Blog Categories
Blog
Acne
ACL Injuries
Acupressure
Acupuncture
Aids for Daily Living
Aircast A60 Ankle Brace
Aircast AirSelect Short Walker Boot
Alarms and Alerts
Amplified Telephones
Ankle Pain
Ankle Supports
Arthritis
Autism
Arm Slings
Back Pain
Bedroom
Bedwetting
Best Christmas Gifts
Bidets
Bio Bidet Supreme BB 1000
Boxia Drop Foot AFO Brace
Breathing
Brand Focus
Bunions
Care Support
Christmas
Circulation Boosters
Comfort
Cold Therapy
Compression Stockings
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Elbow Splint
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Dementia
Donjoy Armor Professional Knee Brace with Fourcepoint
Donjoy Reaction Web Knee Brace
Dry Skin
Education and Development
Elderly Care
Electronic Cigarettes
Emergency Preparedness
Emergency Evacuation Sledge
Exercise
Fall Management
Fitness
Fire Safety
Foot and Ankle Pain
Foot Care
Football
General Health
Golf
Great Gifts
Halloween
Hand and Foot Warmers
Hand and Wrist Pain
Harley Bed Relaxer Bed Wedge Cushion
Health and Care Videos
Health And Care Expert Series
Healthy Skin
Hearing Impairment
Heat Therapy
Hygiene
Hyperextension
Hyperhidrosis
Insoles
Keeping Warm
Kinesiology Tape
Kitchen
Knee Braces
Knee Pain
Learn About Conditions
Medication Management
Mobility
Nasal and Sinus
Nativity
Neck Pain
Pain Management
Pet Health
Physiotherapy
Pillows
Pressure Relief
Pressure Relief Bed Fleece
Product Focus
Raynaud's Disease
Rehabilitation
Running
Sensory Furniture
Sensory Toys
Serola Sacroiliac Belt for Back Pain
Shoes
Shoulder Pain
Showering
Skincare
Skiing
Sleep Better
Smoking Alternatives
Snoring
Socks
Special Offers
Sports Equipment
Sports Supports and Braces
Stay Cool This Summer
Stroke Recovery
Sweating
The Original Copper Heeler
Therapeutica Spinal Alignment Sleeping Pillow
Tinnitus
Thermal Clothing
Top 5 Guides
Travel Aids
Walking Sticks
Wandering
Walker Boots
Winter Essentials
Wrist Supports & Braces

Ankle Supports vs Ankle Braces: What's the Difference?

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Ankle supports can be used to combat a number of different issues, whether you are a sportsperson putting your joints under a lot of strain or if you've just suffered from an injury. Ankle supports and braces are fantastic ways of immobilising the foot, alleviating the pain from injuries and preventing injuries from occurring.

Braces and Supports are Popular Among Sportspeople
Supports and braces can be used to treat sports injuries

If you are looking to buy your first ankle support or brace, then you might be a little confused at the difference between the two. The difference is marginal but there is a difference and it's worth knowing. We decided to ask our ankle experts what the difference between ankle supports and braces is, and they responded with this short guide.

What Are Ankle Supports and Braces?

Ankle supports and ankle braces are generally used either as a way to alleviate pain and help in the rehabilitation of injury, or to support the foot to help prevent an injury from taking place. Both supports and braces wrap around the ankle, and can be used to treat ankle pain, inflammation and other more serious ankle problems.

There isn't much difference between ankle supports and ankle braces and the two names are often used interchangeably to describe the same product. It's worth knowing the difference, however, as depending on what you want from the product can determine if you would be better off having a support or a brace.

Benefits of Ankle Supports

Ankle supports tend to be thin and lightweight, designed to give your foot a certain level of dexterity during use. As a result they are well suited to being used during sports as a way of providing support to your ankle. If you have weak ankles and are prone to ankle injuries, then we would recommend getting yourself an ankle support.

Unlike braces they don't provide immobilisation of the ankle, which makes supports better suited at preventing injury rather than injury recovery. Ankle supports are known to improve circulation, reduce pain and prevent injury, and are extremely popular among sportspeople who have recurrent problems with their ankles.

A Case Study: Dynamix 4-Way Compression Ankle Support

Like most ankle supports the Dynamix 4-Way Compression Ankle Support is designed using high-density elastic fibres that provide excellent flexibility. Gentle compression across the foot prevents the risk of ankle injuries, with its thin design slipping inside sports shoes which makes it perfect for footballers, athletes and tennis players. It doesn't hinder movement either, with its flexible design bending with the foot during use.

Dynamix 4-Way Compression Ankle Support
Dynamix 4-Way Compression Ankle Support

Benefits of Ankle Braces

Ankle braces are worn around the ankle and will either protect it in a similar way to ankle supports, or offer a higher level of immobilisation. An ankle brace will usually be designed from rigid fabric such as nylon and neoprene, and use a hook and loop fastener to ensure a secure and comfortable fit around the ankle. Their defining feature is that they are slightly more heavy-duty than braces, and are better suited to treating the symptoms of ankle injuries.

Immobilising the ankle gives it the freedom to recover from ankle injuries and ankle surgery as the pressure of movement is taken away from the joints. We would however recommend that you use a support rather than a brace for consistent use, as immobilisation can weaken the muscles in your foot. Commonly used for treating injuries rather than injury prevention, ankle braces tend to be more sturdy and durable than ankle supports.

A Case Study: Aircast Plantar Fasciitis AirHeel Ankle Brace

The Aircast Plantar Fasciitis AirHeel Ankle Brace is typical of ankle braces as it is slightly more durable and heavy-duty than an ankle support, with a two part design providing secure support from the ankle up through achilles. Featuring a strap rather than a simple roll on design, the AirHeel Ankle Brace is used to treat existing symptoms such as heel pain, plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis. As with most braces, the Aircast Ankle Brace is better suited to treating symptoms of a condition rather than preventing the injury in the first place.

Aircast Plantar Fasciitis AirHeel Ankle Brace
Aircast Plantar Fasciitis AirHeel Ankle Brace

Protect and Recover the Right Way

Selecting the right product when treating ankle pain is important, it can be the difference between a fast recovery and reoccurring problems. For more information, check out our Ankle Supports & Braces information page, where you're presented with a wide selection of our different braces and ankles ranges.

Do you have any questions about the difference between ankle supports and braces? Share your thoughts below or find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Tags: Ankle Pain, Ankle SupportsFoot and Ankle PainRehabilitation

Shop Related Products

Dynamix 4-Way Compression Ankle Support
  • High-quality orthopaedic support for the ankle
  • Designed to reduce pain and swelling
  • Provides four-way support and compression
  • Available in four different sizes, from Small to Extra Large

Aircast Plantar Fasciitis AirHeel Ankle Brace
  • Designed to treat plantar fasciitis and heel pain
  • Made from lightweight and breathable fabric
  • Helps to reduce swelling and discomfort
  • Enhances circulation in the area