Choosing the right ankle brace
An ankle brace buying guide
Finding the best ankle brace to buy is important if you have an ankle injury or discomfort. An ankle brace can provide the support that is needed to allow an injured ankle to heal. Ankle and other foot braces come in a variety of sizes, styles and choices. The best ankle brace for you will depend on various factors.
>> Consider the age of the person using the ankle brace
When shopping for ankle supports, keep in mind the age of the person who will be using the one you purchase. This will help narrow your choices down to the best braces and supports for that specific person. Each brace comes in a different size, from children's to plus sizes, so you'll be sure to find the right fit and level of support. Look for information on ankle brace sizes on the outside of the package. Using the right size of ankle support can contribute to how quickly and effectively an injury heals.
>> Which type of ankle brace is needed?
There are numerous types of ankle braces on the market, each made in a different way in order to provide a certain level of support and comfort:
|Tie ||The tie closure of this type of ankle brace allows you to easily support your ankle by tying the brace securely. Tie ankle braces and supports are usually made from a cloth-like material. They are good to use while playing any type of sport as they generally fit easily into cleats or other sports shoes. |
|Neoprene ||To support a sprained or injured ankle - or if you simply want to add extra ankle support during athletic activities - consider using a neoprene ankle brace. They are comfortable, cloth-like and provide a Velcro closure for ease of fitting. |
|EVA ||To maintain a larger, smoother range of motion while wearing an ankle brace, consider EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) ankle braces, which are designed to provide optimal support during less strenuous activities such as walking. EVA ankle supports are often made of plastic, have springs for easy mobility and feature interior EVA foam pads for comfort. |
|Velcro ||The best type of ankle braces for close-fitting support are Velcro braces. These ankle braces and wraps provide a comfortable yet snug fit around the problem area. |
|Knitted ||Knitted ankle braces are worn like socks. They come in numerous sizes, slip on over the foot easily and can effectively support the affected area. These types of ankle braces also breathe easily for added comfort. |
|Plastic ||Plastic is a thick material that can provide significant support to injured ankles as needed. While the inside of this type of ankle brace is cushioned with pads that are soft and comfortable, the outside provides a hard outer layer to protect the injured joint. |
>> Do you want a gel brace?
Top-rated ankle braces also include gel ankle supports, which provide a light, cooling pressure to help soothe an affected area. Braces with gel should provide a fitted feeling without being too tight or loose. Air gel pockets inside the brace usually sit right on the ankle and are designed to stay cool.
>> Consider the specs of the ankle brace
Each type of ankle brace has different specifications. While comparing ankle braces, for example, it makes sense to see if they can be washed in a washing machine. Also check to see which come in the needed size and are designed to support the necessary weight level, which may prevent future problems as well as help correct a current issue and which offer the comfort and support you desire.
Comfort can be a major factor to consider, especially if a new ankle brace is going to be worn every day. A brace should be comfortable and gentle on the affected area. You should still have a decent range of mobility and be able to comfortably continue your everyday tasks while wearing the brace. Some braces, such as those made out of cloth, are designed to allow the area to breathe while it heals.
The support provided by an ankle brace should allow you to continue to follow your regular routine, even if that includes playing contact sports. While a plastic or neoprene ankle brace usually provides optimal levels of support, a gel brace often provides lighter support but is more comfortable. Keep in mind how supportive you need your ankle braces and wraps to be as you shop.
Ankle braces are designed to provide the support you need, especially while you recover from an injury. They may also help prevent future injuries or simply add cushioning and comfort.
Each type of ankle brace has different benefits. By researching and comparing the wide variety of ankle braces available, you'll be more likely to find the best ankle brace for your situation.