Ankle problems are common and can lead to pain and instability. If you suffer from weak ankles, you may find yourself giving up activities that you enjoy.
But there’s no need to stop doing the activities you like. All you need is a pair of the best shoes for ankle support.
We’ve chosen the ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 as our top pick. It has a lower-profile external heel counter for stability, GEL technology to prevent jarring of the ankles, and a non-intrusive DuoMax support system to prevent the ankle from rolling.
If you need extra ankle support, consider buying one of these pairs of shoes.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
ASICS GEL-KAYANO 29
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Hoka Bondi 8
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Saucony Echelon 8
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1. ASICS GEL-KAYANO 29
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 is a stability shoe with lots of ankle support.
It features ASICS’ Dynamic DuoMax Support System in the midsole, which places a firmer foam in the medial side of the midsole to encourage to prevent overpronation.
This helps to keep the ankle in the right position throughout the gait cycle. There’s also a low-profile external heel counter, which helps to prevent the foot from moving laterally within the shoe.
The multi-directional engineered mesh upper conforms to your feet, providing good structure. Some may find that the laces aren’t strong enough to prevent heel slippage, but this is likely to only be a problem while running.
Another feature that helps protect the ankles is cushioning. The Gel-Kayano 29 features lightweight FlyteFoam Blast in the midsole, which provides excellent energy return and bounce.
In the rearfoot and forefoot, GEL units add protection against impact, both absorbing and dispersing shock and preventing jarring. The shoe also uses 3D Space Construction, which uses honeycomb-shaped foam sections to improve compression and shock absorption in the heel.
Trusstic System technology—a resin section built into the midfoot—prevents twisting of the shoe, which also reduces ankle pain as a result of stabilizing the shoes and your feet.
The ASICS High Abrasion Rubber Plus—AHAR Plus—outsole is 50 percent more durable than the regular AHAR rubber. It’s positioned on certain areas of the outsole to provide the best traction.
The Gel-Kayano 29 is longer than the prior model. This causes the fit to be slightly narrower, and some may find that they need to order a half-size larger to get a comfortable fit.
- Lower-profile external heel counter
- GEL technology cushioning
- Lightweight, midsole foam
- High abrasion rubber outsole
- The shoe may run narrow and you may need to order a half-size larger
2. Hoka Bondi 8
The Hoka Bondi is ideal for neutral runners who can’t wear the Gel-Kayano comfortably.
It’s Hoka’s most maximally cushioned shoe, which is highly effective at absorbing shock on every step.
The Bondi has a plush and supportive ankle collar, made from memory foam to keep the ankle as stable as possible in the shoe. This works in conjunction with the internal heel counter. TPU overlays across the mesh upper provide additional support and stability to the foot.
The heel-to-toe transition is made easier by the inclusion of Meta-Rocker technology. This makes the movement from heel to toe smoother and more efficient, reducing the amount of fatigue on the foot and ankle. The beveled heel design also helps with this.
It comes in three different widths for men and two for women. Some individuals may notice that the midsole feels different depending on the temperature, which could be off-putting.
- Compression-molded EVA midsole
- Memory foam collar
- Beveled heel design
- Internal heel counter
- Some people may find that the midsole softens, depending on the temperature
Best For Insoles And Orthotics
3. Saucony Echelon 8
If you use orthotics, then the Saucony Echelon 8 is the ideal shoe for you.
It’s a wider-than-average shoe that can comfortably accommodate an insert while keeping the foot locked in safely.
The FORMFIT upper is made from breathable mesh and hugs the foot, working together with the traditional lace-up system to provide a locked-down fit. For extra support around the ankles, the collar is well-padded.
To further protect the ankles, a 3D heel counter locks the heel in and prevents lateral movement that could compromise ankle stability. The base is wide and stable, and the toe box is spacious enough to allow for natural splaying of the toes.
In the midsole, Saucony’s PWRRUN foam provides soft cushioning and responsiveness without adding extra weight.
A TRI-FLEX crystal rubber outsole not only provides excellent grip. But it also reduces impact on the joints by dispersing force over a greater area on every footstrike.
Saucony shoes tend to run wide, so if you have a narrow foot you may need to order a half-size smaller.
- Upper conforms to your foot
- Underfoot cradle construction
- PWRRUN midsole
- 3D heel counter
- People with a narrow foot may need to order a smaller size for a snug fit
Top Stability Running Shoes
4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
Overpronators will appreciate the stability features in this shoe, not only for preventing pronation but also for protecting and supporting the ankles.
It features guide rails that help prevent the foot from rolling in. They also help to support the arch and keeping the ankles stable as well.
Extra support is provided by the foot-hugging engineered mesh upper. 3D Fit Print technology provides more structure and the asymmetrical saddle wraps itself around the arch for even more security.
The midsole consists of a combination of BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft foam, which provide both softness and responsiveness. A removable light foam insole adds extra padding but can also make way for a custom orthotic if necessary.
On the outsole, a segmented crash pad disperses the shock of landing evenly across the foot, reducing jarring in the ankles and guiding the foot through the heel-to-toe transition smoothly.
A blown rubber forefoot and HPR Plus rubber make the outsole durable and grippy. The Flextra rubber is also gender-specific for enhanced flexibility and durability.
Some people may find that the toe indents and causes a hotspot that chafes the top of the toes.
- Full-length, segmented Crash Pad
- Mesh upper with 3D Fit Print
- BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft midsole cushioning
- Guide Rails for overpronation
- Some people may find that the toe “indents” and causes a hotspot
Best Stability Walking Shoes
5. Brooks Addiction Walker 2
Individuals who need a stability shoe to walk in will find that the Brooks Addiction Walker 2 offers all they need.
The upper is constructed from full-grain leather, which is durable and also provides extra structure to keep your foot stable. It may take a little bit of time to conform to your foot.
This shoe uses an Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar to stabilize the foot and stop it from rolling over. There’s also a heel cup to keep the heel firmly in place, preventing excess ankle movement.
BioMoGo DNA cushioning in the midsole adapts to your stride and weight. This allows for better shock absorption, which in turn protects the ankle joints from jarring.
Removable insoles make it easy to add a custom orthotic if necessary. A certified anti-slip sole prevents sudden slips that may cause ankle injury.
Unique MC Pod configuration and flex grooves on the outsole allow for better flexibility and a natural heel-to-toe transition.
- Full-grain leather upper
- Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar
- BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning
- MC Pod Configuration
- May take some time to conform to your foot
6. Skechers GOwalk Evolution Ultra
The Skechers Gowalk Evolution Ultra has a woven mesh upper and an easy slip-on style with a heel pull-on loop.
It features ULTRA GO cushioning for extreme comfort and shock dispersion, as well as an Ortholite Air-Cooled Goga Mat foam insole that’s supportive and breathable.
The shoe also uses high-rebound Ultra Pillars to offer extra support to the foot. A dual-density rubber outsole provides outstanding traction and safety on most surfaces.
These shoes are machine washable. They run slightly large, so you might need to order a half-size smaller than usual.
- Soft woven mesh upper
- High-rebound Ultra Pillars
- Dual-density traction outsole
- Cushioned comfort insole
- These shoes run slightly large so you may need to order a half-size down
7. Propét Blizzard Ankle Zip (men’s)
These men’s boots are stylish, practical, and offer good support for the ankles.
The upper is mostly made of leather—treated with waterproof Rugged Scotchgard and Sealtex treatment—which is durable and supportive, and has a rubber toe for protection.
An EVA midsole provides ample cushion underfoot and extra warmth is provided by the inner Thinsulate lining. The shoe is ideal for cold weather, as it also features Vaporex heat-retaining technology in the insole.
This shoe has a zipper running up the bridge of the foot. It’s convenient and easy to use, but it doesn’t allow for tightening as a lacing system would.
The ankle collar is high enough to offer enhanced support and is also padded for comfort and shock-absorption.
- Waterproof bootie construction
- External and internal heel
- Molded EVA midsole
- Padded collar
- The zipper closure system doesn’t allow for a custom fit
8. Propet Delaney Strap (women’s)
These ladies’ boots are stylish and very supportive of the ankle.
They can be worn in casual or professional settings. The suede upper is treated with Scotchgard to make it resistant to weather and water. A hook-and-loop closure allows for a custom fit.
Inside the shoe, a cushioned latex insole provides light padding. Be aware that some individuals may have an allergic reaction to latex. Some may also feel that the shoe isn’t padded enough for their feet, with the absence of a foam midsole.
The boot comes up past the ankle, locking it in and providing good support that can be tightened or loosened with the easy strap. A rubber outsole helps to keep you steady on your feet, reducing the chances of twisting an ankle.
- Weather-resistant upper
- Removable insole
- Hook-and-loop strap closure
- Rubber outsole
- Some individuals may be allergic to the latex insole
Best For The Office
9. Orthofeet Avery Island (men’s)
It’s important for ankles to be supported at work as well as at home or when wearing casual footwear. The Orthofeet Avery Island offers excellent support for the ankle and is smart and professional enough to wear in an office setting. It also comes in either black or brown.
These are orthopedic shoes and alleviate pain from a variety of foot conditions. The leather upper is soft but sturdy and the shoe is padded with extra cushion all around. It’s also extra wide in the midfoot and toe box to allow for natural toe splay.
Underneath the foot, a high-performance insole provides arch support and impact absorption. A deep heel seat locks the foot in and prevents excess movement. The lightweight outsole keeps you safe and stable plus offers extra cushion.
This shoe can be fitted to your foot thanks to the Ortho-Cushionspacer system. It has two removable spacers—2 mm and 3 mm in thickness—which can be removed to make space for your foot or for a custom orthotic.
These shoes can also accommodate an ankle-foot orthosis—AFO—which is commonly used for foot drop. But this means they should be able to accommodate an ankle support brace or ankle guard as well.
- Ortho-Cushion system
- Foam-padded interior lining
- Deep heel seat
- Heat-moldable heel counter
- Those with narrow feet may need to order a size smaller to get a comfortable fit
10. Orthofeet Arcadia (women’s)
These closed shoes are ideal for ladies who work in a professional setting and need shoes that look smart but still provide adequate support, especially to the ankles.
They’re orthopedic shoes that feature a genuine leather upper, which makes them durable and stylish.
Inside the shoe is padded with foam for extra comfort and a soft lining reduces the chances of pressure points on the foot. A wide forefoot also helps. The insole offers arch support and a deep heel cup for a locked-in feel.
The adjustable spacing system features two removable spacers of 2 mm and 3 mm. Remove one or both to make space for your feet or a custom insole.
Once removed, this shoe can also accommodate an AFO, making it ideal for those who wear external ankle support devices.
- Soft genuine leather upper
- Multiple cushioning layers
- Adjustable fit
- Seam-free lining
- May be too wide for narrow feet and you may need to order a size down
Top Hook-And-Loop Shoe
11. Propet Stability X Strap
Individuals with swollen feet or who struggle with traditional lacing systems will appreciate the easy hook-and-loop closure system on this shoe.
The Velcro strap is wide and won’t create a pressure point, and the leather overlays on the mesh upper help to stabilize the foot properly.
A padded tongue and ankle collar keep the foot locked in. This is helped by external and internal heel counters.
There’s a molded EVA midsole for comfort underfoot and a removable insole that features a gel heel pad for increased shock-absorbing properties.
Two removable spacers let you get a comfortable fit even if their feet swell. The shoe seems to run small so it may be advisable to order a larger size.
- Contoured heel stabilizer
- Padded collar
- Molded EVA midsole
- Brushed nylon lining
- These shoes run small and you may need to order a size up
Best Hiking Shoe
12. Merrell Moab 2
Hiking on rough terrain needs a shoe that has excellent ankle support, especially if you already have weak ankles. The Merrell Moab 2 is available in both men’s and women’s models and in a variety of different colors.
The upper is made of suede leather and mesh and treated with M Select DRY technology, which repels water but allows moisture from sweat to escape from inside the shoe.
A thick tongue not only helps to prevent debris from getting in the shoe, but it also provides support for the foot. In conjunction with the cushioned ankle collar and heel, this shoe cradles the ankle and keeps it supported while moving on uneven ground.
The M Select FIT.ECO+ EVA footbed offers zonal arch support and extra cushion in the heel. There’s a molded nylon shank in the midfoot for extra support. To absorb extra impact and protect the joints, Merrell uses air cushioning in the heel.
For extra protection, the hiking shoes feature a rubber toe cap and a Vibram TC5+ outsole that has impressive traction and durability in all conditions. 5 mm lugs grip to any surface.
They run slightly small and you may want to order half a size larger to get a good fit.
- Suede leather and mesh upper
- Molded nylon arch shank
- Air cushioning in the heel
- EVA midsole
- These shoes run half a size small so you may want to order slightly larger
How Can I Protect My Ankles?
The best way to protect ankles is to avoid wearing shoes that don’t offer adequate ankle support. This means avoiding high heels and flats, as these offer no support and can actually place extra pressure on the ankles.
In some cases, using orthotics or insoles can help to position the foot correctly, relieving pain on the ankles that is caused by incorrect positioning of the foot in your shoe. This can also be achieved by switching from a neutral shoe to a stability shoe if you overpronate.
Other measures to protect the ankles include shedding excess pounds to take pressure off the joints, and incorporating ankle exercise into your fitness routine to strengthen them.
What Sports Should Be Avoided?
High-impact sports can be hard on the ankles. Sports that require jumping and hard landings should be avoided, like jumping rope, basketball, and intense running.
Any sports that require sudden side-to-side movements—squash, tennis, and soccer to name a few—should also be avoided. It can also be dangerous walking or doing sports on uneven surfaces.
Low-impact activities like cycling, walking, and swimming are recommended to build up ankle strength. When the ankles have become stronger, try other sports.
What Features Are Important in Shoes?
When looking at the best shoes for ankle support, consider the following features. The shoe should be the correct fit and provide comfort and cushioning around the ankle collar.
There should be sufficient arch support in the midsole, as this keeps the food properly aligned and alleviates unnecessary pressure that could be placed on other parts of the foot.
Stability features are important, although not everyone will benefit from a stability shoe. The shoe should be structurally sound and provide good footing and a feeling of stability around your foot, keeping it locked in. Extra support in the heel area is also advised.