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 1470 expert reviews of 295 different basketball shoes and ranking them by the average score they received in the category "support".

  • 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.
  • 8.8 support rating based on 6 expert reviews
  • Nike's G.T. Jump 2 has one of the best cushioning setups.
  • Any players who thrive with maximalist cushioning will love the Nike G.T. Jump 2.
  • 8.6 support rating based on 7 expert reviews
  • The Air Jordan 38 takes a step forward with improved support. The traction and cushioning are also solid.
  • This is a perfect shoe for players looking for maximalist containment.
  • 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 4 expert reviews
  • The Under Armour Flow FUTR X Elite provides stable cushioning and grippy traction with an innovative upper.
  • This shoe is best for players who prefer a wider, more accommodating forefoot area during play.
  • 8.3 support rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • The Air Deldon has a comfortable cushioning setup but inconsistent overall performance.
  • A great pick for players who play on clean courts and enjoy full-length Air.
  • 7.8 support rating based on 8 expert reviews
  • The Air Jordan 37 is a top performer with bouncy forefoot cushioning and strong materials.
  • Recommended for forefoot-heavy players looking for a bouncy setup
  • 7.8 support rating based on 4 expert reviews
  • The Curry 4 FloTro continues the trend of outstanding traction and responsiveness in shoes that use a Flow midsole.
  • The perfect shoe for players who rely on footwork and quick movements
  • 7.7 support rating based on 3 expert reviews
  • The Curry Spawn FloTro mixes excellent traction with responsive cushioning and a comfortable upper.
  • This shoe is best for guards with fast play styles who benefit from the Flow traction.
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The Top 10 Most-Supportive Basketball Shoes

1. 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.

2. Nike G.T. Jump 2

Performance Rating:
8.8
Nike's G.T. Jump 2 has one of the best cushioning setups.
support rating based on 6 reviews
Pros:
Top-tier cushioning setup
Improved mobility from the Jump Frame
Cons:
Materials quality could be better
What do the experts think?
The latest in the Nike Zoom G.T. Jump series is an impressive upgrade. The traction is reliable, and it performs well on all court types. Dust doesn't affect performance much, but make sure to wipe. Nike improved the cushioning setup too. The React is soft and comfortable, while the Jump Frame and Zoom Air provide outstanding bounceback. The material quality isn't the best, but they feel comfortable. Lateral stability isn't as secure because of the reduced Jump Frame, but the support is still fantastic and uncompromised. The shoe allows for more movement. Overall, the Nike G.T. Jump 2 is a maximalist shoe done right.

3. Air Jordan 38

Performance Rating:
8.6
The Air Jordan 38 takes a step forward with improved support. The traction and cushioning are also solid.
support rating based on 7 reviews
Pros:
Improved containment and stability
Comfortable full-length Zoom Strobel
Cons:
Price is expensive
Outsole durability
What do the experts think?
The latest entry in Jordan Brand's signature lineup improves on the previous Air Jordan 37. The traction grip is elite, but the rubber wears away quickly. It's not suited for outdoor use. Jordan Brand uses a full-length Zoom Strobel combined with Cushlon 3.0. It provides a comfortable and bouncy cushioning setup. Support is much improved this year. The lockdown and containment keep you stable and secure. The materials are comfortable and breathable. The upper feels more traditional in terms of materials. Jordan Brand paid attention to the details with the Air Jordan 38. The shoe is more reliable and secure this year.

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. Under Armour Flow FUTR X Elite

Performance Rating:
8.3
The Under Armour Flow FUTR X Elite provides stable cushioning and grippy traction with an innovative upper.
support rating based on 4 reviews
Pros:
Stable foam midsole
Comfortable Intelliknit upper
Cons:
Stretchy forefoot materials
Non-optimal performance fit
What do the experts think?
The Under Armour Flow FUTR X Elite is a newly innovative performance basketball shoe. Flow foam remains elite on clean courts. As always, wipe on dusty surfaces. The midsole setup features a bulkier iteration of Flow. It feels more stable and secure. It's better for responsiveness. Under Armour's Intelliknit upper is also comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. The midfoot shank and stiff heel counter ensure support and containment are not an issue during play. The fit is divisive. Players who enjoy more freedom and stretchiness in the forefoot and toe box will enjoy the fit, but players who prefer a snug fit will not. The Under Armour FUTR X Elite steps up with a more innovative upper, and the traction and cushioning are what you expect from Flow, but make sure you like the fit beforehand.

6. Nike Air Deldon

Performance Rating:
8.3
The Air Deldon has a comfortable cushioning setup but inconsistent overall performance.
support rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Comfortable cushion setup
Supportive fit
Cons:
Inconsistent traction
Poor quality materials
What do the experts think?
Elena Delle Donne's debut sneaker features a traction pattern reviewers said was inconsistent. It performs on clean courts but is poor whenever dust is present. The cushioning is a full-length Air Strobel and a forefoot Zoom unit. The setup is comfortable while still providing some bounce. Reviewers have divided opinions on the materials. Some say the materials are poor quality, and others say it's plush and comfortable. The support and lockdown are surprisingly stable despite not having a traditional heel counter. Overall, the Nike Air Deldon is a mixed bag performance-wise. The traction has a lot of room for improvement, but the cushioning and support perform well.

7. Air Jordan 37

Performance Rating:
7.8
The Air Jordan 37 is a top performer with bouncy forefoot cushioning and strong materials.
support rating based on 8 reviews
Pros:
Bouncy forefoot cushioning
Materials are strong for performance
Cons:
Materials are not premium
Heel cushioning could be better
What do the experts think?
Jordan Brand switches up the traction to look more like the traction on the Zion 1, but the performance is still there. The double-stacked Zoom Strobel and Zoom Air unit in the forefoot provide plenty of bounce and responsiveness. Meanwhile, the heel cushioning is Formula 23, and it feels caged. All reviewers agree that the materials are not premium but excel in all performance aspects. The fit is improved compared to last year's Air Jordan 36. It accommodates slightly wide feet better. The support features are all there too. The materials work well to keep the foot contained during play. The latest mainline Jordan, the Air Jordan 37, offers innovative performance and has plenty of features to love.

8. Under Armour Curry 4 FloTro

Performance Rating:
7.8
The Curry 4 FloTro continues the trend of outstanding traction and responsiveness in shoes that use a Flow midsole.
support rating based on 4 reviews
Pros:
Tacky traction
Materials feel high quality
Cons:
Lack of impact protection
Not very explosive
What do the experts think?
Like all shoes using a Flow midsole, the traction on the Curry 4 FloTro bites hard. It feels tackier than the Curry 9. The cushioning is responsive and smooth. The shoe feels low to the ground but doesn't have the best impact protection. The materials might be synthetic, but they feel premium. The shoe's construction makes it fit well for many different foot shapes. It accommodates wide footers well. The reviewer's only concern with the shoe is the slight sliding on the footbed caused by heavy cutting. Overall, the Curry 4 FloTro is a fantastic performer. The shoe offers some of the best traction on the market and plays well for footwork-reliant play styles.

9. Under Armour Curry Spawn FloTro

Performance Rating:
7.7
The Curry Spawn FloTro mixes excellent traction with responsive cushioning and a comfortable upper.
support rating based on 3 reviews
Pros:
Flow foam has top-tier traction
Responsive cushioning
Cons:
Materials retain heat
What do the experts think?
The Curry Spawn is the latest shoe to get the FloTro treatment. Flow foam remains one of the best traction setups on the market. The grip and performance are elite. The Flow midsole is responsive and light. Materials are light and well-padded, but the shoe retains heat and moisture. Support and lockdown are solid for the most part. You have to use all the lace holes to avoid potential issues. Reviewers were also surprised with how accommodating the fit of the Curry Spawn FloTro is, especially during play. The Curry Spawn FloTro is another impressive shoe in the FloTro line. The upgrade to the traction is well worth it.

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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