.3 is an evolution of Russell's signature series and will work especially well for explosive players looking for a nicely-balanced sneaker.
Colorways of the Jordan Why Not Zero.3:

8. Jordan React Elevation

8.5
support rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
Great cushion setup
Traction works well on all surfaces
Cons:
Materials could be more premium
What do the experts think?
The traction of the Jordan React Elevation performs nicely on clean courts, dusty courts, and outdoor courts. They have you covered no matter where you play. The cushion setup with React foam in the heel and Zoom in the forefoot is very comfortable and provides nice impact protection as well as court feel. The materials are nothing crazy, but they get the job done well and provide good support. The lacing system provides very good lockdown and reviewers found that true to size worked great. The support is also fantastic - you should have no issues with lateral containment or stability. Overall the Jordan React Elevation is a very good performer that comes in at a nice price. Reviewers had a lot of fun playing in these!
Colorways of the Jordan React Elevation:

9. Nike Lebron 17

8.4
support rating based on 5 reviews
Pros:
Insanely comfortable cushioning
Premium upper materials
Cons:
Steep $200 retail price
Heavy
What do the experts think?
The Lebron 17 is one of the most expensive basketball shoes on the market, does it justify it's $200 retail price? Reviewers' opinions on the traction were split: the Solebrother called it "god-levels" especially on a translucent rubber pair while Nightwing2303 didn't like the white solid rubber, even on clean courts. The cushioning, however, was loved by everyone. A huge Max Air unit in the heel is combined with Zoom in the forefoot and they provide a ton of impact protection and bounce. The new Knitposite upper material is thick, soft and comfortable - but it gets pretty hot after a while. Overall, the Lebron 17 is a great performer, especially you are a heavier player looking for a comfortable and supportive shoe.
Colorways of the Nike Lebron 17:

10. Jordan Jumpman 2020

8.3
support rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Very comfortable cushioning
Affordable retail price
Cons:
Slippery on dusty courts
What do the experts think?
The Jordan Jumpman 2020 looks like a budget version of the Air Jordan 34, but is the performance comparable? The traction is really squeaky and performs great on clean courts, but tends to attract a lot of dust on dirty courts. The Phylon cushioning in the heel is soft and comfortable while the forefoot Zoom gives you nice bounce and responsiveness. Materials are what you would expect from a budget model - they don't feel premium in-hand, but they absolutely get the job done! Overall, the Jordan Jumpman 2020 is a performer without real weaknesses and a great deal at a retail price of only $110.
Colorways of the Jordan Jumpman 2020:

Frequently asked questions about ankle support

Do high-top basketball shoes prevent ankle sprains?

High Tops wrap your ankles, so they must logically provide more ankle support than comparable low-tops, right?
Not so fast! Scientific studies have analyzed the frequency of ankle sprains of players wearing high tops versus players wearing low-top basketball shoes and couldn’t find a difference. The additional collar height is not restrictive enough where it can save you from rolling your ankles. Another study showed that the fewest injuries occurred in players wearing low-top shoes and laced ankle stabilizers.

How do I find a shoe with a lot of ankle support?

If high-tops are not the solution, what else can you look for?

Lateral Outrigger

The lateral outrigger is the extension of the outsole on the lateral side that increases the width of the shoe and provides additional stability. By providing a wider base, the outrigger makes it mechanically much more difficult for your shoes to roll during hard cuts and crossovers. See an example of a lateral outrigger in the Crazy Explosive 2017:

lateral outrigger

Tough upper material and great lockdown

You want to look for a shoe that securely locks down your feet and prevents unnecessary side-to-side movement. Make sure that the shoes fit tightly and that the upper material is strong enough to hold your feet even on aggressive movements.

9 thoughts on “Best 10 Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support”

  1. Odd posting. I have serious ankle support (read medical) issues and most these shoes are reviewed for their traction, NOT ankle support. Indeed many didnt even have ANY ankle support that I could tell (low cut) Splain to kme Lucy

    1. Hey Mike, thanks for the comment.
      Actually, only a very small amount of the support of a shoe depends on the part of material around your ankles. No shoe will be sturdy enough in this area to prevent you from rolling of the ankle, because nobody wants to play in a shoe that feels so restrictive. In fact, many modern high tops like the Crazy Explosive, or Curry 4 have a sock-like material around the ankles that provides zero additional support.
      Great support comes from a lot of features like the outrigger of the sole, the heel cup, how well your are locked into your shoes and how little your feet move inside the shoes.
      If you have serious ankle issues make sure to get an ankle brace as it’s the only way to significantly reduce the chances of an injury!

  2. Damian Walters

    Hi Andy, awesome article. Was wondering if you had any insight on the New Kobe AD’s and how well they will provide ankle support. Thanks!

  3. The LeBron 11s are hands down THE BEST. I’ve completely torn my ATFL ligament and after years of search the LeBron 11s are the best due to their straps. Even when I worked for FedEx in a very rural area they worked like a charm on rocks and crazy mountain terrain. A bit heavy but well worth it if ankle support matters to you like it does to me.

  4. What are the best basketball shoes with good ankle support for my 16yr old son who lives & breathes basketball?
    He been looking at Adidas Dame 4.

    Many thanks

  5. Are you able to suggest some good basketball shoes/boots that won’t aggravate my achilles tendonitis on plantar flexion? Thank you 🙂

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