Although the appropriate aerobic shoe may help reduce the symptoms of particular ankle conditions, it’s rare that any aerobic shoe alone will correct weak ankles. In many cases, the aerobic shoe is only a part of an overall injury prevention strategy. You should consult a physical therapist or doctor for a strengthening plan that also includes rehabilitation exercises, orthotic inserts or arch supports and other treatments.
Keep reading to discover what's essential in the best aerobic shoe for weak ankles.
Source of Weakness
The best aerobic shoe for weak ankles depends primarily on what kind of ankle problem you have.
According to an paper in the January 2017 World Journal of Orthopedics, the three most common causes of ankle weakness that may be addressed with shoes are:
- Unstable ankles (prone to sprains)
- Ankles with arthritis (rheumatoid or osteoarthritis)
- Weak ankles from an over-pronated foot (flat feet)
The best aerobic shoe for each of these problems is designed differently to address the underlying issues causing ankle weakness.
The Best Aerobic Shoes for Unstable Ankles
If you're ankles are prone to sprains, you may have a problem called chronic lateral ankle instability. Regardless if it’s because of a previous injury or if the ankles are merely more prone to twist or give way than they should be — the best aerobic shoe will protect the foot, provide balance and keep the ankles stable.
According to a study in the October 2016 Avicenna Journal of Medicine, ankle sprain is one of the most common of recurrent injuries —and often results in weaker, more unstable ankles.
When searching for the best aerobic shoes for an unstable ankle, the shoe should be stable on the lateral side, or outward facing side. If the shoe is very firm laterally, then it’s less likely to allow the foot to roll and makes sprains less likely. The aerobic shoe should also be heavily cushioned on the inside to provide additional support.
The Best Aerobic Shoes for Ankle Arthritis
If the reason the ankles are weak is arthritis, make sure to get a doctor’s approval before exercising on them. An article in the March 2011 Current Opinion in Rheumatology, makes a strong case for improving ankle arthritis by using appropriately designed footwear rather than surgical solutions.
For someone who’s going to do aerobics, however, the role of an exercise shoe should be to minimize force transmission through the ankles by supplying heavy cushioning when the foot strikes the ground, and that limits ankle motion using a rocker sole. Also, make sure that the front of the shoe doesn’t bend easily when you push on the toe area.
The Best Aerobic Shoes for Ankle Pain Due to Flat Feet
If the feet have very low arches or are flat, it causes a natural inward roll of the ankle that puts a lot of stress on the ankles. For flat feet, the best aerobic shoe should help limit this excessive pronation.
If ankle weakness is from having an over-pronated — or outward turning — foot, it might also be necessary to use arch supports inside the shoes. Individuals with flat or low arches may have wider than average feet, which is an important consideration when choosing the best shoe for comfort and avoiding injury.
If the problem is severely flat feet, it may even be necessary to get custom orthotics to adequately address ankle weakness and safely do aerobic exercises.