What Are the Best Shoes for Weak Ankles in 2020

Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries. This can often leave you with a lack of strength in the ligaments in that area. Wearing the best shoes for weak ankles could help rehabilitation and prevent further injury.

We will review our favorite shoes for weak ankles and detail why you need them.

 

Here our top 7 picks of the best shoes and boots for weak ankles

1. Skechers Performance Go Walk Shoes

These lightweight pull-on sneaker-style shoes from Skechers come in designs for men and women. Their soft mesh uppers have an almost seamless construction, and there are lots of support features built-in.

Sale
Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk 4 Incredible Walking Shoe, Navy/Gray, 7 M US
  • Radically lightweight ; Tapering midfoot design for improved arch support ; Side S logo
  • Bamboo lined footbed for odor control

Skechers Performance Women's Go Walk Joy Walking Shoe,coral,11 M US
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Responsive 5Gen cushioning
  • Skechers Goga Max high rebound insole
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Soft fabric lining and padded collar

 

2. VANS Sk8-Hi Unisex Shoes

Vans are a popular choice of casual shoe for many. These unisex Sk8-Hi come in a wide range of sizes and colors. The suede and canvas uppers feature a padded collar and ankle height for support and comfort.

 

3. Dr. Martens – 1460 Original 8-Eye Leather Boot

Dr.Martens are classic boots that have become iconic firm favorites. The 1460 has leather uppers and an air-cushioned sole. Eight-hole laces come up the ankles offering support, while Goodyear welt construction makes these boots durable.

Dr. Martens 1460 Originals 8 Eye Lace Up Boot, Cherry Red Smooth, 3UK / 4 US Mens / 5 US Womens, 36 EU
  • Leather boot featuring eight-eyelet lacing, textured PVC outsole, and extra-large pull-on loop at back

 

4. Danner Kinetic 8” GTX Uniform Boot

Danner brings us hard-wearing boots with an 8-inch long shaft for plenty of ankle support. The leather and nylon uppers are waterproof, and the breathable mesh lining allows airflow. They include a speed lacing system that offers a secure fit.

Danner Men’s Kinetic 8” GTX Uniform Boot, Black, 10.5 D US
  • Durable, waterproof, polishable full-grain leather upper with ripstop ballistic nylon
  • GORE-TEX waterproof, breathable lining
  • Speed lacing system for secure, enhanced fit
  • Cushioning PU footbed
  • PU midsole

 

5. Propet Life Walker Shoes

Life Walkers from Propet are easy to secure with Velcro straps. They sport leather uppers and an orthotic insole. Combined with an EVA midsole and rubber outsole, these shoes offer plenty of support and stability for feet and ankles.

Sale
Propet Men's LifeWalker Strap Sneaker, White, 7 Wide
2,483 Reviews
Propet Men's LifeWalker Strap Sneaker, White, 7 Wide
  • Firm heel counter with removable footbed
  • Cushioned EVA midsole with herring-bone tread rubber outsole

 

6. Ryka Women’s Tenacity Cross-Trainer Shoe

One just for the ladies is this cross-training shoe from Ryka. It’s hi-top style with a padded collar and tongue hugs your feet and ankles. The heel has molded reinforcement and cushioning, and the outer soles offer decent traction.

Ryka Women's Tenacity Cross-Trainer Shoe, Leopard, 7 M US
  • Synthetic and breathable mesh. Direct-Fuse and Flex Foil materials provide support while velcro strap over midfoot gives her a secure fit.
  • Precise-Return footbed.
  • Rubber outsole with pivot design offers traction and allows for easy transitions from one dance move to the next.

 

7. Vionic Walker Shoes

Vionic walking shoes include either leather or suede uppers in a choice of colors for men and women. They have EVA footbeds and a durable outsole. Their patented Active Motion System and firm heel counter offer support for your ankles and feet.

Vionic Men's Walker
1,092 Reviews
Vionic Men's Walker
  • Full-grain leather upper with contrasting overlays for a sporty look
  • Lace-up closure provides a comfortable and secure fit with a cushioned collar and tongue for added support
  • Breathable, moisture-wicking fabric lining
  • Orthotic footbed with deep heel cup helps to stabilize, support and realign feet
  • Clinically shown to help relieve the common causes of heel and knee pain

Vionic Women's Walker Classic Walking Shoes with Concealed Orthotic Arch Support Mauve Suede 5 Medium US
2,926 Reviews
Vionic Women's Walker Classic Walking Shoes with Concealed Orthotic Arch Support Mauve Suede 5 Medium US
  • Leather or Suede Upper. Removable Textile Covered EVA Footbed. Durable Runner Outsole. Built in .5" elevation for a smooth transition in heel-to-toe strike zone.
  • Received APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) Seal of Acceptance
  • YOUR NEW FAVORITE SHOES: Designed to keep you on the move, our perennial customer favorite Walker features Active Motion System technology for maximum comfort and gait efficiency. Step into sturdy support for work and play, everyday.
  • EVERYDAY SUPPORT: A podiatrist-designed footbed built into every pair of Vionic sandals, slippers, active shoes and flats promotes stability from the ground up.
  • VIONIC SHOES: Vionic brings together style and science, combining innovative biomechanics with the most coveted trends.

 

 

Reviews of the best ankle support shoes

1. Skechers Performance Go Walk Shoes

Skechers’ “walk” range is a go-to for many when it comes to support from a casual shoe. They’re known for their comfort features and roomy toe box.

Sale
Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk 4 Incredible Walking Shoe, Navy/Gray, 7 M US
  • Radically lightweight ; Tapering midfoot design for improved arch support ; Side S logo
  • Bamboo lined footbed for odor control

The men’s’ Go Walk 4 is available in sizes 7 to 16, and in two widths, regular and extra wide. For the ladies, the Go Walk Joy covers sizes from 5 through 13 and regular and wide widths. There are seven color choices for men and eighteen for women.

Skechers Performance Women's Go Walk Joy Walking Shoe,coral,11 M US
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Responsive 5Gen cushioning
  • Skechers Goga Max high rebound insole
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Soft fabric lining and padded collar

Both styles feature mesh uppers, which expand to give your feet a comfortable natural fit. They also allow your feet to breathe, keeping them fresh and cool. Padding throughout from their patented 5 GEN cushioning offers shock absorption and comfort.

These shoes have an almost seamless construction, which helps relieve discomfort that can be caused by stitching. Skechers Goga Max insoles add to the cushioning and support these shoes offer, and a featherlight inner sock adapts to the shape of your feet.

The padded collar provides support for your ankles and features a portal with a loop for easy on/off, and the 1.5-inch cushioned heel helps align your feet as you walk.

Anti-bacterial treatment in the form of a bamboo-lined footbed is fitted in the men’s version of these shoes.

Be careful when purchasing, as men’s shoes tend to run small, while the ladies tend to run large.

 

Pros

  • Breathable, lightweight uppers.
  • Choice of width fittings and colors.
  • Seamless construction.
  • Support and cushioning throughout.
  • Padded heel collar and easy on/off pull loop.

Cons

  • Check the manufacturer’s size chart; the sizing might not run true.

 

Skechers bring us a roomy casual shoe with soft mesh uppers that provide a glove-like fit and breathability. There is plenty of cushioning and support throughout for your feet and ankles.

 

 

2. VANS Sk8-Hi Unisex Shoes

For those that don’t know, Vans are casual style shoes with either fabric or leather uppers and thick rubber soles. Originally designed to be a deck shoe, the skateboarding world adopted them as their kicks of choice.

Their classic styles are firm favorites of fashion trendsetters, celebrities, and the general public.

You can find out more about the Vans story in this video.

This unisex high top sneaker comes in sizes to fit 5 to 14.5 for women and 3.5 to 13 for men. The color choices are abundant, with over 40 to pick from. Matching them up with your favorite outfit will be a breeze.

There is a choice of material in the uppers depending on the color choice. They could be suede and canvas, or canvas alone. Either option will allow your feet to breathe, keeping them fresh and dry. The lining is a cotton drill for a cool, smooth feel.

The shaft extends up the ankle and has a padded collar and heel counter. The laces allow you to securely lock down your ankles and feet for a supportive, snug fit. The EVA insert adds support and cushioning.

The outer gum rubber sole has Vans signature waffle design for traction and stability.

On the downside, opinions vary regarding the fit of these shoes. Some find them too narrow, some too wide, some too small and some too large. It seems a bit hit and miss so you might need to try a few sizes to get the right fit.

 

Pros

  • Wide range of colors.
  • Padded ankles and heel counter for support.
  • Breathable uppers.
  • Cushioned EVA inserts.

Cons

  • Might be trial and error to get the right size.

 

Vans Hi-Top sneakers offer support for ankles with a secure lacing system, padded collar, and heel counter. The waffle tread outsoles provide reliable traction keeping you stable on your feet.

 

 

3. Dr. Martens – 1460 Original 8-Eye Leather Boot

Iconic Dr. Martens boots are easily recognizable with their eight eyelets and yellow stitching.

Dr. Martens 1460 Originals 8 Eye Lace Up Boot, Cherry Red Smooth, 3UK / 4 US Mens / 5 US Womens, 36 EU
  • Leather boot featuring eight-eyelet lacing, textured PVC outsole, and extra-large pull-on loop at back

First sold in the 1960s, they’ve developed an almost cult following, favored by rock stars, like Pete Townshend of The Who—and female celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Kristen Stewart.

Over the years, these boots have evolved, and they now come in a range of trendy colors. There is even a vegan version for the eco-conscious, which you can find out more about in our article, the best vegan work boots. The unisex sizing covers 5 to 17 for women and 4 to 16 for men.

The leather uppers extend up the ankles to the mid-calf, and the boots secure with eight eyelet laces. These hold your ankles steady, supporting them. The wide heel measures 1.25-inches, offering stability when walking.

The patented soles on Dr. Martens are air-cushioned, providing plenty of comfort for your feet. They also offer good slip and abrasion resistance even on slippery, oily surfaces.

These boots do seem to take a little wearing in, but the consensus seems to be that the comfort and support they offer afterward are worth it.

 

Pros

  • Range of sizes and colors for men and women.
  • Leather uppers with a long shaft for ankle support.
  • Secure eight hole lacing system.
  • AirWear soles for cushioning and stability.

Cons

  • Might take some time to break in.

 

These iconic boots have been a firm favorite of celebs and the general public for many years. The leather uppers extend to mid-calf, giving plenty of support to your ankles, while the Airwair soles keep your feet cushioned.

 

 

4. Danner Men’s Kinetic 8” GTX Uniform Boot

When you work long days, support for weak ankles is paramount. These men’s work boots from Danner should fit the bill and keep those ankles bolstered all day.

Danner Men’s Kinetic 8” GTX Uniform Boot, Black, 10.5 D US
  • Durable, waterproof, polishable full-grain leather upper with ripstop ballistic nylon
  • GORE-TEX waterproof, breathable lining
  • Speed lacing system for secure, enhanced fit
  • Cushioning PU footbed
  • PU midsole

They’re available in sizes 6 to 15, with a choice of regular and wide widths between sizes 8 and 13. Half sizes are also on offer.

The uppers are made from smooth full-grain leather and ripstop ballistic nylon. The eight-inch shaft extends up your ankles for support, while a speed lacing system locks your feet in place.

Feet are kept warm and dry with a Gore-Tex liner. This renders the shoes 100 percent waterproof from the outside elements but still allows your feet to breathe.

A proprietary Airthotic heel clip offers more support, and the dual-density footbed cushions every step. The Kinetic outsole has a pattern designed to provide good contact with the ground and give you traction.

Danner describes the fit of these boots as being suitable for all activities, from light trail walking to sports, work, or casual use. A 365-day warranty is offered across the entire Danner footwear line.

It seems the tongue on these boots is fixed quite high on the shaft, so they might require a little effort to take off and put on. This is where the speed lacing could come in handy; you may need to loosen them off well before putting your feet in.

 

Pros

  • Leather and nylon uppers.
  • Breathable Gore-Tex waterproof lining.
  • Speed lacing system.
  • Long shaft for ankle support.
  • Cushioned footbed.

Cons

  • Could be difficult for some to put on and take off.

 

For all-day comfort and ankle support, Danner boots might be a suitable solution. They’re breathable, cushioned, and offer to bolster your ankles with an 8-inch shaft.

 

 

5. Propet Life Walker Shoes

Propet focuses on using the latest technology in its shoes. They’ve been established for over 30 years and offer a range of stability and comfort shoes made from quality materials.

Sale
Propet Men's LifeWalker Strap Sneaker, White, 7 Wide
2,483 Reviews
Propet Men's LifeWalker Strap Sneaker, White, 7 Wide
  • Firm heel counter with removable footbed
  • Cushioned EVA midsole with herring-bone tread rubber outsole

The sizes in these men’s walking shoes range from 7 to 15. Five different width fittings are available between regular and triple extra wide. There are three colors: sport white, white, and black.

A similar style is available for women in the Propet Women’s Tour Walker. The sizes range from 5 to 12, and there are six width choices—narrow, regular, wide, extra-wide, double extra-wide, and triple extra-wide. Colors include black, sport white, white, and white with various color accents.

Both models are loaded with the same features. The uppers are leather with hook-and-loop closures. This makes it easy to lock your feet down in the shoes.

A flexible rubber outsole and EVA midsole help deliver support and absorb impact. The firm heel counter offers stability for your feet and ankles when exercising or walking.

The lining is brushed nylon, and both tongue and collar are padded. This makes them a great option for weak ankles. Medicare approval may be given for these shoes.

Some find the arch support insufficient, but you can always change out the insoles. You can find out more in our guide to the best insoles for high arches.

 

Pros

  • Width options up to a triple extra-wide.
  • One of the best shoes for ankle support when walking.
  • Firm heel counter and padded collar.
  • Removable insoles.
  • Medicare-approved.
  • Hook-and-loop closure for easy on/off.

Cons

  • Arch support might be lacking.

 

These comfortable walking shoes come in a choice of widths and sizes, The midsole, heel counter, padded tongue, and collar support stabilize your feet and ankles. The hook and loop closures make them easy to fit and adjust.

 

 

6. Ryka Women’s Tenacity Cross-Trainer Shoe

This shoe from Ryka is one for the ladies, especially those who like dance classes. They combine workout functionality with street style in a trendy high-top shoe.

Ryka Women's Tenacity Cross-Trainer Shoe, Leopard, 7 M US
  • Synthetic and breathable mesh. Direct-Fuse and Flex Foil materials provide support while velcro strap over midfoot gives her a secure fit.
  • Precise-Return footbed.
  • Rubber outsole with pivot design offers traction and allows for easy transitions from one dance move to the next.

There are four colors available, including a pale gray and pink, black, leopard, and yellow with pink. They fit from sizes 5 to 11 in half size increments.

The synthetic mesh uppers include a smooth lining and allow your feet to breathe, keeping your feet cool and fresh. The toes are rounded in shape, and a Velcro strap in the midsection fastens over the laces to contribute a secure fit.

In line with most of the shoes in the Ryka range, support comes from the Direct-Fuse and Flex-Foil layers, as well as a dual foam midsole. These shoes are flexible, allowing your feet to move freely while supporting your ankles. The Re-Zorb absorbs impact offering shock resistance.

The rubber outsole has a pivot point for effortless turns on the dance floor.

Some find these shoes run small, so be prepared to size up.

 

Pros

  • High top for ankle support.
  • Plenty of cushioning for comfort.
  • Impact resistance.
  • Secure fastening with laces and a Velcro mid strap.

Cons

  • Shoes may run smaller than expected.

 

These high-top shoes offer ankle support and are popular with ladies taking Zumba and jazzercise classes. The midsole has dual foam for added impact resistance, and there is a pivot point in the sole for ease of movement.

 

 

7. Vionic Walker Shoes

Philip Vasyli, a podiatrist, founded Vionic shoes in 1979. Their range aims to address the biomechanics of the lower legs and feet by giving them support. The APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) has awarded its seal of acceptance to these shoes.

Vionic Men's Walker
1,092 Reviews
Vionic Men's Walker
  • Full-grain leather upper with contrasting overlays for a sporty look
  • Lace-up closure provides a comfortable and secure fit with a cushioned collar and tongue for added support
  • Breathable, moisture-wicking fabric lining
  • Orthotic footbed with deep heel cup helps to stabilize, support and realign feet
  • Clinically shown to help relieve the common causes of heel and knee pain

The men’s shoes come in medium and wide fittings for sizes 7 to 14. The ladies’ shoes offer the same width fittings in sizes 5 to 13. There are nine color choices for women and seven for men.

Vionic Women's Walker Classic Walking Shoes with Concealed Orthotic Arch Support Mauve Suede 5 Medium US
2,926 Reviews
Vionic Women's Walker Classic Walking Shoes with Concealed Orthotic Arch Support Mauve Suede 5 Medium US
  • Leather or Suede Upper. Removable Textile Covered EVA Footbed. Durable Runner Outsole. Built in .5" elevation for a smooth transition in heel-to-toe strike zone.
  • Received APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) Seal of Acceptance
  • YOUR NEW FAVORITE SHOES: Designed to keep you on the move, our perennial customer favorite Walker features Active Motion System technology for maximum comfort and gait efficiency. Step into sturdy support for work and play, everyday.
  • EVERYDAY SUPPORT: A podiatrist-designed footbed built into every pair of Vionic sandals, slippers, active shoes and flats promotes stability from the ground up.
  • VIONIC SHOES: Vionic brings together style and science, combining innovative biomechanics with the most coveted trends.

The Active Motion System technology in these shoes uses a podiatrist-designed orthotic with a cushioned outer sole for flexibility and support. A lightweight, full-grain leather water-resistant upper allows your feet to breathe.

A firm heel counter made from thermoplastic provides your ankles with support and stability, while a rubber sole offers grip when walking.

There is a molded EVA midsole with a half-inch elevation. This helps correct your foot movement as it hits the floor from heel to toe. Odor control is built-in to the orthotic footbed, which can be removed if needed. A moisture-wicking liner made from 100 percent polyester mesh, along with a foam base, helps reduce friction.

You might need to select one size larger than you normally wear to get a good fit in these shoes.

 

Pros

  • Removable podiatrist-designed orthotic.
  • Support for ankles and arches.
  • Breathable, water-resistant, leather upper.
  • Moisture-wicking and odor control properties.
  • Added support from a firm heel counter.

Cons

  • Some find the sizes come up small.

 

Designed by a podiatrist, this is one of the best shoes for ankle support as well as cushioning for feet and ankles. The water-resistant leather uppers let your feet breathe, and odor control and moisture-wicking is built-in.

 

 

All About Weak Ankles

all about best shoes for weak ankles

Let’s look at some of the causes, symptoms, treatments, and preventative measures for weak ankles.

Causes

Weak ankles can be caused by several different issues but are generally down to injuries or genetics. Some of the most common causes of weak ankles include:

  • Ankle injury or sprain: The ankle is a weight-bearing joint and is one of the most common to be injured when playing sports. All you need to do is twist it awkwardly, and the ligaments can stretch or tear.
  • Flat feet: When you don’t have an arch in your foot, you tend to walk with your feet bent inwards (pronation). This can throw your gait out of alignment and affect your ankles.
  • Supination: Again, this affects the way your feet make contact with the ground; it’s the outside edge of the foot that hits first. This leaves you prone to the ankle turning out and twisting easier.
  • Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: Both of these conditions can cause pain in your ankles, leading to weakness. With rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the ligaments and joints, and with osteoarthritis, the cartilage covering the bones wears away, and they rub together.
  • Diabetes: This condition often results in nerve damage, which can affect the strength in feet and ankles.
  • Bone Fracture: Breaking a bone in the ankle can result in weakness in that area after it has healed.

 

Symptoms

Some of the indications that you have weak ankles might be obvious and include:

  • Difficulty walking, running, and jumping.
  • Swelling and redness in the ankle area.
  • Inability to stand for long periods.

 

Treatments

The treatment for weak ankles can include bracing the ankle, physical therapy, and in a worst-case scenario, surgery.

Wearing supportive shoes can also alleviate pain and help bolster your ankles.

 

Prevention

Supporting your ankles is important when taking part in any exercise, or even just going about your daily tasks. There are several things you can do to prevent ankle injuries, and these include:

  • Warm-up and cool down before exercise to stretch your muscles before putting them through their paces.
  • Watch out for slippery floors or uneven areas on sidewalks or green spaces.
  • Do some stretches regularly whether you plan on exercising or not. This video shows you some exercises to stretch your ankles and help prevent sprains.

  • If you are hurt or tired, don’t exercise.
  • For those who enjoy jogging, wear running shoes for weak ankles such as the men’s Asics Gel-Kayano 26 or the women’s New Balance 990V3.
  • Maintain a healthy diet to feed your muscles and help control your weight. If you are overweight, try and drop a few pounds.
  • Taping your ankle or wearing an ankle brace or high shoes can also help protect the area. This is especially the case when you return to exercise following an injury.

It’s not always possible to prevent that slip, fall or twist of the ankle, but taking preventative measures might reduce the risk.

 

 

Things to look for in  Shoes for Weak Ankles

Here are some of the features to check out when it comes to choosing shoes to help support weak ankles.

  • Support: Look for support in the heel area, a padded collar at the ankle, and a reinforced shank in the midfoot. Also, check out the lacing system—keeping your feet locked down in your shoes will help with stability.
  • Cushioning: EVA foam, gel, and air can help cushion your feet and make your shoes more comfortable. Certain footwear can also offer padded insoles, sock liners, or a seamfree construction to enhance the feel of the shoes on your feet.
  • Arch support: The correct arch support promotes proper foot alignment and improves your gait. You can read more about this in our articles, best insoles for supination or the best walking shoes for overpronation.
  • Breathability: Sweaty, hot feet are no fun, so find shoes that allow your feet to breathe. Some may also have moisture-wicking and odor control features.
  • Traction: An outer sole that offers a solid grip can help prevent falls, trips, and slips. This can reduce the likelihood of injuring your ankles.
  • Shock absorption: Stress is placed on our whole body when we walk, run, or jump. Absorbing that impact relieves the pressure we put on our ankles, knees, and lower back. Features like air, gel, EVA, and polyurethane are all good shock-absorbing options to keep an eye out for.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do High Top Shoes Give More Ankle Support?

High top shoes encompass your ankle and might be the answer when it comes to supporting your ankles after an injury. There is, however, the chance that they can prevent you from strengthening the muscles and reduce their reaction time.

Muscle strength is key to supporting your ankles.

You can watch some exercises in this video.

 

Do Sprained Ankles Heal?

Yes, sprained ankles will heal over time, but the extent of the damage will affect how long this takes.

There are different levels of sprains:

  • Mild sprain: This is when you stretch your ankle ligaments, but not to the extent that they tear.
  • Moderate sprain: With this one, you might have a partial tear in the ligament restricting movement.
  • Severe sprain: At this level, you have torn one or more of the ligaments in your ankle and will be unlikely to put weight on it or move it much.

Simple sprains could heal in a few days or up to a fortnight, but once you have torn them, it can take several weeks. If you injure the ligaments very severely, the healing time could be a few years.

 

How Can You Strengthen Weak Ankles?

Apart from wearing supportive shoes that correct your gait and cushion your feet, there are plenty of exercises you can do. This video shows you three exercises that don’t need equipment.

There are also exercises you can do following an injury to rehabilitate. This video shows you some of them.

Don’t forget, before you embark on any exercise program, check with your therapist or doctor first.

 

 

Stepping Out

Choosing the best shoes for weak ankles can support your feet and lower limbs, and help prevent injury. All of the shoes and boots featured have the qualities you need to keep you comfortable and stable on your feet. Those that you choose will depend on your personal preference.

We hope you enjoyed our guide and picked up some useful ideas. Please tell us about any tips you might have by leaving us a comment, and don’t forget to share.

 

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