You get up one morning and realize that you’re late for work. Hurrying down the stairs for breakfast, you miss a step and stumble down. Fortunately, it’s a shortfall, but that doesn’t save you from spraining your ankle.
While reeling in excruciating ankle pain, you call in sick for work. Luckily for you, an ankle sprain can be treated with a combination of cold ice, ample rest, and an ankle brace. As foot injuries go, an ankle sprain is less serious and can be treated without going to the doctor.
Discover the best ankle brace for sprained ankles by reading the article below!
What Are Ankle Braces?
People who enjoy active lifestyles are no strangers to ankle strains. Sports like tennis, volleyball, basketball, and even your morning jog can make you prone to accidental ankle sprains. Since the 1990s, the go-to remedy for this ankle injury has always been the ankle brace. But what are ankle braces in the first place?
Now widely available in pharmacies and sports stores, ankle braces can help alleviate pain from your ankle sprain, and even prevent them from happening. Using ankle braces as a preventive measure has caught on among athletes.
How Do I Use An Ankle Brace?
While athletes have become overly familiar with ankle braces, the average joe thinks he has no need for it except for the occasional misstep that results in a sprained ankle. As such, you might be wondering how to wear them most effectively.
Most ankle braces on the market are easy to use. Simply follow these steps:
- Lay the ankle brace flat on the floor
- Place your foot flat on the ankle brace
- Wrap the support strap around your ankle
- Make sure it’s a tight but comfortable fit
Are Ankle Braces Effective?
As a smart consumer, you should be careful with spending your hard-earned money on gimmicky devices that promise immediate ankle pain relief and an instant remedy to your foot injuries. Many orthotic devices sold both online and in stores have dubious claims about their effectiveness.
However, a study has shown that ankle braces can lessen the probability of someone spraining their ankle. It was observed that those who did not wear ankle braces during their sports activities were 2 to 3 times more likely to sprain their ankles.
What Should I Look For When Buying Ankle Braces?
Before you rush to the sporting goods store to purchase an ankle brace for a sprained ankle, make sure that you’re buying one that perfectly suits your needs. Ankle braces come in a variety of styles, materials, and fits. Choosing among the numerous selections sold in the market can certainly be a daunting task.
Here are some of the things that should you consider to help you find the best ankle support for sprains:
- Fit: Ankle support braces come in different sizes. You should try out different size options first before settling on one.
- Design: There are various kinds of ankle braces. Some ankle braces have straps to help secure your foot, especially in intense situations, while others use laces instead.
- Material: How the ankle support braces will feel around your ankles depends on the material it’s made out of. Softer fabric will surely feel better than cheaper materials which can even scratch your ankle.
What Is the Best Ankle Brace for a Sprained Ankle: Our Recommendations
ASO® Ankle Stabilizer by Medical Specialties, Inc.
Specs at a Glance:
- Firmly embraces your ankle with durable straps
- Supports your ankle and foot with laces and elastic cuffs
- Made to be low profile to fit in any of your shoes
- Bilaterally designed to fit either of your feet
- Made of ballistic nylon fabric for reliable durability
- Comes in multiple sizing options, from XXS to 3XL
- Feels extremely comfortable compared to its competitors
- Can be cleaned using a washing machine
- Extensive sizing chart available on the manufacturer’s website
Made of Ballistic Nylon Material
Besides helping your ankle recover from injuries, ankle support braces are meant to be used during intense physical activities. As such, your ankle brace has to be strong enough to withstand the pressure and shocks experienced by your legs, ankles, and feet during such activities.
The ASO® Ankle Stabilizer from Medical Specialties, Inc. is made with ballistic nylon material. Ballistic nylon is unlike your regular nylon. You can rely on the high abrasion resistance and superior durability that ballistic nylon provides to keep your ankles safe and healthy.
Straps and Laces for a Secure Fit
No one wants to have accidents in the middle of a match on the basketball court. A poorly secured ankle sleeve can cause accidents by suddenly becoming undone mid-game. What you need is an ankle sleeve that is specifically designed for a proper and secure fit.
Fortunately, the ASO® Ankle Stabilizer makes use of a combination of laces and straps to ensure a secure fit around your ankle. The ankle sleeve does this without feeling bulky and heavy on your ankle. As a bonus, it retains its low profile, making it suitable for slimmer footwear like tennis shoes.
Despite having a size chart on the website, many customers complain about ill-fitting ankle braces. Some were too loose, others were too tight. A proper fit around the ankle is crucial for the effectiveness of the ankle sleeve, making this issue a deal-breaker for many.
Adding insult to injury, the same customers also report that their bad-fitting braces were not eligible for returns according to the terms and conditions set forth by the manufacturer. As a result, they’re left with unusable ankle braces without a chance of getting a refund or replacement.
Ankle Brace & Wrap by Bodyprox
Specs at a Glance:
- Keeps your ankle and ligament protected from sprains
- Supports the area around your ankle to prevent injuries
- Features an open-heel design that makes it feel less obtrusive
- Secures the straps around your ankle with dependable velcro adhesives
- Made of breathable material preventing unwanted sweating inside your shoes
- Comes in only one sizing option (one-size-fits-most)
- Provides immediate pain relief from an ankle injury
- Relieves pain caused by plantar fasciitis with its compression support
Fits Most Shoes
An ankle brace can take up so much space inside your shoe, making it a super tight fit for your foot. Tight-fitting shoes can cause problems such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, hammertoes, and heel spurs. Thus, an ankle brace that can fit any shoe from your wardrobe without sacrificing comfort is a must.
The Ankle Brace & Wrap from Bodyprox exhibits a design that protects your ankle and the area around it while also remaining slim enough to fit most of your shoes. This design will be highly appreciated by those who have an extensive collection of footwear but don’t want to spend money on more than one ankle brace.
Made of Breathable Material
Another common cause of discomfort while wearing ankle braces is how hot it can be inside your shoe. Some ankle braces in the market are made with materials that don’t let air pass through. Others are even so thick that they can cause your feet to sweat too much.
The Bodyprox ankle brace is made of neoprene material. Otherwise known as polychloroprene, neoprene is a highly durable material that can withstand different kinds of solvents. The material is also designed to be breathable and flexible, lending additional comfort to the wearer.
A perfectly fitting ankle brace is highly recommended if you want to maximize its beneficial and preventative effects. Unfortunately, a number of customers complain about the one-size-fits-most approach that Bodyprox chose to go with. As expected, this kind of sizing approach always leaves some customers with poorly fitting ankle braces.
Another common complaint is about the material causing blisters due to it being abrasive. In particular, the part of the rigid ankle brace that causes discomfort is the band at the rear which can be a problem when engaging in activities that involve frequent movement.
Elite Bio-Logix Ankle Brace by McDavid
Specs at a Glance:
- Available in different sizing options for both the left and right feet
- Designed to be easily worn and removed in one quick motion
- Provides maximum comfort with its plastic internal support
- Exhibits a hinge design that provides optimal ankle support and performance
- Features an exoskeleton that lends support and ankle stability
- Has figure-8 stabilizing straps for a secure and firm fit
- Designed to fit either the left or right foot
Exhibits a Superior Design
Most ankle braces sold on the market have similar designs and are made of the same materials. Many of them even come out of the same factory with the only difference being the branding printed on them. As a result, you’re most likely to end up with the same kind of ankle brace regardless of the brand you choose.
The Elite Bio-Logix ankle brace from McDavid was specially designed with unique features that you won’t find anywhere else. It has an internal soft flex-link hinge that provides support to the ankle. In addition, its combination of figure-8 and heel-lock stabilizing straps give support and stability to the ankle and the foot.
Features Comfortable Memory Foam
The Elite Bio-Logix has ample padding around the ankle to provide maximum comfort. The padding is made out of memory foam which sees various applications such as in bed mattresses and footwear. Memory foam is definitely a step up from generic foaming material.
Also known as viscoelastic foam, memory foam provides unparalleled comfort thanks to its inherent qualities. It works by “embracing” your ankle while molding the foam according to the unique shape of your ankle. As a result, you get a tailor-fit experience every time you slip on the ankle brace.
Despite overwhelmingly positive reviews, some customers found the Elite Bio-Logix ankle wrap to be uncomfortable. One of the most common complaints is the placement of the underfoot support. For some people, these rigid braces fail to cater to the unique shape of their feet. So this is something to consider before you purchase one.
Other concerns were about the durability of the ankle wrap. After a few months of regular use, some customers report that their ankle braces show signs of wear and tear. The velcro on the straps became loose and no longer held a strong grip. As such, the durability of the ankle wrap is something you should be wary of.
Whether you’re an athlete or someone who’s unlucky enough to sprain an ankle, you’ll definitely benefit from using a reliable, high-quality, and comfortable brace. The best ankle brace for sprains can help you heal your ankle and prevent a sprain from happening in the first place.
Quickly get back up and moving with any of the three ankle braces we reviewed today!