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Top-Rated Athletic Footwear Recommended By a Specialist in Musculoskeletal Conditions

Whether you’re commuting to your workplace, engaging in a jog, or simply enjoying a brisk walk during your lunch break, your choice of shoes holds significant importance. Certain sports shoes are crafted to alleviate knee discomfort, while others are tailored to mitigate any foot pain. If you frequently experience weakness in your ankles (a common issue shared by many, as ankle sprains rank high among recurring lower-body injuries), we sought advice from an expert in musculoskeletal conditions to identify the most suitable sneakers that offer ankle support.

If you often sense instability and wobbliness in your ankles, it’s crucial to seek out specific characteristics in a shoe, according to Korsh Jafarnia, MD, a specialist in musculoskeletal conditions at the Methodist Center for Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at Houston Methodist. “When searching for running shoes suitable for unstable ankles, opt for a pair that exhibits stability on the outer side, or lateral side. A shoe that is sturdy laterally reduces the likelihood of your foot collapsing inward, thus assisting in preventing lateral ankle sprains,” noted Dr. Jafarnia. He emphasized that having adequate arch support is also essential in enhancing ankle stability.

While supportive footwear is advantageous, it’s always recommended to seek professional advice to ensure you address all contributing factors that may lead to ankle pain. “If you are prone to ankle sprains, you likely suffer from chronic ankle instability, a condition that necessitates a comprehensive approach,” Dr. Jafarnia emphasized. Therefore, scheduling an appointment with a musculoskeletal specialist is highly recommended.

Below, Dr. Jafarnia shares his top two sneaker recommendations for optimal ankle support. Both shoes meet Dr. Jafarnia’s primary requirements for sneakers (stability on the outer side and excellent arch support), equipping you to effectively ward off potential sprains.

Women’s Superior Footwear Offering Ankle Support

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

“The Nike React Infinity Run 2 running shoe is engineered to manage motion, allowing you to concentrate on your run without worrying about injuries,” recommended Dr. Jafarnia. “With a broad base and a snug Nike Flyknit material, this shoe delivers exceptional stability and securely holds your foot in place.” An added benefit is its effective ventilation for warm and sweaty runs and walks.

Dr. Jafarnia specifically endorses this shoe for runners.

Available in U.S. women’s sizes 6 to 12

New Balance 1540v3 — $170.00

Dr. Jafarnia’s recommendation for women’s walking shoes incorporates a double layer of durable and cushioned foam. “For enhanced support, these shoes feature a Rollbar stability post system designed to regulate movement in the rear foot, making them a favorable choice for individuals with over-pronation,” he stated. Over-pronation involves the foot rolling inward and downward with each step, increasing the likelihood of foot and leg injuries.

Available in U.S. women’s sizes 5 to 13

Men’s Optimal Sneakers for Ankle Support

Brooks Adrenaline GTS

“The Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoe stands out due to its remarkable cushioning, stability, and support, making it an ideal choice for individuals with weak or injury-prone ankles,” recommended Dr. Jafarnia. “Featuring GuideRails, these shoes limit undesirable ankle movements while supporting and aligning the foot.” These shoes are particularly favored by runners requiring ankle support as the significant heel-to-toe drop eases pressure on the heels and calves during prolonged runs.

Available in U.S. men’s sizes 7 to 15

Salomon Speedcross 5 Trail-Running Shoes — $130.00

For those who spend a significant amount of time walking trails, Dr. Jafarnia has a valuable recommendation. “Durable and supportive, the Salomon Speedcross 5 trail running shoes offer the necessary protection for various surfaces and conditions. The deep heel cup of the shoe cradles your heels, ensuring stability during each stride, while the rubber outsole provides reliable traction on uneven terrains,” he described. Additionally, these shoes are available in appealing color options not commonly found in other trail footwear.

Available in U.S. men’s sizes 7 to 12.5

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