In this article I will go over a series of high-quality, well-rounded basketball shoes with excellent ankle support.

I am an avid basketball player who has broken my ankles four times and sprained them twice. As such, I know about shoes with good support. That experience enabled me to properly review and analyze the different models listed below.

The Why Not Zer0.4 is my top ankle support shoe due to how it manages to provide so many additional characteristics on top of the stellar protection.

The sneaker does an excellent job in terms of durability, outside traction, and general responsiveness. On top of that, the double stacked Air Zoom units work well with the spring to enhance performance. The heel and forefoot webbing are wonderful as well.

As great as the Zer0.4 is, there are many other strong shoes that provide great ankle support. I’ll look at each one throughout the following sections.

Quick Summary

Who Should Get This?

Anybody who plays basketball at any level for any amount of time will actively enjoy shoes with solid ankle support. That goes double for those with a history of ankle injuries. The extra protection is vital in cutting down on potential issues and allows you to play with confidence.

Everytime you injure your ankle, it gets weaker. Anyone who has sprained or broken their ankle in the past needs shoes with support. Even if you haven’t experienced those problems, the support built into the following shoes makes them useful for both power forwards and centers.

Top Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support: Our Picks

This section goes over and reviews the best basketball shoes with ankle support by looking at their various traits and best uses.

1. Why Not Zer0.4

  • Best for: Overall
  • Key Features: Heel and forefoot webbing. Durable. Rubber outsole. Responsive and springy. Double stacked Air Zoom units.
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Fit: True to Size
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

Few shoes back up solid support with as many features as the Why Not Zer0.4. Not only do these have great reinforcements up around the ankle, but they also come with heel and forefoot webbing to increase lockdown and prevent your foot from moving around as you play.

You won’t experience any blisters with these shoes, and you will get a stable base to push off from. On top of that, the entire construction is lightweight, giving you plenty of breathability to prevent overheating. All of that generates great energy transfer to protect and up your game.

If these shoes have a weak point it’s their traction. You get a good amount of grip, especially when you’re inside a gym, but on dirty or dusty surfaces you may need to wipe them down a lot. If that doesn’t bother you, they are an incredible pair with ample high top support.

2. Lebron Witness V

  • Best for: Responsiveness
  • Key Features: Lightweight design with mesh construction. Flexible and resilient. Stable. Forefoot lockdown system. Air Zoom units.
  • Midsole: Foam
  • Fit: True to Size
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds

Good sneakers enhance your game, and that’s exactly where the Lebron Witness V excels. The shoe has plenty of ankle support and then backs it up with an incredibly flexible design. The shoes are low profile, but they have a surprising amount of rigidity and power as well.

A lot of that is thanks to the Witness V’s Momentum 2 Zoom Air units. They sit under the balls of your feet to ensure you get the maximum support of stability as you dribble and drive. They also come with a strong multi-directional traction that gives you a lot of grip when you move.

If these have a drawback, it’s their weight. They feel great to wear and are plenty breathable. However, they do have a bit more bulk than some people may want. If you don’t mind that added material, you get some of the best ankle supportive shoes on the market.

3. Embiid 1

  • Best for: Stability
  • Key Features: Snug-but-comfortable fit. TPU wing. Exceptional lockdown and ankle protection. Die-cut EVA sockliner. 5/8 construction and textile upper.
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Fit: True to Size
  • Weight:13.9 ounces

If you’re looking for a powerful base, the Embiid 1 is an excellent pick. This model utilizes multiple levels of stability, all of which work together to protect your entire foot. That comes from the great lockdown, snug fit, TPU wing, and die-cut EVA sockliner.

Every trait in this model works to give you extra power, including the excellent 5/8 construction that delivers amazing ankle support. There’s a lot of cushion throughout the forefoot, ball, and heel, as well as a ton of flexibility. It’s reasonably lightweight too.

The Embiid 1 is a big, chunky shoe with plenty of power. That’s great if you need to push hard or bang in the post, but they are definitely not the slimmest model around. Those that like more low-profile or sleeker sneakers will likely want something that’s a bit more out of the way.

4. Adidas N3xt L3v3l

  • Best for: Comfort
  • Key Features: Flexible construction with sock-like fit. Primeknit upper and laceless design. Ample support. Strong base and sole.
  • Sole: Synthetic
  • Construction: Knit-synthetic
  • Weight: 12.8 ounces

The N3xt L3v3l is a larger shoe that has great support backed by some of the best cushion money can buy. The pair doesn’t have any laces. Rather, it utilizes a sock-like fit that both holds your foot securely in place and provides a large amount of comfort to all parts of the shoe.

No matter how hard you push off, cut, or land, these will give you plenty of impact protection. They have a soft construction that feels great against your skin and actively moves with your body in a way that promotes good flexibility. Lateral movement is easy with these on.

There is no doubt that the N3xt L3v3l is a comfortable shoe. However, they won’t be the softest pair right out of the box. Be aware that you’ll need to spend some time breaking them in before they’re game ready. Wearing them around the house is a good way to get them going.

5. Peak Streetball Master

  • Best for: Outdoor
  • Key Features: Honeycomb traction pattern. Wear-resistant rubber backed by tough construction. Seamless integrated weaving. Many color choices. 
  • Sole: Ethylene Vinyl Acetate 
  • Fit: True to Size
  • Weight: 2 pounds

If you’re an outdoor player who needs better ankle support, or if you want a durable shoe, the Peak Streetball Master delivers. This affordable sneaker manages to keep the price point down without losing any key traits like lockdown, traction, or style. That makes it great on the blacktop.

One of the biggest selling points of this pair is the integrated weaving. The shoes are able to withstand a lot in terms of durability, but they also offer a lot of mobility and speed thanks to the comfortable construction and honeycomb traction pattern. The raised midsole is great as well.

Just be aware, for all of the great characteristics, the Steetball Masters are quite stiff in the midsole area. That adds a level of rigidity that some people may not like. They’re excellent footwear, but you aren’t getting a lot when it comes to shock absorption or impact protection.

6. Kyrie 7

  • Best for: Lightweight
  • Key Features: Air Zoom Turbo Unit. Rubber sole with 360-degree traction pattern. Extremely responsive. Attractive design.
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Fit: True to Size
  • Weight: 12 ounces

One issue a lot of supportive sneakers have is that, due to the extra materials, they tend to be heavy. That’s not the case with the Kyrie 7. This shoe breaks from that mold by giving you a lot of ankle support without putting on too much extra weight or bulky additions.

These keep things sleek, which pays great dividends to guards or players who put a lot of emphasis on speed. They come with a grippy sole for more agility and a strong zoom unit that adds an extra layer of comfort. All of that adds up to a light shoe with great energy response.

The biggest con this shoe has is that the traction and cushion won’t hold up as long as similar basketball sneakers. They do a great job for the first few months, but if you play a lot you’ll likely want to replace these shoes sooner than you might like. Be sure to upkeep them.

7. Jordan Jumpman

  • Best for: Traction
  • Key Features: Grippy, durable sole. Foam midsole with ample padding. Stitched upper and Zoom Air cushion. Supportive.
  • Fit: Large
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

Outfitted with a nice fit, stable base, and aggressive traction, the Jordan Jumpman is a powerful shoe that actively supports your foot in a variety of ways. It comes with excellent ankle support through the high top design, as well as superior grip to hold your foot when you run.

Both of those traits are backed up by the foam midsole, traditional tongue, and Zoom air cushioning. While this doesn’t put a strong emphasis on comfort, the shoe still feels great no matter where you play. The rubber outsole will also last quite a while, especially in a gym.

These shoes hit on a range of different levels, but you should be aware that they don’t have the best fit. You want to get a size down when picking out your pair to make up for their large design. Once you make that change, you’ll get a fantastic option with a lot of built in protection.

Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support: What to Look For

Ankle support is absolutely critical in a basketball shoe, but it’s not the only trait. Look out for these other features when getting a new model.

Comfort

Many supportive basketball shoes come with extra material, which in turn adds a layer of comfort. Look out for options that have padding or cushion built into different parts of the design. That will make them easy to push off of and land on during a game or practice.

Also, keep your eyes out for shoes that have heel security and arch support. Both of those features cut down on general discomfort. Flexible uppers or lightweight materials also help in this regard by reducing the rubbing that causes annoying or painful blisters.

Ventilation

Everyone gets hot when playing basketball, especially those that like to play outside. No matter how long you’re on the court, you need a shoe that breathes. Good ventilation ensures you never overheat, which can be a big problem if you’re playing for extended periods of time.

Look for porous or mesh uppers that allow heat to escape. Soft, flexible constructions are also important in that regard. Such traits cut down on sweat and prevent you from running too warm. Special cutouts or open designs also go a long way in that regard.

Budget

Just because a sneaker costs a lot doesn’t mean it will meet all of your needs. There are plenty of high-end models out there that, while stylish or useful, don’t come with the best ankle support. In that same vein, there are many more affordable models that keep you protected. 

When getting a shoe, first figure out how much you’re willing to spend. From there, look for shoes that fall within that budget. It might be tempting to go above and beyond on the newest model, but there are plenty of excellent options that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

FAQs

Even if you know what low top you want, you may have some additional questions. This section covers a few of the most commonly asked.

Do High Top Shoes Help Ankles?

Yes. High top sneakers provide more support around the ankle area and keep everything more rigid. That in turn creates extra stability and cuts down on any potential breaks or rolls.

Do Low Top Basketball Shoes Protect Your Ankles?

Low top shoes provide minimal ankle support, especially compared to high top models. Certain models may come with specific traits that help in that area, but for the most part, they leave your ankle exposed.

Are Low or High Tops Better for Basketball?

Both shoes have their own pros and cons. Low tops generally have less support and stability, but they make up for it in speed and mobility. It comes down to personal preference and position. Guards usually favor low tops and big men tend towards high tops.

Do Lebron Shoes Have Good Ankle Support?

There are many Lebron models on the market. Some don’t have the best support, while others, like the 17, do. It comes down to which model you pick.

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 extra protection you need. Consider some of the best ankle braces if you want to add more support to your game.

Also Read: A History of Stephen Curry’s Ankle Injuries

There are also many different ways to prepare your ankles ahead of time to stay safe on the court. The tips in this video from Dr. Michelle Wolcott will help you train and strengthen your ankles before or after an injury. 

My Verdict

The Why Not Zer0.4 gets my pick for the top basketball shoe with ankle support due to how well the dual-threat of heel and forefoot webbing back up the rubber outsole, double stacked Air Zoom units, and springy sole. 

Every part of the shoe ups your game, and it does so while keeping you safe. You’ll never feel uncomfortable, especially during hard landings or rebounds in traffic. If you want a versatile, well-rounded item that comes with strong protection, it’s hard to do better.