Ankle Braces for Basketball
If you love to ball, you have to be careful about your ankles. Running, jumping, and twisting can lead to high and low ankle sprains and can exacerbate previous injuries. Ankle braces come in a variety of forms and functions, and can be used for essential stability and comfort, or as a means to prevent injury. This article will help you learn the difference between the styles of braces and your options for the best ankle braces for basketball.
Types of Braces
There are a few different types of ankle braces that serve different purposes. Some are designed for injury prevention, while others are used for basketball players recovering from injury. It’s best to check with a doctor or sports medicine therapist before making a purchase to determine the correct type of ankle brace to suit your needs, as if you require extra support, you want to be sure you get it.
Ankle sleeves act as a very basic tool for compression and stability of your ankle joint. Ankle sleeves don’t prevent ankle sprains, but the snug elastic material is comfortable and provides pain relief via compression. Ankle sleeves are fitted like socks and can be used for either foot.
The other main category of ankle support is the ankle brace, and they tend to be bulkier than the sock-like ankle sleeve. Ankle braces offer greater stability than ankle sleeves and are used to prevent or recover from an injury such as an ankle sprain.
- Ankle braces without inserts – This type of ankle brace is fitted via laces and straps and is a lighter option than the brace models with inserts. In addition, the lack of inserts makes the brace more comfortable but is less suitable for high-ankle sprains.
- Ankle braces with inserts – Ankle braces with inserts offer the greatest protection against high-ankle sprains or if you are recovering. This style of ankle brace has exterior supports and can be bulky and less comfortable than other types of ankle supports.
Quality Brands of Ankle Braces
- McDavid – McDavid is a reputable U.S.-based company who specializes in sports medicine products.
- ASO – This company is the preferred brand of many major U.S. colleges and universities.
Top 5 Ankle Braces for Basketball
It can be difficult to choose between so many types and brands of braces available on the market. You have to consider your injury history, the reason for needing a brace, comfort, and cost. Joint support is no joke, especially if you’ve already suffered a previous injury. Without stable ankles, your movement on the court in severely limited. The following is a list of the best ankle braces for basketball, according to customer reviews.
- ASO Ankle Stabilizer
The highly popular ASO ankle brace is made of ballistic nylon and is stabilized by laces, stabilizing straps, and an elastic cuff. The brace features a bilateral design so it can fit the left or right foot, and features a low profile with the ability to fit into most shoes.
2. 1st Elite X-Sleeves
These ankle sleeves provide graduated compression to relieve ankle and foot pain. This brand provides comfort and breathability along with the ability to fit into most footwear. This sleeve is particularly well-suited for running shoes.
3. Kunto Fitness Ankle Brace Compression Support Sleeve
This ankle sleeve provides comfort and support to the ankle joint, and is great for providing pain relief. The compression sleeve is form-fitted and guaranteed to not slip while still allowing for full range of motion.
4. McDavid 195 Ankle Brace with Stabilizer Straps
The 195 model ankle brace from trusted brand McDavid is one of the highest-rated ankle braces, according to consumers. The brace is specially designed to minimize bulk and weight, and has injury-prevention potential. According to an independent university study, athletes had 3x fewer injuries while wearing the brace.
5. McDavid 199 Lace-up Ankle Brace with Support Stays
Another popular model from McDavid, the 199 features steel spring support stays and removable inserts. The McDavid 199 provides maximum support and protection, and features durable but lightweight construction.
Other Great Ankle Braces
- Copper Compression Recovery Ankle Sleeve
- Active Ankle T2 Rigid Ankle Brace
- Copper Compression Gear Premium Fit Recovery Ankle Sleeve
- Liomor Ankle Support Breathable Ankle Brace
- Venom Neoprene Ankle Brace Lace-Up Support
Choosing the best ankle brace for basketball can feel overwhelming. There are a few things you’ll want to consider when comparing ankle braces.
- Purpose – Why do you need a brace? Are you prone to ankle sprains? Are you recovering from injury? There are different styles of braces suited to different purposes. Not all braces are created equal, so it’s important to consider the reason for your brace.
- Type of brace – As mentioned previously, there are different styles of braces meant to address different physical needs. Ankle braces general fall into two main categories: ankle sleeves and ankle braces (with and without inserts).
- Fit and comfort – Depending on the purpose of the brace, you’ll experience a range of comfort, but it’s important to find the right product that will provide the best fit and comfort for its design.
- Professional recommendation – Because different braces are designed to either treat or prevent injury, you may want to consult your doctor or sports medicine therapist to identify the best style or brand for you.
- Cost – As with all products, cost can be a determining factor in your decision-making; cost can vary based on style, material, and brand.
You have a lot of choices when it comes to ankles sleeves and braces for basketball, so it’s important to consider your needs and injury history. Ankles braces are designed to treat and prevent pain and injury while providing stability, and you have a lot of choices in terms of style, fit, and comfort to find the best brace for your needs. Don’t let an ankle injury hold you back, especially when they are easily preventable with the use of a good brace!