The 8 Best Ankle Braces to Buy for Basketball in 2018

Support weak or injured areas with these top picks

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If you play basketball for long enough, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll experience an ankle sprain or worse. Lebron James sprains his ankles. Steph Curry does too. So do Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant.

Ankles are one of the most common body parts for injury among male and female athletes of all ages, and basketball is one of the sports that leads to the most injuries. From a bad landing off of a rebound to a messy crossover move to an accidental collision, there are so many ways to injure your ankles in basketball.

If you are recovering from a recent or chronic ankle injury, ankle braces may help you speed up the process and prevent more damage. Ankle braces can help protect your ankle from further twists while providing the support you need to plant and shoot.

The best ankle braces help basketball players by offering real ankle support through lateral and medial stability. Additionally, braces should be lightweight and not bulky so that you feel comfortable on the court. Comfort, size, and how it laces up should also be considerations. Look at our picks for the best ankle braces for basketball available today. These can help you recover and protect your ankles for another double-double. 

Best Overall: Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer

Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer

Courtesy of Amazon

The Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer does not have the flashy features or colors of other ankle braces for basketball. However, this brace is the perfect option for basketball players of any age for its balance of weight, comfort, and functionality. If your ankles are weak or injured, the ASO brace allows you to move on the floor as if it were strong and functional.

This nylon and cotton brace first laces up, from the midsole to the high ankle for medial support. Then, you take the two velcro straps and wrap each around and under the foot, velcroing to your outside ankle for added lateral stability. Finally, the large, elastic velcro band snaps around the top to protect your high ankle.

The ASO brace is lightweight and thin enough to fit in your basketball shoes without damage. With this brace, you can use it on either foot with equal comfort. The brace is machine washable and can be air dried. Figure out your size by measuring your ankle’s circumference. 

Best Budget: Liomor Ankle Support Brace

Liomor Ankle Support Brace

Courtesy of Amazon

Some ankle braces can be expensive. But if you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg or have to go through insurance, you should still be able to get a good ankle brace. That’s where the Liomor Ankle Brace comes in. This no-frills brace helps secure and support your ankle when you play basketball and can easily fit in sneakers.

The breathable elastic brace is moisture-wicking to help prevent odor and itch. It only takes four steps to properly strap the brace to your ankle using a criss-cross pattern for excellent lateral support. Since this brace is smaller than some other options and does not lace up, it may allow for more mobility than other braces. Liomor recommends this brace for sprains, tendonitis, and arthritis and notes that it’s particularly good for acute injuries. This unisex, multi-sport budget brace comes in two sizes: small/medium and large/x-large.

Best Professional: Zamst A2-DX Ankle Brace

The Zamst Ankle Brace has become the go-to professional basketball ankle brace ever since Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry turned to the device for his ankle issues. But you don’t have to be an NBA MVP to benefit from these high-quality braces: their unique design makes them perfect for basketball players at any level.

The Zamst A2-DX brace uses hard lateral supports, crisscrossing straps and a large high-ankle velcro strap for security. The construction of this brace is to absolutely prevent any new injuries. The dual, molded Exo-Grid exterior supports on each side of the ankle prevent rolls to either in the inside or outside of the foot. Additionally, the brace has “anti-migration” features to keep everything in place while you jump, run and cut during a basketball game. The same Grip Tech material is used on the bottom of the foot for slip-protection. Also, the anchor strap at the top of the brace helps reduce the chances of the devastating high ankle sprain where the ankle and leg meet, which can sideline an athlete for weeks.

Best Neoprene: SENTEQ Compression Ankle Brace

A neoprene ankle brace does not have the lock-tight security and support of a hard-sided or lace-up brace. However, these soft, compact and lightweight compression braces can get the job done for chronic or mild issues and easily fit under a basketball sock. The SENTEQ Compression Ankle Brace is one of the best neoprene braces on the market.

SENTEQ is a small and soft ankle brace made of neoprene and some mesh. It has no straps or laces and is put on like a sock. Running from the midsole to the low ankle, SENTEQ offers some of the best mobility among braces. It also has a heel cutout.

The small brace is great for basketball because it is moisture-wicking, odor-resistant, and prevents bacterial growth. However, this brace is also great for everyday or workplace use due to its size. Despite lacking laces or hard sides, this compression option can still offer support and stability for a weak or injured ankle.

Best Lace-Up: McDavid Ankle Brace

Lace-up braces are among the most popular because of their effectiveness. If you need to understand why lacing up your brace is a good idea for basketball, look no further than your sneakers. Lacing up a brace creates a secure fit and provides support around the whole foot. The McDavid Ankle Brace is one of the most popular braces and one of the best lace-up options.

Built similarly to the ASO lace-up brace, the polyester McDavid uses a lacing front, crisscrossing velcro straps that go under and to the side of the foot and then a high-ankle stretchy strap. This three-part construction protects your foot from every type of twist, strain or sprain—medial, lateral, inside or out. The brace offers Level 3 protection and delivers compression at the top of the ankle. The whole brace helps retain heat while still being breathable. You can even adjust this lace-up basketball brace without unlacing or taking off your shoes.

Padded, perfect for men or women, and made for both right and left feet, this brace is specifically for basketball and an excellent option for anyone with bad ankles. 

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Sleeve Stars Foot Sleeve with Compression Strap

If you have ankle issues and plantar fasciitis, it can be uncomfortable and painful to play basketball. Every time you jump, you might risk an injury or worry about the pain when you hit the ground again. Luckily, the Sleeve Stars Foot Sleeve with Compression Strap can help alleviate those concerns and give you a more comfortable game.

The ankle support sleeve works as a compression sock that starts at the midsole and goes through the ankle. Helping to aid circulation and warm your foot, this compression sleeve can do a lot for foot and ankle issues. However, the compression strap, which is wrapped around the foot and over the sleeve, helps create an even more supportive feel. This combined compression is specifically designed to relieve the pain of a sprained ankle, plantar fasciitis, or both by applying pressure to the areas that need it most.

Additionally, this compression sock is odor-resistant, moisture-absorbing and keeps your feet dry. The interior material is soft and comfortable.

Best for Stabilizing: Cramer Active Ankle T1 Rigid Ankle Brace

Unlike many of the other ankle braces on the market, the Cramer Active Ankle T1 Rigid Ankle Brace has few straps and some serious hardware. Made with hard sides, this brace will not allow for those sharp cuts and smooth crossovers that you may be used to with healthy ankles, but it can certainly prevent more rolls and twists.

The rigid brace has a U-shaped design to protect your ankle from inside and outside rolls while also reducing the pressure your injured joint feels. Despite its rigid shape, the bilateral hinge on the brace allows for complex movement—full up and down motion without lateral twisting. The rigid sides are secured with multiple straps around the ankle and the interior of the brace boasts comfortable neoprene padding. Cramer recommends the T1 brace for basketball as well as baseball, volleyball, and softball. This stabilizing brace may work best for basketball players who have recently sustained a sprain as compared to sleeves and soft braces for long-term recovery.

Best Sleeve: McDavid 511 Compression Ankle Sleeve

As compared to the Level 3 ankle support braces that lace and strap up, a Level 1 support is a sleeve or sock that provides compression. These sleeves will help with a lingering injury or certain ankle issues and also allow for maximum mobility in a way that other braces do not.

The 511 Compression Sleeve is not made of neoprene, but uses other elastic material to create a tight hugging feeling on your ankle that affects circulation and heat retention, yet remains breathable. Recommended for minor injuries, arthritis, and tendonitis, this sleeve may be popular with older basketball players who like to play at the gym but need more ankle help. Players of any age will love how this Level 1 brace allows them to truly use their full range of motion to show off their handles.

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