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 843 expert reviews of 186 different basketball shoes and ranking them by the average score they received in the category “support”.

  • 9.0 support rating based on 3 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.

  • 9.0 support rating based on 5 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.

  • 9.0 support rating based on 3 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.

  • 9.0 support rating based on 7 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

  • 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

  • 8.5 support rating based on 6 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

  • 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

  • 8.0 support rating based on 2 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.

  • 8.0 support rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • A very affordable Nike budget model with good overall performance
  • A good choice for outdoor courts

  • 8.0 support rating based on 2 expert reviews
  • Lebron's budget model comes with a big Zoom unit in the forefoot
  • Only recommended for Lebron fans who can't afford his more expensive signature shoes

The Top 10 Most-Supportive Basketball Shoes

1. Air Jordan 36

Performance Rating:
9.0
The latest Air Jordan mainline signature model is, once again, a top-performing shoe.
support rating based on 3 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. Air Jordan 35

Performance Rating:
9.0
An update to the Jordan 34 that performs just as well if not better.
support rating based on 5 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!

3. Nike Lebron Soldier 14

Performance Rating:
9.0
An update to the LeBron Soldier line without the forefoot straps.
support rating based on 3 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!

4. Nike Kyrie 6

Performance Rating:
9.0
Kyrie's 6th signature shoe is an evolution of previous models and probably the best Kyrie so far
support rating based on 7 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!

5. Jordan Why Not Zero.3

Performance Rating:
8.8
Russell Westbrook's third signature shoe is still very flashy but feels a lot less bulky than the predecessors
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.

6. Nike Lebron 17

Performance Rating:
8.5
The huge Max Air unit in the heel and 2 Zoom Air units in the forefoot provide crazy cushioning
support rating based on 6 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.

7. Jordan Jumpman 2020

Performance Rating:
8.3
The Jordan Jumpman 2020 feels like a cheaper version of the excellent Air Jordan 34
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.

8. 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 2 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.

9. Nike Renew Elevate

Performance Rating:
8.0
A very affordable Nike budget model with good overall performance
support rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
The traction pattern is durable and performs
Supportive upper materials
Cons:
Materials feel and look cheap
What do the experts think?
The Renew Elevate is one of Nikes cheapest budget models, does it show in its performance? The traction pattern works well on outdoor courts and clean indoor courts. On dirty courts, you will need to wipe off the dust from time to time. The cushioning setup is divisive: one reviewer thought the Renew foam was soft and bouncy while another thought that it was too firm and didn't provide enough impact protection. The Mesh materials look and feel cheap but provide enough support and feel comfortable on-foot. Overall, for only $80 you get a decent performer, comparable to the KD Trey 5 VIII, but a little more supportive and with lower material quality.

10. Nike Lebron Witness 4

Performance Rating:
8.0
Lebron's budget model comes with a big Zoom unit in the forefoot
support rating based on 2 reviews
Pros:
Affordable Lebron budget model
Cons:
Cheap and flimsy upper material
Inconsistent traction
What do the experts think?
The Lebron Witness 4 costs only half of what the Lebron 17 costs. But does this price difference show in the performance? The traction in the forefoot performed well but one reviewer felt the heel sliding out a lot on lateral cuts. The cushioning is much firmer than in the Lebron 17 but you still get some nice compression in the heel and a little bit of bounce from the Zoom unit in the forefoot. The materials show the biggest difference to the Lebron 17: the Mesh upper is flimsy and cheap-looking but it gets the job done. For $100, the Lebron Witness 4 is a solid performer but, even at this price, there are better shoes out there.

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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