There are many reviews that exist on the internet for basketball shoes but this one’s a little different. We want to help you find the best basketball shoes for ankle support without having to research hundreds of different shoe types and brands. We go in depth and get as comprehensive as possible to help you make the best decision. You aren’t just looking for a shoe that fits your foot. As important as that is it’s just not enough. You want a glove-style fit that makes you feel safe on the court!
With so many different basketball brands pushing so many types of shoes, how do you know which one suits you and which will give you the most ankle support? Maybe you want to have a little swag under your feet or maybe just a pair that’s budget-friendly without skimping on support. There’s usually a variety of reasons to pick the right shoes so in an attempt to make sure you don’t waste time finding the heaven-sent pair, I’ll give you everything you need to know to make that decision easier.
What makes a basketball shoe ankle-friendly? Like I said before, we want to get away from any shoe that feels bulky, too flat, too heavy or too hard. There are many basketball shoes that are cut too low. We want a shoe that reaches up to the ankles and that will really give that feeling of cushioning around your ankle area.
Serious players have a tendency to cut hard from side to side and need to land in a stable position during any sort of game, weather playing pick-up or league ball. Basketball shoes are often stiff for good reason. They need to provide that support for this side to side, hard cut motion and give as much protection as possible for those off-chance times when you come down on someone else’s foot. Ouch, man that sucks!
You don’t want a shoe that blows out easily or doesn’t give you the protection you need. Nike had that happen not too long ago, but in their defense, they still make the best baller shoes bar none and this really was a complete fluke.
As basketball shoe technology advances brands will continue to design lighter and lighter shoes than ever before, not just to help improve the players game but also because there is a growing demand from non-ballers looking to use basketball shoes for their style and looks off the court. The brands will have to cater to more customers demand than basketball players so it’s important as consumers that we keep a close eye on them to make sure they aren’t trading weight for stability and safety. As an added bonus it should be noted that many of theses shoes are also fantastic choices for wide feet as well.
What Do I Need to Know When Buying a Basketball Shoe?
Before you run to the store or scour the internet looking for the best place to buy your shoes, let’s consider some things. It’s important to have a pair of shoes you are proud of. Sounds silly, I know, but think of it like this. You want as much motivation as possible while practicing and at least for me, when I get my shoes out and I’m getting them laced up, there is a feeling of excitement that goes along with that. It gets you knida pumped up. That all goes away when you pull out a pair of butt-ugly shoes that you know are going to make your feet uncomfortable.
You want to feel good every single time you put those shoes on. You look across the room at them sitting on your shelf and you want that excitement to hit you like a brick that makes you get up, throw them on and head for the court. The shoe that resonates with you and your style really is super important.
In my opinion, ankle protection should probably be the number one thing you consider before buying a pair of basketball shoes. It’s hard to play your best when you are worried about weather you will twist your ankle during a game if you push too hard. Having confidence in your shoes can add to your own confidence on the court.
If you love the game then do it justice. Purchase a shoe that takes care of your ankles. Spend money on a quality shoe that helps you avoid ankle injuries. A little protection goes a long way on the court.
Finding the perfect basketball shoe can be tricky enough in a store and shopping online takes it to a whole new level. Depending on the store you shop the sizes might differ by country. Just pay attention to weather your dealing in US sizes or UK (check out our size conversion chart here) and you should be fine. It should go without saying that if your shopping in a Google or Amazon type online store, take the time to actually read the customer reviews carefully on the product. This will help you get an overview of both how the sizes fit and weather or not the seller is trustworthy. Do not get a shoe that ends up making you uncomfortable and causing an ankle injury because you didn’t read the reviews.
Shoe Traction and Sole
Okay, this is a huge one. Have you ever bought a shoe that seemed great at first but found after a couple months you had worn right through them? You might as well be walking barefoot on pavement! I know I’ve been there before. This can be so hard on your feet, especially if you are a seasoned basketball player hitting the court daily. When you go to purchase a pair, think JAZZ. We want a shoe with sole, lots of it!
Some shoes have good traction in the beginning but eventually, lose their grip over time.
This can be dangerous. An indoor court with a little dirt on it can quickly turn into a skating rink if you have no traction. There are many different traction patterns on shoe bottoms and a helpful tip would be to look for deep treads.
Here’s a traction pro tip. Using sandpaper on the bottom of your shoes can scuff them up enough to give you that extra needed traction. There are also stick pads and cleaners that can provide extra traction to decent shoes or add lost traction on older shoes.
The next thing I would consider is comfort and cushioning. You want shoes that make you feel like a “superstar” or at the very least, not a newb. You don’t need shoes that make you adopt the western gunslinger walk. Shoes that are too stiff or have low-quality materials are just going to drive you nuts and you won’t want to play as often in them. Honestly, I don’t understand how they can exist in the marketplace at all, who are buying these things? (it triggers me).
You want a shoe that’s known for its comfort with high quality cushioning. EVA midsoles, compressed EVA midsoles, and polyurethane are all great cushioning materials to watch for. Look for shoes with at least 2 of these or go for the polyurethane which is more durable in the end. Dealing with buying a shoe that costs a small fortune but’s of low quality can leave you cursing in the street. Not a great feeling!
High Tops, Mid Tops or Low Tops
Okay, now it’s time to decide whether you want low tops, mid tops or high tops.
High tops provide extra protection for ankles and prevent injuries. That’s all there is to it. Do they prevent all injuries? No. But they are great if you are looking for a little extra support which is exactly what we want. Couple that with an ankle sleeve or ankle brace and you’ve got a fighting chance that you will keep from rolling. It may be hard to say which are the best higher topped basketball shoes for ankle support but it’s easy to understand why they are better than mid or low tops.
That said, mid tops have come a long way. They give some ankle support without the extra weight which although a bit of a trade off, may be the way to go in some instances. I still feel that the higher topped shoes offer the most support but an argument can be made. If you are a basketball player who is versatile this may be the shoe for you. Especially if you are just shooting around at practice.
Now remember, we are talking about the best basketball shoe designed to support your ankles and not the best shoe for basketball. There is a difference there. I feel overall that mid tops make a better all-around basketball shoe due to the difference in weight but we are talking ankle support and so any extra support that is going to keep your ankle from rolling plays an important factor.
Low tops have no ankle support and really are to be avoided if you have had an ankle injury in the past. There just isn’t any ankle support there. They have their place, but on the court during a serious game is just not one of them. It’s hard to see where the low top basketball shoes ankle support could even come close to competing with the mid or high tops.
Ok, honestly there is no reason to overspend if you are on a “shoestring” budget – see what I did there! A good quality shoe costs around $75 so rather than settle for something in the $35 range, just wait, save up a bit more and get something decent. If you like to splurge then you can spend from $120 on upwards without issue. In fact there are some really cool Air Jordan shoes that I would love to have. Some of his vintage pairs are amazing! Shop around and find the price in your range, just don’t cheap out on such an important piece of baller gear.
Stick to signature brands like NIKE, AIR Jordan, Adidas Performance, Under Amour, etc. They tend to have all the qualities we’ve talked about above and yet remain relatively inexpensive choices. They invested millions of dollars and have done the research. They know how to build a quality shoe.
Can Basketball Shoes Make a Fashion Statement?
Yep, there are lots of people who couldn’t dribble a ball if their life depended on it and yet wear baller shoes everywhere they go. That’s ok! In my opinion, anything that makes the sport more popular is a win win. And if your someone who needs the extra ankle support but still wants to look good, why not choose a great looking pair of basketball shoes.
Here are some things to keep in mind though if your trying to impress your peers.
- With skinny jeans, choose the right pair! Wear high and low top Jordan’s with these slimming pants. Avoid wide trousers. There is something that just doesn’t look quite right if you wear these with wide pants.
- Wear basketball shoes with shorts or casual dresses. Make your shoes the main focus in this case by getting the colours to match. A wild looking ball shoe with a striped dress or striped pants is just yuck!
- You can wear low top sneakers with a low cut neutral pair of socks. This is my idea of casual.
- Cargo shorts can look awesome with sneakers but again, nothing wild.
- Stay away from bold prints. Some shoes just go way overboard with their color choices. We don’t want you looking like a Christmas tree.
- Never wear sneakers with formal wear. Ok, I shouldn’t say never but it’s a tricky one to pull off. Especially at funerals. Better off to avoid it!
- Tuck your jeans into your sneakers for a more tailored effect. I can’t say this is my favorite look. It works for the ladies but for guys, it kinda seems sloppy.
- Avoid pin rolling (rolling your pant leg up just a tiny bit) with all basketball shoes. Seriously, don’t do it!
- Do not wear high top shoes with yoga pants. Go mid or low top.
- Street wear is a fashionable style for the basketball shoe.
Before going for a new style do your research. See if that style fits you and the environment you’ll be in. Dress according to your personality. It should be all about you and how you want to express yourself!
Benefits of Basketball Shoes On and Off the Court
Basketball shoes are good for more than just on-court fun. If you have had ankle injuries in the past, consider wearing them off court in your daily life for added support and protection. If you are going to do this you may want to invest in a second pair. Sports shoes can smell nasty real quick and you don’t want to bring that into your girls car or to your guys mom’s place. Could be embarrassing.
On court, proper basketball shoes can help improve your footwork and game skills. Comfortable shoes and shoes that allow your feet to breathe can help up your skill level and keep your feet happy and fresh.
Basketball shoes help absorb shock in ways that other shoes don’t. This can prevent injuries when the game gets intense and provide you with the ability to re-jump faster.
FYI – they do make volleyball shoes but some volleyball players use basketball shoes because they are lightweight and provide more ankle and lateral support.
Disadvantages of Basketball Shoes That Offer Ankle Support
- Some shoes with higher tops can be heavy and if you are looking to support your ankle your most likely choosing something that has a lot of cushion in that area
- Because they are heavy they can be cumbersome to players with a need for speed
- Some brands sell low quality shoes. If you see a pair boasting ankle support for $35 it could be a sign that you need to keep looking.
- Unless you are going for signature brands like NIKE it’s hard to find a shoe where the overall cost fits the quality so be prepared to pay a little extra for that extra support.
My Picks for 5 of the Best Men’s Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support on the Market
I have reviewed a few pairs of shoes below that I think hit the mark when it comes to ankle support to help simplify decision making process for you. Remember to keep style and price in mind when purchasing. You’ll have to click the links to get pricing as it’s always changing but at least you’ll get a bit of a comparison. So let’s find out which basketball shoes have best ankle support!
This pair of Adidas Performance sneakers should last you more than one season if your a moderate player. The cost seems great in most stores. Not too over priced and not uncomfortably cheap either. They weigh in at about 3 pounds and are designed for players with serious hops in mind.
- Really excellent traction.
- Great ankle support even for pronated ankles.
- Can be used for both indoor and outdoor games.
- Sprint Web technology helps to keep moisture away from the feet. This is super important! No one wants stinky feet because of moisture build up.
- The size you buy should actually fit you. You would be surprised how often a size 11 fits like a size 10 in some brands but that isn’t normally a problem with Men’s D Rose 5 Boosts
- TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane or elastic-plastic as like to call it) material improves stability of the shoe for most people.
- The midsole has good spring to it which is great for quick and tricky footwork.
- It’s got great grip.
- It fits well and is very well designed. Sleek!
- Overall it really is an improvement over previous NIKE shoes in the same line
- The Adidas Performance has a bit of stiffness in the upper part of the shoe. This seems to remain slightly even after breaking it in according to some players. This can be a pro too if your looking for that stiff support feeling.
- Some users complain that these Adidas lack arch support.
- There are some complaints about the laces starting to crumble after months of using them and the upper material scratching easily. After months of use though, some wear really should be expected.
Jordan Super Fly 4
I am a Jordan fan through and through even though he doesn’t play anymore and so when I see these shoes I can’t help but want them. They come in a variety of colors and designs and they all seem pretty cool looking. It’s priced right at most stores and is lightweight averaging around 1.8 pounds give or take.
- They are really flexible.
- This shoe comes in a variety of different types and the majority are very sleek looking
- Web straps integrate nicely with the laces and provide more stability and comfort
- These are low profile and have extra cushioning for impact protection.
- The price is affordable considering it’s a signature brand.
- They have some really great patterns.
- Some people find these shoes a bit squeaky on the court when playing indoors
- These shoes seem to be more designed for indoor use as some have found the rubber a bit soft
LeBron Soldier XI
I LOVE this shoe! It’s so comfortable and has an awesome design that just blows my mind. The design is unisex and looks great with skirts too.
The LeBron Soldier has a unique strapping system that gives it a noticeable feel of support around the ankle and with the usual Nike quality its traction is second to none. You’ll feel confident and safe wearing these shoes all season long.
- Very wide treads for stability which translates into great protection. The more stable I can be when I come down out of a jump, the better.
- The LeBron Soldier is extremely comfortable.
- Certain parts of these shoes feel as though they are made of leather or a synthetic leather
- Can be paired with many outfits if your into off-court wear
- These shoes may feel a bit heavy for some people
Prime Hype DF
This shoe has some great foot cushioning properties and an upper fabric that wicks away moisture during those intense games.
- The shoe has some seriously good grip and would be excellent both indoors and out.
- It’s very comfortable and sturdy which is great for weakened ankles. Zero complaints in that area and that’s one of the most important things we are looking for.
- They sport a very sleek design that adds style to your wardrobe.
- It fits very well.
- Provides great support to the ankle area even after a long game.
- Has a variety of colors that are all pretty awesome.
- A durable sole that should last.
- A little pricey maybe depending on the store you buy from but your really getting a dependable shoe. This is kind of a “You get what you pay for circumstance”.
- Some say they find them time consuming to lace up. I can’t say I really have ever had a shoe that was time consuming to lace up but that’s some of the feedback I’ve gotten.
Performance Crazy Bounce
These are great shoes. Not my favorite of the bunch but still a great shoe overall that will keep your feet steady and comfortable.
- These shoes are a budget-friendly option
- They are great if you play center
- It’s got some very effective traction overall. The herringbone pattern is a nice touch.
- The rubber on the outer sole does not accumulate dust and dirt.
- This shoe has good ankle support due to the rigid ankle collar material.
- Great impact protection thanks to the shoes sturdy upper design where it meets the ankle.
- The wide outrigger is great for players who tend to roll their ankles more often
- Just a very comfortable shoe overall.
- Some say that they find the shoes run a size larger and others say they fit a bit small so order knowing you may have to exchange once to get the perfect fit if your buying online
- It has a half bootie construction which can sometimes make sliding the shoe on a bit more difficult than with a full back.
- The tongue is attached to the shoe making it difficult for some people to adjust the fit just right once all laced up
- Some people would like to see longer laces with these shoes. I don’t find it an issue myself.
Final Verdict – What are the Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support?
Honestly I’d be happy and confident wearing any of these shoes onto the court. They all have a great feel to them and they all offer cushion that can hug your ankles. We tried to review the best of the best within a wide price range so that there would be some more pricey and some budget friendly options, all while protecting your ankles. I guess which shoe is right for you will depend on whether you’re looking for something with some “show-off” to it or your aiming for a more conservative look that doesn’t draw attention but still gets the job done on the court.
In our view, the Nike Men’s Prime Hype DF shoe has it all. It has a sleek design that I like and it’s price is well within the mark for that type of shoe. Most of the features of a good basketball shoe are found in it but most importantly I feel it adds some support for those with weak ankles. If we are talking about style then some types of the Jordan superfly are great as well and deserve a side mention.
There you go, hope this helps you decide which pair to add to your shelf!