THE ULTIMATE BUYERS GUIDE TO ANKLE SUPPORT AND PROTECTION GEAR FOR BASKETBALL PLAYERS
An ankle injury can be one of the most frustrating and debilitating injuries that a basketball player can sustain.
A recent study looked at the most common injuries sustained by NBA players over the past 17 years.
The study found that lateral ankle sprains were the most common injury and account for 13.2 % of all injuries over that time period.
This is not surprising considering that basketball players are often jumping and landing in a crowd of players.
Gordan Hayward's horrific in game ankle injury shows just how easily a regulation play can result in a career defining injury.
Ankle injuries often take a long time to heal and leave you susceptible to re-injury.
Injuries of the ankle are notoriously hard to rehabilitate from as often the ligaments around the ankle joint are stretched and often never return to their starting length.
Basketball shoes can't fully protect you from sustaining a serious ankle sprain, although many shoes are designed with ankle protection in mind.
More ankle support is often required and can be obtained in the form of an ankle support guards, sleeves or ankle braces.
IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR 3 TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST BASKETBALL ANKLE SUPPORT GEAR (SLEEVES, GUARDS & BRACES) OF 2019
BEST BUDGET PICK
Gonicc Pro Basketball Ankle Sleeve W/ Support
OUR TOP PICK
McDavid 195 Basketball Ankle Brace
Zamst A2-DX Basketball Ankle Brace
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3 IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING BASKETBALL ANKLE PROTECTION GEAR
We will get to the top 6 list of the best ankle support products shortly, but first it is important that you consider a few things before purchasing any ankle protection gear to wear while playing basketball.
1. How To Choose The Best Ankle Brace For Your Specific Needs?
OPTION 1 - Heavy Duty Ankle Brace With Inserts
There are a number of reasons why a basketball player may choose to start wearing an ankle brace.
It is very common for basketball players to start shopping for an ankle brace after sustaining an ankle injury while playing.
In this case an athlete may have lost ankle function and stability due to a sprain of the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint.
Steph Curry dealt with severe ankle instability issues early in his career after sustaining multiple ankle sprains. To help support his weak and injured ankles he chose to wear a Zamst A2-Dx.
The heavy duty Zamst brace helped to keep him on the court and become the player that he is today.
Heavy duty braces such as the Zamst-A2-Dx provide enhanced support for all ankle sprains. The anatomically correct medial and lateral guards, inserts and exoskeleton help prevent the ankle from rolling in and out.
However, although ankle braces provide the best protection for basketball players they are quite bulky.
Some players feel that the bulkiness of these heavy duty braces sacrifices performance on the court.
OPTION 2 - Moderate Duty Ankle Brace/Support Guards With Laces & Straps (MOST POPULAR)
Many players prefer to choose to wear an ankle support with straps and laces as they offer excellent support while still allowing for maximum freedom of movement on the court.
Ankle guards with a strap and laces are the most commonly used type of ankle protection for basketball players.
Any basketball player looking for an ankle guard that offers maximum protection while still allowing you to run,cut and jump should seriously consider checking out the the McDavid 195.
Ankle guards with laces and straps can take a while to put on, but once you do your ankles will feel bulletproof.
OPTION 3 - Light Duty Ankle Compression Sleeve and Support Guards
Many basketball players may choose to wear lightweight ankle protection just for a little extra stability and piece of mind.
The lightweight ankle protection options come in the form of a compression ankle sleeve.
Ankle compression sleeves provide proprioceptive feedback and support that may make you feel like you can run faster and jump higher while wearing them.
Lightweight ankle supports such as the Gonicc Pro are a great choice for basketball players who are after a mild ankle protection and enhanced basketball performance and post game recovery.
These come with light duty ankle straps which are great for players wearing low cut basketball shoes.
Just remember that these light duty ankle compression sleeves and supports will not prevent most major ankle injuries experienced on the basketball court.
OPTION 4 - Ankle Roll Guards
The Armour1 Ankle Roll Guard is an innovative new product that has proven to be as effective at reducing ankle sprains as an ankle brace or strapping tape.
These ankle roll guards havn't got swooped up and adapted by popular hoop culture yet.
However, customer reviews on Amazon seem to be very positive so far.
2. How To Choose Ankle Guard That Is Comfortable To Wear While Playing Basketball?
When choosing a ankle brace for basketball it is vital that you choose a model that is of optimal fit and comfort.
If you choose a brace that is too loose you will not get sufficient protection from the product and will likely get painful blisters forming around the foot and ankle.
On the other hand, if you choose an ankle brace that is too tight you run the risk of cutting off you circulation. You don't want your foot going numb mid game, so take the time to find the right fit for you.
Follow the links on our site to the individual product pages and their you will find guides on how to select the appropriate size based on your shoe size.
Also take into consideration the sock size that you are currently wearing or choose to wear while playing basketball
We recommend wearing a quality pair of basketball socks under neath any ankle brace in order to reduce the potential for blistering.
3. How To Choose An Ankle Support That Is Durable And Will Stand Up To The Demands Of Basketball?
When it comes to durability in ankle braces you often get what you pay for.
There are some cheap and nasty models out there that offer little more protection than a standard sock.
If you are after superior durability in your ankle brace that will last you season after season then it is definitely best to invest in a quality brace made by a quality brand.
Here is a list of the leading manufacturers of basketball ankle braces, guards and supports:
LIST OF THE 6 BEST BASKETBALL ANKLE BRACES, GUARDS AND SUPPORTS YOU CAN BUY IN 2019
Searching all over the internet for the best basketball ankle supports and braces can be very time consuming.
We’ve saved you the time and energy by doing all of the investigative work for you.
Now all you have to do is read our easy to follow short list below and make your decision on which ankle brace, sleeve or guard is right for you.
#1. McDavid 195 Basketball Ankle Brace Review
The McDavid 195 Ankle Brace made of single-layer polyester fabric which provides premium support while remaining very light weight.
This is one of the most comfortable, high protection ankle braces available for basketball players.
The 195's innovative strapping system mimics the function of strapping tape.
The slimline design makes it comfortable with any low or high cut basketball shoe.
These braces, like most quality ankle braces, tend to take a little while to break in. The first couple of times that you wear them they may feel a little stiff. After a couple of sessions they will break in nicely.
The McDavid 195 has 9 sets of eyelets which ensures full length protection. This also means that these ankle braces take a little longer to put on than others on the market.
Overall, the McDavid 195 ankle brace is a worthwhile investment into your on court ankle protection. The light weight and comfortable design ensures that you can continue to perform at your best while wearing them.
#2. Zamst A2-DX Basketball Ankle Brace Review
The Zamst A2-DX is the model of ankle brace worn and popularized by NBA superstar Steph Curry.
After suffering multiple ankle injuries Steph started wearing these braces 2012/2013 NBA season. These braces helped him get back on the basketball court and become the legend he is today.
The Zamst A2-DX Ankle Brace is a state of the art brace that offers unmatched protection and play-ability on the court.
As soon as you slip on a pair of the Zamst's you feel safe, secure and "locked in".
These premium braces are a little more expensive than most other basketball braces we have reviewed.
The process of putting these on does take a while to master. Be prepared to read through the instructions.The design is very advanced.
Despite looking quite bulky, these Zamst ankle braces are very comfortable and light weight.
If you have had a previous ankle injury and want a brace to support your ankles as you return to the court then the Zamst A2-Dx is perfect for you.
#3. Gonicc Pro Basketball Ankle Sleeve Review
This ankle sleeve from Gonicc is a great value for money product for basketball players looking for light ankle protection that doesn't hinder on-court performance.
Most ankle protection braces and sleeves come sold individually. This ankle sleeve with straps comes in a pack of 2.
The premium comfort nylon material and the ergonomic design of this foot sleeve makes them lightweight on the court.
The compression in each ankle sleeve provides nice ankle stabilization. This is also a nice sleeve to wear post ankle injury to help reduce swelling and promote blood flow.
The makers of these are so confident in their product that they offer a 100% lifetime money back satisfaction guarantee.
#4. Aso Ankle Guard /Stabilizer Review
The ASO Ankle Stabilizer is a very popular, great value for money combination brace (straps & laces).
The ASO provides the perfect ankle support option for basketball players looking to prevent reoccurring low ankle sprains.
The ASO brace provides a feel very similar to strapping tape as it replicates the gold standard figure 8 ankle strapping pattern.
The bracing provided by the ASO is superior to taping as the fit remains firm and supportive for the duration of a basketball game.
Users of this brace have reported that they can take a few games to completely break in.
The ASO runs a little large in sizing, so be sure to order down one size or wear thick socks while wearing them.
#5. McDavid Lace Up Basketball Ankle Guard Review
The McDavid Lace Up ankle braces are a great option for basketball players who want moderate support with excellent comfort and play-ability.
Out of all the lace up style ankle braces that we investigated we found the McDavid to offer the best combination of value for money, innovative features, comfort and protection.
The McDavid 199's high lace system is perfect for players worried about re-injuring a high ankle sprain.
#6. CEP Ortho Ankle Compression Brace With Achilles Support
Compression braces offer little ankle support but they can provide some nice proprioceptive feedback around the ankle joint. The CEP Ortho are a great option for basketball players with Achilles tendonitis or recovering from a previous ankle sprain.
These ankle compression sleeves are very easy to slide on and off and are very comfy to wear while playing.
Personally I love the feel of these compression braces around my ankles while playing ball.
ANKLE SUPPORT FOR BASKETBALL F.A.Q
1. What Can Basketball Players Do To Prevent Ankle Injuries?
Basketball ankle injuries are often a result of landing on another players foot after trying to crash the boards or take a shot.
Of course the most humiliating way to sustain an ankle injury is to literally have your “ankles broken” by an opponent throwing a vicious crossover.
Wearing one of the ankles braces, guards and compression sleeves listed above can greatly reduce your risk of sustaining an ankle injury on the court.
It is also important to spend time strengthening the stabilizing muscles around the ankle joint by performing a range of prehabilitation exercises and basketball specific strength training such as:
Bosu ball lunges:
Balance disc challenges:
However, regardless of how much time and effort you put into strengthening the structures of the ankle with exercises, they still will not be able to tolerate the forces directed through the ankle when landing on someone’s foot from a height.
Did You Know? Landing on another players foot is the most common way of spraining an ankle while playing basketball.
2. Do Ankle Braces Weaken Your Ankles?
Many basketball players worry that by consistently wearing their ankle brace during basketball training sessions and games will weaken their ankles over time.
As long as your ankle brace allows for full range of motion ankle braces will not weaken your ankles.
Regardless of if you wear an ankle brace or not, all basketball players should spend time in the gym performing balance, plyometric and strength training without ankle braces.
3. Should Basketball Players Wear Ankle Braces
Yes, the majority of basketball players should wear an ankle brace as they can prevent many common ankle injuries.
Ankle braces can also give basketball players the confidence to return to the court after an ankle injury plus reduce the risk of reoccuring injuries.
Choosing an ankle brace from the list above will ensure that your ankles can stay safe of the court without sacrificing performance.
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FINAL THOUGHTS ON CHOOSING AN ANKLE BRACE TO WEAR WHILE PLAYING BASKETBALL
The technology and research into basketball ankle support apparel has come a long way over the past decade.
These days most major sporting brands have recognized the value in providing their customers with quality basketball ankle support options that are comfortable, lightweight and effective.
These braces wont protect you 100% from an ankle injury, but ankle braces can reduce the severity of an injury and are a essential piece of basketball apparel worth considering.
We have spent countless hours reviewing and researching the best ankle braces for basketball on the market.
As you can see from the list above, most of these basketball ankle braces are actually quite affordable and offer excellent support.
Also, from personal experience I have found that once you have a pair of quality ankle braces they are likely to last you for a lifetime.
We hope you have found our comparison and reviews of what we consider to be the best basketball ankle braces currently available online helpful in empowering you to make an informed decision upon purchase.
Hopefully you know have better idea of the differences in the features and benefits that the most popular ankle braces offer.
If you have an ankle injury or are worried about an ankle break or sprain taking you out of action this basketball season, an ankle brace is definitely worth considering.
Be sure to check back to this page in the future as we regularly update the post with the latest and greatest basketball ankle braces on the market.
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