What are the Best High Ankle Basketball Shoes?
Quite frankly, the popularity of high top basketball shoes has significantly waned over the years. Many basketball players, and especially guards, now seem to have their eyes fixed on low top shoes.
In most cases, the reason is usually that high tops tend to be a tad bit heavier than the other shoe types. Players, therefore, want to maximize their agility by gravitating towards the lightweight options.
You can therefore tell that the production of high tops is recording a negative growth trajectory as time passes. Regardless, the importance of high top basketball shoes cannot be overlooked.
Why should you invest your hard-earned money in high tops? As a basketball lover, you are bound to sustain some serious knee injuries in the course of your game. At least we can all agree on that.
While high tops cannot entirely remove the risk of knee sprains or knee rolls, they will provide enough ankle support and cut down on the risks. So, as you run and cut across the court, the shoes will prevent excess ankle movements and increase your stability.
Besides, high tops give you that fancy old-school feel and look. Clearly, the advantages of these shoes outweigh the downsides. So, if you play as a center or other position that do not need speed, you should consider the shoes.
We have done a review of the best brands in the market that can guarantee you power and still help you to remain nimble in the court.
1. Adidas Dame 5
This latest release from the Damian Lillard’s signature collection comes at 115 US dollars. The shoe is a high performer and is an improvement from the previous models of the Dame shoes.
Starting from the traction, the outsole has a herringbone tread pattern with grooves that are thick and widely spaced. The traction is excellent on clean courts as you can make those sharp cuts and stop on a dime.
However, the traction might be a tad bit of a problem when it comes to dusty courts. Put differently, you might want to wipe your shoes from time to time. As a precaution, you might want to stay away from the colorways that have a translucent rubber outsole.
At the midsole, the shoes have been thick bounce cushioning that strikes a balance between impact protection and court feel or responsiveness. Therefore, they can be used by players playing in any position.
Also, the shoes have been made from a soft mesh material that is breathable and flexible. Thanks to the excellent internal heel counter which lockdowns down your feet and the lateral TPU overlay which prevents heel slippage, Damian 5 is your best shot.
The shoes fit perfectly and they can be used for both indoor and outdoor games.
- Perfect fit
- Responsive cushioning
- Great traction
- Slips on dusty courts
- Leaves some space at the toe box
2. Puma Uproar
The Puma Uproar brand comes in different colorways at 130 US dollars. The traction may not be the best but it works just right, thanks to the blade tread patterns. On clean courts, the grip is fantastic.
On dusty courts, you might require a little bit of wiping to remain firmly glued to the ground. The more the rubber outsole breaks-in, the better the traction.
If you are a person looking for shoes with minimal cushioning and maximum court responsiveness, this is a perfect choice. The cushioning at the midsole is pretty firm and does not offer much impact protection. Or bounce back.
However, you should find another option if you have a history of knee injuries. Puma Uproar will not be very forgiving.
Let’s talk about the stability and support of these shoes. They have heel counters which help your feet to sit deep in the midsole and remain locked down. Likewise, their solid and wide base offers you the best stability.
Furthermore, the shoes have a nice fit and the thick foam wraps support your heel and ankle leaving no dead space. This prevents side to side movements.
- Offer good support
- They are stable
- Fairly good traction
- Not recommended for outdoor use
- Firm cushioning
3.Nike Kyrie 5
The high top shoes from the famous Nike brand have a price rating of 130 US dollars. It is made from a 100% mesh material that is stiff and takes some time to break in. This makes the shoes breathable and lightweight.
On the other hand, the shoes are a perfect fit and they leave no dead space. They prevent side to side movements and keep your feet secure on the foot-bed and tightly locked in. The additional collar padding prevents your feet from slipping, increasing support.
At the midsole, the shoes use Zoom Air Turbo for cushioning. The cushioning system is a lower profile of Nike Zoom Air and is therefore not as great. Generally, it gives more court feel and less impact protection.
So if you are a guard, this might be the option for you as you don’t want to lose the court responsiveness. However, heavy-weight players and those with higher risks of injury can’t rely on this brand.
The traction is a hit and miss. For clean courts, it bites hard. For dusty courts, the traction might be poor at first but it increases over time as the sole breaks in.
- Has good court responsiveness
- Gives great ankle support
- Have a perfect fit
- Traction is not excellent
- Poor cushioning
4. Under Armour Havoc 2
At just a price of 120 US dollars, you get this second model of the Under Armour HOVR Havoc shoes. It is made from a micro-molded mesh material that looks premium and genuine.
The mesh material makes the shoes light and breathable, giving the comfort that players need for long games.
The traction of these shoes is fairly solid, especially if you are going to be playing on clean courts. If you intend to use the shoes on dusty courts, you might experience some slips occasionally when making sharp cuts, step backs, and crossovers.
The grip gets better once the outsole breaks-in.
Under Armour offers good lateral support thanks to the caging of the outsole which keeps your feet on the foot-bed and prevents side to side movements. They also offer great ankle support and prevent heel slips.
As for the cushioning, the brand strikes a balance between impact protection and court responsiveness. They try to give a fair bounce back without sacrificing your court feel. As such, you can play hours on end without your feet feeling swollen.
- They are light
- Gives good cushioning and responsiveness
- Good for outdoor use
- The traction is inconsistent
- Doesn’t have the best material
5. Nike Lebron Soldier 13
This 2019 brand of Nike Lebron shoes is a top performer and it comes at 140 US dollars.
Beginning with the lock system, these shoes use straps in the stead of laces. The straps are firm and keep your feet locked in the shoes. You don’t have to worry about the straps coming out undone as would be the case with most lace shoes.
For the traction, the outsole of these shoes works well regardless of the court’s surface. You get to reap handsomely out of the traditional herringbone traction pattern which works hand in hand with the solid rubber outsole.
Even on dusty grounds, you will not experience any problems. The shoes do not attract dust easily.
They are fitted with a Phylon midsole and some Zoom units in the heel and forefoot to give you a slight bounce and a little impact protection. The cushioning might not be as springy, but at least it does you justice when it comes to the court feel.
You get to enjoy a nice heel to toe transition.
The fit is perfect. The materials, excellent. They are durable, comfortable, and easily break-in.
However, breathability might be a problem.
- Excellent traction
- Good support
- Made from a durable material
- Cushioning could be improved on
Finding the best basketball shoe for ankle support
While logic dictates that high top shoes should be in a better position to provide the best ankle support, scientific studies have shown no direct evidence that backs up this assertion.
In fact, according to the studies, there is no competitive advantage between players who wear low tops and those who wear high tops when it comes to sustaining ankle sprains and related injuries.
While the extra collar height covers your ankles, it does not eliminate the chances of ankle rolls. In the long run, those with low tops plus additional ankle stabilizers sustain fewer injuries.
As such, there are general factors that you should take into account when selecting shoes to maximize on your ankle support. These are discussed below.
The lateral outrigger
Go for shoes that have a lateral outrigger to increase the width of the shoe and increase your stability. This is an extension of the outsole on the lateral side of the shoe.
With increased stability, the chances of your shoes rolling over when you are making those sharp cuts across the court are minimized. Whether you are going for a low top or a high top, check to ensure that it has this extra feature. It is worth the try.
Did you know that the chances of sustaining knee injuries increase threefold when you wear shoes that are not fitting you perfectly?
Just take this scenario. You are dribbling your ball while running across the field and you stop suddenly to slam it into the hoop. Instead, your heel slips out of the shoes and you lose stability, falling unexpectedly.
Don’t you think you will end up with some injuries or maybe sprains? Always ensure that the shoe you are about to purchase fits you snugly and leaves no dead space. It should also have a heel counter to keep your feet locked in and prevent side to side movement.
The upper material and lacing system
The upper material of your shoes should be tough and strong to keep your feet within the shoes and prevent movement even on the most vicious moves. While a soft material is good for your comfort, it should be strong enough to serve this purpose.
Additionally, ensure that the lacing system is just perfect. The laces should not be too short or too long to the point that they can come out undone in the middle of the game. If possible, go for shoes that have other lock mechanisms in addition to the laces.
For instance, straps will keep the laces in place and avert possible injuries.
We hope we have managed to convince you of the value that high top basketball shoes can add to your game.
You shouldn’t risk sustaining ankle injuries or sprains when there is a better option. By the way, not all high tops will turn out to be heavy. Some brands have gone out of their way to give you products that will still boost your speed.
In case you reconsider and decide to grab a pair, we recommend the Adidas Dame 5 high tops.
The shoes have the traditional herringbone traction pattern, giving you the vicious bite that you require to move about the court. It works perfectly well on clean courts. However, the colorways that have a translucent rubber outsole may be problematic on dusty courts.
How about the cushioning? The midsole of these shoes is not biased, and it does not give priority to impact protection over the court responsiveness. They have been fitted with a bounce cushion that just sits at the border.
Both centers and guards have something to gain from this brand. You just have to give them a try.
Finally, the shoes have an internal heel counter that keeps your feet locked in and prevent slipping and sliding. The lateral TPU overlay further improves this.
You deserve to perform at peak performance at all times. Slip into the Adidas Dame 5 to have the best court experience.