For those of us with ankle problems, good ankle braces are much more than an accessory. Once you have experienced the pain of having your ankle roll over and dump you on the ground, you become quite motivated to avoid the experience!
Whether you had an injury, are simply trying to prevent one from happening, supporting your ankle with a brace can be a huge help. However, picking just any brace is never a good idea. So, we reviewed top products on the market to help you find the best ankle brace for pain.
The Best Ankle Brace For Pain Relief Reviews
OUR TOP PICK
This is the most hardcore and heavy-duty option on our list. It almost looks like some kind of armored shoe. The hinged ankle piece of something that you only see on serious ankle braces. These types of braces provide the best support, but the lowest comfort level. They also require larger shoes to accomodate their size.
This is a more hardcore option, and provides several layers of support. As such, there are multiple ways to adjust this brace. In terms of price, it is a little more expensive, but you get superior ankle support in exchange. The only downside is that it takes longer to put this brace on and to take it off because of the more complex design.
Ankle Brace Compression Support Sleeve
These braces could be described as compression socks. They don’t even look like anything out of the ordinary. While these may be too light-duty for those with serious needs, they provide a low-visibility option for those who only need a little bit of protection.
This is another lightweight compression sock, and it might very well be the most light-duty option on this list. In general, these braces are comparable to other compression socks, providing decent support in a high-comfort and low-visibility package. It also has a “springy” feel that helps you to get a little more bounce in your step.
Our Top Pick, And Why!
For those who need one, an ankle brace is incredibly important. It is not possible to choose just one brace since everyone’s needs are different. However, we can definitely say that the Ultra Zoom is the best of the rigid braces, and the Rikeep ankle wrap is the best of the soft braces. They both do what you would expect out of a quality ankle brace and are very durable.
Ankle problems do not have to end your life or prevent you from doing the things that you love to do. Good ankle support will keep you from being painfully and embarrassingly dumped on the floor, and most people will never be the wiser. It’s amazing to see how much difference a simple sleeve can make!
Who Needs An Ankle Brace?
Ankle braces are necessary for those who have experienced ankle problems. These issues will usually result from a prior injury that has made the supporting tissues of the ankle a little bit weaker. For these kinds of people, a good ankle brace is highly essential.
Ankle braces should also be worn by those who are regularly engaged in activities that put a strain on the ankles. For instance, competitive runners and cyclists definitely need to wear some kind of ankle bracing. Weight lifting and martial arts are two activities that also carry a high risk of an ankle injury.
What Are The Benefits Of Wearing An Ankle Brace?
The primary purpose of an ankle brace is, of course, the prevention of injury. However, there are some other benefits. Wearing an ankle brace ensures that your ankles and lower legs remain straight at all times. This provides slightly superior mechanics when it comes to weight distribution. Wearing an ankle brace allows you to lift greater amounts of weight when lifting with your legs.
What Are The Different Types Of Ankle Braces?
There are two basic types of ankle braces: Soft and hard. The soft ankle braces usually take the form of a wrap and are usually made of cloth or foam. These could be described as “light duty” supports because they do not make it impossible for the ankle to bend. However, they make it less likely to bend, and they do this without limiting the range of motion at all.
The hard ankle braces are made for harder cases. When you have a weak ankle, for whatever the reason, you cannot afford to let it bend at all. Any bend could result in a collapse, and that really hurts. Studies have shown that ankle braces are more effective than a cast.
These ankle braces provide superior support, but they also reduce the overall range of motion and can sometimes be very uncomfortable. After taking a long walk wearing these types of ankle supports, I can tell you that you need to wear extra socks underneath the support. If not, you are likely to chafe and get blisters.
What Should You Look For When Choosing The Best Ankle Brace For Pain?
You should consider just how bad your problems really are, and how much strain you are putting on your ankle. For some people, a soft and light-duty foot wrap may be all that is required. For those who have suffered a prior ankle injury, this is not even an option.
It is safe to say that most of us will fall into the middle of these two categories. This is where you have to evaluate your health, your activities, and your age.
There are several factors that you must evaluate when you consider which ankle brace to buy. Let’s go over these factors one by one.
Stop for just a minute and think about how many pairs of shoes you have ruined over the course of your life. Now, think about how many socks you have worn out as well! The point of this is to realize that anything worn on the feet is not going to last all that long.
Your feet probably take more abuse on a day-to-day basis than any other part of your body. As such, you need to make sure that any ankle brace you buy is of superior durability. All the friction that it will experience can wear down a cheap brace in no time.
As we already mentioned, most of these braces aren’t going to last for years. So, since you know it won’t be long before you need to replace this item, you shouldn’t waste a lot of money to get one. Look at your ankle brace as a semi-disposable item much like your socks or underwear.
You need to be confident that you can wear this ankle brace all day, and engage in any sort of physical activity that you desire, without experiencing severe discomfort. This is where you need to look at the method of size adjustment. Some braces or wraps will have a velcro pad while others will have straps, buckles, and/or laces.
Whatever the adjustment mechanism may be, make sure that you can get the level of precise adjustment that you need. A brace that is too loose will move and chafe your skin, creating huge and painful blisters that make it unpleasant to walk. A brace that is too tight will cut off your circulation and create numbing followed by pain.
Level Of Support
To sum up what we said earlier: make sure that you get a brace that suits your level of sensitivity. Those who are just trying to prevent injury can probably make do with a soft wrap. Those who are trying to heal an existing injury while preventing a new one would be better off to buy a hard-shell brace that doesn’t provide any ability for lateral (side-to-side) movement.