While hiking or orienteering, you constantly face a myriad of potential hazards that might cause a potential ankle injury, even if you have strong ankles, the right kind of boots, and trekking poles.

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in hiking. They are typically caused when you roll your ankle excessively inward, stretching or tearing the ligament on the outside of the ankle.

Once your ankle ligaments have been damaged or stretched, you’ll be more susceptible to repeat injuries, chronic instability, or arthritic problems later in life.

Some hiking enthusiasts avoid wearing an ankle brace because they worry it might weaken their ankles, and while there’s no clinical research to support this theory, there has been research done that indicates traditional fabric lace-up ankle braces can negatively impact your ankle range of motion and strength. Since maintaining your natural range of motion is a necessary component to keep your ankle strong, protect your ankles by choosing braces that don’t restrict your natural ankle movement.

Hinged ankle braces, like the Ultra Zoom and Ultra High-5, make sure the only movements you’re restricted from doing are those that might cause an injury. If you wear a mid-top hiking boot, we recommend the Ultra High-5 ankle brace because its taller profile makes for an easy application in the mid-top boot. If trail training and racing is your thing, or you like to wear a low-top hiking shoe, we recommend the Ultra Zoom ankle brace because its low profile form-fitting design works well with the low-top shoe. Both braces are on your ankle in seconds, protects for hours, and lasts for years.