Athletes everywhere may soon be taking the field with more confidence and less risk of injury—and team trainers may find they have more free time on their hands before games and practices—thanks to a new piece of protective gear from DonJoy.
This week the company introduced the Protection On Demand (POD) Ankle Brace
, designed to provide all of the support and stability an athlete would get from having his ankles taped by a team trainer, but with less of the movement-restricting rigidity that can result from tape. An athlete wearing the brace should be better able to maintain foot quickness and agility while enjoying a higher level of protection.
"Through use of the POD Ankle Brace, athletes who participate in sports like soccer, lacrosse, football and basketball can play with confidence, limiting the worry of turning or rolling their ankles from aggressive moves," says Charlie Setzler, GM of DonJoy Performance.
Another advantage of the POD Brace over tape: It maintains its strength. Studies show that ankle tape loosens and weakens in as little as 45 minutes of gameplay, offering less protection from that point on.
Putting the brace on is much faster than sitting through an ankle taping session with a team trainer. That can take 10 minutes or more per ankle. The brace saves both athletes and trainers valuable time.
The new DonJoy brace differs from its predecessors due to the inclusion of POD technology. POD stands for "Protection On Demand," and it kicks in whenever an athlete's ankle gets into an "at risk" position. Otherwise, it allows the joint to move without restriction. Essentially, the brace engages when there's a chance that an athlete might roll an ankle but otherwise stays out of the way.
DonJoy's POD Ankle Brace is less bulky than other options, and it offers more targeted protection than a standard lace-up ankle brace. Athletes should also find that the brace is better able to deliver a custom feel and fit, thanks to adjustable velcro straps that run behind the Achilles and beneath the foot.
The new brace is anatomically designed for the right or left foot. It can also be worn to assist recovery from an existing injury or to help protect against a future one. The POD Ankle Brace comes in black or white, is priced at $79.99, and is available at DonJoy Performance's Website.