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 477 expert reviews of 81 different basketball shoes and ranking them by the average score they received in the category “support”.
Affordable low-top with excellent traction, great support, and solid cushioning.
Works best for quick guards in need of excellent traction
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
Comfortable full-length Zoom Air cushioning
Best for explosive and powerful players
Solid traction and Zoom Air units in heel and forefoot
Perfect for players with narrow feet who like to ball outdoors.
Comfortable Boost cushioning, premium materials and great traction
Works for players of all positions
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
Traction pattern provides great traction on all surfaces
Great bang for the buck and should work well for positions 1-4.
Great court-feel, lockdown, and stability.
Works best for quick guards who prefer court feel over impact protection
The Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support
The HOVR Havoc Low is the first basketball shoe that comes with Under Armour's new HOVR cushioning technology. The HOVR foam in the outsole is heavily caged and starts off very firm but gets more comfortable after the (considerable) break-in time. The outsole is made from a hard and durable rubber and sports a traditional herringbone traction pattern that impresses on all surfaces. Materials are standard Mesh and synthetics that provide a ton of support and lockdown.
Overall, the Under Armour HOVR Havoc Low is a great performer for quick guards looking for an affordable low-top with excellent traction, great support, and solid cushioning.
Best Deals for the Under Armour HOVR Havoc Low:
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:
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:
Russel Westbrook's first signature sneaker is a hit with shoe reviewers. The full-length Zoom cushioning, usually reserved for much more expensive shoes, is responsive, comfortable and offers great impact protection for explosive players. The fit and support work very well and give you the stability needed for quick moves. Traction is great on clean courts but you will need to wipe a lot on dustier courts. At only $125, this is a great first release for Russel Westbrooks signature line and offers amazing bang for the buck.
Best Deals for the Jordan Why Not Zero.1:
The Ultra Fly 2 is a great performer at a decent price. The traction is solid, and thanks to the hard rubber, it works very well outdoors too. Getting forefoot and heel Zoom units at the affordable retail price of only $125 is a great deal. The only downside of this shoe is that the one-piece-bootie upper construction is very hard to get on at first. Overall, this is a very affordable shoe that's perfect for players with narrow feet who like to ball outdoors.
Best Deals for the Jordan Ultra Fly 2:
Succeeding the very successful and much beloved 2016 model is a difficult task, but the Crazy Explosive 2017 pulls it off! Reviewers love everything from the excellent (but slightly firmer) cushioning, to the premium materials, great fit and excellent support. The only slight negative is the stiffer upper that takes a while to break in but then becomes really comfortable. One of the best-reviewed shoes in 2017 so far!
Best Deals for the Adidas Crazy Explosive PrimeKnit 2017:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.