If you suffer from ankle pain, then I’m sure you know just how painful it can be. Ankle pain can make even the most mundane activities difficult, and painful, to do. This is especially the case if you’re a runner. Ankle pain can often be severe enough to side-line you from your running life which will force you to watch on, as everyone goes running past. This is no fun at all!
Fortunately, we have put together a list of the best running shoes for ankle pain and support, which may help to get you back on your feet and beating your personal bests! Before we get in to that, let’s look at some of the causes of ankle pain, as well as the other symptoms associated with ankle pain, and some simple home exercises that can be performed to help remediate the pain.
Causes of ankle pain
There are many, many different causes of ankle pain, and it’s not always easy to differentiate between them, as symptoms can also be quite common. It’s highly recommended that if you’re experience any chronic ankle pain, or sudden, severe pain, that you seek medical advice. With that in mind, here are some of the more common causes of ankle pain:
Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, which is the tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bones. This is a common one for runners, especially those who have recently increase the distance or speed of their runs. This is because Achilles tendinitis is caused by constant or intense strain on the tendon, which is especially used during running. The Achilles also weakens with age, making Achilles tendinitis more common as you get older, as with a lot of injuries, unfortunately! There are specific running shoes for Achilles tendinitis, these will often be extra cushioning and offer high levels of support for your arches.
Achilles tendon rupture
A more serious injury involving the Achilles tendon is when the tendon tears/ruptures. This will often result in a more severe, very sudden, sharp pain to the back of your ankle. If you think that you have ruptured your Achilles tendon, then you should seek immediate medical advice, as they will be able to diagnose the issue for certain, and help you to fully recover.
A sprained ankle happens when you twist or turn your foot passed its normal movement. This will cause damage to one, or more, of the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint. Despite often being very painful, most sprained ankles will heal well. The severity of the sprain ranges from grade 1 to grade 3. Grade 1 being a mild sprain, resulting in mild swelling or bruising. Whereas a grade 3 sprain is much more severe, and is often as a result of tearing an ankle ligament. The swelling can be very bad and you will struggle to put any weight on the foot at all.
A broken bone can range from a small fracture to a more severe break which could result in a wound (an open fracture). I’m sure that if you’re unfortunate to suffer an open fracture, you’d probably feel the intense pain, and running wouldn’t be the first thought on your mind… But some breaks can be more subtle and may only result in some difficulty walking or bearing any weight on the foot. If you at all suspect that you may have suffered a broken foot, please seek emergency medical attention before causing any further damage to your foot/ankle.
There are many other reasons why you may be suffering with ankle pain, so please do not try to self-diagnose the issue. If you are suffering with any persistent or severe ankle pain, speak to a medical professional.
Exercises for ankle pain
If you’re suffering from a more severe injury which has resulted in in ankle pain, such as a broken foot or Achilles tendon rupture, then unfortunately you’re going to be side lined from running for some time. However, if you’re cause is milder, or caused by poor choice of footwear, there are things you can do to help. These range from specific exercises designed to strength the ankle muscles and tendons, or wearing the correct footwear that supports your needs whilst placing weight on your feet. Firstly, let’s look at some of the exercise you can perform at home to prevent further ankle pain, or even reduce the pain that you’re suffering with.
Achilles stretch– A lot of ankle issues stem from the Achilles tendon as it can strain easily. The Achilles stretch exercise can help to keep the tendon strong, resulting in less frequent ankle injuries.
To perform this exercise, you will need to start by facing a wall, with your arms raised above your head and palms flat against the wall.
Then place one foot back whilst keeping the knee straight, then bend your other knee, whilst making sure to keep both heels flat on the floor.
If you then push your hips forward you should feel the Achilles tendon and calf muscles stretching. Hold this stretch for 30 to seconds, or less if it starts to hurt, and then do the same on the other leg. Repeat this 3 to 5 times on each side, and do this daily to keep up the strength.
Ankle bend– Another really good exercise for building strength in your ankles, helping to keep them protected from future injuries is the ankle bend. Start off by lying or sitting down with your legs stretched out in front. With your toes pointed straight, bend your ankles to point the toes forward, and hold this pose for 3 seconds, then bend the ankles back and relax. Repeat this 10 times for both ankles daily.
If you are after more ankle exercises, then check out this great YouTube video:
Best running shoes for ankle pain
Wearing the right running shoes whilst out on your runs can really help to keep your ankles supported and reduce any pain from injuries.
It is important to know that the running shoes alone will likely not cure any ankle pain, and that the right shoes should be combined with proper treatment.
With that said, let’s look at our best running shoes for ankle pain and support!
ASICS Gel Venture 6
They are one of the best pairs of running shoes for ankle pain and support. They have a durable outer sole and superior levels of cushioning and support which will reduce the pressure felt on the tendons.
ASICS Gel Kayano 24
The second ASICS pair to make our list is another fantastic pair of running shoes. The ASICS Gel Kayano 24 are a very popular pair of running shoes, and the way they are designed makes them a great pair if you’re after some extra ankle support.
The gel technology built in to the shoes helps to absorb a lot of the impact force, which can reduce the pressure on the tendons in your ankle.
Brooks Glycerin 15
The Brooks Glycerin 15 running shoes have been recommended a number of times on our website, most recently for those who suffer with bad knees.
What makes them good for those with bad knees also makes them good for those looking for help with their ankle pain. That is that they are well cushioned and supportive, spreading the impact force across the whole area of your feet, reducing pressure in certain areas.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 13
Mizuno have created a great pair of stability running shoes in the Wave Inspire 13, and that’s why they are the last pair to make our list of the best running shoes for ankle pain and support.
They have used their fantastic Wave technology which helps to discourage inward rolling, which will help to neutralise your feet. The inbuilt cushioning within the shoes helps to absorb any impact forces and reduces the pain felt on the ankles.
That rounds off our post on the best running shoes for ankle support and pain. We hope that if you are suffering with ankle pain, that you found the list of running shoes useful.
If you’re after more running shoes that are great for supporting your feet, check out our best stability running shoes!
Remember, that if you are suffering with severe ankle pain to contact a medical professional to ensure the correct diagnosis and support is provided.