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, especially for runners that enjoy trail running. Trail running does present more obstacles then just running on a treadmill or concrete. 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.

Your ankles are the most important joint in your body. There is something called the kinetic chain which occurs in the body. The kinetic chain can be defined as the connection between your muscles, bones and joints throughout your body. Your muscles and bones work together to produce a movement, and the way one joint moves will affect another. So when experiencing an injury or malalignment in your ankle, this can cause an irregular movement that will then affect other joints like your knees and hips. This is why it is very important to maintain to correct amount of support around your ankles.

What type of brace is best for running?

If you are looking for an ankle brace to wear while running you are going to want something that fits comfortably in shoe. The brace should not restrict the natural movement of your ankle while running. Unless you have sustained a specific injury, you want a mild-to-moderate support ankle brace. One that is light weight and has a low profile will work best.

Who should wear an ankle brace?

There are a few situations in which someone would benefit from wearing an ankle brace while running. If you have weak ankles and suffer from ankle sprains often, an ankle brace can help. By applying mild pressure and compressing your ankle joints, it stabilizes the ankle and helps prevent you from further injury.

A push brace is a different type of brace that provides adjustable pressure to help stabilize the ankle. They have been found to help protect runners from ankle injuries associates with overuse. Common overuse injuries are Achilles tendon rupture or tendonitis, stress fractures, and muscle sprains.

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.

Here are the 4 best ankle braces for running:

Name

Type

Rating

Price

Push Med Ankle Brace

Strap Brace

$$$

Zensah Ankle Support

Sleeve

$

Aircast Ankle Support

Strap Brace

$$

Shock Doctor Ankle Brace

Lace-up Brace

$$

Aso Ankle Stabilizer

Lace-up & Strap

$$

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 overtop of a 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 Platar 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 injuroes. 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.Click to replace anchor text

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. 

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