best football ankle brace

12 Best Football Ankle Brace 2023

Even the best players in premier league and the NFL understand the benefits of an ankle brace. With his fair share of ankle accidents, I bet Harry Kane would love some good braces for such times.

In a Hurry? Check Out Our Top Recommendations
McDavid Level 3 Ankle Brace with Straps
Zenith Ankle Brace
Jupiter Ankle Brace For Arch

Ankle injuries occur regardless of how much you practice or how well you care for your body. And when they do, you need to be ready. This critically-compiled list is here to save you the time you’d spend searching for the best football ankle brace.

Thanks to its superb comfort and breathability, excellent value for money, and sturdy construction, the McDavid Level 3 came on top. But if it isn’t for you, I’m sure our 11 alternatives have something you’ll love.

Find out why you should buy each selection, what users disliked about them, how to pick ankle braces, and more.

Best Football Ankle Brace: Top 3 Choices Side-by-Side

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12 Best Football Ankle Brace 2023

Not only are ankle braces fantastic during injury incidence, but they are also more affordable than tape. They boost your performance by working like elastic springs while enhancing ankle support.

Without further ado, here are the best football ankle braces for the 2023 season.

McDavid Level 3 Ankle Brace with Straps: Best OverAll

The reliable support and breathable polyester make the McDavid Level 3 the best football ankle brace.


The sturdy laces provide a custom fit, while the figure-six strap offers extra support.

Level 3 restricts sideways and forward ankle movement while allowing a natural range of motion. So they won’t hamper your performance.


  • Easily adjustable without the need to remove shoes
  • The figure-6 strapping design ensures ample support
  • Single-layer polyester construction for longevity and lightweight


  • May be too tight if not well adjusted
  • Uses both straps and laces, making wearing tedious

McDavid Ankle Support with Strap: Best Football Ankle Brace with Straps

Unlike its closest competitor, it comes with a 1/8-inch-thick polyester construction, making it lightweight and long-lasting.


The McDavid Ankle Support with Strap is a great alternative for those who dislike lace-up braces.

Also, the strap-only design means getting them on and adjusting is easier than the Level 3.


  • Affordable
  • Sturdy neoprene construction for longevity
  • Heat-retaining abilities to boost ache soothing


  • Some may find them too tight
  • May feel heavy during the first usage

Zenith Ankle Brace: Best Multi-Sport Ankle Brace

Maybe you want something similar to Level 3 but with better breathability.


That’s what the Zenith brace, with its larger-mesh neoprene-nylon build, offers. Besides, its adjustable figure-8 construction provides enhanced hugging and comfort.


  • Double stitching for durability
  • All sizes are the same price, unlike McDavid Level 3
  • Straps and laces allow customizing the compression


  • Some find it not tall enough
  • Getting the perfect fit may be challenging

Aircast AirSport Ankle Support Brace: Best Breathable Football Ankle Brace

Few options beat the Aircast AirSport Ankle Support Brace for the perfect support for first- and second-grade sprains.


Anterior Talofibular strapping boosts stability, while the air cells offer excellent support and breathability.


  • Step-in design to ease wearing
  • Integral forefoot to enhance stabilization
  • Shin wrap and cross strap for better compression


  • May feel heavy when worn for extended periods
  • Those with wider feet may need to size up to avoid excessive tightness

Shock Doctor Lace-Up Ankle Support: Best Lace-Up Ankle Brace for Football

Multi-design braces like Jupiter tend to have Velcro fraying the fabric. As such, they may not last as long as their lace-up counterparts.


With its single-layer neoprene build, the best only-lace option, Shock Doctor, boasts a lightweight, breathable, durable design. You can customize the compression with the sturdy laces, and the gel cushioning ensures comfort, however tightly you tie them.


  • Interior gel cushioning for comfort
  • Precurved tongue to promote stability
  • Adjustable compression with heat retention abilities to boost healing


  • Sizing may be an issue
  • Some find putting them on a hassle

DonJoy Performance POD Ankle Brace: Most Stylish Football Ankle Brace

Thanks to a molded TPU construction, the DonJoy Performance POD offers superb support and breathability.


Its soft Eva foam interior is gentle to the ankle, while sensory feedback provides protection when needed.


  • Soft interior Eva foam layering for comfort
  • Molded TPU construction blends well with any user’s feet
  • On-Demand technology to prevent ankle rolling when needed


  • Sizing problems
  • The exposed Velcro strap may cause issues with socks, carpets, and other fabrics.

Mcdavid Lace-up Ankle Brace: Best Football Ankle Brace for Youth

Imagine getting a versatile ankle brace, football-style, which you can also use for basketball and volleyball. That’s what you get with the McDavid Lace-up Brace.


Large tongue meshing boosts breathability while the flexible steel U-stays stabilize your foot. A dual-layer, double-material construction ensures this any-foot (left/right) brace lasts for ages.


  • Adjustable steel stays for stability.
  • Ventilated tongue and mesh design boost breathability
  • Double-layer polyester and vinyl construction ensures longevity


  • May lead to mild itchiness for some
  • The laces are challenging to put on

Jupiter Ankle Brace For Arch: Best Cheap Football Ankle Brace

It’s a big win when you can spend little yet get a versatile, durable ankle brace suitable for just about any sport.


With a compression strap backing up the elastic sleeve, Jupiter Ankle Brace gives enhanced support and comfort.

A breathable, nylon, polyester, and latex construction ensure long-lasting comfort.


  • Budget-friendly
  • Soft materials provide comfort
  • Ankle sleeves and straps ensure enhanced compression


  • May be thick and unsuitable for some shoes
  • The Velcro frays the sleeves if not correctly worn

Aircast A60 Ankle Support Brace: Best Football Ankle Brace for Chronic Instabilities

Boasting a sturdy construction with 60-degree tilted stabilizers, Aircast A60 is a top choice for first-degree sprains and ankle instability.


Its low-profile, single-strap design hugs your foot while adding little weight.


  • A one-strap design eases wearing.
  • The breath-O-Prene fabric ensures your feet remain cool
  • Tilted stabilizers on either side enhance rollover and sprain minimization


  • Not the best at heat retention
  • The mesh isn’t as durable as most alternatives

Lusenone Copper Ankle Brace: Best Sleeve Football Ankle Brace

With their superb compression and breathability, this dual pack makes an excellent choice for athletes on a budget.


The design hugs the ankle for a snug fit, while the copper-infused, 3D-woven nylon ensures comfort and longevity.

Additionally, these braces are lightweight and low-profile, making them barely noticeable.


  • Button cuffs and non-slip top to secure them
  • Even compression supports impressive pain relief
  • The copper-infused fabric lowers smells and bacterial build-up


  • May feel tight in hot weather
  • A few users have sizing issues

Ultra Zoom Ankle Brace: Most Durable Football Ankle Brace

Few ankle braces are as comfortable as Ultra Zoom. Thanks to their gel pads, the Zoom is perfect for those with flat feet.


An open-heel, Performathane build with adjustable straps and a hinge design ensure a snug fit and unrestricted movement.


  • Soft Perfomathane shell ensures comfort
  • Sturdy construction plus a one-year warranty
  • Hinge design allows natural ankle movement with minimal restriction


  • Not a budget pick
  • Not the best choice for weight-bearing pain

Vercarnon Ankle Brace: Best Football Ankle Brace for the Value for Money

Thanks to its dual stabilizers that guarantee excellent compression, you’ll never have enough of how stable Vercanon is.


It features the same crisscrossing straps and lace-up design as the Level 3 to ensure a snug fit.

Moreover, the build quality is top-notch, making this a reliable and long-lasting ankle support.


  • Contoured arch design lowers ankle pain
  • Dual-spring stabilizers provide excellent compression
  • Customizable cross traps provide enhanced stability and comfort


  • Some users have fitting issues
  • A bit tedious to wear and remove

Football Ankle Brace – Buying Guide

Now, what should you look for in ankle support for football? After picking your favorite type, determining the comfort, compression fit, and construction is crucial.

person holding is ankle


Ankle braces come in three major variations: 

  1. Sleeve
  2. Strap
  3. Lace-up.

The most classic and supportive braces are the lace-up type. They often have laces that go up the calf. They provide superior support and compression but are the most restrictive.

Athletics who wish to move more freely frequently pick strap braces over lace-up braces since they are less restricting. Usually, they have Velcro straps that go up the calf and around the ankle.

Sleeve braces are the most low-profile option and are often preferred by athletes who want to avoid adding bulk. They typically use a stretchy material and slip on like a sock.


While certain materials are lightweight, others are excellent at absorbing impacts. Other braces have high breathability, which keeps your foot dry while playing. Still, some offer assistance with mobility.

Although an assortment of materials can create ankle braces, the most popular are

  1. Nylon
  2. Polyester
  3. Neoprene

Polyester and neoprene are popular in athletic wear due to their lightweight and breathable properties. They are fantastic options for athletes who desire a low-profile, comfortable brace.

Football and other high-impact sports frequently employ nylon, a powerful, long-lasting synthetic fabric. For athletes that require much assistance, it’s a good option.

Compression Fit

Size selection for ankle braces is crucial to ensuring a secure and comfortable fit. The ankle won’t receive enough support and stabilization if the brace is too flimsy.

On the other hand, an overly tight collar may be uncomfortable and hinder blood flow and performance.

Go for lace-up or strap models if you want more compression and sleeves if otherwise.


Ankle braces are often comprised of lightweight, breathable material. They ought to be cozy enough to wear for extended periods.

football players in training

Ankle braces can come in various styles, some of which have padding for enhanced comfort. Others offer a cooling or heating feature that can assist in lessening discomfort and swelling.

Strapped and lace-up braces tend to be more restrictive and hotter than sleeve ones. It’s crucial to select an ankle brace that is both comfortable to wear and won’t aggravate an already damaged ankle.

FAQs: What Else to Know About Football Braces?

What is a Brace in Football?

A brace in football is a score of two goals in a match by the same player. Christiano Ronaldo and his top competitor, Messi, lead the pack with over 200 braces.

A brace also means the joint stabilizers players use to keep ligaments in position. They help lower acute injuries in areas like the knees and ankles.

Can I Get Injured While Wearing an Ankle Brace?

Yes, You can get injured while wearing an ankle brace. An ankle brace only helps to minimize the likelihood of acute injury but doesn’t prevent it altogether.

Moreover, ankle braces increase the forces used in the knee, which some belief may heighten knee injury risk. However, the claim lacks proof.

How Long Should an Ankle Brace Be Used?

An ankle brace should be used for as long as necessary to stabilize the ankle. Depending on the severity of the injury, this usually ranges between 2-6 weeks but may extend.

Once the ankle is no longer painful and returns to its normal range of motion, you can remove the brace.

Do I Need to Wash My Ankle Braces?

You need to wash your ankle braces to ensure they offer the best performance. There are three reasons why ankle brace cleaning is vital.

football players in white jersey standing on the sidelanes
  1. It ensures longevity.
  2. Hygiene prevents smelly gear.
  3. Cleaning may help avoid conditions like ringworms, staph, and folliculitis, which thrive in the dirt.

 Are you unsure how to go about this? Check our guide on how to wash cleats and other football gear.

When Should I Stop Wearing Ankle Support?

You should stop wearing ankle support when there’s no more pain and swelling. Practitioners typically recommend that individuals with an ankle sprain have braces during activities for up to a year after the injury.

However, less severe injuries may need only two weeks.

Does Wearing an Ankle Brace Weaken Ankle?

No studies prove that wearing an ankle brace weakens ankle strength. Nonetheless, some believe this to be true, given the reduced ankle activity while wearing braces. They argue that ankles weaken as you don’t use them as much while in braces, unlike when playing without them.

How Many Hours a Day Should You Wear an Ankle Brace?

You should wear an ankle brace for up to 12 hours a day. Here’s how to wear ankle braces for major injuries:

  1. Day one: Begin with six hours. Have an hour’s relaxation in between dual-hour wearing sessions.
  2. Day two: Use them for eight hours. Have an hour off after four hours.
  3. Day three: Have the braces on for 12 hours with one-hour breaks after every four hours of wearing.

Athletes recommend beginning with two hours and adding an hour daily.

Should I Wear Ankle Support when Running?

You should wear ankle support when running as you recover from injury. There’s also no harm in having braces to support weak or unsteady ankles and boost your confidence. 


Which ankle braces were your favorite? Whatever your answer, I hope you enjoyed our list of the 12 best football ankle braces for the 2023 season. Grab the right ankle brace from above, minimize the likelihood of acute injury, and get back on the field quickly.

Consider support, material, type, comfort, and price to find the perfect ankle brace.

Also, don’t forget to clean braces to ensure they serve you for an extended time without messing with your health.

Do you need more reliable football equipment? Try a pair of shin pads for football from our expert selections.

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