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 1027 expert reviews of 219 different basketball shoes and ranking them by the average score they received in the category “support”.

  • 9.1 support rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • The latest Air Jordan mainline signature model is, once again, a top-performing shoe.
  • Great for players that are looking for a top-tier performance basketball shoe.
  • 8.9 support rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • The tech-loaded Nike GT Jump's performance is outstanding.
  • Best for players with an explosive play style looking for good cushioning.
  • 8.9 support rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • The Nike LeBron 19 is better in almost every way compared to last year's model.
  • Perfect if you enjoy extra cushion and impact protection.
  • 8.5 support rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • The Kawhi 2 is an improvement on the 1 in almost every way.
  • Best for forwards and centers that need strong traction and stability.
  • 8.3 support rating based on 7 expert reviews
  • The Nike Kyrie 8 is a welcome improvement in the Kyrie lineup.
  • Best for players looking for a shoe with no real weaknesses.
  • 8.3 support rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • The Li-Ning Way of Wade 9 Infinity provides plenty of traction and plays very springy.
  • Players that like to take advantage of their straight-line speed.
  • 8.0 support rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • The Adidas D Rose Son of Chi features good traction and solid support.
  • Players with quick playstyles and don't need lots of impact protection.
  • 7.0 support rating based on 6 expert reviews
  • LeBron's 18th signature shoe has one of the best cushion setups available.
  • Great for big guys who like soft and comfortable cushioning.
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The Top 10 Most-Supportive Basketball Shoes

1. Air Jordan 36

Performance Rating:
9.1
The latest Air Jordan mainline signature model is, once again, a top-performing shoe.
support rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
Absolutely no issues at all with the traction
Cushion feels amazing
Cons:
The outsole can be a tiny bit unsteady
They fit narrow and snug
What do the experts think?
The Air Jordan 36 continues the recent trend from Jordan brand and picks up right where the last two models left off. The traction is phenomenal. It performs well on both clean and dusty courts. All reviewers agree that the cushioning used in the 36 performs amazingly, but they also agree that the Air unit protruding from the outsole is unnecessary. The fit is snug and narrow, so if that's not your cup of tea, consider sizing up. Materials are slimmed way down this year. They make the shoe lightweight without sacrificing much in terms of comfort and durability. The surprisingly strong upper and the outsole materials wrapping upward towards the midsole make the support in this shoe solid. Being the latest signature shoe in the lineup, the Air Jordan 36 delivers and is yet another high-quality performance basketball shoe.

2. Nike Air Zoom GT Jump

Performance Rating:
8.9
The tech-loaded Nike GT Jump's performance is outstanding.
support rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
The tech works well together for performance
Jump frame is as good as advertised
Cons:
A bit on the heavier side
What do the experts think?
The final release in Nike's GT series, the GT Jump, manages to find a way to make all of the tech Nike threw in it work well together. The traction gripped all the different surfaces that reviewers tested it on while still keeping up with the cushioning. When it comes to cushioning, if you're a fan of Nike Zoom, you're going to love these. It's bouncy, provides ample impact protection, and is very fast to play in. Nike uses Jumpwire combined with synthetics and meshes to keep the shoe breathable without compromising performance. Most reviewers also agree that the Jumpframe is a standout aspect of the shoe. It helps secure the foot so that the player doesn't feel unstable on top of the cushioning. Although the wait was long, the Nike Air Zoom GT Jump delivers, and it's one of the best shoes to come out this year.

3. Nike Lebron 19

Performance Rating:
8.9
The Nike LeBron 19 is better in almost every way compared to last year's model.
support rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
They provide good support and stability
The cushion feels incredible
Cons:
Traction can be inconsistent at times
They fit a bit snug
What do the experts think?
The latest entry in LeBron's signature shoe line gets off to a shaky start with reviewers mentioning that the traction performs inconsistently. As always with the LeBron line, the cushioning is the standout performance aspect. The shoe has ample impact protection while still finding a way to feel bouncy due to the forefoot Zoom Air. The fit can be snug. However, the materials do loosen up once broken in. Speaking of materials, they are much improved this year. The upper feels light and is comfortable straight out of the box. There are no issues with support and lockdown. In fact, the lateral containment is even a highlight for the LeBron 19. Overall, the Nike LeBron 19 is a fun shoe to play in with its crazy cushion setup, improved materials, and solid support. The only downside is the traction.

4. New Balance Kawhi 2

Performance Rating:
8.5
The Kawhi 2 is an improvement on the 1 in almost every way.
support rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
Improved materials
Grippy traction
Cons:
Not the best for impact protection
No additional width options with this model
What do the experts think?
Kawhi Leonard's latest signature model with New Balance is a solid step in the right direction. The traction bites on just about any surface after an initial break-in period. New Balance keeps the shoe feeling low to the ground and responsive with the full-length FuelCell setup. It isn't the plushest, but it helps players feel nimble. The materials used on the upper of the shoe are lightweight, breathable, and make the shoe feel very supportive. Working together with the materials, the heel counter and outsole tread that wraps up the shoe, keep your foot feeling secure. These features make support and lockdown a non-issue in the shoe. Most reviewers had no issues with the fit, but they did mention that New Balance doesn't seem to offer this model in extra widths. Overall, the New Balance Kawhi 2 is a strong performer that provides excellent traction and stability.

5. Nike Kyrie 8

Performance Rating:
8.3
The Nike Kyrie 8 is a welcome improvement in the Kyrie lineup.
support rating based on 7 reviews
Pros:
Consistent traction
Amazing forefoot Zoom Strobel
Cons:
Materials could feel more premium
What do the experts think?
As controversial as Kyrie Irving is, his signature basketball shoe continues to be a quality performer. The traction is what you come to expect from the Kyrie lineup. It performs well, similarly to the previous models. For the Kyrie 8, Nike implemented a forefoot Zoom Strobel that adds a new dimension of bounce while still remaining low to the ground. The materials used feel comfortable while providing quality performance. They're also thin and breathable. The lacing system helps to provide a fit that won't cause issues for most people. Reviewers also agree that the lateral containment and lockdown provided are excellent. When it comes down to it, the Nike Kyrie 8 is an excellent shoe that caters to many different playstyles.

6. Li-Ning Way of Wade 9 Infinity

Performance Rating:
8.3
The Li-Ning Way of Wade 9 Infinity provides plenty of traction and plays very springy.
support rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Strong, grippy traction
Boa system helps keep you secure
Cons:
The price is expensive
Feels high off the ground
What do the experts think?
Reviewers agree that the grippy traction is the best part of the Li-Ning Way of Wade 9 Infinity. The cushioning setup feels springy, but the impact protection could be better. It's great at propelling players forward. The materials are thin and breathable, and the lacing system is well done. None of the reviewers mentioned any glaring issues with support, which is a positive sign for a shoe that's so high off the ground. With excellent traction, and a strong, durable outsole, the Way of Wade 9 Infinity offers the tech and performance to warrant its high price tag.

7. Adidas D Rose Son Of Chi

Performance Rating:
8.0
The Adidas D Rose Son of Chi features good traction and solid support.
support rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Traction is consistent on all surfaces
Supportive and low to the ground
Cons:
Materials aren't the best
What do the experts think?
Adidas's latest D Rose shoe, the D Rose Son of Chi, Is a solid performing shoe at a great price of just $100. The shoe has traction that performs surprisingly well on all surface materials. It feels great to play in. Adidas uses Bounce cushioning in this model, and reviewers agree that it feels responsive. The impact protection is adequate but could be better. It doesn't use the best materials, but they get the job done. The fit feels snug since the materials don't stretch much. The lateral support in the shoe is very sturdy. There are no issues with stability either. One reviewer did note that this may not be the best shoe for those preferring mobility over stability. Overall, the Adidas D Rose Son of Chi is a good option in the budget-friendly price range.

8. Nike Lebron 18

Performance Rating:
7.0
LeBron's 18th signature shoe has one of the best cushion setups available.
support rating based on 6 reviews
Pros:
Outstanding cushion
Premium materials
Cons:
Poor lateral stability and containment
Uncomfortable tongue
What do the experts think?
The traction of the Lebron 18 is good on clean courts, but inconsistent on dusty courts. The rubber of the outsole is durable enough for outdoor use. The cushion is one of the best setups you can buy today! The combination of full-length Zoom Air, Cushlon, and Max Air offers top of the line comfort with solid responsiveness. The $200 retail price is justified by materials that feel premium and durable, but some reviewers had issues with the tongue rubbing at the top of the foot. The Lebron 18 fits true to size, but the Batleknit materials take a little to break-in. The support is the low point of the shoe as reviewers had issues with lateral stability and containment due to the soft and high-off-the ground outsole. Overall the LeBron 18 is a comfortable shoe that is more suitable for big guys who can take advantage of the cushioning and don't make a lot of hard cuts.

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. mike

    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. Andy

      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. Dame

    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. Sadie

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

    1. Andy

      Sorry, but I never had any Achilles issues myself and don’t really know that to look for in this case.

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