Best Ankle Brace
Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries from everyday activities through to elite sports… and they suck. The cause of an ankle injury can be anywhere from acute to chronic in nature.
Acute injuries include torn or sprained ligaments and broken bones. Chronic injuries are those that have built up over time from repeated misuse and damage/micro tears. Ankle braces have been tailored for many different types of injuries in order to create the best support for effected area. Some people may also just have weak or lax ankles and need to regularly use a brace that is going to protect them from injury.
Common ankle injuries include: ligament sprains, torn ligaments, bone fractures, Achilles Tendonitis, torn Achilles, Plantar Fasciitis, flat feet and many more.
How does an ankle brace help?
An ankle brace or support will help provide physical restraint and reinforce the supporting action of the ankle ligament that may have been injured. These braces also provide a level of proprioception which is the bodies’ awareness of where your limbs/joints are in space without having to look at them. Through feedback from the sensory nerves the increased proprioception helps the ankle to perform smooth, balanced and safe movements.
There are a range of injuries that these types of braces can help with such as sprains, fractures and tendonitis. These ankle braces can be grouped based on the level of support they will give you.
- Low level ankle braces include soft ankle supports that are made from Neoprene and elastic and should be used for minor ankle pain, or for sports first aid after an injury to apply compression to the ankle.
- Medium level ankle braces are the lace up and wraparound ankle supports that have stabilizing stays. These medium level braces can be used for mild to moderate ankle ligament injuries or sprains.
- High level ankle braces contain rigid splints and stays and should be used for moderate to high level ankle injuries.
Ankle supports create support and compression to help alleviate pain and speed up recovery. The tight fit is designed to help prevent recurrent sprained ankle injuries that are very common in the average to elite athlete. These braces will help speed up recovery and help prevent injury once returning to sport.
Next we'll look at some of the specific types of ankle support available for each type of ankle and foot related issue.
The Achilles strap is a type of ankle brace that should be used in high impact sports that put a lot of pressure on your achilles tendon. Sports like running and squash that require repeated movements through the ‘push-off’ phase can cause severe pain and the possibility to tear that Achilles Tendon. An Achilles strap gives support and relief to the Achilles Tendon through pressure that creates a slight heel lift. This slight heel lift reduces stress to the tendon.
Plantar Fasciitis Supports
Plantar Fasciitis is the most common form of heel and foot sole pain. The most common symptoms are pain in the heel and sole of the foot, particularly in the morning. It is caused by inflamation from excessive straining of the plantar fascia which is a band of connective tissue that supports the arch of your foot by connecting the heel to the toes.
There are a few different types of support for Plantar Fasciitis, night socks and splints that stretch the plantar fascia in the sole of the foot for a prolonged period of time, as well as arch support for daily use.
Flat Foot Supports
Flat feet is a deformity in which the arches of the foot collapse and cause the entire sole of the foot to come in contact with the ground. The elasticity of an intact arch provides the mechanics to absorb and dissipate the forces of ground impact when walking and running. Flat foot supports provide support and compression to the arch of the foot to relieve the pain caused by fallen arches.
Here are our Top Recommended Ankle Braces:
Lace-up with straps
1. 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 is a performance level 3 brace which means it is best for moderate 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 playing sports. The antimicrobial technology will reduce odor and bacteria. The brace also includes a silicon gripping foot bed to prevent the brace from moving around in your shoe.
2. McDavid Light Weight Ankle Brace
McDavid is a popular sports equipment company that has a goal of creating high end equipment to help prevent injuries and enhance performance. This lace-up brace is categorized as a level three protection brace and is a great ankle support for athletes looking to prevent injuries to the ankle or help get you back into sport after an injury. Ankles sprains are the most common injury this brace can be used for including inversion, eversion, and high ankle sprains. The lace-up aspect of the brace allows you to tighten to your desired fit and the brace includes an anatomical arch for extra support. Other features include padded lining and great ventilation system to keep you comfortable.
3. ASO Ankle Stabilizing Orthosis
This brace is very popular with trainers, coaches and physical therapists. It will provide the support and compression to your ankle to help prevent any type of ligament damage or provide strength to weak/lax ankles. This light weight brace is slim making it easy to comfortably fit it inside your shoe. It also has the strength and durability to protect your ankle. With extra straps around the outside of the brace it will give you the feeling of having a tighter and more protective brace allowing you to focus on your play. The ASO ankle brace is easy to put on with a very comfortable fit.
4. FlexaMed Arch Bandage
The FlexaMed Arch Bandage is aimed to help those who are suffering from flat feet and have pain with walking and standing. It is also recommended for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. This inexpensive item has a strong elastic that is very comfortable to wear and can be worn easily inside your sock and shoe. The elastic bandage gently compresses the midfoot to provide support and stability to the arch to reduce the pain associated with this injury.
Feel the immediate improvement in walking and standing after wearing these supports for one day. Your pains, aches, and swelling will be reduced and you’ll be back to normal before you know it. They can also be used throughout night in bed to help maintain the arch.
5. CEP RxOrtho+ Achilles Brace
This brace is great for both the prevention and treatment of injury or discomfort caused by the Achilles Tendon. It is to be used during activity to prevent pain and inflammation and would not be great for someone just looking for a night brace.
The soft edges and instep make this brace very comfortable to wear along with the high elasticity. The gel back that surrounds the Achilles Tendon supporting it and is comfortable enough for any long distance runners. This brace is great for those who have had a previous injury and are looking to get back into running etc. without having the post-workout swelling and inflammation.