Top Ten Best Basketball Shoes For Ankle Support: Avoid Injury And Improve Your Court Speed

Sprained ankles are the number 1 most common injury in basketball. That is equally the case for professional and amateur players. And for men and women alike. The most devastating thing about ankle injuries is that you’ll never really know how long you could be out of action.

It’s an injury that even Kobe Bryant wasn’t immune to when it happened to him in 2013. At the time, the official statement was an indefinite side-lining. When a doctor tells you that it is devastating. No matter whether you play as a professional or just for fun.

The good news is, though, that you can buy footwear that will help you support your ankles in a way that reduces the chance of such injuries. You might think that because most basketball sneakers cover the ankles that they will have plenty of support.

But the reality is that kids and adults often get fooled by fancy marketing and the latest designs. I have seen it too many times while coaching high school kids. That’s why we’ve put together this list of best basketball shoes for ankle support. If you can prevent such injuries in the first place, then you’ll save yourself a lot of pain and downtime.

So, let’s dive right into the top choices.

Our Top 10 Basketball Ankle Support Shoes Recommendations

The analysis of all these products is based on researching hundreds of options on the market right now. Just because a shoe isn’t on this list, doesn’t mean it’s bad. But we think that these ones have some superior qualities that make them the best basketball sneakers with ankle support that we can recommend.

ProductFeatureRating
#1 - Nike Men's Hyperdunk
Highly Comfortable Shoes
  • Great-looking design
  • Provide flexibility for your foot transitions
  • Supportive and lightweight
5.0 stars out of 5
#2 - Adidas Performance Crazy Explosive
Highly Responsive
  • Stylish design
  • Comfortable, lightweight
  • Plenty of colors to choose from
4.5 stars out of 5
#3 - NIKE Lebron Soldier 10
Beautiful Design
  • Aesthetically pleasing pair of shoes
  • Offer durability
  • Made from quality material
4.5 stars out of 5

1. Nike Men’s Hyperdunk: Highly Comfortable Shoes

There is no limit to variety when it comes to these Nike Hyperdunks. From blue to green, red, yellow, and combination patterns, there are a ton of colors for you to choose from.

The Hyperdunk has responsive cushioning in both the heel and forefoot, which may help to provide comfort and impact protection. With a high-top design, these shoes may provide your ankles with the support needed without sacrificing flexibility.

You should able to move around freely yet know that your ankles are taken care of. The ankle area may feel snug for those who aren’t used to these shoes, but the support they provide may be well worth it.

With a unique Hyperfuse construction, these shoes are lightweight and breathable. Whether you use them in the summer or winter, they shouldn’t be too uncomfortable to wear, even with the high-top design.

Their trendy design is attractive for those who are all about style on the court. If you’re looking for a durable pair of basketball shoes that offer both style and comfort, these may be the ones for you.

Pros:

  • Supportive design, which may reduce fatigue
  • The cushioning provides comfort while jumping and running on the basketball court
  • Lightweight materials make them easy to play in
  • Many people love the design that makes them stand out
  • They provide flexibility for your foot transitions without sacrificing support

Cons:

  • The narrow design could be an issue for those with wide feet
  • They take a while to break in, so could cause some discomfort at first
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2. Adidas Performance Crazy Explosive: Highly Responsive

This pair of basketball shoes made from textile and synthetic leather claim to be both durable and breathable. With a high top shaft measurement, they offer support around the ankles. And the responsive cushioning may help to reduce the impact from running, jumping, and transitioning in a game.

The unique lacing system on these Adidas Crazy Explosive may help to take off the pressure for a more comfortable fit. They also have a trendy design that will look good on the court.

As sturdy as these shoes are, they are also lightweight enough to provide you with the freedom and flexibility you need. While the laces do tend to wear out over time, loosening the fit, they also help the shoes not to fit so tight.

The Crazy Explosive aren’t the best ankle support basketball shoes, but they do provide comfort and many players say they are responsive.  The soles are made from polymer plastic, which may help to prevent slippage on wooden floors. While they aren’t as durable as rubber outsoles, they do a better job of providing top traction.

Pros:

  • The stylish design is attractive and trendy
  • There are plenty of colors to choose from
  • Many people report that the lacing style helps to provide a more breathable fit
  • Comfortable and lightweight feel for easy foot transitions
  • Provide support that may reduce risks of injury

Cons:

  • A bit more cushioning and deeper tread would help on outdoor courts
  • They run on the small side, so be careful choosing a size
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3. NIKE Lebron Soldier 10: Beautiful Design

These high top basketball shoes don’t have the best ankle lock-in, but they do provide a means for flexibility and support.

Their trendy, attractive design doesn’t hurt either. Black, red, and white are combined to make this stunning shoe stand out. If looks were everything, these shoes would be one of the best.

More than just the style, these NIKE Lebron shoes are also comfortable with cushion in both the heel and forefoot. While the cushion may weigh them down a bit, many players say they are quite responsive and are comfortable for explosive players.

The rubber compound on the soles may provide better traction and is durable enough to be used on outside courts. A good grip is key for your safety while you play basketball, and many reviews highlight this as a positive feature.

These Lebron Soldier’s upper is made from mesh foam, which may allow for more breathability. If you are looking for a comfortable and sturdy pair of basketball shoes, these may be ideal.

Pros:

  • Very popular shoes because of the design
  • Claim to have good traction, so you don’t easily slip, no matter where you play
  • Positive comments about durability so that you can use them for a long time
  • They have good support to reduce the strain in your ankles
  • The quality materials help to make them breathable and comfortable

Cons:

  • They are a bit bulky, which could be uncomfortable for some
  • The price is a bit high mainly because of the name
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4. Reebok Shaq Attaq: Excellent Soles

The Reebok Shaq Attaq shoes are made from synthetic materials and have a rubber sole, meaning that they may be more durable shoes.

The removable insole helps to make them comfortable for different foot sizes. And the leather and mesh upper may help with stability and to be more breathable.

The EVA midsole may also aid in comfort, while the graphite helps to ensure support from heavy impacts. You can even pump these up for added support.

Available in a few different colors, you should find your favorite one in this stylish shoe.  If you’re a guy who wants a comfortable dependable shoe, these are one of the best. Just be aware that if you have wider feet or need more toe room, they may be a bit too snug for you.

Pros:

  • They have a unique, stylish design which is eye-catching
  • Removable insole and midsole claim to add more comfort
  • Breathable and comfortable materials
  • You can adjust the pump pressure to achieve a better fit
  • Durable upper and sole make them suitable for outdoor use

Cons:

  • They are a bit bulky for some people’s preferences
  • The toe area may feel a bit snug for wider feet
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5. Under Armour Curry 2.5: Top Stability And Support

With an external PU shell, they claim to have the stability and support you need for your game. The external shank and heel counter may help to ensure that everything from the arch to the heel and forefoot is locked in.

This unique design also may help to ensure that your foot doesn’t slide easily for more stable wear and fewer chances of blisters. With a molded synthetic upper, these shoes provide a good fit for different size ankles.

Many reviews highlight that they have good traction and grip to prevent slipping during your game.

They are made to last and can be played in for hours without excessively sweating. Unlike some basketball shoes, these ones are very easy to get on without having to unlace them all the way.

They have a rather narrow design, so if you have wide feet, you may need to look elsewhere. Some may consider them to be a snug fit, but it’s the same lock-in feel that provides the support feature.

Pros:

  • Their unique design ensures support and stability
  • They have a strong upper that may offer better durability
  • Many positive reviews on the traction, so you can move effortlessly on any court
  • Stylish design, so you can look good in any game
  • They are comfortable to wear for long hours on the basketball court

Cons:

  • The size runs small, so consider choosing a bigger size than you typically do
  • They are a bit too narrow for those with wide feet
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6. NIKE Lebron XIII: Lightweight And Breathable

If you want a pair of shoes that are both comfortable and lightweight, these NIKE Lebron XIII are a good option. The one-piece mesh upper mey help to provide a snug fit while remaining breathable and comfortable.

If you need to get a bit more protection and support for your feet, you’ll appreciate the Hyperposite panels. The foam lined collar may help to add protection for your ankles, and the rubber outsole is reportedly good for traction. After all, basketball players have to make many foot transitions, so a good grip is key.

With large Zoom Air units, you would expect these shoes to be much more comfortable than others. If you need a dependable shoe for good performance, these Lebron XIII may be exactly the type you need.

As supportive as they are, they are also quite flexible so that you have more control.

Pros:

  • Breathable enough to wear in all kinds of weather
  • Lightweight and easy to wear for long hours
  • Positive comments on the good grip for successful foot transitioning in games
  • Relatively good ankle support for your safety
  • Unique style and design which may help you stand out

Cons:

  • They are a bit narrow, which could make them uncomfortable for those with wide feet
  • The sizing runs small, so be careful when choosing a size
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7. PUMA Men’s Sky II Hi: Trendy And Fashionable

These may not be the best sneakers with ankle support, but they sure do look good. Of course, they do have some features that allow them to be used on the court as well. For example, full-grain leather may help that they remain durable with plenty of use.

The rubber sole allows for a good grip and less wear. With a shaft measurement of high-top from the arch, they offer good ankle protection.

The dual hook-and-loop shaft straps allow you to adjust the tightness around your ankle for added support. And unlike some high-top basketball shoes, these claim to be easy to slip on and off.

Many players buy them to play friendly games and also for casual use. A plus is that they are more affordable than some other options.

If you’re concerned about support, they do have some ankle protection, but they lack the cushioning that some other options have.

Pros:

  • They are stylish to use both in a game and on the street
  • Fairly good ankle support, so you can use them for playing
  • Relatively inexpensive, making them a great option for budget shoppers
  • Comfortable to wear for long hours, so your feet won’t get tired
  • They are easy to put on and slip off, which is always a plus

Cons:

  • They don’t have as  much foam cushion as other basketball shoes
  • Narrow design  makes them too snug for those with wide feet
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8. Under Armour Drive 4: Better In Black

These are a gorgeous pair of shoes that will be noticed on the court and off. Available in quite a few colors, you can choose the one that best suits your style.

Besides being an attractive shoe, they also have a unique micro thread technology. This allows them to dry faster when they get wet and also may help to keep you cool even while you sweat. The moisture transport system wicks sweat, which may be a good reason to buy them for hotter climates.

If you’re someone who struggles with smelly feet, the anti-odor technology is reviewed positively in many online comments. With a 4-way stretch design, you may transition in a game more easily. Made from textile and synthetic materials with a rubber sole, these Under Armour Drive 4 claim to offer better durability.

If you want a stylish and comfortable pair of shoes for the game that doesn’t sacrifice good ankle support, these could be a good choice to make.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design, for a more comfortable wear
  • Attractive design that you can be proud of
  • Ideal for those who live in warm climates due to moisture-wicking system
  • They are comfortable to wear for long games
  • Good ankle support, so your ankles stay strong and protected

Cons:

  • The sizing runs small, so try choosing a size larger than what you normally wear
  • They are a bit narrow, making them less suitable for wider feet
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9. Reebok Royal Bb4500h: Offers Optimal Protection

Made from synthetic materials, these Reeboks have been reported to not wear out quickly. The rubber sole may provide more grip on the court and will last through many basketball games. With a removable ortholite sock liner, these shoes are more comfortable than many other options.

The high-abrasion outsole is made from rubber that helps you to have the stability you need for foot transitioning. And the midsole design allows for flexibility but doesn’t sacrifice support.

The mesh upper and tongue allows for breathability, so you can wear these shoes, no matter the weather. Because of the full fit, it’s easy to get hot while you play basketball, so you’ll appreciate that these may keep your feet a bit cooler.

If you don’t mind shoes that are a bit heavier but keep you safe, these are a good pair of shoes to help improve your game.

Pros:

  • Comfortable for long hours on the court
  • Good outsole that provides reliable traction
  • The design allows for flexibility and easy movement
  • They offer great support and stability for optimal ankle protection
  • Breathable enough to wear throughout warm weather

Cons:

  • They are a bit bulky and heavy for some people’s preferences
  • They have a narrow design which makes them feel a bit too snug
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10. AND1 Fantom Basketball Shoe: Unique Style And Build

These shoes offer durability with their synthetic materials and the rubber sole that many players have highlighted online. Where they lack is in the complete ankle support. Still, their mid-top arch is enough to provide your ankle area with some type of protection.

The AND1 has a new reinforced heel so that your feet won’t hurt after long hours of playing. The toe area has a no-sew fusion that keeps pressure points to a minimum. The laser-cut vents may help to keep your shoes airy, even while you play a heated match.

Available in different colors, you can pick the perfect pair to go with your basketball gear. They also have cushioning, which may help you to be able to stay on your feet for a long time.

If you play competitively, you may want to consider a more protective design. But, if you like to play with friends at the local park’s court, these will really work just fine for you.

Pros:

  • Designed well and offer durability
  • Reasonably priced for the comfort they offer
  • Provide breathability with their unique vent design
  • Reinforced heel may help to keep the shoe durable and comfortable
  • They are lightweight, making them easy to play in for many hours

Cons:

  • The sizing runs slightly small, so be careful when choosing the fit
  • They don’t have the best ankle support, which could be a factor for you
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What Features You Need To Focus On

It has been my experience from years of working with kids and adults, that there are just a few features you need to focus on. No matter what your playing level is, don’t just get hung up on the looks. Yes, cool looking sneakers are important but if they don’t support the fast movements and heavy impacts, then you could quickly run into issues.

Ankle Support

Basketball requires requires you to transition your feet from one second to the next. It also means that you’ll be jumping a lot, which means that your ankles could be easily injured.

That’s why it’s important to look into basketball shoes with good ankle support. A shoe with a high-top design may help to provide your ankles with snug protection. While some mid-top shoes may be enough to provide ankle support, it may be best to look for higher options.

Keep in mind that even if the shoe has a high-top measurement, it may not always provide the best support, so you want to do your research. This can be the case in all types of sports. 

Of course, choosing the design also depends on what position you play. High-tops add extra weight while mid-tops may be better for speed. The style of the shoe may affect your game, so choose according to your style and position in the game.

Cushioning

With so much jumping and moving around, you want a pair of shoes that will provide you with the impact protection needed. Landing on your feet without any padding while playing basketball may cause strain injuries over time.

You want to make sure that you find cushioning that helps to provide support and comfort without making the shoe too snug. Shoes that have cushioning in both the heel and forefoot are usually the best aproach to take. They can help to keep you safe from issues like stress fractures or ligament tears.

You want to avoid shoes that don’t have any padding. Just imagine landing from a jump and hurting your heel or arch, due to the impact. This is how stress fractures tend to happen.

Laces

Some high-top designs have unique lace designs as well. Some are your typical laces, while others are simply “pull tabs.” How to choose the right design is about knowing which type provides you with the best fit.

Some people like laces that are easy to tie for the snuggest fit, while others prefer being able to quickly get the shoes on and off. Just keep in mind that ankle support is very important, and you want a shoe that may help you with that. You may want to consider shoes with laces and straps, so you can easily adjust the tightness if need be.

Materials

Materials are very important in your basketball shoes. If they are made from cheap materials, you’ll find yourself having to invest in a brand-new pair much more quickly. But using higher quality materials may also help with providing better protection.

Try to invest in ones with rubber outsoles and a leather upper. These materials will stand up to the wear and tear from playing basketball. Of course, there are other new materials such as mesh that add to breathability, so if you can find a shoe with the perfect combination, you’re in luck.

Design

While style certainly isn’t the most important factor, you do want to feel good in what you wear. Fortunately, a lot of different designs are available in various colors, which may give you the freedom to choose the one you love.

There are some great designs in the above options. Whether you love your Nike shoes or prefer Adidas, you have plenty to choose from.

Just make sure that the quality and function are just as good as its style. Remember that high-top designs don’t always have the best ankle protection, so make sure to do your research.

Common Ankle Injuries

Because of how basketball is played and the many foot transitions required, your ankles are in constant danger of injury.

No one wants to be off the court for weeks on end, which is a big reason why you need to consider how to avoid accidents. The following injuries are some of the most common ones when it comes to basketball games.

Sprains

Sprains tend to happen in basketball when the player isn’t wearing proper shoes. They tend to happen with quick movements and missteps. This tends to happen when a player wears shoes with little to no ankle support.

A sprained ankle is no fun. The ankle tends to swell up, and often the individual will have a hard time walking on it. Typically, you can’t play while you recover from a sprained ankle (1). Whether it’s a minor sprain that you barely notice or a painful one, give yourself time to get better.

Ligament Tears

Another painful injury from not wearing sneakers with good ankle support is a ligament tear (2). The way ligaments align in your ankles makes them quite vulnerable every time you hit the court.

Torn ligaments are one of the most common injuries (3), and in severe situations may require surgery. Even minor tears may require several weeks of rest and some physio therapy.

Fractures

Because landing from a jump may cause a heavy impact, your feet tend to receive the brunt of the force (4). When you don’t wear the right shoes with good padding and soles, you could expose yourself to stress fractures.

Stress fractures are rather common ankle injuries for basketball players. They are small cracks in the bones and do require treatment. Sometimes you’ll notice the pain if it’s a large fracture, but other times, it may not be that much. If you don’t take care of it, you will find that with time the level of pain may worsen (5).

Frequently Asked Questions

Do low top basketball shoes have ankle support?

No, low top basketball shoes don’t have sufficient ankle support, and if you have any previous injuries, then you should only wear them with a brace. The lacing simply doesn’t go high enough to fully support the joint, which could be a risk.

Are high tops good for ankle support?

Yes, high tops are good for ankle support, but you shouldn’t rely on them entirely. Firstly, they may not protect as well as an ankle brace would. Secondly, you’ll still need to strengthen your foot muscles as that’s your best line of defense.

What can I do for weak ankles?

For weak ankles, you can make sure you buy high-top sneakers, possibly an ankle support sleeve, and definitely train your foot muscles every day. The stronger your support muscles are, the more you can protect your ankles.

Do NBA players tape their ankles?

Yes, some NBA players tape their ankles, but this is not recommended by doctors and physios as a good approach. A compression sleeve or brace may work a lot better to prevent the most common injuries.

Should basketball players wear ankle braces?

Yes, basketball players should wear ankle braces if they have had any type of ankle injury in the past. No matter how well you recover from an injury, it’s still going to be a weak point that you have to deal with.

Should I wear an ankle brace after a sprain?

Yes, you should wear an ankle brace after a sprain as it may be the best way to protect against further damage occurring. Sprains may seem like a simple thing to heal, but if you add to the damage, then you could cause long-term problems.

Conclusion

The best basketball shoes for ankle support will help you avoid common ankle injuries. No one wants to sit out a season and wearing the right shoes may keep you safe. If you aren’t sure which shoe is best for you, it could take some trial and error.

Always remember that you want good ankle support in any shoe. If the shoe looks amazing but lacks in ankle protection, keep shopping. Of course, there are other factors to consider, but make ankle support a priority.

These basketball shoes offer almost everything you need in the way of features. From the measurements to the style and materials, each one offers quality and support. Take your time and consider which option will provide you with the comfortable and safe wear that you need.

Dave Spalding

Hi, my name is Dave Spalding and I’m a high school teacher for Chemistry and Biology as well as the coach for the basketball team. Teaching has been something I always wanted to do after it became clear that my ambitions of becoming an NBA player didn’t quite match my talent as a player.

I’ve been playing basketball for as long as I can remember. I think my parents bought me a small indoor kids; hoop and ball when I was 3 years old and I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t pick up a ball and either coach or practice myself.

Coaching has definitely been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done, and helping some kids gain scholarships to big Universities has literally changed lives for students that would have struggled with further education.

On this site I contribute to all things basketball with some fitness and exercise tips thrown in as well. If you have any questions at all, then feel free.

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