Since their invention in the mid-1970s, soccer ankle supports have become a regular feature for amateur and professional players.
Due to their wide use across many sports, there is a lot of over-lap in the market and very few DEDICATED just for football.
When choosing your ankle brace, just ensure it is suitable for contact sports in case you experience tough tackles.
Like soccer boots and shoes, finding a good ankle brace is all about comfort. A lightweight ankle brace will offer the support you need whilst also allowing you to remain mobile on the pitch.
A good place to learn more about the role of external ankle support is National Center for Biotechnology Information.
This article highlights that people who ACTIVELY participates in athletic activities are particularly susceptible to ankle injuries and of these injuries, approximately 86% are sprains.
Through my research and personal experience I have compiled a list of best ankle brace in the market for you which hopefully will help you avoid ankle related sports injuries.
Some cheaper braces on the market can lead to irritation and lack of protection.
When you purchase a strong brace, made with good material, you will barely feel it when you are playing so it’s worth trying out the one that suits you best.
If you experience soreness or pain then you should change your brace straight away.
If you are looking for something more supportive of your ankle because you are recovering from injury then the Aircast A60 is a great option and provides FANTASTIC ankle support whilst playing football.
One of the best features of this ankle brace is the Velcro strap, which gives you more freedom on how tight or lose you want your brace to fit.
Sometimes, you may need to loosen your brace. If you already have socks and shin pads on, then you can decide how tight or lose you want your brace which can support your mobility.
But if you play a physical game or are on the end of some BIG tackles often, then this support is a great option.
- Open heel supports mobility
- Heavy duty material is ideal for contact sports
- Lightweight mesh for breathability
- One Velcro strap to secure brace in place
- Available in black and grey
- Sizes small to large are available
- Weighs less than 500g
- Used for both left and right feet
- Easy to put on and secure with Velcro strap
- Very lightweight but offers excellent protection from tackles
- A good option for players in rehabilitation from ankle injuries.
- Design is quite bulky which shows up in bumps underneath your football sock
- The A60 is a more expensive option (approximately £40)
#2: Nike Ankle Sleeve 2.0 Pro
The Nike Hyper-strong Striker offers a rare blend of being both LIGHTWEIGHT and heavy duty to support your ankle from tackles and injury whilst not compromising your mobility and movement when playing.
This ankle brace uses high-quality materials to support your ankles whilst playing but you don’t even notice you are wearing it after a few matches or training sessions.
It also looks sleek and modern so it is barely noticeable if you are wearing it under your football sock.
Very few ankle guards are made specifically for football, but the Hyper-strong is one of the best for this sport.
- Spandex material creates flexibility, easy to put on
- Nylon material for comfort
- Ceramic material covers the ankle for support
- Mesh panel supports breathability
- Available in sizes X-small to X-large
- Available for both left and right feet
- Available in a variety of colours
- Slim line design
- Close fit offers excellent support
- Comfortable and lightweight materials
- Long Stretchy spandex material makes support easier to get on to your foot.
- Smaller design means you may have to purchase a shoe size up for a good fit.
- If you have larger feet, this brace may not fit well
The Adidas Performance Climacool looks modern and has been made specifically to help with player RECOVERY whilst not limiting your movement when playing.
Specific materials have been used for the Performance Climacool ankle support which lowers the risk of injury and impact on your ankle.
The single knit design also gives a breathable feel to this brace and is easy to slip over your foot.
It’s also a great option if you are playing regularly as the high-quality materials don’t seem to wear and the FLEXIBLE materials fit nicely on your foot.
The Performance Climacool also looks great and is barely noticeable when worn under your football sock.
- 4-way stretch fabric provides a breathable experience
- Climacool technology absorbs sweat
- Knitted panel design
- Flexible band provides suitable support and locks ankle in place
- Made from Polyamide, polyester and Elastane
- Available in sizes small to XL
- Only available in black
- A single sleeve comes per pack
- Suitable for both left and right feet
- The flexibility of this brace helps players to move freely but also supports your ankle.
- Stretchy materials make this brace easy to put on and slide off
- Soft fabric and material add to extra comfort and lightweight feel.
- Due to tight fit, you may need to purchase a brace which is one size up from your shoe size.
- A more expensive option compared to similar products (approximately £20).
At a first glance, the Active Ankle Volt Brace looks clunky and slightly out-dated.
There are a lot of straps and elements to this brace that secure your foot in place, but don’t be put off by how it looks because the Active ankle brace is EFFECTIVE.
The hinge of this brace is one of the best elements as it helps to maintain the natural movement of your feet.
The stirrups and footplate look unappealing, but also provide the support needed to lock your foot and ankle in place.
Plenty of padding inside the brace and a plastic outer cover offer further protection.
While it may feel slightly clunky at first under your sock and when secured into your boot or shoe, this brace offers some of the best protection possible.
- Lightweight footplate and stirrups secure your foot in place and add extra support for your foot and ankle.
- Hinge design helps your foot to move naturally whilst wearing the brace and provides extra mobility.
- Plastic outer layer adds extra support and protection from tackles or impact.
- Available for shoe size 5 up to size 16
- Only available in black colour
- Velcro strap to secure in place
- One per pack, suitable for both left and right feet.
- Hinge design supports the natural movement of your foot and ankle for maximum support and mobility.
- Lots of padding and cushioning around all areas of the ankle to prevent impact from contact or tackles.
- Reduced weight means you hardly notice when wearing the brace underneath your soccer socks and boots.
- Can be awkward to put on at first. The brace needs to go into the shoe first before the foot goes into your shoe.
- Breaking period is required as the brace feels rigid to wear initially.
- One of the more expensive options for ankle braces.
If you want to wear a barely NOTICEABLE ankle brace that fits seamlessly under your sock, whilst providing fantastic support, then the Modetro is a great choice.
This brace is so lightweight you barely even notice it when you put it on your foot.
However, it still fits really well and the quality materials help to provide comfort.
There is no extra padding or material used to specifically protect your ankles from contact or injury in this brace, so if you are choosing the Modetro, do so if you merely want support for your ankle from sprains and stresses.
- Made from very lightweight compression fabric
- Small Velcro strap on upper sleeve to ensure support
- 4-way compression sleeve supports mobility
- Breathable knitted design
- Sizes small to XL are available
- Left and right foot sleeves come in one pack
- Only available in black
- Comes with an extra strap for further support if required.
- Very comfortable and breathable
- A cheaper option without compromising the quality of product (approximately £9)
- The sleek design is easy to put on and take off and also looks modern.
- Not as heavy duty as alternative options, may not be suitable if you are recovering from an ankle injury.
- Once the Velcro is done up, this support can feel quite tight around the foot and ankle.
Ankle braces offer players a cheap way to prevent injury and will become an essential part of your kit the MORE you play.
There are many options for more heavy-duty ankle supports, which are suitable for recovery and rehabilitation, or lightweight options which can help to prevent strains and injuries.
The Nike Hyper-strong is a great option if you are playing regularly and need a bit of lightweight support.
Very few other braces support footballers as specifically as this brace and it will give you the support you need without sacrificing your mobility while running, turning or controlling the ball.
If you are RECOVERING from injury and are looking for something more heavy-duty and supportive, go for the Aircast A60.
This brace is ideal for rehabilitation and won’t leave you flinching every time you anticipate a tackle. It will allow you to get on with enjoying the game rather than fearing another injury.