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Ankle Support Buying Guide
What is an Ankle Support?
An ankle support is a specially designed item that is used to provide support, compression, and pain relief for your ankles. It is made from a flexible, elastic material that can effectively compress your ankle. Depending on the design, ankle support typically fits around your ankle with material enclosing the top part of your foot, and the bottom part of your leg. There is also usually a hole in your heel.
What are the Different Types of Ankle Support?
Arch Support Brace
Some simple supports concentrate on providing support for the arch of your foot that connects to your ankle. These are arch support braces/sleeves. This type of support is usually a simple elastic sleeve or strap that you pull over your toes to fit around the arch of your foot.
If you’re looking for arch support for your foot, an alternative is insoles for shoes.
Hinged Ankle Brace
There are several types of hinged brace too. These are designed to provide support for your ankle but still allow for effective movement and rehabilitation.
The standard hinged ankle brace has a sleeve complete with straps that fit around your lower leg/calf. Attached to the bottom of this, there is a hinge mechanism with two straps and a pad that fits around and underneath your ankle.
A variant of this is the hinged cuff ankle brace. This is essentially the same design, but the hinged part that sits under your ankle has more padding and material to cover your entire ankle.
The most common type of ankle support is the sleeve. This is a singular piece of elastic material that is designed to fit tightly around your ankle.
The sleeve is usually longer than your ankle – the bottom part covers the arch of your foot, while the top part covers your calf/lower leg. This provides effective support for your ankle and still allows for great mobility, which makes it perfect to help treat ankle pain from running. There is also usually a cut-out section for your heel to allow for some pressure relief.
For severe injuries such as an Achilles tendon tear, a complete ankle boot is often worn. This is a large padded boot that covers your entire foot and lower leg – usually to your knee. The aim of this support is to reduce mobility and to keep your tendon at the correct angle so that it attaches and heals properly.
Ankle Support FAQs
What is the best support for ankles?
This depends on your type of injury, surgery, or rehabilitation process. Different ankle braces are suitable for different purposes. Also, it depends on whether you are using ankle support for rehabilitation, to reduce pain, or while playing sports to reduce the chance of injury.
When should you wear ankle support?
It can be worn for a variety of situations. For example, it is a useful item to wear to help pain relief. Therefore, you could wear one whenever you experience ankle pain.
Also, ankle supports are great for rehabilitation after an injury or surgery. They can help support your ankle, and provide additional strength to build up your muscles after surgery. Also, many athletes wear ankle supports to help reduce the chance of injury.
Should I wear ankle support all the time?
You can safely wear ankle support for long periods. It is not advised to wear an ankle brace all the time, however. The ankle relies on motion to improve strength and recover from an injury. Therefore, wearing an ankle brace all the time could prohibit your recovery. Also, it is generally advised that you give your ankle respite during sleep. Therefore, consider removing your ankle support at night.
How do I support my ankle?
An ankle brace is the best method of support. Ankle supports are of great quality, easy to use and provide real benefits for rehabilitation and injury prevention. You can also use ankle tape which is an alternative to an ankle brace, but not as effective. Performing regular strength, balance, and flexibility exercises can also help support your ankles and improve their strength, flexibility, and resistance.