The best soccer cleats with ankle support are a more comfortable alternative to wearing ankle braces underneath your regular cleats.
Let’s face it. Playing soccer or any type of sport when you have niggles in your ankle is not only painful, it can also lead to graver injury. Wearing cleats that provide additional support to your ankles minimizes the possibility of an injury and may prevent an existing one from exasperating.
Some athletes just prefer wearing cleats with higher collar that engulfs the ankle rather than leaving it open and unsupported. That’s even if they do not have an ankle injury per se.
However, just like everything else soccer related, shopping for the right high ankle cleats is no cakewalk.
Good quality cleats that provide ankle support without limiting or interfering with your natural movement are few and far in between.
Here are the best of them.
The best soccer cleats for ankle support
#1 – Adidas Predator 18.3 FG – Best all-round soccer cleat
It’s never easy to come up with a successor to a legacy soccer cleat such as the Predator.
Be it David Beckham’s legendary free kick or the final volley in the UCL by Zidane, the cleats have been associated with some of the most iconic moments in soccer history.
By incorporating some state-of-the-art tech and by retaining most of the best features of its predecessor, Adidas have created a worthy upgrade that you must seriously consider.
The Adidas Men’s Predator 18.3 ticks all the right boxes. It gives you power, control, is unbelievably comfortable and is stylish to boot.
Incredibly soft upper
Out of the box, the new Predator 18.3 might look earily similar to the ACE. The shape is identical. But the moment you touch the upper of the boots, you know that this is an entirely different beast.
Adidas’s new Primemesh upper molds around your feet giving you the control you seek for those fiery free kicks, as well as for controlling the balls out of the sky.
The ridges on the upper, which are reminiscent of the old predators are very much there. If anything, they aren’t as prominent as in the previous iterations.
The fit might be a little snug right out of the box. But as they break in, they will get looser and adapt to your feet.
Designed for seamless passes
The laceless design on the Predator gives you a much larger contact area for passing and receiving balls. But it’s shooting where these cleats really shine.
Previous iterations of the predator were designed for striking across the ball as well as for adding some dramatic curls to it.
Not this one.
The entire upper gives you ample cushioning which appears to be stiff. But on the field, it works like a sweet spot giving you great control.
The entire cleat rests on the Sprintframe sole plate and the famed stud pattern that gives you incredible traction on the fiels.
Last but not the least, comes the heightened collar that gives users the ankle support they seek. The collar is a tad thick for our liking. But it does a terrific job at supporting the ankles.
- The latest iteration in the Iconic Predator line of cleats.
- Primemesh upper that gives you great control.
- Sprintframe Sole Plate.
- Heightened collar for ankle support.
- A tad narrow at the instep which may not work well with athletes who have wide feet.
- Heavily padded on the upper as compared to older predators.
- Runs half a size small.
#2 – Adidas Ace 17.3 – Budget Priced Option
Adidas has slowly been making inroads into the lower tier soccer cleats market that has always been Nike’s domain.
The new Ace line of cleats is clearly an attempt to appease to a very specific demographic that watches their budget and considers off-pitch usage of the cleats, before swiping their cards.
That said, these cleats are terrific on the field and incorporate some of Adidas’s best tech to give you a well-rounded option.
The Sock-like Fit
When the Ace 17.3 was first released, Adidas was more or less testing the waters with its Primemesh, 3D Control Skin Upper. These cleats pretty much sealed its position as one of the most comfortable materials that the brand would use.
These mid-cut cleats are lightweight, provide ample feel upon contact and fit like an old sock. Just perfect for dribbles as well as long balls.
It features a heightened collar with a mid-cut, that wraps just a feather above your ankles. Some cheap soccer cleats with heightened ankles feel like grandma socks. The Ace though is light enough to allow unhindered movement on the field, while adding that extra support for sore ankles.
Further, it’s been treated with the AGION technology that prevents fungal buildup as well as odor causing bacteria.
A little stiff in the beginning
Having worked with soccer cleats for a good part of the last decade, we know when they are going to take a while to break in. The Adidas Ace 17.3 is one of them. The boots might seem a little stiff out of the box and they will take some time before they conform to the size of your feet.
Also, it has a stiff heel cushion that tends to put some extra pressure on the heel. But these tiny niggles disappear once the cleats break in.
They feature Adidas’s FG Control stud alignment that gives you great traction on firm ground.
- Primemesh Upper for a sock-like fit.
- FG Control Stud alignment for traction on the field.
- Heightened collar for ankle support.
- Lightweight and stylish.
- Great feel upon contact.
- Pocket-friendly price.
- The design is a tad narrow for athletes with wide feet.
- It takes a while to break in.
#3 – Nike Hypervenom Phantom 3 DF – Most ankle supportive pick
When Nike released the original Hypervenom as the follow up to the insanely-popular D90, soccer fans were ready to rip it to shreds. But the cleats were so good that it set new standards and reinstated Nike’s soft spot for FlyKnit.
After a tepid second iteration, Nike is back with the third iteration of these iconic cleats and we can’t stop swooning over the Dynamic Fit version that offers enhanced ankle support with the heightened collar.
Soft, Pliable Cleats
Hate break-in times? These soccer cleats come ready to use out of the box and will start to conform to your feet right from the first wear.
The entire upper is made of Flyknit and is incredibly pliable, much like other cleats from Nike that feature this material. You can fold it and bend it in your hands.
Slip it on and you’ll notice the firmness and traction that comes from the NikeGrip insole and the upgraded soleplate with a brand new stud configuration. The soleplate is very pliable as well, much like the upper.
The Upgraded Stud Configuration and the Poron inserts
Another first that you get with the Nike Hypervenom Phantom 3 is the poron foam inserts in the upper that give you excellent shock absorption and cushioning without making it feel overly padded.
The feel upon contact is left untouched. If anything, it makes the whole contact area feel uniform. The striking power is unrivaled irrespective of whether you are placing the ball low or just blasting it.
Let’s talk about the new stud configuration on the Phantom 3.
There are two types of studs used on the soleplate. The hexagonal studs are on the outstep. These are perfect for inside cuts. The “L” shaped studs are on the instep which favor rotation. This configuration is currently in use in the superfly. To add to these, you have two central chevron blades that gives excellent traction when you are moving.
Coming to the most important aspect that brings it to the 3rd position in this list, the Dynamic Fit collar. There are some important changes to this collar as compared to previous iterations. Nike has cut it down from the outside to the inside in a 45-degree angle. This angle improves the fit by leaps and bounds.
The stretchiness has also improved markedly with a tighter upper lip which gives you a snug, cohesive feel from the ankle to the toe, especially when you pivot the ankle.
- Revamped design with flyknit upper.
- Very pliable and soft.
- Poron inserts for shock absorption.
- Great feel upon contact.
- Ideal for shooting and strikes.
- New stud configuration for enhanced traction.
- Dynamic Fit Collar with an angled cut for an improved fit.
- Stretchy fit with a cohesive feel from the ankle to toe.
- It might be a while before you get used to some of the new tech.
- The DF collar does tend to accumulate some dirt. If you aren’t diligent about cleaning it, it may begin to smell after a while.
- Not very durable.
#4 – Puma One 18.1 – Best cleats for attacking and tackles
There were so many things that went wrong with Puma’s first foray into the mid-collar knitted cleats niche.
The One 17.1, as it was called, was too bulky. The calf leather upper and the thick, sock-like knitted collar didn’t help either.
Thankfully, the One 18.1 irons out all these crevices and delivers a lightweight, fun cleat that deserves a spot in this list of best high ankle support soccer cleats.
A Mix of Good things
The One 18.1 features a synthetic mid-foot that’s quite thin and soft. To add to this, there’s a thin liner that ensures that the feet feel comfortable and it fits snugly.
The vamp is soft Kangaroo leather. To be honest it can feel a little stiff when its new. But it wears out pretty soon and begins to hug your feet, just the way good cleats should.
Lastly, there’s the evoKnit collar that’s a marked improvement over the previous version.
It’s still thicker than the one used by Adidas and Nike mind you. But it’s extremely soft and gently wraps around the ankle making the three different materials come together as one boot. The ankle support is just sufficient and it feels great as you drive on the field.
The soleplate has a combination of conical and bladed studs which make it comfortable on both firm ground and artificial turf fields.
Pure Bliss upon contact
Get ready to experience the bliss of soft kangaroo leather when the ball touches the forefoot.
There’s just enough warmth and thickness to keep things comfortable. But you’ll always feel the touch and that’s what Puma has been aiming for. Guess only authentic Kangaroo leather can deliver that feel.
Don’t get fooled by the pictures of the cleats which make it appear thick, particularly due to the grooves. It is thin in every part of the cleat that will make contact with the ball.
If you are looking to attack and dictate play, these cleats should be on the top of your wishlist. In case you didn’t notice, Sergio Aguero sports these.
- Soft Kangaroo leather forefoot.
- EvoKnit collar for added ankle support.
- Lacing built into the collar tongue.
- Thin design that lets you feel the ball.
- Synthetic midfoot with a liner for a comfortable fit.
- Ideal for all positions on the field. Best suited for attacking and tackles.
- Suitable for both firm ground and artificial turf fields.
- The heel takes a little longer to soften up as compared to the rest of the boots. That’s just a small quibble. Definitely not a deal breaker.
#5 – Nike Magista Obra II – Best mid-cut ankle collar
Nike timed the launch of the original Obra I, just before the 2014 world cup. While the boots didn’t match up to the hype, they did introduce the world to Flyknit.
With the Obra II, Nike makes important design changes that pretty much make the boots what they originally set out to make.
These are lightweight, soft and provide the extra bit of cupping around the ankles for athletes that seek it. Yet, it is in no way restrictive.
The pliable design and the soft knit upper allow you to step up your game without worrying about ankle pivots.
Made for 360-degree contact
For the longest time now, manufacturers have been limiting the contact area to one part of the cleats.
The Magista Obra II has a redesigned control knit upper, with more prominent ridges in the knit. The best part is that it also extends beyond the strike zone. Oh yes, the knit pattern continues on the outer part of the boot, which allows you to make 360-degree contact with these cleats. The only difference is in the height of the knit on the outer.
But there’s no variation in the amount of control you get, or the feel upon contact. This makes these boots well suited for any position on the field.
Great ankle support
Many brands have been upping their game with newer, more innovative mid-cut collar designs.
This is one of handful of cleats that have got it right. The ankle sock is soft and supportive. It is not overly tight, nor restrictive even when you are making deft moves.
Nike coats the entire upper with an ACC coating and another one for good measure to prevent the knits from expanding due to moisture. There are players who have worn this for weeks without any odor or dirt accumulation. So, we’d say that it’s a winner.
The soleplate is a mix of conical studs and chevron plates which seems to be the way forward with Nike Cleats. This is a hit or a miss. Some athletes prefer the old conical ones that gave great traction. But it’s subjective. We find that these studs give you great stability.
- 37% lighter than the old Obra I
- Contoured dynamic fit collar
- Mid-cut, ankle cupping collar for support
- Thick knit structure that extends to the outer area
- Great feel and control on the ball
- A hint of power for strikes
- Mix of conical and chevron studs for added stability
- Spacious design that is perfect for soccer players with wide feet.
- Uses a standard insole which seems pale in comparison to the rest of the cleat.
- Not very durable.
How to select the best ankle support soccer cleats
Ankle injuries are a bummer.
Not only do they limit your natural gameplay, they also have a psychological effect that forces you into modifying your natural range of motion to compensate for the pain that they may be causing.
Thankfully, many brands have been designing soccer cleats with added ankle support for the past 6-8 years.
This was a very niche market until a few years ago. Now, you are spoilt for choice.
Here are a few key variables to consider when you shop for the best soccer boots with ankle support.
Do cleats provide ankle support?
You bet they do. But it also depends on how you define support.
If you have an injured or a sprained ankle, then it’ll take exercises, PT, rest and rehabilitation for the ankle to heal completely.
When you resume practice again, any one of these cleats can give you a fair amount of ankle support.
Some players also opt for football or lacrosse cleats as these have a much higher collar and supposedly give better ankle support. But these don’t always work for everybody. We haven’t used them either, so we cant comment on how effective those are. Also football cleats are forbidden in professional soccer.
We firmly believe that there’s no one size fits all when you are dealing with ankle injuries.
The best you can do is try out different cleats and pick the one that works best for you. You can always return the ones that don’t.
The type of collar
The collar is essentially what wraps around your ankle giving it the additional support and binding it to the rest of the boot.
Different brands have different proprietary names for it.
Nike calls it the Dynamic Fit or DF. So any cleat with DF next to its name will have a heightened collar. Adidas calls it PrimeKnit while Puma calls it evoKnit.
They are all the same thing really, an extra bit of knitted fabric that snugly cups your ankle.
There are three types of collars to consider.
- High-Cut Collars were pushed by Nike. Some of their newest cleats still use these and if you are looking for a collar that rests above your ankle, you might want to consider these. You can just cut them off the top if you find them restrictive.
- Mid-cut collars are cut off right at the ankle and provide a wee bit of extra support without being restrictive. These are the most popular of the three.
- Low-cut collars don’t even qualify because they offer little (if any) ankle support.
Not all collars are a tight fit. But not all players prefer a tight, compressive fit either.
Some are just looking for a loose wrap around their ankles so that they can conceal their ankle braces.
As if on point, the collars on some of these shoes are just a comfortable fit and if this is what you prefer, then you can pick any one of the best soccer cleats with ankle support from this list.
Usually, the fit will loosen a little as the shoes come into contact with sweat and are washed.
So we don’t recommend going too loose with the collar.
Ideally, it should offer a little extra compression while allowing you to rotate and move your ankle freely.
Below is useful video guide to help you to wear mid-cut collar shoes for a better fit.
You can read more in my article on how to properly size your soccer cleats.
All three leading brands use different varieties of knitted fabric for their collars. There’s very little to choose between the three.
Some of these come with an all-weather coating and are resistant to bacteria and mold. These are likelier to last longer without absorbing an offensive odor.
To wrap it up
Once you narrow down on the right type, fit and collar material, do consider the other features of the cleats.
Do they have the right feel upon contact with the ball? What about the soleplate? Is it pliable? Does the upper wear-in nicely?
While you are focusing on the comfort of the ankle, don’t overlook the fact that you have to be able to play ball with it.
That’s it folks. We hope that you enjoyed reading our recommendations for the best soccer cleats with ankle support.