Article Last Updated: Mon, December 1, 2023
Rugby is a tremendously physically demanding sport and while it does seem vicious in nature, rugby’s all about the following: Fellowship, dedication, and discipline.
Ankle injuries and sprains are a common occurrence among rugby players so much that, by now, you’d probably think of it as a light bruise.
However, that doesn’t negate how much of a hindrance these types of injuries could be.
So in this article, I’ve come up with a nice list of the best ankle braces that’d be of value.
Let’s get started!
3 Best Ankle Braces for Rugby
I’ve formulated a list of the most reputable ankle braces, check it out.
1. ASO Ankle Stabilizer
- Fits both feet
- Stabilizing cuffs keep straps in place
- High-quality standard
- Size chart isn’t calibrated
This guy over here is all over the place, that’s due to its sheer versatility, great value, and superb quality.
It won’t fail to satisfy in the slightest.
It’s small in size and extremely low-profile; where it fits snugly into most types of shoes.
I like that it’s bilateral, so it’s designed to fit both left and right feet.
The ASO stabilizer features stabilizing cuffs and straps that encompass your ankle in figure-eight for ultra-stability and protection. No strap will ever come undone.
This ankle brace is manufactured in the USA; which ensures its strict quality control and standards.
2. McDavid 195 Ankle Brace
- Ventilated tongue
- Easily adjusted
- Padded lining
- Suitable for injury recovery and prevention
- It doesn’t suit prolonged usage durations, it gets uncomfortable
- They usually come smaller than the originally specified size.
- Relatively expensive
Another prominent example of high-performing ankle braces, with wide-reputation and a company claim that the likelihood of an ankle injury would be reduced 3x, it’s hard to neglect.
You’d definitely benefit from McDavid’s ventilated tongue, which adds on to its breathability aspect even more.
It’s intricately designed so that you can adjust the brace itself without having to take off your shoes nor even unstrapping the brace itself.
It includes a padded lining and a compression-comfort top strap which makes it ideal for people recovering from an ankle injury as well as those who are prone to injuries.
3. Senteq Ankle Sleeve
- Made out of breathable mesh
- Fights off pain and alleviates conditions like plantar fasciitis
- Certified by the FDA
- Given its shape and design, it doesn’t provide sheer support as its metal/plastic brace counterparts.
- It isn’t as durable as the rest of the braces as its elasticity would naturally wear out.
A simple slip-on brace to avoid any downsides to the bulkier, rigid and strap braces. It provides a good amount of protection and an easy-fit.
The thing about Senteq Sleeve is that unlike the basic ankle brace you can get for a couple of dollars at any local drugstore or market, it’s significantly breathable, so it prevents any moisture build-up.
It easily fits in, even if you’re wearing socks underneath it. It’s tried and tested and it’s shown that it fights off pain and alleviates conditions like plantar fasciitis.
Finding the right ankle brace boils down to your needs. If I have to choose a favorite, I’d totally recommend the ASO Stabilizer.
It comes at a superb price with USA quality, and it’s made out of ballistic nylon which is significantly breathable.
However, if you don’t really need the ASO stabilizer’s extra protective capabilities, opt for the Senteq sleeve. It’s simple, and task-fulfilling.
First, Always Consult Your Healthcare Provider!
You should always stay in touch with your healthcare provider, and have them assess your existing ankle injury.
Because wearing an ankle brace isn’t a definitive cure for an ankle injury, you may be advised to undergo rehabilitative treatment to restore your ankle’s functionality.
What Should I Consider Before Buying an Ankle Brace?
I’ll be providing you with a few tips to assist you in your ankle brace shopping spree. Ignorance is never bliss when you’re paying money for stuff.
This is an extremely important aspect. You must try the ankle brace on first prior to making any kind of purchase.
You have to make sure that it fits snugly; it’s neither too tight that it literally restricts your blood flow, nor too loose that it doesn’t provide actual support.
A wrong-sized ankle brace will provide zero-protection for your ankle, in fact, it may backfire on your ankle’s health.
There also shouldn’t be any gap between your skin and your ankle brace.
If you’re planning on wearing your ankle brace underneath your shoes for extra protection during practice sessions or an actual game, you have to make sure that the brace’s design is sleek enough to fit inside your shoes.
However, players normally tend to buy shoes a size up for your brace to fit, so it’s totally fine if you had to do that.
Your brace should be made out of breathable materials that are soft and smooth so that your skin doesn’t suffer in the process of protecting your ankle.
This is extremely crucial. If the ankle brace is lacking in this aspect, your leg will sweat and the brace will retain moisture which can cause your skin to blister and of course, a horrid odor ensues.
Ankle braces are usually made out of Neoprene or Fabric.
Neoprene is well-known for its flexibility, hence, it’s able to fit the ankle perfectly while providing support as well as heat insulation.
This insulative characteristic makes neoprene ankle braces lacking in the breathability aspect.
Fabric/Knit materials are far superior in breathability, in which they keep your feet cool but they fail to provide neoprene’s therapeutic heat that your ankle might need.
Finally, keep your eye on companies that provide guarantees on their ankle brace products to ensure longevity and durability.
Lace-up braces are semi-rigid, their price usually ranges from $25 to $40. Whereas post-injury braces are extremely rigid and aren’t intended for use while practicing or playing a game. Their price ranges from $30 to $40.
Rigid braces can either be stirrup or lace-up. These can be used in tandem with the rehabilitation of an injury. They do allow limited mobility and are most commonly used among volleyball and basketball players because they tend to jump a lot.
In other words, if it’s just about ankle protection, a semi-rigid ankle brace would suit you rather than a post-injury or a rigid brace, the priciest of all.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:
Can I use an ankle brace if I’ve got issues with blood circulation?
In general, yes. You can use ankle braces regardless of any existing blood circulation issues, although it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider first.
However, if there’s any existing condition; My advice is to steer away from straps and wraps and stick with lace-up ankle braces which can be adjusted to the suitable tightness.
Is there something specific I should look out for in the product’s packaging?
Yes. Keep in mind that ankle braces aren’t sold in pairs. It’s a common misconception, and it’s a rarity that you’d find a package with ankle braces for left and right feet.
Some ankle braces are only designed for either the left or the right foot. So read the packaging thoroughly before your purchase.
Will my use of ankle braces weaken my ankle region?
Yes. Don’t become totally dependent on an ankle brace if you’re only wearing it for protective measures.
Therapists who treat players with extensive injuries usually perform stretches and exercises to prevent ankle weakening due to prolonged ankle brace equipment.