According to former NBA guard John Starks, an ankle injury cost him at least 20 games during his career. Unfortunately, this is a common problem for athletes at all levels. In fact, the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology estimates that ankle injuries constitute around 30% of all sports injuries, and 75% of them are sprains. Players who suffer one sprain increase their chances of future sprains by up to 35%.
Starks retired from the NBA in 2002, but the remedy for an ankle sprain hasn't changed. "Just get it taped or put some ice on it," he says. But the question is, are tape and ice the best ways to prevent ankle sprains? Perhaps not, according to New York orthopedic radiologist Dr. Barry Katz. Tired of seeing athletes come in with ankle injuries, Katz set out to eliminate them by creating Ektio Shoes. These shoes feature what Katz claims is "revolutionary ankle support technology," the goal being to keep athletes on the court and out of the emergency room. (See Introducing Ektio Basketball Shoes and Patented Ankle Support Technology.)
"Our technology really exposes the weakness and deficiency of other basketball shoes in regards to providing even the most basic level of ankle support," says Katz. "Ektio is the best solution to protecting against ankle sprains without the need for tape and braces."
The Breakaway, Ektio's upcoming shoe, has two strap within the walls of the shoe and anti-rollover bumpers designed to provide extra stability and leverage. This technology is especially useful for athletes who are prone to suffering ankle injuries. Katz's research has shown that even players who wear braces or tape are still at high risk for sprains with other shoes.
"I haven't seen anything like this come along ever," says Sparks, a spokesman for the company. "[Katz] found something that hits home with the majority of players for this particular injury."
Avoid missing games with sprained ankles with a pair of Ektios. A Drexel University study highlights their effectiveness in reducing ankle injuries compared to shoes that don't provide proper support. In my opinion, wearing supportive shoes, making sure they fit right and stretching are the best methods to help reduce ankle injuries on the court.