We researched and tested 7 running shoes and found the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 to be the best running shoes for ankle support.
As a trail runner, I have spent a lot of time running on uneven ground with roots just waiting to catch my foot and twist my ankle. While some prefer minimalist running shoes, I need a lot of ankle support for rough trails. I especially need to support my ankles after a recent injury to my right ankle.
There are so many different options for running shoes these days, which can make it very difficult to choose one, especially if you’re just shopping online. Because of my injury and trail running, I went on a search for the best running shoes for ankle support, so you don’t have to. I considered every aspect of the shoe in my search including ankle support, cushioning, price, toe-box size, comfort, and traction.
The Best Running Shoe for Ankle Support At A Glance
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 was an easy winner. It’s super comfortable and cushioning. Most importantly, it’s specially designed to keep your joints protected with their GuideRails® technology.
Brooks’ GuideRails® technology helps to keep your joints aligned to a natural running position while limiting excess movement. This protects your ankles, knees, and hips. By supporting all of your joints, the shoes protect and reinforce your interosseous ligament, which connects your knee and ankle and is one of the most common areas of ankle pain and weakness.
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 also has an enhanced fit, which means your foot will be snug, instead of having room to slide or roll around. The main support of the shoe is made of a specific blend of EVA foam, rubber, and air for maximized cushioning and durability to protect your ankle from high-impact running and worn-out shoes. Finally, the tread of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 keeps you from slipping on wet pavement or muddy trails, which protects your ankles from being injured in a fall.
Top Picks For The Best Running Shoes for Ankle Support
- Best Overall: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
- Best Post Ankle Injury: Mizuno Wave Paradox 5
- Best for Trail Runners: Nike Pegasus Trail 3
- Best to Prevent Ankle Sprain: New Balance 1080 V12
- Best Cushioning: Asics Gel Nimbus 24
- Best for Flat Feet: Brooks Addiction GTS 15
- Best On Budget: Saucony Cohesion 14
Best Running Shoes for Ankle Support in Detail
While the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is the best all-around running shoe for ankle support, there are other options depending on specific situations or runners.
Keep reading to find out the best running shoe for ankle support for every runner.
Best Overall: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
The best overall running shoe for ankle support is the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 because of its GuideRails® technology, maximized cushioning, and durable tread. It’s great for almost every runner. It’s available in both men’s and women’s fits, has an enhanced fit feature that will hug your feet, and comes in many different colors if you like a specific look.
The Adrenaline GTS 22 is ideal for medium-paced daily runs and up to half marathon distances. Although it is designed to provide support during road and treadmill runs, it can be used for flat trail runs on hard soil.
The Adrenaline GTS is a stability running shoe with a supportive midsole. The GuideRails technology raise midsole edges supporting the foot and ankle. The midsole of the GTS 22 is firmer than the previous versions.
The GTS 22 offers excellent neutral ride stability, especially if you land on your forefoot or if you are a heel striker who doesn’t load the midfoot. However, the stiffer GuideRails may cause pressure under the arch for those runners tending to roll inwards.
Although the GTS is not a lightweight shoe, it is suitable for tempo runs. The firmness of the midsole is complemented with generous padding making the transitions efficient and comfortable at medium paces.
- Good stability
- Secure hell fit
- The upper uses a spongy spacer mesh elevating the fit comfort
- The plush collar adds comfort
- Offers transition quality and ride versatility
- Fits true to size
- Improved aesthetics
- The GuideRails make it suitable for overpronators and supinators
- Stiff GuideRails in the midsole may be irritating to the arches
- The sole grip could be better
- Feels heavy
Best Running Shoes for Ankle Support Post Ankle Injury: Mizuno Wave Paradox 5
If you’re coming back to running after an ankle injury, it’s important to find super supportive and comfortable running shoes to protect your ankle. The Mizuno Wave Paradox 5 is a great choice because it has patented technology designed for maximum stability, support, and cushioning.
The Mizuno Wave technology with the Mizuno Dynamotion fit maximizes stability, essential for runners with previously injured ankles. The shoe will support your ankle joint from having to do all of the work of stabilizing your body step after step. This means you can run for longer without pain. The cushioning also supports your ankle by absorbing the jolt of running.
If you have high arches and require arch support, the Mizuno Wave Paradox 5 might not be for you. It has low arch support and is digested for flat-arched runners. It’s also designed to run on pavement, so any trail runners should look for another shoe with a more durable tread.
- Good ankle support
- Generous upper padding
- Good traction
- Outstanding pronation control
- Smooth ride engineering
- It feels a bit bulky
- Ride feels stiff
- Not very flexible
Best Running Shoes for Ankle Support for Trail Runners: Nike Pegasus Trail 3
The Nike Pegasus Trail 3 provides cushioning, waterproofing, and tread traction that supports your ankle on the wildest of trails.
The cushioning of the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 will protect your ankle from the uneven trails and exposed roots and rocks that come with trail running. Its neutral support with a natural fitting mid-foot allows your ankle to strengthen as you run, so your feet will not overpronate.
Most important for trail runners is a high traction tread and waterproofing. The durable tread with high traction protects you from any slips in the mud or wet stones, preventing ankle twists or sprains. The GORE-TEX material of the Nike Pegasus waterproofs the shoe, so you can run rain or shine without fear of injuring your ankle because of a slippery shoe.
- True to size
- Waterproofing (only on GTX variant)
- Cushioning comfort offers a smooth and neutral ride
- Good traction on trail and road
- Outsole grip is not too good on wet
- Limited outsole protection
- It feels heavy
Best to Prevent Ankle Sprain: New Balance 1080 V12
The New Balance 1080 range is meant to be a fantastic daily trainer. The V12 version offers a new heel that is more structured around the ankle. This new characteristic gives more stability to the ankle on long runs. It is an extremely protective shoe.
There is not much difference in the upper in relation to the previous versions, however, the 1080 V12 is more structured around the foot and less elastic around the midfoot. For runners with wider feet, the latter might be an issue as it may feel stretchy.
The Fresh Foam X cushioning is a fantastic foam ideal for everyday training shoes. The soft midsole provides a soft landing on hard surfaces and a smooth transition from heel to toe.
The 1080 V12 is a versatile shoe. It can be used in your daily runs for almost any type of session, from a speed work on the track to a mid-pace 10k run. It is perfect for progressive runs, where you start easy and finish fast.
- Feels stable due to the wider front platform
- Comfortable and well-cushioned
- Flexible ride
- Smooth transitions
- Durable outsole
- Protects the ankles
- Not true to size
- Very wide in the midfoot
- It feels chunky
- A bit heavy
Best Cushioning: Asics Gel Nimbus 24
The Nimbus 24 is a versatile daily training shoe. It can handle comfortably easy pace runs between 6 min/km to 4:30 min/km. It is more responsive, lighter, and comfortable than previous versions.
The Nimbus 24 is one one the softest trainers out there with a thinner midsole than other shoes in the same category. The new FF Blast+ midsole makes it feel less bottom-heavy. The downside of the soft FF Blast+ is that it’s more fragile than the Flytefoam propel midsole in the Nimbus 23. Definitely keep it away from the trails.
Heavy runners might have hard times with the Nimbus 24. It is extremely light and soft making it agile for light runners, however, 90+ kg runners would be better off with more sturdy running shoes like the Adrenaline GTS 22.
On the upper, you find a breathable engineered mesh that gives you enough flexibility and space in the toe box. It offers a sleeker design with good breathability, with an engineered mesh using recycled materials to reduce the carbon footprint.
- More versatile than previous versions
- Breathable upper
- More energy return
- Softer midsole
- Light and soft
- Less plush upper
- Transitions are a bit chunky
- It feels a bit heavy for speedy runs
Best for Flat Feet: Brooks Addiction GTS 15
The Addiction GTS 15 is designed for everyday walking on urban roads. If you are looking for a pair of shoes that you can use on a gentle run or for everyday walking this is the one for you. The supportive DNA loft sole combined with the comfortable padding under the toes provides a natural yet supportive feeling.
The BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning is a unique foam compound that adapts to your specific stride and gives a good energy return. This midsole foam compresses at the weight concentration and offers extra stability where is more required, protecting the foot and ankle.
The heel cup of the Addiction GTS 15 is comfortable and provides the necessary stability to the ankle, especially on long walks.
The GuideRails of the Addiction gives the stability and support necessary to protect the ankle and foot. It is firm, yet comfy. The GuideRails make it ideal for overpronators, protecting you from potential ankle sprains.
- Enough space to add custom orthotics
- True to size
- The full-length rubber outsole makes it suitable for heavier runners
- Engineered mesh upper keeps feet cool
- Balance cushioning and stability
- Heavy – over 12 ounces
- Not recommended for running
- Outsole feels stiff
- Heel drop is quite high – 12mm
Best On Budget: Saucony Cohesion 14
The Saucony Cohesion 14 is a budget-friendly entry-level running shoe, suitable for someone to get into running. It gives to newbies a comfortable ride during the easy runs. It lacks interior plushness and has an average look, but it gets the job done.
The Cohesion 14 is suitable for neutral pronators and runners with medium to high arches. The 12 mm drop generates a lot of pressure on the balls of your feet. However, the cushioning provides a firm and comfortable ride.
The midsole of the Cohesion 14 uses VERSARUN cushioning, which is highly durable and offers enhanced energy return properties.
The outsole is robust and provides lots of grip, making it suitable for different surfaces from concrete to dirt and grass.
- Ample toebox
- It comes in half sizes
- Good lockdown offers support and protection to the ankle
- Limited forefoot cushioning
- Lack of upgrades
- Retains moisture
- Not suitable for medium to advance runners
What to Look for in Ankle Support Shoes – Buying Guide
When buying a running shoe for ankle support, it’s important to keep a few different things in mind.
The shoes should have a durable sole that helps your foot land evenly, even if you tend to overpronate. Shoes with stabilizing features like the Brooks GuideRails® technology stabilize your joints with every step. For runners looking for additional ankle support, this is a necessity.
Running shoes have become more and more minimalist. For runners needing extra ankle support, cushioning is essential for injury prevention and comfort while running. Cushioning helps protect your ankle from absorbing the shock from the high impact of running.
To prevent slips, which lead to ankle twists and sprains, a high-traction tread is important to have.
Your running shoes should fit your foot comfortably and snugly to prevent sliding while running. This internal sliding can cause injury to your ankle and requires your ankle to take more of the weight load of each step with more flexibility. A perfectly fitted running shoe will prevent that.
Depending on if you have high or low arches, arch support is a crucial aspect of ankle support for running shoes. Like cushioning, the recent trend of more minimalist running shoes has led to a decrease in shoes with advanced arch support. If you have high arches, it’s important to find shoes with the proper arch support.
If you’re looking for a trail running shoe with ankle support for ultra-marathoning, you will need a very different shoe than somebody looking for an all-around shoe they can wear running and on errands. It’s important to keep your intended use in mind while buying a running shoe.
How do you prevent ankle injuries when running?
Proper warm-ups, cooldowns, and stretching are all crucial aspects of preventing ankle injuries for runners. However, they will not do much if you are running in a pair of shoes that do not support your ankle, especially if you have weaker or previously injured ankles. Finding a running shoe with stability technology, a durable tread, and maximum cushioning can go a long way in preventing ankle injuries in runners.
How to tie shoes for ankle support?
If your shoes come with an extra hole near the top of the shoe, tie them to the top. The best way to support the ankle with your shoelaces is by making sure you tie your shoes so your foot fits snugly and comfortably. Do not make the top of the laces super tight, while the midfoot is unsupported by a looser tie. All of your foot should be supported by the lacing.
Why is ankle support important?
Ankle support in running shoes is important to avoid injury or sprain, which can happen at any time while exercising. Also, if you are recovering from an injury or surgery it is advisable to provide additional support to the ankle to assist in the natural recovery of the body.
If you are prone to ankle injuries, it is advisable to use high-top shoes. And, if the injury already occurred, you may need to add ankle braces and taping.
What about ankle supports?
Ankle supports or braces are a great way to give your ankles stronger support to prevent ankle sprains during running.
Uncomfortable ankle braces are long gone and the newest models offer comfort and flexibility. Before choosing the right ankle support for you, it is advisable to consult your physio or medical professional.
For most runners, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is the perfect running shoe for ankle support. It offers patented stability technology, maximum cushioning to soften the impact of each step, and has an enhanced fit to prevent any sliding or internal movement.
If you’re looking to get back into running after an ankle injury or looking to prevent an ankle injury, make sure to buy a running shoe specifically designed with stability, cushioning, and fit in mind!
Choosing the right running shoes will help support your ankles, prevent injury, and take your running skills to the next level!