Rigid Ankle Braces for Maximum Support [ Fully Explained ]

Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by Kyle

Rigid ankle braces for maximum support are an effective tool for preventing ankle injuries and aiding rehabilitation. These braces are designed to provide a high level of support and stability to the ankle joint, making them particularly useful for athletes and individuals with chronic ankle instability.

Whether you’re recovering from an ankle sprain or looking to prevent future injuries, a rigid ankle brace may be just what you need to stay active and pain-free. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of rigid ankle braces, how they work, and what to look for when choosing a brace that’s right for you.

rigid ankle braces for Maximum Support

Why Rigid Ankle Braces Work?

So you just sprained your ankle. Healing ankle ligaments can take up to six weeks.  It would be best if you stabilized your ankle while it heals.  The best way to stabilize the ankle is with a rigid ankle brace.

The rigid ankle brace will provide maximum support for the injury.   Rigid ankle braces can be worn to support the ankle and allow you to recover faster.  Braces are the most popular treatment to help reduce strain on the ankle.

I had my first significant ankle sprain in high school while playing basketball.  If the ankle ligaments do not heal properly, as mine did, you will end up with instability in the ankle.  Ankle sprains were the most common injury in US college student-athletes, with the highest rates for men’s and women’s basketball.

Athletes were three times more likely to sprain their ankles in competition compared to practice.  Wearing a brace will help support these muscles and the ankle, which are now more susceptible to injuries.

If you read this post, you may have already hurt your ankle once, or in my case, multiple times.  I have injured both my ankles several times.

My injuries have occurred in several different activities, with the first time being playing basketball in high school, which was pretty severe.  The last time I injured my ankle severely was when walking down the street and stepping in a hole along a sidewalk.

Each time, a part of the healing treatment is to wear a brace.  I have worn many kinds of braces in my healing process.

What is a Rigid Ankle Brace?

So rigid ankle braces aren’t your run-of-the-mile ankle brace you can buy at the local pharmacy.  Rigid ankle braces were designed to provide maximum support for the ankle during physical activities.

Rigid ankle braces are used in many sports but are usually found on many volleyball and basketball players.

A rigid ankle brace will allow the ankle to move up and down while keeping the ankle from rolling in or out.  Most rigid braces have plastic inserts on either side of the ankle to prevent inversion or eversion.  Many companies, such as Active Ankle, Don Joy, Mueller, Zamst, and Ultra, make rigid ankle braces.

Types of Rigid Ankle Braces

There are two types of rigid ankle brace: lace-up braces and stirrup braces.

  • Rigid lace-up braces feature plastic inserts that press against the sides of the ankle to prevent it from rolling inward (inversion) or outward (eversion).
  • Rigid stirrup braces have a hinged design that allows for dorsiflexion and plantarflexion, but they also feature extra straps that wrap around the ankle for added support.

When Should I Use a Rigid Ankle Brace?

Rigid ankle braces are geared toward activities that will require lots of jumping. You will see rigid ankle braces on many volleyball and basketball players. Some volleyball leagues even require the use of rigid ankle braces because of the likely hood of the ankle getting injured.

Due to the frequency of jumping, these types of athletes are more likely to sprain their ankles.  Using a rigid ankle brace should provide a level of protection for the ankle that is more substantial than a regular lace-up or sleeve-type ankle brace.

So what if you have already hurt your ankle or have hurt your ankle many times?  Rigid ankle braces are good for this as well because they will keep you from reinjuring the ankle during recovery due to extra ankle protection.

Rigid ankle braces can provide a sense of confidence as well.  Since a rigid brace is so much more protective, it will allow a person who has an ankle injury to feel better about attempting to return to the activity and help the injury heal faster.

Benefits of Rigid Ankle Braces

Rigid Ankle braces offer maximum support and ankle protection.  The braces are rigid, which keeps the ankle from turning inward or outward.

  • Rigid braces offer the highest level of preventative support
  • Anatomical bilateral and unilateral hinges allow for unencumbered forward/back and vertical mobility
  • Assists in faster rehabilitation after injury
  • Superior level of protection without sacrificing comfort

These braces are ideal for individuals with weak ankles who have previously experienced injuries.

Downsides of Rigid Ankle Braces

As with all things, there are some not-so-great things about rigid ankle braces.

Are Rigid Ankle Braces for Maximum Support?

Well, the answer, of course, is yes.  Top-level athletes in basketball and volleyball use rigid ankle braces. Suppose you have injured your ankle and need a brace that will provide the best type of protection, look no further than a rigid ankle brace.

These braces are great for people with weak ankles that have experienced injuries in the past, such as myself. If you are involved in an activity that requires you to jump frequently and have weak ankles, you definitely need to check out a rigid ankle brace.

I wish at some point in my youth I would have purchased a rigid ankle brace.  I am sure my ankles would have thanked me many times over.

If you have ankle pain due to a sprain, it is important to see a doctor for a checkup.  You deserve to feel better and get back to your day-to-day activities.  With the right care and treatment plan, you will be back on healthy feet in no time.


Other Resources


To Brace or Not to Brace

Wearing Ankle Braces: Busting myths and preventing repeat injury

Effect of Semi-Rigid and Soft Ankle Braces on Static and Dynamic Postural Stability in Young Male Adults

Types of Ankle Braces

Leave a Comment