Lebron James, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant all something in common other than the fact that they are big names in the world of basketball. All of these big names have experienced an ankle sprain or even worse at some time or another.
The fact is that in basketball with all the running, dodging, jumping and the sudden turning and stopping on the hard court makes an ankle injury inevitable. It becomes a question of when you’re going to get one if you continue to play basketball long enough.
Not only do ankle injuries keep you away from the game for weeks but also result in decreased confidence when you start playing again. Elite athletes can be the victim of re-injury as well. However, ankle injuries and sprains are preventable if you use the right protection, i.e., an ankle brace.
So, what is an ankle brace? To put it merely ankle braces are products designed to provide support to the ankle after an injury that occurred while playing basketball or some other activity even. It ensures that the vulnerable ankle does not twist again when you put weight on the leg with the bad ankle.
Ankle injuries heal faster when adequately supported. The ankle brace for basketball would, therefore, be one that is nicely padded, breathable and uses a material strong enough to provide ample support.
Most ankle braces will have a bilateral design that fits both feet. Many features and factors come into play when searching for the perfect ankle brace for basketball players.
To make things easier we have compiled here a list detailing the ankle braces for basketball players along with their notable features, pros, and cons and what you should look for in an ankle brace when you decide to make the purchase.
1. McDavid 195 Ankle Brace
This brace was thoroughly researched and tested before release. The results showed that the brace reduced the risk of injury by up to three times.
It is designed using a single layer of polyester fiber which enables this brace to deliver maximum support without compromising its light weight. It also features a unique strap design (with figure-6 attachment pattern).
The reinforced enclosure, padded lining, and a compression top strap, all promote a comfortable fit. Free airflow is ensured by the breathable tongue which also keeps sweat from accumulating around your feet and making the situation uncomfortable.
It comes in plenty of sizes which means no shortage of size options and that finding the one that suits you won’t be an issue either.
2. McDavid Lace Up Ankle Brace
It doesn’t matter if you have a bad ankle already or merely want to prevent ankle sprains, this brace is perfect for that. It is suitable for all genders, ages and skill levels when it comes to basketball or even other high impact sports like volleyball, etc.
This is a lace up ankle brace and can come in very useful as it also makes this brace highly effective. Accompanying the lacing front is the crisscrossing Velcro that goes under and to the side of your foot.
The stretchy ankle strap joins this. All these together form the three-part construction design that will ensure your foot remains protected from any twist, sprain or strain.
The brace also features a fully breathable and two layered polyester/vinyl mesh that ensures your feet remain cool and dry. The tongue part is fully ventilated so that breathability isn’t affected.
You can adjust the brace for a custom fit without having to take off or even unlace your shoes which would be a great plus for many.
3. Med Spec 264004 ASO
The Med Spec 264004 ASO Ankle Stabilizer is among the most recommended braces by orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and athletic trainers.
The reason? It combines support, comfort, and durability to provide the perfect ankle brace. The contoured tongue provides an excellent fit while the tongue constructed from the lightweight but durable CoolFlex material helps increase comfort.
Its invisible seam helps deliver superior levels of comfort. The brace lace is attached to the tongue which has the result of your lacing remaining centered at all times.
4. Liomor Ankle Support Brace
An excellent and budget-friendly choice, this no-frills brace will help stabilize and protect your ankle while you play your favorite sport.
Once it is fully wrapped around your ankle joint, it will offer your foot and ankle unmatched stability. The brace also does a great job of delivering compression to your ankle area which helps facilitate a faster recovery.
Made from high quality, elastic materials, the brace can last you a long time if handled correctly. It has a gentle contact on the skin and is made from breathable materials for optimal comfort.
5. Zamst A2-DX
One of the top choices available on the market when it comes to top ankle braces for basketball, this brace gained fame when Stephen Curry wore it in the 2012/2013 NBA season.
He even explained how the brace helped protect his injury-prone ankle ankles and gave him the confidence to play without fear.
The brace features an i-Fit and a-Fit technology which allows it to automatically and anatomically fit both feet.
The Exo-Grid keeps your ankles from rolling inwards or outwards and also helps keep off high ankle sprains. It also features X-strap stabilizers which provide with a three-way medial, lateral and anterior support.
The brace’s pre-curved design provides your feet with a full range of motion so that your performance isn’t affected
6. 6 Sleeve Stars Compression Ankle Sleeve
A solid fix for people suffering from plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, heel spur or ankle sprain as the brace with its high levels of compression helps reduce swelling and stabilizes ligaments.
By increasing blood flow, it reduces the chances of swelling and over inflammation. It features a free support strap that you can adjust to obtain a custom fit and support.
Uses premium grade fabric materials with moisture wicking capabilities so that your feet remain dry and odor free even through a long day.
7. Vive Lace Up Ankle Brace
This lace-up brace ankle brace provides exceptional support and compression to reduce pain, swelling that results from sprains, arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, muscle fatigue, and injuries.
Its dual exterior straps provide with medial and lateral support. The fully adjustable brace allows you to enjoy a customized fit and compression. Adjusting is as easy as pulling the finger loops, so the straps securely tighten around your ankle and foot.
An included elastic cuff does an excellent job of holding the straps and laces in place. It is made from breathable materials to allow airflow so that your feet remain dry and fresh all day.
8. Zenith Lace Up Ankle Brace
This brace has been designed to solve your ankle aches and pains. The pair comes for both men and women and is available in different sizes so that you can choose the one that provides the perfect for you.
Made from high-quality neoprene and nylon, the brace is flexible while providing high levels of support. These can be worn all day long to enjoy relief from an ankle injury. 100% money back guarantee means you can return it if you’re not satisfied with it.
9. Cotill Adjustable Ankle Brace
A budget-friendly brace perfect for post-surgery recovery, arthritis injury recovery, strains, and injury prevention as well.
The brace delivers high levels of support and its contoured sleeve design fits your foot perfectly to deliver stabilization for your ankle joints and tendons.
The high-quality neoprene material used has a soft touch on the skin and helps reduce injury recovery period. 100% breathable material keeps your feet dry.
The manufacturer also offers 100% money back guarantee so it might be worth a shot giving this a try since you can return it if you’re not satisfied.
10. MEDIZED Ankle Stabilizer
This sleeve comes in a pair of two and is quite reasonably priced so it can help prevent ankle injuries and speed recovery for those with a low budget.
Made from 60% nylon, 30% latex and 10% polyester materials, the sleeve keeps bulkiness at a minimum. Its breathable fabric keeps the feet cool and dry throughout the day.
Included compression straps help increase blood flow around the ankle to speed up the recovery process. It can be a great help in relieving pain resulting from plantar fasciitis or ankle injuries. Suitable for men, women, and kids too.
How to Select Best Ankle Braces for Basketball?
After taking in all that info you might still not be sure which one is the perfect brace for you. With the help of this guide, we’ll help you pick out the best brace suited for your requirements.
Durability is critical when looking for that one right ankle brace for basketball. You wouldn’t want to spend your money on a product that barely lasts you through a few games. The durability of the brace will depend on the manufacturer as well as the choice of materials that went into manufacturing the product. Reviews from other buyers can help you a lot in this respect. You’ll be able to find detailed information on the durability of the ankle brace and how well it worked out for each buyer.
Type of Ankle Brace
Ankle braces are available in different types, so you’ll have to pick the one that suits your requirements.
Are Ankle Braces Good for Basketball?
Usually made from neoprene or knit fabric, these offer protection as well as compression so that you benefit from a relief in pain resulting from inflammation and swelling. Perfect for dealing with plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, arthritis or injuries.
Ankle Supports with Straps
Similar to the ankle sleeves except that these have an additional strap system for advanced support and compression. This strap system can be figure 8 or 6 compressions. Figure 8 offers full wraparound and maximum compression. Figure 6 lays focus on protecting from a lateral movement which makes them ideal for preventing ankle rolling and twisting.
Ankle Braces With Lace Up
These braces include a lace-up design not different from that in shoes. This provides with maximum ankle support for basketball players. The laces also let you adjust for a custom fit and tightness.
The performance of any brace will depend a lot on how well it fits you. Therefore, in this regard take the utmost care to measure yourself and refer the manufacturer’s size chart before ordering so that you only get the brace that is perfect for your foot’s size and circumference.
A better fit will result in more satisfaction. However, other factors are affecting the support of a given brace as well. The breathable, soft and smooth fabric is a must. The padded lining can further increase comfort but can also sometimes increase bulkiness. It is all about finding the balance between your needs and requirements and picking the brace that will serve you best.
Coming to the final verdict, it is not possible to point out one or two best braces that would be perfect for everyone. Every person has different feet. Some are quite wider than the average foot. Every one of these braces has its unique features and offerings. Some are budget-friendly while others are so good they have been worn by basketball superstars but might not be offering the one feature you’re looking for the most.
The fact is that what works for Stephen Curry doesn’t have to work for you as well since your injury and foot could very well be different from his. This is why it is ideal for performing your thorough research, weigh out the pros and cons of every brace against the others and then pick the one that seems perfect for you. We certainly hope this list of the best ankle braces for basketball players and a buyer’s guide will help you make a better and more informed decision.