Some sports have a very high incidence of ankle injuries, so coaches and athletic trainers often will require athletes to wear an ankle brace to help prevent the ankle injury. Yes, ankle braces can prevent some ankle injuries, however, they are really designed to lessen the severity should an injury occur. Wearing an ankle brace could be the difference in enduring a grade 1 ankle sprain and missing three days of activity instead of suffering a grade 2 ankle sprain and missing three weeks of activity.

In this blog, I will compare two very popular ankle braces designed to help prevent the ankle injury, the Ultra Zoom® hinged ankle brace and the Ultra 360™ Lace-Up ankle brace. There are a few major differences between these two ankle brace designs which cause them to fit and function dramatically different.

ULTRA 360™ Lace-Up Ankle Brace

In the 1990’s lace-up (tie-up) style ankle braces were made popular as a reusable tape-job that the athlete can apply themselves. The Ultra 360 lace-up ankle brace is made of nylon fabric and is designed to lace-up around the ankle to lock the joint in place. There are two external straps that wrap around the ankle in a figure-8 design, like an athletic trainer would tape the ankle. This strapping method helps to restrict excessive ankle turning (inversion) that causes low ankle sprains. Lace-ups feel very restrictive/supportive when you first apply them however that support quickly diminishes once the athlete starts activity because the brace tries to restrict natural ankle range of motion. Although many athletes love the lace-up ankle brace for its low cost and low-profile design, it is viewed as an entry level ankle brace for someone that has minimal to no history of ankle injuries.

Ultra Zoom® Ankle Braces

Unlike the lace-up style ankle brace which tries to lock the ankle joint in place, the Ultra Zoom has a hinge design that allows the brace to move with the natural up and down movement of the ankle so the straps to stay securely in place maintaining longer lasting ankle support. And athletes love the freedom of movement and enhanced performance.

Another unique feature to the Ultra Zoom is the introduction of the first Performathane® flexible soft shell. This brace is not made of a rigid plastic like other hinged ankle braces but is made of a flexible plastic shell that uses body heat to form-fit to the ankle making it incredibly comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Ankle braces featuring a Performathane® shell will never crack, break or tear offering multi-season durability. The cuff design encircles the posterior portion of the lower leg, helping to restrict excessive ankle turning (inversion) and twisting (rotation) which causes both low and high ankle sprains. The Ultra Zoom is our Premier sports ankle brace that can be worn every practice and game to help prevent the ankle injury.

Quick Comparison: Ultra 360 Lace-Up vs. Ultra Zoom

Brace Design

  • Ultra 360: Fabric Lace-Up with Figure-8 Straps
  • Ultra Zoom: Hinged-Cuff Performathane® soft shell

Injury Protection

  • Ultra 360: Helps prevent low ankle injuries.
  • Ultra Zoom: Helps prevent low and high ankle injuries.

Support Level

  • Ultra 360: Mild
  • Ultra Zoom: Moderate to High

Mobility

  • Ultra 360: Low to moderate
  • Ultra Zoom: Very High

2 responses to “Ultra Ankle Zoom® vs. Ultra 360™ Lace-Up Ankle Braces”

  1. James White says:

    Am 76 yrsf age and I just want to prevent my right ankle from given out . Once in awhile just walking & when it does, I fall! Most of the time it’s okay but, don’t trust it anymore. Gave up riding motorcycle because of this problem! Think maybe the laced brace would be okay, what ya think? I don’t play sports of any kind. Nor do I even run! 🙂

    • Rick Peters says:

      James,

      Thanks for reaching out to Ultra Ankle. We really appreciate it.

      Lace-up ankle braces provide the least amount of ankle support of all ankle braces and they are very difficult to apply. I think you would be much happier in the Ultra Zoom ankle brace, https://www.ultraankle.com/product/ultra-zoom/. The Ultra Zoom has a flexible shell that uses body heat to form-fit to the ankle for comfortable long-lasting ankle support. The hinge design allows for natural ankle range of motion that keep your muscles strong.

      With the Ultra Zoom ankle brace we recommend wearing a low top sneaker with a traditional tongue and laces where you can spread out the laces enough to fit the brace in the shoe. Ankle braces don’t work well with tall boots.

      After looking at the product information should you have any questions please let me know.
      Rick Peters ATC

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Ultra Zoom

Help prevent ankle injuries all season long.

Ultra High-5

Reinforce the ankle after a history of multiple ankle injuries

Ultra CTS

Maximize stabilization to treat acute ankle injuries