Best tennis shoes for preventing ankle sprains?

#1
I've played with the Nike Vapor Tours for a while now and although they are incredibly comfortable and cool looking, I've managed to roll BOTH my ankles over the course of just 5 months. Very annoying and I hate being out for a month each time... so what shoes would you fellow-ankle-sprainers recommend for ankle stabiliity? I have been wearing one ASO brace (for the first sprained ankle) and now I'm going to have to wear one on both.

I'm only 28 and have been into sports my entire life.. why does this happen to me?? :confused::confused::confused:

Thanks
 
#2
Sorry to hear about your ankle. I tore my ATFL (grade 3 sprain) two years ago and can imagine what you're going through.

Medically speaking, shoe type (incl. the "high ankle" type) has never been proven to prevent ankle sprains. Some things you might consider: Was this the first time you played with the Vapor Tours? Was there a particular shot you were running to when you sprained your ankles? What surface were you playing on?

The lace up (ASO-type) braces have been shown to reduce recurrence of sprains in addition to diligent proprioception/balance exercises. You can probably google some of these exercises or seek advice from a physiotherapist for a personalized regimen.

Best of luck.
 
#3
I'm an ankle roller, too. Fortunately, my wife is a physical therapist in the sports rehab area. She also says this^...it ain't about the shoes. She recommended the ASO braces. I wear 'em along with a high quality shoe (V9.5 and Asics Speed 2 are my faves). She also nags me to do exercises for balance and flexibility (I ignore that advice because I'm lazy).

The braces are a hassle for sure, but necessary if I don't want to miss 30 days a year with a black & blue ankle.
 
#4
Ah yes, I just ordered my 2nd ASO brace today... gonna look a bit like Robocop with both of them on but whatever it takes to prevent this is horrendous thing from occurring again :-|

Has anyone ever rolled their ankle WITH an ASO brace on? I have a feeling it will prevent most sprains but if you ever do roll again, your ankle would break while wearing the ASO...
 
#5
Is it safe to use ankle braces just as prevention, and not as support for a current sprain? I heard that your ankles become adapted to the ankle brace's support and if you were to try and play without them, they would be too weak to support themselves.
I have experienced ankle rolls on each foot, if that makes sense.
 

mmk

Hall of Fame
#6
I wear ASOs and a couple times I know full well I would have rolled an ankle had I not been wearing them. And having completely torn two ligaments, partially torn a third, rupturing the joint capsule, getting a high ankle sprain and turning my entire lower leg black (all at the same time), I won't play without them.

As far as having braces weaken your ankles, maybe if you wear them all the time, but I only wear mine while playing, so no more than 8 hours/week. That leaves over 100 hours/week of waking time that I'm not wearing them, so I don't think I'm in danger of weakening my ankles. They are cheap insurance.
 
#7
Is it safe to use ankle braces just as prevention, and not as support for a current sprain? I heard that your ankles become adapted to the ankle brace's support and if you were to try and play without them, they would be too weak to support themselves.
I have experienced ankle rolls on each foot, if that makes sense.
Yes, ankle braces have been shown in several large studies of basketball players to preventatively reduce the recurrence of sprains in individuals who have previously sprained their ankles. (a good one is here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=21926383) It would be reasonable to assume the same can be said of tennis since the change-of-direction movements in basketball extends to the tennis court.

However, it does not reduce the number of sprains in those who have never sprained their ankle before nor does it reduce the severity of injury if you do sprain your ankle with the brace on.

I do remember reading that bracing prophylactic bracing does not cause weaker ankles in persons who consistently wore them in sports training although I can't remember the actual study that measured this. The way ankle bracing is postulated to reduce sprains is by increasing proprioceptive feedback rather than actual mechanical support. What this means is that, when you invert or evert your ankle with a brace on, the brace pulls on your skin and muscles to send extra signals to your spinal chord and brain about what position your ankle is in. This way, you will reflexively correct your foot position back to neutral before it rolls too far and sprains the ligament. While it does add some mechanical support, it is insufficient to prevent the severity of a sprain in high velocity in sports.

Balance/wobble-board training improves proprioception as well by retraining the nerves to relearn your foot positioning and fire faster. The reason why people typically resprain their ankles is because the first sprain stretched and damaged these nerves in the lower leg.

Short story: If you've sprained your ankle before and want to reduce the chances of future sprains as much as possible, do lots of balance work AND wear a brace. Shoes do nothing. :)
 
#9
Ah yes, I just ordered my 2nd ASO brace today... gonna look a bit like Robocop with both of them on but whatever it takes to prevent this is horrendous thing from occurring again :-|

Has anyone ever rolled their ankle WITH an ASO brace on? I have a feeling it will prevent most sprains but if you ever do roll again, your ankle would break while wearing the ASO...
I have "high" ankles and multiple old ligament injuries. Also rolled twice with ASOs. Now wearing Aircast airsport and also always wearing "wide" outsole shoes like barricade 5, Prince T22, K-swiss bigshot, Yonex 307 and 308. Those I liked they have the most stability and good cushioning.

Also new Yonex Power Cushion Pro gets good reviews but can somebody compare is it stable, ie narrower or same (outsole) than 308? Need new clay shoes and as somebody said 308's are hard to find anymore....

GTI
 
#11
Thanks to your guys' input and the TW reviews, I just got my B5 classics. They feel super comfortable.. not quite as laterally stable as the B8s I tried but much more comfortable. Can't wait to give them a try on the courts
 
#12
Anyone had experience using minimal shoes for tennis? I know there has been quite a few threads on them and I've read thru them all... but has anyone actually injured their ankle wearing them? The B5s seems pretty stable, but the fact that they are so high off the ground makes me feel queasy about my ankles rolling over..
 
#13
If you're going to get a pair of shoes that are wildly different in terms of height, width, feel etc.. I recommend you be more careful at the beginning.
 
#15
Is it normal to feel soreness in the arches when wearing an ankle brace? I experience it whenever I use my ankle brace, on either foot and in any shoe.
 
#16
Is it normal to feel soreness in the arches when wearing an ankle brace? I experience it whenever I use my ankle brace, on either foot and in any shoe.
some degrees yes, I have also little soreness and sometimes blisters too. But be sure the brace isn't too small/tight.

Speaking of those ASOs, I said I'v rolled with them but have to underline they are good products generally. My cases were worst case scenarios where multiple variables was realised together (old injury, high speed/jump/sotf-bumpy court, wrong shoe...). After that I'm using more sturdier support.
 
#17
I have "high" ankles and multiple old ligament injuries. Also rolled twice with ASOs. Now wearing Aircast airsport and also always wearing "wide" outsole shoes like barricade 5, Prince T22, K-swiss bigshot, Yonex 307 and 308. Those I liked they have the most stability and good cushioning.

Also new Yonex Power Cushion Pro gets good reviews but can somebody compare is it stable, ie narrower or same (outsole) than 308? Need new clay shoes and as somebody said 308's are hard to find anymore....

GTI
I rolled my ankles consistently in a pair of nike's last year. I switched to prince T22's for about a year and didnt have any ankle problems (but my knees were always sore) Went to the new Babolat Propulse and wore them about a week.. no rollovers but lots of ankle pain.
I've bought a pair of Yonex Powercushion D's (similar to the Power Cushion Pro but D=Durable, with a 6 months warranty) and really like them. Very comfortable, stable, no ankle rollover so far and no ankle pain. Nice wide sole, stable and SOFT on the concrete... so far my knees feel better but the jury is still out as to whether this is from the shoe or coincidental. I would highly recommend the Yonex.
 
#18
The Lotto Raptors provide excellent support and stability. Also agree with previous posters about using ASO braces: they're really great during competition but it's important to also exercise without them to improve proprioception and inherent structural stability. Walking around the house barefoot (or in a pair of socks) is a great way to do this!
 
#19
It amazes me that something as relatively simple as the ASO can allow me to play with so much confidence after spraining both ankles... definitely a godsend.

With regards to the Barricade Vs I recently bought, they did feel pretty sturdy. However, they are extremely high off the ground and the thought of my ankles rolling over them and alllll the way down almost makes me queasy. With ASOs on I feel protected but without them, I don't think I'll ever push myself that hard. I tried playing a few hours w/o any braces on and it was okay, although my confidence was only a fraction of what it was before.

I recently bought the NB Minimus MT10v2 and I just tried playing briefly with them on. The experience was very different and interesting... I felt extremely low to the ground and although lateral support was lacking, I felt myself compensating a bit by taking more steps and felt much faster overall. The low feel gave me a lot of confidence that I won't roll over my ankles, my sense of proprioception was much enhanced esp w/o huge tanks on my feet. I only could play for about 30 minutes but I can't wait to get back out there. My groundies felt much better than before because I felt more "connected" and "rooted" to the ground as a whole... I could feel every square cm of the court like I owned it! it's a feeling I certainly want to pursue further. I'll be sure to keep you guys posted.
 
#20
I inverted my ankle the day after Christmas. It was a grade 2 and it took me three months to recover and play again. Now I only play with my ASO ankle braces and love them. I dont even notice I have them on and cant imagine playing without them ever again.
The pain was very intense and I dont want to experience that ever again.
I say the braces are a must for someone who has had this injury and they look OK
 

mmk

Hall of Fame
#21
I inverted my ankle the day after Christmas. It was a grade 2 and it took me three months to recover and play again. Now I only play with my ASO ankle braces and love them. I dont even notice I have them on and cant imagine playing without them ever again.
The pain was very intense and I dont want to experience that ever again.
I say the braces are a must for someone who has had this injury and they look OK
Yep, grade 3 here, two different ligaments, plus a grade 2 on another, and joint capsule rupture. I occasionally hit without the ASOs, but won't chase anything down. One of my opponents saw them and asked why I was wearing ankle weights, I told him I'd be too fast if I didn't. In reality, I'm much faster wearing them, because I don't have to worry about my ankles at all.
 
Top