Does hiking necessitate the use of an ankle brace? For many hikers, an ankle sprain or twist is the worst-case scenario. Not only does it ruin your day, but a major sprain can keep you out of the game for weeks at a time and potentially lead to long-term problems or the need for corrective surgery in the future.
In the opinion of many hikers, the solution lies in the use of hiking boots with built-in ankle support. Hikers with years of experience are increasingly opting for lighter, more nimble footwear, such as trail running shoes or hiking shoes that appear to compromise ankle support. So, is it necessary to wear ankle braces while hiking? Does the ankle support in hiking footwear actually work? Let us examine this long-running debate in greater detail.
Why Do Most Hikers Suffer From Ankle Injuries?
As your ankle joint is largely meant to move in one plane, it is prone to injury. Even though it allows for some rotation, the range of motion it provides is far less than that of a ball and socket joint like your shoulder.
Do a few quick flexions and pointings of your foot right now. Then, turn it in whichever direction you like. You’ll probably find that the point and flex has the biggest range of motion. Compare the range of motion in your arm to that of your ankle now by moving your arm in large circles.
While the ankle joint consists of a tibia and two little bones (the talus and the fibula) held together by ligaments, your entire body weight is placed on it, thus it’s both delicate and strong. To put it simply: You’re more likely to get injured when you suddenly shift direction, especially if it’s in a direction your ankle isn’t built for.
Is Hiking Harmful To The Ankles?
People also wonder if hiking is dangerous for your ankles. However, you may be more at risk of injuring your ankles on a path than you are in the kitchen.
Ankle sprains and twists are less likely to occur on a level surface with minimal impediments to negotiate. A person’s ankles are more susceptible to injury when walking on uneven ground.
On hiking trails, ankles can be particularly vulnerable to injury due to factors such as uneven and slippery path conditions. Also, exhaustion and a lack of concentration.
Spraining your ankle is easy when you’re fatigued and not paying attention. As you go closer and closer to the end of a hike, this becomes even more pronounced. Hence, you should exercise caution while on a hike,
What Is The Best Way To Strengthen Your Ankles?
One technique to avoid ankle injuries when hiking is to strengthen your ankles. These workouts, which focus on ankle strength and balance, are good.
The ankle is a vital part of the human body. The ankles are the emphasis of this set of exercises. Practicing your balance before a hike is a common recommendation.
The less likely you are to fall on the trails, the less likely you are to injure your ankles.
Does Hiking Necessitate The Use Of An Ankle Brace?
There isn’t much of a case for wearing additional ankle support if you are otherwise healthy and free of ailments. In the event of a tragedy, being extra careful may really be beneficial to you. Wearing an ankle brace while hiking may actually be beneficial if you already have an ankle problem. Is it necessary, then, to don a pair of hiking boots?
Is Hiking In Ankle Boots Better Than In Regular Shoes?
Many hikers are divided on the issue of whether or not hiking boots genuinely give adequate support for one’s ankle. Since they cover your ankles, it stands to reason that they could limit the amount of rotation your ankle joint undergoes if you take a wrong step on the trail. Anecdotes and personal opinions abound on the internet claiming that this is the fact, as well as those claiming that hiking boots provide ankle support that is simply a myth.
If you don’t need ankle support, there are many other advantages to using hiking boots: they protect your feet and ankles from weather and rocks, they’re lighter and more durable than trail runners, and they can be resoled to extend their life even further.
How Do You Pick The Best Hiking Ankle Brace?
Prior to purchasing an ankle brace, make sure that it provides support and does not put undue strain on your foot. We tried a lot of different ankle braces, all of which were painful and tight, and ultimately resulted in more injuries than we could have avoided.
Comfort and fit a good ankle brace should include this feature since you want it to fit your foot perfectly and keep you safe and comfortable at all times.
Nevertheless, this is something that we should all take for granted. It is the primary function of an ankle brace to offer adequate support.
It’s amazing how many hiking ankle braces fail to provide the support you need to keep your foot safe and instead cause injuries by failing to protect it. As a result, proceed with caution.
The Correct Fit
A poorly-fitted ankle brace may wind up being inconvenient and may lead to much more significant issues. Consider these factors to ensure that your ankle brace is as comfortable as possible:
Fabric vs. Neoprene
Neoprene is a flexible material that allows for a snug fit to the body and provides the support and heat insulation you need for long-term pain relief. Although breathable, neoprene may be too hot to wear all day. In contrast to neoprene, fabric and knit fabrics tend to be more breathable, keeping your feet cool but without the soothing heat that neoprene provides.
Finally, you should ensure that the ankle brace is minimal in weight. As a result, some of the ankle braces we attempted ended up being too heavy to be effective, causing the feet to suffer.
You don’t want to put any more weight on your feet because they bear the entire weight of your body. Make sure that the ankle braces are light enough to avoid injury.
Selecting The Ankle Brace Type
- Tape support: Although tape support is thin and flexible, it has the potential to become too stretched.
- Ankle support: It is possible to use ankle support socks to treat small sprains as well as to wear them every day.
- Semi-rigid ankle braces: Using ankle braces that are semi-rigid restricts your feet’s movement, but they provide the necessary support for healing and rehabilitation.
- Hinged ankle braces restrict your side-to-side movement, but still allow you to move up and down.
- Rigid braces: The ankle and foot are totally stabilized by rigid braces.
Think About Why You Want To Get One
Ankle braces can be used for a variety of reasons. Foot pain, sports injuries, and the healing process following surgery are all possible causes. As a result, before investing in an ankle brace, consider whether or not you actually require one.
The best ankle brace for sports training or any other strenuous activity is one that gives a high level of support and doesn’t readily come off. Always see a doctor if you’ve been injured.
Here Are Our Top 7 Picks For Hiking Ankle Braces
Below are the best 7 ankle braces for hiking:
1. YHOUMEW Ankle Support Brace
The goal of this equipment is to keep the ankles safe from harm. Ankle injuries, whether chronic or acute, are well-suited to this treatment. Plantar fasciitis and other ankle-related ailments can also be alleviated with the help of this ankle brace.
When worn, the YHOUMEW Ankle Support Brace preserves body heat while keeping skin free of discomfort. It’s also long-lasting and remarkably adaptable. Its open-heel design allows athletes to move more freely while still providing support for ankle tendons and joints.
- Comfortable material.
- The shoe has an open heel style.
- Flexible and long-lasting.
- Velcro-based design that can be adjusted to suit your needs.
- After a few months of heavy use, Velcro becomes frail.
Where to purchase YHOUMEW Ankle Support Brace?
You can purchase YHOUMEW Ankle Support Brace here on Amazon
2. XROAM ANKLE SUPPORT BRACE 2 PACK
For those with weak or injured ankles, this ankle brace provides compression assistance. It’s very useful, helping the wearer to go about their daily business in a way that feels natural to them.
A primary purpose of the XROAM Ankle Support Brace is to protect your ankle as you engage in physical activities such as running and weightlifting. Injuries can be prevented and chronic ankle sprains can be recovered faster with this cutting-edge gear. Due to its latex-free neoprene construction, this ankle support is both light and easy to wear.
- Adaptable brace.
- Slip-resistant design.
- Adjustable strap.
- Breathable elastic fabric.
- Neoprene is a non-breathable material.
Where to purchase XROAM ANKLE SUPPORT BRACE 2 PACK?
You can purchase XROAM ANKLE SUPPORT BRACE 2 PACK here on Amazon
3. POWERLIX ANKLE SUPPORT COMPRESSION SLEEVE
Brace your ankles in style with the POWERLIX Ankle Brace, built to last. Plantar fasciitis, arthritis, edema, strains, sprains, tendonitis, muscular fatigue, and other ankle symptoms can all be relieved by wearing a PowerLix ankle brace, which applies even pressure to the ankle joint. As a result of using this product, you’ll be able to engage in a wide range of activities without fear of damage.
The POWERLIX Ankle Support Compression Sleeve may be the finest solution for you if you’re seeking for the greatest ankle support brace. You can wear this ankle support sleeve all day long because of its high level of comfort.
A level of compression provided by the POWERLIX Ankle Support Compression Sleeve helps to enhance blood flow, which in turn aids in the recovery of your muscles. This product can help with sports-related muscular injuries as well as injuries caused by conditions including tendinitis, arthritis, and edema.
- Excellent amount of comfort.
- Enhances blood circulation.
- Stable but adaptable.
- Tends to stretch out a bit if your running super hard
Where to purchase POWERLIX ANKLE SUPPORT COMPRESSION SLEEVE?
You can purchase POWERLIX ANKLE SUPPORT COMPRESSION SLEEVE here on Amazon
4. SNEINO ANKLE SUPPORT LACE UP BRACE
Wearing the SNEINO Ankle Support Lace Up Brace can help you perform better in your sports endeavors. It’s meant to keep your ankle supported all day long. Your joints will be well protected with this brace.
The SNEINO Ankle Support Lace Up Brace is one of the best ankle support braces for injured ankles. After an ankle injury, this gear is meant to help protect and support you. It has a 360-degree ankle support, which is new and improved. Using this feature, you can continue to move as normal. While your injury is healing, the stability feature will allow you to carry out your normal daily routines.
- Comfy to wear
- 360-degree assistance
- Quick drying material
- A little hefty
Where to purchase SNEINO ANKLE SUPPORT LACE UP BRACE?
You can purchase SNEINO ANKLE SUPPORT LACE UP BRACE here on Amazon
5. INDEEMAX Ankle Support Brace
Using the INDEEMAX Ankle Support Brace can help reduce the chance of ankle injury, as well as aid in the healing process. It’s also great for keeping your feet safe while working out.
Ankle braces can be found in a wide variety of shapes and designs. The INDEEMAX Ankle Support Brace is a great option if you’re looking for a flexible ankle support brace. It’s one of the most popular choices for an ankle brace thus far. This is owing to the usefulness it offers. This substance boosts blood flow, allowing more oxygen to reach your muscles, allowing them to repair themselves more quickly.
- Extremely adaptable
- Adjustable straps
- Breathable ankle support
- Relieves discomfort associated with muscular problems
- A bit Expensive
Where to purchase INDEEMAX Ankle Support Brace?
You can purchase INDEEMAX Ankle Support Brace here on Amazon
6. NEOALLY COPPER ANKLE SUPPORT BRACE COMPRESSION SLEEVE
Due to its warm compression support, the NEOALLY brace aids muscle rehabilitation. Ankle joint discomfort can be relieved and muscles can recover more quickly with its help in increasing circulation.
The NEOALLY Copper Ankle Brace features high-quality silicone inserts and the latest 3D weaving technology to provide the ultimate ankle support you need for sporting and other activities.
Wearing one of these compression sleeves will keep you fresh, dry, and comfortable all day long thanks to the copper-infused fabric used to make it. Ankle sprains and other injuries can be avoided with the help of these braces, which have two layers of high-quality silicone gel each brace.
- Anti-odor property
- The optimal ankle support
- Supplied with silicone-gel
- Enhances blood circulation
- A tad pricey.
Where to purchase NEOALLY COPPER ANKLE SUPPORT BRACE COMPRESSION SLEEVE?
You can purchase NEOALLY COPPER ANKLE SUPPORT BRACE COMPRESSION SLEEVE here on Amazon
7. YOUENEOM ANKLE SUPPORT BRACE
This ankle brace was created with the goal of providing maximum support and stability to individuals with weakened or injured ankles. Comfort and relief are provided by the adjustable compression.
The YOUENEOM Ankle Support Brace is designed to provide you the most range of motion while also offering outstanding ankle support. All sizes of feet can be accommodated by the stretchy nylon material of this product.
In order to keep the ankle in place, it’s made using silicone gel. The sturdy Velcro tab allows you to attach it while still allowing for maximum flexibility and support.
- Comfy support
- Adjustable straps
- Slip-resistant design
- Material that is elastic and breathable
- Using neoprene all day may be too hot, as it is not breathable.
Where to purchase YOUENEOM ANKLE SUPPORT BRACE?
You can purchase YOUENEOM ANKLE SUPPORT BRACE here on Amazon
Benefits Of Ankle Braces While Hiking
Here are the most important advantages of wearing ankle braces, in case you’re still not convinced:
1. Injury Prevention
Ankle braces are critical for preventing injuries to the ankles, and we cannot emphasize this enough. If you have an ankle injury, you should keep an eye out for a few things that you should keep an eye out for. Ankle injuries are less complicated to heal from than, say, wrist injuries.
An ankle has seven tarsal bones that allow you to move freely. There are two primary motions of the ankle, flexion and extension, and ankle restraints serve to limit these motions. Ankle support keeps everything in place and minimizes the risk of sprains and strains dramatically.
2. Pain Reduction
Put weight on an ankle that hasn’t fully healed and you run the risk of aggravating your injury.
As a result, ankle and foot swelling can be reduced by wearing an ankle brace. As well as providing relief from discomfort, it also aids in the speedy recovery of your feet. If you’ve had an ankle injury before, it prevents the injury from re-injuring itself by controlling acute and chronic symptoms.
3. Enhanced Mobility
People with foot and ankle problems are often unable to move or bend their joints freely. Injuries like sprains and fractures of the ankle are among the many conditions that can lead to ankle pain and discomfort. In order to keep your symptoms under control and maintain your confidence, you may benefit from wearing an ankle brace.
Conclusion: Final Thoughts!
Ankle support for hiking is not necessary if you are healthy and injury-free, but because hiking increases your risk of an ankle injury, you should follow the precautions we’ve listed above when hiking to be on the safe side.
Ankle support in hiking boots is not conclusively shown, but there is no evidence to the contrary. When it comes to wearing them, there are a number of good reasons, so if they feel like the best alternative for you, buy a high quality pair and wear them appropriately.
Hey Guys I am Michael, I am a writer & editor at Outside Origin. I love being in the outdoors and I hike quite often. I have actually hiked at Inca Trail, Samaria Gorge, and Milford to name a few. I plan on visiting more locations and hiking trails!