Best High Top Basketball Shoes for Support to Help Prevent Ankle Injuries
Over the years basketball has developed into a faster and more physical game with increasing rates of body contact.
This increased injury risk is especially true for professional athletes in the National Basketball Association; NBA , who participate in a greater number of minutes per game, more times per week, and for longer seasons .
However, ankle injury patterns have also been commonly identified among college athletes and amateur basketball players , especially women [6, 7].
In this article, we will discuss why ankle injuries occur in basketball, the role of equipment in injury prevention, as well as provide you with a review of ankle supporting basketball shoes.
Review of the Top 8 Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support to Prevent Sprains and Ankle Injuries
Adidas Performance Crazy Explosive
Well-balanced basketball shoe made of a light material to provide you with high comfort and to keep the shoes breathable. Designed to reduce impact and keep you protected at all times, while allowing you to move swiftly over the court.
Lightweight design might come with slightly reduced durability.
Notable Players Wearing Crazy Explosive:
Andrew Wiggins, Rookie of the year 2015, Minnesota Timberwolves
Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
Eric Gorden, Houston Rockets
Nike Hyperdunk 2016/2017
You might be wondering why we have 2016/2017. Although the 2017 is a newer version of the Hyperdunk, some players argue the Nike Hyperdunk 2016 basketball shoes offer better ankle support.
These shoes are designed with Nike’s multi-directional rubber to give you maximal support and protection. The material use of synthetic fiber also provides you with great breathability.
Notable Players Wearing Nike Hyper Dunk
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors. Debuted the '17s in first game of 2017
CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers
Al Horford, Boston Celtics
Under Armour Curry 4
Lightweight design aimed at providing you with locked-in stability through your heel, arch and forefoot. The built in charged cushioning also offers you improved first-step speed.
Stephen Curry has had a recurring history of ankle sprains (his latest keeping him out of the first round of the playoffs this year), Under Armour will have invested a lot of time into creating Curry 3 with solid ankle support.
Notable Players Wearing Curry 4
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors.
Adidas D Rose 7
Worn by Derrick Rose, who became the youngest player to win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2011, these basketball shoes are constructed with cut high design to provide you with solid ankle stability. Although Rose has seen his explosiveness and ultimately his career plummet due to this horrible ACL knee injury, these are still great shoes for protecting the ankles.
Equipped with the Adidas full-length boost technology, D Rose 7 offers great cushioning. The shoe also delivers very impressively in terms of traction ability.
According to some critics, the sole slightly lacks in durability and might also be somewhat less flexible than for example Nike Hyperdunk 2016.
Notable Players Wearing D Rose:
Derrick Rose, Minnesota Timberwolves
Steven Adams, OKC Thunder
Serge Ibaka, Toronto Raptors
Nike Kyrie 3
Designed with dynamic traction and flexible support, these basketball shoes are well suited for aggressive players. They were designed by taking into consideration the awe-inspiring angles that Kyrie is constantly putting his ankles into as he breaks guys down off the dribble.
Apart from at the heel, these shoes are somewhat lacking in the cushioning. They might also take some time to adjust to your feet, so be prepared to give shoes a couple of weeks to get the right fit.
On the other hand, the sturdiness and breathability of Kyrie 3 are great.
Notable Players Wearing Kyrie 3:
Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
Tim Hardaway Jr, New York Nicks
Nike Lebron Soldier 11
Developed for players with an aggressive game-style, these basketball shoes comes with great support for all parts of your foot and ankle.
The design, which includes four types of straps, enables you to lock down both your ankle and heel, while the others ensure support for your midfoot and forefoot.
Lebron wore 4 shoes in 17'/18' but primarily stuck to the Solider 11 and the Lebron 15. This is gallery of which shoe's Lebron has worn and the colorways is worth a look.
Notable Players Wearing Nike Lebron Solider 11:
Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers
Nike Air Jordan XXXI
Although Air Jordan XXXI may not be the latest basketball shoe on the market, it remains a good choice for protecting your ankles and a popular choice around the L.
The design comes with both an interior ankle collar and padding which is specifically constructed to fit the space around your ankles, keeping them locked in place.
On the contrary, this shoe has been criticized for its somewhat inconsistent traction as well as high cost. Then again, the traction also depends on which kind of floor you play on; the cleaner the court is, the better traction.
Notable Players Wearing Nike Air Jordan XXXI:
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Otto Porter Jr., Washington Wizard
LaMarcus Alrdige, San Antonio Spurs
Under Armour UA ClutchFit Drive 3
High-quality all-round basketball shoe with good ankle support. Well-balanced weight and design without being too firm or too soft. Some of the features includes external heel counter to give you you more stability, achilles pillow to provide higher comfort, and charged cushioning to absorb heavy impact.
Why do basketball players suffer from ankle sprains?
One of the reasons why so many basketball players suffer from ankle sprains are partly due to the high demands of the sport, which involves frequent jumps, landings, cutting maneuvers and - as previously mentioned - contact with other players [8, 9].
Another common game-situation that can trigger an ankle sprain is when landing on another player's foot, causing an awkward foot joint position where the lateral ankle ligaments are stretched beyond their capacity .
Furthermore, studies indicate that previous history of ankle sprains, and particularly sprains on the same side of the ankle, is a strong predictor for reinjury .
These recurring ankle sprains results in a lot of physical pain and mental setbacks, but can also cause long-term problems such as expensive medical bills, decreased strength, instability, delayed muscle reaction time and disability [12, 13].
How can you prevent ankle sprains?
According to review studies, athletes who have suffered from a previous ankle sprain can decrease the risk of re-injury by wearing an ankle brace suited for basketball  or applying taping .
Additionally, research suggests that players who wear external ankle support may be less prone to ankle injuries, compared to players who don’t use any support .
However, regarding the connection between basketball shoes and ankle sprains, the data is somewhat more conflicting [8, 17, 18, 19, 20] and most studies have failed to find any link between shoe design and ankle sprain incidence .
One of the most discussed topics when it comes to player safety and ankle protection has been high-top versus low-top basketball shoes.
What are the effects of high-top basketball shoes?
High-top basketball shoes have had a reputation for being bulky and by some players also considered less attractive than low-top basketball shoes.
However, with more modern and innovate design taking place, high-top basketball shoes are becoming increasingly lighter.
But more importantly, they provide the player with additional protection.
The key safety function in high-top basketball shoes are the high laces, which offers additional ankle support and prevents sudden ankle movements that could otherwise cause joint or ligament damage.
High-top basketball shoes are also known to protect the player from stress fractures by integrated cushioning design.
These claims align with studies which have investigated the biomechanical aspect of foot and ankle anatomy, suggesting that high-top basketball shoes decreases external joint stress and limits extreme ranges of motion .
Furthermore, high-top basketball shoes may be more beneficial than low-top shoes when it comes to reducing ankle inversion, and thus help to prevent ankle sprains [21, 22].
With that said, further research is still needed to fully explore the potential benefit of high-top basketball shoes [9, 19].
What are the effects of low-top basketball shoes?
Although high-top basketball shoes are successively being developed with smoother designs, low-top basketball shoes generally remain lighter to wear and more beneficial in terms of speed.
The crucial difference is obviously the absence of high laces and thus, less stability and ankle support.
This could be a triggering factor for ankle sprains among players wearing low-top basketball shoes, particularly if the player has previous history of ankle sprains.
When reviewing the collective research available on basketball shoes and ankle support, there is some date that speaks in favour of high-top basketball shoes [21, 22].
We also know that players who use external ankle support, such as braces or taping, might lower the risk for ankle sprains and reinjury [14, 15, 16].
With that said, it’s important to keep in mind that there are several other factors affecting the occurrence of ankle sprains.
This includes the player’s age, weight and injury history, but also parameters such as body contact, landings, warm-up, exercise, intensity and frequency [1, 2, 5, 6, 7].
In other words, when choosing basketball shoes, there is no one right option and we must therefore consider the individual’s specific needs.
The best way to find the right fit for you is to consult with a knowledgeable basketball trainer or a spots footwear expert. Additionally, you need to ensure that you select a shoe that you feel is comfortable and supportive for your ankles.