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 shoes when it comes to ankle support. The ranking was generated by summing up the findings of 568 expert reviews of 107 different basketball shoes and ranking them by the average score they received in the category “support”.
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
Good traction, soft Lightstrike cushioning, and a fast, low-to-the-ground silhouette.
Best for guards looking for a fast, low-to-the-ground, and supportive shoe.
The Lebron Soldier 13 provides awesome traction and no real weaknesses.
A great all-around performer that works very well for heavier players.
The second Puma basketball shoe of 2019 is a solid all-around performer
Worn by players of all positions in the NBA
Comfortable fit and premium upper materials
Best for players looking for a supportive shoe with well-balanced cushioning
A solid performer that started the low-top trend in basketball shoes
A very versatile shoe that will be most appreciated by players who had the OG Kobe 4
Dame's best shoe so far! A great all-around performer at a very affordable price
The Dame 5 works best for quick guards who prefer responsive cushioning
Traction pattern provides great traction on all surfaces
Great bang for the buck and should work well for positions 1-4.
Retro look with very comfortable, modern Boost cushioning
Works for a wide array of basketball players
Amazing performer with outstanding cushioning and top-notch traction
Perfect for players of all positions who value court feel and freedom of movement
The Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support
- Super bouncy cushioning
- Herringbone traction stops on a dime
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!
Best Deals for the Air Jordan 34:
- One of the lighter Adidas shoes
- Great all-around performance
- No longer uses Boost cushioning
The Vol. 4 is the first shoe in the James Harden signature line that comes without Boost cushioning. But that's not necessarily a bad thing as the Lightstrike cushioning provides a much lighter shoe that still feels very comfortable to play in. The traction works great on clean courts and requires only minimal wiping on dusty courts. Materials differ between colorways, you can choose between Primeknit or Mesh uppers - they all get the job done!
If you are looking for a supportive, fast, and low-profile basketball shoe then the Harden Vol. 4 is a great choice!
Best Deals for the Adidas Harden Vol. 4:
- Awesome traction
- Very supportive
- Cushioning could be more comfortable
The laceless Lebron signature model is very well-received among sneaker testers. The upper material is comfortable, durable and provides a ton of lockdown, in part because the straps do a great job and never come undone. The simple solid-rubber herringbone traction pattern is deep, attracts very little dust and works well - even outdoors. The cushioning is a little bit divisive, some like the forefoot and heel Zoom units, others would have preferred a more comfortable setup.
Overall, the Lebron Solider 13 is a great allrounder with outstanding traction and no real weaknesses.
Best Deals for the Nike Lebron Soldier 13:
- Comfortable fit
- Works outdoors
- Firm cushioning
- Materials feel cheap in-hand
The Uproar improves on the Puma's Clyde Court Disrupt solid comeback to basketball shoes. The traction isn't perfect but works on all surfaces - even outdoors. The fit is very comfortable and supportive, there is absolutely no side-to-side movement or heel slip! Materials differ from colorway to colorway and could be a little more premium considering the $130 retail price. The Puma Uproar's cushioning is firm and not very comfortable but provides a ton of court feel.
Overall, this is a shoe that stands out from the crowd, provides solid all-around performance and can be worn by players of all positions.
Best Deals for the Puma Uproar:
- Premium materials
- Comfortable fit
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.
Best Deals for the Under Armour HOVR Havoc 2:
- Great herringbone traction
The Kobe 4 started the low-top trend in basketball shoes and is the second shoe of the Kobe Bryant signature line that got the Protro treatment.
Even though Nike promised full-length Zoom in this updated version, they disappointed by keeping it OG with Zoom in the heel and simple Phylon in the front. The old-school herringbone traction pattern still works like a charm and needs very little wiping - even on dusty courts. The synthetic leather and plastic overlays with Flywire cables perform well but feel a little cheap compared to modern knits materials.
Overall, the Kobe 4 Protro is a very solid performer, but there are very little improvements compared to the original Kobe 4 and the retail price of $175 is very steep.
Best Deals for the Nike Kobe 4 Protro:
- Responsive Bounce cushioning
- Very comfortable
- Slippery on dusty courts
- A little dead space in the toe box
The Dame 5 is Damian Lillard's latest signature shoe, and it's also his best! The traction works amazingly well on clean courts, but the translucent rubber versions are a little too slippery on dusty courts. The full-length Bounce cushioning provides a great balance of responsiveness and impact protection. The materials are super comfortable and very supportive, but the felt that is used on some colorways receives very little love from sneaker critics as it feels cheap and gets dirty easily.
Overall, this is a great performer, especially at the very affordable retail price of only $115.
Best Deals for the Adidas Dame 5:
- Amazing traction
- Well-balanced Bounce cushioning
- Materials feel a little cheap
The Pro Bounce is Adidas' new team model similar to Nike's Hyperdunk line. One of the highlights of this shoe is the traction pattern that offers great bite on clean courts but also works well on dusty courts or outdoors. Adidas uses its Bounce cushioning system which gives you a nice balance of responsiveness and impact protection. The upper material feels a little cheap but it is very sturdy with excellent containment and support.
Overall, the Pro Bounce Low is an awesome basketball shoe that offers great bang for the buck and should work well for positions 1-4.
Best Deals for the Adidas Pro Bounce Low:
- Well-balanced Boost cushioning
- Very supportive
- Traction on dusty courts is problematic
The Adidas Marquee Boost is a modern performance basketball shoe with a bit of retro flair. The traction sticks like glue on clean courts but can be problematic on dusty courts, especially in the beginning. The Boost cushioning provides a lot of impact protection in the heel and responsiveness in the forefoot. If you are looking for a shoe with a lot of ankle support then the high version has you covered with a firm and supportive ankle collar. The materials are rather basic but they look and feel nice and get the job done.
Overall, the Marquee Boost is a very good all-around performer that should work for basketball players of all positions.
Best Deals for the Adidas Marquee Boost:
- Amazing traction
- Well-balanced Boost cushioning
- Break-in required to get rid of heel slip
The Harden Vol.3 is by far James Harden's best signature sneaker. The traditional herringbone traction pattern performs extremely well - even on dusty courts. The Boost cushioning is low-to-the-ground, comfortable, responsive, and definitely the best implementation of Boost in a basketball shoe. Materials feel premium and comfortable and support is much improved compared to previous Harden models.
All sneaker reviewers agree: the Harden 3 is a huge improvement in all areas and one of the best basketball shoes of 2018 in general!
Best Deals for the Adidas Harden Vol. 3:
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 your from rolling your ankles. Another study showed that the fewest injuries occured 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?
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:
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 agressive movements.