11 Best Ankle Braces for Sports

11 Best Ankle Braces for Sports

The best ankle brace for sports can stabilize the foot and ankle, offering the perfect amount of support and giving you the ability to stay active during the recovery process. I have seen my share of preventable ankle injuries and can say firsthand how important it is to support weak ankles with the right brace. This list highlights the best ankle braces for sports available today.

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Trilok Ankle Brace by BioSkin
Trilok Ankle Brace by BioSkin

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BioSkin

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Ankle Stabilizer Brace by Vive
Ankle Stabilizer Brace by Vive

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Vive

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1. Trilok Ankle Brace by BioSkin

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This brace relies on medical-grade compression to keep ankles steady. Made of breathable, thin materials, it wraps around your foot and ankle, mimicking the natural feel of tendons. This ankle brace is excellent for daily use by athletes, those recovering from surgery, and those with ankle and foot pain caused by posterior tibial tendon dysfunction or plantar fasciitis.

 

Pros:
  • Holds ankle in place
  • Hypoallergenic, neoprene-free, latex-free
  • High level of ankle support
Cons:
  • Can be complicated to put on the first time

2. Ankle Stabilizer Brace by Vive

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Made from a quality blend of materials, this ankle brace for sports steadies tendons and joints. The brace is lightweight and breathable and can be worn inside most shoes–athletic or otherwise. The fully adjustable cross-brace compression bands provide a solid amount of pressure and support to the foot and ankle, relieving pain and giving wearers a firm footing. This brace will work well for tendonitis, sprains/strains, injury rehab, and to treat chronic ankle instability.

Pros:
  • Heavy-duty brace with firm support
  • Great for sports or injury rehabilitation
  • Comfortable to wear
Cons:
  • Slightly bulkier than other ankle braces

3. Ankle Support Compression Brace by Bracoo

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Crisscross straps are the hallmark of this ankle brace and they work by tightly holding the ankle in place while still allowing for a normal range of motion. Made of lightweight neoprene, nylon, and spandex, this brace will work for a variety of sports and medical conditions. This brace features an adjustable tension level so you can easily apply the amount of compression desired at any moment.

Pros:
  • Crisscross straps easily adjust tension and compression levels
  • Inexpensive
  • Ankle support good for all sports or injury prevention
Cons:
  • Small learning curve to put on the first few times

4. A2-DX Ankle Brace Stabilizer by Zamst

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This is a plastic-molded support structure that provides medial, anterior, and lateral support, all while allowing your ankle to move naturally. The all-direction coverage of this brace makes it a good fit for fast-paced sports, whether you’re healing from injury or trying to prevent it. Straps hold this brace in place and adjust to your needs, securing to the foot with a Velcro strip.

Pros:
  • Excellent ankle support
  • Molded design prevents injury and encourages healing
  • Brace stays in place firmly
Cons:
  • More expensive than similar ankle braces

5. Ankle Brace Sleeves by Pure Support

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Nylon and spandex come together to form this ankle sleeve. Designed by a group of adventure enthusiasts, this sleeve is made to be ultra lightweight and portable, yet supportive enough for runners, basketball players, construction workers, nurses, and others who need to stay steady. This ankle sleeve is available in four sizes and offers firm compression.

 

Pros:
  • Lightweight and portable set of sleeves
  • Great ankle support
  • Fits perfectly under socks and inside shoes
Cons:
  • Very little temperature regulation

6. Professional Foot Sleeve by Gonicc

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This multipurpose ankle sleeve is a compression wrap, ankle brace for sports, and rehabilitation tool in one. The tight compression helps to reduce ankle swelling and reinforces ankles during play, and the Velcro overwrap keeps ankles steady and in place. This breathable ankle sleeve is a good tool for athletes, those with arthritis or other pain, and for those with swollen joints. These ankle sleeves fit comfortably and hide well under crew-length socks.

Pros:
  • Two sleeves included
  • Superb support and compression
  • Hides nicely under socks and fits easily in shoes
Cons:
  • A bit of work to get it on and off

7. AFTR Ankle Brace by BioSkin

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Podiatrist recommended, this ankle brace for sports is hypoallergenic and latex free. The thin ankle brace wraps around all sides of the foot, providing equal compression to the ankle, foot, and even the heel. The universal brace fits the left or right foot and slides easily into socks and shoes. This brace is available in three sizes.

Pros:
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Easy to get on and off
  • Has abundant support
Cons:
  • Doesn’t have an open heel

8. Ankle Brace Compression Socks by Doc Miller

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These colorful ankle sleeves give steady compression to the entire foot, ankle, and upper shin area. The medium level compression is perfect for sports, fallen arches, poor circulation, and to reduce fatigue. Sleeves mold to feet as you wear them for a comfortable, personalized fit. These ankle sleeves are available in six color choices and five sizes.

Pros:
  • Sleeves mold to feet for personalized support
  • Great for injury prevention or injury recovery
  • Superb support
Cons:
  • Colors not for everyone

9. Lace Up Ankle Brace by Zenith Athletics Company

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This ankle brace for sports is a great fit for healthy athletes and those recovering from acute ankle injury. Made of neoprene and nylon, this brace laces to your foot like a shoe, then wraps around your ankle, giving you the ultimate in steady, firm support. This durable brace can be adjusted easily and is machine washable.

Pros:
  • Easily adjustable
  • Fits almost any foot size
  • Outstanding support
Cons:
  • A little bulky

10. Bamboo Ankle Sleeve by Vive

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This bamboo charcoal hybrid ankle sleeve is durable enough to withstand hardcore exercise yet soft enough to be comfortable for long periods of time. The temperature regulating fabric is designed to keep you comfortable year-round, and bacteria repelling fibers keep your brace odor-free. This sleeve is ideal for athletes or those with ankle pain that may be going through rehab.

Pros:
  • Comfortable and supportive
  • Machine washable
  • Made of temperature-regulating fabrics
Cons:
  • Lighter support than other ankle braces

11. Compression Ankle Sleeves by OsFit

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The unique ergonomic design of these ankle sleeves give your feet targeted compression at the heel, arch, ankles, and toes, stabilizing your every step. This ankle brace is good for those with chronic ankle instability, as a rehab aid following injuring, or a preventative tool to prevent injury. This sleeve-style brace is available in three sizes and comes with a money-back guarantee.

Pros:
  • Stays snug on feet and doesn’t slip or slide during activity
  • Targeted compression supports and stabilizes ankles
  • Pair of sleeves included
Cons:
  • Sleeves have seams that may rub against ball of foot

How To Support and Protect Your Ankles

Taking some precautions and caring for your body will keep it in tip-top shape. Here are a few things you can do regularly to support and protect your ankles.

  • Exercise

Exercising regularly with weights or resistance bands will help you retain flexibility and build up the muscles that support your ankle so you have more pain-free days.

  • Warm Up Before Activities

Whether you’re running, walking, or playing a sport, doctors advise warming muscles before you put them to work. This can include light activity, stretching, simple calisthenics, or even walking.

  • Wear the Right Shoes

Always wear shoes that are in good condition and that fit properly. Replace shoes when the soles no longer have enough traction or support to safely move about.

Sometimes, the best ankle support starts a bit further up on the leg. Try one of my top picks of knee braces for working out.

Treat Injuries Immediately

You’ll heal faster and remain active longer by treating injuries immediately after they happen. Instead of putting treatment off, apply a brace or bandage from your first-aid kit to your injured ankle, alternate heat and ice therapy, and keep weight off your ankle. When necessary, follow up with your family doctor.

Protective and Healing Ankle Braces for Sports

Ankle braces can be worn to help joints and muscles heal after injury or to help stabilize weak, arthritic, or previously sprained ankles. The best ankle braces help you exercise regularly, even if you’re still healing. Keep moving and stay as active as possible by supporting your body with the proper equipment.

 

SOURCES

https://www.podiatrytoday.com/current-concepts-in-treating-chronic-ankle-instability

http://www.acfas.org/footankleinfo/chronic-ankle-instability.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072735/

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