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Whether you’re walking to work, going for a run, or taking a brisk lunchtime stroll, your sneaker choices matter. Some athletic shoes are designed to ward off knee pain, while others help alleviate discomfort in your feet. But if your ankles tend to be a weak spot for you (and you’re not alone: ​​ankle sprains are one of the most common and recurring lower-body injuries), we asked a surgeon orthopedic to name the best sneakers for ankle support. .

If your ankles tend to feel a little wobbly and unstable, there are a few qualities you need to look for in a shoe, says Korsh Jafarnia, MD, orthopedic surgeon at the Methodist Center for Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at Houston Methodist. “When looking for running shoes for an unstable ankle, you need to find a pair that is stable on the outside, the lateral side. If a shoe is laterally firm, it is less likely to allow your foot to collapse outward. inside and can help prevent lateral ankle sprains,” says Dr. Jafarnia. He adds that arch support is also key to improving ankle stability.

Of course, while support kicks are a good start, it’s still important to get a professional opinion to make sure you’re addressing all of the factors that could be causing ankle pain. “If you have a sprain-prone ankle, you probably have a condition called chronic ankle instability, and it needs to be treated holistically,” says Dr. Jafarnia. So be sure to schedule time with an orthopedist, if you can.

Up front, Dr. Jafarnia offers his two must-have sneaker recommendations for ankle support. Each shoe features Dr. Jafarnia’s key criteria for sneakers (outdoor stable and awesome arch support), so you can keep those sprains far, far away.

Best Women’s Sneakers with Ankle Support

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 Road Running Shoes — $160.00

“The Nike React Infinity Run 2 running shoe is designed to control motion, so you can focus on your run and not worry about injury,” says Dr. Jafarnia. “With a wide base and Nike Flyknit material that hugs the foot, the shoe offers great stability and locks your foot in place.” A bonus? The shoe is also well ventilated for hot sweaty runs and walks.

Dr. Jafarnia especially recommends it for runners.

Women’s US sizes 6 to 12

Photo: New Balance

New Balance 1540v3 — $170.00

Dr. Jafarnia’s pick for women’s walking shoes feature a comfortable and sturdy double layer of foam. “For even more support, the shoes also feature a Rollbar stability post system designed to control rear foot movement, making it a good choice for overpronators,” he says. With overpronation, the ankle rolls down and inward with every step, increasing the risk of foot and leg injury.

Women’s US sizes 5 to 13

Best Men’s Sneakers for Ankle Support

Brooks Adrenaline GTS

“The Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoe is a good choice because it offers exceptional cushioning, stability, and support, making it ideal for people with weak or injury-prone ankles,” says Dr. Jafarnia. “The Adrenaline features GuideRails, which limit unwanted movement in your ankles while supporting and aligning the foot.” He especially likes these shoes for runners who need ankle support, as the high heel-to-toe drop will relieve some pressure from your heels and calves over the miles.

Men’s sizes US 7 to 15

Salomon Speedcross 5 Trail Running Shoes – $130.00

If you’re someone who spends a lot of your time walking the trails, Dr. Jafarnia has a great recreation for you. Supportive and rugged, the Speedcross 5 trail running shoes from Salomon provide the protection you need for all types of surfaces and conditions. The shoe’s deep heel cup cradles your heels, providing stability throughout your stride, while the rubber outsole provides reliable grip on uneven surfaces,” he says. They also come in great colorways you might not find in other trail shoes.

Men’s sizes US 7 to 12.5

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