5 March 2016

Product Review - Ankle Support

Ankle sleeve
This is not the brace you are looking for 
I've been having some ankle issues for a while and I've started trying a few different supports to help out. The common ones which are glorified socks with the toes and heel cut out are slightly more useful than simply ignoring the pain. While these supports, a term I use loosely, are good for maintaining hooks and grip during hard training sessions full of sweat, they simply don't offer enough protection.

To begin it isn't recommended to wear a brace at all times for injury prevention. There isn't a brace made that can prevent ankle injuries especially if you roll your ankle. The brace is ideal for a few weeks when you return to training after an injury. Proper rehab will get you your best results, and the brace supports your injury so you can build up your training without hurting yourself further.

What you need in a good ankle brace is a strap to adjust the tightness horizontally; and a vertical support system for the sides of the ankle. This can either be in a strap or sewn in padding.
For martial arts, we have to worry about potential injuries to others with everything that goes on our body during training. All jewellery must be removed, nails trimmed and filed, no clothes with pockets, hygienic equipment with minimal odours and protective gear can't harm or hinder our opponents.

Loose straps can cause scratches and cuts, buckles may as well be brass knuckles, hard plastic padding causes bruises and saggy areas are prone to snagging fingers and toes. These are simply not considerations for sports like running and cycling but huge for combat sports.

Adidas ankle brace
This is on the money
So with all this in mind, while I was buying new wrestling shoes (from Eastbay.com) I grabbed an Adidas Adizero Speedwrap Ankle Brace that was on special and I've been trying it out for a few sessions.

It ticked all the boxes in regards to not having issues in martial arts training and the correct support. Before donning it I confirmed it would suit its purpose with my resident sports physiologist Grant from BSERC. With his seal of approval, I strapped in and took it for a ride.

There was a slight bulge at the point the strap crossed over but nothing too serious. I could always use tape to keep it down but its location and size would barely fit a pinky finger. If you are attacking me with only your pinky you have more to worry about than getting it snagged.

As for actual usage, it felt really good. My ankle was supported and pain-free during warm-ups and an hour of hard rounds. While I sweated a lot, moisture didn't gather at the ankle brace and when I finally took it off after over two hours it didn't reek.

If you are in need of an ankle brace I recommend this Adidas beast. I got it from the US for $25 of their dollars (about $35 Australian) and it has been well worth it. They only sell them solo as the design is catered to the left or right foot. Make sure you get the correct one.

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