Playing football is one of the most entertaining physical activities you can do. But with all this fun, football also delivers great dangers. A player may need to protect themselves from injury. These injuries can manifest anywhere on the body. It could be on your arms, knees, hands, muscles, or the most common of all – in your ankle.
That’s why it’s important to know how to take care of injuries and prevent them. With the best ankle brace for football, you can do this and get even more benefits.
An ankle brace serves two purposes which are support and injury prevention. A football ankle support is not an accessory that offers stylish benefits, but instead something that protects you from injuries when playing.
After an injury, you want to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. The best way to do that is by using something with compression that pressures your ankle or foot to relieve any condition.
1. McDavid Ankle Brace/ Ankle Support (Editor's Choice)
The first ankle brace on our list of the best football ankle brace is the McDavid Ankle Brace/Ankle Support. This is a lightweight, flexible, breathable ankle support that got a lot of people amazed. The first reason for this is because this ankle brace can be used on both feet. You do not need to get a specific ankle brace for the foot that you would like to support. The McDavid Classic Lightweight Ankle Brace is a lace-up ankle support.
This means that this ankle support is able to offer much more support than most other ankle braces. In addition to that, the laces allow this ankle brace to fit snugly on the ankle area, improving not only comfort but ensuring that your chances to get injured is reduced. This ankle brace does not have to be worn only when you are injured.
It can also be used during normal play to help you keep away from injuries and sprains that are often associated with games and practice. This ankle brace is also very lightweight, and this is to make sure that it doesn’t hinder your movement.
Asides that, its tongue is made out of mesh to ensure further that it provides all the ventilation that you need during training and games.
2. Aircast A60 Ankle Support Brace
At number two on our list of best football ankle brace is the impressive Aircast A60 Ankle Support Brace. This is an ankle brace that you can use to support your ankle during play to reduce the chances of injury as well as during a healing period to facilitate healing. This ankle brace offers the comfortability that you need on and off the field. The amazing thing about this ankle brace is that it is made out of material that is able to absorb impact. It can function as one of the protective gears that you need in a high-impact and rough game.
We discovered that this ankle brace is manufactured with molded stabilizer guards. This ankle brace offers protection from both ankle sprains and rollovers. One of the most important things that you should consider when getting an ankle brace is the amount of ventilation that you will get with the ankle brace. This ankle brace is made using Breathe-O-Prene fabric. This fabric provides amazing breathability to keep the foot and ankle dry and cool even in hot weather conditions and tough games.
The breathability of the material also ensures that sweat is able to escape your foot further, thereby enhancing the comfort that this ankle brace provides. While this ankle brace does a really good job in ensuring that you are not injured during play, it does not hinder your movement.
This ankle brace affords you enough mobility to ensure that you are able to run, play, stop, and accelerate as much as you need during games.
3. McDavid 195 Level 3 Max Protection Ankle Brace With Strap
At number three, we have another product from McDavid, the McDavid 195 Level 3 Max Protection Ankle Brace with Strap. This is an ankle brace that comes with laced straps to ensure that the ankle brace offers all the support that your foot requires while fitting snugly and holding on even during intense games. This ankle brace is special because it simulates the support that you would normally get from an athletic tape. It is made of durable and breathable nylon fabric. This fabric ensures that you stay cool during games and your sweat escapes simultaneously.
This feature not only keeps you cool and dry during games, but it also ensures that the ankle brace remains comfortable even during long games. It also has a padded lining, sewn-in arch support as well as an elastic heel. All of these features provide comfort while ensuring mobility and the ability to play without being held back in any way whatsoever. Its straps do not only provide support, they also offer protection.
This is because they are made from materials that absorb shock, and so is the rest of the ankle brace. This ankle brace fits on both right and left ankles.
You can adjust the “six-figure” strap that comes with this ankle brace without removing your cleat. This ankle brace offers a convenience that you cannot find on other braces.
4. Shock Doctor 894 Ultra Gel Lace Ankle Support
The fourth brace on our list of best football ankle brace is the Shock Doctor Ultra Gel Lace Ankle Support. This ankle brace from shock doctor offers a compression lacing system that works really well especially if you have compression socks on. This ankle brace also has a comfort gel support to ensure that the brace is as comfortable as you may need it to be. The compression wrap lacing loop system that is built into this ankle brace offers additional support.
As with most of the other ankle braces on this list, this ankle brace is manufactured with a combination of latex, polyester, and nylon. The combination of these materials ensures that this ankle brace is not only flexible enough to provide you with all the mobility that you need on and off the field, it also ensures its durability. This ankle support is also small enough so as to fit inside your shoes or cleats.
Although this ankle brace can be used to prevent injury as well as provide the support that you may need when healing, it is not a replacement for medication or therapy.
It is always a good idea to talk to a health care professional about any injuries that you have and let them decide if you need a brace or a cast.
5. The Active Ankle Volt Rigid Ankle Brace
Next up at number five, we have the Active Ankle Volt Rigid Ankle Brace. This ankle brace will provide the support that your ankle needs after injury and offer support in case of sprains. It comes with a reinforced plate for total ankle sprain support. Despite this, this ankle brace manages to remain relatively lightweight so as not to weigh you down when you have it on. This ankle brace also comes with a hinged molded design that allows for a wide range of motions if the physical therapy of healing demands it.
The strengthening ribs that come with this ankle support do not only help improve the support that this ankle brace offers but ensure that it is small and light enough to fit into most cleats. If you need to use this ankle support during games, you will discover that its straps allow for dual fastening that secures the ankle for a customized and snug fit.
The plate where you rest your feet is made out of carbon fiber. The carbon fiber offers the strength and support that you need without increasing the weight of the ankle brace.
This ankle brace comes in a variety of sizes as well as different colors for the plates which makes it very easy to find an ankle brace that matches your team colors.
6. Aircast AirSport Ankle Support Brace
At number six on this list of the best football ankle brace is another product from McDavid, the Aircast AirSport Ankle Support Brace. If you have a chronic ankle injury that needs support throughout, this is one of the ankle braces that could help you. This support brace has a semi-rigid encased shell to provide the ventilation that you need while managing to remain very comfortable.
In addition to this, it is able to provide a moderate amount of compression to keep blood around the muscles flowing and the muscles around the ankle supported. The compression utilizes Aircel technology so that it is exactly enough and not too much or too little. Although this ankle support brace offers awesome support for players that need support for extended periods, it also helps to prevent these injuries.
If you are a very active football player or even athlete, you will be glad to know that this ankle brace will be able to protect you from both sprains and rollover injuries. It is also very easy to put on, and this is facilitated by the unique step-in design that will let you wear it at once.
The straps that are on this ankle support also ensure that it fits snugly while offering additional support.
7. McDavid Ankle Support With Strap
At number seven on our list of football ankle brace is another McDavid product which is the McDavid Ankle Support with Strap. This brace is lightweight, comfortable and can prevent injury while on the field. It is not meant to offer enough support for you if you have any sprains or injuries. You will have to rely on kinesthetic tape or some of the other braces on this list to offer support when injured.
One of the first things that you will notice about this ankle brace is that it does come with a strap. This enables you to secure it in place properly, and the strap does a good job of offering the extra support that you need during play. Its strap is quite comfortable, and the compression that it offers is enough to hold the brace in place without any strain on the foot and the ankles. This ankle brace is made of material that is well ventilated.
This helps to keep your foot cool and dry on the field. Asides that, its material is light, durable and just thin enough so that you are able to fit your foot inside a cleat.
If you are looking for a strapped ankle brace and support that will protect you from sprains and injuries while allowing you all the mobility that you need on the field, the McDavid Ankle Support with Strap is one of the braces to get.
8. Adidas Performance Adizero Speedwrap Ankle Brace
The only ankle brace from Adidas to make it to our list of best football ankle brace is the Adidas Performance Adizero Speedwrap Ankle Brace. This ankle brace is specially made for athletes and footballers that want to ensure that they do not have sprains on their ankles: this ankle brace does a good job at that. Another reason why we suggest that you get this ankle brace is because it does a really good job at supporting the ankles should you have any injury or sprains.
This ankle brace features a lateral spare that is credited with ensuring that your ankle has enough support to prevent rollover injuries. This brace is made with weight in mind meaning that Adidas was able to make this ankle brace as light as possible. In addition to that, this ankle brace incorporates some anti-slip zones inside this ankle brace. These zones help to ensure that your foot remains locked down thereby adding an extra layer of protection against sprains.
Apart from the material that this ankle brace is manufactured with which makes it lightweight, it is also very breathable. This is very important if you are going to be wearing this ankle brace with your cleat.
If this is your plan, then you need to remain cool and dry, something that this ankle brace offers really well.
9. The Active Ankle T1 Rigid Ankle Brace
At number nine on our list of best football ankle brace is another ankle brace that does a really good job at preventing sprains and other types of ankle injuries. The Active Ankle T1 Rigid Ankle Brace comes with a rigid brace that offers amazing support and protection. It also features a high-quality strapping system. This will keep the foot in place while ensuring that the brace does not only fit as it is supposed to but that it stays in place and offers the support the player requires.
This ankle brace can be used for a whole lot of games and not just football. Also, it fits both legs comfortably. This is a huge advantage as it means that you will not have to search for a brace for a specific foot and you only need one brace provided that you do not injure both your ankles at the same time.
This ankle brace also comes with a hinge that allows maximum movement, and this is another important feature for players with sprains or strains. The up and down movement facilitated by this hinge goes a long way in helping recovery. If you look at the inner part of this ankle brace, you will discover that there is a neoprene padding.
This ensures all the comfort that you need during training and even after if you are going to be wearing the brace off the field.
10. Mizuno DXS Right Ankle Brace
The last brace on our list of best ankle brace for football is the Mizuno DXS Right Ankle Brace. This is a pretty sturdy ankle brace because it offers lateral support which you need if you want to keep sprains and strains away. The one thing that you will notice is that this ankle brace was manufactured with a lot of padding. All of this padding is to make it much more comfortable while helping to absorb impact during tough games.
This ankle brace provides the ankle with great mobility. This is important for ensuring you’re your feet can move as they ought to both on and off the field. This brace offers a lot of support for your feet. Three different belts facilitate this. On this ankle brace, you will find anchor wrap, that holds the whole brace in place, an under heel strap, important if you are using this ankle brace to support your ankle in case of sprains and a v-shaped strap.
This ankle brace comes in a variety of sizes, so be sure to get the right size for you because the wrong size will surely affect your on-field performance. This ankle brace is also very light meaning that you will not have any problem while wearing it to play for long periods.
Lastly, it offers great breathability which will help keep your foot dry all through the game.
What You Should Consider Before Buying Football Angle Brace
There are various types of ankle braces, even though they offer almost the same benefits. Knowing the difference will help you pick the ideal option according to your needs and desires.
The first type of ankle brace is the Sleeve. Sleeves are generally made of knit fabric or neoprene, typically designed with the main purpose of providing moderate protection & compression for pain relief effects. This brace works really well for people with arthritis, tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, yet they offer great mobility due to their lightness and comfortable design.
Then we have ankle supports with straps. They have a similar design to sleeves, but instead of being like a sock, they come with straps that compress the feet effectively. These braces are the ideal ones for football players that want to keep their ankle protected at all times and prevent unnecessary movements. They can still be used for playing, but they offer less mobility than sleeve ankle braces.
Lastly, we have the lace-up braces. Lace-up braces use the same design as ankle support, but instead of straps, they use laces. This helps to increase the overall pressure and compression they offer, and this means superior support and protection. But with its tightness, you also get minimal movement, because they are mainly designed to heal injuries than to prevent them.
When getting an ankle brace, you need to do some research or ask questions on the material they are manufactured with. This may seem somehow unnecessary, but it is not. Ankle braces are manufactured from different materials which serve different purposes.
Some materials are good at absorbing shocks. Some are lightweight, some offer a high breathability level which helps to keep your foot dry during the game, and some offers mobility support.
As a professional football player, you need to be sure that you are getting one of the best ankle brace to add to your protective gear. Your gears must be made of good quality materials so they can give you the protection you need.
Finally, get an ankle brace that is made of good quality material and can offer you some if not all of the points as mentioned earlier.
SUPPORT & COMPRESSION
The support and compression of a brace are essential to know whether it will work or not. With more pressure or support, the more compression you have, the higher the protection it offers. But the more compression it delivers, the more likely it is to be stiff and hard, and this might affect your on-field movement, thereby affecting your performance negatively.
That’s why you should always pick an ankle brace that fits your needs. Lace-up and strap supports are both good choices for more pressure & compression over anything else. Go for a sleeve brace if you don’t need that much compression.
COMFORT & FLEXIBILITY
Always go for an ankle brace that fits your mobility needs. And here you need to consider two things which are the material of the product and the overall construction of the brace.
A lace-up brace or support with straps will not be as flexible or comfortable as a sleeve with no lace. This also means the lace-up brace may provide a hotter feeling in the feet compared to the sleeve brace and eventually restrict movement exponentially.
If you want something that doesn’t restrict your movement and is comfortable enough to play football effectively, go for a sleeve brace. Otherwise, you may pick any of the other two types. But before you make your pick, know the type of game you will be playing, the type of field you will be playing on, and the weather condition of the area the field is situated. All these are factors to consider, as they also contribute greatly to the performance of players.
CAN I STILL SUFFER AN INJURY WHILE WEARING AN ANKLE BRACE?
This is a really tricky question, and most people seem to be confused when they get to know that even with an ankle brace on, they may still suffer an injury. Yes, its main purpose is to help you avoid getting injured and even though it does a pretty good job at that, there are still tendencies for you to injure your ankle during the game. An ankle brace, especially the most rigid ones, are specifically designed to prevent injuries and heal them.
However, with the less compressive options and even with the rigid ones, you may still have a certain level of danger when playing football due to the physical nature of the game. But the injuries when using an ankle brace tend to be far less damaging.
HOW LONG IS AN ANKLE BRACE SUPPOSED TO LAST?
This depends on the amount of physical activity you engage in with your brace on. Typically, football players who are using braces at all times to reduce pain or heal injuries tend to replace their braces between six months to one year.
This is because the ankle brace is prone to wear out with time and usage, so you might have to get different sets or pairs of ankle braces so you can rotate using them. If you are someone who uses a brace every now and then and only needs it to prevent injuries, your brace may last up to two years or more.
SHOULD I WASH MY ANKLE BRACE?
Yes, washing/cleaning an ankle brace is an excellent way not only to keep the product smelling nice but also to increase the overall durability of the product. We recommend that you clean your ankle brace using a damped cloth with soap. Be sure not to put them in the washing machine because its durability will surely reduce with time if you keep washing it in a washing machine.
Like we stated earlier, it best to wash it with a damped cloth and soap, this will prevent it from wearing out quickly and keep its durability reserved. You have to maintain your ankle brace so it can last you for some time, constant wash will also affect it negatively so make sure that you only wash it after using it for a while.
IS THERE A SPECIFIC TIME THAT I SHOULDN’T WEAR ANKLE BRACE?
As a football player, you should always have your ankle brace on while on the field of play. So there’s almost no exception when it comes to using an ankle brace. However, most manufacturers advise not to have an ankle brace on when taking a shower or on rainy days, but you can have it on while sleeping.
Too much of water will surely dampen the ankle brace and soften it, and this will reduce its effectiveness in providing the required support and damage it really quick. So even before you wash it, you have to wear it for a long while and be certain that it needs washing before you finally decide to wash it. We are sure you would not want your ankle brace to wear out quickly.