Do Basketball Shoes Need Ankle Support?

If you’re thinking of taking up basketball, then buying new basketball shoes is going to be at the top of your list. But, to make sure you have the right pair, you will need to understand some key factors, which include price, ankle support, arch support, and overall quality, to name a few.

This article will focus on ankle support and look at whether it’s crucial for your basketball shoes. We’ll aim to answer some of the common questions in further detail. As you will see, the answer is not as clear-cut as you may think. 

Then, If you’re ready to look at some shoes, we have a detailed article sharing some of the best basketball shoes for ankle support that you might find helpful.

Do Basketball Shoes Need Ankle Support?

Some of the most common injuries to basketball players are ankle sprains and other ankle and foot-related injuries. Many professionals consider ankle support to be one of the most critical factors of good-quality basketball shoes.

However, not everyone agrees, and many players, professional sports scientists, and exercise physiologists have a different view. With conflicting studies undertaken, some conclude that high-top basketball shoes are essential for reducing injury, and others claim the opposite to be true. It’s a confusing picture and one that you may wish to research further before concluding.

Due to the range of movement in the ankle while playing basketball, there is a high chance of injury. As you play, your ankle flexes laterally, inverts, and rotates the foot. It absorbs a lot of pressure from the constant impact of the ground. At the same time, if you’re not stable, that’s when injuries like sprains and torn ligaments can happen.

The muscles around the ankle also come into play when jumping to score and are challenging for the ball. This adds extra weight to the importance of good ankle support, which helps to stabilize the ankle and aids balance.

Why do some experts disagree?

Some experts claim that the extra padding and constricting nature of high-top basketball shoes slow down the muscle’s response if your ankle turns, which increases the likelihood of an injury.

However, with many players strapping their ankles before a game to prevent injuries, it would appear many disagree with this theory.

There are professional teams who only play in low-top basketball shoes. Their coaching team has concluded that insufficient evidence suggests that high-top shoes are better and offer more ankle support than low-top shoes. On the flip side, other teams will only wear high tops for the same reason, so the key thing here is to do your research and make up your mind on which camp you’re in.

How Do Basketball Shoes Offer Ankle Support?

High-top basketball shoes offer ankle support in several ways. They’re designed with extra cushioning around the ankle that aims to reduce the likelihood of injury while at the same time giving the ankle some room to move naturally.

Designs vary, but many professional models have a sock-like inner support area around the ankle with extra cushioning for the heel and arch support. All there to give protection to arguably the most at-risk area of your body while playing basketball.

Some of the key components of a good quality basketball shoe:

  • •  Lightweight but strong, with the ability to withstand the demands of regular use
  • •  Flexible and durable, to provide maximum movement without sustaining any damage
  • •  Extra ankle support and cushioning to minimize injury risk and aid balance 
  • •  Snug-fitting, to help reduce movement to some extent and help avoid injuries 
  • •  Superior cushioning and arch support to help absorb impact and add bounce to your step

Can Anyone Wear Basketball Shoes?

You don’t have to be an NBA player or even play basketball at all to wear basketball shoes. Anyone can benefit from their innovative design and extra support.

Over the years, basketball shoes have developed and have become iconic in many ways and a fashion statement. They’re worn by all kinds of people and are suitable for everyday use due to their superior support and extra cushioning.

Whether you’re an aspiring professional, a new starter, or someone who just likes the design of basketball shoes, I hope you found some valuable information here. However, the jury is still out on whether that support is a help or a hindrance. The only way to find out is to try some out yourself.


Next Article

The next article takes a look at whether it’s good to wear ankle braces while playing basketball, with a review of the main advantages and drawbacks.


Written by Mark

Having researched and advised on hundreds of footwear products, I'm confident you'll find my articles insightful to the most common questions that's currently being asked online.

May 24, 2021

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