If you're an athlete in a team or solo sport, you know that injuries are a common part of the game you love and that rehabbing properly is the key to getting back to pre-injury form. Ankle injuries are one of the most common stumbling blocks for athletes, as even young and fit athletes frequently turn this sensitive joint. The ankle is prone to recurring injuries, making proper support essential to injured athletes getting back in the game. Finding the best ankle brace can make all the difference in keeping a vulnerable ankle healthy.
But not all ankle braces are created equal, and only the best ankle braces have the mix of comfort, support, and easy fit you need. With many athletes in need of protective gear for their ankles, the ankle brace market is growing fast and finding the right one can make a big difference in your sports performance and joint health. That's why we've put together a list of the ten best ankle braces on the market today.
Best Ankle Brace FAQ
1. What Is an Ankle Brace and Who Needs Them?
An ankle brace is a reinforced fabric sleeve that fits around the foot and cushions it, adding extra support and protection during athletic activity. It's recommended for any athlete who has suffered a past ankle injury, since the best ankle braces keep the ankle from twisting in harmful directions.
Ankle injuries are common in sports that include a lot of running and landing, including basketball, gymnastics, cheerleading, track and field, and soccer. It's common to see healthy athletes wearing protective ankle gear long after injuries have healed, because a little prevention can avoid months of rest and rehabilitation.
2. Do the Best Ankle Braces Fit Under Athletic Footwear?
Yes, the best ankle braces aren't bulky and should fit under standard footwear, but if you wear tight shoes, going up a half-size may provide a more comfortable fit.
3. What Activities Are the Best Ankle Braces Recommended For?
The best ankle braces are recommended for any sport involving heavy landings or sudden turns with the feet, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, track-and-field, plus non-competitive activities like hiking.
4. How Long Should the Best Ankle Braces Be Worn After Injury?
Every ankle injury is different and you should consult with your orthopedist for updates on your recovery, but as long as you feel any weakness or tenderness we recommend using your brace.
5. Where Can I Find the Best Ankle Braces?
The best ankle braces can be found on Amazon or at major sports and medical supply stores. You will also find a supply at most drug stores or big box stores. As these braces are elastic, most will fit all shoe sizes.
How We Reviewed
The following list of the best ankle braces was reviewed based on affordability, protection and support for healing injuries, comfort while wearing, durability of fabric and elastic, ease of wearing under a shoe, and long-term support during competitions.
Overall Price Range
The ten ankle braces on this list range in price from around $7 to $30. The higher-priced braces offer stronger support and more features that allow you to tighten or loosen the brace, while the lower-cost braces are standard elastic models.
What We Reviewed
- POWERLIX Ankle Brace Compression Support Sleeve
- Adjustable Ankle Stabilizer
- SENTEQ Ankle Brace
- Aircast A60 Ankle Support Brace
- Liomor Ankle Support Breathable Ankle Brace
- Mcdavid Ankle Brace
- Mueller Adjustable Ankle Support
- CopperJoint – Copper-Infused Compression Ankle Sleeve
- Active Ankle T2 Ankle Brace
- Kunto Fitness Ankle Brace Compression Support Sleeve
POWERLIX Ankle Brace Compression Support Sleeve
- PHENOMENAL PROTECTION: PowerLix ankle braces apply even pressure across your ankle joint, which provides ultimate pain...
- PUSH YOURSELF TO THE LIMIT!: Our ankle supports are the perfect fit for any activity requiring ankle movement, including...
- PREMIUM QUALITY: Our ankle sleeves are manufactured to provide superior support, comfort, and relief without...
The Powerlix Ankle Brace is ideal for athletes who want to escape injuries and calm recurring pains thanks to its unique fabric blend and four-way stretch capability, which offers unparalleled flexibility and support. It's recommended for common ailments including sprains, swelling, plantar fasciitis, and recurring tenderness or injuries. The fabric is designed to be smooth and irritation-free on the inside, making it ideal for extended games and practices, and the anti-odor and sweat absorbing capabilities keep your feet from overheating.
Promoting optimum pain relief and improving blood circulation, this is one of the more expensive ankle braces on the list. However, it's among the most durable braces and is a good long-term investment for serious athletes.
Where to Buy
Adjustable Ankle Stabilizer
This low-cost strap-on ankle brace is ideal for those dealing with arthritis, postoperative or post-injury pain, or those who need stability after previous joint issues. The soft neoprene blend retains body heat for soothing warmth, making it a good choice for weak ankles to protect them from temperature shock, while the top-and-bottom sectional design eliminates slipping and bunching. It's easy to tie, too, with criss-cross straps that let you customize your fit, while the side stays and high design provide lateral support to prevent rolling of the ankle.
This is the lowest-cost item on the list, so it doesn't provide the long-term support common with high-end braces; but it's a perfect choice for anyone who wants extra support while rehabbing an injury.
Where to Buy
SENTEQ Ankle Brace
A lightweight brace designed to slip under any shoe, this brace is ideal for preventing pains, strains, and sprains on the ankle during sports while maintaining the flexibility you need for top performance. Designed and engineered for high-level athletes, its breathable fabric is one of the stretchiest options, so you don't lose any flexibility for protection. Ideal for sports that involving high-energy jumping and running, its snug fit improves blood and air circulation while keeping the heel and toes exposed for more breathability.
It's not machine washable, but this neoprene elastic blend is one of the most flexible braces on the list and gets high marks for comfort and athletic performance.
Where to Buy
Aircast A60 Ankle Support Brace
- Provides a mild level of support, making it ideal for individuals suffering from chronic ankle instabilities or those...
- Incorporates a stabilizer located on either side of the ankle, which is molded at a 60-degree angle to help guard...
- Supports the weakest point of the ankle, yet allows for normal dorsiflexion and plantar-flexion (bending)
Designed for those with good ankle flexibility who want some added protection, the Aircast A60 provides an unobtrusive design that fits perfectly with athletic shoes and doesn't impede speed or movement. Designed to improve blood flow and air circulation, it's made from trademarked Breath-O-Prene fabric that fights odor and moisture. The side stabilizers provide rolling injuries, and the strap makes it easy to adjust for the perfect fit, taking only seconds to loosen or tighten during a game.
It's more ideal for healed injuries rather than recovering injuries and doesn't offer the firm support of other options; but it's a comfortable, long-term protective option.
Where to Buy
Liomor Ankle Support Breathable Ankle Brace
- 1. ULTRA-STRONG SUPPORT - Our ankle support fitted with crisscross reinforcement straps to offer strong support &...
- 2. IDEAL FOR ANKLE HEALTH - Designed to minimize the risk of injury especially during the strenuous activities, also...
- 3. HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL - Made of high-elastic and moisture wicking material. Interlayer with perforation design keep...
The Liomor company is known for making high-quality products at a low price, and their ankle brace offers superior protection for a fraction of the cost of high-end models. Ideal for healing injuries, it's one of the firmer and bulkier products on the list, so it's best worn with loose-fitting shoes that can comfortably hold the brace and its simple criss-cross straps. It's made from a moisture-wicking elastic fabric that maximizes air circulation while fighting odor and not compromising flexibility thanks to its open-heel design.
The feel of this brace can take some practice to get used to, but it provides strong support and is ideal as a first brace for an athlete coming back from an ankle injury.
Where to Buy
McDavid Ankle Brace
- PREVENTS and helps RECOVER from common ankle sprains
- SUPPORTIVE “U” shape FLEXIBLE steel side stays provides stability
- BREATHABLE two-layer polyester/vinyl mesh and liner
As one of the highest-priced models on the list, the McDavid ankle brace has to deliver top performance. Thankfully it does, having undergone extended testing to ensure it provides the best protection on the market. Studies show that athletes using this brace had only a third of the injuries of athletes exercising unprotected. Made of a single piece of high-grade polyester, it's the lightest and thinnest brace on the list but offers superior protection thanks to a compression comfort strap and its breathable fabric that fights sweat and odor.
This brace is fully adjustable without removing the shoe thanks to the high-sitting strap, and the ventilated tongue keeps the top of your leg as cool as the rest. Coming in black and gray and six common sizes, it's a stylish option that's easy to use and offers high-level protection for healing and past injuries.
Where to Buy
Mueller Adjustable Ankle Support
If you're looking for a low-lying ankle support that doesn't stick out of your shoe, the Mueller Adjustable Ankle Support is designed to provide protection thanks to its firm but lightweight construction. The crisscross tension straps and patented strapping system make it easy to close and adjust during a game while still providing maximum protection. The sectional design is ideal for high-speed games because you won't have to deal with slippage and bunching, while the open heel ensures a full range of motion.
This lightweight brace is only available in one size, but the straps make it easy to fit onto most foot sizes. We recommend trying it before purchase, but the low price point makes this a strong choice for protecting from recurrences of past injuries.
Where to Buy
CopperJoint – Copper-Infused Compression Ankle Sleeve
- COMFORTABLE, COPPER-INFUSED ANKLE SUPPORT: You work hard. You play hard. You understand the importance of living an...
- PERFORMANCE FABRIC KEEPS YOU DRY AND ODOR-FREE: Our products feature a unique copper-infused, breathable,...
- GENUINE COPPER IONS SUPPORT RECOVERY AND PAIN RELIEF: CopperJoint products utilize genuine copper ions rather than...
A mid-priced one-piece ankle sleeve, this brace provides comfortable and durable joint support that fits snugly and won't bunch or slip. Its distinctive feature is its copper-infused fabric, which provides an added level of durability and eliminates odor, while the fabric is designed to wick away moisture and keep your skin dry and comfortable. Copper ions support recovery and pain relief, stimulating oxygen delivery to the muscles and reducing the time needed for muscles to heal.
Ideal for all ages and fitness levels, this brace fits easily under any shoe and stretches to fit most shoe sizes. The flexibility provides maximum game performance while also protecting from recurring injuries.
Where to Buy
Active Ankle T2 Ankle Brace
- T2 Rigid Ankle Braces offer an exceptional level of protection with a quick-fit single strap that is adjustable for both...
- Fits left or right foot, and offers maximum performance and protection for sports like volleyball, basketball and...
- Sleek, less-bulky brace features feather-light, custom molded EVA padding, which hugs every contour of the ankle and is...
Most of the ankle braces on this list are designed for long-term use, but a specialized brace designed for use as you begin rehabbing from an injury is essential for healing athletes. When transitioning from a cast or brace, extra support is needed, and this strap-on hinged brace provides easy-to-adjust flexibility as you test your athletic ability following an injury. It's one of the bulkiest braces on the list but is made from light-weight material that is comfortable and easy to put on and take off.
Recommended for volleyball, football, basketball, and cheerleading, this is a brace that focuses on protection while offering the flexibility you need to build up your strength post-injury.
Where to Buy
Kunto Fitness Ankle Brace Compression Support Sleeve
- SUPPORT YOU CAN FEEL - Kunto Fitness’ Ankle Brace applies even pressure across your ankle joint, which provides...
- EVERYWHERE YOU WANT TO BE - No matter if you’re a hiker, runner, or just enjoy a nice long walk, our ankle sleeves...
- A BETTER WEAVE - We use a blend of fabrics to get the best all of them have to offer! Our unique sleeve offers comfort...
Coming with a 100% money-back guarantee, this ankle brace model from Kunto offers superior protection thanks to its firm one-piece construction and form-fitting design. Made from a breathable fabric that resists moisture and fights bad odors, it will fit well on any foot size without slipping or bunching. Coming in sizes ranging from x-small to large, it's an ideal long-term choice that prevents recurring injuries.
Long-term use in activities like marathons or extended hikes can be difficult due to reports of the seam chafing, but it's a strong mid-range choice for athletics.
Where to Buy
All ten ankle braces on this list provided superior support and protection from injuries while fitting comfortably in shoes and not reducing flexibility. Which is the best fit for your athletic needs depends on your condition. The Active Ankle T2, for example, provides the best protection but is too bulky for regular use for most people.
One model stood out as delivering the perfect mix of protection, flexibility, and durability. Thanks to its unique copper infusion, we give the Copperjoint Copper-Infused Reinforced Ankle Sleeve our endorsement as the best ankle brace on the market today.
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