Best Ankle Brace for Running
Many people have sprained their ankles at one point in their lives. After a sprain it can leave you with weak ankle joints that can be at high risk for a reoccurring injury for runners, especially those that enjoy trail running.
Trail running does present more obstacles then just running on a treadmill or the sidewalk. On top of running on uneven ground, you also constantly have to avoid rocks and sticks by quickly adjusting your running path. Any quick movement and misplaced step can easily result in an ankle injury.
There is a concept called the kinetic chain within the body. The movement of one joint of the body creates a kinetic 'chain of events' that impacts how all the joints above and below it move.
As your ankles and feet are the first joints that connect to the ground when running they impact the movement of all the other joints within the body.
So when experiencing an injury or misalignment in your ankle, this can cause an incorrect movement that will then begin to cause other injuries such as in your knees, hips, and lower back.
This is why it is very important to maintain to correct amount of support around your ankles as they are the shock absorber for the whole body.
Most Common Injuries for Runners
The most common sprain is a lateral sprain. This is caused by an inward roll (inversion) of the ankle that damages one of the three ligaments located on the lateral/outside of your ankle. The opposite of a lateral ankle sprain is a medial ankle sprain. This is an outward roll (eversion) of the ankle that damages the deltoid ligament on the medial/inward side of your ankle. When these types of injuries occur, the overstretching of the ligament causes swelling, pain and loss of motion.
Overuse injuries also occur and are caused from repeated micro trauma to ligaments, tendons, muscles and bones. These types of injuries are presented in the above mentioned injuries: Achilles tendon rupture or tendonitis, stress fractures, and muscle sprains.
What Type of Brace is Best for Running?
If you are looking for an ankle brace to wear while running firstly you're going to want something that fits comfortably with your running shoes.
The brace should not restrict the natural movement of your ankle while running, just support it from moving outside of the normal range of motion.
So unless you have sustained a specific injury, you'll want to get a mild-to-moderate support ankle brace that is light weight and has a low profile.
Here are our 5 Top Recommended Ankle Braces for Running:
1. Push Med Ankle Brace
This is a great brace if you are looking for the type of support that will help prevent overuse injuries. Joint compressing occurs through multiple adjustable straps that help prevent ankle inversion and eversion. The brace will give no inhibition during normal walking and running and is comfortable to wear over the top of your sock.
2. Zensah Ankle Support
The Zensah ankle support is very light weight, comfortable and great for running. It provides targeted compression in a horseshoe design without restricting motion. It is made out of moisture wicking material which is designed to pull moisture away from the skin and more it to the exterior of the fabric. This results in more evaporation and a dryer ankle brace. This is a great brace for runners that are looking for mild support while running.
3. Aircast AirHeel Ankle Support Brace
This a light weight brace that is best for someone suffering from Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendonitis and looking for a great brace to run in. It has breathable material that makes the brace very comfortable to wear, allowing you to run without restriction. It is easy to wear; all you have to do is slip it on like a sock and then adjust the Velcro straps to your own comfort and support. It is also universal so it can be worn on the left or right foot.
4. Shock Doctor Ultra Gel Lace Ankle Support
The Shock Doctor ankle brace is great for providing support and stability to major ligament sprains, muscle strains, and unstable joints. It provides moderate support for your ankle while running and will help prevent reoccurring injuries. It provides both lateral and medial support to prevent eversion and inversion ankle injuries. The soft inside and extensive padding on the sides and back creates a very comfortable fit while running.
Aso Ankle Stabilizer
This Aso ankle brace is a high performance lace-up ankle brace. The main uses for this brace will be to prevent and to support previous ligament injuries and stabilize the ankle. It contains lace-up support as well as straps that form in a figure 8 to help secure and support the laces. It has a low profile making ti a great option for runners because it fits comfortably in any shoe.