Best Ankle Braces For Flat Feet in 2021

Flat feet are caused by the arch of the foot collapsing. In most cases, people with flat feet overpronate— their feet roll inwards while walking or running—which can lead to discomfort and injury.

In some cases, ankle braces for flat feet can lift the arch and keep the foot aligned. This can help to reduce the risk of pain and injury.

Our top recommendation is the Zamst A2-DX ankle brace. It uses a-Fit technology to keep the foot in the right anatomical position, allows for an individualized fit, and uses an X-strap stabilizer to offer support to the foot.

We’ve reviewed 7 products that will help support the arches and correct the position of flat feet.

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Zamst A2-DX

 

  • Dual exterior molded supports
  • a-Fit technology
  • X-Strap Stabilizer
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Medical Specialties ASO Ankle Stabilizer

 

  • Bilateral design
  • Elastic cuff closure
  • Open heel design
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McDavid Ankle Brace with Straps

 

  • Figure-6 strapping system
  • Padded lining
  • Reinforced closures
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Best Overall

1. Zamst A2-DX

The Zamst A2-DX ankle brace is a sturdy and durable choice.

It uses a-Fit technology, which offers an anatomically correct fit for the ankle and arch. Be aware that this brace is left/right-specific, so it can only be used on one foot.

Another technology they use is called i-Fit, which utilizes an open-panel design that has adjustable soft straps for an individual fit.

The X-Strap Stabilizer is an underfoot device that offers support in all directions and a tight fit. These provide the best compression and comfort, while supporting the foot adequately.

The Exo-Grid external structures are dual-molded and anatomically designed to provide the highest degree of lateral stability. This stiff external structure prevents the foot from falling over when walking or running, which can help control overpronation due to flat feet.

ROM-tech uses a pre-curved design for an increased range of motion, while Grip-Tech provides traction so the foot doesn’t slide inside a shoe or on any surface.

These ankle supports can be worn comfortably with or without shoes.

PROS:

  • Dual exterior molded supports
  • a-Fit technology
  • Exo-Grid hard external structures
  • X-Strap Stabilizer

CONS:

  • Some people may find it difficult to put on as there are many overlapping straps

Top Runner-Up

2. BioSkin TriLok Ankle Brace

People who don’t want a hard external section will appreciate this ankle brace.

The fabric is just 1 mm thick, which makes it lighter and slightly less restrictive than the Zamst brace. It’s also made of hypoallergenic material, so almost anyone can wear it safely.

The light material features four-way stretch that allows for the fullest range of motion possible while still being supported. It’s breathable and lined with antimicrobial micro-fleece to keep your feet comfortable as long as you need to wear it.

It consists of three separate sections—an inner sleeve, a FootLok Strap, and a supporting stirrup strap.

The inner sleeve can be used on its own for light support and light compression. It’s slipped over the foot and tightened around the ankle using hook-and-loop straps to get a custom fit. But the separate FootLok Strap is what really offers the best support.

Once you’ve placed the base layer over your foot, the FootLok Strap is wrapped around the arch and secured on the side of the foot. This raises the arch and provides support that would otherwise be missing.

Then, the stirrup strap is wrapped around the back of the ankle, under the arch, and up to the opposite side of the ankle on both sides. These three elements work together to provide exceptional support and lift for your arch.

You can wear this strap with or without shoes. It may take some time to remember how to strap the foot properly, but it’s worth the learning curve.

PROS:

  • FootLok Strap
  • Three separate support straps
  • Lined with micro-fleece
  • Dynamic four-way stretch

CONS:

  • Some may find that there’s quite a learning curve to being able to properly strap their foot

Best Value

3. Medical Specialties ASO Ankle Stabilizer

This ankle brace is affordable and provides good support for the ankle and the arch.

It has a low-profile design that fits into most shoes comfortably. It can also be used on both the left and the right foot so you only need to buy one and can use it interchangeably.

It uses a nylon boot-like design with an open heel for stability. The idea behind this strap is to mimic the basket weave taping technique that athletes use for ankle support.

Simply slip your foot into the boot and tighten the laces. From there, the nylon straps can be wrapped down and around the arch, and reattached on either side of the ankle.

An elastic closure cuff is then wrapped around these to secure them. This design also lets you tighten the straps without removing their shoes.

PROS:

  • Bilateral design
  • Elastic cuff closure
  • Open heel design
  • Ballistic nylon boot

CONS:

  • Not returnable, so make sure to get the right side initially

Top Customizable Fit

4. McDavid Ankle Brace with Straps

The McDavid Ankle Brace is highly adjustable and helps prevent your arch from collapsing when walking or running.

It’s made of high-grade, single-layer polyester which is lightweight and comfortable, and fits on both left and right feet.

The lining of the brace is padded for comfort. A mesh tongue allows for nice breathability to keep your feet cool and dry. Once the boot section of the brace is on your foot, tighten the laces to your preferred fit.

Two support straps are wrapped under the foot and up either side of the ankle in a figure-6 loop, imitating athletic tape. Then the elastic ankle strap is closed to secure the straps and provide excellent support.

The variety of straps and the lacing system make this brace extremely customizable. They run small so check the sizing chart carefully.

PROS:

  • Figure-6 strapping system
  • Padded lining
  • Reinforced closures
  • Fits left or right foot

CONS:

  • These braces run small

Max Support

5. Ultra Zoom Ankle Braces

People who need maximum ankle support for severe overpronation will appreciate this sturdy strap.

It features a hard Performathane shell, which molds to your foot shape as it softens with body heat. This creates a truly custom fit for supporting your foot in all the right places and is also highly durable.

It has a solid heel cup for underfoot support and a hook-and-loop strap over the bridge of the foot for getting the tightness you need for arch support. Hard supports up either side of the ankle prevent lateral movement and stop overpronation.

A full range of motion is still encouraged thanks to hinge-cuff technology. A movable hinge at the ankle allows your joint to keep moving naturally while limiting potentially injury-causing lateral movement.

It can be used on either ankle and has an unobtrusive low-profile design. It does require a break-in period of about 4 to 6 hours, as the Performathane material molds to your foot for the best fit.

PROS:

  • Hinged-cuff design
  • Performathane shell
  • Adjustable straps
  • Low profile

CONS:

  • This brace requires a break-in period of 4 to 6 hours as the Performathane molds to the shape of your foot

Best Lightweight

6. Aircast AirHeel Ankle Support Brace

If you need support but dislike feeling weighed down by an ankle brace, this one is extremely lightweight.

It’s a fairly minimalist brace, but it will provide light support for the arch and helps to correct mild overpronation.

It’s made from neoprene, which is durable and provides light compression. This ankle brace has a unique compression feature using dual interconnected air cells in the arch.

With every step, these compress and release, offering a kind of pulsating compression that stimulates circulation and relieves pain.

There’s just one strap to use on this brace, at the ankle. Slip the foot section on and tighten the strap around the ankle. The manufacturer recommends wearing this brace with a shoe and not without.

Choose from small, medium, and large sizes, and the brace fits both the left and right feet.

PROS:

  • Made from Neoprene material
  • Two interconnected aircells
  • Adjustable Velcro strap
  • Universal fit

CONS:

  • The seam on the bridge of the foot may chafe

Top Medium Stability

7. Shock Doctor Ultra Wrap Lace Up Ankle Support

This ankle brace offers medium stability and is ideal for those with mild to moderate overpronation.

It offers both medial and lateral stability to prevent unnecessary ankle movement and arch collapsing.

The anatomical footbed is designed for comfort and also has a non-slip gripper pattern to prevent slippage.

A hardy material bootie provides support around the ankle and is easy to slip over the foot using finger tabs strategically placed on either side. Then, tighten the laces like you would with a boot.

Two figure-8 tabs provide your underfoot support. A nice feature is the color-coding on the straps and tabs, so once you have wrapped the strap over the bridge of the foot and under the arch, it’s easy to tell where to secure it. Lock it down with the top strap.

PROS:

  • Multi-directional adjustable strap wrap
  • Anatomical footbed
  • Convenient finger tabs
  • No-slip silicone gripper patterned bottom

CONS:

  • Some may find the brace to be a bit bulky and hard to wear with a shoe

FAQs

Do Ankle Braces Help Flat Feet?

Yes, ankle braces can help and be used in conservative treatment for people who have flat feet.

While ankle braces won’t cure flat feet, the ankle brace provides additional support to the arch of the foot, which can help to reduce inflammation and swelling in your feet.

Ankle braces not only help to lift the arch of the foot, which can help to reduce the strain or pressure that’s placed on the arch, but also provide stability, compression and prevent the feet from “rolling”.

What Are The Types of Ankle Braces Available?

There are a number of different brace designs and you’ll even find sport-specific ankle braces available. But the following types of braces provide the best type of support:

  • Hybrid ankle braces
  • Stirrup ankle braces
  • Strap ankle braces
  • Lace ankle braces

You do also get lightweight ankle sleeve braces, but they often don’t provide adequate support on their own.

Most people will use an ankle sleeve under an ankle brace for comfort or additional compression.

When Should I Wear My Ankle Braces?

Wear the ankle brace when performing an activity where there is a lot of lateral movement.

This could be during intense activities, such as basketball or tennis, or where you’ll need more support. You can wear the ankle brace as a preventative device while you’re performing these activities.

In some instances, your doctor may recommend wearing an ankle brace as part of your treatment or rehabilitation plan. This may have you wearing your ankle brace to provide support and stability as you go about your daily activities.

You may have to wear an ankle brace if you’re recovering from ankle surgery, as it will limit the movement of the ankle, provide stability and help with the recovery process.

How Do I Choose an Ankle Brace?

There are a few things to take into consideration when choosing an ankle brace. The first thing to consider would be the level of injury that you’ve had or currently have, as this will determine the level of support you may need.

You will find that there are braces specifically designed to help prevent injuries and braces to help you recover from an injury.

Depending on your needs, you may find that you need to wear a brace daily or you may only need to wear it during activities. This means that you’ll need to consider the durability of the brace.

You’ll also need to look at the comfort of the brace, as they come in varying degrees of stiffness such as soft, semi-rigid, and rigid.

Most braces also offer different levels of compression, support, and protection; you may have to try a few different brands and styles before finding the right fit for your needs.

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