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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Tania Leslau

Best trainers for ankle support, tried and tested for stability and comfort

What do Forrest Gump, Marty McFly and Kill Bill’s The Bride have in common? A great pair of sneakers, that’s what.

But what exactly constitutes a great pair of trainers? Some would say style, others would say comfort. Realistically, it depends on the occasion. Yet, no pair of kicks can achieve top-quality status without ample support to see you through the day. 

Ankle-supporting trainers don’t have the best rep. Old-fashioned options tend to be clunky, chunky and wholly unattractive. Ryan Gosling famously made his feelings for supportive trainers abundantly clear, reeling off his famous line of questioning to New Balance-sporting Steve Carrell in Crazy, Stupid, Love. “Are you in a fraternity? Are you Steve Jobs? Are you the billionaire owner of Apple computers?”. You get the picture. 

Thankfully, trainer design has evolved since the 2010s when the rom-com premiered. Trainers offering ankle support now adopt cooler, more streamlined silhouettes and come in a vast array of vibrant tones.

Nike, Hoka and Asics are just a handful of powerhouse brands revamping the supportive sneaker. And we’re not just talking aesthetics. Technical features designed in-house such as Twisstruss Systems that support stable movement and GEL Cushioning Systems that absorb shock all contribute to a more secure step.

It’s also important to search for models with a high-top design as low cuts don’t properly stabilise the ankle joints. Many options distribute body weight evenly which reduces any strain placed on our delicate ankles. 

Other factors to note when starting your search include:

  • High-rise ankle collars that encase ankle
  • Firm, comfortable midsoles that reduce or prevent excess movement
  • The correct fit - not too loose and not too tight
  • Grip to provide traction on wet surfaces (waterproof fabric also comes in handy here)
  • Cushioning for added comfort during exercise

For those prone to slips, trips and tumbles, sourcing a pair of trainers that brace the ankle during both everyday use and exercise is crucial. A simple sprain is enough to take you out for weeks. 

Discover the best trainers offering ankle support for all occasions and shop the edit below.

Shop now 

Best ankle-supporting trainers at a glance:

Vionic Walker Classic Trainer

Best for: wide feet

The Walker Classic does what it says on the tin – this rather chunky trainer is designed with durable rubber soles that offer good traction, plus a supportive heel and cushiony inner soles.

The leather upper looks great, is naturally water-resistant and moulds nicely to your foot with use. We found the Walker offered good arch support on test, but this is not a design to pick if you have narrow feet as Vionic’s design is currently only available in ‘Wide’ sizes that will suit anyone who needs more width than most walking trainers offer.

Buy now £100.00, Amazon

Asics Gel-Kayano 30 Women's Running Shoe

Best for: preventing ankle rolls

Asics’ Gel-Kayano 30 Women's Running Shoes are a firm favourite among active Londoners. Not only do they look smart when paired with some Nike sports leggings, but they boast a range of features to note. A mesh upper increases breathability and allows the foot to flex with ease, while an AHARPLUS heel is designed to boost outsole durability. Enjoy a padded slip-free step thanks to a combination of GEL cushioning and LITETRUSS stability features to help keep your foot from rolling too far inward as you stroll.

Buy now £180.00, John Lewis

HOKA Bondi 8

Best for: road running

One of HOKA’s most popular picks, the Bondi offers up a lightweight, foam-clad footstep for avid runners. Extended heel geometry and a rear crash pad balance the foot as you pace. The shoe is also the perfect pick for eco-warriors as it’s made from 40 per cent recycled polyester lining that is implemented by a comfortable gusseted tongue and engineered mesh construction.

Buy now £150.00, HOKA

Lululemon Chargefeel Mid Women's Workout Shoe

Best for: style and stability

Designed for running and training, Lululemon’s Chargefeel Workout Shoe will set you apart from the crowd. Not only do they come in a tempting array of tones from pastels to low-key neutrals, but the trainers provide ample stability for the ankle. A high-rise smooth liner adds second-skin-level comfort and additional support, while a springy dual-density midsole helps to boost your agility. Oh, and did we mention that they are more than 50 per cent off? 

Buy now £64.00, Lululemon

Nike Air Force 1 '07 Mid

Best for: everyday, non-exercise use

Whether you’re walking down a high street in central London or in the depths of the countryside, you’re bound to spot a pair of Air Force or two. The style is ubiquitous up and down the country, no doubt due to its many noteworthy features. A padded, mid-height collar keeps the ankle in place, as does the grippy flat sole of the streetwear staple. What's more, a velvet strap across the front of the shoe promises an extra layer of security for your everyday use.

Buy now £119.99, Nike

Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid Women’s Shoes

Best for: street style enthusiasts

Not one for sport, but certainly one for style. The iconic Air Jordans are beloved by basketball players and fashion elite alike. Adopting a full-court look with top-quality comfort to match, the shoes grip the ankle via the padded collar, high-top silhouette and lace-up design. Seasoned Air Jordan owners will know that they last forever with the right kind of care. This is partly due to the combination of premium leather and synthetic materials that provide durability, comfort and support, in addition to a rubber outsole that grips a variety of surfaces.

Buy now £129.99, Nike

Nike Air More Uptempo Women's

Best for: bold dressers

Flex your footwear with a pair of Nike Air trainers to add to your sartorial archive. Adored by all, from Depop enthusiasts and street style influencers, the bold sneakers pay homage to 90s basketball aesthetics, which is evidenced by the graffiti-style graphics and cushioning elastic straps. A chunky silhouette and high-top design hold the ankle in place as you showcase your street cred via your epic shoe choices.

Buy now £165.00, JD Sports

Salomon ACS + OG Unisex Sportstyle Shoes

Best for: long city walks

Salomon is arguably the coolest sneaker brand on the market at present. The ACS + OG is designed for long, leisurely strolls, from easy hikes to a brisk flit around Victoria Park. The stride-stabilising Agile Chassis System promises cushioning and control while absorbing shock. Pick from a punchy display of colour combinations from raspberry pink to neutral hazelnut and stride in style.

Buy now £145.00, Salomon

On Running Cloudnova

Best for: all-day wear for the active

No matter the occasion, Cloudnova has got you covered. The all-day sneaker is infused with performance tech to ensure you exercise without risk of injury. A block style in a timeless, midnight blue hue is enhanced by a stabilising mid-top silhouette and flex-orientated lacing that straps in the foot. Run, jog and walk with confidence thanks to the padded heel stabiliser that will help you take flight when in the gym or running for the bus.

Buy now £150.00, On Running

Nike Free Metcon 5 Women's Workout Shoes

Best for: cardio sessions

Sunshine yellow, dusty rose, fuchsia, ebony and plum are the awe-inspiring hues that these trainers come in to cover your feet in excellence. Nike’s vibrant Free Metcon 5 Women's Workout Shoes will ensure you fly through the grittiest of cardio sessions. A flexible forefoot doubles up with a stabilised heel for agile multi-directional movement, while a plush foam collar increases comfort and support. Lace yourself into the loud kicks with the unique lacing system that holds the ankle in place during high-intensity activities.

Buy now £119.99, Nike

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