Ankle braces can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some may be more appropriate for sports than others, or vice versa. But if you’re unsure about which type is right for your needs, there are a few things to consider before you make your purchase.
Athletes in recreational sports often wear ankle braces to help prevent injury during exercise or games. Sturdy straps or bands usually keep the brace in place, and a silicone pad cushions the area.
Depending on your activity level, an ankle brace should be worn during games or training sessions, though it may also be worn when running errands or during workouts.
Whether you're playing a pickup game in the park, heading out for a walk with friends, or participating in an organized sport like baseball or basketball, wearing an ankle brace can help prevent injury.
Features To Look for When Choosing the Best Ankle Brace
Many of theankle braces on the market are made of soft foam, fabric, neoprene, or silicone. The brace should provide support for the entire ankle, and you should be able to do a variety of exercises with the brace in place.
Pick a brace that provides stability as you perform basic daily activities or vigorous workouts and intense, unexpected movements. Stability is important because it keeps your ankle in proper alignment even with an unstable joint like an ankle sprain.
The best ankle brace will come with adjustable straps that can be snugged and cinched to accommodate various ankle sizes. Additionally, choose a brace that fits snugly yet comfortably around your ankle.
Ideally, the brace should be snug enough to keep it in place but not so tight that it causes pain. If the brace vibrates or moves while you walk, you might want to look at other options.
A brace isn't enough to help prevent injury because what hurts most is when an unstable joint like a sprained ankle is forced into its normal alignment again by chance movements—joint misalignments.
When you buy your ankle brace, look for one that offers support for your ankle and stabilizes your joint.
The best ankle brace will be made from top-quality materials to offer more than just support. Look for high-quality construction features, including tapered ends and rounded corners to prevent chafing and blistering. Moreover, look for materials designed for a specific activity or purpose.
This adjusts quickly and adds extra comfort to your brace. The best ankle brace is made with removable padding that you can remove when you feel uncomfortable during exercise. But still, add it back when you're doing demanding activities like running or playing basketball.
Ankle braces support the lower leg and provide compression on the foot and ankle, which helps reduce swelling and pain after an injury. Sufficient compression helps prevent further injury and provides relief during recovery. However, too much compression can constrict your blood flow which is vital for healthy tissue repair.
Nearly all ankle braces come with adjustable straps around the ankle. Adjust the length of the straps to fit you best, and then cinch the straps to keep the brace in place. Adjustable straps allow you to find your comfort level since you can adjust them to fit over a shoe.
Weather resisting characteristics in an ankle brace help protect your ankle from sweating or getting wet during exercise or activity. Practically, a waterproof brace is easy to clean and less likely to smell in hot weather when you're wearing it.
Ease of use
You should be able to put your ankle brace on in seconds and start exercising.The best ankle brace will be made for comfort and will not rub your skin raw or cause chafing under the straps when you move.
Extra features like a built-in ice pack and a Velcro closure are also helpful in preventing blisters. These features make it easier to fit an ankle brace around your foot and ankle if you have thick socks with heel traction inserts.
While ankle braces are designed for various reasons, the best way to choose one is to assess what your goals are. Other things that you must consider are comfort, functionality, and price.
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