Choosing the right ankle support for your injury can be confusing when there are so many different kinds available. Whether it is a sprain or long term injury that needs support, finding the right fit can make all the difference. You want to choose one that provides the necessary support and does not compromise comfort.
Neoprene supports retain heat which helps to increase the blood flow. This can aid in healing some injuries and may be suitable if your ankle is prone to swelling. They do not provide much support but are suitable for mild to moderate or overuse injuries where ankle instability is not an issue. They are easy to use and flexible allowing you to retain movement during exercise.
Wrap around supports wrap around the foot and ankle, providing heat retention but very little support. Some may be made of neoprene or simply consist of a long bandage for wrapping around the ankle. Wrap around supports are suitable for mild to moderate injuries.
Laced ankle supports combine comfort and support, fitting around the foot and lacing up a bit like a boot. Some may contain extra support in the form of plastic or metal spring inserts. They offer a high level of support for moderate to severe ankle injuries or those that require extra support, particularly during sports. Laced supports are usually not bulky but may be time-consuming to put on.
Hinged ankle supports have solid reinforcements on the sides, usually made of a tough plastic. They are joined at the ankle by a hinge allowing forward and backwards motions. They offer the most support for moderate to severe injuries but can be bulky to wear.