Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support: In-Depth Reviews and the Ultimate 2019 Buyer’s Guide

basketball field with player

Finding the best basketball shoes for ankle support won’t be easy, considering there are so many pairs of shoes to choose from these days, considering basketball is more popular than ever before. But many of today’s basketball shoes tend to focus more on style than substance. If you’ve ever had a basketball-related injury or you’ve played for hours in shoes that were neither comfortable or supportive, then you know a good pair of shoes can make a big difference when you’re on the court.

Below you’ll find a comparison chart that lists the similarities and differences between each pair, in addition to summaries of the top five pairs of the basketball shoes on the market

Basketball Shoes Comparison Chart

ProductStyleCushioningForCostRating
Under Armour Men's Jet
under armour men Check Deals!
MidEVA foam Men $
Adidas Originals
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High-topsGeofit foam Men $$
Under Armour Boys' Drive
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High-topsMicro G/EVABoys$
Nike Lebron Soldier XI
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High-topsZoom airMen $
AND1 Women's Overdrive
and1 Check Deals!
High-topsEVA Women$

Best Men’s Basketball Shoes-Under Armour Men’s Jet Mid Basketball Shoe

under armour men

Our Rating: (5/5)

The Jet mid-tops from Under Armour are dominating the market. They offer a true fit, the popular herringbone multidirectional tread design that provides ultimate traction and grip out on the court, and just the right amount of flex. Since these are not high tops, they don’t offer over the top ankle support, instead, you’ll still have the room you need to move, but you’ll also benefit from the mid-top design that provides better than average ankle support, especially when compared to low-tops.

Best Traction Basketball Shoes-Adidas Originals Men’s Pro Bounce 2018 Basketball Shoe

adidas

Our Rating: (4.5/5) 

The Pro Bounces basketball shoes have created quite the buzz in the sports industry. These shoes offer better than average ankle support, a comfortable interior cushioning design that’s also supportive, and a sole design that improves your grip whether you’re playing on an indoor or outdoor court. If you’re looking for a new pair of shoes that can provide the type of ankle support you need, while also helping to improve how you move on the court, then look no further than the Pro Bounce.

Best Grip Basketball Shoes-Under Armour Boys’ Drive 4 Basketball Shoes

under armour boys

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

These Under Armour basketball shoes for boys provide the same type of support and flex that you can expect from shoes designed for adult use. The Drive is currently one of Under Armour’s top-selling shoes, and for all the right reasons. The 4 comes with the patented Micro G and EVA foam cushioning that offers support in all the right areas. The shoes also provide top of the line ankle protection and support that will keep your ankles stable and secure as you race down the court. Built tough and offering the perfect amount of flex, it comes as no surprise that the Drive 4’s are on every player’s wishlist.

Best Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet-Nike Lebron Soldier XI Men’s Basketball Shoes

nike lebron

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

If you’re schooled in the major events in basketball history, then you know Lebron has worn the Soldiers many times during the finals. These shoes have got it all, from a simple eye-catching look to an overall design that focuses on ankle support using straps instead of laces. These shoes may not be for everyone, but Lebron James fans everywhere will swear that these are the shoes you need if you want to improve your performance out on the court and protect your ankles from serious injury when you’re making your way to the basket.

Best Women’s Basketball Shoes-AND 1 Women’s Overdrive Basketball Shoe

and1

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The Overdrives by AND1 are the leading basketball shoes for women on the market. The high-top design provides top of the line ankle support, while the radial herringbone tread will improve your grip and your performance out on the court. The internal bootie will also provide extra ankle support, however, the shoes still offer plenty of flex, allowing you to move freely. These shoes will work for both indoor and outdoor courts and offer the type of versatility most players are searching for in a pair of shoes that are game-worthy.

Buyer’s Guide

The best basketball shoes for ankle support will have a big impact on your performance on the court. Every player knows that the right shoes will improve your game and give you an edge. Choosing the right pair is mainly a matter of personal preference since comfort and support is highly dependent on the shape of a person’s foot. However, there are some common factors that you’ll want to pay attention to that can impact how you perform during a game and can determine whether or not the shoes are providing the type of ankle support you need.

A good shoe should be supportive, comfortable and will make your ankles feel stable. There are a few main types of basketball shoes to choose from including high tops, mid-tops, and low-tops. Obviously, the high tops are going to provide the most ankle support, but they can also be pretty heavy which can end up slowing you down on the court.

Mid-top sneakers offer more flexibility when you’re running around on the court, and they’re definitely much lighter than high tops, however, if you have preexisting ankle issues, then they’re not the best choice.

Low tops are by far the most comfortable, but they don’t provide much ankle support.

Uppers

Ankle injuries on the court are all too common. Wearing supportive shoes can be an effective way to reduce your risk of ankle injuries on the court. The upper is the portion of the shoe that provides the type of ankle support you need. This part of the shoe also offers stability and flexibility. But shoes with a flexible design allow you to really move on the court. However, often don’t have the type of support you need to keep your ankle well-protected

If you want the best ankle support, choose a shoe that has synthetic uppers. These uppers are pretty flexible and allow you to move around on the court without applying too much pressure to the ankle.

Cushioning

A tighter fit will offer more stability and protection. However, the interior cushioning and the outsole can be just as important. Since this is a sport that requires a lot of jumping and running, you’ll need to look for shoes that can handle a lot of use and abuse on the court. Running and jumping can put a lot of tension and stress on your ankles. Because of this, you should look for shoes that come equipped with the type of cushioning that’s designed to absorb impact, such as Micro G foam, or EVA cushioning.

Traction

When we’re talking about basketball shoes, aside from ankle support, nothing will be more important than traction. The ability to have and maintain a stable grip is crucial, especially when you’re driving the ball down the court. There is a huge difference between outdoor and indoor shoes. For indoor shoes, you’ll want to look for a much finer tread pattern compared to outdoor sneakers. Outdoor shoes will usually come equipped with a much larger tread pattern complete with deep grooves that are designed to handle rougher and uneven playing surfaces.

Ankle Support Matters

Shoes designed to support the ankles specifically can keep you court ready ,healthy, and can minimize your risk of ankle injuries, which is the leading type of injury on the court. An ankle sprain can occur when the ankle rolls inwards. This type of painful injury can keep you on the bench for several weeks, especially if you fail to rest it properly. Shoes that offer extra ankle support will be especially important for players who have a history of ankle injuries. The extra ankle support from the right basketball shoes will be essential in keeping you playing ready. These shoes will provide enhanced ankle strength, preventing the ankle from rolling inwards. The extra amount of support will reduce the pressure that’s placed on the ankle, allowing you to enjoy a more comfortable playing experience and a better performance.

Material

Back in the day, most basketball shoes were made primarily out of leather. While leather is a durable material, it’s not exactly breathable or lightweight. These days, basketball shoes are made out of a mix of materials. Leather is often used for certain areas that are classified as high abrasion area. For improved airflow, synthetics and mesh are used. Having leather on high abrasion areas is important in terms of stability. You’ll usually find leather on important areas such as the heels and ankles. However, synthetics will typically be used on the tongue and forefoot because of their breathability.

A shoe with excellent traction is also important. The soles of the shoes are usually made from rubber, with tough tread patterns that are designed to help you maintain your footing on the court. Additionally, the closure of the shoe is also important. There are a variety of closure options to choose from. I recommend going with a style that will help to lock your foot in place and one that also offers plenty of flexibility.

Breathability

As I just mentioned, breathability is very important. A shoe should fit nice and snug but offer some flexibility and should be made out of breathable material. If not, aside from ankle issues you may also end up dealing with constant fungal infections which can occur if your feet are left wet for more than twenty minutes. This is a common issue with lower-priced basketball shoes. So, before you buy, make sure the shoes have a reputation for their breathable design. Breathability is a big part of shoe comfort and you definitely don’t want to be focused on how uncomfortable and wet your feet feel when you’re in the middle of a game.

Durability

Your shoes should be able to handle rough use when you’re on the court, at least for a period of one to three months. Of course, this can depend on how often you wear them. If you only wear them for inside games, then they may last even longer compared to the shoes you wear on public outdoor courts. Durability is important since you don’t want to worry about your shoes falling apart on the court. Lower -priced shoes will have cheap soles that can fall apart after just a month of use.

 Choosing a Style Based on How You Play

If you’re familiar with basketball rules and how the game is played, then you know you have to choose a playing position that works with your skill level and style. If you’re someone who finds themselves in the thick of it on the court, pushing through other players to get to the ball or defending your teammates from the opposing team, then you’re going to want shoes that offer more stability and support. Point guards often go with high tops, since these seem to fit the bill in terms of ankle protection and stability.

There are some mid-top options out there that can provide adequate ankle support, but they offer the type of flexibility you’ll need if you’re often running down the court with the ball at lightning speed or practicing basketball crossover moves.

Weight

Weight matters. Lighter sneakers allow you to fly down the court, while heavier sneakers can easily tire you out after just fifteen minutes of running up and down the court. However, if stability is a priority, then you’ll have to go with heavier shoes, especially if you’re in need of more ankle support.

Arch Support

When it comes to basketball shoes that are supportive, the insoles will also be important. The insoles should provide plenty of arch support and have enough cushion to allow you to play for as long as you need to. Also, be sure to check the exterior of the shoe. The outsoles can be just as important as the insoles and will provide traction that prevents you from slipping and sliding around a freshly waxed court, while providing your arches with the type of support they need to prevent an injury or chronic pain. The sole of the shoe should be as wide as possible for improved stability. A wider sole will also help to prevent your ankle from rolling.

Sole Compound

The type of compound used to create the sole is important. The shoes you choose should include a rubber compound, which can help to ensure you feel stable and secure when you’re running around on the court. This type of sole can also positively impact your speed, allowing you to move quickly when you need to. These soles are much more comfortable compared to synthetic soles since they aren’t as hard as tend to offer plenty of bounce. Sole thickness will also play an important role. The thickness of the compound used can be significantly different when you’re looking at shoes designed for outdoor or indoor basketball. For outdoor shoes, you’ll need a thicker sole, which will help you to cope with a rougher playing surface, especially if you go with a midsole sneaker. For indoor basketball shoes, you’ll want thinner soles that are designed to handle polished, smoother surfaces.

 What Type of Basketball Shoe Can Improve My Performance?

The right shoe for you will boil down to your playing style and personal preference. They should provide the right type of support, but should also be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Remember, the style of the shoe itself will have a big impact on how you play. While high-tops are a little heavier, they do offer the best ankle support and stability. These shoes are a great option for anyone with past ankle injuries or players who have a lot of contact with the court, since these shoes can also easily handle the type of high impact that comes with jumping and landing.

Low-tops are very comfortable, but instead of a focus on ankle stability, these shoes are designed for speed. Their lightweight design allows the wearer to perform better when they’re driving the ball down the court, dribbling, and making slam dunks.

Mid-tops can offer the best of both worlds, however, this can vary from pair to pair. Some will offer better ankle support, while others will have more of a focus on speed. These shoes are basically a great choice for the all-around player who finds themselves all over the court dunking, blocking, and rebounding. They tend to offer the best balance of stability and speed compared to low-tops and high-tops.

Aside from style, any type of high-performance sneaker should offer superb traction and better than average cushioning and support, all of which will directly impact your performance, boost your energy, and increase your speed. These shoes should allow you to swiftly change direction, pivot, and move effortlessly.

Basically, as I mentioned earlier, your playing style and a history of injuries will often determine which type of shoes is the best fit for you out on the court. The right amount of traction, breathability, and support is what you need to look into in order to find the type of shoes that can enhance your performance.

It’s true, basketball shoes don’t make the player, but with the right shoes, you’ll have the ability to move the way you need to during the game, without the fear of injury.  To learn more about the game and how to get ahead, click here to read my article on when was basketball invented.

What to Do Before You Buy

You know what to look for in a basketball shoe that’s designed to provide ankle support, but do you know how to choose the right shoes for your specific playing style? If you’re still asking yourself “what basketball position should I play” then you may need a shoe that’s versatile, comfortable, and supportive, a pair that will work for most playing styles while also providing the right amount of ankle support. Playing basketball involves making quick changes in direction, jumping, and running, so you’ll need a good quality pair of shoes that can handle heavy use. The right shoes will impact your performance, especially if you’re struggling with how to get better at dribbling or keeping control of the ball in general.

  • When you’re choosing a new pair, make sure you have your foot measured professionally, beforehand, especially if you’re ordering your new shoes online. These measurements will help you determine the right shoe size, in terms of both length and width.
  • As I briefly mentioned earlier, if possible, choose a pair of shoes based on your playing style. If speed if your thing, find shoes with a moderate amount of cushioning and a lightweight design. The shoes should also be supportive and flexible. A power player will need heavier shoes, so a standard pair of high tops should work just fine.
  • Look for a cut that can provide the level of protection you need. As you know by now, many players will go with high tops because they offer the most ankle support, while others will prefer mid or low-tops because they aren’t quite as restrictive.
  • Find a shoe that has a sole that can meet your needs. If you find yourself practicing basketball dribbling drills often, then you’ll need a sole that provides ultimate traction and grip depending on whether you play on indoor or outdoor courts.
  • If possible, and even if you’re going to order your shoes online, try on the pair you’re interested in, before you buy. You can easily test the length by putting your thumb between the end of the shoe and your big toe. There should only be about one inch of space here. The width of the shoe should not feel tight and should offer a snug fit instead. You should also try running a few steps in the shoe, just to make sure your heel doesn’t end up slipping against the back.
  • Never wear worn-out shoes to play in as this can result in overuse injuries. If you’re wearing your shoes for practice or games, they should be replaced every two to three months. Daily use can wear down the material and will hinder the shoe’s ability to provide the type of support and cushion you need in order to protect your feet.

Final Thoughts

Having the best basketball shoes isn’t exactly a guarantee that you’ll play just like the pros, however, they can help to improve your grip on the court, your speed, and the precision in which you play, not to mention ankle stability and comfort. When you’re comfortable during a game you’re free to concentrate on the plays and your performance. You won’t be focused on how uncomfortable you are or worry that you’re going to roll your ankle again. Remember, breathability, support, comfort, traction, and fit are all important when it comes to finding the perfect basketball shoes that can help you be a better player.