When you are into some sports, running or even walking you may be susceptible to injuries. Ankle braces are a sort of garments for ankle which are tied around the ankle to offer complete protection to ankle and allow immobilization (in case of injury) during the healing period.
Ankle braces allows you to move your ankle smoothly while maintaining desirable compression and temperatures to your foot. Good quality ankle braces are made of tough materials like neoprene and nylon. Both materials regulate the mobility of joints and conforms the shape of foot. Metal cases can also be used with ankle braces while dealing with foot injuries.
You can wear ankle braces while playing soccer, basketball, football, rugby or volleyball as these activities induce stress to ankle and wearing a protective gear can always help in preventing injuries. Ankle braces are great in dealing with sprains, ankle trauma, postoperative sinusitis or even foot inflammations.
There are a lot of brands available in the market which offer great ankle braces and makes the process of picking up one quite overwhelming. But there are few things one must consider while buying a good ankle brace for their feet.
Find an ankle brace which fits properly to your feet in order to obtain right amount of support and compression. Buy an ankle brace which has laces and straps as they allow you to make adjustments as per your comfort. Consider buying thinner braces as they provide more comfort to feet.
In case you have mild sprain then buy fairly restrictive brace for your feet. Braces with effective moisture wicking technology are great as they provide more comfort. Lightweight fabric ankle braces allows heat to escape and moisture as well.
Go for a multipurpose ankle brace with different types of straps to get complete structural support to your feet.
What are the things to look for while buying an Ankle Brace for you?
Find the right brace for your purpose
Everyone has their reasons for using ankle braces. Some use them for extra stability, while some for confidence for sore ankle and some use it for preventing injuries. Some use it for recovering from past injuries. There are different ankle braces tailored for different needs and different sports. Get a professional guidance and find the perfect one for your need.
Fit and Comfort
If the fit of ankle brace is too loose it won’t give you the desired stability and protection you want and if it is too tight it can make you uncomfortable on your feet. It can also restrict the blood flow. So make sure you buy the correct size for proper fit and comfort. Refer a size chart to help yourself to find the correct shoe size. If you have narrow or wide ankles you might need to switch sizes for proper fit.
Some cheap ankle braces often loose elasticity quickly and hence won’t provide the same level of protection with time. Make sure you buy good quality products so that they are durable and remain firm to support your ankles.
Types of Ankle Braces
There are mainly three types of ankle braces which are stirrup, lace up and ones post injury.
It allows ankle movement in up and down manner and also provides protection to ankle from rolling in an out. Stirrup braces have two plastic inserts on either side for inhibiting inversion and aversion.
These are mildly rigid and made of nylon-vinyl material and can be tightened up to any extent depending on the level of compression you want for your feet. As they are mildly rigid they offer more flexibility and can also be used as prophylactic.
Post injury braces
These braces are meant to be rigid as they provide support to injured leg. They are filled with air or gel. They have two plastic panels on both sides of leg and a hinge which allows adjusting the brace for flexibility.
Listed below are some of the best ankle braces available in the market suitable for different sports and physical activities. Choose one which is suitable for your requirements.
Best Ankle Braces for Basketball
If you are a basketball player then you must know the horrible pain of an ankle sprain. 40% injuries related to basketball are ankle sprains. You can prevent ankle sprains by strengthening ankles with exercises but there is a little you can do when your ankle gets twisted while playing or when you land up someone else’s foot. In such cases the only way to prevent injury is wearing an ankle brace which absorbs the impact of landing and make sure that your ankle does not twist or roll.
Listed below are some of the best ankle braces for basketball as per your needs ranging from cheap to high performance ankle braces.
Mc David 511 Ankle Sleeve
This is a simple ankle sleeve which is quite comfortable to wear. But this offers less protection. This one is good for a daily practice session when there is not much exertion on feet. It offers best support and relief from pain to ones with minor injuries or suffering from arthritis or tendonitis. It provides primary protection and perfect for those with neoprene allergies it is breathable non- neoprene knitted and has elastic construction. It fits either left or right feet.
Contents: 10 % nylon, 25% rubber and 65% polyester.
ASO Ankle Stabilizer
This is one of the best options for those with low ankle sprains moreover it is a very good and an affordable option. ASO ankle stabilizer is a choice of numerous athletes and sports person. It is one of the most recommended ankle support and also one of the leading braces available in the market because of its unique combo of support, durability and comfort.
This ankle brace has stabilizing straps that forms complete figure eight to support ankle and protect it. It has ballistic nylon boot which gives superior strength and durability. Elastic cuffs are provided to keep straps and laces secure and enhance the overall feet support.
It easily fits to any type of shoe and either leg as well. These are US manufactured ankle braces by medical specialties and have higher quality control standards. The durable cool flex material used lines inside back of boot which provides exceptional fit and increased comfort.
The shoe lace is attached with a contoured tongue which keeps the lace centered. There are finger loops at the end of straps that gives optimum support.
Mc David 195 Ankle Brace
A major university states that 3x fewer injuries are there when sport person wears the 195 ankle brace as it gives level 3 protections that is maximum protection against injuries. These ankle braces are constructed of single layer polyester fabric with minimal weight and gives full support. It has a athletic tape with figure 6 strapping pattern and has compression comfort straps for more comfort fit. The straps are fully adjustable and have ventilated tongue which breathes with you. The best part about 195 is that it has padded lining and reinforced closures. It perfectly fits left and right ankle and straps can be tightened anytime without re-lacing.
Mc David 199
Mc David 199 is one of the top selling laced ankle braces. It is favorite of trainers, coaches and athletes especially basketball players. This lightweight ankle brace breathes for cooler comfort. It has spring steel medical grade which stays for reliable and solid support. This ankle brace is built of highly breathable two layer polyester mesh. The reduced weight of this brace allows improved mobility of leg. These braces allow enhanced performance and prevent common support injuries. It has ventilated sewn and tongue for added comfort and support. Two layers of nylon/vinyl mesh fabric, padded hydraVenthDc moisture management lining, elastic heel and arch support is what makes this ankle brace a perfect one for all athletes. It fits easily to any shoe style. Each level of 199 provides soft tissue support and promotes healing through therapeutic heat. It not just gives general protection but also great for use in minor pain, instability and sprains.
Zamst is a dual molded exterior support structures which gives enhanced lateral stability. It provides anatomically correct fit for both ankles. It has C-strap stabilizer which provides three way supports that is anterior, medial and lateral. The unique grip tech prevents slipping during sports activities. It has open panel design with adjustable fasteners which offers variable compression levels and individualized fit.
Stephen Curry the famous American Basketball player and a part of NBA uses this ankle brace and here is his review about the product.
He says that he is a guy who makes a lot of cuts and Zamst brace is the one which holds up regardless of what happens. He says it is the most comfortable support he has ever worn and it gives him a good feeling to have it when he is on court. He wears this ankle brace in every game he plays.
These are some features which makes Zamst unique:
This provides enhanced support for ankle sprains especially when it comes to high ankle sprains. The lateral and medial guard helps in preventing ankle from twisting in and out. The added upper strap prevents high sprains by securing the ankle in place.
X Strap Stabilizer
This cross strap provides figure 8 taping and is designed in such a way that it prevents ankle from rolling anterior ally, laterally and medially. The plantar strap and cross straps are made of anti-migration material and prevent foot from slipping and also provides stabilization strength.
This product is designed with rear entry system which gives you individualized fit. It has two fasteners in rear which allows an individual to loosen and tighten up as per their preferences. I-Fit can be enhanced through two additional buffers provided with product. These buffers are placed around high ankle, inner or outer ankle bines to enhance the support.
This product has it all and trusted by top basketball players like Stephen Curry. If you are also an enthusiastic basketball player go for this ankle brace and play freely without worrying about ankle injuries.
Best Ankle Braces for Volleyball
If you are volleyball lover then listed below are some of the best ankle braces for you which are apt for your needs.
Yosso Ankle Brace
Yosso ankle braces are adjustable and provide a compression ankle support stabilizer which is constructed with neoprene. The neoprene material makes it elastic, durable and breathable. Neoprene is latex free and has great moisture wicking capabilities. This ankle brace is used for fast eight shifting activities to ensure maximum protection for ankle and feet. This ankle brace is 11 inches and fits either foot easily. Its universal size fits both gender and it has a wide stack which provides enough support and tightness. It has an open heel design which offers great motion while playing or running. Its wrapping system is quite effective as it accelerates the recovery process of ankle in=jury during sports like volleyball.
Pros: it is easy to take off, wraps around well, has a universal fit and is easily washable.
Cons: for some people the 11 inches size is too big and doesn’t offer them great support.
Cramer Ankle Excel Lace-up Ankle Brace
It has well tested figure eight strapping system and provides perfect fit for ankle. The straps provided along with the braces come in various sizes for both genders and are very rigid.
These braces easily fit into the shoes and provide the necessary support and flex while playing or even walking. It perfectly suits individual who are in recovery phase or in need of motion.
Pros: comes in different sizes, offers necessary motion and are great for stabilization and recovery. Also has a durable construction.
Cons: the lacing feature is quite time consuming for some people and is too tight for people with wide feet.
Brace Ability Youth/Child Ankle Brace
Brace Ability is a perfect ankle brace support for young people and children as well. It offers lightweight support and protection. If you are worried about the ankle injury of your child then this use this ankle brace as it heals the ankle quickly and hence allow kids to play volleyball much earlier.
Brace Ability has a braced up design which makes it easier for kids to wear it. The bracing is mad easier with a thumb loop. It also has figure eight technology which ensure that the strap stays in place while the child is playing or running.
It has Velcro closures which are used to secure straps and the brace is made up of durable ballistic nylon which provides protection to both sides of feet. It comes with a mesh tongue and the absence of seam promotes its breath ability and makes it more comfortable.
Pros: light weighted, comfortable, suitable for kids, durable and breathable
Cons: there can be size issue for kids below the age of 10.
Kunto Fitness Ankle Brace
Kunto Ankle brace is a compression support sleeve which is specially designed for athletes. It helps in alleviating joint pain at ankles, promotes faster recovery and also takes good care of the tendon conditions. Kunto braces offer support during sport activities like volleyball as it is very comfortable braced which provides a safe and smooth movement range. It is made of breathable fabric and offers great stability for all sport activities. This ankle brace also eliminates any sort of discomfort associated by itching.
Pros: it is easy to wear, breathable, flexible, and compact and easily alleviates ankle pain
Cons: not great for thin people and is bit expensive too.
Bio Skin Trilok Ankle Brace
Trilok Ankle Braces are more preferred by athletes as it helps in treating chronic conditions like tendon tears, ankle sprains, PTTD and plantar fasciitis. It not only offers stability to foot but also gives you the lightweight comfort that too without laces. It is designed with straps which provide lateral unloading and arch support. The best part about this ankle brace is that the whole garment pulls on like a socks and you don’t need to be worried about laces. The construction is comfortable and durable and is made of hypoallergenic material. It is a low profile brace and quite popular amongst professionals because of its thin design and comfort.
Pros: it treat multiple ailments related to ankle, alleviates weight on ankle and offers great support. Simple to wear and gives maximum performance.
Cons: with time it may tend to loosen up or stretch. Moreover the size provided online is also poor.