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 540 expert reviews of 99 different basketball shoes and ranking them by the average score they received in the category “support”.
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
Very supportive leather upper, great traction, and responsive Zoom Air cushioning.
Perfect if you like old-school basketball sneakers
Amazing traction, well-balanced cushioning, and very good fit
Perfect if you are looking for an affordable all-around performer with no weaknesses
Great court-feel, lockdown, and stability.
Works best for quick guards who prefer court feel over impact protection
Improves the already great performance of the PG2 by adding an additional forefoot strap for more lockdown
Perfect if you are looking for an affordable all-around performer without any weaknesses.
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
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
Traction pattern provides great traction on all surfaces
Great bang for the buck and should work well for positions 1-4.
Great fit, good traction, and much-improved impact protection
Affordable, well-rounded basketball shoe
The Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support
- 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:
- Nice leather materials
- Very durable
- Very heavy
- Fit can be problematic
The performance retro of the original Kobe 1 Protro turns out to be very divisive. Some reviewers love the retro materials and sturdy feel of an old-school basketball sneaker, while others complain that these are too heavy and bulky compared to current performance sneakers.
Traction and cushioning perform very well and the support is absolutely amazing because of the solid materials used. The fit is more problematic as the leather doesn't conform to your feet as well as modern textile materials do.
If you like old-school basketball sneakers then you will love the Kobe 1 Protro, but if you are looking for a minimal and fast shoe then this isn't for you.
Best Deals for the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro:
- Traction works even on dusty courts
- Great lockdown and stability
Chris Paul's 11th signature sneaker is very well-liked by sneaker reviewers. The traction has amazing bite and works well even on dusty courts. The low-to-the-ground cushioning setup provides a nice combination of impact protection and responsiveness. The forefoot strap helps to lock down your feet tightly, and the lacing system makes sure that there is zero heel slippage. Materials aren't premium but they do their job (even though ventilation could be better).
Overall, the CP3.XI is a great all-around performer that should work well for positions 1-5 and comes at a very affordable price!
Best Deals for the Jordan CP3 XI:
- Great ankle support
- A lot of court feel
- Traction takes a while to break-in
The latest shoe in the Kyrie signature series is very similar to previous shoes in the series. It focuses on support and court-feel and gives you the ability for quick crossovers and creative attacks of the basket. The new Nike Zoom Air Turbo cushioning remains firm and is clearly optimized for court feel - if you are looking for comfortable shoes with a lot of impact protection, then you won't be happy with the Kyrie 5. Overall, this is a very supportive shoe that works best for guards looking to imitate Kyrie's playing style.
Best Deals for the Nike Kyrie 5:
- Additional strap provides more support
- Great price
- Impact protection in the heel
The Nike PG2.5 is almost identical to the PG2 but comes with an additional forefoot strap we know from the PG1. This addition improves the fit and support a little bit as it gives you the ability to customize the forefoot to work with your feet. Other than that, materials, cushioning and traction remained unchanged and provide the same great performance that the previous model did!
At only $110 retail, you can't go wrong with these!
Best Deals for the Nike PG 2.5:
- 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:
- 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:
- 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:
- Improved cushion
- Fair price
- Less traction than previous Kyrie models
The Kyrie 4 is the best overall performer of the Kyrie signature line and works well across all categories. The cushioning is much more comfortable than in previous models and provides great impact protection while still offering responsive court feel. The engineered mesh upper and suede feel comfortable and supportive and provide a great 1:1 fit - there is no heel slippage or lateral movement. The traction doesn't quite live up to the levels of the Kyrie 3 or 2 but is still decent and requires minimal wiping. At $120 retail, this is a great pick for everybody that is looking for a well-rounded basketball shoe.
Best Deals for the Nike Kyrie 4:
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.