Running is a journey marked by every stride and breath you take. But a weak ankle shouldn’t be a roadblock on your path to fitness and wellness. Welcome to our ‘Best Ankle Support for Running Guide’. Here, we spotlight the ultimate armour for your ankles – steadfast protection sleeves, braces, wrap and tape, whilst offering stability to those weak or injured points. Painstakingly designed, some of these supports give your ankles the freedom to move, respond, and conquer. Others will help you to recover and come back from injuries quickly. Anyway, let’s get this guide started!
Table of Contents: Ankle Support For Running Guide
Ankle Support For Running
In the forthcoming sections, we will delve into the world of ankle supports designed specifically for runners. To start with, we’ll look at the reasons why runners might need ankle support. We’ll then take you through our top picks for the best running ankle supports currently on the market.
Why Runners Need Ankle Support
Runners may require ankle support during training or racing due to various reasons. One key reason is the risk of injury. Running places substantial stress on the ankles; without proper support, this can lead to sprains, strains, or even fractures. Wearing an ankle brace or using supportive footwear can help to distribute this pressure more evenly, reducing the risk of injury.
Ankle support can also benefit runners who have previously experienced ankle injuries. Past injuries can make the ankle joint more vulnerable to future harm, so providing additional support can be a preventative measure. This support helps to stabilise the joint, preventing excessive movement that could result in re-injury.
For athletes with flat feet or overpronation conditions, ankle support can help correct their foot alignment, improving running efficiency and comfort. By aligning the foot correctly, it can reduce the strain on the ankle and other leg parts.
Ankle Support Sleeves For Running
Ankle Support Sleeves for running are a game-changer for athletes, offering much-needed stability and protection to your ankles. These uniquely designed sleeves hug your ankle, providing firm, reliable support to weak or potentially injured areas. Yet, they don’t hinder your movement. They are crafted to allow a full range of motion and responsiveness, ensuring that your strides are as strong and smooth as ever. Experience the freedom of running without fear of ankle injuries, all while feeling fully supported. It’s time to take your running performance to the next level with Ankle Support Sleeves. In the section below, we’ll highlight our top picks for ankle support sleeves.
AVIDDA Compression Foot Sleeves
VITTO Ankle Support Sleeve
Rymora Plantar Fasciitis Support Socks
Ankle Support For Running Using KT Tape
Kinesiology Therapeutic (KT) Tape is a revolutionary product designed to support strained muscles and joints, and it’s especially beneficial for runners—this elastic tape aids in relieving pain and promoting healing in injured areas, for this guide the ankles. Runners can apply KT Tape in a pattern around their ankles, creating a type of brace. The tape doesn’t restrict movement, allowing for full mobility while running. It enhances your stride by gently lifting the skin, minimising inflammation and promoting blood flow. So, if you’re a runner seeking an effective solution for ankle support, KT Tape could be your ideal choice.
Proworks Kinesiology Tape
KG Physio Kinesiology Tape
Ankle Support Braces & Wraps For Runners
Ankle Support Braces for Runners are your best ally when dealing with an ankle injury. These braces are designed to immobilise the joint, providing the stability and support needed during recovery. Despite an injury, you don’t have to halt your training entirely. The brace allows you to keep moving confidently, helping prevent further damage whilst promoting healing. Ankle Support Wraps for runners serve as your extra layer of protection during runs, specially designed to offer support and flexibility. These wraps snugly fit around your ankle, providing a customised compression level that aids stability and prevents potential injuries.
WASPO Ankle Support Brace
Sleeve Stars Ankle Support
Bodyprox Ankle Support Adjustable Brace
BESKEY Ankle Support Brace
Why Trail Runners Might Need Extra Ankle Support
Trail running presents unique challenges, particularly when navigating tough, rugged terrain with constantly changing surfaces, from rocky outcrops to root-strewn paths. The risk of an ankle rolling or twisting increases significantly. This is where extra ankle support comes into its own.
Providing added stability and protection, ankle support can help trail runners tackle these uneven surfaces with confidence. Limiting excessive ankle movement reduces the likelihood of sprains, strains and other injuries. Whether it’s a high-quality ankle brace, supportive footwear, or strength training to bolster the muscles around the ankle, investing in extra ankle support is a wise move for any trail runner.
Remember, every step you take on the trail should be one of assurance and enjoyment, not apprehension. Keep your focus on the path ahead, knowing that with the proper ankle support, you’re prepared for whatever the trail throws.
Getting Extra Ankle Support For Runners
Do your ankles feel wobbly after pounding the pavement or bounding over trail paths? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Ankle support is not just for injury prevention, comfort, and improved performance. Here’s how you can get that extra ankle support:
- Ankle Braces, Sleeves & Wraps: Consider these your ankle’s best friend. They provide stability and prevent excessive movement. They come in different styles, from wraparound braces to pull-on braces or slip-on sleeves, so you can choose what suits you best. We’ve covered these earlier in the article and which are our top picks.
- Supportive Footwear: Yes, your shoes matter! Seek out running shoes that offer good ankle support. Look for ones with a well-cushioned sole and a supportive heel counter. Remember, every foot is unique, so don’t shy away from getting professionally fitted.
- Strength Training: Work on those muscles! Exercises like calf raises, ankle circles, and resistance band workouts can help strengthen your ankles. Stronger muscles mean more support and less risk of injury.
- Proper Technique: Form is everything in running. Make sure you’re not rolling your feet inward or outward excessively. Consider consulting with a running coach to ensure your form is on point.
- Compression Socks: These snug socks can support and improve blood flow, reducing the risk of swelling and discomfort. Look at our guides to some of the best compression running socks for more information. My favourite are the Danish Endurance compression socks, but Rymora compression socks are also a great option.
How To Prevent Ankle Injuries
Preventing ankle injuries is crucial for maintaining your running routine and enjoying your journey towards fitness. Here are some key strategies:
- Warm-Up and Cool-Down: Never underestimate the power of a good warm-up and cool-down routine. Gradually increasing and decreasing your heart rate prepares your body for intense activity and allows it to recover, reducing the risk of ankle injuries.
- Strength Training: Strengthening the muscles that support your ankle, including your calves, can help prevent injuries. Exercises such as calf raises, ankle circles and resistance band workouts can boost your ankle strength and flexibility.
- Flexibility Exercises: Regularly engaging in exercises such as ankle stretches or yoga can improve your ankle’s range of motion and decrease the risk of sprains.
- Proper Footwear: Always wear shoes that fit well and are designed for the running you’re doing. Shoes with good arch support and a sturdy heel can support your ankles.
- Avoid Overtraining: It’s important to avoid running too many miles without proper training. Increasing your mileage gradually gives your body time to adjust and reduces the strain on your ankles.
- Rest and Recovery: Ensure enough time for your body, especially your ankles, to recover after a run. This can help to prevent overuse injuries.
Ankle Strength Exercises
Increasing your ankle strength is crucial to improving stability and reducing the risk of injury. Here are some exercises that can help:
- Heel Raises: Stand straight and slowly lift your heels, putting weight on your toes. Hold for a few seconds and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this for 10-15 reps. You could also invest in a slant board to keep things interesting.
- Ankle Circles: Sit down and extend one leg. Slowly rotate your foot in a circular motion. Repeat this 10 times in each direction for both ankles.
- Resistance Band Workouts: With one end of the band attached to a sturdy post and the other around your foot, sit on the floor with your leg extended. Push against the band with your foot, hold for a few seconds, and then return to the starting position. Repeat this for 10-15 reps on each foot. Checkout these bands, which are the one’s I have at home and are great value for money.
- Towel Scrunches: Sit with your feet on a towel. Use your toes to scrunch the towel towards you, then smooth it back out. Repeat this for 10-15 reps.
- Balance Exercises: Stand on one foot for as long as possible, working up to one minute. Repeat on the other foot.
- Rebounder Exercises: You can use a mini rebounder trampoline to improve balance and increase ankle strength. Start with easy exercises like hopping from one foot to the other, then move on to more complex moves like lateral jumps or single-leg hops.
Running puts a considerable strain on the ankles, so taking steps to protect them is essential. The right ankle can help reduce injuries and improve overall performance. Whether you prefer ankle braces, supportive footwear, or strength training exercises, investing in extra protection for your ankles is always wise. With the tips above, you can confidently tackle any challenge.
Once you have a good ankle support system, staying on top of any injuries or pain is essential. If anything seems amiss, take the time to investigate the issue further and chat with a doctor if necessary. Do not ignore persistent pain, which may indicate a more severe injury. With the right precautions and regular maintenance, your ankles will be ready to power you through any running adventure.
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