Volleyball is a sport that puts your ankles through a lot. So, it’s no surprise that the ankle is the most at risk and injured body part associated with the sport. There may be hundreds of ankle braces out there, but there are only really 4 that deliver everything a player needs.
- 1 The Top 4 Rated Ankle Braces for Volleyball
- 2 Volleyball Ankle Braces Buyers Guide
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions About Volleyball Ankle Braces
Here are the 4 best volleyball ankle braces.
The Top 4 Rated Ankle Braces for Volleyball
Top Pick: Zamst A2-DX
Particularly popular with players who repeatedly suffer ankle injuries, and need a greater level of protection and support, the Zamst A2-DX takes top pick.
It may not be the cheapest option out there. But if it’s good enough for one of the best NBA players, Steph Curry, to put enough trust in it to wear day in day out, it will no doubt handle everything you can put it through.
Just be sure to give yourself a few minutes to put it on. This isn’t a slip on in a couple of seconds, and you’re good to go sort of ankle brace. The additional time spent putting it on soon becomes worth it, though. It really gives that “locked in” feeling, giving you the confidence that you can jump, dig, and move around the court with the intensity you require, and have no hesitation appear when making a play.
Runner-up: Ultra Zoom Ankle Brace
This ankle brace from Ultra Zoom is a great alternative to the Zamst. Like the Zamst, it’s highly durable, and delivers unrivaled support and protection.
If you’re trying to decide between the two, there isn’t much between them. You can make a case that the Ultra Zoom is easier to put on, it is also slightly cheaper. Ultimately, you will be happy with either one, and both will provide the support and protection you need.
Just keep in mind that the it can squeak a little after a few months, but it’s nothing that a bit of lubricant can’t fix. It’s also a good idea to wear high socks when wearing it for added comfort due to its design.
Also Great: Active Ankle T2
Active Ankle make several braces, but it is the T2 that is the company’s most popular, particularly among volleyball players. It is designed with front row players in mind, as it offers a high level of support without limiting mobility, especially front-to-back.
It is the only ankle brace on this list that is interchangeable, meaning that it can be used on either foot. This alone makes it worth checking out.
Also Great: Mizuno DXS2
Mizuno is one of the most trusted brands in the sport, making some of the best volleyball shoes going. You can expect to find the same high quality in their ankle braces.
The DXS2 is one of the more comfortable ankle braces and offers a bit move movement than others. It is made from anti-bacterial and deodorizing material, which is a nice touch, although at the end of the day these will still need to be washed – just not as often as others.
Volleyball Ankle Braces Buyers Guide
What to consider when buying volleyball ankle braces
Even though ankle braces do a fantastic job of reducing the likelihood of injury, if they are uncomfortable you are unlikely to wear them – at least consistently. Some models have a certain design that can affect comfort. The Ultra Zoom model, for example, should be worn with high socks for better comfort.
There are 3 different types of braces to consider:
This is the simplest brace. Just slide it on like you would a sock and you’re done. They have a one-size-fits-all design. Due to its simplicity and effectiveness, the sock brace tends to be the most popular. It does a good job of providing extra support (some would argue too much) and is better suited for injury recovery than prevention. It is the least durable of the three.
The mechanical ankle brace is the best for injury prevention. It is designed to be strapped on and wrap around the ankle. A good level of padding and highly durable, it tends to be the more expensive, yet perhaps not as comfortable option. It is the best option to wear when playing.
This is much better suited for healing. The addition of gel or air pockets makes this type of brace very comfortable. It is able to rapidly decrease swelling and discomfort by providing support and compression to get you back on the court as soon as possible.The Aircast AirSport Ankle Support Brace is a great choice if you’re looking for this sort of option.
If you find yourself on the court every day, playing hard, you need an ankle brace that can withstand the intensity you put it through. It would therefore be better to spend a bit more from the onset to ensure the brace will last.
Do you need an ankle brace to prevent injury or help you recover more quickly. As mentioned above, if it is the former then a mechanical brace would be better suited; if the latter, a sock or gel brace is the one to go for.
If you primarily play at the net your game will involve more motions that will put your ankles under pressure than other players on the team. You will therefore require an ankle brace that offers a higher level of protection and is more durable, which often comes at the expense of motion.
Frequently Asked Questions About Volleyball Ankle Braces
What are the pros and cons of volleyball ankle braces?
The main pro is how an ankle brace significantly decreases the likelihood of any injury to the ankle from occurring. While this can occur to anyone on the team, it applies even more so to front row players. The potential for injury is even more likely for players at the net due to the repeated jumping and diving that puts an enormous amount of stress on your ankles.
Another advantage is better recovery from a current injury. Because an ankle brace is designed to limit the motions that can cause an injury in the first place, the ligaments, muscles and tendons will stop being put under pressure as you recover. This results in faster recovery.
So if you’re wondering if volleyball should wear ankle braces, the answer is definitely yes.
What about weakening the ankle – isn’t that a con? It may seem that using an ankle brace can weaken the ankle. However, clinical research has shown this to be untrue. There has also been no conclusive evidence to suggest ankle braces negatively affects on-court performance.
Can you wash ankle braces?
Yes, you can and should wash them. Any brace you buy should come with instructions of how to wash it. Typically, hand washing in cold water with a mild soap or laundry detergent is recommended. A more natural solution is to soak in white vinegar and water for 20-30 minutes. The brace should then be air dried.
The foul odor isn’t the only reason to wash an ankle brace, washing will extend its life and avoid any chance of staph, fungal infections or folliculitis setting in. It’s therefore also a good idea to use disinfectant after practice.
How to wear volleyball ankle braces?
This depends on the type of brace worn. See the section above about the different types of ankle braces available to see how each one is worn. Don’t let the time taken to put on a brace affect your buying decision. Typically, the longer it takes to put a brace on, the better it can be tailored to fit, and the better protection it can provide.