Ankle Taping vs Ankle Braces: What’s Best for Your Ankle Support?


When it comes to preventing ankle injuries or providing support after an injury has occurred, two methods often come to mind – ankle taping and wearing ankle braces. They are common choices among athletes, athletic trainers, and physiotherapists for mitigating the risk of ankle sprains. In this blog post, we will delve into the advantages, disadvantages, and comparative effectiveness of both strategies, thereby assisting you in making an informed decision.

Ankle Taping: The Traditional Approach

Ankle taping has been used traditionally in sports and athletic activities for decades. It involves wrapping athletic tape around the ankle in a specific pattern to provide support and restrict certain movements that could lead to injury. Here are the pros and cons of this method:


  1. Customizability: Taping allows for customization based on the individual’s unique anatomy and the specific nature of their injury or risk. It can be tailored to provide targeted support.
  2. Versatility: Taping can adapt to various sports and activities, allowing for a degree of movement while offering the right amount of restriction to prevent further injury.


  1. Time-consuming: Proper taping is a skill that requires practice and can be time-consuming, especially for beginners.
  2. Consistent Reapplication: Tape loses its effectiveness over time, often requiring reapplication several times during an extended activity.
  3. Potential Skin Irritation: Extended use of tape can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals.
  4. Locking the Ankle in Neutral Position: One significant limitation of ankle taping is that it often locks the ankle joint in a neutral position. This restriction can limit the natural range of motion and flexibility, which might not be suitable for all sports or activities.

Ankle Braces: The “Modern” Tool

Ankle braces, on the other hand, are devices made from various materials like neoprene, plastic, or fabric, designed to provide support to the ankle joint. They come in various sizes and designs, with some allowing for adjustable levels of compression and restriction.


  1. Ease of Use: Ankle braces are generally easier and quicker to put on compared to tape.
  2. Durability and Reusability: Unlike tape, braces can be used repeatedly over an extended period, making them a cost-effective solution for long-term use.
  3. Adjustability: Some braces offer adjustable levels of support and compression, allowing the user to adapt the brace to their comfort and needs.


  1. Less Customizable: Unlike taping, braces come in fixed designs and may not offer the same level of personalization to the individual’s anatomy or the nature of the injury.
  2. Potential Discomfort: Some users may find braces bulky or uncomfortable, especially during extended periods of wear.


Ultra Ankle Braces: The True Modern Tool

Ankle braces are devices designed to provide support to the ankle joint. They are available in various sizes and designs, with some offering adjustable levels of compression and restriction. A notable example of high-quality ankle braces is the Ultra Ankle line of braces. Here, let’s delve into the advantages of using these braces, in particular:

  1. Ease of Use: Like most ankle braces, Ultra Ankle braces are generally easier and quicker to put on compared to taping, reducing preparation time before activities.
  2. Durability and Reusability: Ultra Ankle braces are known for their durability. They are designed for repeated use over an extended period, making them a cost-effective solution for long-term use.
  3. Innovative Design: The Ultra Ankle braces are recognized for their innovative designs which take into consideration different ankle injuries and the varying degrees of support needed. This ranges from their Ultra Zoom Ankle Brace, which is aimed at preventing or recovering from ankle sprains, to the Ultra High-5 Ankle Brace, designed for chronic ankle instability and high-impact activities.
  4. Comfort and Fit: Unlike some other brands, Ultra Ankle braces are often praised for their comfort and the ability to fit snugly without being excessively bulky. This is because Ultra Ankle braces, like the Ultra Zoom and Ultra CTS, custom form-fit to the foot and ankle using body heat. This feature makes them suitable for use in various types of athletic footwear, although a traditional tongue and laces shoe is recommended for best fit.
  5. Maintaining Ankle Strength: The Ultra Zoom, Ultra CTS and Ultra High-5 offer a different approach than almost any other ankle brace on the market. Instead of imposing a universal restriction on the ankle’s movement, these braces feature a hinged design that allows for a more natural range of motion. This ensures that while the ankle is still supported and safeguarded from dangerous movements that can lead to injuries, it can move freely within the safe zone.

As a result, the muscles and tendons in the ankle continue to be actively engaged during movement, promoting their strength and function. This approach makes the Ultra Zoom, Ultra CTS and Ultra High-5 braces not just protective devices, but tools for maintaining, and even improving, the overall health and strength of the ankle.

Ankle Taping vs Ankle Braces: The Verdict

When choosing between ankle taping and braces, it ultimately depends on your individual needs, comfort, and the nature of your activities. For short-term use or during a sporting event, taping can provide the right amount of support and flexibility. However, for ongoing competition or everyday use, an Ultra Ankle brace is a more practical and cost-effective solution.

In the end, the primary goal is to prevent ankle injuries or to aid recovery from an injury. Therefore, consulting with a healthcare provider o understand your specific requirements would be highly beneficial. It’s also crucial to remember that while ankle taping and braces can provide valuable support, they should be complemented by strength and balance training exercises to help build robust and resilient ankles.


The debate between ankle taping and ankle braces is not about finding a clear winner, but about understanding their benefits and limitations. In doing so, you can make an informed decision that best suits your lifestyle, activity level, and personal comfort. Remember, preventing injuries is always better than treating them, so take care of your ankles – you literally stand on the foundation they provide. Optimum ankle health not only boosts your physical performance but also enhances your overall quality of life. Stay strong, stay active, and stride forward with confidence!

Ankle Bracing Myths

If you’ve ever Googled these questions about ankle braces, you know that there’s a lot of conflicting information. So, to tackle that and dispel your concerns about ankle bracing, let’s debunk four common myths about ankle bracing.

NOTE: Why do thousands of high school, collegiate and professional athletes wear ankle braces? because they work. Wearing ankle braces do not cause knee injuries, they don’t create ankle weakness and they don’t impair performance or the top team physicians and athletic trainers would not prescribe them for their athletes.

Myth: Ankle braces prevent all ankle injuries

The Truth: No ankle brace can prevent all ankle injuries. We could probably design an ankle brace that would prevent all ankle injuries, but no athlete would wear it because it would be too big, bulky, and uncomfortable. Ankle braces can prevent some ankle injuries and those injuries it can’t prevent the ankle brace will help lessen the injury severity so instead of a grade 2 injury and the player is out three weeks, it’s a grade 1 ankle injury and the player is out three days.

Choosing the proper ankle brace is determined by your ankle injury history. If you have played sports for years and have a history of numerous ankle injuries, then you need a more robust ankle brace like our Ultra High-5 or Ultra CTS which is designed with more leverage to support the ankle. On the other hand, if you’ve had a few previous ankle injuries and want a smaller scale sports ankle brace then our Ultra Zoom model would be highly recommended. The goal of wearing any ankle brace is reduce or stop the cycle of ankle injuries to stop the joint and ligament deterioration.

Myth: Ankle braces increase knee injuries

The Truth: While in a laboratory setting researchers exhibited that there are changes in knee mechanics when landing from a jump wearing an ankle brace, there is no evidence of increased knee injury while wearing ankle braces during a sports season. In sports like volleyball research has shown there is no impact on knee forces or athletic performance.

Our Limitless Performance Series (LPS) ankle braces have a hinge that allows full up (dorsiflexion) and down (plantar flexion) ankle range of motion which like a hinged knee brace significantly lessens the forces that could cause an injury due the joint being in a static condition. Any brace that moves with the natural movement of the joint will always be more supportive and less likely to cause injury then a brace that locks the joint in a fixed position.

Sports like volleyball and basketball generate a tremendous amount of ankle joint stress just from playing the sport. Wearing an ankle brace like our Ultra Zoom can not only help to prevent ankle injuries but can also reduce joint stress that cause ligament microtears which produce post activity soreness and pain. Rather than the ankle absorbing this stressful impact or energy every practice and game let the Ultra Zoom do the work and protect that healthy ankle joint.

Myth: Ankle braces cause muscle weakness

The Truth: Immobilization of the ankle joint over an extended period can cause muscle weakness. However, if you are wearing an ankle brace you are not immobilized, you are active. And the only time you are wearing an ankle brace is while playing your sport. There is no clinical evidence that suggests wearing an ankle brace over the course of a sports season causes muscle weakness.

The best way to ensure that your ankle muscles are working to their fullest while wearing an ankle brace is to wear a hinged ankle brace that allows full natural up and down ankle movement like our Ultra Zoom, Ultra High-5 or Ultra CTS. These three ankle braces are designed for different ankle injury conditions however they all have the goal of providing early activity after injury in order to regain ankle range of motion and strength.

Myth: Ankle braces impair performance.

The Truth: Ankle braces are designed to restrict excessive ankle motion that cause ankle injuries. This does not mean that ankle braces negatively impact performance. A hinged ankle brace like those in our Limited Performance Series move with the natural movement of the ankle so speed, power and endurance are not affected, nor is vertical jump which is essential in sports like volleyball and basketball.

To achieve your top performance level while wearing an ankle brace make sure you wear a hinged ankle brace. A hinged ankle brace will allow your ankle to move through a full up and down range of motion to enhance your speed and vertical jump. Our best performance ankle brace is the Ultra Zoom model which will allow you to play better and play more, losing less time to ankle injuries.