The 10 Best Ankle Support Shoes of 2020, According to a Running Coach

Get the reinforcement your joints need

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Our Top Picks
"Asics’ popular GEL cushioning helps with shock absorption and delivers superior comfort and ankle support."
"Its exceptional cushioning and support make it ideal for men with weak or injury-prone ankles."
"With a roomy toe box and supportive heel, the 840’s design is the perfect blend of firmness and cushion."
Best for Distance Running:
ASICS GEL Nimbus Running Shoes at Amazon
"The GEL Nimbus gives distance runners the support they need when putting in some serious mileage."
Best for Trail Running:
Brooks Addiction 13 at Amazon
"This shoe’s premium carbon rubber outsole and triangular-shaped lugs provide increased traction and grip."
"Features lightweight, plush Fresh Foam cushioning that promotes a natural gait and allows for smooth landings."
Best for Flat Feet:
Brooks Addiction 14 at Zappos
"Its cushioning system provides shock absorption and support with each step, no matter what distance you’re running."
"Great for weightlifters, these shoes feature grippy laces that won't come untied during your workouts."
"With plenty of support and cushioning, this shoe provides the high-quality ankle support that basketball players need."
Best for Tennis:
New Balance WX 608 at Zappos
"The rubber bottom allows for excellent traction and grip, making it easier to pivot and change direction."

If you have weak ankles or you’ve suffered from ankle injuries in the past, you don’t have to give up your favorite activities. Whether you’re running, getting in your 10,000 steps, or playing hoops, wearing shoes with the right support can help you feel comfortable and confident.

Here are the best ankle support shoes for all your needs.

Best Overall for Women: ASICS GEL Kayano Running Shoes

A consistent top-seller for Asics, their GEL Kayano running shoe gives women who need good ankle support the stability they need. They feature Asics’ popular GEL cushioning, which helps with shock absorption and delivers superior comfort, especially in the forefoot and rearfoot. Asics’ Flytefoam midsole technology allows the shoe to bounce back to its original shape after each stride, providing lightweight cushioning and support for your entire run.

The heel counter provides a snug, secure fit, so you don’t have to worry about your rearfoot slipping and sliding. Although the Kayano is popular among runners, it also works well for walking, gym workouts, or as a casual, all-day wear shoe. The shoe comes in various designs and in women's sizes 5 through 12.

Best Overall for Men: Brooks Adrenaline GTS Running Shoes

With a sleek, streamlined design, the popular Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoe looks like it wouldn’t be an obvious choice for great ankle support. But its exceptional cushioning and support make it ideal for men with weak or injury-prone ankles.

The Adrenaline features guide rails to support and align your foot, providing customized correction for overpronation. For runners who need ankle support, the high heel to toe drop–12 millimeters–helps take pressure off your heels and calves. The shoe’s soft, plush cushioning is more lightweight than previous versions, but remains just as durable and comfortable. This model comes in various colors and in men's sizes 7 through 15.

Best for Road Running: Under Armour Men's Lockdown Basketball Shoe

New Balance is known for its supportive and comfortable shoes, and their 840 model is an ideal choice for those who need good stability for road running. With a roomy toe box and supportive heel, the 840’s design is the perfect blend of firmness and cushion, so your feet and ankles will feel comfortable from the start to finish of your run.

The shoe’s full-length EVA midsole foam helps disperse impact, providing outstanding bounce back and shock absorption. The lightweight, breathable mesh upper also helps keep your feet cool and dry.

Best for Distance Running: ASICS GEL Nimbus Running Shoes

Another high-quality shoe from Asics, the GEL Nimbus gives distance runners the support they need when putting in some serious mileage. Asics’ trademark GEL cushioning system provides stellar cushioning and support throughout the entire shoe. It also enhances the shoe’s shock absorption, which helps to alleviate pressure on your ankles.

Whether you choose to run on roads, running paths, or a treadmill, the GEL Nimbus provides top-notch support for the long haul.

Best for Trail Running: Brooks Addiction 13

If you already have running shoes but want a dedicated pair for trail running, you may not want to spend a lot on more shoes. Fortunately, there are some quality options that won’t break the bank and will provide you with proper support, comfort, and durability, like this trail runner from Saucony.

They’re inexpensive, provide stability for neutral-arched or low-arched feet, feature a Heel Grid system with stable cushioning, and come with Versafoam midsole technology for a comfortable and responsive feel. The shoe’s premium carbon rubber outsole and triangular-shaped lugs provide increased traction and grip over rough terrain and enhance the shoe’s durability.

Best for Walking: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 Running Shoe

If you’ve had a previous ankle injury, frequently walk on uneven surfaces, or are prone to twisting your ankle, you definitely need a shoe with plenty of support. A great walking shoe for unstable ankles, the New Balance 1080 features lightweight, plush Fresh Foam cushioning that promotes a natural gait and allows for smooth landings.

The internal bootie hugs your foot, providing exceptional comfort and support with a secure, snug fit. Whether you’re an avid walker or need a comfy, supportive shoe for all-day wear, you can’t go wrong with the 1080.

Best for Flat Feet: Brooks Addiction 14 Shoe

If you have flat feet, rolling your ankle in can cause a lot of stress on the joint, so you need a shoe that works to limit excessive pronation. A tried-and-true standout for motion control shoes, the Brooks Addiction features an extended progressive diagonal rollbar to help control pronation and prevent ankle rolling, while also promoting smoother transitions.

The shoe features Brooks’ DNA cushioning system, which provides shock absorption and cushioning with each step, no matter what distance you’re running. There’s a variety of width sizes, so it’s easy to find the right fit for you.

Best for Weightlifting: Reebok Reebox Nano Cross Trainer Shoes

The durable, high-quality Reebox Nano Cross Trainer shoes feature the excellent lateral support that weightlifters need for safe, effective workouts. The Flexweave fabric keeps the shoe lightweight and breathable, but the ample cushioning allows for comfort and good shock absorption.

Another cool feature is the grippy laces that won’t come untied during your workouts, ensuring the shoes’ secure, snug fit.

Best for Basketball: Under Armour HOVR Havoc 2 Basketball Shoes

Basketball requires a lot of lateral movement on the court, so it’s crucial that players wear shoes with good ankle support. With plenty of support and cushioning, Under Armour’s UA Lockdown is a high-quality shoe that gets the job done.

The HOVR technology provides a good balance of cushioning, impact protection, and responsiveness, while the shoe’s midfoot TPU shank provides extra lateral stability. The Lockdown’s rubber outsole with herringbone traction pattern provides stellar control and grip, so you can focus on perfecting your moves.

Best for Tennis: New Balance WX 608 Training Shoes

If you need a tennis shoe with good ankle support, New Balance’s WX 608 can be a game changer. The shoe’s dual-density collar features a softer density foam against the foot for plush cushioning, and a firmer density foam for secure support.

New Balance’s Rollbar technology helps keep your feet stable as you move back and forth, and side to side on the court. The rubber bottom also allows for excellent traction and grip, making it easier to pivot and change direction.

Final Verdict

Finding the best shoes for ankle support may depend on what activity you’re wearing them for, since some shoes are better suited for certain sports. However, both the Asics GEL Kayano and Brooks Adrenaline GTS running shoes offer the right mix of stability and cushioning that make for a quality, well-rounded shoe for ankle support.

What to Look for in Ankle Support Shoes

Support and Cushioning

You’ll want good support throughout the entire shoe, not just around your ankle. Look for soles that are stiff, but not too thick–aim for thin to medium thickness. Try to choose a shoe with a well-cushioned footbed for additional support and help with shock absorption.  

Fit

Make sure you have at least a half-inch of space between your longest toe and the tip of your shoe to avoid toe problems such as black toenails. A deep heel cup will keep your heel in place, helping to maintain proper foot alignment and avoid slipping and sliding in your shoes.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a running coach, personal trainer, and avid runner, Christine Luff has personally experienced ankle pain and coached athletes who need good ankle support. She recommends replacing shoes regularly, since even the most supportive shoes are not effective once they’ve lost their firmness and cushioning.

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