Ankle injuries are a common problem for basketball players. They can happen at the most inconvenient times and they can rob us of our energy, confidence, and most importantly, our ability to play basketball. A performance review of the ankle brace was popular a few months ago. Now that these braces have had a substantial amount of wear, it is time for me to give one to our readers.
Zamst Ankle BraceAmazon: $58
Range of Motion
ASO Ankle BranceAmazon: $28
Complex Strapping System
In a Weekender article, I explained that I had suffered a severe (grade 3), high ankle sprain as well as a mild low ankle strain on my left foot. I relied on the ASO ankle stabilizing orthosis and the Zamst A2-DX brace to help me recover from my injury. The Zamst has been on my left ankle for the last two months. I use the ASO on the right ankle for all other basketball activities. I played a lot of soccer (flag, two-hand) with the ASO brace on my left ankle. Let’s not waste any time, this is enough background.
While I cannot say which one is better, they performed well in various situations and for different conditions. Let me explain how each ankle brace works and let you make your decision on which one is right for you.
The shoe size determines the Fit-sizes.. I was in the Large range. The brace’s size is directly proportional to the support pieces. It was therefore important that I ordered the correct size. Brace’s size is also left/right-specific so make sure you are aware when shopping. The brace’s size fits in both high and low basketball shoes perfectly. However, the plastic parts can cause damage to your ankle collar if you wear a low top.
Steph Curry is known for wearing these 82 games per season. They are extremely comfortable. They exceeded my expectations regarding comfort. I can play full court for five hours without any pain, discomfort, hot spots, or discomfort. It’s not noticeable, I’m not a fast runner but I can run full court for 5 hours and feel no pain or discomfort. The plastic pieces are very hardy and don’t dig in. The A2-DX design is extremely comfortable. This is a pleasant surprise for me. They don’t get in the way or make it difficult to think with the ankle brace. I have no complaints.
Ankle Brace is easy to use –
You can throw the brace on in a few minutes before you play. Its awkward shape makes it difficult to carry in a bag, such as a bag for the gym or a suitcase. The primary strap can strenuously be folded and bent in various directions. However, it has not been a problem for me to travel with the brace in my bag. Machine wash causes brace construction that doesn’t look good.
Ankle Brace Performance –
Although this brace is expensive, I paid it to provide comfort and security after my injury. This brace aids in providing protection and peace of mind for high ankle injuries. You may be better off using a different brace (Zamst offers many options!) if this is the case. To hold your foot in place, the brace has two straps at its back: one at the heel and another around the ankle bone. The brace also has two straps that cross each other to support the foot and lock down the bridge. For the main function of the design, the primary strap ties the support pieces together.
The brace works as intended. My basketball shoes more than compensate for the lack of tightness through the arch and lower ankle. I have not found the A2-DX to provide enough support for my lower ankle to be comfortable when playing soccer on grass and turf. In this dynamic environment, the ASO was a better choice.
The ASO brace has a bilateral design. It can fit on either side of the ankle. My Doctor gave me the advice to get a smaller size, as I am not on the upper limits of large dimensions. (I wear a regular size 11.5 shoe). It was a great decision to go with the Medium brace. It has never been too small for me. The lace-up system adjusts the tightness and fit until brace’s back heel is locked. It fits into all my cleats and basketball shoes as well as trail running shoes.
These ankle braces are very comfortable. They will not be worn if they are too uncomfortable or if you have to wear them. You won’t enjoy playing basketball with them on. Although there is some weight gain, I find the ASO to be very comfortable. There is a brief break where your body heat and movement can cause the brace to become stiffer. After breaking in, I haven’t experienced any blisters or other discomfort that could hinder my enjoyment of sports.
This statement has one caveat. Each user must find their own comfort level and support. It is possible for the straps or laces to be too tight around your arch and midfoot, causing pain and numbing. It can take a while to notice the difference. I have experienced it happen a few times, including when I was mid-game. The brace will be comfortable until you find the right spot.
Ankle Brace’s Ease-of-use –
The ASO brace takes a bit longer to put on than the Zamst. It is also easier to use and can be adjusted in a matter of minutes. It is possible to untangle the laces and velcro straps in ten seconds. Because I was afraid that the washer could cause brace to become unrecognizable and possibly damage elastic elements, I did my laundry by hand. Although it may seem like an unnecessary precaution, I will not tell you to do anything that I wouldn’t do.
This brace is very strong and durable. It fits in almost every shoe that I own. The plastic edges of the Zamst’s ankle collars don’t get ripped apart by it. It has been used on my right (uninjured), ankle during basketball to increase my confidence and help me play at my best. It has also been used on my injured left ankle in soccer and football because it provides all-around support and lockdown. The ASO is versatile, does not hinder sharp cutting on court, grass, or turf, and does very well considering its price.
The ASO is more suitable for ankle sprains than the Zamst A2-DX. You can lock your ankle and midfoot with the ability to toggle tightness and fit. The ASO is rigid enough to allow you to twist your foot and move it side to side, but it can also flex to accommodate lateral movements. The Zamst A2-DX is the best option for a high ankle strain. However, the ASO is a great choice for those who can use solid brace all over the body.
I will conclude by stating that I have never worn ankle braces since three months ago. I played in low tops a lot and suffered no injuries up until this year. Braces are unrecommendable for me because they would give your lower leg and foot muscles a cast-like condition. It would gradually erode your proprioception and strength. Although this may be true, I recognize that injuries can change people and that my passion for the game led me to trust these braces despite my previous beliefs.
These are my honest opinions based on my experiences. They won’t protect you from injury but may give you some peace of mind or support. Whether it’s an ankle bracelet or a Freetrain V1 vest, these gadgets play an integral role in achieving a great sports activity without any hindrance. I hope you enjoyed this review. I welcome your comments.
Images and video via Zamst & ASO