Best Brace For Achilles Tendonitis in 2021

Pain and swelling from Achilles tendonitis can interfere with everyday life.

While the best way to reduce it is by using the RICE principle—rest, ice, compression, and elevation—using a brace for Achilles tendonitis can help speed up healing.

The best brace for Achilles tendinitis will depend on your exact needs. But we recommend the Bauerfeind AchilloTrain Pro.

This brace conforms to your ankle for comfort, has expansion zones to make it easy to get on and off, and winged massaging inserts that offer both stability and compression.

Here are the best braces to try if you have Achilles tendinitis.

Top 3 Best and Favorite

 

Bauerfeind AchilloTrain Pro

 

  • Conforms to the ankle
  • Breathable knit material
  • Expansion zones
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TechWare Pro Ankle Compression Sleeve

 

  • Ergonomically-designed sleeve
  • Graduated compression
  • No-slip fit
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CEP Compression Ankle Brace

 

  • Moisture-wicking knitted fabric
  • Targeted compression
  • Open-toe design
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Best Overall

1. Bauerfeind AchilloTrain Pro

This brace offers a combination of compression and stabilizing.

The outer compression layer is made from knit material that’s comfortable to wear and allows good airflow to prevent overheating. It also wicks away moisture to keep your ankles and lower legs dry.

It can be worn on both the left and the right ankle. Built-in expansion zones give it enough stretch to be put on and taken off easily.

It comes up to mid-calf length, to provide support for the leg above the injury. Tighter-knit areas along the sides of the ankle provide light compression and more structured support.

Just keep in mind that individuals with large calf muscles may find that the cuff is too tight around their calf while the rest of the foot fits snugly. Fitting the calf may mean that the rest of the foot is too loose.

The brace comes with a semi-rigid insert that runs down the back of the ankle along the Achilles. It supports the Achilles and the nerves around it and gently massages the area to increase circulation and speed up healing.

PROS:

  • Conforms to the ankle
  • Features winged massaging inserts
  • Breathable knit material
  • Expansion zones

CONS:

  • Those with large calf muscles may find the fit to be too tight around the calf

Top Value

2. TechWare Pro Ankle Compression Sleeve

This ankle sleeve is simple but provides compression and mild support for the Achilles.

It’s ergonomically designed for the best fit and the 4-way stretch material makes it easy to get on and off despite the compression.

An open toe also makes it less restrictive, as well as more breathable. Graduated compression is provided by areas of tighter and looser-knit material on the sleeve. This provides light pressure around the Achilles, reducing pain and inflammation.

The cuff is wide and won’t cut into the leg or chafe. It prevents the sleeve from slipping down into a shoe. A low-profile design makes this sleeve look just like you’re wearing a sock if you choose to wear it with your shoes.

Measuring your foot for the right size can be complicated. You need to measure your ankle size, your arch size, and your shoe size and then still make a decision on which size would be right for you.

PROS:

  • Ergonomically-designed sleeve
  • Graduated compression
  • No-slip fit
  • 4-way stretch material

CONS:

  • Choosing the correct size can be challenging

Most Breathable

3. CEP Compression Ankle Brace

The CEP Compression Ankle Brace is made from a blend of elastane, polyester, and polyamide.

It’s knit together and has an open-toed design that promotes good airflow over the foot, keeping it cool. It also wicks away moisture so your feet won’t get damp.

The material is supportive yet flexible, so you can wear it while you train. Graduated compression of 20 to 30 mmHg helps to stimulate circulation—of both oxygen-rich blood and lymphatic fluid—and reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling associated with Achilles tendonitis.

Around the ankles, there are plush pads made of Smart Memory Foam that offer lateral support. They also place light pressure on the sides of the Achilles, providing pain relief.

It’s a certified medical device, but some may find that the padding on the ankles makes it hard to fit into a shoe comfortably.

PROS:

  • Moisture-wicking knitted fabric
  • Targeted compression
  • Open-toe design
  • Padded cushion around the ankle

CONS:

  • Some people may find it uncomfortable to wear with shoes

Best For Recovery

4. Bauerfeind MalleoTrain Ankle Brace

This ankle brace is made from a special soft three-dimensional knit material that contours to the shape of your ankle.

It features medical-grade, graduated compression to stimulate circulation, provide pain relief, and reduce swelling.

The compression is strong in the ankle and gets lighter towards the cuff and midfoot. An open-toed design promotes breathability and prevents the toes from being affected by compression.

Around each ankle bone is a soft, supportive viscoelastic pad. These massage the joint and provide firm support against lateral movement, at the same time reducing swelling and relieving pain.

All of these features work together to help speed up recovery time. This brace may not be supportive enough for use during activity.

PROS:

  • Medical-grade compression
  • Cushioned pads around the ankle bones
  • Three-dimensional knit
  • Provides firm support

CONS:

  • May not provide enough support for using during activity

Top With Added Padding

5. Össur Formfit Pro Ankle

This brace is made of 3-D MotionTech knit, which offers medical-grade compression of 20 to 30 mmHg for the ankle.

CoolVent technology on the bridge of the foot allows for increased airflow throughout the brace. It also wicks away moisture to keep you dry.

There are integrated cushions—SmartPads—over the ankle bone area, which offer support and comfort. They provide light, targeted pressure on the ankle which can help reduce pain and swelling in the area.

The wide FoldLock cuff makes it easy to get on and take off and holds the brace in place without chafing or hurting.

Some people may find that the large seam on the bottom of the brace causes irritation but not everybody will feel it.

PROS:

  • Integrated SmartPads
  • 3-D MotionTech knit
  • CoolVent technology
  • Medical-grade compression (20 to 30 mmHg)

CONS:

  • Some may find that the seam on the bottom of the brace is irritating

Best For Extra Large Options

6. LP Supports X-Tremus Ankle Support 110XT

If you have large ankles or need a larger brace for very swollen ankles, this ankle brace offers extra-large and extra-extra-large options.

The fabric is tight-knit but still breathable enough to be cool and comfortable. It’s also moisture-wicking to keep the feet as dry as possible.

It uses a Double-Eight Stable Contoured Structure for all-round support and stability of the ankle joint. This brace uses a Plantar Magic Power Band system, which supports the foot when the ankle is in dorsiflexion.

It also provides energy return, allowing you to make explosive movements while the foot remains supported and safe.

More support is provided by a J-shaped pad around the ankle, made of soft but supportive silicone. This massages the area of the nerve and tendon, providing pain relief and lowering swelling.

PROS:

  • Integrated silicone pads
  • Features a Plantar Magic Power Band
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Contoured structure

CONS:

  • Might not be suitable for those with a silicone allergy

FAQs

Can an Ankle Brace Help with Achilles Tendonitis?

Using an ankle brace can help to reduce pain and swelling from Achilles tendonitis.

It does this by offering a combination of compression and stability, increasing blood flow in the ankle and preventing further injury.

Keeping the ankle stable allows the tendon to heal and not be strained during everyday activity. Having an ankle brace on can also increase your awareness of the joint—proprioception—which can help speed up healing.

What is the Fastest Way to Heal Achilles Tendonitis?

The best way to heal Achilles tendonitis is to use the RICE principle.

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

You should avoid doing your regular exercise and vigorous activity while healing from Achilles tendonitis. Continuing to do your normal level of exercise may aggravate the tendon and take it longer to heal.

As well as resting from activity, you should ice your Achilles regularly. Wrap an ice pack or ice blocks in a towel and apply it to the joint for 20 minutes at a time, three to four times a day.

Using a compression sock or brace can also help to reduce pain and swelling from Achilles tendonitis. Compression helps to enhance blood flow in the area, which helps it to heal faster.

You should also elevate the affected leg, which will help excess fluid to drain and reduce swelling. This, in combination with rest, regular icing, and using compression, will not only alleviate the pain but will help the tendon to heal faster.

If using the RICE principle doesn’t lower the pain to a bearable level, you can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to help.

To alleviate the pain while on your feet, you can use heel lifts in your shoes, as well as wearing a compression sock or brace for extra support. You should do stretches and Achilles-strengthening exercises to help prevent Achilles tendonitis in the future.

How Tight Should an Ankle Brace Be?

You want your ankle brace to provide a locked-in feeling, but not be too tight. Wearing it should not cause any numbness, cause pain, or restrict blood flow.

The looser the brace, the more flexible it will be on your foot. For more protection, you would want to tighten it so it’s more rigid.

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