Having healthy ankles and feet really helps to enhance our day-to-day lives. Whether you love doing activities that are hard on your ankles, like playing sports or hiking, or even if you have a job that requires a lot of time on your feet during the day, ankle braces can offer great relief and support.
Ankle braces help your ankles by adding some resistance to lateral movements. An ankle brace could help your resist rolling over if you step on someone’s foot during a game or if you roll your foot on a rock while walking outside. The support it offers will vary with the style of the brace. Braces with straps and dedicated components on the sides of your ankles are generally designed to help support you the most.
An ankle sleeve is a common and affordable type of ankle brace that does offer a little bit of support to those lateral movements but might be even more beneficial improving blood circulation to your feet and ankles to effectively reduce swelling. This style of ankle brace is ideal for people who are on their feet all day or those who might be suffering from plantar fasciitis.
When you’re looking into compression sleeves for your ankles, lightweight materials are generally the best. The elasticity built into the compression sleeve is what will help it hug your ankle every time you wear it, so the materials and longevity will matter here. If you find one made with soft materials and a thin composition, you can even wear it directly under your socks to make it look like you aren’t wearing one at all.
Ankle sleeves and braces should fit snuggly on your feet and ankles but not to the point of cutting off too much circulation. If you are finding your ankle sleeve is very difficult to put on and it causes your skin to bulge out around the top and edges, you might want to buy one in a larger size.
The material of an ankle brace is something to consider when you’re looking for one that suits you. If you might be exercising outdoors in the heat of the summer, you want to know that your ankle brace is lightweight and breathable so it doesn’t cause unnecessary foot and ankle sweat which could lead to other issues like blisters.
Lightweight and stretchy materials that allow air to pass in and out will make the most comfortable ankle braces. Some brands go farther and offer products with copper stitched into it if that is something you think might be an added benefit to you.
Ankle braces will get sweaty and soiled if you wear them a lot. If this is something that sounds important to you, look at the washing instructions of each ankle brace that you like and find out what it will take to keep them clean. Many can be tossed into the laundry and washed but should probably air dry for best results.
You should still have a full range of motion in your foot when you have your ankle brace or compression sleeve on. If you are struggling to move your foot through its natural movements, you should loosen or adjust the brace if that is practicable.