If you have been a soccer player but have not encountered a lower leg injury, then you’re one of the few lucky players. All the same, it might be just a matter of time, so better safe than sorry!
That is why you need the best soccer ankle brace in the market. Common injuries for soccer players include sprains, tears, ankle twists, and many more. Sports experts reckon that ankle injuries account for nearly 20% of all sports-related damages.
Each player can avoid ankle injuries by taking just simple precautions. I was a player for several years and I know what it means to have ankle injury.
When shopping for ankle braces, selecting the best piece for your needs could be difficult, especially with many brands and suppliers in the market. This article makes it easier for you to select the best soccer ankle brace that meets your needs whether you are in the field or recuperating from an injury.
First, it expounds on the types of soccer ankle braces in the market and guides you through the best ankle braces for soccer players. More importantly, it sheds light on the tips that you need to follow in order to make a smart purchasing decision.
Currently, three main types of soccer ankle braces exist in the market: Lace-Up, rigid, and soft-shell ankle braces.
This type of ankle brace first hit the market in 1887. It has gone through a series of improvements to the current model with straps that enable it to wrap around your ankle in a figure-8 design. Based on their fabric material, the lace-up ankle braces are comfortable but less durable.
In some instances, the fabric could absorb odor and smell bad. Research studies reveal that lace-up ankle braces could hinder optimal performance in the field because they restrict the natural flexibility of the ankle. For that reason, sports experts recommend hinged ankle braces, especially for athletes.
Importantly, lace-up ankle braces are suitable for budget players who need just a mild support on the ankle and not participating in a rigorous physical activity.
This category of ankle braces includes both rigid and semi-rigid models. Made of a hard plastic, they come with a special hinge that allows natural flexibility of the ankle. The rigid ankle brace first hit the market in 1985 and since then has become a darling of many soccer players and other participants in high-impact activities.
With a pivot hinge, which connects the bottom to both sides of the ankle, it fits securely and upright.
Once on, you can run and jump without muscle restriction. Even so, it comes with some downsides:
Overall, hinged ankle braces are suitable if you are looking for a mild ankle support. Besides, they prevent ankle twists and sprains.
These ankle braces are the newest in the market. With an advanced feature of a “soft-shell,” they react with your body heat to provide a flexible, personalized fit. Since they fit according to your foot structure, they provide adequate support and enable you to prevent possible ankle injuries.
Not only that, but you can also use them for an extended period owing to their flexibility and a low-profile design. They can fit even in a tight cleat. With their snugly-fitting design, you are able to control your motion while allowing your ankle to move naturally.
Additionally, soft-shell ankle braces come with an improved handcuff feature that prevents your ankle from turning or twisting. This enables you to avoid sprains, tears, and ankle twists. They are ideal for athletes who desire to avoid injuries or soccer players who desire mild ankle stability.
Their ability to last through multiple sporting events and the fact that they are more affordable make them a preferable choice for most players.
Top on our list is the Medized Lace-up ankle stabilizer, which is suitable for all high-impact activities including soccer, volleyball, and basketball.
The slimmer material makes it ideal for soccer because it can work well with cleats. All the same, the increased performance could lead to decreased durability.
Overall, it prevents and treats ankle injuries, especially sprains.
This ankle brace delivers a mild ankle support while it remains slim and lightweight. You can use it with cleats to reduce the chances of ankle injury.
It is popular among players, athletes, trainers, and coaches. While it cushions the ankle and protects it from rollover, it provides effective support and keeps you light.
One of the most popular ankle braces in the market, ASO Ankle Stabilizer is ideal for both soccer and athletics.
It comes with a good overall value. However, the high ankle strap may not work well with cleats.
This ankle brace is suitable for professional and learner athletes, as well as for soccer players. Physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, and sports trainers recommend it for ankle support.
With a lace-up style, this ankle brace is ideal for a player who wants an improved ankle support while recuperating from an injury while maintaining a steady performance.
However, it’s not recommended for the initial stages of injury.
It’s designed for strength, speed, flexibility, and control. These qualities allow complete foot movement without losing ball control.
More importantly, it prevents re-injury and protects the ankle from sprains.
McDavid 195 is among the most popular soccer ankle braces, offering a complete support and protection with a snuggly fit.
It is slightly thicker, so may not work best with cleats especially if you give performance a top priority.
However, this ankle brace could be one of the best when you are returning to activity after an injury.
Compression socks work the same way as ankle braces, except they are slimmer and lack some features found full-fledged braces.
1st Elite compression socks offer a mild protection from ankle sprains.
Additionally, they offer a great support against common ankle diseases such as tendonitis or planter fasciitis. More importantly, these compression socks work better with cleats.
This model is a hinged ankle brace, offering excellent stability and support to the ankle. Besides, it allows ankle flexion and extension, which makes it great for athletes and players who aim at reducing ankle injuries such as sprains.
For soccer players, it offers a great lateral support, a custom fit, and a slim design that makes it work with most soccer shoes.
This ankle sleeve protects your ankle while you recover from an injury. It provides excellent immobilization to the injured area, keeping your tendons and muscles safe after an injury.
The copper content in the sleeve provides a good amount of warmth and compression that your recovering ankle needs. Just as compression socks that work trough soothing and compression, this sleeve is ideal for minor injuries and as a preventive measure against ankle sprains.
It is not a full-scale ankle brace, so it’s not suitable when recovering from a serious injury.
Traditionally, soccer players used taping as the best means to protect their ankles from injuries while in the field. While it worked for some people, it was like a game of gambling. First, the tape had to be securely in place, applied by a qualified sports medic. All the same, it was like wearing a second pair of socks. In addition, the tape could get loose and slip off during the game, putting a player at a high risk of ankle injury.
Since their invention, ankle braces and sleeves are on the forefront to curb sports-related injuries. Modern soccer braces are different from the traditional taping. First, the braces are designed with the player in mind. The grip, breathability, and comfort are some of the features ingrained in every ankle brace. They allow free movement of the ankle, protect old injuries, and prevent new injuries from happening. Most ankle injuries occur due to overstretched tendons and ligaments. Ankle braces cushion the ankle and lower leg to prevent the occurrence of these problems. Ankle braces are made of lightweight material, which is also durable and comfortable.
Ankle injuries continue to be a nagging problem for players. Medial and lateral ankle sprains, high ankle sprains, tibia and fibula fractures are all dreaded conditions, which can result in a long-term or permanent disability. By identifying the best soccer ankle brace, players can avoid such conditions. Even when they occur, the degree of injury cannot be the same as a situation where no ankle brace was used.