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Best ankle braces, supports and compression sleeves for weightlifting, squat and fitness sports - Buying Guide: 2023

Weightlifting is a sport that consists in lifting a maximum amount of weight distributed in weightlifters who carry discs of a certain weight on both sides. This discipline requires a lot from the athletes and therefore has a higher risk of injury, especially to the ankles, because this is where the entire body rests.

To prevent and heal injuries, the use of ankle supports is the best option. So in the following article, we will share all the relevant information such as features, types, function and even the most common injuries in this practice.

What is the best ankle brace for weightlifting and gym injuries?

Bauerfeind - Adjustable Sports Ankle Brace for Sports Injury Recovery
  • Sizes: T1 to T6
  • Colours: Grey and Blue
  • Material: Breathable Material
  • No. of Products: Single
  • Type of closure: None
  • Positioning aid
  • Highly elastic fabric made of breathable material
  • Material not indicated
The ultra stretchy, breathable fabric of the Bauerfeind ankle stabiliser keeps the joint stiff, relieves pain, prevents re-injury and reduces swelling in the area. The protector is ideal for use in sports, as its compression edges are reduced at the ends, making it more comfortable to wear with footwear.

It is designed for people suffering from arthrosis and tears because it stimulates blood circulation thanks to the viscoelastic pads located on each side. The model of this muscle-stabilising bandage comes in different sizes, but be aware that it can only be used on the right foot. The lateral guides can cause discomfort when walking and, in some cases, wear out easily.

McDavid - Ankle Brace with support strap Unisex for adult size
  • Sizes: M
  • Colours: Black
  • Material: Polyester
  • No. of Products: Single
  • Type of fastening: Elastic straps, laces and velcro
  • Very lightweight design
  • Laces for a good fit
  • Elastic Achilles arch
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Bulkier
  • One size fits all
Prevention and recovery are the two features that make this ankle brace with strap for men and women stand out. It is ideal for use in high impact sports where the correct ankle posture must be maintained at all times. It can be worn inside sports shoes and over one or two compression socks to avoid skin irritation.

You should give a good tension to the laces, stretch the lower strap to fit the instep and then pull the upper band until you feel that your ankle is stiff. If you want to maintain more pressure you should stretch the loops during activity. If you do not tighten the laces properly the whole brace will be loose. Please note that you cannot apply this stabiliser if you have open wounds on your ankle, suffer from dermatitis or have blood circulation problems.

Voltactive - Ankle Support brace with 3D Technology to Support Joint Mobility
  • Sizes: S-M-L
  • Colours: Black
  • Material: Breathable Antibacterial
  • Nº of Products: Single
  • Type of closure: None
  • 3D technology with mesh fabric
  • Technogel pad for added protection
  • Suitable for sports activities
  • Highly elastic fabric made of breathable material
  • Not waterproof
  • Slightly thin material
The Voltactive right ankle brace uses 3D technology in the flat mesh fabric. This allows for proper ankle mobility, while maintaining the importance of joint support in sports activities. This protector can also be used in everyday activities due to the anatomical Technogel pad on the underside of the heel which acts as an ankle cushion.

Thanks to its unique design it is possible to relieve pain, reduce swelling and protect the ligaments in the demands placed on the tibio-tarsal joint. This model can be worn on the right leg when playing football, basketball or gardening. The elastic material is breathable, but in summer or in high temperatures it can cause superficial injuries to the skin.

Bonmedico - Elastic Compression Sleeve ankle for running and Foot Injuries
  • Sizes: M-XL
  • Colours: Grey
  • Material: Neoprene
  • No. of Products: 1
  • Type of fastening: None
  • High anatomical versatility
  • Stabilizes the joint
  • Large sizes
For sports injuries to the ankle or to relieve pain from tendonitis, tears or dislocations it is important that you protect the joint with an elastic Bonmedico stabilising ankle brace. This compressive bandage is ideal for use on either foot when you suffer from plantar fasciitis and don't want to miss a game of tennis, football or basketball.

Its ergonomic design achieves maximum grip without disrupting joint range and its external seams keep the foot and lower calf area snug at all times. Thanks to the flexible material it is made of, it can be worn under shoes in summer because it evaporates body moisture. If you choose this compression garment for intensive use, it is likely that the back seams will come apart and the ankle brace will separate.

Hually - Adjustable Ankle Brace with Breathable & Elastic Nylon for Women and Men
  • Sizes: One size fits all
  • Colours: Black
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Nº of Products: 2
  • Type of closure: Closure with elastic and velcro straps
  • Machine washable
  • Quality Finish
  • Multifunctional Protection
  • Soft and comfortable fabric
  • Thin material
  • Low compression
Ankle instability will disappear when you wear this one-size-fits-all neoprene protector. This will improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation caused by tendonitis, bursitis, sprains or osteoarthritis. The ankle brace is ideal to be worn underneath your shoes when you do your daily activities or play ankle-demanding sports.

Its built-in stabilising strap improves the grip of either foot, making it an easy fit for both men and women. The multi-functional hook and loop protection system may cause some discomfort when wearing tight-fitting footwear. The Hually ankle brace may lose elasticity in the malleolus area over time or when worn frequently.

Bauerfeind - Unisex sports ankle brace for Sports Such as Football, Fitness and Jogging
  • Sizes: S-M-L-XL-XXL
  • Colours: 3 Options: Black, Red and Blue
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Number of Products: 1
  • Type of closure: Closure with elastic and velcro straps
  • Durable quality and easy to clean
  • Anatomically shaped for a secure fit
  • No indication of material
Bauerfeind presents its unisex ankle brace for use in fitness, yoga, climbing, football and any demanding sport. It features knitted stabilizer bars that provide protection and stability under weight loads, making it an ideal compressive garment to be worn everywhere. Not only can it be used for sports, it is also useful for post-surgery or to relieve pain from osteoarthritis or other degenerative diseases.

The adjustable strap stimulates alternating compression and achieves a better support of the ligaments. It is characterised by the fact that it is a non-slip garment and its polyamide main component makes the protector machine washable. The articulated elastic thread closure may cause discomfort in the plantar area, making the anatomical fit uncomfortable. The massaging fabric may not fit properly on some users.

SOFIT - Ankle Support Sleeve for Sports, Running, Fitness, Ankle Sprain, Achilles Pain Relief
  • Sizes: One size fits all
  • Colours: Black
  • Material: Spandex
  • No. of Products: 1
  • Type of fastening: Closure with elastic straps and velcro
  • Breathable high performance fabric
  • Seamless and durable
  • Quality finish
  • Improved ankle support
  • High ankle support
  • Not machine washable
Don't forget to take the ankle support with you so that your ankle joint is safe and secure when doing your favourite sport. The quality of the material with 3D knit technology allows you to keep your feet dry at all times, thanks to its unique moisture wicking properties. You can also use this protector to relieve pain caused by inflammation in tendons, bursae and plantar fasciitis. It is ideal for preventing sports injuries.

It contains an adjustable support to achieve the greatest possible stability and prevent the foot from slipping during use. Its antiperspirant system guarantees performance and a long life of all components, including its soft stitching. It can be worn on either foot, but please note that in some cases, adjustable socks may be required to improve compression.

FYSHOP - Compression Ankle sleeves for sprained ankles and pain
  • Sizes: One size fits all
  • Colours: Black
  • Material: Polyester
  • No. of Products: Single
  • Type of closure: Closure with elastic straps and velcro
  • Adjustable tension
  • Silicone anti-slip bars
  • Size too large
Enjoy full ankle movement in your daily activities or your favourite sports using the FYSHOP stabilising ankle brace. Thanks to this breathable protector you can keep your foot dry and firm. By simply placing your foot on the elastic band and then wrapping the ankle and sole with the adjustable strap you are ready for action. The great advantage of this system is that you always keep your tendons protected, without losing the joint opening.

You can use it on either foot and, as it is one size fits all, it is suitable for both men and women. The silicone of the anti-slip bars offers safety when walking, running or jumping, avoiding injuries or sudden displacements of the ankle. As it does not come with instructions, you must put it on carefully to avoid misuse, and the stitching finish may scratch the sole and ankle, causing skin irritation.

Video: Ankle joint anatomy

Types of ankle braces you should know about

What are the most common ankle injuries in weightlifting and strength training?

When practicing high resistance sports that demand a lot from any athlete, you are prone to certain injuries that are usually due to overtraining or movements not performed with proper technique. Among the most common injuries are the ankles, since they bear a large part of the weight.

Below is a detailed list of the most common ankle injuries that can occur in weightlifting and powerlifting:

Tendonitis

Ankle tendonitis is an inflammation that is usually caused by a direct or indirect impact on a hard surface or simply by an excessive load on the ankle for which it was not prepared. This type of injury often occurs in weightlifting when the joint is not warmed up or the weight of the lifters increases and the ankle is not prepared for it.

Sprained ankle

Ankle sprains are due to the tearing of some of the ligaments that make up this joint. These usually occur when performing a movement or sudden turns, such as running, walking, and others. This is the most common injury in all sports. In weightlifting, it occurs during or after an incorrect bend or other abrupt movement. It is one of the mildest injuries, but still causes pain and swelling.

Fractures

This is the most common type of fracture treated by orthopedic surgeons. They occur during any of the following movements: Adduction, abduction, pronation, supination, combination, rotation, vertical thrust. Any of these violent executions can result in partial or complete separation of the bone, resulting in complete immobilization of the leg and debilitating pain. They can occur in weightlifting or high-risk sports in general if precautions are not taken.

Achilles tendonitis

This injury usually occurs when there is excessive overuse of the triceps that attacks the tendon cells, the extracellular matrix, or both, especially in weightlifting or simply when the tendons are stressed in that sport. It may also be due to factors such as poor vascularization, thermal friction injury that impairs the tendon's ability to regenerate, or biomechanical irritation.

Buying guide: Tips on how to buy the best ankle brace for fitness sports

In strength sports such as weightlifting or bodybuilding in general, the joints are subjected to physically demanding stresses, but it is also true that each athlete has different requirements. Therefore, in the following section we will give you a list of the most important considerations or features to choose your ideal ankle brace.

Depending on the function

  • Ankle braces to relieve pain: with sports ankle braces you can exercise and keep your body in shape without the pain that is common in these exercises. Thanks to the compressive materials with which they are designed, which can contain gel is of great advantage because it manages the soft parts of the joint, preventing inflammation and discomfort derived in intense workouts.
  • Ankle protectors: sports ankle protectors are most sought after in weight training, as they are almost essential safety equipment, as they allow better care and are designed to protect the ankle at all times during use.
  • Stabilizing ankle supports: they exert greater pressure and distribute weight better, so they not only provide support, but also ensure better balance and use of force during weightlifting. In addition, they provide sufficient support and stability to the foot, ankle and the entire joint during the bending that is characteristic of this sport.
  • Ankle sleeves: sports ankle sleeves perform a basic function for athletes, which is to provide safety during any movement, be it bending, pushing, jumping or resisting; these garments allow the joint and muscles to avoid excessive stress or tension that could lead to injury. It gives the athlete the confidence to perform all movements associated with sports without risk, thanks to adequate support.

Material

The materials of the ankle brace are of utmost importance because depending on them, the garment performs certain functions, such as flexibility, support, compression, stability, or even sensations to relieve pain. Therefore, athletes should choose carefully according to the benefits they provide.

Here are some of the most recommended ankle braces:

  • Elastic fabric: approved for sports because it does not burn, rub, irritate or cause unpleasant sensations. On the contrary, it offers a very high comfort to athletes who practice heavy sports and need a lightweight garment. It provides stability and strength to the ankle to perform the workout properly.
  • Neoprene: This is a very common material for ankle brace construction. It provides support when carrying weights, which is extremely important in weightlifting. It is resistant, strong and elastic, but its main weakness is its lack of breathability, so it is recommended to wash it frequently or buy it with a percentage of other materials.
  • Thermal material: this material is incorporated into some ankle braces to retain cold or heat to help rehabilitate muscles and relieve pain in the ankle joint. They are very useful after a workout where the muscle has been pushed to its limits and signs of inflammation appear.

Type of support

For sports like weightlifting, it's important to use an ankle brace that provides adequate stability and compression to ensure optimal use of the brace and meet your needs. The type of support you need will depend on the intensity, frequency and level of weightlifting you do, but in any case, you need an ankle brace that will remain stable, not open up or roll away, as this could be a hindrance during training.

  • Velcro: It is one or more hooks, usually made of velvet. It has a great advantage when it comes to fastening or closing the garment at will, it is very convenient and almost undetectable depending on the design. Due to its soft but sturdy material, it is especially suitable for heavy sports.
  • Metal or plastic: Some garments have small adjustable closures that allow a better fit to the foot and usually to the ankle, an advantage when we need extra support. It also has the advantage of significantly reducing the risk of the ankle strap coming loose or slipping. It can be made of metal or even plastic.

Size

It is important to choose the right size ankle brace, as this will allow for comfortable and safe foot mobility. Sizes usually refer to standard measurements expressed in letters. To determine your ankle size, you should measure the circumference above the ankle joint with a tape measure. Sizing is important for a perfect fit; a fit that is too loose will affect function, and a fit that is too tight can cause problems such as restricted movement and circulation problems.

Design

Ankle braces have the advantage of coming in many designs, depending on individual needs and tastes. When deciding what to buy, it is advisable to first consider the shape of the model, as some are adjustable with elastic straps, while others are more rigid, depending on the type of material.

This is important because you need to be comfortable with them, since when lifting weights or maintaining a fitness lifestyle, it is important that your feet are free to move. If you're looking for something more aesthetically pleasing for occasions where you want to stand out, there are many modern versions that can be designed to your taste. But remember that ankle supports are a tool used to prevent and heal injuries.

Price

If you want to buy an ankle support, it is necessary to make an evaluation according to the sports needs and expectations you have of it, in order to make an intelligent investment considering all aspects. The price is an important feature, because you will not be able to buy a cheap product, since it will not bring the benefits you expect for your ankles.

Are ankle compression sleeves for gym sports really effective?

The benefits of these garments are based on compression therapy, which causes better blood circulation, heals injuries, reduces inflammation, relieves pain, treats all kinds of blood problems and much more. This also applies to the type of product you buy.

Therefore, choosing the right ankle brace for your needs and athletic requirements will significantly reduce the risk of ankle injury and improve physical performance by providing additional joint support. In addition, using these garments reduces the risk of cumulative damage when learning proper lifting techniques. There is no doubt that your feet and ankles will appreciate the use of ankle braces when practicing these disciplines.

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