When you lace up your shoes to play basketball, you hope that your feet and ankles are protected. It should be the number one feature you look for in a shoe. Sure, you want to look good on the court, but basketball isn’t a fashion contest. If you injure yourself because you wear inferior footwear, you won’t see much of the court anyway.
What is the best way, though, to find sneakers that‘ll prevent those injuries? Luckily, we at Dunk or Three have got you covered. Our research will bring to light the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to basketball sneakers.
- Giannis Antetokuonmpo’s Nike Zoom Freak 2 sneakers are fit for one of the most athletic basketball players in history. Their design includes fantastic ankle support.
- The LeBron 17 sneaker is a terrific option for added ankle support. The combination of traction and support help you excel in every move you make on the court.
- The Air Jordan “Why Not?” Zer0.3s are super comfortable all around, and the same can be said for their ankle support. Improve your confidence when on defense; these will prevent anyone from “breaking your ankles” on the court.
Who Should Get This
Anyone who plays basketball will benefit from a good pair of sneakers that protects your ankles from danger. Good shoes are extra-important to players who’ve had ankle issues in the past. No one’s foot is created equal; I know from experience that there is such a thing as the wrong pair of sneakers. Finding that perfect shoe will help players breathe a sigh of relief on the court.
Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support: What to Consider
Ankle support is absolutely critical in a basketball shoe. However, there are other features that you must take into account when on the hunt for a basketball shoe.
“Comfort” is a personal preference. You can’t get much from an online review until you try the shoes on yourself. Yes, ankle support is the top priority, but that’s not the whole picture. Basketball shoes must be comfortable in several areas—like cushioning, heel security, top of the foot comfort, and arch support. Each must be taken into account during your research. Comfort is a holistic term that shouldn’t be tied to just one feature on a basketball shoe.
Just because a sneaker costs a lot of money doesn’t mean it will meet all your needs. Generally, high-end sneakers are made better than clearance rack shoes. That’s not always the case, though. Know your budget before you are ready to buy. If you can afford top of the line sneakers, I would find the best shoes for your feet and go top-dollar. If you’re looking for a decent budget-friendly pair that still does the trick, then don’t fall in love with the new LeBrons.
Best Ankle Support Basketball Shoes: Our Picks
The Freaks seem to have it all. Their design and style really pop with several color schemes to choose from. I would actually wear these out in everyday life, which is uncharacteristic of me with basketball shoes. My first impressions when I tried these on were, “Wow, my ankles feel fantastic.” Their fluid elastic tongues, combined with their effective lacing format, gave me the impression that my ankles weren’t going anywhere.
Check out our comprehensive review of the Nike Zoom Feak 2s here. (insert link to single product review I wrote)
What We Like:
- Being backed by the greatest athlete in the game today, these sneakers harness your entire foot and build confidence with every wear.
- The ultra-wide outrigger sole gives you more surface area to land on, embracing all lateral movement you make on the court.
- The Zoom Air cushioning responds to your movements with ease.
What We Dislike:
- The upper-ankle support may cause some pain for certain users.
2. LeBron 17
From one freak athlete to another, LeBron’s 17 shoe is a dream for a player with a bad ankle. Not only are these shoes high tops, in the traditional sense, but they hug the top of your ankle, creating a combination of security and comfort. The LeBron 17s offer superior heel security, and the materials used result in one of the most unique styles the court has ever seen.
What We Like:
- The largest Air Max bubble ever was used on the 17s for higher bounce and premium comfort.
- Stabilizing plastic wraps around the heel lock your heel and ankle.
- Sleek, innovative design with beautiful color schemes to choose from.
What We Dislike:
- The extra-large Air Max bubble may take a couple of wears to get used to.
Full disclosure: these are probably the most comfortable basketball sneakers I’ve ever worn. As someone who has over thirty years of playing experience, that’s saying something. They rival the ankle support of the Freak 2s without the added ankle pressure. You can’t even feel these shoes when they’re on your feet.
Their color scheme is a bit too flashy for my thirty-eight-year-old tastebuds, but that’s on me. You simply can’t deny how they perform. Read our full Jordan Why Not Zero 3 review here.
What We Like:
- Comfort, comfort, and more comfort.
- The front strap helps keep your foot in one place while playing.
- The Zoom Air cushion placed in the front helps your bounce on the court.
What We Dislike:
- There are three looping straps (two on the tongue and one on the heel) that rub on your foot and could cause irritation.
Useful Tips & Resources
Even if you find the perfect shoe for ankle support, you can never be too careful. Investing in a solid pair of ankle braces can add the support your ankle needs. If you can’t afford your dream shoe, braces will save you the worry of rolling your ankle. Let’s face it, being on the court is way more fun than being in crutches for a couple of weeks. Consider some of the best ankle braces with thousands of positive reviews from users.
Ankle injuries are no fun, so be sure to invest a lot of time and research in your next pair of basketball shoes. I am fortunate enough to only have had a handful of ankle injuries in my three decades-plus career. I owe a lot of my good fortune to the sneakers I’ve selected. Some shoes might offer more clout among your friends, but style must take a backseat to function and support for the good of your ankles.
What sneaker from your past had the best ankle support? Let us know in the comments section below!