10 Best Ankle Braces for Running – 2023 Buying Guide
We tested and reviewed multiple top ankle brace models and found that the tandem lace and wrap functionality of the Zenith Ankle Brace allowed our testers the flexibility they needed without sacrificing performance, comfort, or durability. Read our full review below.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
You want something that won’t be abrasive and that won’t irritate the skin.
It needs to fit to perfection. To be honest, you can’t expect to feel like you’re not wearing a brace because it’s impossible. But what you have to do is make sure that you have the size which is the best for you. If it’s too big, it may not work. If it's too small. It will constrict all of your natural movements.
A good ankle brace shouldn’t leave your shoe pooling with sweat. It needs to be made of a breathable material that allows adequate airflow to the area. This can also help to prevent bacterial growth and infection. Additional moisture can lead to blisters or eventual cracking.
Protection is one of the most important components when choosing an ankle brace.
If you have a weak ankle and it fails midstride, you could end up rolling it to one side and spraining or tearing something inside.
An ankle brace for running can give you the added support you need to stop those types of incidents from happening. It also increases your joint elasticity and compresses the area to improve circulation. Protecting your tendons is key, and the brace you choose should do this as well.
Also, we don’t want to be limited during running. The brace shouldn’t be too tight as it may cause lower circulation. On the other hand, if it's too loose it may not give you the support needed and it may lead to injury.
We included options for every budget.
Usually, the price reflects the quality of the product. While searching for the best one, try not to look at the price first. It will be better if you evaluate other factors and then check if it's worth the investment.
10 Best Ankle Braces for Running
What makes this design from Zenith great is that it boasts a slim design that fits easily into your running shoes, and it is able to be adjusted as needed. It comes in a wide variety of sizes so you can find the perfect fit for your feet, and comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it is composed of a thin layer of neoprene. This neoprene works by compression the muscles and joints in your feet to boost circulation to the affected areas, and also boosts stabilization. It’s thick enough to really be effective, yet thin enough to easily slip inside of your trainers.
We also love that this design is able to be easily adjusted. It boasts a set of laces that starts at the base of the toes all the way up to the ankles. Users are able to easily adjust how tightly or loosely this design fits on their feet. It also comes in various sizes that include small, medium, and large.
If you are in the market for something that is lightweight and easy to adjust, this design from Zenith is a great choice. Users love that the neoprene padding is super soft and comfortable, and adds a subtle layer of compression that helps to soothe the pain as it supports your arches.
2. BioSkin Trilok
Are you reluctant to try a design composed of stiff and unforgiving plastic? This plastic-free design from BioSkin is worth a look for runners that want something that is supportive and softer than hard plastic designs. It is composed of a proprietary material that is super supportive, yet incredibly thick and comfortable enough to wear all day long.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that the entire shell is composed of a blend of lycra and polyester. The proprietary Trilok blend of materials provides excellent support while offering a full range of motion that doesn’t feel too stiff or unforgiving. Plus, it slips easily into your running shoes.
To reduce swelling and ease away pain, the lining of this design is composed of a thin layer of micro-fleece. This fleece feels super soft and comfortable and provides modest compression to increase airflow. We also love this lining because it works to lift sweat up and away from your feet, making it ideal to wear on those long runs.
If you are in the market for something that is composed of super lightweight and thin materials that still provide excellent support and modest compression, this design from BioSkin is a great choice. Runners love that it comes in a wide variety of sizing options for a perfect fit, and is composed of lightweight and breathable materials to keep your ankles supported.
3. Active Ankle T2
What we love about this simple design from Active Ankle is that it boasts a minimalistic frame that supports your ankle without wrapping your entire foot in hot and unforgiving materials. Users are able to equip it to their feet in a matter of seconds, and it utilizes a blend of soft and rigid materials for support and stability that is still very comfortable to wear for those long runs.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it boasts a minimalist frame when compared to some of the other designs that we have seen out there on the market. This frame is composed of a stiff yet thin layer of plastic that really locks your ankle in place. A pair of dual-hinges helps to provide users with a full range of motion while in use.
While the outside shell is composed of a stiff layer of plastic, this frame is lined with a soft layer of EVA foam. This foam lining contours to the shape of your foot for a comfortable fit, and it also provides slight compression to help with pain management to keep you out of the trails pain-free.
If you are in the market for something that offers unmatched support and protection that is comfortable and breathable enough to wear all day long, this design from Active Ankle is worth checking out. The best part is that it is slightly more affordable when compared to other hard plastic hinged designs out there on the market.
4. Ultra Zoom
Looking for something that is a little more heavy-duty to help stabilize your joints? What we lost most about this design is that it has a hard exterior shell that really stabilizes your joints, and a hinged skeleton will not restrict your full range of motion. If you need something that really locks your joints in place, this is a great option.Read more
The exterior shell of this design is composed of a thermoplastic resin material. This plastic is hard and unforgiving and really locks your ankles in place. It boasts an open design that provides support where you need it most without the use of additional materials that restrict airflow.
Inside, it utilizes a hinged system that offers a fluid range of motion which is perfect for runners as well as athletes. Users also love that this design is able to be equipped and adjusted in a matter of seconds. It fastens to your feet with the aid of a velcro band and boasts a surprisingly thin frame that easily slips into your running shoes.
Users love this design because it offers unmatched protection against injury in a thin and breathable frame. A sturdy plastic resin offers incredible stability, and the hinged cuff provides a full range of motion to keep you out on the trails. It costs a little bit more than some of the other designs that we have seen, but we feel that it is worth every penny!
Mueller’s gear is not flashy, but it’s dependable and they have a proven track record. Their ankle stabilizer is what we’d refer to as a standard ankle brace. It will lock your ankle joint and provide some stabilizing support to recover/prevent injuries.Read more
This brace is lightweight but provides excellent arch and lateral support with the criss-cross straps. This combo equates to a relatively comfortable fit and a high degree of stability.
When it comes to the protection provided by this ankle brace, you will find this one is pretty standard. it will stabilize you and help prevent injuries from occurring, and it certainly won't let your ankles roll.
The Mueller Ankle Stabilizer can often be found on sale and, its position in the medium range makes it an excellent choice for people who want good quality but don’t want to pay premium prices.
6. McDavid 195
The 195 ankle brace is another option that can be utilized in the name of helping your ankles out. The company claims that research has shown it to reduce your likelihood of sustained an ankle injury by up to 3x. We are unsure how valid this claim is, but we do know that the 195 brace is a high performing model with a good reputation.Read more
The 195 features a lace up design and has two large straps that cover the upper ankle and lower ankle/foot. We’ve found it to be great in terms of stabilizing your ankle in a comfortable way.
If you want to protect yourself from further injury, then this is the perfect brace. It's a little bulky, so be aware of this fact if you're looking for a lightweight model.
User comments/feedback shows almost zero complaints in regard to durability. With a slightly higher price tag, you can count on higher quality here.
7. Med Spec ASO
Not only is this brace one of the best-reviewed options out there, but it is also the brace of choice for many pro and collegiate athletes. For runners, we see the most value in this particular brace, and that value comes from three factors: a unique combination of comfort, support, and durability.
This brace is carefully designed and engineered for comfort and it also will not leave you wanting in terms of support. It’s a hard balance to strike but ASO does this immaculately well.Read more
This brace has a contoured tongue that provides a flawless fit and is constructed from lightweight yet strong CoolFlex material. This material also acts as a lining on the interior of the boot around the heel area. Full marks for comfort and stability are well covered by a stabilizing strap and synthetic stays on each side.
When it comes to protection, this brace is designed to really help you prevent injury and ensure that your ankles don't roll.
The price you pay for the ASO ankle stabilizer will depend to some degree on the size you want. But any way that you slice it you’re getting a good value here. The ASO is manufactured to rigorous standards in the US by Medical Specialties, Inc.
This brace helps to stabilize and reinforce your ankle and as a result, you can enjoy any sport, not only running. This option not only stabilizes but also helps combat muscle fatigue, swelling, sprains, and many other ankle injuries.Read more
There are stabilizers on the sides that help to relieve the pain. They are also helpful when it comes to reducing the pressure on the ankle. There are special straps that are fully adjustable so no problems with adjusting the tightness. The double strap support gives you more confidence while running and the arch contoured design really provides comfort. It usually fits with most running shoes.
In terms of protection, you will love that this brace is comfortable and protective.
Venom is a less known brand and their products aren’t very expensive. This is a high-quality brace at a great price. It is made from neoprene, hence breathable and it wicks the moisture very well.
9. DonJoy Performance
This brace provides great protection for your ankle but at the same time, it doesn’t slow you down. The brace is made of a semi-rigid TPU shell and it has a very soft EVA lining so it doesn’t irritate the skin.Read more
It adapts to the shape of your foot and that’s what boosts the comfort. The design isn’t bulky and it sports a low profile cuff. With adjustable Velcro closures, you can customize it to fit your foot perfectly.
This option is adjustable and easy to use--and best of all, it will provide your ankle with the support and stability that it needs to ensure you don't get injured in the first place.
The cost of this brace isn’t the lowest. However, in our opinion, the quality is great.
The Vive ankle brace is another excellent option to consider. if you want a comfortable, effective, and durable ankle brace that offers the protection that you need, then you definitely need to take a closer look at the features this option displays.Read more
It’s described as a heavy-duty ankle brace. It will provide very firm support for the tendons and joints in the ankle area. It minimizes the pain and helps perform better. You don’t need to tape it over and over as it has adjustable straps. =
If you need standard protection, you will love this ankle brace. It is definitely bulky--but it is also adjustable.
Considering the fact that the brace is durable, this is a good investment. It's made of a neoprene blend; the material is breathable and lightweight.