Andrew Parker

Best Basketball Shoes For Ankle Support – Buyer’s Guide

Best Basketball Shoes For AnkleBasketball is one of the most popular sports in the world and is arguably the most popular after soccer. While there are few pieces of equipment, you need beyond a ball and a goal, one of the most important pieces of equipment are the proper shoes. Of course, there are a wide varietyies of different shoes out there, but the best basketball shoes for ankle support are often best basketball shoes period.

The reason for this is becausethat basketball is a sport that is especially hard on your lower body. With constant sprints and regular leaps, you need a pair of shoes that will help keep you upright and prevent you from spraining your ankle if you slip or fall. That said, basketball is moving more towards a driving and shooting style than the old school pound the paint (READ MORE: Step-by-step Guide for Choosing Best Portable Basketball Hoop).

Best Basketball Shoes For Ankle Support 2018

This can make finding the best basketball shoes for ankle support difficult. That is why we have put together a list of the 8 best basketball; shoes for ankle support, highlighting what each does best. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the right basketball shoes to best support your ankles.

Product
UpperCourtCut 
Nike Air Jordan 1
(Editor’s Choice)
LeatherOutdoorHigh
Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation
(People’s Choice)
Leather and FabricIndoorMid
Leather and SyntheticIndoorHigh
Synthetic and TextileIndoorMid
SyntheticIndoorMid
Textile and SyntheticIndoorHigh
SyntheticIndoorMid
LeatherHybridMid

1. Nike Air Jordan 1 – Best Basketball Shoes For Ankle Support (Editor’s Choice)

Considering the brand made a name for itself by taking the basketball shoe market by storm, it should come as no surprise that a Nike shoe tops our list as the Editor’s Choice pick. However, this specific shoe should hold particular value as it could arguably be said to have kicked off the basketball shoe craze in the first place.

Support

Since we are reviewing the best basketball shoes for ankle support, it only makes sense that the best feature of our editor’s pick also just so happens to provide some of the best support available. This starts with a high top cut that wraps securely around your ankle. This cut is then further reinforced by the use of genuine leather as the upper material. While this means the Air Jordan 1 replica will have a break-in period, it will also offer additional support.

Outdoor

There are a couple features, which mark this as an outdoor basketball shoe-though it was probably intended to be an indoor and outdoor shoe when it was first made. For one, the midsole of this shoe features a classic air-based cushion to make landing on the hard ground after a jump easier. On top of that, this shoe also features deeper tread than most-perfect for outdoor courts. Finally, the leather upper is just as durable as it is supportive, able to withstand play in the elements.

Pros:
  • Has high top cut
  • Has genuine leather upper
  • Features solid closure
  • Features deep treads
  • Has a pivot point
  • Extra heel cushioning
Cons:
  • Not the most mobile
  • Not ideal for indoor play

2. Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation – Best Basketball Shoes with Ankle Support (People’s Choice)

Though Adidas is definitely more well-known for their running shoes, they are arguably the second biggest name in the basketball shoe market-after Nike of course. That said, it seems as though some of their running shoe roots are hard to shake, as this basketball shoe actually does not offer that much ankle support and is perhaps the second least support basketball shoe on our list.

Comfort

Though it may not be the biggest influence on your mind when playing basketball, comfort is often an overlooked factor that impacts how you play. If you are uncomfortable, then you will likely adjust how you move or play to obtain more comfort. In doing so, you set yourself up for potential injury as your body is moving in ways either not ideal or that it is not used to. By offering superior comfort, the Ilations allow you to play without a second thought.

Comfort Cont.

One of the biggest ways the Ilations accomplish this is through the fit. Aside from the fact that these shoes fit as expected more than most, they also feature a CLOUDFOAM liner, which doubles as a cushion. As such, not only does the liner prevent your foot from sliding around in the shoe, it also helps brace your impact after jumping. The hybrid air mesh material combined with leather also provides breathability as well as a conformed fit.
Pros:
  • Upper made of leather and fabric
  • Features a mid-top cut
  • A less expensive basketball shoe
  • More breathable than most
  • Features herringbone tread
  • Features a CLOUDFOAM sock liner
Cons:
  • Not the most supportive
  • Not ideal for outdoor play

3. Nike Air Command Force – High Top Basketball Shoes Ankle Support

Considering how many iconic basketball shoes Nike has released, you should expect to see this brand numerous times on our list. Once again, it seems as though Nike is looking to the past for inspiration as to what made their early basketball shoes so popular. As such, they re-released the Aid Command Force which was branded as David Robinson’s shoe. Since he was such a fundamental kind of player, it only makes sense that this is a no-nonsense, fundamental kind of shoe.

Stability

Once again, Nike takes one of the top spots in the ankle support department by putting out one of the few basketball shoes that we reviewed which features a high top cut. Even better, the traditional lace closure runs up the entire upper of the cut, allowing you to secure a tight fit and slip-free closure. On top of that, this shoe brings back the classic air bladder function that allows you to further secure the shoe around the ankle.

Endurance

As a big man, David Robinson spent a fair amount of time under the rim playing for the post-up, rebound, and to guard the paint. As such, he had to constantly jump, and he needed shoes that would allow him to do so for the entire game. This is where the airbag cushion of the 90s comes into play, absorbing some of the shocks from his impact. On top of that, these shoes also feature a polyurethane midsole to provide a point of stability for both the leap and the landing.

Pros:
  • Features a high top cut
  • Has air bladder system
  • Has air bag cushion
  • Has a polyurethane midsole
  • Features herringbone tread
  • Fully laced closure
Cons:
  • Not that mobile
  • Not ideal for outdoor play

4. Adidas Crazy 8 – Best Mens Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support

It may be a bit surprising considering the overwhelming majority of top professional basketball players usually end up signing a shoe contract with Nike, but the Crazy 8s, also known as the Kobe Bryant 8s, are made by Adidas. While these shoes do pay some lip service to ankle support, they are primarily meant for a quick and agile player to dart to the goal or pivot for a turnaround fade away jumper.

Grip

One of the most important factors for a basketball shoe centered around mobility is for it to offer split-second change of direction. Without this, the most mobile shoe will still feel like lead on your feet. The Crazy 8s accomplish the task with the use of a unique midsole and outer sole design. The midsole features the PUREMOTION system, which is designed to mimic the actual response of the bare foot. The outer sole uses a herringbone design with large outer treads for 360-degree pivoting.

Comfort

The Crazy 8s also make it a point to feel comfortable on your feet with a fairly accurate sizing. Beyond that, the lightweight synthetic upper will not impede your quick movements while the textile lining and inner sole feel like a second sock. The closure features spaced laces that offer a looser fit without placing too many pressure points on the foot. Finally, the mid-top cut provides plenty of range of motion for rapid mobility.

Pros:
  • Extremely mobile upper
  • Looser fitting closure
  • Features a mid-top cut
  • Comfortable textile lining
  • PUREMOTION midsole system
  • Unique tread style
Cons:
  • One of the less supportive
  • Not ideal for outdoor play

5. Nike Lebron Soldier IX – Best Nike Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support

With mid-top cut basketball shoes becoming the new normal, manufacturers still need to find a way to provide the same kind of ankle support that players are used to getting. With the absence of a taller vertical cut, many brands have been adapting the closure to offer more stability. With the Nike Lebron Soldier IXs, this concept is blended with numerous other advancements to make the best mid-top basketball shoe for ankle support we saw.

Mobility

Make no mistake: this basketball shoe is designed for mobility first and stability second. While it provides some solid support features, the mid-top cut clearly identifies it as a mobility focused shoe. On top of the mid-top cut, the ankle is further left free to move with a cut out right at the anklebone. However, the ankle can only bend so far as dual straps help keep your foot securely in place while still allowing an exceptional range of motion.

Traction

With all of the mobility this shoe provides, it also needs to ensure that the foot does not slip-which is one of the leading causes of ankle sprains on the basketball court. This first begins with a hexagonal tread design that is arguably the best for 3D traction-even better than the herringbone design. Then the Flywire cables run through the Phylon midsole offer plenty of support to pivot or brace lateral movements.

Pros:
  • Comes with dual straps
  • Features a mid-top cut
  • Has opening wings
  • Features a Phylon midsole
  • Has hexagonal tread
  • Dynamic Flywire enhances fit
Cons:
  • Not as supportive
  • Not ideal for outdoor play

6. Adidas Crazy Explosive – Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Braces

Adidas is always pushing the boundaries of design when it comes to their basketball shoes and is noted for regularly producing unique products that aim to tackle old problems in an innovative fashion. With the Crazy Explosives, the problem stemmed from traditional lace closure putting too many pressure points on the foot for the player to be comfortable and perform at his peak ability.

Comfort

While this shoe may tackle the ankle support problem from a different angle, it is still more focused on providing a comfortable fit than anything else. This begins with the upper that is primarily made out of textile but also features some synthetic components. This is incredibly breathable compared to leather and far more flexible, but it does not offer much in the way of ankle support.

Support

The primary method that the Crazy Explosives use to support your ankle is a high top cut that is actually a bit higher than normal. However, this may be a bit undercut since the laces use the hook system. While the hook laces offer plenty of comforts, they will simply not be able to provide quite as tight of a fit as traditional lace closure can. That said, the boost cushioning system, does offer a nice touch with rebounding insoles.

Pros:
  • Features a high top cut
  • Features hook closure
  • Lightweight synthetic and textile upper
  • One of the more breathable shoes
  • Unique, organic treads
  • Boost cushioning system
Cons:
  • Only okay ankle support
  • Not ideal for outdoor play

7. Under Armour  – Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Protection

Under Armor has been around for a couple decades, but they still seem to have a hard time breaking into certain markets. While their cross training and football gear are generally competitive, some of the more finesse-based sports still seem to hold out. When it comes to basketball, though the fit of the shoe can make all the difference. In that vein, Under Armor has definitely produced the best fitting basketball shoe for ankle support that we saw.

Fit

While having physical support is always nice, have a shoe that fits like a glove can be just as effective in supporting your ankles. This is because you are able to move in the most natural of ways and adjust as appropriate before overextending yourself. To help ensure that these shoes fit better than any other did, Under Armor employed their ClutchFit system, which allows the shoes to simultaneously mold to the shape of your foot as well as remain flexible for any position and movement required.

Fit Cont.

However, Under Armor was not satisfied with a revolutionary upper and added a couple other features to provide a more secure fit as well. For one, these shoes come with a full-length molded sock liner that is made of microfiber. This keeps your foot in place within the shoe while also adding to the comfort of the shoe. The 3D molded tongue does the same thing at the opening-which is only a mid-top cut–so that your feet remain firmly positioned within.

Pros:
  • Features US ClutchFit synthetic upper
  • Has a mid-top cut
  • Has a full-length Micro G molded sock liner
  • Has herringbone treads
  • Has Charged Cushioning midsoles
  • Has a 3D molded tongue
Cons:
  • May be too snug
  • Not ideal for outdoor play

8. Fila F-13v – Best Casual Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support

Fila might seem an odd brand to appear on our list in a large part because it is far more well-known as a company that focuses on tennis shoes. That said, not all games of basketball are hyper-competitive, and sometimes you simply want to enjoy a casual game with a couple of friends. In this instance, the Fila F-13s provide you just enough features to perform well on the court while remaining a solid everyday shoe as well.

Casual

One of the things that the Filas do well is finding features that are not only great for playing sports in but also offer plenty of value off the court too. For example, the uppers are made out of leather, which will provide some support for your ankle, but the leather looks just as nice off the court. On top of that, the leather upper will eventually conform to the shape of your foot offering a better fit too.

Standards

One of the things that the Filas do and others do not offer is an all-around standard experience. With the other brands constantly reinventing the wheel to gain an advantage over the competition, the Filas simply use tried and true methods that work. For instance, the die-cast EVA foam midsole will provide plenty of comforts whether playing basketball or hanging out. Also, the ankle strap will provide a bit more ankle support-though the closure does not lace up the entire length of the upper.

Pros:
  • Upper made of leather
  • Features EVA foam midsole
  • Features an ankle strap
  • More breathable than some
  • Unique outer sole grip
  • Features mid-top cut
Cons:
  • Not great support
  • Unique outer sole grip

Best Basketball Shoes For Ankle Review – Buyer’s Guide

Upper

This is the top portion of the shoe that wraps around the top of your foot. Depending on the material, this section of the shoe can offer more stability or more mobility. However, the more stable the upper is, the less mobility it provides, so you will have to choose which is more important to you.

Leather

Leather

This is often considered the premier material of basketball shoe uppers. While basketball shoe uppers will generally rely on the lowest grade of leather available, genuine leather, it is still significantly stiffer than the other materials used. Basketball shoes with leather uppers will often require a bit of a break-in period before their final fit is achieved, but once they are broken in, leather uppers will generally fit better than any other type of upper, conforming to the shape of your foot.

 

SyntheticSynthetic

There are a wide variety of materials used for synthetic uppers, but quite often, manufacturers will attempt to mimic leather. As such, the most common type of material used for synthetic uppers is either polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride. Though, polyurethane, or PU, is generally preferred over polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, due to being more flexible and durable. This material is not as durable as leather, but it generally handles moisture better and offers a solid balance between stability and mobility.

TextileTextile

This material is used for uppers made from spun thread. The textile material itself can be either synthetic or natural, though synthetic textiles generally have a bit of an edge in this department. Of the synthetic textiles, nylon and polyester are the most common used for basketball shoes. Both materials are naturally water-resistant, though polyester is more water-resistant than nylon. None of the textiles, whether synthetic or natural, offer additional ankle support, but they are generally lighter than other uppers and offer far more mobility.

Cut

The cut of the basketball shoe determines how high up your ankle the opening of the shoe rises. When you are looking for basketball shoes for ankle support, it is generally a good idea to get a high cut shoe. That said, there are many mid-cut basketball shoes with additional features designed to provide support without sacrificing mobility. It is worth noting that low cut basketball shoes are designed purely for mobility and provide little to no ankle support.

High

This is the classic cut used for basketball shoes designed to provide additional ankle support. With the opening of the shoe starting above the ankle, this cut wraps the ankle in a protective layer that restricts motion and helps prevent ankle sprains. On the other hand, this cut of a shoe can be incredibly restrictive and severely limits mobility when compared to other basketball shoe cuts. As such, it should not be surprising that manufacturers have started to look for a way to provide additional support to mid-cut basketball shoes.

Mid

Though mid-cut basketball shoes do not offer as much ankle support as high cut basketball shoes, they continue to be the more popular type of cut made for basketball shoes. This is likely because they offer a decent mix of both ankle support and mobility. On top of that, mid-cut basketball shoes will often include additional features like straps to provide more ankle support absent a higher cut. Another approach has been to hybridize the cuts where half of the cut is high and half of the cut is mid, placing the high cut portion where the ankle is most likely to roll.

Outer SoleOuter Sole

Unlike certain other types of sports shoe, basketball shoes do not really have many variations in the material of the outer sole. Whereas some types of sports shoe do well with a gum rubber sole that generally does not work as well for basketball shoes, which wear down gum rubber soles extremely fast. As such, hard rubber is the preferred material for outer soles.

Instead, of the material, the big consideration regarding outer soles is the type of tread used.Depending on whether you play outdoors or indoors, you will want to make sure that the tread depth is appropriate. Outdoors generally perform better with deeper tread, while indoor courts respond better with shorter tread. On top of that, the shape of the tread will also affect the quality of the basketball shoes.

Though numerous tread patterns are used, the most effective for providing 3D traction is the herringbone style. This allows the tread to gain traction regardless the angle of your step, which is important whether you are trying to cross someone over or stay on your toes to play defense. Another tread feature to look for is a pivot for the big toe. This will allow you to sprint and jump at a moment’s notice without losing your step.

Closure

ClosureThe way that the basketball shoe is held in place will play a far greater role when you are looking for additional ankle support as opposed to general purposes. While the type and arrangement of laces eyelets can play a huge role in determining the benefit or hindrance that the closure plays in providing additional ankle support, many brands have started adding additional straps to further increase the stability of your ankle.

Traditional

This is the type of closure that virtually all basic shoes use and with good reason. There are truly few ways to improve on the elegant simplicity of this design. The factor that will truly determine how much support this closure can add is the arrangement of the eyelets. Generally, you will want the eyelets to go the entire length of the upper including the vertical opening. This allows you to dictate how high the laces are laced and can offer a bit more support than otherwise-though this may make uncomfortable folding points that cut into your foot.

Hook

To prevent the cutting action that certain arrangements of lace eyelets can cause, hooks were introduced. However, this does not necessarily mean that the pressure points were simply removed as much as they are shifted. Still, this type of closure generally does offer a more comfortable fit, though they are notably worse at providing ankle support. Specifically, hook closures are unable to lace up as tightly as traditional closures. While this is great for the comfort of the shoe, it ultimately allows your foot more freedom of movement within the shoe, which can lead to ankle sprains or other balance issues.

Strap

Rarely are strapped the sole form of closure used for a basketball shoe-though they will on occasion be the primary form of closure. That said, the better purpose of a strap closure is to simply reinforce the laced closure. While both hooks and traditional laces may come with straps, they are most often used in conjunction with traditional closures since the flush lacing does not create odd pressure points. It is also worth noting that straps will regularly be employed to provide additional ankle support for mid-cut basketball shoes-supplementing the ankle support lost with a lower, more mobile cut.

MidsoleMidsole

This quality actually has little to do with how well the basketball shoes provide ankle support, though they can play an auxiliary role in preventing ankle injuries all the same. For one, the midsole often serves as a point in the shoe that balances mobility and stability. The midsole needs to remain flexible enough to allow for the quick movements required playing basketball, but it also needs to offer just enough resistance so you can pivot at a moment’s notice.

This can lead to a surprisingly wide variety of different midsoles. Plenty of manufacturers simply stick with the tried and true midsole design, which is a layer of padding otherwise unaltered. However, more and more shoe companies are experimenting with the midsole by either providing a stiff plate the arch of the foot or by threading the midsole with stiff fibers.

Cushion

Again, this feature has little to do with how well a basketball shoe supports your ankles and does not even really play an ancillary role like the midsole can. Instead, the cushion of the shoe is designed to improve the fit, comfort, and rebound of the shoe. The rebound is arguably its most important function and is generally focused on the heel and the balls of the feet. While traditionally this section was meant simply to absorb the impact of landing after a jump, it too has been improved over the years by using materials that will transfer the force from the impact into providing a bit of a bounce effect to help your next step’s push off.

Conclusion

In the end, the best basketball shoes for ankle support will differ depending on the player. Your playing style, as well as the actual state of your ankles, may push you more towards a basketball shoe that offers superb support or one that provides adequate ankle support while still offering plenty of mobility. That said, some of the classics are still the best around-especially when it comes to ankle support.

That is why our ultimate recommendation is for the Air Jordan 1’s. First, this shoe features a classic high top cut-though this actually straddles the line between contemporary high top cuts and mid-top cuts. On top of that, the traditional closure offers additional support while the leather upper wraps your ankles securely.

Of course, if you are a quicker, darting player, you may prefer a mid-top cut with additional ankle support. In this instance, we recommend the Lebron Soldier IXs. Beyond the mid cut, this basket shoe offers even more mobility with an ankle cutout to offer a maximum response. However, this extreme mobility is somewhat reigned in with two straps to keep your foot locked into place while the reinforced midsole helps keep your balance.

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