Shock Doctor Ankle Brace Review 2017
Shock Doctor are the world leaders in mouth protection products. In recent years they have established an enviable reputation in the ankle protection market. Their range of supports and protective braces are the favorite choice of thousands of athletes and everyday sportspeople around the world. In this article, we zoom in on the four premium ankle braces in the Shock Doctor product range. We also compare 3 Shock Doctor alternatives.
The Best of Shock Doctor
The Shock Doctor 851 Ultra Wrap provides maximum Level 3 protection to bring relief to minor to moderate strains, sprains and instability during active recovery. It delivers a high level of soft tissue support, and helps to correct joint alignment issues. It’s compressive ability enhances blood flow to bring nutrients quickly to the affected area to speed up recovery. The stress added support of this brace improves your body’s proprioceptive ability, which informs the body to contract to protect itself.
The Shock Doctor 851 Ultra Wrap features a multi-directional adjustable strap system. This allows the user to control the level of tension and compression applied to the ankle. The low profile lacing loop and pre-curve tongue provide a maximum level of comfort. A non-slip gripping pattern on the footbed ensures that your grip is secure and stable. The easy finger pull tabs make it easy to get this brace on and off.
- Low profile
- Latex free
- Non slip silicone gripper
- Velcro needs to be more robust
The Shock Doctor Ice Recovery with Compression Strap is a high tech brace that features removable gel packs that surround the heel and ankle to provide a very high level of protection and support. It provides revolutionary ice compression to remove swelling and pain by way of heat removing ice treatment. The gel packs can also be used heated to provide boosted compression. Both applications will dramatically speed up the healing process.
The Shock Doctor Ice Recovery has been anatomically designed for form fitting customization. It features adjustable straps with Z-Grip technology for a very secure hold. The premium N-Tex ™ neoprene material is extremely lightweight while also being extremely stretchable and comfortable. It will wick away moisture while also preventing heat build up.
- Ice compression gel packs
- Adjustable Z-grip straps
- Lightweight neoprene material
- Unpleasant odor
The Shock Doctor 849 Ultra Gel is a high profile compression lace up support. It has been fitted with gel cushions to provide a high level of comfort and support to the injured ankle. A compression wrap loop lacing system allows you to apply a good level of compression to the affected area. This allow for enhanced circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to facilitate the repair process.
The Shock Doctor 849 Ultra Gel has an ergonomically designed non slip silicone footbed to ensure that you have maximum ground stability. Easy pull on finger tabs make it a breeze to get this brace on and off, while the pre-curved tongue helps to mold the support to your foot for maximum comfort. This brace provides Maximum Level 3 stability, making it ideal for moderate to major ligament sprains, muscle strains and unstable joints.
- Gel cushioning
- Non slip silicone footbed
- Easy pull on finger tabs
- Difficult to get constant tension when lacing
The Shock Doctor Ankle Sleeve with Compression Wrap is a low profile support designed for people in need of moderate support and joint alignment. Made from a combination of breathable mesh and N-Tex compression neoprene, this support is very light and airy. It provides a superior level of moisture wicking ability, preventing sweat and odor build up. With dual multi directional straps, this brace puts the user in control of the amount of pressure applied to the affected area.
The Shock Doctor Ankle Sleeve with Compression Wrap provides Performance Level 2 protection, making it ideal for minor to moderate sprains and strains. It features a unique “Z” grip strap closure to provide the most secure closure. This gives you peace of mind that the brace won’t slip, loosen or bunch up as you’re wearing it. This product is completely latex free.
- High compression level
- “Z” grip strap closure
- Dual multi-directional straps
- Velcro not strong enough
Shock Doctor Alternatives
In this section, we consider 3 alternatives to the Shock Doctor range - the Ossur Form Fit, The Active Ankle A2 and the Mueller Sport Care 4-Way Stretch. We’ll review each product and compare it with the best of Shock Doctor.
The Ossur Form Fit ankle brace has a Figure 8 heel lock strapping system to provide you with a very secure heel and ankle hold. At the same time, you still get the flexibility and freedom of movement to move about naturally. This brace is not as bulky as the Shock Doctor V-Flex Ankle XT, having a lower profile while delivering a comparable level of support.
A stirrup shaped exoskeleton has been anatomically designed to mold to the shape of your foot, providing an excellent level of both comfort and functionality. The speed lace up system also allows you to get this brace on and off in record time. An in-house study showed that the Ossur support delivers 25-30 more ankle stability compared to market leaders.
- Exoskeleton design
- Figure 8 heel lock
- Speed lace up
- A bit stiff
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The Active Ankle T2 support features an ergonomical bi-lateral hinge system that does a great job of providing medial lateral support while also allowing for full freedom of movement. This brace is built around a single strap design which allows you to get it on and off a lot faster. Comfort EVA padding has been built into this brace to deliver a contoured comfortable feel. The brace is extremely breathable, preventing over-heating and sweat build up.
The Active Ankle T2 has anti wicking and anti properties, eliminating the comfort problems that are common with many competing braces. It provides a very high level of mobility for sports applications, making it an ideal choice for playing basketball, volleyball, running and tennis.
- Performance hinge design
- Built in EVA Padding
- Allows for complete range of motion
- A little clunky to wear
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The Mueller Sport Care 4-Way Stretch brace is a high profile brace that offers full support to the heel, ankle and lower calf area. The lightweight nylon, spandex material makes this a very airy sleeve that allows for full circulation and prevents over-heating. The 4 way stretch material makes this a very flexible sleeve that will not lose it shape, but rather will contour perfectly to the shape of your foot.
You will never have any problems with this sleeve bunching up or slipping down. It delivers 360 compression, allowing for enhanced circulation to deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the affected area. You get a full range of movement while still enjoying a high level of support to the heel and ankle. This is a very good brace for use in sports applications and when you’re working out in the gym.
- Full length ankle sleeve
- 360 degree compression
- Nylon / spandex material
- A little too tight around the ball of the foot.
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Over the last 3 years, Shock Doctor have established themselves as a leading player in the ankle protection market. Our favorite Shock Doctor ankle product is the 851 Ultra Wrap, which delivers a multi directional adjustable strap system, and non slip silicone gripper. Our second favorite Shock Doctor ankle brace is the V-Flex Ankle XT, with its high tech hinge design, insulated thermal lining and reinforced molded plastic.
The Shock Doctor 849 Ultra Gel is another premium product, providing gel cushioning, non slip silicone footbed and easy pull on finger tabs.
When it comes to Shock Doctor alternatives, we highly recommend the Ossur Form Fit Ankle Brace, with its exoskeleton design, figure 8 heel lock and speed lace up system. Another of our favorites is the Active Ankle T2, which provides a high performance hinge design, has built in EVA Padding and allows for a complete, unimpeded range of motion.
Rounding out our top 3 Shock Doctor alternatives is the Mueller Sport Care 4-Way Stretch, with its full length ankle sleeve and 360 degree compression.