What is the best ankle support for running? Ankle supports & braces come in a range of styles and support levels. Which is right for you depends on how much support you need and whether you have any specific injuries you are recovering from.
In general an ankle support for running should provide a moderate level of support, yet still allow a good range of motion. If your ankle is too restricted you will not be able to run properly. As a result, this may lead to further injury.
There is often a trade off between range of movement and support level. So which ankle supports do we recommend for running?
Should I wear an ankle brace/support for running?
There is no harm in wearing ankle supports when you run. There are a variety of circumstances when it is appropriate and can help prevent or recover from injury. For example when returning from injury, or if you have weak or unstable ankles and need that bit of extra confidence.
However, no ankle support or brace no matter how strong or sturdy will completely prevent you from turning your ankle over or injuring it. If you have suffered an injury then you should only run when you can run pain free and you MUST do balance/proprioception and strengthening exercises as well.
General running ankle support
If you have no particular injuries and just want that bit of extra support to give you more confidence then a simple Elastic Ankle support is a good ankle support for runners.
It is an ankle support runners prefer because it provides compressive support. It is comfortable to run in and will allow your ankle to breathe. Your foot and ankle will not become sweaty and uncomfortable like it might if you were to wear a neoprene support.
However, if you want a little bit more support, for example following a sprained ankle then the Advanced Compression Ankle support is the best option. It is made of elastic so has all the benefits of a simple elastic ankle support, but also has additional straps which wrap around your ankle and provide extra sideways support.
Ankle sprains & instability
If you have sprained your ankle and suffer from recurrent ankle sprains, or have unstable ankles then you will most likely need something with a bit more lateral (sideways) support.
The Neoprene Ankle Support With Straps allows you to adust the support through the elastic strap whilst still allowing excellent comfort for running.
If you have suffered an ankle injury then you will have damaged what is called your proprioception. Proprioception is your body’s ability to sense where it is in space. If this is damaged then you are much more prone to further ankle sprains. This is why balance type exercises are an essential part of ankle rehabilitation.
However, in the meantime whilst you recover you may need some extra support to help prevent injury while you recover. The Advanced Compression Ankle Support with additional support straps is the one to go for if you want that extra support when you run.
If you have particularly unstable ankles or lax ligaments then the Advanced Ankle Brace with Straps is the one to go for.
It may feel a little more restrictive to run in due to the extra support straps which lock your heel in place. However, it is still comfortable and breathable like the Advanced Compression Ankle Support.
Running ankle supports for overuse injuries
Overuse or chronic ankle injuries often involve injury to the tendons in the joint. Tendons connect muscle to bone and enable movement. They are more prone to overuse injuries and become inflamed or degenerate over time.
A simple neoprene ankle support provides moderate compressive support for your ankle, but also retains the body’s natural heat. Tendons work better when kept warm. Heat encourages blood flow which in turn aids the healing process.
If you want that little bit more support for example if you have weak ankles, or a Peroneal tendon injury then the Neoprene Ankle Support with Straps provides extra lateral support.