Full disclosure – I bought these myself, and am getting zero compensation from Ultra Ankle for this review. I’m not a marketer, just a teacher who loves to hike. I want give my honest thoughts about the High-5, and give this company some love since I think they make a fantastic product.
I have total garbage ankles. I injured them badly in my late teens, then again and again afterwards, and now it’s way too easy to roll them if I’m on uneven ground. That’s a real shame since I’m lucky enough to live right near the White Mountains of New Hampshire and I love to hike. For years now, I’d love every minute of heading up these mountains, and my time at the top, and then hate every second of coming back down… fearful of getting an injury and having to then limp off the mountain, which has happened more than once. I tried high-top boots, stability poles, and ankle wraps, and nothing really helped.
I saw these and though they were pricey, I figured I’d give them a shot. When I first tried them on, I thought they were kind of uncomfortable, and bulged out my shoes so badly it looked like I had clown feet. I almost returned them! But I checked out the instructions and saw that they needed a break-in period to mold to your ankles. So, I wore them around the house, around the neighborhood, and on my treadmill for a few days. It really wasn’t long at all before they were very comfortable and I could pretty easily forget they were there. Score! Now it was time for the real test.
I picked a moderate level hike up Stinson Mountain, and geared up. These braces, a pair of comfy boots, a good pair of stability poles, and I was good to go. Almost immediately, I noted the High-5’s as a big improvement over the ankle wraps I’d tried before in how much mobility I still had on the way up. I really was able to forget they were there. I had a nice hike up, spent a bit of time at the summit, and then started my way back down. I was about a third of the way down a fairly steep trail with lots of rocks and roots when I realized that 1 – I wasn’t afraid, and 2 – I was actually enjoying myself! These braces kept my ankles from rolling, and though I could probably still injure myself with a bad fall or something, I felt a LOT safer, and a ton more confident. I made it down the mountain without any pain at all, and now I’m a total convert.
These are more expensive than wraps, but I really believe they’re worth every penny, and I’m very glad I gave them a try! You just need to make sure you take the time to BREAK THEM IN, or you’re going to end up hating them. Wear them around a few days and let them mold to you. Once they do, they’re like comfortable armor for your ankles. I even got over the “clown shoes” feeling about them. Heck, they could be neon and sparkly and I’d still love them. These braces have given me back my hiking! 🙂