Braces - What Is the Best Volleyball Ankle Support for You?
If you’re considering using volleyball ankle braces for preventative
care or recovery reasons, there are a few basic things you should know
about the differences as well as some of the shared benefits.
For those who don’t know, ankle braces aren’t necessarily
reserved for those who are recovering from an injury - they can
used by those looking to improve stability and prevent injuries before
No one plans on an injury, but wearing an ankle brace might be one of
the few things that decrease the likelihood of its occurrence in the
first place. A serious injury can leave you out of the game for weeks
or months, which is why a lot of coaches recommend braces to players
who aren’t injured.
Here’s a quick look at some of your options when choosing a volleyball
ankle support that fits you the best:
Braces (Sock Model):
Examples of the "Sock Model"
These volleyball ankle braces are simple and effective supports that
slide on just like a sock.
They are typically made of tough, durable,
non-stretch fabric and have a lace-up, one-size-fits-all design that
keeps your foot secure while you play.
sock model is usually the
most popular type of ankle brace because of sheer simplicity and
The only downside is the fabric design, which is not
quite as durable as a mechanical brace (below), so you might notice
more wear and tear if you use it over a long period of time.
The sock model could be a better fit for an athlete who is recovering
from the injury and needs extra support for a loose ankle.
The mechanical model presented below is better for injury prevention
and doesn’t support the loose ankle as effectively.
Braces (Mechanical Model):
Durable Ankle Brace
This volleyball ankle support is a bit more complex but utilizes more
durable materials than the sock model.
A mechanical brace is a strap-on
support that wraps around the ankle with padding and secures itself to
the base of the foot with a stirrup.
This is a very durable design and allows for a secure mobility with the
ankle. The main downside of the mechanical brace is the plastic parts
aren’t as comfortable when pressed against the foot, so this may not be
the ideal model for some.
Many volleyball athletes prefer the mechanical model over the sock
model for injury prevention, since sock models could be too supportive
and may lead to weakened ankles and sprains when the ankle support is
Any brace you choose for injury prevention, it is recommended not to
wear it all the times. For example, you could do your conditioning
training without braces and wear them only during volleyball practice
and matches, where the most volleyball ankle injuries occur.
Volleyball Ankle Braces (with Aircells, Gel, etc.):
Brace with Aircells
Some volleyball ankle supports are packed with
aircells, gel or other
soft material, particularly geared toward healing the ankle.
This particular brace here on the left features two shells lined with
overlapping aircells that provide graduated compression and protection
during ambulation. The soft cells provide support and compression when
stepping with the injured ankle, while enhancing circulation and
To Decrease Swelling and Discomfort After A Recent
The inflated air pockets add comfort value without sacrificing
stability. Most people who use this option report a dramatic decrease
in swelling and discomfort, which helps normalize critical movements
more quickly during injury recovery. This makes it ideal for anyone
recovering from a recent ankle injury.