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 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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 aggressive movements.