I grew up playing basketball in the 1980’s and much has changed about the game of basketball from the time I was running up and down the court in wearing Chuck Taylors (like most players were back in the day).
One of those many big changes is that no one is wearing Chuck Taylors anymore, and for good reason; the quality and ankle support that basketball shoes from companies like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Converse, Jordan Brand, and Puma offer now make wearing Chucks laughable. Thankfully for me, I miraculously only sprained my ankle a handful of times despite wearing the canvas shoes. Now there are so many options on the market and factors to consider when it comes to the best basketball shoes with ankle support, it’s dizzying.
Why Do You Need Basketball Shoes with Ankle Support?
Turning an ankle might be the most common injury in the game of basketball. That’s always been true, but the modern game now requires a lot more athleticism, lateral movement, speed, vertical, and creativity. You can’t scroll through social media without seeing a highlight of someone “breaking someone’s ankle” with a dribble move, so on top of all the regular basketball movements you should have a minimum of great ankle support.
Now my kids are hooping so I am looking out for their well-being. They’ve been lucky to have avoided some of the injuries I had growing up; however, in time it seems as though getting some type of ankle injury is inevitable. My kids love a shoe that looks good, and that sometimes seems to override the actual performance of the shoe.
I’ve researched dozens of shoes so you don’t have to and here’s some of the top shoes on the market for when you’re hitting the basketball court and reducing the likelihood of turning your ankle.
Factors to Consider When Buying Basketball Shoes
It can prove to be a challenge to find the best basketball shoe for ankle support out of all of the options available on the market.
There are a number of factors to look at when buying basketball shoes in addition to the ankle support they provide. A good starting point is to consider the position you are going to play (and your age).Once you get out of the younger age groups, this can prove a big difference maker.
If you are a guard, you will want to be able to move as quickly as possible when on the court. As a result, many players who are guards prefer low top shoes that often don’t provide a lot of ankle support. On top of being weighing less, low tops allow for more fluid motion.
For those frontcourt players which may be a traditional forward or center position, you may want to consider a high-top basketball shoe. Due to the extra material, these are inherently heavier. This helps when being more aggressive in the paint and deliver the added protective coverage and ankle support demanded of those positions.
If you play a mix of positions, then you will want to get something in-between. You will need ankle support but not necessarily what the center is wearing. This makes looking at a mid-top basketball shoe a great compromise for all positions when ankle support is consideration.
Not all shoes are created equal, so you want a shoe that not only has enough ankle support, but the proper fit is nearly as important. How comfortable you feel in the shoe makes a huge difference. You don’t want the shoe to feel too loose, too tight, or it simply feels off.
An ill-fitting shoe can lead to twisted ankles or worse if you are not careful. At the end of the day, you will want to pick out a basketball shoe that you are comfortable with and is affordable based on your personal needs. There’s no cookie-cutter approach when buying shoes, but these are some important things to keep in mind.
A Dozen Great Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support
We conducted a review of the shoes that are highly rated for great ankle support for basketball players, and have them listed for you to consider below.
|4||Under Armour||Embiid 1||$105|
|5||Nike||Lebron Witness V||$100|
|6||New Balance||Kawhi 2||$160|
|8||Nike||Why Not Zer0.5||$130|
|9||Reebok||Shaq Attaq||$180 (Orig. $350)|
|11||Nike||Air Zoom GT Jump||$180|
We Review: The Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support
We looked at a couple dozen basketball shoes taking into consideration the type of shoe, the material, the stability, grip, traction, weight, height and several other factors that contribute to providing maximum ankle support.
#1 Nike Lebron 19
The Nike Lebron 19 is a great shoe for those looking for superior ankle support while still wearing a nice looking shoe. Compared to the LeBron 18s; however, the shoe is wanting a bit in the traction category and it is relatively a heavy shoe. Nike made this version to deliver better stability and support. Bigger players will like the improved support and lockdown features of the shoe. It is designed to deliver stabilized runs and keep the foot contained. The outward appearance of the 19 is a bit busy.
The high top shoe weighs 18 ounces, and comes in eight different colorways for those who like to match their shoe color to the their team (if the color is not available it also comes in grey, white, and black). The price has dropped a bit since it’s initial release, and if you shop around, there are some really good deals to be found on the shoe. You might be able to find a good deal on these ankle-forward shoes.
#2 Jordan Brand Jumpman
The Jordan Jumpman has an extremely grippy, durable sole. The midsole is made up of foam with great padding, and there is stitched upper and Zoom Air cushion adding to the great support of the shoe. The fit of the shoe is large, and while it weighs 2.2 pounds, it offers a stable base and excellent ankle support for basketball players.
The rubber outsole of the shoe adds to its durability; especially, if you are only using them for indoor play. Many players do find they need to get a size down from their regular basketball shoe when shifting to this model, but make sure you try on a pair before buying to make sure since the shoe does come in north of $100 USD in most retail stores and online market places.
#3 Nike KD 14s
Coming in third on our list is the Nike KD 14. This has been ranked on other review sites as one of the top choices for players that are sold on a mid-top basketball shoe with great ankle support. The shoe comes out a bit stiff but is somehow one of the softer Nike shoes, so while does take a little time to break in out of the box, once you’ve given it a couple games, the KD 14’s are an overall great looking shoe with solid impact protection, plastic girders that enforce “lockdown” and has one of the best traction ratings on the market.
Across the board the Kevin Durant 14’s are a great shoe. From the fit to the cushion to the support to the materials; it all comes together just right for anyone looking for an affordable basketball shoe with elite ankle support.
From RunRepeat: Great Ankle Support. Good lockdown and good traction. The KD 14 will definitely be a hoop-only shoe, it doesn’t really feel comfy enough to walk around in all day. I would expect you to hoop in these and take them off when you’re done.
#4 Under Armour Embiid 1
The Embiid 1 from Under Armor is one of the best shoes available for ankle support and stability for players. The shoe fits snugly but is comfortable and has a die-cut EVA sockliner. It weighs 13.9 ounces and fits true to size on the player. For those looking for a shoe featuring a powerful base this is your pick.
The model employs several levels of stability that are designed to help protect your foot. There is a lot of cushion worked into the design to cover the heel, forefoot, and ball as well as keeping flexibility in mind. This is a big shoe very suitable for those who are going to bang in the post. You always want to look at who sponsors a shoe, so if you look at Joel Embiid and decide if this is the right fit for your game. If it is, this will be one of your best choices out there for the price.
User review: KC writes on Amazon, “ 5.0 out of 5 stars. Solid construction and improved Stability. After playing pick-up basketball for a year in my Costco special tennis shoes I felt it was time for a shoe that offered more stability and grip. I have very wide flat feet, so I need a shoe that will fit comfortably and not cut off my circulation. I wasn’t sure about Under Armor as a brand when it comes to workmanship and quality materials so I wasn’t sure what to expect. These shoes turned out to be well worth the price…Because I play in the post, having a supportive shoe that fits well and is comfortable, even when wearing ankle braces, is a must… worth the money. Will buy again when I need to replace the ones I have.“
#5 Lebron Witness V
The Lebron Witness V is one of the most responsive shoes in the ankle support category out there. The shoe has a very lightweight design coming in at only 2.4 pounds and is a very stable, flexible, and resilient shoe. It has a forefoot lockdown system with Air Zoom Units, and the Midsole is foam constructed.
The overall fit of the shoe is true to size for those who have been burned before. It has great ankle support despite being low profile, and the Air Zoom units are under the balls of the player’s feet to ensure the maximum support and stability while driving the basketball. The shoes are a tad bulkier than some players like; however, if your priority is a great basketball shoe with solid ankle support you can’t go wrong at a price point of $100 (and cheaper on some marketplaces online).
#6 New Balance Kawhi 2
The Kawhi 2 is Kawhi Leonard’s latest shoe with New Balance. It a good shoe to choose for basketball if looking for ankle support, and the traction of the shoe will give you a good bite on almost any type of court surface once you have them broken in. New Balance uses the full-length FuelCell setup to keep the shoe responsive and the materials used on the top part of the shoe are breathable, light, but still make it feel extremely supportive to the player.
There is an outsole tread that wraps up the shoe to help support and keep the foot feeling secure. One negative for those with large feet, is New Balance does not offer the model in non-standard widths (at the time of this writing). The price at $160 USD is a tad higher than some of the other shoe brands we took a look at; however, the Kawhi 2 is a strong performing shoe that is lighter than many of the others which offer improved ankle support for basketball players.
#7 Nike Kyrie 8
The Nike Kyrie 8 offers some of the most consistent traction of all of the shoes we reviewed that offer above average ankle support to players. While fans either love or hate Kyrie Irving, his basketball shoe has consistently been a high-performing product. In the Kyrie 8, there is a forefoot Zoom Strobel that provides additional bounce while keeping the show low to the ground. The materials that make up the shoe are thin and breathable, and the lacing system employed delivers a fit that will be comfortable for most basketball players. The Kyrie 8 is designed to support a variety of playing styles and is one of the more affordably priced models we reviewed and will be widely available for purchase in the late fall of 2022.
#8 Why Not Zer0.5 – Russell Westbrook
The Why Not Zer0.5 is the latest release of the popular Russell Westbrook basketball shoe. It is one of the best on the market for ankle support and is a very durable basketball shoe. It is springy, responsive and includes double stacked Air Zoom units. The fit of the shoe is true to size, and it comes in weighing 2.2 pounds. There are not many shoes today that have both the support and the features of the Zer0.5.
These great looking kicks from Jordan Brand have great reinforcement around the ankle along with heel and forefoot webbing that helps keep your foot from moving around while playing. The lightweight construction delivers breathability for the player, and it delivers a good amount of grip. The price is decently priced at $130 USD, and it delivers great high-top support.
User review: McStarry Night wrote on FGL Sports and later reposted at Nike, “Super Comfy! LOVE these shoes! Super comfy.”
#9 Reebok Men’s Shaq Attaq
The Reebok Shaq Attaq is a bit higher priced now at $180 than when it first came out ($350); however, it is one of the more collectible basketball shoes that have been produced. It is designed for big men playing in the post and offers outstanding cushioning and ankle support.
The Shaq Attaq is a very durable shoe, but the toe box is known to crease more easily than other equivalently designed basketball shoes. This was the first signature shoe of Shaquille O’Neal, and a lot of people purchase it for a casual shoe vice playing basketball.
Reebok designed the Shaq Attaq to be responsive using Graphlite technology installed in the midsole which is made of strong plastic fiber. This helps reduce the overall weight of the shoe while delivering above average stability. The Shaq Attaq uses a herringbone pattern in the outsole made of rubber for a great grip, and the model can be adjusted to achieve the perfect fit for the player. It also features a speed lacing system and pump technology to customize the fit of the shoe. The model has been around for more than two decades, and offers a large number of colorways for the consumer.
User review: Arrow writes on Amazon, “5.0 of 5 stars. I LOVE THEM! Great shoes for an even better price! Awesome basketball shoes for a great price. I like them much better than any Nike basketball shoe as with the pump you can provide as much or as little support for your ankles as you want without the worry of a bulky brace. With all Nike shoes if you have any ankle problems you have to wear a brace along with the shoe and this tends to greatly mess up the comfort of the shoe because they are not designed for that.
Well, with pumps that problem is completely eliminated as you can give yourself as much or little ankle support as you want just by pumping them up. I would recommend these shoes to anyone and I will be buying another pair or two in different colors just to change things up as not everything goes well with gold and purple.”
#10 Adidas N3xt L3v3l
The Adidas N3xt L3v3l basketball shoe is one of the most comfortable on our list for ankle support for players. The overall construction of the shoe is knit-synthetic, and it has a unique sock-like fit with a Primeknit upper and lace less design. This is one of the larger shoes that we reviewed, and it offers some of the best cushion for your money out there while only weighing 12.8 ounces. The shoes fit snugly like a sock, and lateral movement is easy. They do take a little effort to break in before they will be game ready for the majority of players. The Adidas N3xt L3v3l is definitely one of the more unique looking shoes out there.
#11 Nike Air Zoom GT Jump
The Nike Air Zoom GT Jump is the final release in Nike’s GT series, and it delivers. Outstanding for those looking for excellent ankle support, and the shoe traction is excellent on all surfaces while preserving cushioning that delivers great impact protection. The shoe plays fast, and it uses Jumpwire with synthetics and meshes to maintain breathability with no performance compromise. The Jumpframe does wonders in securing a player’s foot so they don’t feel unstable with all of the cushioning that it delivers. The model is a bit heavy for those used to lightweight shoes, but it comes in moderately priced.
#12 Peak Streetball Master
The Peak Streetball Master (Lou Williams) is one of the best outdoor basketball shoes for those demanding great ankle support. The shoe weighs two pounds, and the sole is made up of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate. The honeycomb traction pattern combined with wear-resistant rubber makes it a great shoe for the playground and it fits true to size.
This Peak Streetball Master is also one of the best for the money on the market without losing any key features like lockdown or style. The Streetball Master also features integrated weaving and a raised midsole. Make sure you try it on before buying if you can since some players do not like the stiff midsole area.
Best Affordable Basketball Shoe for Ankle Support
Peak Streetball Master
The Peak Streetball Master is our top pick for those looking for the most affordable solution for a basketball shoe offering excellent ankle support. While the Lou Williams shoe isn’t necessarily widely known outside of fans who have had the please to watch the outstanding NBA guard play across several teams during his career, for only $60, you can’t beat what you get for the money. Stylish with all of the features that players requiring both support with cushion and lockdown while looking stylish, this shoe delivers. The midsole stiffness is something you will want to check out while trying them on if you have a store in your area that you can visit to do so.
Otherwise, the Streetball Master might not have the cachet that other brands have but it’s a great overall selection for being a basketball shoe that is both under $100 and providing excellent ankle support.
Best Overall Basketball Shoe for Ankle Support
Under Armor Embiid 1
The Embiid 1 is our choice for best overall basketball shoe for ankle support. Not only does the shoe offer great stability, but it fits true to the size of shoe you normally wear for playing ball weighing only 13.9 ounces. The price is also very decent at just $105 USD for what you get for your money. Tons of cushion to go around, and if you are playing in the post or power forward, you can’t go wrong with following one of the best big men in the NBA with this shoe. For those who are fans, we have a video of some of his best, recent dunks for you here too.