Ankle sprains are a typical sports injury. Even though it will heal in time and many people do not consider it to be a serious injury, an ankle sprain can weaken your joints and thus increase the risk of a reoccurring injury. You need to know that malalignment in your ankle could lead to problems with your other joints such as knee and hip joints, so it is of vital importance to maintain enough support around your ankles when you are running, especially if you are a trail runner and/or have already experienced an ankle injury.
What are the qualities which an ankle support for running should have?
- Fits comfortably in your shoes;
- Does not hinder the natural movements of your ankle;
- Is light weight if you have not sustained a specific injury;
- Provides mild-to-moderate support or high level of support depending on your condition.
Before choosing an ankle brace, you should consider this:
- The type of brace you choose depends on your style of running. For example, if you simply jog after work, you move in a different way that people who are trail runners or marathon runners. So, you should provide your ankles with the best support as regards your running routine.
- If the braces are not sold in pairs but separately, make sure to double check which foot they are designed for. That is, it is possible to buy the wrong brace if you do not pay attention (for example buying a left-foot brace when you need a right-foot one).
- Make sure to check with your doctor or physician. You should ask for their expert advice before buying ankle supports, as they may suggest a totally different solution for your problem and give you some tips on when to wear it and when to stop using it.
In what situations would an ankle brace help?
- If your ankles are weak and ankles sprains are a common injury for you, you will need to wear some kind of support. The brace will compress your ankle joints and thus stabilize the ankle and prevent the reoccurrence of injuries.
- If you suffer from typical overuse injuries such as tendonitis, muscle sprains or Achilles tendon ruptures, you may find the wearing of the so-called push brace useful. This type of brace provides adjustable pressure to the ankle to help stabilize it and in this way protects it from being overused.
Levels of ankle support protection, from less to more:
- Level 1 protection. It is for more general use, if you have some pain and wish to relieve it, or if you have suffered from only minor injuries. A good example of a Level 1 ankle support is compression sleeves.
- Level 2 protection. These ankle supports are used by people who wish to provide their ankles with moderate protection. They are used to provide for the healing of minor to moderate injuries.
- Level 3 protections. The maximum protection. If you choose this type of ankle brace, you are looking for the best support for major injuries.
And now, here is our list of the best ankle braces for running:
- Aircast AirHeel Ankle Support Brace
- Light weight brace
- Perfect if you are suffering from Platar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendonitis;
- Very comfortable to wear – made from breathable material;
- Very easy to wear – you slip it on like a sock;
- Velcro straps for easy adjustment;
- Universal – can be worn on the left or right foot;
- Running without restriction
- Aircast AirSport Ankle Support Brace
- Perfect for people with Level 1 or Level 2 injuries;
- Very simple to put it on – you slip in on your foot like a sock;
- Provides great stability – perfect for runners who have recently suffered from an ankle sprain or often do;
- It combines the support on an ankle brace and the benefits of a compression sleeve
- Aircast A60 Ankle Support Brace
- Great option for those who need an affordable model;
- Offers maximum protection and comfort;
- Prevents the foot from sweating;
- Fairly light and thing – fits with regular shoes;
- Really easy to put on – comes with additional side padding and a single strap application
- McDavid Classic Lightweight Ankle Brace
- An excellent choice for those who wish to enjoy running or playing basketball without risking injuries;
- Durable and light – made of vinyl material;
- Perfect for people who wish to buy an affordable model;
- Comfortable to wear;
- Comes in different sizes and colors
- McDavid 195 Deluxe Ankle Brace with Strap
- A lace-up ankle brace;
- Designed for either the left or the right foot;
- Offers support and stability without adding extra bulk;
- Features an elastic heel pocket, sewn-in arch support and padded lining
- Velcro strap for easy adjustment
ASO Ankle Stabilizing Orthosis
- Offers great stability and support for people recovering from an injury or looking for a way to prevent one from happening;
- Contoured tongue, which gives you a custom feel while you wear it;
- Said to be very popular among trail runners as it boost their confidence when jumping over obstacles along the way;
- Features a figure-eight strap for ankle support and an elastic cuff to maintain the laces and straps secure
Bracoo Breathable Neoprene Ankle Support
- Another great option for those who have a limited budget but do not wish to cut down on quality;
- Helps prevent injuries when running or playing basketball;
- Prevents the foot from sweating;
- A light and thin design with a heel cutout and a secure crisscross closure;
- Its elastic build and universal size make for a perfect fit
Shock Doctor Ultra Gel Lace Ankle Support
- Great for providing support and stability to major ligament sprains, muscle strains, and unstable joints;
- Very comfortable for running – it has a soft inside and extensive padding on the sides and back;
- Provides moderate support for the ankle;
- Helps prevent reoccurring injuries;
- Provides both lateral and medial support to prevent eversion and inversion ankle injuries
Zensah Ankle support
- Thin design which provides full range of motion, no restrictions;
- Very light weight and comfortable;
- A great brace for mild ankle support;
- Made of moisture wicking material – more evaporation and a dryer ankle base;
Mueller adjustable ankle stabilizer
- A very affordable model for those on a tight budget;
- Does not require special shoes – fits in most shoe styles; used over socks;
- Lightweight design – perfect for extended use;
- Its soft neoprene blend promotes healing and helps relieve pain due to its body heat retainment function;
- Provides lateral support and protection;
- Velcro bands for extra security and easy adjustment
Ankle braces give your ankles the support and stability they need when you are running or suffering from an injury (or have already suffered from one). They provide the sprained ankle with the comfort it needs to reduce pain and swelling and recover faster. There are people who argue that one should wear an ankle brace while running to prevent an injury but no matter your opinion, you should remember that you should contact your doctor for expert medical advice if you are considering buying a brace and you are not sure if you need one and what type exactly. You should also keep in mind that wearing a brace with the proper footwear is of great importance to your ankle stability and that you need to exercise your body and do stretches to strengthen the muscles in your ankle.