Soccer Ankle Brace: Do You Need to Wear One?
Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries in soccer, and they can literally sideline you for days, weeks, or even months. That’s where soccer ankle braces come in.
Ankle braces for soccer players are designed to provide support and stability to your ankles, reducing the risk of injury and helping you stay on the field.
If you’ve worn them before, you know how valuable they are. At the same time, you probably know how they can restrict your movement and be pretty uncomfortable.
So, in this article, we’ll let you know the benefits of wearing ankle braces and what kinds are the best for your situation!
Best Ankle Braces for Soccer
Here are the best soccer braces for soccer players. Each of these braces below has their unique styles that make it ideal for specific ankle injuries.
This is a comfortable compression sleeve for your ankle. It is ideal for players who want to prevent ankle injuries or have a minor injury.
- Comfortable while providing compression to the ankle and foot
- Great for achilles tendonitis, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis.
Understanding Ankle Braces for Soccer Players
Importance of Ankle Support in Soccer
In soccer, there are a lot of quick and sharp movements. Most of the game is performed from the waist-down which makes every part of your body important to keep healthy.
With all the dribbling, kicking, stepping, and natural soccer movements, you’re ankles are in vulnerable positions. And, every once in a while, they get rolled or tweaked.
Ankle injuries are common in soccer, and they can range from mild sprains to more severe injuries that require surgery. Ankle braces can help prevent injuries by providing support to your ankles and reducing the risk of sprains.
Types of Ankle Braces
There are several types of ankle braces available, each with its own pros and cons. The most common types of ankle braces used in soccer include:
- Lace-up ankle braces: These are the most basic type of ankle brace and are designed to provide support to the ankle joint. They are easy to adjust and can be worn with most types of soccer cleats.
- Stirrup ankle braces: These braces are designed to provide more support than lace-up braces. They have a stirrup that wraps around the ankle, providing additional stability.
- Hinged ankle braces: These braces have a hinge that allows for more natural movement of the ankle joint. They are often used by athletes who have had previous ankle injuries and need extra support.
- Compression ankle sleeves: These are not technically braces, but they can provide some support to the ankle joint. They are made of a stretchy material that compresses the ankle, providing a snug fit and reducing the risk of injury. These have the least amount of support but are the most comfortable.
When choosing an ankle brace, it is important to consider your specific needs and the level of support you require.
For example, a lace-up ankle brace may be sufficient for mild ankle sprains, while a hinged ankle brace may be more appropriate for more severe injuries or for athletes who have had previous ankle injuries.
In some cases, the sprain might be so severe that you will seek a doctor’s opinion about which type of brace to get.
Choosing the Right Soccer Ankle Brace
When it comes to choosing the right soccer ankle brace, there are a few factors to consider. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Factors to Consider
1. Type of Support
There are different types of ankle braces that provide different levels of support. Some braces are designed to prevent ankle sprains, while others are meant to support an already injured ankle. Be sure to choose the right type of brace for your needs.
2. Fit and Comfort
It’s important to choose an ankle brace that fits well and is comfortable to wear. A brace that is too tight or too loose can cause discomfort and limit your mobility on the field. Look for a brace that is adjustable and made from breathable materials.
Soccer is a high-impact sport, so you need an ankle brace that can withstand the demands of the game. Look for a brace that is made from high-quality materials and has a reputation for durability.
Ankle braces can range in price from ten dollars to over a hundred dollars. While you don’t want to skimp on quality, you also don’t want to break the bank. Look for a brace that fits your budget while still providing the support and comfort you need. The braces I listed above are well within most parents’ budgets.
5. Brand Reputation
When it comes to ankle braces, not all brands are created equal. Do your research and choose a brand with a reputation for quality and reliability. Look for reviews from other soccer players to get an idea of which brands are most popular and effective.
How to Use a Soccer Ankle Brace
When using a soccer ankle brace, it is important to ensure that it fits properly. A brace that doesn’t fit well with your ankle type can cause discomfort, restrict movement, and fail to provide the necessary support. Here are some steps to follow when fitting a soccer ankle brace:
- Measure your ankle: Use a measuring tape to measure the circumference of your ankle at its widest point. This measurement will help you determine the correct size of the brace.
- Choose the right size: Refer to the manufacturer’s sizing chart to determine the correct size of the brace based on your ankle measurement.
- Adjust the straps: Once you have put on the brace, adjust the straps to ensure a snug, comfortable fit. Make sure the brace is not too tight, as this can restrict blood flow. You may need to adjust over the course of the practice or game.
When to Wear a Brace
Knowing when to wear a soccer ankle brace is important to get the most out of it. Here are some situations where wearing a brace may be beneficial:
- During training: Wearing a brace during training can help prevent ankle injuries caused by sudden movements, twists, and turns.
- During games: Soccer games can be more intense than training, so wearing a brace during matches can provide additional support and protection.
- After an injury: If you have recently suffered an ankle injury, wearing a brace can help support the ankle and prevent further injury while it heals.
- Around the House or at School: Sometimes with ankle injuries, you don’t want to hurt it even more especially if you are not playing. For this reason, wearing an ankle brace outside of sports can be beneficial.
Benefits of Using an Ankle Brace in Soccer
Wearing a soccer ankle brace can significantly reduce the risk of ankle injuries. Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries in soccer, and they can be severe, leading to long-term damage and even surgery.
Ankle braces provide extra support to the ankle, reducing the risk of sprains and strains. They also help to stabilize the ankle, preventing it from rolling or twisting during sudden movements or changes in direction.
In addition to preventing injuries, wearing a soccer ankle brace can also enhance your performance on the field. Ankle braces provide a sense of stability and confidence, allowing you to make quick and sudden movements without fear of injury. This increased confidence can lead to better performance, as you can focus on your game without worrying about your ankles.
Ankle braces also help to improve your balance, which is crucial for soccer players. Good balance is essential for dribbling, shooting, and passing accurately. By providing extra support to your ankle, ankle braces can help you maintain your balance and improve your overall performance on the field.
Potential Drawbacks of Wearing a Brace for Soccer
Let’s face it, some players find wearing shin guards uncomfortable. So, wearing a soccer ankle brace can be even more uncomfortable, especially if you are not used to it.
The brace may rub against your skin, causing annoying irritation and blisters. Additionally, the brace may be too tight or too loose, which can lead to discomfort and even pain.
It is essential to choose a brace that fits properly and feels comfortable to wear.
Another potential drawback of wearing a soccer ankle brace is that it can create a dependency on the brace. If you wear a brace every time you play soccer, your ankle may become weaker as it relies on the brace for support.
This can increase your risk of injury when you are not wearing the brace. It is important to use the brace as a temporary measure and work on strengthening your ankle muscles over time.
There can also be a mental thing going on. When you rely on something to play better, you will hold onto it as long as you can. For example, I’ve seen players who wore ankle or knee braces that kept them on for years because they thought that they would get hurt without it. In reality, they probably would’ve been okay.
Final Thoughts on Ankle Braces
Ankle braces can be a useful tool for soccer players looking to prevent ankle injuries. They provide added support and stability to the ankle joint, reducing the risk of sprains and other injuries.
When choosing an ankle brace, it’s important to consider factors such as the level of support needed, the fit and comfort of the brace, and the materials used in its construction. It’s also important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best type of brace for your individual needs.
Remember that ankle braces are not a substitute for proper warm-up and conditioning exercises, and they should be used in conjunction with other injury prevention strategies such as stretching and strengthening exercises.
The better you take care of your body, the less extra protection you’ll need in the future.
For players with weak ankles, having braces packed in your soccer bag can be a good idea for the ‘just in case’ moments!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a history of ankle injuries or are experiencing pain or instability in your ankle joint, it may be beneficial to wear an ankle brace during soccer games or training. Consult with a medical professional to determine if an ankle brace is right for you.
Ankle braces can provide added support and stability to your ankle joint, reducing the risk of injury during soccer games or practices. They can also help to alleviate pain and swelling caused by previous injuries, allowing you to play with more confidence and comfort.
Yes, ankle braces have been shown to reduce the incidence of ankle sprains in soccer players. By providing additional support to the ankle joint, ankle braces can help to prevent excessive movement that can lead to sprains.
Not all ankle braces are created equal. In fact, there’s many types of braces on the market. When choosing a soccer ankle brace, look for one that is designed specifically for sports use. It should be lightweight and breathable, with a snug fit that doesn’t restrict your movement. Look for braces with adjustable straps, as these can help to customize the fit and provide additional support.