Basketball players are highly prone to ankle injuries. High-speed cross-court movement, a sudden change in direction while not reducing the speed, jumping great heights, landing on a hard surface, and constant collisions with other players led to a high risk of an ankle injury.
Most injuries are caused by awkward landing after a jump for a rebound, landing on another player’s shoe, or colliding with another player. Ankle braces help basketball players avoid ankle injuries and nullify or minimize any damage to the ankle.
Generally, the basketball players prefer ankle braces with laces as their ankle support. This helps them control their ankle to avoid any inward or outward twisting of the angle. These are less bulky braces that fit in a basketball shoe.
The players prefer the lace-up braces as they enjoy the feel and compression and their ankle’s great support.
Some basketball players prefer mid-level protection. This is generally in case of the ones returning from injury, especially in ankle injuries. For mid-level injuries, Semi-Rigid ankle braces are ideal. These braces’ major advantages are their lightweight, ease of putting the same up, lack of bulky laces, and straps.
This post explores seven best ankle braces basketball available in the market this year. Keep reading!!
What Factors To Consider Before Buying An Ankle Brace?
Basketball players have a constant problem with injured ankles. That’s why taking care of their ankle is a top priority for them. Prevention of the injury, recovery from the same, or protection of ankle with chronic ankle pain â€¦ ankle brace is an essential requirement.
They provide the protection and support for injuries and ailments like tendonitis, arthritis, or, most importantly, sprains, inflammation, or ankle pain.
The best ankle brace may differ in terms of the requirement of the players. But the common factors considered for choosing an ankle brace are the following:
Comfort Provided By The Ankle Brace
An ill-fitting, badly manufactured brace can have a reverse effect on ankle pain and can be highly uncomfortable. We need to ensure the brace to be as comfortable as possible.
The correct size of the ankle brace coupled with the material of the same (depending on the breathability of the material) will make the brace either comfortable or the cause of discomfort
Need To Fit Your Shoe
Your size of the ankle brace is dependent on the size of the shoe.
Material Of The Brace
The braces are generally made up of Neoprene and Fabric. Neoprene is highly flexible. This ensures a close body fit and protects against pain through support and heat insulation to the affected area.
But air cannot pass through the neoprene, and thus it breaths badly, heating the area after prolonged use. This heating up can reduce pain temporarily but can also cause discomfort. Fabric made braces breathe easily and give a cool feeling, does not heat up like the braces made off neoprene.
The Tightness Of Ankle Braces
Every athlete has a preferred level of tightness of his protective gear and shoes. In the case of basketball players, they prefer locked in ankles. For good performance, blood flow must be no way hampered, which can cause more pain instead.
The level of flexibility is reversely proportional to the level of the preferred level of protection or the brace’s level of tightness. Laced options are good for arriving at an optimal combination of tightness and flexibility, ensuring good enough compression without reducing blood flow.
Sleeves, braces with straps, and lace-up ankle braces differ greatly in terms of their support, protection, and compression
Length of Usage
Whether you use the brace for a short length of time (the amateurs or collegiate basketball players) or the full day (the professional players)
When Should You Use Ankle Braces?
The best ankle braces basketball can be used for multiple situations, especially for intense sports like Basketball. An ankle sleeve with basic protection and compression can significantly reduce pain in case of ankle pain due to tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, or some temporal pain.
In basketball players, an ankle brace can ensure prevention of future injury or re-aggravation of some earlier injury. This is helpful during recovery from ankle surgery. This is one of the best ankle braces basketball that limit the ankle movement and keep it supported, and thus catalyze the recovery process.
Different Types of Ankle Braces
There are multiple varieties of ankle braces available in the market:
Ankle sleeves are made up of neoprene or knit fabric. They ensure primary protection and a moderate level of compression. They give support and pain relief, along with the reduction of swelling and inflammation. Ankle sleeves are good for people suffering from an ankle injury, tendonitis, arthritis, and plantar fasciitis.
Strapped Ankle Supports
Though functionally similar to ankle sleeves, Strapped Ankle Supports come with an additional strap system over the sleeve. The strap provides more protection and gives more compression than the ankle sleeves.
There are generally two types of straps available, figure 8 configurations and figure 6 configurations. Figure 8 wraps are better in terms of compression. Figure 6 braces are better in terms of protection from lateral movement, protecting the player from chances of rolling his ankle and thus causing a sprain.
The lace up brace design provides a high level of support and gives the option of customization of tightness, and thus compression is needed.
7 Best Ankle Braces for Basketball
Following are some of the best choices of Ankle Braces for Basketball players
- McDavid 511 Ankle Sleeve
- ASO Ankle Stabilizer
- McDavid 195 Ankle Brace
- Zamst A2-DX
- Cramer Active Ankle T1 Rigid Ankle Brace
- POWERLIX Ankle Brace Sleeve
- Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer
1. McDavid 511 Ankle Sleeve
McDavid 511 ankle sleeve is good for mild but uniform compression good for minor pain, arthritis, and weak ankle. This is a more basic Ankle sleeve. It is a two way non-neoprene breathable, and comfortable elastic low profile design that can fit any shoe. It is good for protection against aggravation against existing injury. The design is such that it doesn’t cause any irritation in the heel. It’s both durable and comfortable.
- Durable and breathable elastic design
- Material – 65% polyester 25% rubber, 10% nylon
- Natural rubber is used as the elastic material
- Good for uniform compression and very light
- The design is such that it can fit in any athletic shoe
- Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
- Fits both Right or Left shoe
|Good for treating chronic ankle joint swelling, mild to moderate ankle pain, sprains in ankles and arthritis.
|Gives Primary Protection
|Prophylactic lightweight support
|Good for people who have skin sensitivities to neoprene
|No excess bulk
2. ASO Ankle Stabilizer
The ASO Ankle Brace is among the most popular ankle stabilizers among basketball players. It is highly recommended by athletic trainers, orthopedic consultants, and physiotherapists. The ASO is famed for its comfort, durability, protection, and support and is considered among the leading ones in the market.
The contoured tongue of the brace ensures a perfect fit. It is made up of CoolFlex, a super durable lightweight material.
There is CoolFlex lining provided in the inside back of the boot to give comfort to the Achilles area. The elastic cuff ensures great support from stabilizing straps and also secures the laces. The tongue is attached to the shoelace so that the lace remains centered.
- Ankle is protected and supported by figure-8 Stabilizing straps
- No need of ankle taping
- Elastic cuff closure: Gives great support to stabilizing straps and laces are also secured
- Plastic inserts are also provided for better protection against ankle sprains
|Great strength and durability provided by Ballistic nylon boot
|Stays not offered in 2XS and 3XL sizes
|Great quality control
|No major drawbacks
|Low profile ensures fitment in any shoe
|Fits both left and right shoe
3. McDavid 195 Ankle Brace
McDavid 195 Ankle Brace gives great protection and prevention from ankle sprains with Level 3 ankle support. The McDavid 195 is a lightweight ankle brace with a lace-up design. It has figure-6 straps for the prevention of ankle-twisting and rollover. It’s great all-day wear with great comfort.
The comfort is ensured by single-layer polyester material, elastic heel, and vented padding. The straps can be tightened without re-lacing of the brace.
- Figure 6 straps give a great alternative of a tape job
- Custom-fit laced ankle brace
- High strength and durability through single-layer polyester
- Great comfortable features of Padded lining and ventilated tongue
- Highly durable reinforced velcro closures
- Fits both right or left feet
- Five sizes – XSmall, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, 2XL
- Available Colours: Black and Grey
|Research had proven 3x fewer incidence of injuries when athletes wore the 195
|Provides best Level III support for preventing and helping recovery from ankle sprains
|Full adjustment capability without unlacing the shoe
|Elastic ankle cuff for compression
|Great support provided by built-in anatomical arch
|Prevention of irritation to Achilles tendon with open-heel design
|Under sole support with stitched in arch pad
4. Zamst A2-DX Ankle Brace
This Ankle Brace ankle brace is known for its distinctive quality. The brace is equipped with exceptional tow technologies known as A-Fit and I-Fit. They make it adaptable to both right and left foot.
- It comes with a double molded exterior support structure merged with Grip Tech, ensuring no inward or outward rolling of the ankle.
- The ankle strap also ensures protection from severe ankle sprains taking the edge off the separation of two leg bones near the ankle.
- The ankle brace with X Strap stabilizer with Grip tech underneath prevents forward shift of the foot
- A – Fit technology for correct anatomical support
- Exo Grid – Gives great medial and lateral stability to the ankle
- Grid Tech – unique anti-migration technology ensures no slipping
- I-Fit – Versatile fasteners provide a customized fit, great coziness, and floating compression
- ROM Tech – Pre-curved style to ensure a versatile range of motions for better performance
- X Strap stabilizer – Ensures 3-way support
|Great medial and lateral stability
|There can be minor fitting issues
|A fit technology ensures right / left compatibility
|Bulky and expensive
|Great anti-slip property
|Works well for severe to moderate sprains
5. Cramer Active Ankle T1 Rigid Ankle Brace
T1 Rigid Ankle Braces provide great ankle protection with a dual strapping system. Fits both left and right foot, and offers maximum performance and protection to basketball players
- Pressure-relieving Solid U-shape design
- Bilateral hinge allows full range of foot motions
- Comfortable Neoprene padding
|Full range of foot motion is possible
|A little bit bulky
|Suitable for painful ankle sprains and strains
6. POWERLIX Ankle Brace Sleeve
PowerLix’s ankle sleeves keep feet protected and helps heal sprains without restricting the range of motion. Great for sprained ankles, swelling, tendinitis, and preventing any injury. These sleeves aid the intense running involved in Basketball.
- Made up of 80% Nylon and 20% Spandex
- Great compression and maintains healthy blood circulation
- Spandex ensures form-fitting
|It is breathable, comfortable, and non-itchy
|A little bit bulky
|Suitable for painful ankle sprains and strains
|Sweat absorbing (ensuring dry feet for better control)
7. ASO EVO ANKLE BRACE
It’s an advanced ankle protection brace with unique stabilizing straps and zestful cuffs. This innovative brace comes with stabilizing straps and a dynamic cuff. There is an inner stirrup strap protecting inversion or eversion.
- Embedded cuff made up of plastic for dynamic ankle support
- Stirrup straps giving a figure-8 pathway
- Ballistic nylon built that enhances the durability of the product
- Kindred padded SkinLoc tongue and heel
- Available in six sizes
|High level of resistance to syndesmotic as well as ankle sprains
|Right / left compatible
|Great quality control
Picking The Best Ankle Brace
As the ankle brace is a body-hugging gear, comfort is of utmost importance. The material thus needs to be breathable, soft, and smooth. The breathability of the material ensures the foot remains cool or warm; the brace is dry. Material needs to be durable also. Basketball is an extreme sport â€¦ low durability will not support your performance level.
Why Are You Using?
What is the purpose of your brace – is it protection or prevention of ankle sprain? Or it’s a sore or injured ankle you are recovering from. There are different braces for different purposes. Before you buy one, please figure out which brace is serving your purpose.
A good fit of the brace will ensure maximum efficiency and best comfort. Being too loose or too tight will not serve, not your purpose. Braces with straps or elastic material provide the right fit, comfort, and protection for the ankle.
We tried each ankle braces to genuinely give you an honest review and if you are asking which of the following ankle braces is the most comfortable than the others, we highly suggest POWERLIX Ankle Brace Sleeve.
Certain ankle braces are specialized for healing, protection, or prevention. Wearing a wrong brace for wring purpose may worsen your situation rather than improving it. So you must select your brace wisely.
It is not true that all costly braces are very good, and cheaper options are all worthless. Price may not reflect the quality. As a buyer, you must find out which brace fits your budget and, at the same time, matches your requirement.
In conjunction with your feet, ankles support your body weight and ensure great mobility is required in a game like Basketball. To protect your ankle and keep up your performance, you need to do a lot of research while finding the right gear for your game.
But if you are looking for cheap ankle brace, the McDavid 511 Ankle Sleeve is the right ankle brace for you
Frequently Asked Questions
My brace is squeaking – How can I stop it?
The brace may squeak due to a resin used in the Performathane® shell. To stop squeaking, Spray lubricants like silicone needs to be sprayed in the rivet. WD-40 Silicone Spray is ideal.
Which ankle brace is the best one for me?
Consult your trainers and understand what your purpose of an ankle brace is. Once you understand the purpose and your own body, whether you are prone to sprains, whether you have a sweaty sole, whether you tend to slip, your body weight and your height will determine which brace to opt for.
Are the braces sold in pairs?
No, Ankle braces are generally sold in single units.
Does the ankle brace weaken my ankle?
Wraparound or fabric lace-up ankle braces may weaken your ankle as they restrict the ankle’s natural range of movement. Lace-up braces restrict the ankles by binding up the joint and may weaken muscles by restricting natural movement needed to keep them strong.
Why should I wear a brace when I already have my ankles taped?
Within 25 minutes of playing both fabrics, lace-up ankle braces and tape will lose about 70% of its support. Taping the ankle joint in a static position it tends to stretch and loosen.
On the other hand, one can easily apply an ankle brace in seconds. Athletic trainer, rolls of tape and pre-wrap, or scissors nothing is required.
Aren’t you only supposed to wear an ankle brace after an injury?
Basketball players suffer from a high incidence of ankle injuries. They should wear preventative ankle bracing. The ankle braces are mandatory for them to wear.
While sleeping, is it okay to wear ankle braces?
No, unless recommended by your doctor. While sleeping, we should keep our muscles and joints as relaxed as possible. A brace will restrict the blood flow to some extent, which is not recommended while sleeping. Thus always take off your ankle braces while going to sleep. Otherwise, it may cause discomfort to your sleep and may cause a delay in recovery if you are wearing due to some past injury.
Is it okay to only wear one ankle brace?
Many basketball players wear just one ankle braces for their full season, and they face no problems for the same. Though some players prefer to wear two braces, they feel that to be better. It completely depends on you whether you have a weaker ankle or your want protection on both ankles. From the protection point of view, it is better to use races on both the ankles.
But in the case of professionals, it is recommended to use both braces to perform with very high risks. One major ankle injury can ruin their career. Prevention is always better than cure.
Do ankle braces create dependence?
A good ankle brace will not have any strength and performance-related residual effect. Remember, it is not a drug; it’s just a protective measure. If you are using this for some curative reason, you may shift to the more comfortable option once you have recovered from the condition.
Again saying prevention is better than cure, and in a high-performance game like Basketball, performance is the key that can only be maintained with good gears.
What is ankle unloading?
Ankle unloading is important to individuals who have weight-bearing pain from a recent injury.
Does an ankle brace can cause any knee injury?
A knee injury caused by an ankle brace is a complete myth. No scientific proof is there for the same. No clinical studies support the claim. Ankle braces don’t transfer enough torque from the ankle to the knee to cause an injury.
So, to make your game even more safe and enjoyable, make sure that you get the best-fit best ankle braces basketball today!!!
It’s definitely going to be a justified investment!!