The effect of ankle bracing on athletic performance

Sports Med. 1999 Mar;27(3):171-8. doi: 10.2165/00007256-199927030-00003.


Ankle braces in sports are used for prevention of ankle sprains. Besides restricting inversion and eversion, it is possible that an ankle brace also reduces the functional range of motion of the ankle joint. Consequently, their use could also impair athletic performance. It is unlikely that prophylactic ankle bracing will gain wide acceptance if bracing hinders athletic performance. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on the effect of ankle bracing on vertical jump height, running speed, agility and broad jump performance. In 2 studies, 2 ankle braces negatively affected vertical jump height. Other studies did not find a significant effect on vertical jump performance when wearing an ankle brace. One study found a negative effect on running speed and broad jump performance when wearing a lace-on brace. In other studies, no effects on running speed and broad jump were found. In 1 study, agility was negatively affected when wearing an ankle brace, although agility was not significantly affected in other studies. The effect of prolonged use of an ankle brace is un-known, but could possibly influence ankle musculature and ligament function. Further research is necessary to study the effect of prolonged ankle bracing on performance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Joint / physiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Braces*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sports*