Unless you’re a defensive specialist, chances are you’re going to be doing a good amount of jumping throughout a volleyball game.
Both spiking and blocking are dangerous activities, especially when landing around the net where there’s plenty of feet just waiting to be landed on!
My Top Picks:
As a former international level middle blocker, I know first hand the importance of having adequate ankle support in my volleyball shoes.
Having played in countless pairs of volleyball shoes, I know exactly what to look for when it comes to ankle support and I know exactly which shoes have a good reputation for lateral stability.
I’ve put together a list of the 5 best performing volleyball shoes when it comes to ankle support, so you can do all the jumping you like without having to worry about blowing an ankle!
UA HOVR Highlight Ace 2.0
If you believe that the ultimate ankle support often comes in the form of high tops, then you’ll love the HOVR Highlight Ace 2.0 which is one of the safest and most stylish volleyball shoes there is!
Best Overall Volleyball Shoes For Ankle Support
Under Armour are the only volleyball shoe manufacturer currently producing a high top volleyball shoe and I believe they’ve created a masterpiece!
The HOVR Highlight Ace 2.0 has reinforced lateral padding right the way up the shoe, meaning your ankle is extremely well supported.
At the same time, the shoe doesn’t greatly limit ankle mobility, so you can still move around the volleyball court fairly well.
This shoe also has a full length Micro G cushion, making it one of the bounciest volleyball shoes that feels simply incredible to jump in.
Impact protection is also top tier.
As with all UA shoes, you will need to be careful if playing on really dusty courts as the grip is quite poor unless playing on a clean court.
The other thing to be mindful of is these shoes run extremely small. They’re very narrow and tight.
I’ve seen numerous people complaining about how difficult it was to get their feet into these things!
That shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but just remember to order at least half a size to a full size larger than you normally would.
It’s also probably best to avoid these if you have wide feet.
The ultra high top design offers some of the best ankle support we’ve ever seen in a volleyball shoe. No need to war ankle braces with these either!
Great bounce and impact protection for spikers.
Ultra high top design offers maximal ankle support. No need to wear ankle braces with these shoes.
Super comfortable and responsive cushion.
Some people have complained about having difficulty getting their feet into the shoe.
Nike Zoom HyperAce 2
Although the HyperAce sports a fairly minimal looking design, it’s actually uniquely configured for exceptional ankle stability.
Best Overall Volleyball Shoes For Ankle Support – Runner Up
In terms of how this shoe is designed, it’s extremely unique.
The first thing that stands out when you look at it is the excessive internal padding around the ankle area.
The material is almost twice as thick as you’d expect, which means you have plenty of padding to help lock the ankle down and reduce internal shifting.
It also makes this shoe ridiculously comfortable!
But the cool thing is that the upper is made from a really thin and flexible mesh, so there’s still plenty of flexibility in the shoe and it doesn’t feel at all stiff.
The outsides of the shoe around the ankle area have also been reinforced to further improve lateral stability, making this one of the most secure low top volleyball shoes on the market.
If you’re looking for an extremely secure ride which is also super comfortable, the HyperAces are the way to go.
Extensive internal padding makes these shoes super comfortable.
Great heel lockdown offers excellent ankle support.
Because the padding is so thick, you can’t really fit ankle braces in these shoes without wrecking them. If you wear ankle braces, I would avoid the Hyperaces!
On the more expensive side. Since these have been discontinued by Nike, prices can get pretty high.
Asics Sky Elite FF
One of the many reasons the Sky Elite FFs are my favorite volleyball shoe of all time is how insanely secure they make your feet and ankles feel when wearing them!
Best Volleyball Shoes For Ankle Support – Runner Up
The way these shoes hug your feet when wearing them is such an amazing feeling.
Because of the very thick midsole, this shoe sits quite high up off the ground, but despite this the Sky Elites provide a really well locked down feel on the volleyball court!
They come in a mid top design which offers a little more padding around the upper ankle area – personally I think they look way cooler than the low tops too.
Aside from top tier lateral stability and containment, these shoes excel in the safety department because of their incredible cushioning system.
The FlyteFoam midsole offers unparalleled shock absorption, so your joints will be well taken care of when jumping on the court.
I could talk for days about how excellent these shoes are, but I’ll spare you the spiel.
For my full write up, check out why they’re my top ranked volleyball shoe of 2023!
The Sky Elite FFs really hug your foot like no other. The mid tops are absolutely fantastic so far as ankle support goes. Best option by far if you couldn’t get any Highlight Ace or HyperAces!
Ankle lockdown and lateral containment is top tier.
Ultra sticky traction and godlike responsiveness.
Advanced midsole technology offers a good amount of bounce and shock absorption.
On the more expensive side.
Best Budget Shoe
Adidas Dame 7
If you’re looking for a significantly cheaper option but aren’t willing to compromise on ankle support, the Adidas Dame 7 is one of the highest value options on the market.
Best Budget Volleyball Shoes For Ankle Support
Having personally played a lot of volleyball in Dame 7s over the years, I don’t recall ever spraining an ankle with these on!
Technically they’re a basketball shoe, but they’ve become very popular in the volleyball community in recent years.
Like the HyperAce 2s, they’ve got an above average amount of internal padding around the heel, so they excel in terms of ankle lockdown.
They also have a pad at the back to cushion the Achilles which I love.
The Adidas logo and reinforced stitching at the back/sides of the shoe also add rigidity around the heel area, further increasing lateral stability.
You’ll also notice the midsole external sidewall that extends upward onto the side of the shoe which improves lateral containment in the shoe.
The Dame 7 is also known for its excellent cushioning and impact protection as well as having superior traction to the Dame 8.
For under $100, this shoe checks all of the boxes!
For top tier ankle support under $100, it’s hard to go past the Dame 7s.
Super affordable – one of the few volleyball shoes under $100.
Advanced cushioning setup offers a good amount of bounce and shock absorption.
Fairly high mid top design offers decent ankle coverage.
Kind of clunky and boot-like.
You need to pull the laces quite tight in order to get a really secure feel.
Mizuno Wave Momentum 2
If you’re after a super lightweight, ultra springy and highly responsive shoe that still has excellent ankle support, the Momentum 2 is for you!
Also Fantastic Volleyball Shoes For Ankle Support
The Wave Momentum 2s are Mizuno‘s latest and greatest and are my second highest ranked volleyball shoe of all time!
These shoes are characterized by their super lightweight and flexible feel.
They have a massively improved cushioning system in them compared to the original Momentums which makes these the most responsive volleyball shoe on this list.
This is ideal for setters as well as liberos who like to be able to move around court quickly and make very precise movements with speed.
Remarkably, they have excellent coverage around the ankle – I have a friend who spoke very highly of how secure he felt playing in them.
The reason I say these are a great back court volleyball shoe is because the cushioning system, while highly responsive, doesn’t do a great job in terms of impact protection.
If you’re doing an excessive amount of jumping in these shoes, you may eventually experience some joint pain as they’re not a particularly soft shoe to land in.
If you’re a big fan of super lightweight shoes, but still want great ankle support, the Momentum 2s are a great option.
Ultra lightweight and super bouncy.
Fantastic traction and responsiveness.
Mid top design adds increased ankle support.
Cushioning/shock absorption isn’t as good as the original Wave Momentums.
Definitely on the more expensive side.
For the ladies, I’d recommend going for either the UA HOVR Highlight Ace 2 or Nike Zoom HyperAce 2 as these shoes really excel in the ankle support arena.
Unfortunately availability in both of these shoes is fairly limited, so if you can’t get a pair I’d strongly recommend the Asics Sky Elite FFs which are easily the best volleyball shoes on this list!
If you’re looking to save some cash, the Dame 7 is a great unisex shoe that I absolutely adore!
Should Volleyball Shoes Have Ankle Support?
How much ankle support you need on the volleyball court mainly has to do with what position you play.
A middle blocker is jumping over 100 times in a game. That’s 100 opportunities to land awkwardly on someone’s foot around the net.
A libero, on the other hand, doesn’t jump at all, and so they need a lot less in terms of ankle support.
Most volleyball shoes do a decent job in terms of lateral support, but the ones I’ve discussed today do an exceptional job, making them perfect for hitters.
Setters and liberos can usually sacrifice a little in terms of ankle support in exchange for more lightweight, super responsive shoes that’ll improve their agility on court.