Ankle supports and braces vary greatly in design and choosing the right one for you depends on a number of factors including type of injury and/or sporting activity.
Here we explain the best ankle supports for weak ankles, ankle sprain, achilles tendonitis and other ankle tendon injuries.
For generally weak or unstable ankles
If you have weak or wobbly ankles and just want a little extra support then a stabilising ankle brace with additional side supports or straps help prevent your ankle from turning over.
A key benefit is in aiding proprioception. No ankle brace will completely prevent your ankle from spraining. Therefore it is important to work through ankle rehabilitation exercises as well.
For mild to moderate support the Neoprene ankle support with straps is ideal. If you have ligament laxity and need even more support then the Advanced ankle brace with straps is the one to choose.
Ankle braces for specific injuries
All ankle sprains should be treated with the PRICE principles of protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. So in the early stages and immediately following a sprained ankle an elastic type ankle support is best. Compression helps reduce selling and provides a low level of support.
Later as you begin to walk about and run on your injured ankle then an ankle brace with more lateral (sideways) support is better. Although no ankle support can completely prevent injury, wearing a stabilising brace helps give you a better sense of proprioception whilst you recover. It is important you do proprioception exercises to improve ankle strength long term.
Achilles tendonitis or more accurately achilles tendinopathy is inflammation/degeneration of the achilles tendon. A specialist Achilles tendon brace applies compression around the tendon. As a result, strain on the tendon is reduced.
Other ankle tendon injuries
Other injuries affecting the tendons around the ankle joint include Peroneal tendonitis, tibialis anterior tendonitis. These are often chronic, overuse injuries. Wearing a neoprene ankle support helps retain body heat, protect the joint and aid the healing process. Tendons work better when they are warm.
Ankle supports for team games
If you play Football, Netball, Hockey or any other team sport then you need to change direction quickly. Therefore, you need to give your ankle as much sideways (lateral) protection whilst still being able to wear sports specific footwear.
The Ultimate Performance Football Ankle Support does just this. It's lace up design means maximum support, however it is cut lower to enable you to wear football or hockey boots.