How To Choose An Ankle Brace or Support

Have you hurt your ankle? With so many ankle brace and support options deciding how to choose an ankle brace can be overwhelming.

Human ankles are exceptionally delicate. Ankle joints are quite susceptible to damage at all ages, as they are often overused…especially by runners. Studies reveal that using the correct type of ankle brace reduces the chances of an injury. Be it a school kid, a young athlete, or an older adult, all of them have undergone some type of ankle sprain in their life. 

.Related: Best Ankle Brace for Running

Type of ankle braces – How to choose an ankle brace?

  • Compression braces – These are elastic braces and can be used for mild ankle sprains. Made of lightweight material, these braces are stretchable and are designed to provide extra support to the ankle. They reduce swelling from an injured foot and keep the ankle warm, allowing it maximum movement.
  • Lace-up braces – They are a bit rigid compared to compression braces and can be used for moderate ankle sprains. They restrict your foot’s side and upward movements and provide better support. 
  • Hinged ankle supports – They are also semi-rigid and limit ankle movement from moving sideward with a better up and down motion. They are made with padded sides and Velcro straps for ease in using.

How to choose a good ankle brace

Everyone has their own set of requirements. The same goes for excellent ankle support. It depends on the needs and preference and varies from case to case. However, some of the essential factors to look at while choosing a right brace include:

  • Comfort – You want to wear a brace because you want some reassurance. So, there is no point in choosing a product that you may be allergic to or too tight to use. Breathable ankle support with flexible material is what you should consider.
  • Period of usage – As per the needs, some people may want to wear ankle support for the whole day, while others may prefer to use it for a short period. Considering your usage of time, you should select an ankle brace that suits your requirements.
  • Types – Depending on the level of comfort and requirements, various types of ankle braces are available on the market. Sleeves or with straps, there is a wide variety you can choose from.
  •  Fitting – A good ankle brace should not be too tight or loose. It should be a proper fit to provide you the appropriate support and comfort.
  • Type of Injury – There are different ankle braces designed for injury preventions, during an injury or post-injury recovery. There are also different degrees of ridged materials depending on the severity of the injury.

What is the difference between an ankle brace and ankle support?

Ankle supports and ankle braces both have the same goal: to protect your ankle. Ankle supports prevent injuries while ankle braces treat them. An ankle brace is soft, while an ankle support is ridged. Some hybrid braces function as both an ankle brace and support.

What is the most supportive ankle brace?

Below are some of the best ankle brace and supports readily available in the market.

Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer 

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An excellent supporting ankle brace, and flexible, Med Spec ASO ankle brace offers considerable protection. It has stabilizing straps, which form a figure-eight shape around your ankle, providing better support. In addition, elastic cuff closures securely hold the straps, so you don’t have to adjust the brace while moving. 

The brace can be used with shoes and has a bilateral design; that is, it fits both the right and left feet. It is available in different sizes, is machine washable, and is not very expensive.

Ankle Brace Men Women Compression Support – Sprained Ankles for Jogging and Running 

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This ankle sleeve is comfortable, lightweight, and flexible. It offers firm and steady compression to support the ankle. A low-cut open heel ensures better movement.

There are no lace and straps in this brace, so it is pretty easy to wear and can easily slip into socks and shoes. Made of moisture-absorbing and water-resistant material, this ankle brace is breathable and is available in different sizes.

Liomor Ankle Support Breathable Ankle Brace for Running Basketball Ankle Sprain Men Women

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Known for its comfort, this brace is breathable and lightweight, making it a perfect choice for most people. Designed with a high-elastic fabric, the brace offers better flexibility and support. The brace has a series of criss-cross straps to provide better support and security to the users. 

Made of high-quality elastic material, it has a perforated design to keep your foot dry and cool in all conditions. An open heel design allows the user better flexibility to move, simultaneously providing the perfect support.

TechWare Pro Ankle Brace Compression Sleeve


Offering a premium quality of comfort, this brace is made of thin material and helps relieve arthritis pain and prevent sprains. Easy to use with shoes, it’s designed with a no-slip fit so it can be used for different activities. Made of breathable material allows proper blood circulation to the ankle area and helps speed up recovery. 

Whether you want to use it for day-long work or go for a run, Techware Pro Ankle Brace is a perfect choice. 

Aircast Air-Stirrup Ankle Support Brace

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Best to use for preventing accidental injuries, this brace is good to treat acute ankle problems, chronic instability, post-operative use, and most ankle sprains. Semi-rigid and automatically designed shells help stabilize and protect your ankle by resisting inward inversion of the foot.

Pre-inflated cells provide pulsating compression and enhance blood circulation while walking and other daily activities. Made of a sturdy plastic outer shell and air-foam lining, the brace offers ample support and comfort to the users. We don’t recommend this brace for running, as it will not fit as well in your shoe

How to choose an ankle brace? Benefits of ankle braces.

The main benefits of wearing ankle support are:

  • Injury Prevention – An ankle is made of many small bones that assist us in various movements. Our foot bears the entire body weight, so they are likely to get injured. Ankle braces hold your foot securely in place, thus eliminating chances of accidental turnings of the joints and getting injured. Click here for Tips For Avoiding Ankle and Foot Injuries While Running.
  • Reduction in pain – Ankle braces help reduce swelling and minimize discomfort caused by ankle sprains. They provide extra support for an injured foot and speed up the healing process.
  • Better Mobility – Some foot conditions may limit the mobility of your foot. For example, problems like arthritis, sprains, ankle pain, tendonitis, etc., cause pain when you move. Using good ankle support helps regain your mobility as they provide extra support to the ankle. They also give confidence to the older people as they have to worry less about ankle injury.

An experienced runner and an active mom, Kelly is the research expert behind When you don't find Kelly training for her next 10k or 5k race you'll find her reading reviews and testing the latest running watch.

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