If you want to quickly know my recommendation for the best basketball shoes for ankle support and Achilles tendonitis, then go for the Nike Zoom Freak 1.
Basketball is a physical sport and I have seen many injuries happen during unexpected moments of the game. One of the most common injuries in basketball is sprained ankles. This can happen when you accidentally step on another player’s foot. When doing quick and sudden lateral movements, there is also the risk of rolling your ankles. The right protection is needed to prevent ankle injuries. You also need to have proper ankle support shoes when you have just recovered from an ankle injury.
In this article, I’ll be reviewing the following best basketball shoes for ankle support and Achilles support:
Strengthen Your Ankles
Aside from wearing basketball shoes that have the right level of ankle support, you should work on strengthening your ankles through exercises. This will have long term benefit not only for players who want to prevent ankle injuries but also for those who have just recovered from an ankle injury and want to strengthen their weak ankles. Let’s watch this video of Luka Dončić in order to get a better understanding of how ankle injuries happen during a basketball game.
There are several exercises that you can perform if you are already cleared by your physician to return to physical activities or competitive sports. You can enhance your flexibility by making circles or by rotating your foot. You should always consult a physician if you still feel any pain or tightness in your ankles. Never ignore the warning signs you notice. When in doubt, you should certainly go and see a doctor.
There are several recommendations from the Golden States Warriors’ athletic trainer, Tom Abdenour, on how to perform basic ankle strengthening exercises. The resistance exercises, towel drags to the side, simple balance, and challenging balance activities mentioned in the article will give you an idea of the level of exercises required. You will also improve your balance with these exercises. Balance is extremely important in basketball because of the amount of jumps, runs, and sudden stops involved in the game.
Having strong and healthy ankles are the foundation of a high performing basketball player. Preparation is key and you have to make sure your body, especially your ankle and foot area, is not overlooked when getting yourself ready for the sport of basketball.
Should You Buy High Top Basketball Shoes For Ankle Support?
The most common question that basketball players ask me about the best shoes for ankle support is whether they should get a pair with a high top construction or not. Considering that you are likely going to wear an ankle brace for additional support, high top cut basketball shoes are not really required. A good quality ankle brace and the right level of shoe traction and stability are what I would be scrutinizing in this review. Ankle braces are not just to prevent injuries. They also increase stability and reduce pain that is potentially caused by an uneven basketball court surface.
Low top and mid top cut shoes can have good ankle support if the outsole has solid base traction as most ankle twists and rolls will not likely be prevented by having a pair of high top basketball shoes. The support will come from the stability of the base which is derived from the quality of the outsole. In this article, I will be looking at good basketball shoes regardless whether they are designed as low, mid or high top.
Wide Base Outsole
We all love to execute fancy moves in the basketball court when opportunity presents itself. Crossovers here and there, spin moves to our strong side, and side steps are just a few of the moves that we all enjoy and can help us clear the space for us to get near to the basket. Sadly, unfortunate incidents can and do happen in a basketball game. You can accidentally twist your ankle at the most unexpected moment. Leaping to grab a rebound or jumping to take a shot also comes with associated risks. Stepping on someone’s shoes happens more frequent than you think. It has personally happened to me and I would confess that the recovery process was a painful and tedious one.
Basketball shoes with a wide outsole can provide the stability that you need. Some models have wide outriggers in the outsole and this is a plus. This would further enhance your stability during moments of high impact and motion to your ankles. This can also stabilize your landing after a quick jumper or a tough fadeaway shot. Apart from the width of the outsole, the thickness of the rubber also plays a part. I have looked at both the thickness and the quality of the outsole in this review.
The outsole patterns of your basketball shoes affect traction and grip on the floor surface. You should be looking at an outsole pattern that has good multidirectional traction. Most basketball shoes have the traditional herringbone pattern which provides good grip as the outsole has a high amount of rubber touching the surface of the court. Certain brands or companies manufacture unique traction patterns and this improves the overall efficiency of its outsole traction. The basketball shoes with ankle support I have reviewed in this article are those whose insoles have high amounts of surface area that come in contact with the ground. Good quality rubber sole was also considered for overall stability, comfort, and durability.
Top Five Protective Basketball Shoes
Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of strengthening your ankles and having the right level of ankle support, let’s go and decide which are the best ones to buy.
The Nike Zoom Freak 1 is NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo’s signature basketball shoes. The upper is made of lightweight textile which makes it breathable. The solid construction of the upper reinforces the overall support around the foot. The ankle area is supported by a padded collar which is secure and comfortable. This pair comes with an internal forefoot containment system that bands your foot in a stable and locked in fit. The secure fit is perfect for executing spin moves and step back jumpers.
The midsoles are extremely comfortable. They are made of resilient foam that have a soft and natural feel to them. The dual Zoom Air units under the heel provides extra cushioning which reduces impact and stress around the foot and ankle areas during hard landings.
The outsoles have intricate patterns that provide multidirectional traction and grip. There is a high amount of rubber pattern touching the surface area which gives you a very stable and strong grip on the floor. You will have a solid hold of your footing with this pair of shoes. The outsoles have inscriptions that pay homage to Giannis’ roots. There is a rubber clip that extends from the outsole up to the sides of the foot for additional lateral support. Overall, this is a great pair of Nike shoes with ankle support. You will also have space to accommodate an ankle brace if required.
- Padded collar for ankle support
- Extended rubber clip for lateral stability
- Dual Zoom Air units for extra cushioning
- Intricate outsole pattern for excellent traction and grip
- Outsole can easily attract dirt
2. Nike PG 4
The Nike Paul George 4 signature shoes are made of dual-mesh upper materials. The design is rather unique as it has a zipper that fastens the semi-transparent overlay. This feature provides extra support for a very secure yet comfortable fit. Even with the zipper fastened, the upper is breathable and airflow is adjustable.
This pair is designed as low cut basketball shoes but has a full bootie construction. A complex internal webbing system in the upper provides a secure locked in fit. A lightweight cushioned sockliner measuring 6 mm is seamlessly integrated for extra comfort. The footbed is enhanced by Nike Air technology which gives the underfoot excellent responsiveness. This cushions the feet and ankle from lateral movements. Traction scores highly mainly due to the circular pattern in the outsole. This ensures multidirectional traction for extra grip. Your side steps and crossovers will be supported by the extra grippy outsoles. In terms of design, “Trece” and “Young” are written on the tip of the left and right shoe respectively to emphasize Paul George’s influence on the shoes.
Despite being a low top design, the Nike PG 4 provides solid stability and balance because of its wide base outsole. You will also have enough room to wear your ankle braces should you choose to do so.
- Wide base outsole for stability
- Circular traction pattern for multidirectional grip
- Extra responsive Nike Air footbed
- Dual-mesh upper with adjustable airflow
- Zipper design may not appeal to everyone
3. Nike Kyrie 6
Nike Kyrie Irving 6 signature shoes are made of a combination of engineered leather material and ballistic mesh to form a superior quality upper. The mesh vamp allows breathability through its moisture releasing capability. This pair comes with a padded collar and a solid heel counter that wrap your ankle in a secure fashion. This helps to keep your ankles aligned to your feet when attacking the basket or when reaching out to get that steal. A thick adjustable midfoot strap runs across the foot for a locked in fit.
The reinforced toe box is a plus because it prevents you from abrasion due to constant friction. Nike Kyrie 6 also comes with a Nike Air Zoom Turbo unit under the ball of the foot. The added support comes from its curved structure and enhances the cushioning at all angles. The midsole material is lightweight which helps with your overall stability when in motion.
The outsole has a multi-angle blade pattern that extends up to the sides of the shoes. This will support your slick moves while giving enough room for flexibility. The outsole pattern works great with different surface types. Certainly, this pair is one of the best ankle support basketball shoes. The mid cut design allows room for an ankle brace if you plan to wear one.
- Traction from all angles to support ankle movement
- Zoom Air Turbo unit for enhanced cushioning
- Lightweight midsole material
- Mesh vamp allows moisture release
- A bit narrow; buying half a size up can help
The Nike AlphaDunk basketball shoes are made of Flyknit technology for the upper. This is an engineered single piece of mesh that is constructed using polyester, spandex, and nylon to achieve a breathable and lightweight finish. The upper material offers a very supportive fit that is good for ankle support. Your ankles will be further supported by the Flywire cables that will lock down your feet securely. A solid external heel counter provides the stability that your ankles need. The heel counter also improves overall traction. Your sensitive Achilles tendon will be glad to know that these shoes have padded inner collars.
The midsoles are made of lightweight foam and give you that comfortable and natural feel that is soft to the underfoot. The AlphaDunk has a large 270-degree Zoom Air unit which is the largest yet from Nike. The rubber outsole is wide and thick which is very supportive to your balance. The traction pattern is good for both indoor and outdoor use. It also comes with a back pull for ease of wear especially if you are wearing additional ankle support.
The heel patch has the letters “LOB” visible on the left shoe which means “Library Of Bounce.” In terms of style, this pair of high top basketball shoes cuts quite high in the ankle for added support.
- Large Zoom Air unit for stability
- Flywire cables ensure a locked in fit
- Padded inner collars for ankle support
- Back pull for ease of wear with ankle brace
- The top eyelets can get tight
The Adidas Damian Lillard signature shoes are made of a combination of textile and synthetic materials for the upper. The breathability of the layered upper is acceptable for long games. These lightweight shoes have a webbed lacing system that locks your foot to the base of the sole. This gives the stability that your ankle needs during physical moments of the game. The midsole is made of Litestrike EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) which is light and soft with superior cushioning. The shoes have wide outsoles that will help in supporting your balance. The outsoles have the traditional herringbone pattern which gives excellent traction and grip. The rounded edges of the outsole add another layer of protection and traction when making quick moves.
This pair has solid outsole base support that can help with ankle stability. The snug fit is achieved through a sock-like internal foam system. The design of the shoes reflect Damian Lillard’s personality. It combines both his athletic and artistic sides to create a striking pair of basketball shoes. Overall, this is a pair of shoes built for stability and balance which in turn supports the ankles. In my opinion, this is one of the best basketball shoes with good ankle support. The low cut design has room to accommodate ankle braces for extra support if you need them.
- Webbed lacing system for that locked in fit
- Litestrike EVA midsole
- Wide outsole
- Herringbone outsole pattern for excellent traction
- Synthetic layered upper is not as breathable
The Awesome Choice
All the five pairs of basketball shoes that I have reviewed provide good ankle support and suitable for Achilles tendonitis. You won’t go wrong with any of the five that I have mentioned in this article. You can also wear an ankle brace for extra support. However, the one that really stands out for me as the best basketball shoes for ankle support that is suitable for Achilles tendonitis is the Nike Zoom Freak 1.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s signature shoes have padded collars for ankle support. The extended rubber clip enhances lateral stability. The midsoles are really soft and responsive. The dual Zoom Air units provide cushioning for hard landings and reduce stress around the foot and ankle areas. Traction and grip are excellent due to the intricate outsole tread patterns making this my top choice as the best basketball shoes for ankle support.