Once you’ve sprained your ankle, it becomes a lot easier to sprain it again. I fell down a flight of stairs in the 3rd grade and gave myself a Grade III sprain to my right ankle. It swelled up like a grapefruit, turned 50 shades of purple, and I couldn’t walk on it for nearly two weeks. Ever since, I’ve needed to wear an ankle brace on it to have a stable platform for my game.
If you think you can just run to the store and buy any old ankle brace, you’re going to find yourself hurting after your next practice or game. Different ankle health issues require different bracing and you can’t always find what you need at the local store.
The Best Chart for Ankle Braces
From the lace-up variety to the metal-braced kind and everything in-between, there are plenty of great ankle braces on the market today. These are the top-rated options in this category that you’ll want to consider.
|ASO Ankle Stabilizer|| 4.4 || $$ |
|Liomor Ankle Support|| 4.4 || $ |
|Venom Neoprene Ankle Brace|| 4.3 || $$$ |
|Sleeve Stars Ankle Brace|| 4.4 || $$ |
|Zamst A2-DX Ankle Brace|| 4.4 || $$$$$ |
|Kunto Fitness Ankle Brace|| 4.2 || $$ |
|McDavid Ankle Brace with Stabilizer Straps|| 4.5 || $$ |
|VIVE Ankle Stabilizer|| 4.1 || $$ |
|Ultra Zoom Ankle Brace|| 4.1 || $$$$$ |
|Product Stop Inc Laced Ankle Brace|| 4.4 || $$ |
Let’s Talk About Ankle Sprains for a Moment
You’re here because you’ve suffered an ankle injury and want to support it or you’ve got an old injury that is acting up on you. Ankle sprains are the most common ankle injury that happens in basketball. It can be worrisome when you pick up an injury, so here is everything you need to know about ankle sprains so you can start the treatment process.
If you’ve just sprained your ankle, then make sure you are following the RICE method of treatment.
- Get off of your foot and give it time to heal. For a bad sprain, that might mean going to the doctor to grab some crutches or a therapeutic boot.
- Ice packs help to ease the pain and swelling of a sprain.
- Ankle braces that are like an elastic wrap do a great job of pushing any extra swelling away from the joint.
- Keep your ankle above your heart to control swelling as well.
For a Grade I sprain, home treatment is usually fine. Get off of your foot, ice the ankle, and take it easy for the next few days. Anything Grade II or above will usually need to be evaluated by a medical professional since it involves tearing of ligaments.
In the past, you would probably be put into a cast for a severe enough ankle sprain. Treatment options are different today because the soft tissues around the ankle weaken when they are kept immobile. Wearing an ankle brace to allow for weight bearing will help you recover from even a severe sprain in 6 weeks or less in most instances.
Even a mild sprain, however, can cause swelling in and around the ankle that may last for several months after the injury.
Which Ankle Brace Design Is Right for Me?
The goal of wearing an ankle brace is to get you back onto the basketball floor as soon as possible. This means your ankle brace needs to be able to work with your current basketball shoes.
There are four basic types of ankle brace that may help to provide you with the supports that you need.
- Lace-Up Brace. This is a basic support brace that is worn much like you’d wear a shoe. It slips on over your sock and then you lace it up. This allows you to wear it in your basketball shoe with relative ease.
- Hinged Brace. This brace provides supports for a high ankle brace. The foot is kept relatively free, but a hinge goes from a foot plate to the full support that is worn around the ankle.
- Hinged Cuff Brace. This is the heavy duty ankle brace to wear when an injury has just occurred or there is a severe threat of a future injury. It’s a bulky brace that is difficult to fit into most basketball shoes, but it will also provide you with the most overall stability.
- Athletic Tape Brace. In a pinch, athletic tape can also work to provide your ankle with some bracing. Just remember that you shouldn’t run tape over your basketball shoes like athletes in other sports sometimes do.
You’ll also find that there are a variety of materials available today that form the foundation of the modern ankle brace. Entry-level braces, especially lace-up braces, tend to be made from a rip-stop nylon. You’ll also find rigid plastics used in many hinged designs. An exciting new option may be thermoplastic resins, especially for those players who need to have a custom-fit ankle brace.
It All Comes Down to the Level of Support Your Ankle Brace Provides
Each ankle that needs a brace will require a specific level of support. The type of ankle brace I wear is probably not the same type of brace you may need to wear. This means it is up to you and your doctor, if necessary, to determine the actual level of support that you need.
Basic supports can be obtained by a simple wrap. Something like an Ace bandage can get you through in a pinch. Elastic ankle supports can also give you that extra level of security that you need while still being budget friendly.
Structural supports are important. Neoprene is often included with ankle braces, which is nice because it gives your ankle some added therapeutic warmth. If you need more support, then get it. Modify your shoe instead of modifying your brace.
And remember: an ankle sprain rehabilitation program with your new brace will help you get on your feet even faster.
How Much are the Best Ankle Braces for Basketball?
Ankle braces are reasonably affordable, especially when shopping for an over-the-counter solution. Basic braces are typically $20 or less. If you’re looking for a hinged brace, you can expect to pay $100 or less for most models.
Let’s Have a Look at Some Specific Ankle Braces
The stabilizing straps on this ankle brace gives the user a stable wearing experience. The complete a figure eight so that you receive a maximum amount of support that still works with the best basketball shoes. The elastic cuff closure keeps the laces secure as well so they aren’t flopping out when you’re running down the court. Each brace fits the right or left foot, with the nylon boot giving you a fairly durable wear. Wear it over your sock for the best experience, otherwise the brace can get pretty slimy after a practice or a game.
This basic ankle brace is super easy to use. Since it doesn’t have the laces of other braces, you can quickly slip this thing on and be ready to run out on the court. You need to wear it under your sock, but the elasticized moisture-wicking materials don’t cause an itch or make you feel like you’re walking in a puddle. Meant more to support after injury recovery than provide stabilization during one, you will need to make sure your foot is 11.8 inches or less in arch circumference to have this ankle brace work for you.
This is the ankle brace you’ll want to use if you are a player that needs to make constant cuts and drives during the game. It adds compression and pressure right around the sides of the ankle, giving you a maximum amount of vertical support with its size stabilizers. Even when a sprain has created swelling or acute muscle fatigue, this brace can help to keep you going so you can finish the game strong. The contoured arch design is particularly nice since it works with most basketball shoes. Wear it under the sock for best results.
We often focus on ankle issues in basketball, but let’s not forget that plantar fasciitis can also be a major problem for some players. When you have that painful issue, especially when combined with an ankle problem, then you can be off your game for several weeks. This compression sleeve enhances circulation to the ankle and foot where you’re going to need it the most, letting you receive instant comfort for what ails you. Best of all, you can wear it all day long to encourage faster healing.
This is one solid ankle brace that you can slap on after an injury and get back out on the court. It provides three methods of support: medial, anterior, and lateral. It also offers grip technology so that you don’t have the brace migrate out of position on you like some sleeves tend to do. It also features an open panel design with adjustable fasteners so you can always have an individualized fit and level of compression. If you’ve had a serious sprain, this is the best ankle brace to use to take away the pain.
No matter how bad your injury or issue may be, the best ankle brace for basketball will help you stay in control of your game. Grab the design which best needs your needs today and you’ll be able to keep your skills progressing forward.