10 Best Ankle Braces for Running Tested

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Searching for an ankle brace that is good for runners? Check out our review of the best ankle braces which are effective and available on the 2017 market.

Your ankles (along with your knees) are some of the most critical joints, when it comes to running. Having ankle problems and trying to run isn’t too much unlike trying to drive a car that has transmission problems. The odds are without fixing or aiding the problem you simply aren’t going to get very far.

ASO Ankle Stabilizer
  • ASO Ankle Stabilizer
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Figure eight type design
  • Price: See Here
McDavid 195
  • McDavid 195
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Spring steel supports
  • Price: See Here
Mueller 44547
  • Mueller 44547
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • One size fits most
  • Price: See Here

We are not medical professionals, and don’t pretend to understand every technical detail of ankle injuries. We do however know quite a bit about braces. Having tested many ourselves and thoroughly researched others. So we’ve compiled a list of the best ankle braces for running. Enjoy!

10 Best Ankle Braces for Running

 

ASO Stabilizer

Coming in at an undisputed number one on our list is the ASO Ankle Stabilizer. Not only is this brace one of the best reviewed options out there, it is 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 a trifecta of 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.
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Comfort / Stability

This brace has a contoured tongue which 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 the stability is well covered by a stabilizing strap and synthetic stays on each side.

Durability / Quality

No worries here in terms of quality or durability. The ASO is manufactured to rigorous standards in the United States of America by Medical Specialties, Inc.

Cost or value

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. There are quite a few products that cost more than the ASO which we think less of than this brace.
Pros
  • Made in the USA, US manufacturing has higher quality control standards than many places
  • Stabilizing straps form an all encompassing figure eight type structure to support your ankle
  • Ballistic grade nylon boot shell provides your good bit of resiliency and protection
  • Elastic cuff closures makes sure to enhance support levels and keeps all laces and straps in their right place
  • Designed to be bilateral, in other words each size will fit left or right foot
  • Low profile, slides comfortably into almost any type of shoe
Cons
  • A few reviews indicated confusion over ASO’s sizing chart, so take care to get this right otherwise you’ll likely end up with a brace that doesn’t fit

McDavid 195 Brace with Stabilizer Straps

McDavid is another prominent brand within the brace industry, and therefore it’s unsurprising that one of their products makes its way onto our list. The 195 ankle brace is another great tool 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 brace with a good reputation.
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Comfort / Stability

The 195 features a lace up design and has two large straps that cover the upper ankle and lower ankle/foot. This kind of emulates a good tape job, and we’ve found it to be great in terms of stabilizing your ankle in a comfortable way.

Durability / Quality

A thorough review of user comments/feedback shows almost zero complaints in regard to durability. As for the quality, with a slightly higher price tag you can count on higher quality here. From steam stitching to the material itself, you won’t be disappointed in McDavid.

Cost or value

In terms of having a brace that can greatly expedite your return from injury or prevent further injury, we’d say the price associated with the 195 brace is more than fair.
Pros
  • A study showed that athletes were 3 times less likely to get injured
  • Lightweight support
  • A wide range of sizes is available allowing for
Cons
  • Some users reported finding the strap/lacing combination to feel a bit bulky in the end

Mueller Adjustable Stabilizer

Mueller is a known commodity when it comes to braces and various types of fitness accessories. 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 in a bit, provide some stabilizing support and help you recover/prevent injuries.
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Comfort / Stability

This brace is lightweight, but provides excellent arch and lateral support with the criss-cross straps. This combo equates a relatively comfortable fit and high degree of stability.

Durability / Quality

There is a reason Mueller has been in business so long and that reason has nothing to do with manufacturing cheap products that wear down or break easily. We’ve had Mueller braces that with sporadic use are in great conditions up to 5 years after purchase.

Cost or value

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.
Pros
  • Side inserts help provide firm lateral support and protection for the most sensitive part of your ankles
  • Made from a soft neoprene blend that retains body heat to help ease pain and promote blood circulation
  • Lightweight design is ideal for prolonged use, won’t screw up your shoe fit
  • Figure 8 strapping system offers custom support and controlled compression
Cons
  • Contains natural rubber latex, so if you’re allergic this is something to consider

Senteq Sleeve

Sometimes an overbearing bulky ankle brace can be a hindrance as much as a benefit. This is where great little products like the Senteq Ankle Sleeve come in. These guards provide unmatched compression and stabilization for at risk or injured ankles. The compression is extremely firm and the material also offers a warm/soothing effect. This is a great tool for anyone trying to deal with effects of minor sprains, strains and other ankle maladies.
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Comfort / Stability

In terms of stability and comfort this brace has a number of things going for it his, these include: a construction made from breathable nylon to provide better airflow, breathable wear, and also a double elastic strap which allows you to control the level of compression around each side of the ankle.

Durability / Quality

The quality of the manufacturing of the Senteq Sleeves is quite good, however because they rely on a compressive element you will not get the same lifespan out of them as you would another form of ankle brace.

Cost or value

The cost is definitely more toward the economical end of the spectrum, but we believe these to be fairly priced, and represent an excellent value.
Pros
  • Has breathable mesh throughout to promote ventilation and release trapped heat
  • Does a lot to alleviate pain and can take the edge off of plantar fasciitis.
  • Fits well under running socks. Not bulky won’t affect the fit of your shoes/socks
  • Medical Grade and cerfitied by the FDA
Cons
  • Doesn’t provide quite as much support as structural braces

Aircast A60

The Aircast A60 Ankle Support Brace offers medium support and works well for those who have ankle instability issues or are looking to prevent potential ankle issues. This brace will not immobilize your ankle but what it will do is provide a good bit of support. It’s easy strap system makes it quick and painless to pull on and off, and best of all its got a universal design so it’s good for both men and women.
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Comfort / Stability

The best comfort feature of this brace is Breath-O-Prene fabric is very breathable and keeps your ankle and foot cool and dry. In terms of keeping things stable the Aircast A60 features a stabilizer on both sides. Each one is molded at a 60 degree angle (hence the name) in order to prevent rollovers or potential sprains.

Durability / Quality

The reviews speak for themselves here, this is a highly sought after and used product with very few notes indicating quality issues. This brace will stand up to any exercise no matter how strenuous.

Cost or value

Cheaper braces can certainly be had, but oftentimes you’ll be sacrificing performance for this. For a medical grade ankle brace this is a good value.
Pros
  • Provides a mild level of support, not to firm or too loose
  • Incorporates a stabilizer and molded guard to ensure that your ankle stays in alignment
  • Supports weakest point of ankle while still allowing for normal flexing and movement
  • A single strap system makes securing it simple and easy, not hassle with laces
  • Not bulky
  • Suitable for both men and women
Cons
  • Not ideal for runners needing high levels of immobilizing support

Bracco ankle support

Excellent protection against ankle strains, sprains and very useful after surgery in order to recover. It is one of the most comfortable braces and can be easily worn under socks. Made by Italian company who offers wide range of medical devices. It’s made from breathable neoprene which is latex-free. It reduces the risk of running injuries.
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Comfort / Stability

As it was said before, it’s made from neoprene material which can retain heat as it increases blood circulation. Strapping attaches are long so you can tighten them. It fits both feet.

Durability / Quality

Nothing happens to it after washing. The durability needs to be improved as some very active runners may use it up.

Cost or value

It’s not expensive, very affordable, perfect for everyone who looks for good brace without spending too much money on it.
Pros
  • Very supportive-effectively reduces the risk of running injuries
  • Stretchy- it may be kept loosely or you can tighten it
  • Fits under most shoes- the brace is lightweight
  • Protects sensitive tendons
  • Easy to put on and fits either left foot or right foot
  • Prevents feet from sweating
  • FDA Certified
  • low-priced
Cons
  • Choosing a good size is quite uneasy
  • A bit bulky

Kunto Fitness Ankle Brace

Kunto Fitness company specializes in fitness products. Known for very good quality, it guarantees one-year product replacement if something happens. This brace's versatility makes it a perfect product.
You can enjoy wonderful running performance as you don’t feel you’re wearing it.
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Comfort / Stability

This tool is very comfortable, it’s easy to put on and take off. Many buyers said it fits like a glove. The compression is fine but it provides enough stability. Your foot stays dry as this material prevents from moisture.

Durability / Quality

This brace is really well made. Breathable compression allows you to run for hours. When it comes to durability, this one may stay with you for years.

Cost or value

At first you may think that price is a bit high but it’s worth it. You pay for very nice material- made of spandex and Lycra. It feels like you’re wearing a thick sock, not a brace.
Pros
  • You can easily adjust the amount of support you want
  • No problems with irritation of the skin
  • Stylish look-it’s not whole dark
  • Available in many sizes
  • It’s low profile gives extra flexibility
  • Easy to wash
  • The material prevents skin allergies
Cons
  • Some buyers said it had stretched out after a few months
  • May provide not enough support

McDavid 199 Lace-up Ankle Brace

McDavid 195 ,,brother” is one of McDavid’s best selling products. Its’ very important feature is that it is very lightweight-this makes runners happy as they can improve their mobility. It helps to prevent common injuries while running and gives a lot of comfort. Big advantage of McDavid’s is that this is a company which focuses on creating products for athletes and active people.
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Comfort / Stability

As it was said before, this one is very comfortable-it has special ventilated tongue. Made from two-layer polyester/vinyl mesh keeps skin dry and cool. It’s running without restriction.

Durability / Quality

To be clear, it’s one of the most durable products on our list and it can last for years. It’s a high quality product.

Cost or value

Some people may find the price a little bit to high but this product is totally worth it. Let’s be honest – it’s a small price for having excellent support.
Pros
  • It's highly customizable
  • Fits both left and right
  • Adds much stability to the joint
  • Available in 5 sizes
  • It has spring steel stays to improve the support
  • McDavid’s Protection Level 3- it gives maximum of protection
Cons
  • Some customers had problem with choosing the best size
  • A little bulky for a daily wear

Zenith Ankle Brace

Produced by Zenith Athletics Company, is great for preventing and healing unexpected injuries during running .It stabilizes your tendons , it’s made from neoprene and nylon. This one may have a tremendous impact on your running performance.
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Comfort / Stability

It gives you much comfort and what’s good is that there are many sizes available because we know that one size doesn’t always fit all.

Durability / Quality

The seams were double stitched so you can be sure that it will stay with you for a long time. The material gives your foot breathability.

Cost or value

The price reflects solidly built tool to make you feel comfortable and gives you mobility. You can always search for a sale.
Pros
  • Excellent structural support
  • It fits in the shoe so somebody may not even recognize that you’re wearing it
  • You can easily loosen it to make your blood circulate better
  • You don’t have a feeling of ,,loosing circulation” in your foot
  • With the laces and straps, you can easily adjust the tightness
  • It’s full range of motion for a runner
  • No skin irritation
Cons
  • A little bulky

Zamst A2-DX Ankle Brace

ZAMST is well-known Japanese company and it is on the leading edge when it comes to orthopedics market. It’s famous for strong cooperation with doctors and after product is made, Zamst teams up with famous athletes( such as Stephen Curry) to make sure that their product works.
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Comfort / Stability

It gives a lot of stability with plastic supports on either side. It’s very easy to adjust. It’s not bulky and allows to practice for hours. Special stabilizers prevent feet from shifting forward

Durability / Quality

It’s very high quality and it’s durable, it holds up for a long period

Cost or value

This isn’t the cheapest brace but sometimes it’s worth paying the higher price for excellent support and comfort
Pros
  • It doesn’t lower runner’s mobility
  • Instructional video helps you quickly learn how to use it
  • It comes with padding pieces and you can use them if you want
  • It is thin and low profile so you can wear it with most shoes
  • It is comfortable despite the fact that it has rigid supports
  • Has two Velcro strips so that allows brace to be better fitted
Cons
  • It can’t be worn on a bare foot
  • There may be a problem with choosing the best size

So there you have it, five practical recommendations for the best running ankle braces. If you’re need of a good brace we’re sorry to hear it, but hope any of the above can help you to get back to and retain full health.

Ankle injuries are unfortunately quite common in a lot of sports and running is no exception. The best choice is obviously preventative, but if you have sustained some type of an ankle injury or pain, braces can be a good Bandaid to keep you going.

Ankle supports and braces perform two basic but highly important functions:

  • Supporting and stabilizing the ankle following the occurrence of an injury or surgery
  • Preventing injury by supporting and stabilizing the ankle during injury prone activities

The most critical factor in choosing the correct brace for your injury is knowing the extent and severity of it. We recommend consulting a medical professional in making this type of determination.

There are many different ways that ankle braces are useful for runners. One of them is in dealing with potentially the most common injury known to sport. The sprained ankle, which refers to soft tissue damage to the ligaments around the ankle joint. This generally happens through some abrasive twisting or rolling motion and the result is pain, swelling and sometime ligament damage. To protect and support the ankle following an injury such as this a brace that has a semi-rigid shell, air cells or stabilizers on both sides of the ankle, designed to prevent the joint from repeating the motion that led to the injury in the first place.


The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation Of The Best Ankle Braces

There are many factors that should be evaluated before deciding to buy an ankle brace for running. There are a lot of points that you need to consider .Buying this kind of product shouldn’t be one-minute decision as it may has impact on your health.
There are many types of runners- the very active ones who above protection expect the durability from the product, then people who are precise- they want stability and protection. To be clear, it is very individual thing to choose the best one.
Below we noted the points that were important for us while searching for the best products. Evaluate them and try to think which are the most important for you while buying a product.

 

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania runner

Protection

Let’s be honest- this is one of the most important things. Good brace should give you a lot of support while running and it also should prevent form strains and sprains. What’s more, there is one thing that a lot of people forget about- tendons. They are very important during running so you should take care of them. Both outsole and upper fit must be well-made as they are the most important part of a brace. You must have it in mind that brace should perform well on every terrain you want to run on. It doesn’t matter if it is asphalt, the rocks or grass. You should also be able to adjust tightness- when you wear it loosely , it’s only an illusion that you protect your foot. The brace should fully wrap your ankle.

Is the brace breathable enough?

Good product should keep your foot dry and cool during use. A lot of braces has a breathable mesh to boost the ventilation so you should look for it. If your foot starts sweating, there may appear blisters on your foot so be careful. If your product isn’t breathable enough, a very unpleasant odor may appear.

Material

The material shouldn’t make any blisters and shouldn’t irritate the skin. It must provide a comfortable compression and cushioning. Before choosing, check if you’re not allergic to material that the brace is made of. From Neoprene known for heat retention to a hard plastic. When it comes to hard plastic, it has special design and doesn’t have big impact on your ankle range of motion. Neoprene allows moisture to escape so your foot is dry.

 Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania runner

Does it provide flexibility?

Very crucial feature- we don’t want to be limited during running. Having big range of foot motion is very decisive when it comes to our running performance. The brace shouldn’t be too tight as it may cause bad circulation of a blood. On the other side, if you have it too loosely it may not give you the real support and it may lead to injury. You can’t feel uncomfortably stiff in it.

Simplicity of application

Let’s be clear- you don’t want to spend an hour on wrapping up your brace. However, braces with a lot of laces aren’t worse than the ones with no laces. This is because you don’t need usually unwrap whole device, all you need to do is loosen first laces and that’s all. There are many companies that create videos in which they show how to put on a brace.

Durability

Next important factor especially for very active runners. Let’s be clear- you want something that won’t fall apart after 4 times of usage. While searching for best ones, it is highly recommended to make sure that they are great in every weather condition. Runners who love running in the rain should for example remember that some materials may color. It’s a big advantage if product has a guarantee so if something wrong happens you can give it away and get your money back.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania runner

Is it comfortable enough?

It needs to fit wonderfully and it can’t shift when you exercise. To be honest, you can’t expect to feel like you’re not wearing a brace because it’s rather 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. Make sure that the design appeals to you. The color is also a thing that people care about but to be honest, there aren’t many colors when it comes to this market.

 

Other Important Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best

You could have thought that’s the end of our list. We’ve got still something to talk about. Some factors may not be the most important but some of them are those who are first considered by a consumer.

The price

On the market, there are all prices you can imagine. From dirt cheap braces to very high-priced ones.
We try to search for products which are affordable for people with every budget but you must remember that sometimes you need to spend some money as it’s an investment for future.

We know that there are sites where they offer you very cheap products but 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 you will check if you can afford it.

Washing

Laundering shouldn’t be complicated. Many products can be washed only in hands, the others must be washed in a washing machine.  You may think that’s not a major think when it comes to buying a brace but remember that there is always a risk of overstretching and as a result it may not be able to use.

Weight

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania runner

Buyers sometimes complain about the weight of the product. Some ankle braces seems to be too bulky. It may has a bad impact on your running performance but there is one more big problem-
don’t you think that brace should fit in your shoe and you should be able to wear it with sport running shoes?

What about the style?

It’s obvious that we don’t want to wear anything that doesn’t appear pretty for us. On the market, this product is usually in black or white version but it’s intentional. Black and white are colors which are easy to wash ( especially black), there is smaller chance that the product will color.

 

FAQ

Q: Is it true that wearing it may have bad influence on your performance?

A: We need to make clear one thing. Wearing a brace ankle has its aim- prevent from injuries. Of course , it may hurt a little your performance but think about it. It’s all about wearing it, it doesn’t make you weaker or it doesn’t lower your skills. It’s obvious that you can perform without it but what if you have an injury? It may stop you from running for a long time so it’s better to wear a brace.

 

Q: I have problem with circulation, can I wear it?

A: Yes you can but you must look for a brace with laces. Thanks to this, you may adjust the tightness and you can loosen the laces when it’s too tight.

 

Q: Is there something other important while looking for best one?

A: There are two important things that people usually forget about. Firstly, a lot of customers don’t read the whole info and they are getting angry that they’ve received only one brace on one foot. It’s usually written that it’s not a pair and it’s only one product. Secondly, some companies offer different models for right and left food so make sure that you buy for the good one.

 

Q: I don’t understand the difference between lace-up brace and a rigid one?

A: Rigid one offers higher level of protection and it gives more mobility, however the price is usually higher. Lace-up ones are more affordable.

 

Q: While wearing a brace, I’m 100 % safe?

A: No, you’re not. Brace is just a tool to reduce the risk of injury and it helps your joint and tendons to recover. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have any injury. However, if you happen to have one, the recovery time is much shorter than when you don’t  wear a brace. What we all need to realize is that nothing will give you full protection. You can’t buy a brace and expect that you will never have problem with it.

 

Q: Should I buy one brace for one ankle or for both?

A: It really depends on for what are you going to use it. If you just want it for a recovery after an injury for your one foot , buy one. If you wear in order to protect this part of body while running , it will be better to buy two.

 

Q: I’m really worried as my ankles may weaken after wearing a brace. Is it true that wearing it may have bad impact?

A: This is true but if you do special exercises to strengthen them and don’t wear it all the time, they muscles shouldn’t weaken. The tool is only kind of support and it doesn’t make your ankle totally not working. If you wear it only when running, you shouldn’t worry about as long as you don’t wear it all the time.

 

Q: Is there any difference between searching for a brace when you had bud injury and searching it for keeping the foot stable during running?

A: There is a difference as when you search for running, the most important thing you should be able to do is to moderate the levels of support. You don’t have any injuries, you want to prevent so you need to adjust the tightness. You won’t be also looking for big, bulky braces because they are dedicated for people with several injuries. Your device should be lightweight.

 

Q: Is it true that ankle brace helps to cure a flat feet?

A: Yes, but it’s quiet complicated. There are many types of a flat feet and many types of braces. You can’t just wear one and think that it will help you with your flat feet. Every case is different so you should go and see food specialist.

 

Q: Is there only one type of brace?

A: Basically, there are five types:

Lace-ups – extremely stable but not very comfortable, new models have very often Velcro straps which aim to make wearing more convenient
Straps-these ones are very popular among athletes, their price isn’t very high. The big disadvantage of them is that it may be really hard for some people to put the brace on cause there are so many straps.

Sleeves – they are very accessible and comfortable. Their big weakness is that they are the least stable.
They may be used by beginners, who have already started their adventure with running.
Stirrups-it is less complicated that straps, but this kind of brace is rather not suitable for sports
Hybrid- expensive but comfortable and stable.

 

Q: Can I wear my brace all the time or only for running?

A: If you feel like you need to wear it more as your ankle is very sensitive , you can do it. However, wearing it all the time can cause weakening of your muscles as they are used very rarely. It’s also a bad idea to sleep in it.

 

Q: How to make it easier to fit your brace and how to put it on?

A: What you should do is search for products with sizes. Many products have this one size which unfortunately doesn’t fit all. Check also of it’s suitable for both men and women. Many companies have instructions how to put on a brace, some even have special videos.

 

Q: If I have my ankle brace for running, can I use it for the other sports.

A: Of course. You can wear it when you play basketball, tennis, football, badminton, volleyball, hockey, running, hiking and a lot of different sports. It’s not only dedicated to running and what’s more, basketball or volleyball are more risky sports when it comes to injuries.

 

Q: I have a daughter who plays football and I’m afraid I won’t find her size

A: On the market, there are many companies who offer wide range of sizes. What you need to do is measure the foot . If there isn’t size for your daughter, try to find a company who specializes in ankle braces for children.


 

Here are some sources we used while conducting our research

Sources

  1. A. Douglas Spitalny, medical resources,
  2. Jean farber, medical devices,
  3. Nina T,
La Sportiva Akasha
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