A Guide to the Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support in 2019

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The most common injury basketball players get is a sprained ankle. Basketball requires you to move almost all the time. Lateral movements, jumping, and running put a lot of stress on your ankles. As a basketball player, you want to prevent injuries from happening. That’s why wearing the best basketball shoes for ankle support is a must. 

The Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support

Basketball is a game where you’ll be on the move constantly. Whether you’re doing a crossover, defending, or making a jump shot, you put stress on your ankles. Some actions can even lead to other injuries. Theses include landing on someone else’s feet, feet sliding because of less traction, and getting caught in a crossover. 

You can reduce the risk of injuries by using the best basketball shoes for ankle support. The best basketball shoes should provide stability for your feet. They need to have great traction to protect your ankles against sprains and injuries. 

Brand
Best Overall
Adidas Pro Bounce Basketball
Best for the Money
Under Armour Drive 4 Basketball Shoes
Best Cheap Pick
Under Armour Men’s Jet Mid Basketball Shoe
Product
adidas Men's Pro Bounce 2018 Basketball Shoe,...
Under Armour Men's Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoe,...
Under Armour Men's Jet Mid Basketball Shoe, Red...
Material
Textile
Textile and Synthetic
Textile
Sole
Synthetic sole
Rubber sole
Rubber sole
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Adidas Pro Bounce Basketball
Product
adidas Men's Pro Bounce 2018 Basketball Shoe,...
Material
Textile
Sole
Synthetic sole
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Under Armour Drive 4 Basketball Shoes
Product
Under Armour Men's Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoe,...
Material
Textile and Synthetic
Sole
Rubber sole
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Under Armour Men’s Jet Mid Basketball Shoe
Product
Under Armour Men's Jet Mid Basketball Shoe, Red...
Material
Textile
Sole
Rubber sole
Rating

Best Overall Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support: Adidas Pro Bounce Basketball

The Adidas Pro Bounce Basketball Shoes are still great basketball shoes. There’s not much development in basketball shoe technology in 2019. Most 2019 basketball shoes are just renamed with technologies from past models for marketing gimmicks. 

adidas Men's Pro Bounce 2018 Basketball Shoe,...

The Adidas Pro Bounce comes in a lot of colors to choose from. The design is clean and simple. It can be off-putting for you if you want your shoes to stand out. 

The support on Adidas Pro Bounce is excellent. It keeps your feet and ankles in place. The Torsional support comes from the 2 split TPU spring plates placed into the forefoot of the shoes. 

It seems that these shoes cater to people with wide feet. These shoes stay true to size. If you have small feet, you may feel a slight space in the toes. It shouldn’t bother too much. There are no problems with your ankles when wearing the Pro Bounce. If you go down half a size your toes might hit the rubber outsole around the toe area. 

When it comes to traction, the Adidas Pro Bounce provides the best Adidas outsoles to date. The outsoles have a spiral pattern which usually works well for traction. The spiral pattern design in the Adidas Bounce works really well even on outdoor courts. 

The cushion on the shoes is what Adidas calls “Bounce Cushion.” The bounce and comfort you get give a balance of performance and comfort. It helps with absorbing the impact when you’re getting that rebound on the court. It also helps with reducing the stress placed on your ankles whenever you jump. However, outdoor courts are a different story. The bounce isn’t felt as much when you’re on outdoor courts. 

The Bounce cushion also gives a slight bounce on the feedback underfoot. It still provides court feel. 

The Adidas Pro Bounce uses ForgeFiber on the upper part of the shoes. ForgeFiber is a lightweight mesh with additional stitching for reinforcement and strength.

It’s a lightweight and breathable cushion but it may feel a bit cheap on the feet. It helps keep your feet and ankles secured and in place in the shoes. 

adidas Men's Pro Bounce 2018 Basketball Shoe,...
  • Regular fit
  • Mesh upper; Forgefiber in the upper features heat-pressed, TPU-coated fibers that are stitched in to...
  • Cable lacing system with webbing eyelets; Geofit construction for anatomical fit and comfort

The Adidas Pro Bounce (2018) Basketball Shoes is the best overall basketball shoes for the ankles. It’s lightweight, provides excellent traction thanks to the spiral design, the ForgeFiber helps keep your feet in place, and the Bounce technology helps absorb impact on your feet. 

Product Specifications:

  • Shaft measures approximately 6 inches from arch
  • Regular fit to secure lockdown on foot giving better ankle support
  • Mesh upper, Forgefiber in the upper features heat-pressed, TPU-coated fibers that are stitched in to provide targeted support and lightweight durability
  • Cable lacing system with webbing eyelets; Geofit construction for anatomical fit and comfort
  • Bounce cushioning provides enhanced comfort and flexibility
  • Rubber outsole has great traction preventing sliding of feet when moving

Best Basketball Shoes for the Money: Under Armour Drive 4 Basketball Shoes

The Under Armour Drive 4 Basketball Shoes is the 4th generation sneakers in the Clutch Fit Drive model. However, unlike the previous models, these basketball shoes no longer use the Clutch fit upper. That’s why there’s no Clutch Fit in the model name. 

Under Armour Men's Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoe,...

Under Armour Drive 4 uses textile mesh and neoprene as the main materials of the shoes. It’s cheaper compared to the ClutchFit upper material. It doesn’t feel cheap at all. 

Neoprene helps with the flexibility of the shoes to fit your feet. This is true, especially in the ankle area. 

The soft mesh material covers the toe and forefoot area of the shoe. The neoprene covers the inner side of the forefoot and ankle collar. Neoprene allows your feet to feel comfortable on the inside. It makes the inside breathable and allows the foot to move freely. 

The cushion features the MicroG technology on the whole heel area. It is perfect for players who occasionally land mostly on their heels. MicroG helps absorb the impact from jumping thus reducing the stress you put on your ankles whenever you do high-pressure movements. 

The heel part provides impact protection and shock absorption from landing a jump. It also provides a boost in your jumping abilities. 

The forefoot is composed of Phylon for responsiveness from low to the ground midsole. It’s perfect for guards and finishers who want their first step or move to have much power. 

Under Armour still employs the traction formula that works for them. Under Armour Drive 4 uses the Herringbone traction pattern that works well on the court. The traction is superb on these basketball shoes. You can even wear them outdoors and they will perform excellently. 

If you’re playing mostly on outdoor courts, these shoes are perfect for you. They will last long thanks to the firm and deep grooves on the outsoles. 

For the fit, go with true to size. The UA Drive 4 features two-layer bootie construction that fits well in your feet. 

There’s also a toe wrap that helps improve forefoot flexibility. The connected lacing system helps make the shoe snug. The ankle collar also feels comfortable and breathable. 

A huge external plastic heel counter helps lock your heels during long hours of basketball. The high midsole keeps your foot from rolling over when you’re making quick moves like a crossover or dribble hesitation. 

Under Armour Men's Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoe,...
  • Breathable, lightweight textile upper
  • Full-length bootie construction with molded ankle collar for greater structure, extended support & a...
  • External heel counter provides additional support & keeps the back of the foot locked in place

The base is flat and wide providing you with great stability on the court. 

The Under Armour Drive 4 Basketball shoes are great for the money. They can last you a long time, thanks to the Herringbone outsole pattern which gives you excellent traction. The materials make for comfortable and great support for your ankles. 

Product Specifications:

  • Rubber sole is great for stability providing comfort on your feet
  • Breathable and lightweight textile upper
  • Full-length bootie construction with molded ankle collar for greater structure extended support and a snug comfortable fit
  • External heel counter provides additional support and keeps the back of the foot locked in place
  • Toe wrap improves forefoot flexibility 
  • Durable, reinforced lace loops to secure lockdown on feet and ankles

Best Cheap Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support: Under Armour Men’s Jet Mid Basketball Shoe

If you’re a new player in basketball, you’re probably looking for cheap basketball shoes to hone your skills. The Under Armour Men’s Jet Mid Basketball shoes provides the needs of basketball players at a reasonable price. 

Under Armour Men's Jet Mid Basketball Shoe, Red...

The UA Jet Mid shoes offer a variety of colors you can choose from. It’s made mostly of synthetic leather and mesh that is comfortable around the feet. 

Mid-ankle shoes differ from low and high-ankle basketball shoes. They provide a balance between ankle support of a high-ankle shoe and flexibility of the low-ankle shoe. 

The cushioning used in UA Jet Mid shoes is the EVA foam. It offers great comfort and support while being lightweight. It provides breathability and will adjust to the shape of your feet. It ensures the shoes don’t put too much pressure on your ankles.

The tongue and the upper part of the shoes have thicker padding which provides great cushion and support in the ankle area. It also helps lock down your feet to avoid sliding inside your shoes.

The heel counter and forefoot area have perforations which help with breathability in the shoes. The midfoot area has molded quarter panels made out of light textiles. It helps keep your feet dry and fresh. 

The fitness of the length and width of UA Jet Mid Basketball Shoes are standard. If you have big or wide toes, consider adding half a size as the shoes are narrow around the toe area. 

The traction in these shoes is superb. The shoes also use the standard UA Herringbone traction pattern. We all know the reputation of UA’s herringbone traction pattern. Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor court it provides excellent traction for enhanced performance in the game.   

Under Armour Men's Jet Mid Basketball Shoe, Red...
  • Synthetic textile upper for breathability & support

The UA Jet Mid Basketball shoes offer various colors, have great ankle support, traction, and comfort for a reasonable price. The only thing we can complain about is the narrow toe area of the shoes. All in all, this is the best overall cheap basketball shoes for ankle support. 

Product Specifications:

  • Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch
  • Synthetic upper with molded quarter panels built for breathable, structured support that comfortably locks in the foot
  • Engineered perforations and mesh tongue increase overall ventilation
  • Full-length EVA sock liner provides additional support for the ankles
  • Full-length EVA midsole delivers a lightweight, comfortable ride
  • One-piece solid rubber outsole with herringbone traction pattern throughout to provide exceptional lateral/linear movement and control

Best Low-Ankle Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support: Nike Men’s Air Visi Pro Vi

The Nike Air Visi Pro Vi is a popular basketball shoe. It provides a great balance between comfort and support. It’s a great shoe if you’re experiencing heel or ankle pain after playing a game of basketball. The shoes come in 2 colors. 

Nike Mens Air Visi Pro Vi Nbk Black/Anthracite...

The Air-sole in these shoes provides excellent heel and ankle support. This helps reduce the stress from your feet when you are moving around the court. 

The traction uses the herringbone pattern which is excellent for any type of movement around the court. The outsole is made of rubber so it’ll last you long even when you wear them on outdoor courts. Rubber also provides a solid grip so you’ll be sure that you won’t trip or slip on the court. 

These shoes are also low-ankle shoes. They still provide great ankle support. 

The materials used are synthetic material and leather. This provides a perfect combination of comfort, lightweight, and durability.

The Nike Air Visi Pro Vi has a collar with asymmetrical foam which provides comfort and support. Its thanks to these foams that your ankles are well protected. 

The heels of the shoes feature air units that help absorb the impact from your feet. 

The inside is completely padded for a comfortable feel. This is good during long hours on the basketball court.

Perforations are present in these shoes. It helps with airflow for breathable wear on the basketball court. 

The shoes are made of leather. The lining is made of mesh material. 

These shoes can last you a long time thanks to the materials used, the design, and the traction. The build of the shoe remains the same even after prolonged usage. 

Sale
Nike Mens Air Visi Pro Vi Nbk Black/Anthracite...
  • Fashion Trend: Ankle-High Nubuck Basketball Shoe

The Nike Air Visi Pro Vi is lightweight thanks to the low-ankle build. It still provides great ankle support. The design is also great and you can wear them casually.

If you’re a beginner in basketball or feeling pain on your heels after playing basketball, the Nike Air Visi Pro Vi is a great shoe for ankle support. It offers great traction and comfort. 

Overall, the Nike Air Visi Pro Vi is the best low-ankle basketball shoes for ankle support. This is due to the Air-sole that cushions your heel and ankle area. It also has excellent traction, comfort, and lightweight. 

Product Specifications:

  • Durable rubber sole is great for stability
  • Shaft measures approximately 2.92 inches from arch
  • Asymmetrical foam collar offers a comfortable fit 
  • Perforations in the forefoot enhance breathability
  • Visible Nike Air unit in the heel provides impact cushioning reducing injuries near your ankles
  • Breathable mesh bootie provides a snug, sock-like fit

Best Mid Top Budget Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support: Adidas Mad Bounce Basketball Shoe

The Adidas Mad Bounce basketball shoes are budget basketball shoes that provide a lot of features. It’s a great balance between a crazy bounce and explosive drive towards the basket. 

adidas Men's Mad Bounce Basketball Shoe, Ftwr...

It’s made of Fused Mesh and knits upper with forged panels on the sides that help with lateral movement support. These types of movements work your ankles.  

The mesh upper is comfortable but can be stiff at first use. It provides the stretch and support you need for a comfortable fit in your shoes. 

The Tech Fit booty and Neoprene material on the tongue adds more snug cushion and comfort around your feet. It doesn’t put stress on your ankle area. 

The Adidas Mad Bounce also implements the “Bounce” technology. The cushion provides a bouncy feel thanks to the cushion around the heel. It helps your ankle by absorbing the impact of ankle stress movements like jumping and lateral movements. The forefoot is also set low for a responsive movement around the court. 

It’s a great balance. This is especially good for guards who like to make a quick drive towards the basket and have the hops for a great finish. 

The Adidas Mad Bounce uses the “chromosomes” traction pattern that grips the floor really well. If you’re playing on dusty courts expect the dust to stick in these shoes. If you’re mostly playing outdoors, these shoes provide great traction and can last you long thanks to the deep grooves.  

The fit is true to size. If you have wide feet, you better add half a size as it has a narrow build. 

The support on this shoe is great but there’s room to add more. It’s more suited for guards and players who prefer speed and quickness and less physicality. 

The mesh upper is reinforced with heated TPU that helps keep your feet in place lock down on the shoes. It doesn’t look premium but it gets the job done and you couldn’t ask for more in a budget shoe for your ankles. 

The back part of the shoe is soft knit for a stable and comfortable heel placement. It also helps give comfort around the ankle part of the shoes. The tongue is added with soft nylon to add comfort to the shoes. 

These shoes are great for starters or for guards. They are good for those who want a balance of bounce and quickness. The midsoles are slightly raised to prevent your feet from rolling over making it a great shoe for ankle support. 

The Adidas Mad Bounce is the best mid top budget basketball shoes. The Fused Mesh together with Tech fit booty for a balanced in support and quickness. It provides great impact protection and gives you a bouncy feel. The foam is comfortable and the breathability is great making you last longer on the court. 

Product Specifications:

  • Synthetic materials offer durability and breathability all over the feet
  • Synthetic sole allows for flexibility inside the feet
  • Shaft measures approximately high-top from arch

What Makes a Good Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support?

Good basketball shoes for ankle support should have these criteria. Basketball shoes have evolved ever since basketball became a popular sport. Professional basketball players used to wear Chuck Taylor’s Converse shoes. Nike and Adidas basketball shoes are now being worn. 

Players fighting over a ball during a basketball game

Nowadays, basketball shoes have evolved to help players avoid injuries and enhance their performance. Various technologies were developed but some are also just gimmicks or marketing strategies to sell basketball shoes. These criteria will help you know what really makes a good basketball shoe for ankle support. 

Durability

The best basketball shoes for ankle support should be durable. Basketball involves a lot of jumping and moving around. 

A durable basketball shoe will last longer on the court. It lessens the probability of your shoes getting impaired during a game. 

Basketball shoes for outdoor courts usually last longer compared to basketball shoes made for indoor courts. 

Outdoor basketball shoes have a harder rubber outsole. They don’t tear easily on the hard court. 

Ventilation

A breathable basketball shoe allows for comfort and odor-free basketball experience. As a player, you wouldn’t want to focus on the smell of your shoes during the game. 

Look for materials like neoprene and mesh. Soft and flexible materials are what you’re looking for. Ventilation also helps your feet and muscles function properly. 

Traction

Your basketball shoes need to have excellent traction and grip. Basketball shoes with poor traction are susceptible to sliding on the court. This can lead to injuries, especially in the ankles. 

Depending on what court you’re playing (outdoor or indoor), your basketball shoes should also be in tune with it. 

For starters, most basketball shoes are catered for indoor courts. In Nike basketball shoes with the abbreviation “EP” in their names are catered for outdoor courts. 

EP in Nike basketball shoes stands for “Engineered Performance”. This means the outsoles are built with high-durability rubber for extensive outdoor play. 

Great traction will enhance your performance. It will also reduce the risk of getting injuries. 

Players fighting over a ball during a basketball game

Cushion

When you’re jumping around almost all the time, you put a lot of strain on your feet. A good cushion allows your feet to reduce stress from that jumping and moving around. Consider looking for basketball shoes that have a great cushion if you fit one of these criteria:

  • You’re a big and heavy guy
  • You’re experiencing pain in your knees after basketball games
  • You play a lot of basketball 

Basketball shoes offer new technologies like Zoom Air and Bounce cushion. These help with impact absorption for your feet. They also help add bounce to your hops. 

Basketball shoes that provide great cushion and impact absorption while giving you a comfortable and enhance performance are a great basketball shoe. 

Support

Your basketball shoes should have features that help support your feet. You need that support, especially around the ankles.  

Look for basketball shoes that have a great lacing system, insole support, and comfortable feel all over your feet. 

Fit

The shoes should be the right fit around your foot. Any loose space around your shoes can cause slipping and may be the reason for a foot injury. 

Basketball shoes oftentimes stay true to size. If you have wide feet, you need to be careful when choosing your size. 

A rule of thumb is to add half a size if shoes are narrow when you have wide feet. 

Pick shoes that lock your feet even when you’re moving side to side. The upper part of your shoes should be fit enough to hold your feet in place when you’re moving around the court. 

Features to look for ankle support in basketball shoes

Some shoes are designed for certain features like enhanced performance or lateral movement. If you want basketball shoes good for your ankles, these are the features you should look for. 

Lateral Outrigger

A great lateral outrigger helps with lateral movements around the court. Lateral movements are usually the cause of ankle injuries for most athletes.

This outrigger helps with stability and helps keep your ankles in place when moving around laterally. 

Material

The materials used in making basketball shoes can also affect the ankle support of the shoes. 

Neoprene materials provide the best comfort. Look for basketball shoes that have a comfortable tongue and the inside of the soles. 

Choose basketball shoes that have the materials that fit your play style and needs. 

Upper Portion

When talking about the upper portion of a basketball shoe what usually comes to mind is the height of the shoes and ankle support. Basketball shoes come in 3 styles, high, mid, and low. Each of the styles offers different features

  • High-top: These types of basketball shoes provide the best ankle support by adding an extra layer of support around your ankles. While it provides the support you need it also comes with an added weight putting a bit of stress to your feet.
  • Mid-top: The mid-top basketball shoes provide just the right amount of ankle protection while still retaining flexibility. 
  • Low-top: these types of shoes provide the least ankle support but make up for it with speed and agility. These basketball shoes are usually worn by guards. 

Your play style and needs will also dictate what type of basketball shoes you need to wear. As an example, I’m a guard that doesn’t need a lot of ankle support because I only play casually. Wearing low-top shoes may be ideal for me. 

Players during a game of basketball

Midsole

This is where the cushioning of the basketball shoe is found. The foams used for cushioning can be EVA foams for a lightweight feel or polyurethane for a durable midsole. 

This is where cushioning technologies are being applied. This is especially in the heel and forefoot area. 

Outsole

The basketball shoe outsole can dictate how long a shoe will last and how well it will perform on the court. 

Outsoles are usually made of rubber or synthetic material. 

Choose outsoles that are wide and flat for better balance when playing on the court. 

When it comes to traction, the style of pattern in the outsoles plays a part. Herringbone or hexagonal pattern in your outsoles are known to provide excellent traction and secure your feet from sliding. 

If you’re playing mostly on outdoor courts, you’d want to choose basketball shoes with thick rubber. They will last you longer. 

Ankle Support Basketball Shoes for Every Position

Depending on the position you play, certain ankle-support shoes are better than others:

  • Guards: Guards commonly require speed and agility around the court. You can use low-top basketball shoes for more fluid of movement around the court. However, if you’re the type of player like Russel Westbrook who is really athletic and explosive in the paint, you may want to use mid-top or high-top shoes for enhancing support on your knees. 
  • Forwards: Forwards position a lot near the paint and tasked mostly of getting the rebound. High-top shoes are popular among these type of players as they provide great cushion and support as they battle for the rebound or doing a post-up move. 
  • All-Around Players: Players who like to be active on all ends of the court need to have a balance of everything. That’s why mid-top shoes are great for them as it offers flexibility and ankle support at the same time. Players like Lebron James benefit greatly from the mid-top type of basketball shoes.

FAQ

Do basketball shoes help ankles?

The snug protection can make you feel stable but it doesn’t really prevent the risk of ankle sprain and injuries. 

High-top shoes provide the best in reducing the risk of ankle sprain and injuries. 

However, wearing high-top shoes may also weaken the muscles around your ankles. High-top shoes limit the movement of muscles around your ankles. 

The best way is to do a combination of both. You can do these by wearing high-top and low-top shoes alternatively. You strengthen the muscle on your ankles and also use high-top shoes on intense games to reduce the risk of ankle injuries.

Do low top basketball shoes protect your ankles?

Some low top basketball shoes provide features that help protect your ankles from injuries. However, high-top basketball shoes still provide better protection for your ankles overall. 

If you’re not much of an athlete and just play once or twice a week then consider using high-top shoes as the muscles around your ankles aren’t used as much. 

Do NBA players tape their ankles?

Player in mid air as he tries to do a jump net while practicing for a basketball game

NBA players tape their ankles from time to time. They may do this if they have a minor ankle injury but still want to play. 

NBA players may tape their ankles as an added precaution and cushion from ankle injuries. They do so only when really needed. 

NBA players workout their bodies to reduce the risk of injuries. That includes the ankles. 

What are the best shoes for weak ankles?

Some people really do have weak ankles, no matter how much they workout. That’s why it’s not bad to wear protective shoes even at the cost of not working the muscles around your ankle. 

High-top shoes provide the best protection against ankle injuries. High-top shoes with good cushion and great impact absorption is an added bonus that also helps your ankles. 

Conclusion

Basketball is a sport with lots of movement. Having the best basketball shoes for ankle support help lessen the risk of injuring your ankles. The way you play can also affect the chances of you getting an injury. Choosing the right basketball shoes for your style of play and ankles will make a great basketball session free of injuries.