Best Volleyball Ankle Braces (Reviewed)
Last Updated: 20th Mar, 2020
As a volleyball player, your ankles are going to take the most beating while on the court. The constant jumping, sudden lateral movements, and hard landings take a serious toll on the ankles. Then there is also a risk of opponent players accidentally landing on your foot, which can put you out of the game for months.
However, most ankle injuries or sprains are quite preventable, provided you choose the right set of volleyball ankle braces.
How do Ankle braces work?
Ankle braces limit the abnormal motion of the ankle, thus limiting the impact of the potential injuries. But it's worth mentioning that the braces don't necessarily prevent injuries; rather, it lessens the impact. So it's not like there would be no risk of injury if you have braces on - it's just the risk will be severely diminished. Also, even in an unfortunate event of you getting injured with braces on, the injury would be less severe, and you would recover sooner.
But not all ankle supports are made alike. Depending on your skill level, playing position, and history of injuries, you need to pick an ankle brace. Then there are also dozens of different types of braces making the selection even more complicated.
But don't worry, we have you covered. We spent weeks researching and trying out various ankle supports so that you don't have to second guess. To save you the hassle, we have picked the best 6 volleyball ankle braces across different segments.
So whether you're looking for a brace with superior protection or a low-profile one for more mobility, we have you covered.
Factors to Consider:
There are broadly three types of braces -
- Lace-up - Offers low to medium support, comfortable, lightweight, cheap; tends to loosen while playing, stinks after a while
- Hinged (Soft) - Medium support, comfortable, mid-range
- Hinged (Rigid) - Best support, minimizes risk of injury, Expensive
Skill level & Playing Position:
- Beginners (male/female) and youth players can start with lace-up braces but would need to upgrade as they improve
- Front row players need a brace with excellent support - Choose Rigid hinged brace
- Back row players need more mobility - Choose Semi-rigid brace
- Player looking for comfort and protection should choose a low-profile brace
If you're recovering from an ankle injury or have a history of injury, choose a hinged-cuff brace. Don't compromise by choosing cheaper braces.
We have included a detailed buyer's guide covering all the above points in detail below.
Our Picks for the Best Ankle Braces for Volleyball
- Ultra Ankle High-5 Ankle Brace- Best for front row players
- Active Ankle AS1 Pro Lace Up Ankle Brace - Best for back row players
- Mcdavid Ankle Brace - Best low profile brace
- Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer - Budget Pick
- Ultra Zoom Ankle Brace for Injury Prevention - Best for superior protection
- SNEINO Ankle Brace - Best for beginners
Note: Volleyball ankle braces don't come in pairs. You need to buy two braces for both feet.
1. Ultra Ankle High-5 Ankle Brace – Best for Front-Row Players
The front row volleyball players are the most injury-prone, and hence they require a brace that's sturdy and keeps the ankle secured during play. For those hard landings and high jumps, you need a brace that cushions the impact, and there is no brace better than the Ultra Ankle High-5.
This super-strong brace firmly holds the ankle in place at all times, and yet at the same time is light enough not to hinder natural foot movements. So, whether you're an outsider hitter or a spiker (left/right), these are ideal braces for you.
The unique hinged-cuff design is soft, allowing you to play without feeling restricted while limiting excessive twisting and turning of the ankle. The support itself is designed to form to your foot and give the ankle the support it needs to keep going.
Putting this brace is also quite easy - Put the stirrup below the insole of your shoe, strap the brace across the ankle, and you're ready to go.
Customers who have bought this brace say that it offers excellent support and helps them perform better. You can turn and pivot as you need, without having to deal with awkward or bulky support. Many players recovering from injuries are delighted with it as it greatly reduces the ankle pain.
Note: The brace comes in universal design and can fit either foot.
- One strap connection for easy fitting
- Non-restrictive and won't impede movement
- Snugly fits the shoe and ankle
The Ultra Ankle High-5 Ankle Brace is the preferred pick by many professional and serious volleyball players. It's easy to use and allows you to focus more on your game rather than worrying about injuries.
Priced under $130 for two braces, this is nowhere cheap, but if you're looking for the very best brace in the market, this is it.
2. Active Ankle AS1 Pro Lace Up Ankle Brace – Best For Back Row Players
The back row players don't necessarily need a brace with the best support, but what they need is a brace that offers maximum comfort. And this is precisely what the AS1 PRO lace-up brace offers.
Being a lace-up model, it offers excellent protection while being super comfortable to wear. It conforms to the shape of the ankle and provides excellent supporting compression at all contact points. The lower layer has the lace-up section, which is designed to eliminate hot spots on the ankle. The lace design makes it much easier to get the support on and off, perfect if you're getting ready quickly for a match.
The upper layer comes with straps that wrap around the ankle and can be adjusted to required tightness. The straps are designed to mimic the heel-lock style of taping an ankle, so you'll get the benefit of custom taping without having to spend time doing it every time you play. They also help to keep the brace in place, stopping it from slipping during play.
The only downside of this otherwise excellent brace is that it needs regular washing. The fabric absorbs sweat and tends to stink quite a bit. But this issue plagues every lace-up brace and is not limited to this model alone.
You can buy this brace in either black or white, so you can match them with your socks and have them blend in with your kit.
No more bulky ankle braces; this will be unobtrusive and allow you to play without worry.
- Multiple color options - Black or white
- Allows to tape in various ways for extra support
- Laces hold brace together, making it easy to get on
- Affordably priced
This is the best back-row player ankle support, as it doesn't get in the way and just lets you perform true to your position. Moreover, it's priced reasonably and offers best-in-class comfort.
3. McDavid Ankle Brace – Best Low Profile Ankle Brace
McDavid is a well-known manufacturer of sport braces and protection gears and is known for its high-quality product line up. And the McDavis 195 Ankle brace with straps is no exception. It also happens to be one of the highly reviewed volleyball ankle braces on Amazon with hundreds of positive reviews to its name.
The brace offers medium support to the ankle with a cross and targeted compression sleeve and, at the same time, has a low-profile, making it ideal for blockers and setters. These braces are also suitable for female players or someone just starting because of the higher comfort and lightweight design. Due to the lower profile, the brace snugly fits around the ankle, which allows for better performance while preventing injuries.
The brace is made out of a single-layer polyester, which offers full support to the ankle, and the unique taping pattern provides extra stability and minimizes the chances of sprain or injuries. As per the manufacturer, the risk of injury decreases by three times when wearing these braces.
The compression tape at the top ensures a comfortable fit and stops the brace from slipping during play. The padded inner lining and reinforced closures result in a tight yet comfortable fit. You can also adjust the brace if needed while you're still wearing it, without having to take it off. Also, the brace looks quite minimal, letting you get on with play without drawing attention to it.
Overall, it's an excellent low profile brace, it's sleek and not as bulky as other models. It'll easily fit inside your shoe, so you can get it on and get ready no matter where you're playing. It even comes in three colors, white, gray, and black, to match your socks if needed.
- Low-profile design
- Three different colors to choose from
- Adjustable without needing to be taken off
If you're looking for an excellent low profile ankle brace, this is the one for you. It will hold your ankle in place without getting in the way of play.
4. Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer – Budget Pick
Next on the list is Med Spec 264014 ASO Ankle Stabilizer, which also happens to be one of the best-selling ankle braces on Amazon. It's reasonably priced yet comes with stellar build-quality.
The brace is available in five sizes from X-Small to all the way to X-Large, making it ideal for all-age volleyball players. Also, as it's a low-profile brace, it fits most shoes and is quite comfortable to wear. It comes with a lace-up and tape up support similar to the more expensive braces, but it's just as supportive.
The boot is made of ballistic nylon fibers, making it more reliable and capable of lasting for a couple of seasons at the very least. At the same time, elastic cuffs along with firm laces, provide ample supports while keeping the ankle stable at all times.
You wouldn't think you could get a good ankle brace for such a low price, but this brace is one of the best ones on this list. There are plenty of customer reviews stating it is one of the value braces available. What's better, it's a bilateral design too. You can buy just one brace and use it on either ankle, no matter what.
- Bilateral, so can be worn on either ankle
- Multiple color option - Black or white
- Ballistic nylon boot offers excellent support and stability
- Hard-wearing design
Dollar for dollar, this is the best value volleyball ankle braces on the market. It offers good all-round protection to the ankles and is quite comfortable to put on for longer hours.
5. Ultra Zoom Ankle Brace For Injury Prevention – Best For Superior Protection
If you're looking for a brace that offers maximum support, no brace comes close to the Ultra Zoom. It provides you all kinds of protection that you don't want to be without. If you're worried about an old injury or have a weak ankle, this is the brace for you.
The soft-shell hinge design form fits your ankle just like a glove resulting in comfortable and durable support. At the same time, it takes seconds to put on or off and is durable enough to last for years. The unique hinged design promotes a natural range of motions required for vertical and lateral jumping while restricting movements that may cause injury. With these braces on your ankles, you can be more confident while playing.
This brace is sold in multiple sizes, so you can pick the one that fits you best. Also, the braces are sold in single units and not in pairs. So, you would need to buy two of them. Although these braces are costly, they last for years too, with customers reporting they've had braces go for hundreds of matches.
- Some of the best and most comprehensive support on the market
- Comes in black or white
- Different sizes sold to get you the best support
- Straps designed to hold your ankle in place without restriction
If you plan to play volleyball for at least a couple of years, this is a brace you should pick. Your ankles are you going to thank you! There's honestly no other brace that offers such comprehensive support.
6. SNEINO Ankle Brace – Best For Beginners
Are you new to volleyball but are worried about your weak ankle or potential injury? You need an ankle brace but not just any ankle brace.
You need a brace that offers excellent support. Newer players are at higher risk of injury as they're yet to get their technique right. It also should not be overly expensive, considering you're not sure how long you'll be in the sport.
The SNEINO Ankle brace ticks all these boxes. This adjustable lace-up brace comes in three sizes - Small, medium, and large. As it's a lace-up model, it adapts to the shape of the ankle and shoe, allowing you to set the compression to your liking. And the contoured arch design and reinforced side stabilizer provide 360-degree support to ankles.
The brace comes with two spring plates of steel on either side, providing additional stability while you play. As it's made of breathable and elastic neoprene material, you might not even notice it while you're playing, as it's so comfortable.
- Low price point, which is perfect for beginners
- Spring steels to hold your ankle in place comfortably
- Good customer support
If you're a beginner, this is the brace for you. Get this before you start, and it will make all the difference.
Volleyball Ankle Brace Buyer's Guide
If you've decided to buy a volleyball ankle brace, you'll have to think about what kind to get. There's so many, and it's hard to know which one is going to be right for you.
Here is an in-depth guide on how to choose a right ankle brace:
<Know your Size>
The ankle brace must fit you perfectly. If it doesn't, it won't give you the protection you need and might even lead to a severe injury. A brace that's too big is going to slip and possibly lead to further injury, and one that's too small is going to constrict your ankle, impeding play.
If there's a size guide on the ankle brace, make sure you measure your foot and buy the one that works for you. The braces we have reviewed above are all from quality companies that have good customer service teams and will help you swap the brace out if it doesn't fit. Follow the sizing guide, measure your foot, and make sure you're asking for a trade if it doesn't fit properly.
Volleyball players need to choose the ankle brace based on their playing position. Front row players are most prone to injuries as the position requires quick lateral movements and excessive jumping. As a result, they need better protection and rigid ankle supports are ideal for them.
Defensive or back row players aren't that susceptible to injuries compared to front row players. However, they need an ankle brace that doesn't impact mobility. For back row players, semi-rigid or open brace are suitable as they still allow the players to move freely while offering decent protection.
Some players prefer a brace that offers the right balance of comfort and protection. For such players, a low-profile brace is a perfect option. The brace is more like a compression sleeve with straps for protection. However, keep a note that such braces are suitable only for players with stronger ankles.
<Type of Braces>
There are three main types of ankle brace available: lace-up braces, semi-rigid hinged braces, and rigid hinged braces. These models support your ankle in different ways. You'll have to pick the brace based on the level of support and comfort you are seeking.
The Lace-up braces are the cheapest of the lot and are the most comfortable braces. The trade-off here is the lower protection. Since it's made out of fabric, players can lace the brace to their comfort level. However, these braces tend to loosen with time during play as it resists the natural motion of the ankle. Also, it isn't as durable as the other options and tends to absorb sweat and smell quite bad after a couple of games. Overall, lace-up braces are ideal for beginner players or those who're on a budget.
Next up is the hinged braces, which offers far better protection and stability in comparison to lace-up braces. The hinge design allows the player to freely move the ankle up and down while jumping without feeling constrained. It's made of soft or semi-rigid plastic and properly conforms to the shape of the ankle. However, as the bottom part of the brace sits under the shoe insole, the brace moves with the shoe and not with the ankle, and there are still chances of injuries. Some of the higher-quality hinged braces additionally come with cuff rotator support to further limit injuries.
Hinged braces are ideal for all level players, be it a beginner, intermediates, or a professional. These braces provide decent protection to the ankle and are priced quite affordably.
The last type of brace is the rigid hinged braces. These braces offer maximum stability and protection but also limit the free movement of the ankle. If a player has a history of injuries or is recovering from an ankle injury, such braces are an excellent option.
The next factor you need to consider is the individual's skill level. What brace a professional player might need would be quite different from what an intermediate player would need. Similarly, offensive players need better protection than defensive players. Moreover, personal preference also plays a major role while selecting a brace.
That said, here are a broad recommendation based on the player skill level and position:
- Young Players - Lace-up braces for beginner and hinged braces for anyone serious.
- Adult Players (Beginner) - Hinged braces
- Front row players - Hinged braces
- Back row players - Low profile or lace-up braces
- Female players - Most female players prefer hinged braces, but it boils down to the preference
It's always a good idea to consult with your coach or try out a couple of braces before finalizing one.
Let's Wrap Things Up
These six volleyball ankle braces all offer you something different, and you should be able to find the right one among these options. That may mean full-ankle stability or a simple lace-up that keeps your ankle in place as you play.
If you have any questions, please leave your comments below.