Ankle Brace vs. Ankle Tape: Which is Best?

If you are a runner or an athlete, you’ve probably had a few ankle injuries to nurse during the season.

Ankle injuries (mostly sprains) are the most common type of injury among runners and athletes. Sprained ankles cause discomfort, oftentimes even after healing, as well as a slew of other problems.

Overuse ankle injuries are also common. These include conditions like tendonitis, heel pain, and even stress fractures.

Doctors, especially in sports medicine, often recommend supporting the ankle by wearing an ankle brace or taping it during activity following an injury. But, how do you know which is best? Taping your ankle or wearing an ankle brace?

Ankle taping

It’s no secret that taping your ankle is more time-consuming than slipping on and strapping up an ankle brace, not to mention there’s greater room for error if you don’t know how to tape properly.

If done properly, ankle taping is a great way to give your ankle more stability if you are returning to a sport from an ankle injury. There are a number of different techniques to athletically taping depending on which ligaments have been injured and the type of activity you are doing. Please consult with your physician or a medical professional to help you decide on the best treatment option for you.

Remember that if you go with ankle taping, once you start back in the field or on the court, your ankle tape will loosen up and might not provide enough ankle support to prevent further injury. It’s also important to be cautious and know the best techniques for ankle taping because if your ankle isn’t taped properly, it won’t offer enough support to reduce the risk of injury and could cause more serious problems.

Learn how to tape your ankle for optimum support here.

Taping ankle injuries vs. using an ankle brace

Both ankle taping and wearing an ankle brace during sports and activity can reduce the risk of an ankle injury, however, an ankle brace is generally considered the best choice for ankle protection.

Ankle tape can be supportive, but ankle braces are thicker and more rigid which means more support and protection for the ankle and ankle joints. A good ankle brace will mimic the effects of ankle taping using prefabricated sleeves with adjustable straps.

The cost of ankle braces vary depending on the material, quality, however, they tend to be more cost-effective than tape, as they can be reused as needed for support and protection. Ankle braces may also lose some of their support and loosen up during or after exercise, but they can be easily readjusted, which takes less time than re-taping your ankle.

Ankle braces further help stabilize and support ankle joints, avoid future injuries, reduce pain and swelling, and avoid future injuries. There are a variety of different ankle braces based on the type of injury you have and the level of support you need.

Learn about the benefits of ankle braces for athletes here.

Best ankle braces

Whether you are recovering from an injury or are just looking for some extra support and protection around your ankles, give your ankle the support and protection it needs. The best ankle braces feature anatomical designs to ensure a good fit and adjustable laces and straps for comfort and stability.

CHAMPION Figure-8 Ankle Support


AirCast Airsport™ Ankle Brace


Swede-O Ankle Lok® Ankle Brace w/ Padded Tongue



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