I don’t have to tell you how important are good basketball shoes for preventing injuries in basketball. Also, you already know how common ankle injuries are in basketball.
Some plays demand a very high level of physical condition, and not everyone trains like Kobe. Not everyone’s always ready. Basketball players all over the world, at any level, often battle with ankle sprains.
How many times have you seen in an official game that a player lands on another player’s foot? And suddenly he’s either on the bench or has gone to a locker room. That is why they look for the best basketball shoe for ankle support.
That’s why it’s so important to choose the right basketball shoes with best ankle support. No sneaker fits all, but there are some basic principles you need to follow. With basketball shoes I’m about to present, your ankle health is going to be better than ever.
But first, let’s look at those principles and learn something about ankle support.
High top or low top for ankle support?
Throughout history, high top basketball shoes were considered more protective for the ankle. The main argument was that it has more material around the ankles, which means more support. It all changed in the early 2000s when the low tops became more and more popular.
The game changer was Kobe and his low top signature shoe from 2008. The public was surprised and thought it’s a mistake that low tops get so much attention, yet they are so unsafe.
A few years later, and the injury statistics and studies are teaching us that there really isn’t much difference between does two. And so, to see what are the best basketball shoes for ankle support, we are again left with the need for analyzing every model individually.
If you still have the dilemma of choosing high top or low top shoes for basketball, here’s my view on it.
How do we know that the basketball shoe has excellent ankle support?
The primary focus when talking about good basketball shoes with solid ankle support was always the shoe height. But, there are also some other elements of a basketball shoe that we should consider:
1. The shoe insole – forefoot wedge design
2. The shoe midsole – flare design
Those two can affect the outside pronation moment – foot action we experience when landing – so it is apparent that they can also have a significant role (securing impact) in the movements in the game of basketball.
Since the first ground touch happens in the forefoot area, securing the impact of the wedge and flare design can be triggered by an extended ankle eversion. The forefoot region is also interesting because of the incorrect vertical jump landing – which then causes ankle injury.
It is known that a player should first land on the forefoot (close to midfoot) and then transfer the weight to midfoot and then rearfoot. Thus the forefoot area is crucial for the stabilization mechanism of a basketball shoe.
Except for the ability to land properly from a jump, we also need to consider running and cutting and doing it at the proper speed. During quick cuts, the rearfoot comes to the ground first, causing the increased inversion.
The key things when choosing basketball shoe with best ankle support
- Does the shoe have the right design for reducing stress on ALL basketball movements?
- Does the basketball shoe fit right?
As we see, all basketball movements, and especially those initial movements like vertical jump takeoff, or first cuts, need to be covered. With the right basketball shoe design, maximum inversion can actually be decreased; which can mean faster sprinting time, quicker cutting, or higher vertical jumping.
A perfect basketball shoe with outstanding ankle support should implement these purposes:
- Stability – The strength to hold unnecessary and sudden foot action
- Cushioning – The ability to make a hard movement (like landing) easier
- Traction – Shoe must not allow slipping
- Flexibility – Toes must be “free”, forefoot must be able to move properly. Here’s when the material comes into play.
- Durability – Basketball shoe can’t be able to break during the action
- Weight – It’s important that it’s not too heavy, so it doesn’t weigh you down during any movement
- Breathability – Must allow oxygenating and sweat control
- Comfort – This depends on the user the most; decent fit is the key.
The Best High Top Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support
1. Nike Men’s Kyrie 6
The traction is what makes this basketball shoe better than the others in the same price range. With two pods that support the ankles while enabling the player to seize the court while quickly shifting sides, there is also a herringbone that goes from back to front and covers direct drives.
Nike Kyrie 6’s materials are exceeding expectations looking back to Kyrie 5’s, with the mesh being the main material that goes through all shoe, with the exception of the forefoot, where foam comes into play. Also, the foam is strengthened with Flywire. All materials are a good fit together, and there’s no opposition between them.
The fit is fair, we can attest that, but those with wide feet could have a bit of problem with comfortability. The heel feels safe, and the ankle feels locked with enough room to function properly. You might want to get shorter laces. Tooling is solid and holds well, while rounded midsole takes some time to accept, but after a few times, it becomes completely normal.
2. Nike Men’s Prime Hype DF II
In 2015, Nike presented a successor of Hyperdunk 2014 with almost the same patterns, but again modified and enhanced performance. Traction is on a standardly good level, holds the floor great and works well when changing directions, which saves the ankle if having problems with it.
Dual Fusion cushion mode will allow full range of motion, it is surprisingly responsive and provides sufficient support. The material is of course fuse that goes through shoe from heal to toes, and synthetic leather, which is why these are budget friendly. But it does the job very well, and they are extremely durable.
The fit is true to size; you can with no worries buy the size you usually wear. Regarding ventilation, it’s nothing spectacular but again – they do the job for the money. The support is the best feature of these shoes, making them best ankle support budget-friendly basketball shoes.
3. Under Armour Men’s UA Curry 2.5
Curry 2.5’s bring better traction than its forerunner and will protect from sliding all over the floor when playing aggressively and quickly changing directions. The pattern is aligned the way you won’t need to clean them all the time, even if playing outdoors.
Regarding the cushion, there was some speculation about MicroG foam, but don’t believe the rumors – it’s not in these UA basketball shoes. But charged foam, which is an awesome setup, does the job pretty well. Curry 2.5 brings us novelty in material, as its mesh is encased in plastic. It’s not ideal, but it does offer more endurance and stability.
Medial side of the shoe is extremely adjustable, and its materials actually feel like they’re wrapping around an ankle, so that’s one of the reasons why they’re on the list.
Asymmetrical lacing system provides additional ankle protection, and we must add that it will fit any type of feet, it’s just that good.
4. Under Armour Men’s Curry 3
Curry 3’s bring us incredible traction. I had experience with these, and all I can say is that you won’t regret having them, not at all. The pattern is smoother than on its predecessor, and rubber that comes with them is better. Because of the grip and material, these will also function beautifully outdoors. By that I mean it will last a long, long time, at least they did for me.
The firm cushion with Ortholite insole gives an additional coziness, and Micro G that comes with it will make the court feel natural. Materials provide longevity and comfortability for ankles, with stability staying on a high level. Foam molds to foot good enough to get used to it fast. The only problem maybe is that they could put more of it in.
Lockdown, along with lacing system will give an extra good feel when talking about stability and heel health. All in all, these are not so much different than Curry 2.5’s, but I vouch for these.
5. Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe
The traction that goes in multiple directions and considering the reviews and customer experiences, these do the work. Translucent setup may worry some of you, but there’s nothing to worry about, traction is fantastic.
But the cushion is what makes this shoe special. From amazing comfort to stability, it’s hard to name one thing that this shoe hasn’t got. Soft rubber on these will make forefoot feel good while heel expends just enough to allow you careless movement. They fit on any feet, as you would expect.
Lockdown is solid, with upper stretching to fit. Laces come with four eyelets, which may seem weird, but believe they hold well. Support holds ankles in their place with TPU plate offering extra stability while keeping ankles safe.
There you have it, the best basketball shoes for ankle support available in 2018. There are so many models and brands out there today, and I must say that most of mass-production basketball shoes are garbage in terms of protecting feet. These are, let’s say, safe choices that will probably fit every foot if the size is correct, no matter if you have wide or narrow feet. To invest money in your health is always a good idea, and if you’re a basketball player in making, an injury can cost you big time. Why not prevent it?