Best Ankle Brace for Sprain, Support, Tendonitis and Different Sports 2021

This is a review of the best ankle brace.

We are Dr. Sheeraz and Tse Bun, a licensed Physiotherapist, and an ex-professional badminton player plus a badminton instructor. In our professional lives, we have built up valuable experience in helping people to protect themselves against injuries with ankle braces. 

We believe that Aircast A60 Ankle Brace is the best product to protect you against ankle sprain. It comes with stabilizers on both sides which can prevent side-to-side ankle rolling effectively.

For sure, there are several options which can provide excellent support for different sports and purposes, We will take a much deeper look at them below.

Sounds good? Keep reading!

Quick Summary

Who Should be Wearing an Ankle Brace? 

You would be benefited from this article if you or your beloved one:

  • Have a weak ankle
  • Have injured your ankle before
  • Want to prevent ankle injury

What are the Benefits of Wearing an Ankle Brace? 

There are several types of ankle braces, and the benefits of wearing an ankle brace depend on the type of that ankle brace. Below are the most common benefits of commonly used ankle braces:

  • To provide compression to the foot help to push back the venous blood. This helps in reducing the swelling around your foot and keeps your ankle warm.
  • To provide support to your ankle joint, and this aided support helps minimize the risks of an ankle injury.
  • To restrict motion in particular directions and help to avoid over-stressing your weak ligaments.
  • To immobilize your ankle joint helps in healing injured structures in your ankle.
  • To provide pain relief to some extent.

Best Ankle Brace – Our Recommendations

Best Ankle Brace for Sprain: Aircast A60 Ankle Brace

Ankle sprains occur most commonly when you twist your foot excessively in an outward or inward direction. This brace is designed to support the sprained ankle while allowing the motion of your ankle.

This brace not only helps to treat ankle sprains but can also be worn to prevent ankle sprains. 

A stabilizer is located at each side that helps prevent the rolling of your ankle to the sides. A single strap makes it easy for you to wear this brace. 

Best Ankle Brace for Support – Aircast Airsport Ankle Brace

If you are looking for the best ankle brace for support that not only provides support to your ankle but also helps to prevent ankle injuries, you should go for this brace.

This brace can help prevent ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and other ankle and foot problems.

One of the important features of this brace is the semi-rigid encased shell within the brace that provides stability and support to your ankle. 

A strap present on the front side provides compression and additional support to your ankle.  

Best Ankle Brace for Tendonitis – The Coldest Foot Ankle Achilles Pain Relief Ice Wrap

Achilles tendonitis is a common problem seen in sports that require running and sprinting. It occurs due to repetitive contraction of your calf muscles.

Tendonitis treatment requires rest, icing, and support. All of this is provided by DonJoy DuraSoft Cold Therapy Foot and Ankle Wrap, and this is the best match you can get for your tendonitis.

Best Ankle Brace for Badminton: POWERLIX Ankle Brace Compression Support Sleeve

Ankle sprains are the most commonly encountered injuries in badminton players, together with Achilles Tendonitis. This brace provides excellent support to the ankle during athletic activities.

It does not restrict any motion at your ankle and can boost your performance while performing adequate support to your ankle.

It also applies compression to the ankle area that prevents swelling and helps in pain relief. 

The fabric of this brace is designed so that it does not compromise blood flow to your ankle, and it also absorbs your sweat while keeping your feet dry.

The only downside of this brace is the fabric is a bit too thick which means you may need to wear a slightly bigger shoe.

You may want to consider making use of a knee support to protect yourself again jumper’s knee, which is another common injuries of badminton.

Best Ankle Brace for Volleyball – Ultra Zoom Ankle Brace

Volleyball requires repetitive jumping and landing activities, and this can cause several problems in your ankle, such as Ankle Sprain or Achilles Tendonitis. 

Ultra Zoom Ankle Brace provides adequate support to your ankle that helps to prevent such injuries. This brace is very much secure compared to other braces, and this is the best brace you can get for Volleyball. 

Best Ankle Brace for Tennis – DonJoy Stabilizing Pro Ankle Support Brace

Lateral ankle sprains are the commonest injuries seen in tennis players due to sudden changes in foot direction during playing tennis. 

DonJoy Stabilizing Pro Ankle Support Brace provides lateral stability and medial stability to the ankle and prevents ankle sprains. It is easy to wear inside the tennis shoes and offers adequate compression to your ankle.

Best Ankle Brace for Basketball – Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer

Ankle sprains, Achilles Tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis are the most commonly encountered injuries in Basketball, together with some fractures (Jone’s Fracture). 

As playing basketball requires repetitive jumping and landing movements, you need strong ankle support to prevent ankle injuries. Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer provides the best ankle support in basketball players. 

Its straps cover the whole ankle and provide a good amount of stability needed by your ankle and keep your ankle secure.

Best Ankle Brace for Running – Actesso Ankle Support Sleeve

Running requires repetitive and fast movements of your ankle joints, and your ankles are under continuous stress during running. This can result in Achilles Tendonitis.

Actesso Ankle Support Sleeve provides support to your ankle during running and hence prevents this problem. This brace also provides compression to your ankle area and thus helps in minimizing swelling and pain relief.

Best Ankle Brace for Soccer – Mueller Sports Medicine ATF3 Ankle Brace

Ankle sprains are the most common injuries seen in soccer players, and they result due to excessive rolling of your ankles to the sides. This brace comes in a lace-up design and provides lateral support to your ankles that prevent your ankle from rolling outwards.

Best Ankle Brace for Football – McDavid Classic Lightweight Ankle Brace

Ankle injuries such as Ankle Sprain or Achilles Tendonitis are very familiar among football players due to repetitive tackling movements, running, and twisting of the foot in several directions. The U-shaped flexible steel provides adequate stability to your ankle and foot that helps in injury prevention. 

Best Ankle Brace for Hiking – Ultra Ankle High-5 Ankle Brace

Hiking is challenging, and your ankle faces unexpected forces from all sides, and that’s why ankle support is a must for preventing your ankle from injuries. 

Ultra Ankle High 5 holds your ankle firmly and provides the support you need while letting you move your ankle freely. 

Best Ankle Brace for Skateboarding – Aircast AirHeel Ankle Support Brace

Ankle sprains and ankle fractures are commonly encountered injuries in skateboarding due to the explosive nature of this sport. 

Keeping your ankle stable is the key to preventing these injuries. Aircast AirHeel Ankle Support Brace keeps your ankle stable and helps to withstand the forces generated from high impact. 

How to Pick a Suitable Ankle Support Brace? 

These traits are important to prioritize when picking out the best ankle brace. 

Types of Ankle Brace 

Let’s take a look at different types of ankle brace so we can pick the most suitable one

Compression Ankle Brace or Sleeves

This is the simplest ankle brace, and it is commonly made up of neoprene or some elastic material. As the name indicates, the primary purpose of this type of ankle brace is to provide compression to the ankle area.

This helps in minimizing the swelling. This brace does not restrict any ankle motion, wearing this, you can move your ankle freely for daily activities.  

One can easily wear this brace, and it has a universal fit for either right or left ankle. This brace is most commonly used for mild ankle sprains.

Semi-rigid Ankle Brace

A semi-rigid brace is more rigid than a compression brace and it can provide more support to your ankle. 

These braces are most commonly used for mild to moderate ankle sprains, The two most common sub-types of the semi-rigid brace are Lace-up and Hinged ankle braces.

Lace-up Ankle Brace

The Lace-up braces are designed to limit both the side-to-side and upward-downward ankle motions.

Some lace-up braces give you an option to insert plastic or metal components that provides added support to the ankle.

Hinged Ankle Brace

A hinged brace is a sub-type of the semi-rigid brace, is designed to limit only the side-to-side motions of your ankle, comparing with the Lace-Up brace, a hinged brace gives your ankle more freedom of movement.

They also have padded support for comfort purpose and are easy to wear with the help of velcro straps.

Rigid Ankle Brace

The Rigid brace is made of hard material that extends to both sides of your ankle, it is the most rigid (as the name indicates) and widely used in sports.

This brace is most commonly used for moderate to severe ankle sprains, stress fractures of small ankle bones, and chronic repetitive ankle sprains.

Compared with other types of braces, the rigid brace provides maximum support, protection, and least mobility.

Level of Support and Mobility

Picking up an ankle brace is easy if you are well aware of the purpose of wearing an ankle brace. Every one of us has different needs and activity levels, and that’s why an ankle brace that is suitable for one person may not be perfect for another person.

There are few essential points that you should be sure about while picking up an ankle brace.

  • The amount of compression you need for minimizing your swelling.
  • The mobility and support level you need for your ankle joint
  • The direction in which you need to restrict your ankle’s motion.
  • The need for immobilizing your ankle.

Let’s make it easy for you.

  • Do you need a brace for a mild ankle sprain that helps to minimize the swelling free while keeping your ankle mobile? You can go for a compression brace or sleeves.
  • Do you need a brace that not only provides support to your ankle but also limits joint motion in side-to-side direction as well as upward and downward direction? You can pick up the lace-up brace.
  • Have you recently suffered from a lateral ankle sprain and need a brace that prevents your ankle from rolling to the side? A hinged brace is an option you should choose.
  • Suppose you had a devastating injury that has torn your ligament/ligaments or ankle bones to the extent that they need to be immobilized for a certain period to assist in the healing process (fracture). In that case, a rigid brace should be used.

Best Ankle Brace – FAQs

What is the difference between an ankle brace and ankle support?

Both ankle brace and ankle support are used synonymously with each other, but there is one simple difference between these two terminologies.

Ankle support is an external aid meant to prevent an ankle injury, while the primary purpose of an ankle brace is to treat an injury.

Ankle brace and ankle support can be made with the same material but with different construction.

Does wearing an ankle brace weaken the ankles?

If you are wearing a compression brace and performing your activities normally, there’s no risk of your ankles getting weak.

If you wear a brace for supportive purposes and perform ankle exercises regularly, the chances of your ankles getting weak are significantly less.

The risk of weakness is present when you are wearing a rigid brace that completely immobilizes your ankle. When your muscles are not working properly, they can get weak.

Should I wear an ankle brace all day?

The time for which you need to wear an ankle brace also depends upon the purpose for which you are wearing an ankle brace.

If you are wearing a compression ankle brace to keep your ankle warm and minimize the swelling following an ankle sprain, you must wear this brace all day.

If you are using an ankle brace to prevent an injury during sports, you should wear it only when playing. You can remove the brace for the rest of the day. Similarly, a brace used for support purposes should only be worn during ambulation. 

If the goal of your brace is to prevent the ankle from moving (to allow the ligament or fractured bone to heal), you must wear it all day, especially during ambulation. 

Should I wear an ankle brace over or under socks?

A compression brace or sleeve should be worn under the sock to keep your ankle warm and provide firm compression, while the semi-rigid and rigid brace can only be worn over the socks.

What is the best support for weak ankles?

There are varieties of available options to deal with weak ankles. Semi-rigid braces can play a crucial role if you have weak ankles.

Final Words

Ankle braces play a crucial role when it comes to preventing ankle and foot injuries. They not only help to prevent ankle injuries but also provide additional support to your ankles that boost your athletic performance. Besides preventing ankle injuries, they play a vital role in the treatment of a variety of ankle injuries. 

Here’s a piece of simple advice for you.

Analyze your daily and athletic activities, and choose the best ankle brace according to your needs.

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