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6 Best Ankle Braces for Volleyball 2020 [Buyer’s Guide Edition]

Whether you’re new to volleyball or have been around the sport for some time: getting quality information on ankle braces can be tough. This is an article about the best ankle braces for volleyball in 2020. I know that some people are still not convinced that they even need ankle braces in the first place. If you're undecided about whether or not you should get a pair, then you can also begin at the end where I spend some time laying out the pros and cons of wearing ankle braces.

For now though, lets get into the reviews of the 6 Best Ankle Braces for Volleyball in 2020.


Bottom Line

Ankle braces are carefully designed to help prevent ankle injuries or guard an already injured ankle against further injury. A good ankle brace should have sufficient impact protection to help absorb shock, prevent excessive ankle displacement due to lateral movements, and sudden change in the direction of movement.


Now, if you are looking for an ankle brace to support your already aggressive playing style, or perhaps, you have an ankle injury already that needs support, you should opt for the McDavid Ankle Brace or the Zenith Ankle Brace.


However, if you really need an ankle brace that would provide a high level of support without making you sacrifice mobility, then you might want to go for the Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer.


Here's an overview of our Top 6 list, then it's time to get into the more detailed reviews.


Top Pick: McDavid Ankle Brace


Check it out on Amazon

Supports level 3 Sprains

Ankle tap strapping pattern

Allows great control

Incredible black design


Full review below.

Most lightweight: Active Ankle T2 Brace

Check it out on Amazon

Lightweight

Unique hinge design

Easy to wear

Simple design


Full review below.

High Mobility: Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer

Check it out on Amazon

Allows high mobility

Protects and support the ankle

Elastic cuff for foot securement

Full review below.

Best Shock Absorption: Zamst A2-DX

Check it out on Amazon

High impact protection

Fairly rigid design

Prevents the inward and outward rolling of the ankles


Full review below.



Most Protective: Mizuno DXS2 Left Ankle Brace

Check it out on Amazon

Infused with nylon, rubber, and polyester to form a protective layer

Allows horizontal and vertical movement

High shock absorption


Full review below.

Most Compact Design: Zenith Ankle Brace, Lace-up Adjustable Support

Check it out on Amazon

Compact design that fit most shoes

Sleek design

Ample compression pressure


Full review below.


Best Ankle Braces for Volleyball 2020: Overall (Editor’s Choice)

McDavid Ankle Brace

This is my top pick for a numer of reasons--style included. The laces, strap, and overall design of this Ankle brace are awesome, especially the fact that it mimics proper sports taping patterns. An excellent ankle brace for injury prevention, recovery, and high mobility, McDavid are offering something of a complete package for volleyball players at all levels with this model.


McDavid is a brand that believes that the way people train and compete is a lifestyle in their own way, and this is why their motto says that ‘people should be smart about the way people train, compete and live.’ It turns out their equipment is a better testimony to their motto.


The McDavid Ankle Brace is an elite brace for top-level volleyballers. This brace combines a traditional strapping pattern with a solid lace-up system to help support the entire structure of the ankle. The only issue that might come with this lacing system is that you might have to lace them pretty tightly to get a supportive feel.


In an independent study, it was discovered that the athletes that choose this ankle brace had 3 times less injuries than those that didn’t.

Some of the major features of the McDavid Ankle brace include compression-comfort Velcro top strap, ventilated tongue, padded lining with reinforced closures. Also, it is designed for maximum impact protection from forced landings.

Who Should Buy?

This ankle brace is for premium volleyball players. However, if you would love to start practicing more regularly and need a pair of ankle braces that get the job done, then this is for you.

Key Factors:

  • Strap/Lace: Strap & Lace

  • Foot: Universal

  • Fit: Compression/Snug

  • Special Feature: Professional ankle strapping pattern.

Technical Specs:

  • Flexibility: 4.8/5

  • Comfort: 4.9/5

  • Durability: 4.8/5

  • Affordability: 4.4/5

Pros

· Supports level 3 Sprains

· 6-figure strapping pattern

· Allows great control

· Incredible black design


Cons

· Not a slip-on brace (requires strapping)

· Not cheap

Get them on Amazon

Best Ankle Braces for Volleyball 2020: Most Lightweight

Active Ankle T2 Brace

The Active Ankle T2 Brace is probably the most common support braces that you would see on the volleyball court. This brace is very light and easy to slip on. However, this does not take anything away from the overall quality of this brace, it is made with high-quality materials and insanely convenient too.


For me, I think the best feature of this brace is the quick-fit single strap that makes it exceptionally easy to put on while still providing high-level protection. Another awesome feature of this brace is that it can fit either foot; therefore, you can decide to buy two to help protect both ankles when playing on the volleyball court. Obviously, this is our pick for the most lightweight ankle brace you can pick to get the job done.


This ankle brace offers an exceptional level of ankle protection and impact absorption at an affordable cost. Also, it doesn’t really matter what type of shoe you use, either a pair of low-top or high-top shoe would work with this brace. Also, in case you were worried about the type of size it comes in, then you would be glad to know that it comes in both small and large sizes for both men and women. Also, the custom-molded EVA padding ensures that the brace wraps around the contour of the ankle and fits comfortably.

Who Should Buy?

If you'd like a pair of ankle braces that you barely notice, the Active Ankle T2 is a great choice. This brace offers impact protection and ankle injuries despite its lightweight design.


Key Factors:

  • Strap/Lace: Strap & Lace

  • Foot: Universal

  • Fit: Compression/Snug

  • Special Feature: Quick-fit single-strap mechanism allows for easy wear.

Technical Specs:

  • Flexibility: 4.8/5

  • Comfort: 4.6/5

  • Durability: 4.6/5

  • Affordability: 4.8/5

Pros

· Lightweight

· Unique hinge design

· Easy to wear

· Simple design


Cons

· Lack of laces means it not the snuggest fitted brace.

· Can sometimes be uncomfortable with high-top shoes.


Get them on Amazon

Best Ankle Braces for Volleyball 2020: High Mobility

Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer

The Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer is another top ankle brace that gets the job done in style and allows full mobility for the wearer. The stabilizing straps form a complete figure-eight to provide full support to the ankle, as well as protect it against shocks from sudden impacts. In terms of durability, you can rely on the ballistic nylon boot that gives this product superior durability and strength.


In order to ensure that the support stays in place, as well as the laces, and stabilizing straps, the Med Spec ASO ankle brace comes with an elastic cuff enclosure. The bilateral design is an intentional design decision to ensure that it would fit the left or the right foot, and this also keeps it low profile enough to fit in any shoe.


The lacing system of this brace makes it really easy for you to control the tightness of the brace, and adjust the fit to ensure that it locks your heel to the back of the brace. Also, based on the review of a lot of users, it is clear that this brace is very comfortable to use. After the initial period of the break-in, the brace can easily be used for up to 70 hours of intermittent play without any formation of blisters or soft bruises.


The design of this brace makes it very easy for the foot to move in various directions while still being protected against ankle sprain or shock damage.

Who Should Buy?

This brace is a good choice for versatile players that love to move around a lot on the volleyball court. However, it is a good choice for any player that loves the mobility that comes with ankle protection.

Key Factors:

  • Strap/Lace: Strap style

  • Foot: Universal

  • Fit: Compression/Snug

  • Special Feature: Figure-8 Strapping pattern

Technical Specs:

  • Flexibility: 4.9/5

  • Comfort: 4.8/5

  • Durability: 4.7/5

  • Affordability: 4.6/5

Pros

· Allows high mobility

· Protects and support the ankle

· Elastic cuff for foot securement


Cons

· Difficulty picking the right size.


Get them on Amazon


Best Ankle Braces for Volleyball 2020: Best Shock Absorption

Zamst A2-DX

A major element of ankle braces is their ability to you absorb shock on landing. The Zamst A2-DX offers incredible shock absorption for people of various sizes. If you are a fan of basketball, then you would have spotted Stephen curry wearing one of these.


Let us get a little technical, shall we? The Zamst comes with i-Fit and a-Fit technology that allows it to fit anatomically on the left or the right ankle. Also, the Exo-Grid is an exterior molded structure that provides support along with the anti-migration technology to prevent the ankle joint from rolling outward and inward. Also, the Exo-Grid, in conjunction with the anchor strap, helps to prevent high ankle sprains. The X-strap Stabilizer also helps to provide a 3-way anterior, lateral, and medical support.


Yeah, yeah, I understand that this product seems like a lot of thought was put into creating it. They definitely tried very hard to prevent all kinds of ankle injuries that you could possibly have. In my own opinion, the only downside that comes with this flexible impact protective design is the fact that it is less durable under heavy use.


However, if you are looking for a brace that is very well designed to prevent most types of ankle injuries, as well as support them, then the Zamst A2-DX is bound not to disappoint.

Who Should Buy?

If you need a highly functional brace and you are not daunted by the slightly difficult strapping process of putting it on, then this is for you.


Key Factors:

  • Strap/Lace: Strap style

  • Foot: Universal

  • Fit: Compression/Snug

  • Special Feature: High-tech design

Technical Specs:

  • Flexibility: 4.9/5

  • Comfort: 4.9/5

  • Durability: 4.0/5

  • Affordability: 4.2/5

Pros

· High impact protection

· Fairly rigid design

· Prevents the inward and outward rolling of the ankles

Cons

· Expensive

· Sizing problems

· Can collapse after multiple heavy use

Get them on Amazon


Best Ankle Braces for Volleyball 2020: Most Protective

Mizuno DXS2 Left Ankle Brace

If you have ever googled for the best ankle braces for volleyball before, there is a chance that this would have come up at some point. The Mizuno DXS2 Left Ankle Brace is a premium type of ankle brace, and it was specifically designed to protect the left ankle only. This kind of design specialization means that your ankle gets the best of protection that can be offered by an ankle brace.


The Mizuno DXS2 ankle brace is created with Polyester, Nylon, and Rubber to allow for a comfortable feel, while also being odor-proof. Also, if you need some side support and require the use of inserts, the design of this brace allows for inserts to be added. The brace provides support and stability with the use of three different belts: the v-shaped belt, under-heel belt, and the anchored wrap.


The design technology used is DynamotionFit, which provides a great range of support for the movement. The design also ensures that it is anti-bacterial. I really don’t think much more needs to be said. It is very functional and trusted by many. As long as the brace is fit, then you probably don’t have to worry about your ankle while playing.

Who Should Buy?

If you need an ankle brace that can provide the maximum protection for your ankle in any game situation while you play the game of volleyball, you should shop for this immediately.


Key Factors:

  • Strap/Lace: Strap & Lace

  • Foot: Left

  • Fit: Compression/Snug

  • Special Feature: Auxiliary belt attached for Figure 8 stability.

Technical Specs:

  • Flexibility: 4.8/5

  • Comfort: 4.9/5

  • Durability: 4.7/5

  • Affordability: 4.6/5

Pros

· Infused with nylon, rubber, and polyester to form a protective layer

· Allows horizontal and vertical movement

· High shock absorption

· Very secure

· Breathable material


Cons

· Fits left ankle only

· Size problems

· Might be confusing to put on the first time

Get them on Amazon


Best Ankle Braces for Volleyball 2020: Most Compact Design

Zenith Ankle Brace, Lace-up Adjustable Support

The first time you see the Zenith Ankle Brace, I am sure that the first thing that would strike you about it would be its compact and sleek design. This brace was designed for complete functionality regardless of the kind of volleyball shoe that you use for volleyball. You can even decide to wear it over your socks, and you probably will not feel weird at all. This brace is made of nylon and neoprene to ensure maximum support, and it also comes with a double-stitched seam.


However, the Zenith Ankle Brace is popular for more than just how easily it fits on your leg in every situation; it also covers most of the areas that are injury-prone around the ankle. The design of this brace ensures that it fits firmly around your ankle, including the surrounding muscles and bones, to provide adequate compression pressure. You can be sure that while you have this brace on, you don’t have to worry about having accidental sprains or twists during your play on a volleyball court.

Who Should Buy?

This is definitely for people that love a compact design for their ankle brace.


Key Factors:

  • Strap/Lace: Strap & Lace

  • Foot: Universal

  • Fit: Compression/Snug

  • Special Feature: Compact design.

Technical Specs:

  • Flexibility: 4.8/5

  • Comfort: 4.8/5

  • Durability: 4.6/5

  • Affordability: 4.8/5

Pros

· Compact design that fit most shoes

· Allows ample movement around the feet

· Sleek design

· Ample compression pressure


Cons

· Not the cheapest model

Get them on Amazon


Buyer’s Guide

Should Volleyball Players Wear Ankle Braces?


Like most things in life, the answer to this question is not exactly black and white. It is more of fifty shades of grey type of answer.


Here's the thing, ankle braces are intricate devices that are carefully designed to ensure that your ankle doesn’t fail under the pressure of sudden impact, and lateral joint over-extension. Ankle braces are also used to correct fractured or sprained ankles, as well as prevent them from suffering from further damage.


Now, for some volleyball players, they might never need to wear an ankle brace because they don’t have any existing injury, and they are not prone to an ankle injury. However, for some other players, mild or heavy shocks to their ankle can cause them to have ankle injuries. Also, some players who don’t have an ankle injury already might wear an ankle brace as a form of protection.


One of the reasons why people are wary of wearing an ankle brace is because of how much control it has over the movements of your ankle, once it is worn. The only ankle braces that are dangerous to wear are the ones that are not properly designed, or not the size of the wearer.


I highly recommended that you only wear an ankle brace that you are comfortable in, and that doesn’t cause your foot to go numb during play.


As long as you wear the right size of ankle brace for your foot and you feel comfortable in the one that you are wearing, it is totally okay for a volleyball player to wear an ankle brace. Also, an ankle brace can be very useful for absorbing the impact shock that affects a volleyball player’s leg after landing from a jump.


What are the Pros and Cons of Wearing Ankle Braces for Volleyball?


Pros

· An ankle brace can be instrumental in preventing ankle injuries for a volleyball athlete.

· Also, for volleyball players that already suffer from some form of an ankle injury, an ankle brace can help reduce the recovery time while they continue playing the sport.

· Ankle braces can help greatly with absorbing most of the impact shock that comes with landing from a volleyball jump.


Cons

· Some players experience performance drop when they first use an ankle brace

· It can take some time to get used to wearing an ankle brace

· Not every ankle brace works well with high-top shoes

· Some players experience ankle sprain after removing the ankle brace. It is proposed that the cause for this may be because the player is already used to the high level of flexibility that comes with using an ankle brace.


Advice: If you know that you would like to play without an ankle brace eventually or at any given time, then I advise that you also play and train without the ankle brace frequently.


Beach Volleyball Ankle Brace


The volleyball ankle brace I would recommend for beach volleyball would be the McDavid Ankle Brace. As a brace which doesn't rely on the build of the shoe to add support, this is a brace you can wear without shoes, on the sand, and still receive the ankle support you need while recovering from an injury.


To be clear, the only reason you would wear ankle braces out on the sand would be while recovering from an existing injury.

When Should You Wear an Ankle Brace?


You should wear an ankle brace if you already have an existing ankle injury that you are trying to treat, or if you are trying to prevent an ankle injury while playing volleyball.


Is It Bad to Wear an Ankle Brace All Day?


Unless it is recommended by your doctor or physical therapist, I am strong believer in the saying that too much of anything is bad. If you wear your ankle braces as a form of preventive support for your ankle during play, then I suggest that you take it off after you are done with your game. However, if you are recovering from some sort of ankle injury, and have been instructed by your doctor to wear an ankle brace, then you should ask your doctor if its safe to sleep with your brace too.


Which Ankle Support is Best?


The best ankle support for a particular volleyball player is subjective. The best ankle brace for you might not be the best for me, therefore, you should only wear an ankle brace that feels comfortable on your foot.


On our list however, the ankle support that provides the best support in almost all condition and for most foot size is the McDavid Ankle Brace, which puts it at the top of our list.

Summing Up


There is no one size fits all for every volleyball player when it comes to ankle braces. Therefore, you should only wear the type of ankle brace that let you feel comfortable, supported and strong out on court.

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GERRARD LIPSCOMBE

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Volleyball has taken me around the world. It's allowed me to live as a professional athlete, as well as giving me the opportunity to represent my country at the 2018 Volleyball Nations League. 

As a founder of Volley-Pedia.com, this is where I'll be sharing what I've learned along the way: as well as featuring valuable knowledge from experts in the sport.

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After competing on two NCAA Men's Volleyball National Championship teams, Pete is on-track to complete a second Masters Degree--more than just a pretty face. 

Within Volley-Pedia, Pete focuses on providing high-level technical and interest pieces--drawing from personal experience as a high-level athlete, with the goal of making every article accessible to players at all levels.

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