One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is investing in the best basketball ankle brace. We all know ankle injuries are the absolute worst for players. Think of one of the NBA’s MVP winners Steph Curry and how ankle injuries took him out for almost 2 years. It affects everything you do (not just your game) and can continue to be a nagging situation long after the recovery time if you don’t take care of it.
So how do you find the best pair to invest in?
Because some ankle braces for basketball are just crappy, and some are way overpriced for the level of protection they provide. Well this is your solution. We’ve analyzed and reviews the best basketball ankle brace around and created this list of the top 5 from either personal experience or friend’s experience. You can’t go wrong with one of these guys.
- 1 Pros & Cons of Wearing Ankle Braces
- 2 The Best Basketball Ankle Brace Top 5 List
- 3 Final Thoughts
Pros & Cons of Wearing Ankle Braces
Pro: Obviously the benefits of wearing the best ankle braces for basketball are enormous. Protection from injury and support for a previous injury are definitely the top two reasons people choose ankle braces. In fact, a recent study of high school basketball players at the Children’s Hospital Colorado Orthopedics Institute found that athletes not wearing ankle braces were three times more likely to sprain their ankle. Athletes wearing ankle braces were also nearly 7o% less likely to have a first-time injury if they wore the braces for protection! The other factor to consider is the mental assurance of having ankle braces. From someone who has sprained their ankles before, nothing drains you mentally more than constantly thinking about a previous injury. Braces help reduce that stress of re-injuring a sensitive ankle.
Cons: Some athletes and enthusiasts say that ankle braces limit mobility on the court. That can certainly be the case for some situations and it can greatly depend on the type of brace you get. Finding the best ankle braces for basketball is understanding what you need for support especially if you have a previous injury. Other athletes have claimed that ankle braces give them rashes or rug burns. This is likely caused by improper lacing, or it could even be fixed by wearing long socks under the braces.
The Best Basketball Ankle Brace Top 5 List
Zamst A2-DX Ankle Brace
The exact ankle braces worn by Steph Curry and have helped him stay healthy during a grueling NBA season are sure to top anyone’s list. Most people know of Steph’s previous ankle injury record so it’s no surprise if he uses these, they are worth the money. Zamst is a top brand in ankle support and have specifically tailored this brace to have an exact-fitting left and right brace (so choose your side correctly if you only need one). This ankle brace combines the best of rigidity for support with flexibility for movement on the court. It has a unique a-Fit and i-Fit technology to help with anatomical support while still being easy to adjust on the fly. It was even built with an easy rear-foot entry which makes putting them on a breeze. Some of the reviews on Amazon were from professional players in Europe talking about how these are the best basketball ankle brace they’ve ever owned. The average review on Amazon is a 4.5 out of 5 and you can find the more reviews and best pricing here.
|Support:||(4.9 / 5)|
|Fit:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Comfort:||(4.6 / 5)|
ASO Ankle Stabilizing Orthosis Brace
This is an extremely highly rated brace on Amazon and for a number of reasons (and number two in our list). First, it comes in the largest variety of sizes (8 total sizes) so you can definitely find one to fit pretty much exactly to your ankle. It has a unique figure-eight wrapping velcro technology to provide maximum support around all parts of your ankle. This ankle brace even doubles up on protection with have a hidden lace-up feature to truly give ankle support where you need it most, but it’s made with a Cool Flex technology to allow for great movement. They even provide an interesting stat here: in 2009, 55 of the 65 teams in the men’s NCAA bracket wore braces made by ASO. It has been rated on Amazon over 1,000 times with the average rating being 4.5 out of 5 and you can find the more reviews and best pricing here.
|Support:||(4.6 / 5)|
|Fit:||(4.7 / 5)|
|Comfort:||(4.5 / 5)|
McDavid 195 Deluxe Ankle Brace
There is no doubt that the McDavid brand would be in the conversation for best basketball ankle brace. McDavid even sponsors athletes like DeAndre Jordan so they are good quality. This particular 195 brace is the maximum Level III performance of protection designed to give you the ultimate support without sacrificing movement or comfort. It also features the lace-up design that is double wrapped with the figure-six velcro straps for enhanced ankle support. It has padded lining and an elastic heal for comfort while you workout or play. The ventilated tongue is designed to help keep your ankle cool too. McDavid claims they are the most recommended brand of braces among sports medical professionals. One review on Amazon even talked about how a person was training for the grueling Tough Mudder competition and sprained their ankle a week before the event. They purchased this brace and felt completely comfortable and supported during the entire race. This McDavid brace has been reviewed on Amazon about 400 times with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 and you can find the more reviews and best pricing here.
|Support:||(4.8 / 5)|
|Fit:||(4.9 / 5)|
|Comfort:||(4.5 / 5)|
Shock Doctor 851 Ultra Wrap Ankle Brace
Shock Doctor is definitely a leader in the protection industry and can definitely make a product qualifying for our best basketball ankle brace list. This braces comes in 6 different sizes and can either be black or white depending on what you want. It features a similar design as the previous two braces with the lace feature covered by the wrapping Velcro feature, which is a great design. What separates this brace from the others is the unique gel features inside the brace for your comfort and added protection. It also has an anatomical footbed with a no-slip silicone grip pattern to keep the brace in the same position all game. This is the maximum level of support and protection that Shock Doctor offers while still having a low profile so you can fit it in your shoes. This ankle brace was rated on Amazon over 100 times and has an average rating of 4.0 out of 5. You can find the more reviews and best pricing here.
|Support:||(4.6 / 5)|
|Fit:||(4.4 / 5)|
|Comfort:||(4.1 / 5)|
ASO Speed Lacer Ankle Brace
This ASO brace makes our best basketball ankle brace for it’s unique method of strapping your ankle in place. All other braces on this list are the traditional style of lace-up brace with shoe strings. Those are normally better for support in the long run because they are easier to tighten to your specific ankle size. However, this Speed Lacer changes the game and dramatically reduces the time putting on braces while still having good support. It has two criss-crossing lace-like velcro straps that you pull around your ankle for the lacing feel and support. Then, it has the outer figure-8 method of velcro we’ve seen in all the other previous models. This criss-crossing lace-like feature is what gives the ankle brace the support and keeps the time minimal. That was always a challenge when I used lacing ankle braces, they took far too long to secure in place. This brace is made from breathable nylon for a better experience and is even made in the USA. It has been reviewed on Amazon about 100 times and has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. You can find the more reviews and best pricing here.
|Support:||(4.2 / 5)|
|Fit:||(4 / 5)|
|Comfort:||(4.4 / 5)|
What Other Factors Should You Consider In Your Ankle Brace?
Fit: If it doesn’t fit, you won’t wear it. That’s just a fact. So make sure you like how they fit WITH YOUR BASKETBALL SHOES ON! It sounds simple, but I’ve seen it too many times before where someone will just try the brace on and walk around saying “yeah, that fits good.”
But they never try it on WITH the shoe… And then they find out it is totally uncomfortable with your shoes on. And then the brace never gets worn.
Protection: Where do you need protection the most? If you are a high ankle sprain person, the Zamst brand is perfect for you. Steph is a guy who has a lot of high ankle sprains, so Zamst specially designed this brace to protect that.
If you typically have a lower sprains, stick with McDavid or ASO that have those wrap around features to lock the heel in place. These are a little more flexible on the upper ankle, but really help lock in that lower ankle area.
Durability: This area really depends on how much and how hard you play. I’ve seen guys have one set of ankle braces for 2-3 years and never worry. Some guys play so hard and fast they need a new brace every 6 months.
So decide how hard you play and then look at your options. Zamst is a more durable brand because it has hard plastic pieces that provide support rather than straps. Plastic pieces aren’t going to change much over time, but straps lengthen and loosen the more you wear them.
Most likely, you’ll want to invest in a new pair at least every year if you’re an active player. If you’re semi-active (like 2-3 times per week) you can probably stretch that out to 2 years without much worry.
If you want even more protection though, you should look at getting a knee brace or knee sleeve. These are tremendously helpful at helping prevent injuries and minimizing the pain of current injuries. Or if you happen to be a player with flat feet and need shoes for your game, you should check our list of top shoes for flat feet!
Well there you have our top 5 best basketball ankle brace list. But don’t just take our word for it. Feel free to check around with other players you know and see what they’re using. It never hurts to get more opinions. The great news is ankle braces are a rather cheap item when compared the the aches and pains they prevent. I definitely feel my mind became much more focused when I wasn’t worried about sprained ankles anymore. Hopefully, these will do the trick for you too.