High-impact sports can push your ankles to their limits.
Sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer, football, cheerleading, baseball, and tennis all require you to make fast movements and direction changes, which put you at risk of twisting your ankle.
Ankle sprains happen when you land on your foot at an unnatural angle, forcing the ligaments to stretch beyond their capability. This kind of injury is enough to keep you out of the game for 3-6 weeks.
You'll likely find that even though you can walk and run on your injured ankle after a few weeks, your ankle muscles will be weak due to inactivity. This means you can re-injure your ankle more easily. You want to get back to your sport ASAP, but you also don't want to be sidelined again.
The good news is, you don't need to wait months for your ankle to recover. In fact, it's best to start moving it again as soon as it's safe to do so. This will help your muscles regain strength. While your muscles build back up, an ankle brace can provide extra support for your ligaments.
Here's a brief rundown of different types of ankle braces to help you figure out which one is best for you.
Best for: Athletes who need a low to moderate level of support but require maximum comfort - typically used for grade 1 ankle sprains
- A more durable alternative to tape or tensor bandages
- Flexible straps let you get a customized fit which is great for swelling
- Can fit in most shoes
Best for: Providing moderate support when you start getting back into sports and activities
- Offers a higher level of support and security than tape or tensor bandages
- Flexible construction allows for a comfortable, customizable fit
- Low profile designs can be worn with most shoes
Best for: Protecting an injured ankle or preventing ankle injuries while maintaining full range of motion and performance
- Rigid braces offer the highest level of preventative support
- They have hinges that attach the cushioned upright ankle supports to the plate your foot rests on, allowing for forward/back and vertical mobility
- Assists in faster rehabilitation after injury
- Provides a superior level of protection without sacrificing comfort
Best for: Immediate recovery after grade 3 ankle sprains (complete ligament tears), surgery, or fractures. Keeps the ankle stabilized and reduces pressure on the foot while walking.
- Allows you to walk after a serious ankle sprain or injury, preventing muscle loss and offering a higher level of mobility
- Fully supports and protects an injured ankle with inflatable air cells to give you a customized fit
- Not to be worn during sports
Still not sure which ankle support is best for you? Contact our bracing experts. We’d be happy to give you a recommendation.