Finding ankle support when you have an injury is crucial for a fast recovery. We’ve all been sidelined by a nasty rolled ankle or a bad sprain down there, and it can be really frustrating to have to sit on the sofa as you wait to recover. However, a good ankle support brace can work wonders for you, not only helping to speed up our recovery time but also give you a bit of extra support and protection when you get back to exercise, making sure that you don’t re injure yourself.
Here at Apex Health and Care, we’ve done a lot of research on the best ankle products out there, and we’ve compiled some of the best finds we could get our hands on into the below list of the best ankle braces available today. All of these products have been tested against current health and safety standards, and then come highly recommended by other customers. Whether you need something to help keep the swelling of a twisted ankle down, or you want to get back to the gym while nursing and injury, we’re sure you will find exactly what you need here.
Why Use an Ankle Support?
There are three key elements that go into making a good ankle product:
Stabilization/ Protection – A big problem with a rolled ankle is that you might find it hard to put pressure on it as it heals, and it can be easy to re-injure it if you are not careful. Therefore, you can use an ankle support to help you get back to the good level of stability, so you can walk or run while it is on. This can help you use the ankle before it is fully healed.
Mobilization – for those who unfortunately have chronic ankle instability or damage, they may need some extra support in order to take part in strenuous activity. A good brace will do just that, providing the stability necessary to the damaged joint and ligaments in order to let the wearer carry on with running, football, weightlifting, tennis or whatever other activity they love. You should note that you need something pretty strong for this, as normal compression sleeves might not cut it. You may want to look into our lace up braces if you really need something very stable.
Rehabilitation – A good support should with rehabilitating your injured ankle. This means holding everything in its properly place so you get used to walking and running naturally, and also supporting all the joints and ligaments while you do so, helping them to regain their strength and stability.
Even if you’ve been magically able to avoid ankle injuries, its always good to have one in your gym bag or medicine box at home just in case, as you never know when you or a family member might need one. Also, they can help bring down swelling and inflammation, o its good to have one close by soon after an injury happens.
PowerLinx Ankle Compression Sleeve
Those with minor or moderate ankle problems should check out these great ankle socks from PowerLix. IT will apply pressure and compression evenly all across your ankle, which helps with pain relief and conditions like plantar fasciitis, arthritis, sprains, swelling, tendonitis, muscle fatigue, and other ankle pain. They are also good in giving you support for injury prevention.! This ankle sleeve gives great support, comfort, and relief without restricting your range of movement. Although it is tight and form fitting, it is made of smooth and non-irritating materials, so you won’t be stuck with an itchy feeling while wearing it.
What we really love about this is that it comes in 4 different sizes, unlike many other sleeves which are simply ‘one size fits all’. The problem with one size is that if you have very big feet they can feel way too tight, or for smaller feet, they feel baggy and don’t give the compression you really want.
This is one of the most popular and best selling ankle sleeves we have seen, and if you don’t need to go all out with a heavier brace, these will be a great lightweight solution for those who just need a tiny bit extra stability and compression to help them out in their sporting activities.
Ace Ankle Support
Whether your a pro athlete looking to get back to training after an injury lay off or just someone who needs to give their ankles a bit more stability so they can stick with their favorite hobby, the ACE Deluxe Ankle Stabilizer gives you exactly what you need. This has been designed to be tough and robust, with reinforced stabilizers and a three-strap support system to let you adjust the brace to the level of tightness and compression that you need. It has also been made of breathable fabrics, so you’re ankles won’t get too sweaty and stick while wearing it.
This is made with an easy sleeve design, so it can comfortable fit inside your shoe or sports boots, and it is completely latex free. The only issue we have with it is that it doesn’t come in different sizes.
Whether its for getting back in the gym or just a few days at home nursing a sprained ankle, this brace will see you right.
Pure Support Ankle Brace
These ankle compression sleeves are made by Pure Support, a group of sports enthusiasts who were not satisfied with the products they found on the market and then decided to take matters into their own hands and form their own company.
These are made with advanced knitting technology to for a sock that adapts and expert wraps the whole of your ankle and heel, giving you support in the areas where you need it the most, and its non-slip bands will keep everything perfectly in place. They are made from a Nylon and Spandex compound that has breathability and moisture control built in, so who won’t have to worry about stinky odors or dampness, well, anything more than your feet normally are after a workout. These give a nice level of compression too, which can help with injury by bringing down swelling and increasing the flow of blood and lymph fluids to the injured area.
As with most of most sleeves, they won’t be enough to support a severely damaged ankle, and they might not be the best for protecting an already injured foot, but if you just need some extra support to keep new injuries away, or you need some extra compression to help heal a wound, these are some of the best compression socks we’ve come across.
ASO Anke Support Brace
The ASO Ankle Stabilizer is the ankle brace is a wonderful choice for anyone with ankle troubles, from pro athletes and gym fanatics to everyday people, and it is highly recommended by athletic trainers, orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists. The ASO is manufactured to high quality standards in the United States of America by Medical Specialties, Inc, so you don’t have to worry about the level of quality here
This support stands out from the crowd owing to its unique combination of comfort, support and durability. Its specially contoured tongue makes it an exceptionally comfortable fit and it has a light yet durable CoolFlex material used in the lining, which makes it very cool and smooth on your skin, so there are no worries about irritation or friction here. This fabric also lines the inside back of the boot, providing increased comfort to the Achilles area. The combination of both laces as finger loops ensures that you can get the maximum protection if you ant, but also lets you loosen it off with ease in case it is too tight.
For those who are trying to get back to the treadmill after a rolled ankle or whose ankles have been damaged over the years an need more stability while they exercise, this is ideal. This comes in 7 sizes ranging from XX small to 3X large and in black or while color schemes.
McDavid Ankle Brace Support
This manufacturer claims that in Athletes participating in an independent study at a major research university had 3x fewer injuries while wearing this brace. While we are not in a position to verify this, we are able to tell you that this McDavid Ankle strap is a serious piece of kit that will be perfect for pro sportsrmen and women, hobbyists and anyone with ankle instability issues.
This differs from the other ankle protectors on this list owing to its unique strap design. These straps simulate the effect of athletic tape by using a figure-6 strapping pattern, making this one of the most secure braces on the list, and also giving more compression than most others. Therefore, this is great for injury prevention and healing assistance. Also, it has ventilation built into the design, to keep you foot and ankle cool while also letting the sweat evaporate.
This is a level 3 maximum support brace, so it is pretty heavy duty and will be a good fix for moderate to major instabilities, proactive injury prevention and post-surgical joint protection.
Liomor Foot and Ankle Support
Got really big ankles and feet? Most braces too tight for you? Well, we think we’ve found what you are looking for.
Get ultra strong support and stability for big feet with this great ankle sock, Your joint and tendons will be strengthened and protected, letting you get off the couch and back into the gym after a rolled ankle. Better still, you can work out with confidence and free from fear of re-injury as this is designed to minimize the risk of injury in strenuous activities. IT may also work against the pain and discomfort of edema and symptoms associated with acute injuries, which is ideal for sprains, tendonitis and arthritis. And beccause there is nothing worse than an itchy and irratating brace, this is made from high-elastic and moisture wicking material with perforations that allow for air flow and cut down on bacteria and odor build up.
This is only available in L/XL, and it fits both left and right feet and up to 12″ in feet arch circumference. So if you’ve got really big feet and you find most braces on the small side, this one could be the best choice for you.
Sleeve Stars Ankle Wrap
Give a speed boost to your recovery time from an ankle injury and get ready to hit the courts again with this great ankle brace. This gives you a solid level of compression to improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation and ease that nasty pain from heel spurs, Achilles heel, Plantar Fasciitis, and other foot related conditions and injuries. This sleeve is woven from high-quality fabric to ensure that they quickly absorb sweat and keep your feet as dry and odor free as possible. Also, this has a very smooth and soft inner texture to keep your skin nice and comfortable
This also comes with a free ankle strap as a bonus item, which can be really good for extra care against plantar fasciitis or a sprained ankle. Regardless, its always handy to have around, and can be used on another part of your body, like your knees or elbows, to help with sprains and instability.
As we’ve already mentioned, these compression socks are good for light and moderate injury, so if you just need a little helping hand to get back out there, this is for you. This only comes in one size.
Adjustable Ankle Strap
This ankle strap works a little different from the other braces and socks on this list, as it is more like a long elasticated bandage then a full brace. In much the same way as you would a bandage or athletic tape, this is simply wrapped around your ankle and under the heal, covering all your joints and tendons and giving you the added support and comfort where you need it the most. This strap is great if you want something that can be easily adjusted, and it will be good for putting pressure on swollen sprains and rolled ankles, as you can easily tighten it on a specific part and then loosen it as the swelling goes down. This also has velcro fasteners, so you can be sure that it is on tight and won’t fall off. This will also be good to wear to the gym when you are still not 100% better, but do bear in mind that this is not strong enough to protect major and severe injuries.
These also come in a few different color options, so if you are desperate for something with an orage trim to match you gym kit, you’ve found the right strap. This also comes with a free wrist bandage as a bonus, which is a nice little freebie.
Copper Infused Plantar Fasciitis Brace
Looking for a lightweight ankle protector specially designed to help with you plantar fasciitis? Don’t want something big and clucky that is going to wear you down while you wear it. We might have just the thing for you then.
What sets this brace apart from the crowd is that it has copper woven into its silicon materials. Copper has antimicrobial properties, so this ill take away the bacteria that causes those nasty sweaty odors in other sports equipment. So if you have a very sensitive sense of smell, perhaps this is the best choice for you.
We also really appreciate that this one is available in 6 sizes from S to XL, as the ‘one size fits all’ approach often marginalizes those at either end of the size chart.
Pink Sports Ankle Support for Women
If staying pretty in pick is just as important to you as healing up your twisted ankle, then these compression socks might be just what your style and medical doctor ordered.
These stunning ankle compression supports are so stylish that sooner or later everyone in the gym will be asking you where you got them from, and they also come in other colors just in case pink is not your thing. But they don’t just look cool. They have a unique T-Brace Foot Map Ribbing technology to bring you fast and effective pain relief from plantar fasciitis, foot pain , ankle pain and swelling that comes from sprains and rolled ankles. These are also FDA approved, so you can be confident with the amount of quality on offer.
These packs comes in sizes from S to XL, so hopefully all shapes and sizes can a good fit here.
McDavid Lace Up Ankle Brace
It comes made of a combination of solid polyester mesh fabrics with spring steel supports to keep your ankle and foot in the proper position to prevent injury and hold with stability and confidence.
This is a level three maximum protection support, so it is designed for post surgery recovery, major injuries and chronic ankle instability, so this is a heavy duty piece of kit for the more severe ankle ailments out there.
We really like this one for two reasons, one quite shallow, the other important. For one, most braces tend to be black or dark, whoch can mess up a white color scheme, so if your tennis kit is white, this brace will look good. Realistically though, its the selection of sizes from ZS to XL that we love the most here.
Considerations for Buying an Ankle Brace
Before you buy one of these braces you’ll want to double check on a few things, as there can be quite a lot of variety in them.
Materials – A good brace should be made of a comfortable and breathable material. You don’t want it itching and irritating your skin, and as you will probably be wearing this while exercising or training, you’ll want something that is cool and also something that won’t make you sweat incredible amounts underneath. Therefore, you should make sure that it is made of a good material. Also you should note that some are designed to be worn over socks, while some should be worn under.
Purpose – Generally, there are two types of brace. The first is the more heavy duty braces that are designed to be worn over an injured ankle to prevent re-injury, or for those with chronic instability who can’t exercise without one. There are also compression sleeves, which help with healing and also help to prevent new injuries from occurring; however, they are not strong enough for permanently damaged ankles. So make sure you buy one that suits your needs.
Durability – You’ll want to get a knee aid that will last you a long time, so we recommend looking for something made of sturdy fabrics and also something with double stitching. this should make sure that it lasts for many years.
How long to wear it for – Unless you have been specifically advised to do so buy a doctor, we don’t recommend that you wear the ankle brace all the time. For one, its good to use it sparingly so you can air out your skin and let it breathe. But mostly, these are just a little additional help to be worn during physical activity to protect your ankle from a new injury. They are not a replacement for necessary knee surgery, not can they repair a blown out ankle or torn ligament. Also, research has shown that if you wear a brace for two long, your leg muscles and joints get used to the added support from the brace, and actually end up getting weaker. If our ankle has permanent damage and you need the brace in order to do sports, most doctors would recommend that you only wear it during the the time you are doing the sport and not all the time, but this may change depending on your condition. In any doubt, please consult with a competent medical professional.
Does one size fit all? – This is a tough one, with many manufacturers swearing by this, primary because they sell a one size product, which others who sell braces in multiple sizes swear on the opposite. While a lot of this is just advertising based on their business model, it all really comes down to whether or not your feet are the ‘average size’. If you are make and your shoe size is between 10 and 15 US, the there is a good chance that the ‘one size’ will fit you. However, if you have very big or small feet, you’re probably getting the short end of the stick. sO if you have ‘average’ size feet, you’ve got nothing to wory about, but those with bigger or smaller than normal should always look for products with a range of sizes.