DonJoy Ankle Brace Review 2019
Ankle and knee braces are a common piece of equipment for intense athletes. Whether it is because of an injury or just weak joints, it seems like every athlete at some point or another will need one.
One of the best manufacturers of these braces is DonJoy because they put athletes first. However, other brands also produce great braces. Here we present 4 of the best Donjay braces and 6 other choices from other brands.
This means you can compare, quality, performance, levels of support and functionality and choose which ankle brace will suit your personal needs.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
- DonJoy Velocity ES
- DonJoy RocketSoc
- DonJoy MaxTrax
- DonJoy Stabilizing Speed Pro
- Mueller HG80
- ACE Ankle Brace with Side Stabilizers
- Shock Doctor 851
- PowerLix Compression Knee Sleeve
- Candy Li Ankle Support
- Crucial Compression Knee Brace Compression Sleeve
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Ankle And Knee Braces
1. DonJoy Velocity ES
A little narrow
The DonJoy Velocity ES is designed to treat or prevent ankle injuries. It is a nice lightweight design which will easily fit into your shoe and give you extra support without being bulky. This brace has a technology which gives you good tibia/fibula compression. It has rigid uprights to give you added protection during impact and the hinges give you normal dorsiflexion at the ankle.Read more
The DonJoy Velocity ES (Extra Strength) brace is designed for heavy sports applications. It is lightweight and has a low profile, making it both unobtrusive and comfortable to wear. It will allow you to slip into your training shoe without any of the bulky discomforts that are common with competing braces.
DonJoy Velocity ES brace makes use of R3 technology, which stands for Rapid Rigid Ratcheted technology. This provides for circumferential tibial compression, effectively delivering 360-degree support. Bilateral hinges have been anatomically designed to provide complete dorsal and plantar flexion at the ankle. This makes the Velocity ES excellent support for those who demand complete freedom of mobility for their sport.
The Velocity ES is designed to treat such complaints as inversion ankle sprains, eversion sprains, as well as unnatural rotation of the joint. This brace is available in three models, depending on the level of support you need; The ES (extra support), MS (mild support) and LS (light support).
2. DonJoy RocketSoc
Velcro secure straps
Heel lock strap
Difficult to put on
The DonJoy RocketSoc is another ankle support brace. It is designed for stability, fit, and comfort. It gives prevention and treatment for ankle injuries. You will have a complete range of motion while controlling inversion or other painful movements. This brace is easy to adjust with peroneal forefoot and calcaneal heel lock straps which support the ankle ligaments. This design is available in lace-up, neoprene and drytex which help you to customize your treatment.Read more
The DonJoy RocketSoc is lace up support that is reinforced with velcro secured straps. This is a lightweight designed support that easily slips under your normal footwear. It features a peroneal forefoot and calcaneal heel lock strap that allows you to have control over the level of tightness and compression of the brace. It also delivers extra support to the ligaments around the joint that are most commonly injured.
The RocketSoc lace-up is made from lightweight nylon. This material is moisture wicking and comfortable against the skin. Unlike many competitor models, it will not bunch up or slip out of position. This model provides a complete range of motion while you’re exercising, including quick lateral and medial movement.
This DonJoy ankle brace is available in three versions - Lace Up, Neoprene and Drytex. The neoprene brace provides wrap-around compression and comes with an optional inferior buttress to alleviate the swelling. Drytex is an alternative to Neoprene. It has a nylon core and a polyester lycra fabric that is extremely breathable.
3. DonJoy MaxTrax
Inner and outer sole
Medial / lateral air cell system
The bilateral design does provide specific left or right support
The DonJoy MaxTrax brace will increase your stability following foot trauma or after an operation including stress fractures or soft tissue injuries. It has cushioned soles which will give you shock absorption and comfort. The low profile bottom has a rocker which will give you a natural gait. It has a soft liner and is designed to make sure there are no seams in critical areas. It can also be worn on either foot.Read more
The DonJoy Max Trax air ankle walker brace is a full foot brace that acts as a shoe replacement. It designed to be used postoperatively to increase stability and decrease pain in the area. It features both an inner and outer sole to provide extra support and protection along with superior shock absorption.
The rocker bottom of the Max Trax has a low profile to make it less bulky than other models. It also promotes a natural gait and reduces pressure on the plantar region. The Max Trax has been fitted with an integrated pump that allows you to inflate and adjust the bed according to the changing level of edema as you progress through your recovery.
The Max Trainer features a medial/lateral air cell system that inflates the sides equal to the level that you need. This Don Joy ankle brace provides you with a universal fit and is bi-directional. This means that you can wear it on either foot.
4. DonJoy Stabilizing Speed Pro
800D Ballistic nylon material
Straps need to be more secure
The DonJoy Stabilizing Speed Pro is a lightweight design which gives you support to easily fit in your shoe. It features durable nylon and reinforced eyelet area which gives it great durability and performance. It has an elastic strap which secures the strapping and gives extra compression. This brace also fits on either foot.Read more
The DonJoy Stabilizing Speed Pro has a low profile design that is lightweight and easy to wear under your normal footwear. It is made from a special 800D ballistic nylon material which provides a unique combination of flexibility and strength. This material is also very breathable, meaning that you don’t have to worry about sweat build-up and the slippage and bunching, not to mention foul odor, that follows.
The DonJoy Stabilizing ankle brace features a full stability strap to provide 360 protection and extra support to the tibia. It also has removable, articulated medial and lateral stays that provide increased support to keep the joint tracking properly. The DonJoy stabilizing ankle brace is a universal fit product, so can be worn on either foot. There are a dual strapping and lace-up system, with reinforced eyelets for the laces to boost durability.
5. Mueller HG80
HydraCinn high-performance fabric
Interior cushioning aircast air cells
Figure 8 strapping design
A little tricky to lace up
The Mueller HG80 has an upper strapping system which will lock your brace into position. The triaxial hinges give you maximum protection with almost normal knee motion. The inner part of the brae has anti-slip inner grip slips which help prevent the brace from moving on your leg.Read more
The Mueller HG80 features a Figure 8 strapping system to provide complete tension and compression. It is constructed from Mueller’s patented HydraCinn high-performance fabric, which is a very lightweight material which wicks away moisture, keeping the air clean and airy. This means that there will be no bacteria build up and the support will not bunch up or slip when you walk or run. It also has an anti-microbial barrier to prevent odor build-up.
The HG80 is fitted with interior cushioning aircast air cells to deliver a maximum level of comfort and support. It also has stirrup straps to allow you to easily secure the tension level to what you require. This product is both latex and nylon free.
6. ACE Ankle Brace with Side Stabilizers
Flexible side stabilizers
A little too much lateral give at the ankle
The ACE Ankle Brace with Side Stabilizers has a quick lace strapping system which you can position over the front or back of your ankle for increased flexibility and comfort. The strapping mechanism lets you fully adjust the brace around your ankle and under your heel for the perfect fit. You can customize your level of support and compression. The side stabilizers on the brace help you reduce lateral motion.Read more
The Schwinn 470 is more compact than the ProForm range and provides slightly more functionality. It has 29 programs, including 4 user settings and goal tracking. 27 levels of variable resistance provide you with a huge intensity progression. It features 25 Eddy Current Brake technology to allow you to get a very smooth exercise motion. There is an automated incline up to 10 degrees.
The ACE brace features a pair of flexible side stabilizers to provide medial and lateral stability and support. This provides a good level of protection while still allowing for full movement potential. One size fits all and this is a bilateral brace, suitable for both the left and right foot.
7. Shock Doctor 851
Odor elimination technology
Performance Level 3 protection
Seams not reinforced
The Shock Doctor 851 is a good model brace which comes in black or white. It is perfect for medium stability and support. It gives you moderate
support for ligament sprains, unstable joints or muscle strains. It has a multi-directional strap stability system. You can support your ankle without having to tape it. This brace has comfortable lacing loops and a pre-curved tongue.
The Shock Doctor 851 features an anatomical low profile fit and is a combination of velcro bracing and lace-up design. It allows for multidirectional movement and features an adjustable strap wrap system. It is designed for moderate to severe ligament strains and sprains. It has a very good compressive ability, providing therapeutic warmth that improves circulation and oxygenation. A non-slip footbed with silicone gripper pattern provides for excellent ground stability.
The Shock Doctor 851 has integrated microbial technology to eliminate odor problems. The inclusion of easy-pull finger tabs allow you to easily get the support on and off. It provides Performance Level 3 protection. This is a latex-free product which comes in sizes ranging from small to extra large.
8. PowerLix Compression Knee Sleeve
Perfect to wear during any activity
Breathable compression fabric
Anti-slip silicone gel strips
Size chart is off
The PowerLix Compression Knee Sleeve developed a special fabric blend which has a four-way stretch capacity. It offers superior support and protection. The fabric is breathable and absorbs sweat to keep your knee dry and odor-free. The brace is ergonomic and gives you a full range of motion and protection. It offers great muscle support between workouts.Read more
The PowerLix Knee brace gives you stable pressure at your knee. It offers muscle support between your workouts or during everyday life. With this sleeve, you will be able to tackle any activity and be ahead in injury prevention. This knee support is perfect for any activity that involves stress on your joints.
This is a premium quality sleeve which is designed to provide premium support and comfort, but you will still be able to move around. This tight and breathable compression material which gives you good joint mobility.
It has a special knitted design with two silicone gel strips to help your sleeve stay put and it is even fashionable. The special fabric gives you a soft feel so you can wear it all day.
9. Candy Li Ankle Support
Fits either foot and any size foot
Non-slip silicone inside
Material is very thick
The Candy Li Ankle Support is made of nylon, polyester, and elastic fiber. They come in a choice of bright colors to add a little fun to your outfit and will fit on either foot. The tightness is adjustable with easy to use crisscross strapping which attaches anywhere along the entire sleeve. One size fits all. There is silicone inside to prevent slipping. The brace is soft and comfortable, made of good breathable material which helps with blood circulation and soothing warmth.Read more
This ankle support is good for men or women. It has a crisscross strapping which is easy to adjust because it attaches anywhere on the sleeve. The high-quality elastic nylon material fits any sized foot and can be worn on either side.
This is a new design using silicone inside to prevent the brace from slipping. The material is breathable which helps with blood circulation and gives you soothing warmth.
10. Crucial Compression Knee Brace Compression Sleeve
Lightweight and breathable
Has ergonomic fit
Double silicone grip
Cannot be worn for an extended period of time
Crucial Compression Knee Sleeves gives you comfortable support where you need it the most. The material is flexible and breathable. You do not want knee pain to stop you from your workout. This wrap is used by professional athletes and weightlifters.
This sleeve is easy to use. Just slide your leg in and pull it up around your knee. You will get support and pain relief. Let our brace give your injured knee a little love while it is recuperating.Read more
The Crucial Compression Knee Sleeve will give you instant stability and support. You will get fast pain relief and help with soreness, stiffness, or swelling. The power support technology helps with circulation and warms up your muscles.
The material on this brace is lightweight and breathable. The ComfortFlex design gives your leg a snug, comfortable ergonomic fit without hampering your motion or cutting off circulation. It has a nice soft feel.
They design the knee sleeves with double silicone grip to keep it from falling down. They also will not bunch up behind your knees so you can wear them under clothing if you choose.
This sleeve offers matched durability and support with quality double stitching and durable construction which will not lose compression over time.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
All braces are designed with the aim for comfort.
With a choice of 4 DonJoy braces and 6 other good brands, you get a nice broad choice for potential comfort.
Whether you are nursing an ankle injury or a weak ankle, you want a brace or sleeve which is going to be comfortable to wear. It needs to be lightweight and hopefully even fit into your shoe if it is that type of brace. If it is more of the boot design, you want one which is not going to interfere with your gait.
They should not bunch behind your knee or slip down on your leg. Having a cushioned sole is nice and the inside of the brace or sleeve should be soft and comfortable on your skin without irritating it. Also, make sure the seams out of the way of any skin or injury.
The brace should be easy to take on and off without causing your foot or ankle any added pain. The straps should fit snugly and be adjustable to give you leg just the right amount of compression.
It is nice to have a brace which absorbs moisture to keep sweat away from your skin which will prevent any bacteria or odor. It should keep a comfortable heat though, enough to keep your injury comfortable. Having an ergonomic design will also help with comfort.
Most of all it should have the right compression in the right places, enough to keep your ankle secure without cutting off circulation.
Adjustability is an important feature for all braces.
DonJoy and all brands are consistent for ensuring adjustability.
Since everyone's foot is different, it is important to have a brace which is adjustable. A good ankle brace needs to be completely versatile and adjustable. You want a brace which you can adjust to control your compression level. The brace needs to fit snugly around your ankle so you can get the ultimate support out of it. The straps should be easy to use or the brace should be easy to slip on if that is how it is designed.
Being adjustable is all about the straps. Some have easy to adjust forefoot and heel lock straps. Some have figure 8 straps, dual straps or customized support ankle straps. Then they have velcro so you can attach them at any point. Whatever closure is available needs to be adjustable so you can get just the right amount of compression and comfort.
Your ankle brace needs to support the ankle from below, above, and on the sides, so ligaments can heal without any more tearing or stretching. Ankle braces do this with straps, heel supports, lacing up or a simple slip-on designs.
The design adjustability should provide your ankle with the ultimate comfort. With the straps and closures, you should be able to get the perfect amount of tension and support to be able to keep your ankle comfortable and stabilized.
Other designs have wraps which are easy to maneuver to get you just the right amount of tension and support. There are also some designs which are easy to just slip on. We have researched all these designs and found them impressively easy to adjust and keep secure on your ankle.
Spraining your ankle is the most common injury for athletes and studies show that 70 percent of athletes who sprain or injure their ankle will injure it again. An ankle brace will be needed for anywhere from 10 days to six weeks, so having a quality ankle brace is a smart investment.
Materials are similer for desired results.
Choosing another brand or a DonJoy brace, you will find the ankle braces presented in this guide all offer the best quality for materials.
You want an ankle brace which is made of a material rigid enough to support the injured ankle while being flexible enough to allow your foot to move and be used. It should be able to provide your ankle with good compression to stabilize your injury and keep in heat to keep it comfortable. It should also be breathable so your skin stays dry.
Most of these ankle braces are made from nylon or strong neoprene which offers your ankle good support and mobility. They have four-way stretch material to keep the adjustability flexible so you can apply the compression wherever it is needed. The material should also be breathable and moisture-wicking, so there is no chance of odor issues or bacteria forming which could lead to infection.
You do not want a brace to be too bulky. The material is sleek and breathable. The hooks or velcro are designed to keep everything in place and let you go on about doing what you love without worrying about it.
Features tend to enhance performance.
Features for ankle braces can vary and this is why DonJoy and other brands always create a variety of braces which offer similar features when these features are reviewed and compared.
There are quite a few features available in these ankle braces. Some offer R3 technology which gives your ankle a 360-degree compression and support. Look for bilateral hinges which also help with support.
There are all kinds of different straps from figure 8 to forefoot and heel lock straps or dual straps. Straps are important along with the fasteners. You want ones which stay secure and are easily adjustable so you can set up your brace to fit your foot exactly.
Look for material which is breathable and has a good stretch capacity. It should repel moisture as well and keep the sweat off your skin to avoid odor or bacteria build-up.
Depending on whether you are wearing the brace for an injury or just because you have weak ankles, you will know if you need easy, moderate, or maximum compression. Look for a model which has a good arch or heel support.
Another good feature is having a brace which can be adjusted to any size for any size foot. It is also handy to have a brace which will work on either leg so it is more versatile.
Durability prolongs good performance.
When we compare DonJoy and other leading brands, there is little difference between them when it comes to high-quality materials which will ensure durability.
Your brace needs to be durable since you are going to be wearing it for long periods of time to protect your ankle or to get over an injury. Look for good quality material which will not fray after it is worn for a while. Having something which will stand up to machine washing is convenient. Also, double-check the straps and make sure they are attached securely and will not tear or lose their attachability.
You want a brace which is made of durable material which can stand up to an active lifestyle, fraying and being washed. They should hold their shape and compression strength for longer periods. The braces should have straps which are adjustable, soft, and double stitched and connected with hooks and loops or velcro which holds its strength as well so your brace stays in place.
Some of the models also include flexible, durable side stabilizers. Others have durable cushioning to protect your arch or the heel of your foot. These ankle braces are all designed with durable quality in mind so you can count on your brace giving your ankle quality protection for a long time. Keep your needs in mind as far as how much compression you need and we are sure you will find the perfect brace to take care of your ankle with good compression material which will stay strong after many uses and the amount of thickness for the immobility you need.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
It is a good idea to wear your athletic sock under your ankle brace. This keeps your injury more cushioned and comfortable under the hardware. It also helps to protect your ankle and prevent the brace from rubbing against your skin and causing blistering.
Just because the pain has stopped does not mean that the ligaments and muscles around the ankle have healed. If you stop taking care of it, you could risk further injury. Do not take your injury lights. You need to treat them before they get worse.
Other Factors to Consider
Our main brand features 4 very good ankle supports from DonJoy and we added in 6 more "comparative" choices from other brands. This means you get an impressive selection of the very best choices.
This way this review guide looks at the bigger picture in order to ensure that we present a choice for every person. We have kept with well-known brands and there is a purpose for doing this. Brands which have a long successful history with their products are most certainly able to invest into research for materials, design and they do continue to upgrade and improve products.
Though we have done comparative and broad research to find the best choices, this has proved interesting because leading brands are in competition with each other and this generally means that they will not scrimp on quality.
The conclusion is that we found that though different brands may well build in features which are slightly different to other makers, the constant factor or aim always remains the same. This is to provide reliable support to prevent injury or support recovery from an injury and at allow within that support a good amount of adjustability, the desired outcome from an ankle brace is consistent, the way to hit that needed outcome can be approached by varying designs and features but the wanted result still remains the same.
Our research produced a very good range of braces, we took the top models from DonJoy and top products from other makers, therefore we feel certain that there is a style of ankle support, whatever the features, which will meet your needs effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do ankle braces prevent ankle injuries?
A brace will not prevent injury. They reduce the risk of sprains. They do not protect against initial sprains. The real benefit is preventing recurrent sprains.
q: Do ankle braces cause knee injuries?
There is no evidence in any studies of an increase in knee injury because of wearing an ankle brace. The ankle brace has no bearing on the performance of your knee.
q: Do ankle braces cause muscle weakness?
Having a limb immobilized has caused muscle weakness because of disuse but when you are wearing an ankle brace, your ankle is not immobilized. Most people only wear the brace when they are working out or playing a sport.
q: Should I wear an ankle brace to sleep?
Wearing a heavy-duty brace to bed is probably not going to be comfortable or allow you to get any good rest. They are also not great for your circulation. It would probably be a better idea to wear something like a tight-fitting compression sleeve.
q: How long should I wear an ankle brace?
It all depends on the severity of your injury. It could be a matter of days or weeks. You can typically wear a brace anywhere from 10 days to 6 weeks. It is important to wear it as long as you are having pain, swelling, or instability in your ankle.