Young athletes may not be sure which piece of equipment prevents more injuries, ankle braces or tape? Here’s info you need to decide which is right for you.
Ankle braces tend to differ by brand and by sport. There are over 60 different models on the market, and each manufacturer touts its products’ effectiveness, comfort and stability. A brace may come with or without inserts, straps, padding or hinges. The packaging may words like “adjustable,” “soft,” “lock” or “light.”
Size matters. Get a brace designed for the size of your foot. And always follow the instructions completely. Check with a trainer at your school to learn what you should be looking for in a brace.
The basket weave taping technique is used most often, although as athletes get more experienced, they may prefer a different type of taping. It actually costs more to tape, since you have to keep buying more when you run out. The brace might be more expensive up front, but it’s a one-time purchase.
Don’t let just anyone (like a coach, friend or teammate) tape you up. Find a professional who knows what he’s doing, especially if you’re trying to prevent an injury or you’re recovering from one. If you have access to an athletic trainer who can tape any time for practices and competitions, you may want to get taped.