Nothing is worse than rolling or hurting your ankle, whether you’re hiking gently or playing tennis quickly. But that happens frequently: The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society estimates that every day, about 25,000 people report having an ankle sprain. Fortunately, an ankle brace might be helpful.
According to Chanel Perkins, DPM, an assistant professor of podiatry at University of Texas Medical Branch, “An ankle brace, when worn after an injury, would help support the ankle and foot by providing an external layer of support to help facilitate healing the injured internal structures (ligaments and muscle tendons).” She tells Health that using an ankle brace helps stop “abnormal biomechanics” or excessive foot movements that might otherwise result in pain and irritation.
According to podiatrists, these ankle braces on Amazon are the best:
- Med Spec Aso Ankle Stabilizer is the best stabilizer.
- Futuro Comfort Ankle Support is the top compression sleeve.
- The Zenith Ankle Brace is the most adjustable.
- DonJoy Figure 8 Ankle Sleeve is the best strap.
- Futuro Performance Ankle Support is the best for sports.
Utilizing an ankle brace
Contrary to common opinion, according to Maryland-based podiatrist Priya Parthasarathy, DPM, it is preferable to wait until an injury has already occurred before wearing an ankle brace. According to Dr. Parthasarathy, a foot brace is actually just for “occasional use, such as a trek on uneven ground or sports with a lot of lateral mobility.” This is true even if you are accident prone or have been diagnosed by a podiatrist with chronic ankle instability. In order to lower your chance of damage, you can wear an ankle brace, but you should only do so occasionally.
Otherwise, an ankle brace might be more detrimental than helpful. She continues, “The prolonged support might damage the joint by preventing the surrounding muscles from strengthening.
choosing an ankle brace
The best course of action after an injury is to schedule an examination with your podiatrist. Knowing the extent of your injury will help you select the best ankle brace, especially if the pain is severe or long-lasting.
However, for mild discomfort, we consulted with our experts to get their picks for the top ankle braces available on Amazon, including those that would improve compression, stabilization, and exercise. Browse their recommendations below to find smise much-needed comfort and relief and get back on your game.
Med Spec Aso Ankle Stabilizer is the best stabilizer
Purchase It for $22
This best-seller has over 12,700 five-star reviews on Amazon and offers support and stability during the healing process, which is what a decent ankle brace should do. The nylon boot uses stabilizing straps to form a figure-eight brace to maintain the foot’s alignment, and is specifically advised by Dr. Parthasarathy for anyone needing stiff support. This rigid design prevents your foot from bending strangely, which could cause more damage. You won’t have to worry about it feeling awkward or poorly fitting thanks to the design’s adjustable laces, elastic cuff, and cooling cushioning. Additionally, it comes in two hues in sizes XXS to XXXL.
Futuro Comfort Ankle Support is the top compression sleeve
Buy It, $11
According to Dr. Parthasarathy, wearing a compression sleeve is a fantastic alternative for reducing fatigue and inflammation. The elastic knit construction of this ankle sleeve makes it simple to put on the foot. As you move, the cloth stretches and bends, making you comfortable while still providing your ankle with a modicum of support. The thin brace gets bonus points because it may be used on your elbow and it fits into most types of footwear.
The Zenith Ankle Brace is the most adjustable
Purchase for $30 (was $32)
Dr. Perkins also suggests this ankle brace, which is a well-liked alternative with more than 3,600 reviews with 5-star ratings from customers who vouch for its pain-relieving abilities. She describes it as a “strong, adaptable support [that is] good for treating sports injuries and preventing ankle problems.” The side straps hold your foot in place while you’re moving around, and the lace-up design gives you the ideal fit and allows you to make modifications as the swelling changes. Additionally, the ventilated neoprene and nylon materials guarantee that the brace will remain breathable despite being double-stitched for durability.
DonJoy Figure 8 Ankle Sleeve is the best strap
Buy It, $35
When you spend hours on your feet, you need light support. It is this cozy ankle sleeve. The stylish brace supports minor irritability or inflammation using a wrapping method that resembles kinesiology tape. According to Dr. Perkins, the elastic material of the ventilated sleeve provides precisely the right amount of mobility for high-intensity movements, making it ideal for exercise. However, lace-ups are preferable if you’re in excruciating discomfort.
Futuro Performance Ankle Support is the best for sports
Purchase for $10 (was $14)
Sprain injuries are more likely to occur if you’re running on rough terrain or participating in a sport that needs a lot of lateral movement. Dr. Parthasarathy advises using this performance-based ankle brace, which provides equal amounts of compression and support, in the event of an ankle sprain. The velcro straps cross over one another to support the foot and offer the slight compression necessary to reduce swelling in the ankles. Additionally, the brace is built with moisture-wicking materials so you can continue to exercise while wearing it.