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The 5 Best Braces for Ankle Arthritis to Keep You Moving

Using a brace for ankle Arthritis is a great option. Different types of arthritis act on the body in different ways. But the effects and outcomes of the condition can be very similar. Arthritis is inflammation and degradation within the joints that results in pain, swelling, and stiffness. Arthritis in your ankles is no different. In fact, the impact may be more significant at the ankles when compared to other joints due to lost mobility, pain, and the seemingly impossible task of finding pain relief when upright.  

Name Picture Price Best Feature Our rating Best Price
McDavid Ankle Brace $$ Best for Moderate - Severe Arthritis. Easy to use and great support. 9.7/10 See Current Price
Med Spec Ankle Stabilizer $ Best for Moderate - Severe Arthritis. Love the figure 8 straps for support 9.6/10 See Current Price
Venom Ankle Brace $ Best for Moderate - Severe Arthritis. Comfortable neoprene materaial 9.4/10 See Current Price
Incrediwear Ankle Sleeve $ Best for Mild - Moderate Arthritis. Comfortable fabric with natural healing additives 9.5/10 See Current Price
Powerlix Ankle Compression Sleeve $ Best for Mild - Moderate Arthritis. Comfortable to wear in any shoe. 9.3/10 See Current Price
Sleeve Stars Ankle Compression Sleeve $ Best for Mild - Moderate Arthritis. We love the extra strap for support 9.3/10 See Current Price

Why Arthritis in the Ankle is so Impactful?

The Best Braces for Ankle ArthritisLosing the ability to stand upright without pain affects walking, standing, and moving throughout the day. There are not many things in this world that can be done without being on your ankles.

The increased pain also usually comes with a loss of strength and flexibility in your ankles. The feet and ankles are responsible for supporting the weight of your entire body. So, changes in function or integrity of the feet can have serious influence on other joints throughout the body. Pain in the ankles can cause compensations in the surrounding joints such as the low back, hips, and knees.

Does Wearing an Ankle Brace Help With Arthritis?

Yes, wearing a brace can help with ankle arthritis. The primary goal of a brace is to support the joint which can lower pain and inflammation. This is important in ankle arthritis. By wearing an ankle brace you can increase support on the joint, keep inflammation low, and improve your mobility with less pain while walking. An ankle brace makes it easier and less painful to do things that used to be easy.

 Obesity plays a large role in ankle arthritis. The ankle joint bears 5x our body weight when we are walking. This translates to a lot of force going through our joint as we gain weight.

Ankle brace may also help you exercise with less pain and for longer periods which can help with weight management.

What is Ankle Arthritis

What are the Rehab for Ankle Arthritis? 

As symptoms of the arthritis progress they start to impact your day to day life. Your ankles may get weaker, less flexible, and simple tasks can get harder and more stressful. Some of the most important lifestyle changes to make now are:

Ankle Arthritis
  • Engaging in exercises to improve your ankle ROM
  • Work on balance to avoid falls and injury
  • Increase hip and ankle strength
  • Remain hydrated to help with overall health and joint lubrication
  • Consider holistic additions such as adding Turmeric and other anti-inflammatory foods
  • Wearing a supportive brace or sleeve
  • Along with walking to maintain mobility and weight management, its important to keep moving

Different Types of Braces for Ankle Arthritis

As you know it’s important for your ankles to be strong and stable. An effective ankle brace contributes to both of those things. There are a variety of brace options and the right kind will be different for each person. The two most popular options for daily use are the soft brace and the semi-rigid brace. Each provides different support to the ankles.

Ankle Compression Sleeve

Ankle Compression SleeveA soft brace almost resembles a thick sock. Like the compression sleeves worn by athletes, the soft brace creates pressure where it’s worn. This can have significant effects on swelling and inflammation while also providing a small amount of added support. This is a great option if you have mild or moderate symptoms.

Semi-Rigid Ankle Brace

Semi-rigid braces are different in both design and function. Rather than compression, these braces offer support. They’re made of harder materials designed to limit movement at the ankle and increase stability. If you have more serious pain or weakness in your ankle a semi-rigid brace may be an appropriate choice.

Below you’ll find a quick introduction to three models of each brace type.

Important Facts About Ankle Arthritis

Facts Important Number
Average Age of Ankle Arthritis Onset 65 Years old
Percent of People with Ankle Arthritis 9-15%
Number Ankle Replacement Surgeries ~4,000 per Uear
Obesity Can Cause Problems Ankles Bear 5x your Bodyweight When Standing

More About Ankle Arthritis

Is it Bad to Wear an Ankle Brace all the Time?

No not at all. The best advice when it comes to braces is “Wear it as much as you need, but not more than you have to.” If wearing a brace lets you get out of the house and do all of the household things you need to do then wear it. 

How Many Hours Should You Wear an Ankle Brace?

We recommend wearing it a few hours a day. Try to wear the ankle brace as little as you have to to manage pain. The goal is to also be doing strengthening exercises to rely less on the brace in the future.

Can Walking with Ankle Arthritis Make it Worse?

Not at all. In fact walking with arthritis is recommended. Walking has been shown to be beneficial for joint cartilage to promote blood flow and reduce pain. 

Can you Have Surgery to Fix Ankle Arthritis?

There is an ankle replacement surgery but it is not as common as the other large joints of the body. Ankle Replacements have gotten much better over the last few years but it is still not a guarantee to be a fix. Some people opt for an ankle fusion surgery instead.

Best Braces for Mild to Moderate Arthritis

Incrediwear Ankle Compression Brace

Summary: The Incrediwear Ankle brace is focused on healing, support, and comfort. It has Germanium and Carbon woven into the fabric to help speed up the healing process. We love the looks and the comfortable fabric. It gives you enough support to be helpful but isn’t too bulky to become a nuisance.

Incrediwear Ankle Compression Sleeve

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Powerlix Ankle Compression Brace

Summary: The PowerLix compression wrap is touted as one of the premier soft ankle braces on the market. Designed to reduce swelling and maintain range of motion range in the ankle while also providing a little extra stability. The PowerLix is form fitting, breathable, durable, and aids blood flow in the foot. Complete with a company backed 6 month guarantee, the PowerLix compression wrap is a solid choice for active individuals with mild to moderate pain.

Powerlix Compression Sleeve for ankle arthritis

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Sleeve Stars Ankle Compression Brace

Summary: Sleek and lightweight the Sleeve Stars compression wrap is an excellent choice for helping relieve arthritic pain and swelling. Specially crafted to be worn under nearly any condition. This wrap is made with high quality moisture absorbing material to keep your foot dry and pain free. With a 1 year hassle free warranty there’s no going wrong with this option.  *Additional strap included for extra support*

Sleeve Stars Ankle Compression Sleeve for arthritis

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Best Ankle Braces for Moderate to Severe Arthritis

McDavid Ankle Brace

Summary: An independent study demonstrated that athletes wearing the McDavid ankle brace experienced injuries 3x less than their non-wearing counterparts. Ideal for individuals with severe pain or weakness around their feet, the McDavid brace boasts a lace-up and figure-6 strap designed to support and prevent excessive ankle movement. This brace is breathable, lightweight, and can be worn on either foot.

McDavid Ankle Brace for Arthritis

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Med Spec Ankle Stabilizer Brace

Summary: The Med spec ASO is an awesome piece of equipment for individuals requiring additional support. The durable and lightweight design prioritizes stability, limiting unwanted movement with a heavy duty figure-eight style strap. But with additional support comes additional bulk. This brace will need a little extra room inside the shoe compared to some of the compression models.

MedSpec ASO Ankle Brace for Arthritis

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Venom Ankle Brace

Summary: Similar in design to the ASO and McDavid braces, the Venom brace emphasizes support. Stabilizers on each side of the brace act to reinforce your ankle while reducing pain, pressure, and lateral ankle motion. Venom boasts a lightweight design promoting comfort and little additional bulk inside the shoe.

Venom Ankle Brace for Arthritis

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Works Cited

  1. Tenten-Diepenmaat, Marloes, et al. “Multidisciplinary Recommendations for Diagnosis and Treatment of Foot Problems in People with Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, BioMed Central, 2018,
  2. Eils E, Imberge S, Volker K, Rosenbaum D. Passive stability characteristics of ankle braces and tape in simulated barefoot and shoe conditions. Am J Sports Med. 2007;35(2):282–287.
  3. Eils E, Demming C, Kollmeier G, Thorwesten L, Volker K, Rosenbaum D. Comprehensive testing of 10 different ankle braces: evaluation of passive and rapidly induced stability in subjects with chronic ankle instability.
  4. Cordova ML, Scott BD, Ingersoll CD, LeBlanc MJ. Effects of ankle support on lower-extremity functional performance: a meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005;37(4):635–641.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is for educational purposes only. This is not a substitute for a medical appointment. Please refer to your physician before starting any exercise program.