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Best Ankle Braces for Soccer- The only 4 you will ever need

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the best ankle braces for soccer

Soccer is a sport that is completely unforgiving on your ankles. As a collegiate soccer player for 5 years, (and countless years of soccer before this as well) I’ve dealt with, and have seen teammates deal with, a variety of ankle injuries.

Ankle injuries are just a fact of the game for soccer- so rather than just pretend they don’t exist, get yourself a good brace for prevention if you already have weak ankles or get a good recovery brace if you already have a sprained ankle and are trying to get back to normal.

If you are a soccer player unlucky enough to be playing on a rough grass field like I did in college, you need to be sure to check out this list thoroughly.

Even if you play on turf, you know how unforgiving this surface can be on your ankles, and the pain that can be caused by catching a cleat in it.

Soccer is full of quick cuts, abrupt changes in movement, and unstable footing due to its rough and tumble nature and the fact of wearing cleats.

Because of these truths, ankle braces are also a part of the game. Read on to find of the very best ones that have been worn by me personally, and by my teammates.

You may be surprised that I only chose 4… but why would I recommend products to you that I haven’t tried, or don’t really believe in? Rest assured that these are the best of the best ankle braces for soccer.

1) McDavid Lace Up Ankle Brace

To me, this is truly the original ankle brace. The OG. Tried and true. I’ve been wearing some form of a McDavid lace up ankle brace in some form since high school. When velcro braces have sometimes been too flimsy and didn’t stay up, the lace up ankle brace by McDavid has always been there.

The laces are a godsend as an ankle brace for soccer- this is because you can adjust it to whatever you need, and really get it as tight as you would ever want it. I have also found that the laced version of braces are the best for soccer because they are reasonably smooth on the ankle and on the top- meaning your touch won’t be affected.

Actually, I have found that this ankle brace has even made my touch a little bit better as it deadens the ball more than the bone of my ankle.

I’ve also never had an issue fitting this brace into my cleat, which is a huge bonus.

If you have a moderate to severe ankle sprain, the McDavid lace up ankle brace is your guy for soccer. It fits either ankle and there is a great U-shape support on both sides that keep you locked in.

This brace was so popular on my team when I was in college, players who had ankle injuries would actually share it amongst the group when someone got injured, as everyone knew how well it worked!

2) Zamst Filmista Ankle Brace

Best ankle brace for soccer
Zamst Filmista

Even the NAME of this brace by Zamst sounds like its for soccer- the “Filmista”. What a coincidence… because this is exactly what it is perfect for ;)

This is a relatively new brace for me- it wasn’t around when I was in college, but I’ve been using it for my regular pickup and semi-competitive soccer games over the past several months for prevention, and I absolutely love it.

The filmista is a low profile, slip on ankle brace that goes under your socks and directly against the skin. For soccer, this is perfect as you don’t need to worry about issues with color or touch, worry about it moving, or really think about it in any way.

Its super lightweight and moisture wicking, and it’s a “barely there” brace that provides light support.

HOWEVER- I have found this brace MUCH better than the traditional ankle “sleeve” that you can buy. Like way better.

This is because there are two layers of support- the base fabric which acts as a brace, but also the second “film”, another layer of support, that covers this. It honestly really helps, and for these reasons this is truly one of the best braces I have ever used for soccer.

Use it for prevention or minor sprains and you can’t go wrong!

Important note: its left and right specific, so make sure you buy for the correct leg!

3) Zamst A1 Ankle Brace

best ankle braces for soccer
Zamst A1 Ankle Brace

Can you tell how much I like and trust Zamst products?

The Zamst A1 is perfect if you need a little more support than the Filmista offers you, but you also aren’t really interested in the lacing system of the McDavid.

This is a great “in between” brace. It has medium support and is reasonably low profile and is a good choice for soccer- unlike the Zamst A2-DX which is too big and bulky and I would only use for basketball.

The Zamst A1 is great for soccer as most of the sprains you will deal with are inversion sprains, and this brace is specifically designed for that.

Inversion is when your ankle twists OUTWARD, meaning you will have pain on the outside of your foot/ankle.

Because of the super clutch and comprehensive Velcro system, you will definitely stay really braced and supported from inversion injuries using the Zamst A1 while playing soccer, and I highly recommend it.

4) Bauerfeind Sports Ankle Support

I wanted to round out the list with another amazing low profile brace to even it out- two of the ankle braces for soccer discussed are for moderate to severe ankle sprains to get you back in the game, and the other two are lighter support for minor sprains, pain, and prevention of ankle injuries.

The Bauerfeind sports ankle support is amazing, and I’ve been using it as a preventative brace on my left ankle for soccer for a few years now.

In typical Bauerfeind fashion, it is extremely well made with the classic compression knit fabric that is comfortable, breatheable, and durable.

This support is also made to go directly against the skin and under the sock, and you will forget its even there (unless you start thinking about the awesome support it is giving you!)

Unlike an ankle sleeve, the Bauerfeind sports ankle support ramps it up by including a thin Velcro “taping” system that makes the classic figure eight pattern around your ankle. It contours perfectly like tape would, but its super easy to wrap around and lock in with Velcro and its low profile- both great things for soccer players.

Tape is annoying and time consuming, so I was really happy to ditch it in favour of this awesome product.

This product is also extremely comfortable, and the feeling of support it gives you is amazing. I would probably put it a small notch above the “Filmista” in terms of actual support, as the straps really do work well to stabilize the ankle against unwanted movement.

Final Word

Well there you have it! These are the four best ankle braces I have ever used for soccer. I have included the two I use on my shaky but not sprained left ankle (the Filmista and the Bauerfeind sports ankle support) and the two I use on my right ankle that has been sprained a million times (McDavid lace up and Zamst A1).

For whatever you need, I am SUPER confident that these braces will do the trick for you and keep you playing soccer at the highest level, whatever that is for you 😊

Until next time!

(All images used with permission)


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