Ankle Brace Comparison
Ankle Brace Buying Guide
Reasons to Buy
There are many reasons that someone may need to purchase an ankle brace. We have listed the common causes and reasons below. We have not included major surgery, fractures, or breaks.
- Sprained ankles/Tendinitis - People twist or sprain their ankles all the time doing everyday things such as stepping off a curb or off a step wrong, or walking on wet or icy surfaces. The most common type of sprain is when the foot rolls underneath the ankle or leg. It is very painful at the time the injury occurs but this type of sprain can heal fairly quickly with ice. Just keep the foot elevated and resting as much as possible. You can use an ankle brace for this type of injury if you cannot be off your injured foot to rest it.
- Achilles Heel (aka Achilles tendinitis) – This is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon that results from overuse. This overuse can happen over a period of days or weeks and can happen from normal day-to-day activities like walking or jogging. This injury causes pain and stiffness in the back of the heel. There are compression ankle braces that are very good for treating this condition.
- Plantar Fasciitis – This is another painful condition where the arch, or plantar fascia, of your foot becomes inflamed. Most people get this type of injury from walking excessively, standing for long periods of time, over exercising, or too much running. This condition can be aggravated by wearing poorly cushioned shoes. There are certain braces that provide the right level of compression that will give the area new blood flow and relieve the severe pain this condition can cause.
There are many types of ankle braces available for the many number of ankle conditions. Depending on what you are trying to stabilize and fix with the ankle brace, you will want to have some information on these differences.
- Ankle Support – This type of ankle brace is best suited for stabilizing and supporting an injured ankle. There are different levels of support that you can choose from depending on the severity of the injury. If it is a light sprain, the Bracoo Breathable ankle support reviewed above will work well.
The more support you need, the more complex the ankle brace might be but that doesn’t mean they are painful to wear or complicated to put on; it just means there are more features to provide the support you need. Increased features for more serious injuries will include laces, straps, and extra padding.
- Plantar Fasciitis Support – There is very little, if any, ankle support with this type of brace which makes them a bad choice for ankle injuries. The compression nature of this type of brace can correct plantar fasciitis in a short amount of time.
- Achilles Strap Support - If you are suffering from Achilles heel problems or have other tendon related issues, this type of ankle brace works very well. The Achilles tendon can become easily over stressed from high impact sports or even from simply being on your feet for extended periods of time. The straps of the Achilles brace limit the tendon and protect it from movements that will re-injure or aggravate the already existing injury. It is much easier to use an Achilles brace than it is to tape the ankle and much more effective as well.
Levels of Support
The level of support you need in your chosen ankle brace will be determined by the level of the injury or condition. Super-light sprains will not require the same level of ankle support that a serious sprain will, but they can really benefit from compression braces. The purpose of the compression fabrics used in these braces is to stabilize the area and keep in therapeutic heat. This allows fresh, oxygen-rich blood to flood the area which aids in healing. Also, keep in mind that there are different levels of compression when you are researching the different types of ankle braces.
Major ligament sprains are the type of injury that are most in need of a high-support ankle brace with plenty of stabilization and support features. Our pick, the ASO ankle brace, is perfect for providing maximum support that is still easy to use and comfortable to wear. These heavier-duty braces will cost more but the benefits to wearing them can’t be beat.
There is no reason you should suffer with an ankle injury when there are so many good quality products out there that will make the area feel better and heal. Long gone are the days of only taping; now there are high-quality, super-supportive ankle braces that protect the area and prevent wearers from re-injuring their ankles due to weakness while injured.
The correct ankle brace will help prevent you from missing work or other activities you love due to being unable to walk without pain. Use the information we provided in this buyer’s guide to educate yourself on the different types of ankle braces so you can match your condition with the appropriate brace. It may feel tricky if you have not had an ankle injury before but it is not impossible to make the correct choice. The information we shared here is sure to make the process much simpler and more efficient.
- ASO - http://www.asocorp.com/products/
- Bracoo - http://bracoo.com/
- McDavid - http://www.mcdavidusa.com/