Best Shoes for Women with Ankle Instability – Deep Heel Cups and Firm Heel Counters


Have you been experiencing pain on the outside of your ankles or feel like your ankles are ready to give away? Is your ankle pain starting to affect your daily activities? If your podiatric foot and ankle specialist diagnosed you with ankle instability, there are steps that you can take to significantly reduce or fully eliminate your pain. Ankle instability often develops after repeated ankle sprains, and wearing a supportive brace or shoe can help decrease the risk of recurrent ankle sprains. I have put together a list of the best shoes for women with ankle instability based on my 10 years of shoe fitting experience.

I strongly suggest that you don’t wear a brace for long periods of time as it can actually destabilize your ankle through lack of motion. Wearing supportive shoes can be a great way to better control the ankle motion without restricting it.

Regardless of whether you’re recovering from a sprained ankle, or have bad joints due to an existing medical condition, your ankles don’t have to keep you from doing the things you love. The shoes that I will shortly recommend provide extra support in the midsole and a firm heel counter to help keep your joints safe and stable while you walk or run.

Are High Top Shoes Better for Women with Ankle Instability?

A lot of women believe that high-top shoes work better for weak ankles, as they believe that they provide additional structure and support to prevent ankle injuries. However, a high top shoe won’t necessarily provide better support than a regular sneaker. The goal is to find a pair of shoes with a firm heel counter to prevent your ankles from rolling out.

What Makes the Shoes that I Recommend Ideal for Women with Ankle Instability?

The shoes that I recommend provide four key features that makes them ideal for women with ankle instability:

☑️ Firm Heel Counter: The heel counter is the back part of the shoe that provides ankle support. A heel counter that provides extra padding and that is firm will support your ankles.  Always press on the heel counter of your shoes and make sure that it feels firm and sturdy, as shown in the image below:


☑️ Extra Depth: The shoes that I recommend provide extra depth with a deep heel cup to stabilize the foot and ankle better. There are certain shoes that provide a longer ankle-length design which can help in preventing your ankles from rolling out. Take a look at the image below:


☑️ Substantial and Supportive Outsoles: When you have ankle instability, you don’t only support the ankles, you mechanically support all of the pieces of the foot that can make your ankles roll out. A shoe with a substantial outsole will support your feet, including your ankles. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes. Do you notice how the shoe on the right has a thicker and more supportive outsoles compared to the shoe on the left?


☑️ Targeted Support Right Below the Heels: The shoes that I recommend provide extra padding and support right below the heels. This feature will help decrease or fully eliminate your heel and ankle pain. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:


Where Can You Find Shoes that Provide these 4 Important Features?

You should start by checking if your local shoe store has shoes with these 4 important features. However, if you prefer to shop online you must be 100% sure of your foot length and shape. Don’t insist on buying the same shoe size just because that’s the size that you have worn for most of your life. Your foot shape and size can change over time, and some of the factors that contribute to this change are pregnancy, aging and weight gain or loss. Over time and because of gravity, our feet might get longer and wider.

As we age, the body’s ligaments and tendons lose their strength and ability to spring back. This means that our arches decrease, which flattens and lengthens the foot and toes. This often results in an increase in shoe size by a half-size or more.

Find Out How to Order the Correct Shoe Size Online

Buying shoes online can be a challenge. If you are unsure about what shoe size you need to order online I suggest that you take a look at the resource below:

How to Measure Your Foot Shoe Size – The Most Simple and Effective Way!

Now let’s take a look at the best shoes for women with ankle instability. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Best Shoes for Women with Ankle Instability ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Take a look at the description below each shoe to find out whether that specific style can fit the shape of your feet (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide).

What Shoe Size to Order?

Take a look at the description below each shoe to find out what shoe size you should order to allow for the correct amount of growing room.

Make Sure that Your Shoes Are Properly Tied at all Times!

Make sure that your shoes are not too loose-fitting around the heel area as this can only exacerbate the issue. If the heel area is too wide this can allow your ankles to move more while you’re walking or running and increase your risk of ankle injury.

I suggest that you apply this shoe lacing technique to secure your feet against the back of the shoes:

How to Tie Shoes for Women with Heel Pain – Follow These 3 Simple Steps

Should I Fit an Insole for Extra Support?

If you try any of the shoes that I recommend and your ankle pain persists, I suggest fitting an orthotic inside the shoes for extra support. I describe the best orthotic for women with weak ankles in the article below:

Best Orthotics for Women with Weak Ankles – Deep Heel Cup for Extra Cushion and Support

Are Any Other Shoes for Women with Ankle Instability?

These shoes provide the most supportive outsoles, firm heel counters, and targeted support right below the heels. With that said, do not hesitate to contact me via the comment section below or at my email if you are unsure about which specific shoe style will work best for your extra wide feet:

Did you know that ankle sprains are the most common source of ankle pain? They make up 85 percent of all ankle injuries. Let me know in the comment section below if you have found a good shoe that worked well for your ankle instability.

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Shoe Sizing Chart


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