There are different types of basketball shoes that people wear on the court, and one of the most popular types of high ankle basketball shoes, also known as high-top basketball shoes. In case you don’t know, high-top basketball shoes are the type of sports shoes that have a collar that goes above the ankles and near the middle of the lower leg.
There are a few reasons why high-top basketball shoes are incredibly popular, but the most important reason is that they are beneficial in preventing ankle sprains. How effective are they in protecting your ankles? And are there alternatives that you can wear? Let us find out and take a look at the different details of high ankle basketball shoes and determine how they can help prevent sprains.
The Benefits of High Ankle Basketball Shoes
In order for us to understand how high ankle basketball shoes can help prevent sprains, we must discuss the benefits of the shoes, which will tell us more about how they can provide support for the feet and the lower legs. Here are the benefits of high ankle basketball shoes.
They Provide Protection for A Lot of Areas on Your Feet
Because of how high the collar is for high ankle basketball shoes, they are effective in providing protection for a lot of areas on your feet, which include the heels, the ankles, the midfoot, and the bottom half of the lower legs. The protection that these shoes offer would prevent you from getting cuts, scratches, and other types of wounds on your feet and your ankles, which is important if you want to perform at your best without experiencing pain.
They Prevent Your Feet and Ankles from Overextending
One of the best benefits of high ankle basketball shoes is that they prevent your feet and ankles from overextending, which can cause serious injuries. The upper of high-top basketball shoes are quite rigid, especially on the areas around the heel and the ankles, so that they will help your heels stay in place while the ankles wouldn’t move too much whenever your feet shift in different directions.
The midsoles of most modern basketball shoes today have shank plates made of carbon fiber, which is a lightweight material that is very rigid and prevents your midfoot from extending too much. So, high ankle basketball shoes provide overall protection for your feet because of the ankle collar and the carbon fiber shank plate.
They Offer Impact Protection for the Feet
High ankle basketball shoes offer great impact protection for the feet, which is important in basketball since players jump around the court to dunk, do a lay-up, or perform a jump shot. The impact protection is provided by the midsole, which is usually made from lightweight materials that also give comfort or cushioning for the feet.
Many brands also incorporate unique technologies or features in the midsoles of their basketball shoes, like Nike’s Zoom Air bags that make the midsoles bouncy and Adidas’s Boost midsole technology that makes your feet feel like they are walking on clouds. If you want the best comfort and impact protection for your feet, you should find a pair of high ankle basketball shoes that is packed with plenty of features on the midsole.
Can High Ankle Basketball Shoes Prevent Ankle Sprains?
Because of the benefits of high ankle basketball shoes that we have discussed earlier, it can already be said that the shoes do help in preventing ankle sprains. First, the protection that the shoes provide for a lot of areas of the feet is essential for ankle support, as it covers the ankles and prevents them from getting wounded, which can usually worsen into major injuries. Second, the ability of high ankle shoes to prevent overextension is very important in avoiding ankle sprains, as this type of injury is typically caused by the ankles overextending.
Lastly, the impact protection that high-top basketball shoes offer comfort for the ankles, as it wouldn’t feel pain whenever you go back to the floor after a dunk, a lay-up, or a jump shot. A lot of ankle sprains happen when players don’t land correctly on the floor, and when this happens, one foot would usually bend inwards and cause overextension of the ankles.
However, despite all the protection that high-top basketball shoes give to the ankles, there is still no guarantee they can prevent ankle sprains 100%, as they are not rigid enough to prevent the ankles from extending or shifting. But, wearing high-top basketball shoes does give you a better chance of ankle sprain protection compared to other types of shoes, like low-top shoes and mid-top shoes.
Ankle Braces as an Alternative
One of the disadvantages of high ankle basketball shoes is that they don’t provide the same freedom of movement as low-top shoes, as the high ankle collar would really restrict your feet from moving faster. While the restriction is helpful for ankle protection, they are a hindrance if you want to move quicker on the court.
Fortunately, there is an accessory that you can wear that can provide ankle support and protection even if you are wearing low-top shoes, and this accessory is called the ankle brace. The ankle brace is worn on top of the socks and covers your heels and your ankles. The ankle brace works like the high ankle collar of high-top shoes, but you will still be able to flex your feet in different directions. So, the ankle braces are great accessories to wear for injury prevention.  The downside to ankle braces is that they can feel quite heavy on the ankles, but a lot of players often get used to it after weeks or months of wear.
So, these are all the pieces of information we can provide about high-top basketball shoes and their effectiveness in preventing ankle sprains. If you really don’t want to wear high-tops on the court, we highly recommend that you wear ankle braces with your low-top basketball shoes.