How To Choose The Best Ankle Brace

An ankle brace isn’t a cure for injuries, but it is a great thing to use to help treat a sprain. Athletes are the most common people to use braces, but finding the best ankle brace is useful for more than just athletics. If you have need for an ankle brace, it’s time to learn how to find an option that will work well for you, so you can get on your road to recovery.

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How To Use An Ankle Brace

Bracing your ankle will not cure a sprain or an injury, but it can help you to avoid hurting yourself further and to recover more quickly. Ankle braces do help to support your muscles and joints after an injury, which is an essential part of healing and recovering after a sprain or any other type of injury. BUT, do not expect your brace to heal your injury! Physical therapy is one of the best ways to ensure your ankle will heal properly. Bracing alone will not heal you; it is just a piece of the treatment.

Benefits Of Choosing The Best Ankle Brace

Here is what you can gain from finding the best ankle brace to suit you:

  • Enhanced Support

Depending on the style of the brace you choose, you can get great added support for your ankle. This is a great asset if you’re exercising, playing sports, or even working on your feet. Different braces have different levels of support, depending on the design and materials used.

  • Help prevent further injuries

One of the best benefits of bracing your ankle is to help prevent injuries. This is especially important while you’re recovering from a previous injury already, such as a sprain. If you overpronate or if you tend to roll your ankles a lot, you may find a brace useful to assist with those problems before they cause you an injury.

  • Delay Surgical Treatment

Many athletes use ankle braces to give intermediate support until the end of the season, when permanent treatment can be done. If you read ankle brace reviews, you’ll see that many serious athletes have taken to using strong support to help them make it through to a few more moniths.

Types Of Ankles Braces Available To You

  • Lace-Ups

These braces provide maximum support and rigidity. You will lace and tie them like shoes. Lace-ups resemble support boots, but are generally more flexible.

  • Sleeves

Providing minimal support, sleeve braces do help you to feel more comfortable if you suffer from many different pain conditions for your feet and ankles. They can also be worn in place of socks under athletic shoes.

  • Stirrups

This type isn’t as common, but it’s also a very supportive design for your ankle.

  • Straps

Strap-style braces usually give medium support levels compared to other types. They can move more freely, but won’t be able to give rigid support when needed. This is one step above a compression brace in most cases.

  • Hybrids

This can honestly be defined as any type of brace that combines multiple styles listed above. The point of a hybrid design is to add a higher level of support or to make a brace more versatile. For example, a brace with compression and straps will be much more effective than just one or the other separately.

​What To Look At Searching For An Ankle Brace

Here are the main characteristics to look for when you’re searching for the best ankle brace:

  • Compression

In many cases, some level of compression is desirable for an ankle brace. There are braces solely made for compression, but a lot of other styles of braces also incorporate some sort of compression material into the design. This helps you to fit it to your foot more snugly and also gives better stability and support.

  • Strap Design

When you’re looking at a brace with straps, you should look at how the straps are placed and the design of the support system. Straps can be made in a figure-6 or figure-8 style for the most useful level of support. If you want a strap brace that will most closely resemble the effects of athletic taping, a figure-8 strap brace should work well for you.The other thing to look at is the material and type of strap. Most straps use Velcro with soft undersides to prevent rubbing or chafing.

  • Materials And Shape

When it comes to comfort, the materials and the shape of the brace make a huge difference. Braces that aren’t shaped well for your feet will cause a lot of aches. Some companies make braces that fit either left or right feet exclusively, so that they can tailor it more exactly to the fit and function it needs to have. Also, sizing is different for each brand, so it’s important to completely read through the sizing chart to get the right fit.

Materials need to be considered if you want to be comfortable in your brace. Thick or heavy materials won’t be comfortable for wearing during activity, while thin materials may not give the right support. It’s all about finding a good balance between comfort and support, since without these things a brace is not useful at all!

  • Style

Read about the different styles I mentioned above and see which one will accomplish your goal most easily. Each type of brace is different when it comes to support and purpose. Not all braces are equal for each and every application. If you’re in doubt of what type you’ll need, ask your doctor for a recommendation and go from there. That’s the best way to make sure you get the best type of brace for your real needs.

  • Support

Based on your situation, you may need more or less support than others looking for a brace. Search for a brace that gives you the level of support you need, and don’t settle for something that won’t give enough support. Remember that each brace will be able to give different types of support, depending entirely on the design and materials of the brace.

Rigid support isn’t possible with every type of brace either, unless it specifically has a solid piece built into the design. Soft braces won’t offer the same level of rigid support as braces with hard plastic or metal built into them.

​Top 5 Recommended Ankle Brace Reviews

1

McDavid 195 Ankle Brace With Stabilizer Straps

This brace is meant to fit either the left or the right foot comfortably. It laces up the straps down, with some compression elements at the top of the brace to help it fit more snugly. This triple support makes it a great choice for athletes to help avoid injuries and to keep the ankle stable during intense matches.

Movement is not as restricted in this brace as it can be in some other braces. Although the ankle is well supported, it is still able to do some twisting and turning if necessary. Fabric supports are added to the sides, but it is not a rigid brace and should not be used the same way.

Pros


  • Breathable materials
  • Multiple types of support
  • Snug, adjustable fit
  • Good for continued movement

Cons


  • Takes time to put on and remove
  • Bulky designt
2

Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks / Ankle Brace

If you’re more interested in minimal support and more flexibility, this compression brace will be useful for providing a small level of support without impeding on your movement too much. It can be worn under any shoes because of the thinner, breathable materials used.

Compression braces like this one aren’t going to be as good if you need a high level of support, but they’re great for a low level of support when a lot of movement is needed. You can wear them effectively to help with different joint and foot pains like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, or arch aches. Those with circulation problems can get some benefits by wearing this brace at night while sleeping.

Pros


  • Versatile as a foot pain treatment method
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Many colors available
  • Great customer service
  • Fits true to size

Cons


  • Doesn’t go up high enough
  • Too long for small feet
3

ASO Ankle Stabilizer

ASO’s ankle brace is a great fit if you need a high level of support. It’s great for use after an ankle sprain or injury as a treatment to help speed recovery. This brace fits well under many different shoes, even athletic shoes, because of its low-profile design and thin materials.

It uses both the lac-up and strap methods to give great support, as well as a section of compression on the upper ankle for a closer fit. You can wear these on either foot, because of the bilateral shaping design. Laces won’t get in your way while you’re putting on the brace or moving around, because they will be safely tucked away under the straps.

Pros


  • Low profile design and size
  • Good for many larger foot sizes
  • Works well for athletes and for stability control
  • Fits comfortably even after hours of wear

Cons


  • Some customers have difficulty when they fit between sizes
  • No rigid side support
4

Liomor Ankle Support Breathable Ankle Brace

This brace is well designed for movement after an injury. The tight Velcro strap design makes it possible for people with many different foot sizes to wear this brace without trouble. Open spaces on the heel and between Velcro straps helps the wearer to get excellent movement and breathability without sacrificing support.

It’s not a full support ankle brace, and is most useful for athletic or active wear, or for treatment of swelling. Adjustments can be made around each different area of the foot, depending on which straps you adjust and how you want it to fit in certain areas.

Pros


  • Quick to put on and remove
  • Itch and odor resistant materials
  • No sizing necessary
  • Great for situations where movement is still necessary
  • Feels soft, but holds snugly

Cons


  • Not ideal when rigid support is needed
  • Doesn’t provide much stabilization
5

Zamst A2-DX Ankle Brace

Anyone in need of greater support can get good use out of this brace. It has tight adjustable straps, compression, and external rigid support for the whole ankle. This brace is made to fit each foot differently, so you’ll need to buy the correct brace for your intended foot. Anti-slip design helps your foot stay put even when you’re moving around.

You won’t be able to get as much movement out of this brace, so it’s not ideal for athletic wear, but it’s a good fit for helping you recover from an ankle injury, foot pain, or after a surgery.

Pros


  • Provides rigid exterior support
  • Great for avoiding ankle rolling and further injuries
  • Suitable for moderate activity levels
  • Comfortable to wear for long hours
  • Easily customizable for different sizes and fits

Cons


  • Very bulky design, not ideal for most shoes
  • Rigid support plastic can rub your feet if you don’t wear socks underneath

Conclusion

I would suggest the ASO Ankle Stabilizer as the best ankle brace on our list. In my opinion, it’s got the right balance of support and movement to keep you active while helping to protect your ankle after an injury. The multiple strap design helps you adjust it when you need to fit your foot more easily.

Hopefully you’re not more prepared to go out and choose the best ankle brace you can for your situation. Remember that it’s not going to be a cure for your injuries, but a good brace will help you recover and help to prevent further issues.

Anna Smith
 

Hi there ! I’m Anna Smith, chief editor at Healthankering. I'm a proud mother of three passionate about health tips, beauty and ways to live healthier with more energy ! We start Healthankering to provide advanced material about not only the best ways to get healthy, but also to entertain and create a great community. Welcome aboard !

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