Ankle braces for volleyball: everything that you need to know.

Some volleyball players wear ankle braces when they play. This helps them with stability and makes sure that they don’t hurt their ankle. You have to run around a lot in volleyball and jump frequently. Therefore you need agility as well. In this post, we are going to discuss if you can play volleyball with ankle braces and in what situations they can be useful 

Do volleyball players need ankle braces?

You don’t need ankle braces to play volleyball. This is only worn by players that feel that they need some temporary additional support. For example, after a wrong movement, some players wear this. It is often better to perform drills to strengthen your ankles. Your coach often can help you with this. Volleyball players often wear long socks that already offer enough support. Wearing the right shoes is important as well. As you can see in the picture below, the indoor sports shoes offer more ankle support and make sure that you have more grip. Therefore it is often better to buy great shoes instead of ankle braces. Several brands such as Nike or Mizuno offer shoes that offer a lot of stability when you have to change directions frequently. They use special materials to keep the shoe in balance. Other shoes bend too much when you run and this can result in painful ankles or other issues. 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlufBzgsw1M

It is often better to avoid a problem by performing drills that strengthen your ankles. Coaches often don’t pay enough attention to this as they don’t think about it. On Youtube, you can find a lot of exercises that can increase your strength in this area. 

Making sure that the floor is dry is also important. This is why volleyball players often wipe their shoes so that they are sure that they have enough grip during the match. Some players sweat a lot and this can create a slippery surface. 

Volleyball players are often overly eager to start playing volleyball again after an issue with the ankle. It is often better to wait slightly longer than to restart too early. If you get in trouble again, it will take even more time to get going again.

Pros and cons of ankle braces for volleyball

Pros:

Volleyball players have to put a lot of strain on their ankles. This can result in issues with your ankle.

Ankle braces can offer some temporary support for players that feel that they need this, for example after a wrong movement. Overall, I am not a big fan of them as they are just a temporary solution but they can help players that are recovering from an issue with their ankle. You shouldn’t use them without supervision.

They are sturdier than just using tape around your foot. Tape can get loose when you start sweating so it is not an ideal solution either. 

Cons:

 It is often better to strengthen them by performing certain exercises than wearing ankle braces. Therefore it is in most instances a bad idea to wear these braces for a longer period of time. Each person is unique so you have to discuss this further with your coach to see what he or she likes.

They take quite some time to get on and you have to wash them regularly as well as they can get smelly over time. You should replace them quite often as they attract a lot of sweat.

 Finding the right size can be a challenge as well as your foot can be swollen when you want to wear them. 

You shouldn’t expect miracles from them as they can just offer some support. People sometimes think that this will fix their issue but often you need to put in hard work to strengthen your ankles. These ankle braces can provide too much confidence and lead to further problems.

Ankle braces can reduce your agility on the field as they affect your foot movements. Therefore they can impact your game. 

Best ankle support for indoor and beach volleyball

Great shoes and socks offer the best ankle support for volleyball players. People often underestimate how important shoes are for indoor sports. They are more stable when you move and also have more grip. For a few extra dollars, you can get shoes that are a lot better and offer more support. It is better to prevent issues than have to deal with them afterward. If you hurt your ankle, it is possible that you can’t play for months. Volleyball players often wear long and tight socks and these can offer some support as well as they can spread the force over a bigger surface. 

If your coach has recommended knee braces, you can look at the following option. These ankle support braces have high ratings on Amazon. People mention that they are quite comfortable to wear. They are made in the USA as well. This is made with high-quality nylon. You have cheaper options but they use other materials that are not that durable. They use a velcro closure, which is better than elastics as this offers more support and stays in place better.

They have to fit in your shoes so ankle braces can’t be too big. Therefore you have to make sure that you get the right size. It is often best to order multiple models and return the ones that don’t work. Small differences such as the way they are closed can have a big impact on comfort. Everyone has unique preferences in this area so it is hard to provide recommendations that will work for everyone.  

The following pair also perform well when you play in the sand as they have a big velcro closure system. This helps to keep the sand out of your socks while you play. You also have special socks for beach volleyball that might help. 

You can even wear it without socks. They can be worn for indoor volleyball as well.

They are more expensive but the design is more advanced as it mimics how the body works. They are easy to take on and off and are not bulky at all. Some ankle braces are quite big and this can make it difficult to wear when you have to use shoes. 

Shoulder brace for volleyball players

You have to check with your coach before you use a shoulder brace during a match or training as this can have long-term effects. Therefore it is not recommended at all to do this. A lot of players want to play that one additional game because they are getting close to winning or they don’t want to stop as they feel that the team is counting on them. From time to time you need to think about yourself and the long-term consequences. A lot of players had to sit on the sidelines for far longer than needed because they wanted to play one more game.

That being said, shoulder braces can help with recovery if you have the right guidance to use them. A shoulder strap should be comfortable and stay in place when you move. The problem is that you have to use your arms a lot in volleyball so a shoulder strap has to be quite tight. This can create an annoying feeling after a while. This product uses nylon and other materials to keep the product in place. It still will apply a lot of pressure on you but this is part of wearing a brace. Don’t expect miracles from this product as it can only provide some support. It is quite cheap so you can easily replace it if you have sweated a lot in it.

It can be worn on both arms and is adjustable in size. Some people remark that the strap is not big enough and therefore doesn’t work well for smaller people. It is quite soft and can offer more support than using tape.

To conclude we can state that ankle braces are not needed for volleyball players. They could be used by players that are coming back after a wrong placement of the ankle but you need supervision if you do this. It is often better to strengthen your ankles using exercises. It is also important that you get the right shoes and gear. These cost slightly more but they are worth the additional expense as they offer more grip and support.