Editor’s Note: This post has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy on May 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of the best running shoes for women with bad ankles.
Have you been experiencing ankle and heel pain and were diagnosed with weak or bad ankles? I always recommend women to be proactive when it comes to treating their foot conditions as weak ankles can often result in an ankle sprain.
While there are many reasons as to why your ankles can become weak, there are many things you can do to strengthen them, and it all starts with wearing the correct type of shoes.
I have helped hundreds of women find the correct type of shoes to significantly reduce or fully eliminate their ankle pain, and I believe I can help you too. I have been fitting women’s shoes for over 10 years, and I specialize in helping women with “complicated” foot shapes or foot conditions such as flat feet or rolled ankles. Over the years I became familiar with the best running shoes for women with bad ankles.
My goal is to help you find a pair of running shoes that protects and strengthens your ankles sufficiently to prevent injuries.
It’s important to note that there are several different conditions that can be causing your ankle problems, and while in most cases the correct type of shoes can help treat your bad ankles, sometimes a pair of orthotics might need to be fitted inside the shoes for extra support.
What Makes the Running Shoes I Recommend Effective for Weak Ankles?
The running shoes I recommend provide 2 key features that will help support and protect your ankles:
☑️ Extra Padding Right Below your Heels: The running shoes I recommend provide extra padding right below your heels to support and protect your ankles. Your running shoes need to cushion and protect your heels to prevent any pain around this area.
I have fitted certain running shoes that provide infused gel and/or a ROLLBAR for maximum heel and ankle support. Take a look at the image below for visualizations purposes:
☑️ Substantial Outsole: The substantial outsole of the running shoes helps provide shock absorption by minimizing the impact that your feet take when they come in contact with the ground.
I will show you which shoes provide better ankle support than others, but before we move any forward I want to make sure that you know your exact foot size and shape. For example, do you know if you have narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet? Do you know if you have a high instep or not? You need to know your exact foot shape or you won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes I recommend have to offer.
The instep is the top part of your foot and when it’s high it makes it a lot more challenging to find shoes that fit. Below you can find an example of a woman’s foot with a high instep:
A lot of women I have helped were experiencing ankle pain from wearing shoes in the wrong size. You should take a look at a different article I wrote in which I help women identify their exact foot size and shape:
Let’s Check If You Need New Running Shoes or Not…
When women are running they impose an enormous amount of stress on their feet and legs. It’s important to minimize the impact that your feet take by wearing supportive running shoes.
Ankle injuries are very common to everyone who’s into fitness training. With that said, all women’s feet are different, and what works for some women’s feet might not work for others.
You might not even need new running shoes if the shoes that you are wearing already provide good ankle support. Maybe all you need is to fit an orthotic inside your shoes for extra support.
You can check whether you need new running shoes by pressing on the heel counter of your shoes, which is the back part of the shoes that provides ankle support. Take a look at the image below for clarification purposes. Press firmly on that area of the shoe and make sure it feels firm. Does it feel firm or does it feel soft?
Now I want you to check if your shoes provide good support below your heels. For example, some shoes are ideal for women with weak ankles as they provide a ROLLBAR or infused gel for extra cushion right below the heels. The image below shows one of the running shoes I recommend that provides infused gel and reinforced support around the heels:
If you are unsure whether your running shoes are providing you with the correct amount of ankle support you can send me images of your current running shoes and I will help you determine this: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the Best Running Shoe Brand for Women with Weak Ankles?
I can’t choose one specific shoe brand simply because there is not a single shoe brand that offers shoes that can fit different women’s feet. For example, Asics makes some of the best running shoes for women, but they are only capable of fitting women with narrow or medium feet.
Another example is New Balance, which offers some excellent running shoes for women with medium, wide, or extra wide feet, but they are not capable of fitting women with narrow feet.
I would say that the top 3 running shoe brands I recommend for women with weak ankles are
☑️ New Balance
Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that all shoes made from Asics, New Balance, and Brooks provide good ankle support. There are only specific shoe styles among these brands that provide good ankle support, and I will describe them shortly.
The final shoe brand that you end up choosing depends on your foot shape. By now you should already know your exact foot shape so let’s take a look at a selection of the best running shoes for women with bad ankles.
I only recommend shoes that I have fitted before, as that is the only way for me to tell how the shoes fit, the amount of support that they provide, and how well-made they are.
Best Running Shoes for Women with Bad Ankles ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Take a look at the description below each shoe to check what foot shape that particular shoe is capable of fitting (narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide). Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
What Shoe Size Should You Order?
Take a look at the description below the shoes that I recommended to find out what shoe size you should order.
These shoes all provide targeted cushion and support on the inside and are firmer on the outside of the midsole to help prevent the ankle from going over. These running shoes are also going to provide extra protection and balance by keeping your ankle area stable.
Once the shoes arrive I suggest that you apply a specific shoe lacing technique that will allow you to support and protect your heels. I learned this shoe lacing technique from a coworker who has 30 plus years of shoe fitting experience. You can learn how to apply this shoe lacing technique to your own shoes by reading a different article called:
Shoes that are specifically designed for running are purposely engineered to provide women with the right support, cushioning, and motion control that they need to run around all day, while preventing foot and leg injuries associated with each particular activity.
Like I mentioned before, all feet are different and while some running shoes might be extremely effective for certain women, they might not be as effective for some others. If you try any of the shoes I recommend but your ankles still hurt I suggest that you email me and I will show you what steps to take next:
You can also try a pair of orthotics inside your running shoes for extra support to your ankles. There is a specific orthotic that comes with a deep heel cup and provides targeted support to the ankles. You can learn about this orthotic in the article below:
If you decide to try an orthotic don’t forget to remove the original insoles of your shoes before placing the orthotic inside your running shoes.
How Can I Make my Ankles Stronger?
There are certain exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles in your lower leg and foot. However, I am not an expert in this area so I suggest that you consult your physical therapist or research online what type of exercises you can do.
Running can take its toll on your ankles. For an injured or bad ankle you need a running shoe that will keep your ankle stable and provide good support as well as shock absorption to reduce further stress on your ankles. Have you found a specific shoe that has worked well for your weak ankles? Share your findings in the comment section below so other women can benefit from your experiences.