Our review of the best ankle braces for basketball is going to cover the top rated products in 2020.
We’re going to start with our top pick for overall support and injury prevention. We’ll then jump through some of the cheaper braces on the market for comparison’s sake.
The Best Ankle Braces For Basketball in 2020
1. Steph Curry Zamst A2-DX Ankle Brace
Our Top Pick For: Best Overall
Let’s jump right in and start with what we consider to be the best ankle brace for basketball.
If you’re not looking for a cheap support and instead want maximum protection for your ankles, the Steph Curry Zamst A2-DX is the one for you. And here’s why…
Who’s The Zamst A2-DX Designed For?
The A2-DX is known as a basketball brace and was made world famous by NBA star Steph Curry. He wears an A2-DX ankle brace on both ankles during every basketball game he plays.
So, we could just start and end this review by saying, if it’s good enough for him…then it’s probably good enough for us too (but we won’t).
Here’s the AWESOME thing; the A2-DX is designed for all kinds of athletes. And that means those involved with not just basketball, but volleyball, soccer, mountain biking, motorcycling and even mountaineers.
Basically, if you’re involved with any sports outside of basketball that you require ankle support for, you’re going to be able to use the Zamst there too.
Fit (Equals Support)
How well a basketball ankle brace fits is going to have a huge bearing on exactly how comfortable it is. More importantly, it’s going to be directly connected to how much support is on offer.
Got an ankle brace that doesn’t feel 100% snug? That’s not offering you optimum protection OR support. The A2-DX? That’s going to give you both.
The fit from the A2 is second to none thank to three core components that make-up the brace. This is what those components look like…
First up, you’ve got the Exo-Tech shell. Without a protective shell like this after all, an ankle brace is just a sleeve.
It’s the Exo-Tech exterior that’s going to be the first line of defence when it comes to:
But, there’s another thing that the Exo-Tech provides; stability. A cheap ankle support is going to offer some protection against injury. That’s usually VERY limited. The Exo-Tech provides rigidity, and that’s reducing the chance of you slipping. Even if you do, it’s got you covered.
The main function of the Exo-Tech is to STOP your ankle rolling in and out.
If you’ve ever had your ankle do this while playing basketball (or any or sport for that matter), you’ll know this is ridiculously painful. And depending on how hard you roll your ankle in/out is going to determine how long you’re sitting on the side lines for, injured.
So, the Exo-Tech is a true protector, and it’s kept in place with a durable strap on the upper of the brace.
Stabilizer (X Strap)
Ever worn a bare-bones ankle support for basketball? They’re not particularly-comfortable, are they?
And that’s why they’re much cheaper than the Steph Curry ankle brace. The A2 doesn’t just stop with a supportive shell, it’s made RIDICULOUSLY comfortable, thanks to the X Strap Stabilizer.
You’ll secure the Steph Curry ankle brace by using a figure-8 taping technique using the 2 straps. By strapping up in this way, you’ll stop your ankle rolling:
But, there’s still a problem.
We’ve all used ankle braces, fully secured them and the first little slip? The brace moves. Now it’s secured in completely the wrong position. You side line, undo it, re-secure it in the correct place…and the same thing happens 5-minutes later.
That’s where the figure-8 layout on the X Strap really comes into its own. It uses so-called “anti-migration” material. Put simply? It’s made from material that’s specific purpose, is to make sure your ankle DOESN’T slip inside the brace.
The final component of the Steph Curry Basketball ankle brace? I-Fit.
The I-Fit tech in this support is designed with one thing in mind; comfort. You already have protection (Exo-Tech) and support (X Strap), so all that’s left is to make this brace fit like a glove.
And that’s achieved by first, putting your ankle in via the rear of the brace. Once in? You’ll be able to adjust the brace to fit YOUR ankle using the two fasteners (on the rear). Unlike a generic support, that’s going to ensure the best fit possible.
If you’re a little skinnier than average, you might find traditional braces are just too big. Being loose, they don’t offer the support and protection you need.
The Steph Curry? There’s a couple of “buffers” included the deal. You can fit these in the outer anklebone area or the upper ankle to make sure that you’re 100% secure.
I’m an absolute sucker for online reviews. Before I buy anything, I like to check what these reviews are saying. The good, the bad and the ugly.
The Steph Curry ankle brace doesn’t just have ridiculously positive reviews; it has HUNDREDS of them.
They’re certainly worth checking out.
The MSRP of the Zamst AX-D2 is $65, although it can be found online for a little cheaper.
Now let’s face it, that’s a lot more than a traditional ankle brace. So, if you’re looking for something a little cheaper, skip straight on to 3rd recommendation.
However, if you’re looking for the best combination of protection, support and comfort possible (a lot of cheap basketball ankle braces focus on just one of these, at best…that’s why they’re cheap), then the AX-D2 is the ankle brace you NEED to have in your kit bag.
2. McDavid Bio-Logix Ankle Brace
Our Top Pick For: Players With Ankle Pain
So, we’re recommending the A2-DX as the best overall ankle brace for basketball. But, what else is out there? And specifically, what’s out there for players that deal with ongoing ankle pain?
Whether you’ve always had ankle pain, or it’s the consequence of a recent injury, the McDavid Bio-Logix is an excellent choice. And here’s why…
If you’re struggling with ankle pain when playing basketball, there’s a good chance you’ve got restricted movement in the ankle area. That’s not just making playing uncomfortable, it’s going to be affecting your game to.
The McDavid Bio-Logix comes complete with a flexible hinge. And, that’s just not something you’re going to get with cheap “no-name” basketball ankle braces.
You’ll get the support you need, but that flex from the hinge doesn’t impede your play. And, all this is complimented by the Heel-Lock strap. That means this ankle brace is staying put throughout gameplay.
According to McDavid, that’s “Body-In-Motion” performance…or something like that ?
Figure-8 Strap System
The McDavid Bio-Logix is similar in a way to the A2-DX from Zamst. How? It uses that supportive figure-8 strap system. Even if you’re going for a cheap brace, the figure-8 strap is what you are looking for.
This doesn’t just offer maximum support, it’s a comfort thing too. You’ll see a lot of braces without the figure-8, and due to fewer strap contact points, these cheaper braces put immense pressure on the ankle area.
So, something you’ve paid for to help with ankle pain, could actually go the opposite way and make it worse!
As soon as you slip on the McDavid Bio-Logix brace, you’ll feel just how comfortable and supportive it really is. A lot of this comes down to the molded plastic that’s been designed with ergonomics in mind.
It’s got an integrated internal support. And that’s going to sit snuggly around your ankle joint, ready to protect you in case of a slip.
And just like the DX, you’ll get a supportive but flexible exoskeleton for a structure. It’s designed in a way that when there’s sudden force, the exoskeleton is going to flex to take the brunt of that force. And, it’s TPU molded to provide the maximum lateral stability possible.
And, we know what that means? It means much less chance of ankle sprains and strains.
As I’ve already mentioned, I am a sucker for online reviews. McDavid’s basketball ankle brace doesn’t fall short in terms of positivity, but it does in terms of volume. The Steph Curry support is certainly much more popular.
The price sits in a similar bracket as the MSRP on the Stephen Curry brace, and that makes it a direct competitor.
So, who should buy the Bio-Logix over the A2-DX? The Bio-Logix is certainly tailored towards people that are nursing ongoing injuries, rather than recovering from a recent injury or simply looking for ongoing support.
Basically, unless you have had ankle pain for years, we’d be going straight back to our first pick, the A2-DX.
3. ASO Ankle Support
Our Pick For: The Best Cheap Basketball Support
OK, so what if you don’t have the budget for a $60+ brace such as the A2-DX, and you can deal with a little less support? Well, the ASO ankle support is about as good as it gets.
And, we do mean support. The ASO sits somewhere between being a sleeve and brace. So, that means it doesn’t have the exoskeleton of the Steph Curry, or the Bio-Logix from McDavid.
It’s designed for people that want to support their ankles from the biggest slips and twists, that are most likely to lead to sprains and breaks. If you want to be protected from almost everything and make sure your not sidelined by injury, you’ll want to head straight back to our number 1 pick.
So, straight away you’re seeing the difference here. Instead of that exoskeleton, you’ve got a tough but supportive nylon boot instead.
That’s giving you the basic support you need to basketball games, but you’ll be able to grab a lot more from a full-on brace.
But, you will get plenty (and evenly distributed) support from this brace thanks to the straps. Like the higher end braces, you’ll get figure-8 strapping.
That distributes pressure and support across the ankle, but also ensures that the ASO stays in place throughout your game.
The fit certainly isn’t as specific as the A2-DX, but with that there is some positive. If you’re simply using this to overcome an injury, you might be able to reuse it (or lend it to a friend). The bilateral design of the ASO basketball brace means that you can use it on both your left and right foot.
Want to know the most annoying thing about the cheap ankle braces on the market? They get very-sweaty very-quickly. Why? Because the materials used, absolutely SUCK!
ASO have made this a priority. They’ve used a CoolFlex material which isn’t just breathable, it improves comfort, especially in the Achilles area.
Want to know where the ASO is leaps and bounds above its competitors? Online reviews.
It’s now one of the top rated ankle braces for basketball online, with over 2000 reviews!
And one more final positive for the ASO? It’s dirt-cheap.
You’ll be saving almost 50% when you compare it to the likes of the Steph Curry and Bio-Logix.
And, we think this makes the ASO basketball ankle brace the best support for the money!
Thanks for reading our 10 minute guide to the best basketball ankle braces and supports.
Got experience with a different ankle support and have an opinion? Voice it below.
And if you have any questions, leave a comment and we’ll get back to you!