When choosing an ankle brace it’s important to know about the different types of ankle braces and when to use each type.
In this article we will talk about the different types of ankle braces and our favorite ankle braces of each category.
Ankle braces can be broken down to 3 main types: Rigid, Semi-Rigid, and Soft.
1. Rigid ankle braces are used for people that have just sprained their ankle severely or for people that have a history of severe ankle instability, chronic ankle sprains and need extra support when playing sports, running or walking.
2. Semi-Rigid ankle braces are more comfortable than rigid ankle braces and provide moderate support for those recovering from an ankle sprain and also need extra support during activities that put them at risk for recurrent ankle sprain.
3. Soft ankle braces help provide a little support and compression for people that have mild ankle sprains and are recovering from a severe to moderate ankle sprain. The soft ankle braces typically have compression that can help control swelling and decrease pain.
It is important to know that wearing a rigid or semi-rigid ankle brace for more than a 1-2 months consistently will actually make your ankle weaker and increase the chance of recurrent ankle sprain. It is important to see your doctor to get a referral for physical therapy or do at home physical therapy after an ankle sprain. We recommend transitioning from rigid/semi-rigid ankle brace to a soft ankle brace after an ankle sprain injury to allow proper recovery.Link to at home physical therapy exercises for ankle sprains
rigid Ankle Brace
Zamst A2-DX Ankle Stabilizing Brace
- This ankle brace became popularized by NBA player Stephen Curry who wears this brace during practice and games.
- This ankle brace has the highest level of support and is recommended only for people that suffer from recurrent ankle sprains and play in high impact sports.
- This ankle brace provides 3 way supports help prevent injury of the medial, lateral and high ankle ligaments
Active Ankle Eclipse II Ankle Brace
- This Active Ankle brace has the classic U shape rigid brace that you will find on many other rigid ankle braces that provide maximum ankle support.
- This ankle brace incorporates a multipoint strapping system that allows comfortable fit and even compression across the entire ankle joint.
- Bilateral hinges allow multi directional movement which is important when playing sports such as volleyball, football, and baseketball.
Semi-Rigid Ankle Brace
Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer
- The Med Spec ankle brace is hybrid brace combining a lace up ankle brace with a figure of 8 stabilizing strap.
- This is a low profile brace made with Ballistic Nylon with ensures comfortability and durability.
- The brace is great for people with history of ankle sprains and want a little extra support when playing sports, walking or running. In addition, it’s useful for people recovering from a severe to moderate ankle sprain.
Mcdavid Ankle Brace
- Hybrid brace combining lace up brace with figure of 6 straps.
- Single layer polyester design with padded lining and reinforced closure
- Brace is similar to Med Spec ASO with slight variations in strap design
- Great for recovering from moderate to severe ankle sprains and for people with history of recurrent sprains.
Best Soft Ankle Brace
Bodyprox Ankle Support Brace
- A nice compact, neoprene ankle brace that helps provide mild support for people that recovering from a mild ankle sprain or need minimal support
- Has a low profile design with an open heel which may feel uncomfortable for some people
- Priced very competitively
NextGen Active Compression Ankle Brace
- A very low profile ankle compression brace that is good for helping decreasing swelling after injury or surgery to the foot or ankle
- Has mild support that is good for recovering from a mild ankle sprain
- Unique strap design provides additional support for those with mild ankle instability
- Price very competitively at 2 pairs for $15.99