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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Ankle braces: Bledsoe vs. Active Ankle

in: Orienteering; Gear & Toys

Oct 28, 2011 5:04 PM # 
I run with Active Ankle braces whenever I am training or racing off road. They keep my ankles sprain free no matter how rough the terrain may be.

Has anyone tried these?

I wonder how they compare to Active Ankles.
Oct 28, 2011 7:08 PM # 
I've just started using the T2 Active Ankle, it ticks all the boxes that the Aircast A60 failed to: Light, variable height strap and most importantly it does not cause imflammation on my lower leg by rubbing, plus doesn't interfer with the arch of my foot. I gather they wear out, which seems a price well worth paying for something that is so comfortable.

I've come across a supplier in the UK, if anyone is interested.
Oct 28, 2011 7:54 PM # 
I use the PSB ankle brace and I love it. I wore it for about 3 months on every single run after spraining my ankle and it was comfortable the whole time. I've recommended it to a few other people and I know they have all found it to be supportive and comfortable as well. Unfortunately, the Active Ankle gave me horrible blisters...
Oct 28, 2011 8:00 PM # 
I also wore a Push PSB ankle brace after a bad sprain and it was fabulous. Very comfortable, very supportive.
Oct 28, 2011 9:34 PM # 
I have been an active ankly user for close to 20 years but am looking forward to comments about other braces. Unfortunately most of the options are expensive and I'm a thrift yankee so not going to buy different ones just to experiment. Still, as mine wear out (can take 5-6 years), I may.

A couple things I will share about the active ankle.
1. get rid of the little pad in the bottom.
2. cut off the thin strap that goes around the back.
3. Use two wraps of duct tape to keep the velcro straps in place.
Oct 28, 2011 10:19 PM # 
I bought a PSB brace after my last bad sprain and it wasn't as supportive as the active ankle. Now that my ankle is better, I might use it for hiking. I did have to buy larger size shoes for the active ankle, and I now use the braces every time I orienteer.
Oct 28, 2011 10:27 PM # 
Active ankle has worked fine for me for years. I am even able to put in on over bare skin w/o certainly contributes to a stuffed O shoe.
Oct 29, 2011 5:16 AM # 
I've used Active Ankle for ages (replace them when they wear out - have they stopped the free replacement for breakages, my last 2 replacements were free).

I did 'upgrade' to the volt just to try something different. They're still good, but I find the T2 more supportive and better for orienteering.

Can't comment meaningfully on other brands as it's been so long since I tried any. The old lace-ups I had with either velcro straps or rigid plastic side supports were all awful. Some were supportive, but were very restrictive of movement, especially dorsiflexion of the foot (kinda important to run/jump properly)
Oct 29, 2011 7:24 AM # 
Huge fan of the active ankle brace for many years. It is the only thing that enables me to keep orienteering after several ankle operations. Light, comfortable, supremely sturdy, and flexible. And the last for quite a while. All the things one needs in a brace. They are not the most attractive, but, hey, this is the pyjama sport, right!
Oct 29, 2011 12:16 PM # 
The Bledsoe Brace web page claims that they can't do a feature comparison with other products, because there is nothing on the market that is similar. That suggests that (in their opinion) there is something inherently different between their brace and Active Ankle. From the information that they provide, it's not clear to me what that difference would be. They seem to put a lot of emphasis on the fact that their brace "anchors to the shoe", but they don't explain how it does that. But hey, it's made of "aerospace super alloy aluminum", so it must be awesome!
Oct 29, 2011 1:32 PM # 
Maybe the difference is the aluminium. The Active ankles are either plastic or plastic and carbon fibre (despite the American spell checker, I just can't bring myself to spell that word -er) aren't they? The picture didn't look very different. Velcro straps a bit higher?
In terms of 'anchoring to the shoes', the T2 had a shoelace loop that achieved the same thing, the volt does not. I think this is one of the reasons that the volt doesn't feel quite as effective to me.
Oct 31, 2011 9:47 PM # 
I used a plastic ankle brace for the last leg on the Jukola a few years ago. To make it do anything useful I had to tighten it to the point where it cut off circulation. Besides being relatively uncomfortable, I partially tore my achilles about half way through the race. I would strongly recommend using consistent strength and balance training as a way to prevent ankle injuries as opposed to structural support. (Treatment is another story, of course.)
Nov 1, 2011 2:03 PM # 
Sounds like nobody here has tried the Bledsoe brace. Plastic braces seem to provide enough support and I would guess the the aluminum construction of the Bledsoe would weigh quite a bit more. I suppose the support would be superior, perhaps too stiff?

As for me.... I run with plastic Active Ankle Volts on both ankles whenever I am off road, and like some of the other commentators, I could not orienteer competitively without them. I think that for people prone to sprains, and having prior injuries, no amount of "consistent strength and balance training" will prevent repeat injuries requiring months of rehabilitation.

I find that the Active Ankle Volts support adequately without any constriction of my circulation. I remove the pad and "lock" them under the shoe insoles. They sometimes cause blisters. My hack is to bend the support pillars outward into a graceful curve with pliers, and then sand down the edges of the pillars to make them more friendly. One hour races are never a problem. Six hour races are a different story, but I'll choose superficial blisters over a debilitating sprain any day.
Nov 1, 2011 2:25 PM # 
I'm mulling over getting a brace and a friend of mine who has destroyed her ankles in the past highly recommends these:

The guy behind it is very open to feedback. It also comes in different colours for those of you who wish to co-ordinate it with your socks.
Nov 1, 2011 3:25 PM # 
Pink Socks:
It also comes in different colours for those of you who wish to co-ordinate it with your socks.

Unfortunately, not in fluorescent pink....
Apr 24, 2012 3:01 PM # 
I'm looking to purchase an Active Ankle T2 in the UK to replace the one I have currently. Does anyone know of a UK supplier? (FE mentions that one does exist but I can't find one). Thanks.
Apr 24, 2012 4:03 PM # 
I've used Sportset in the past for buying the Active Ankle T2 in the UK, but importing from the states is cheaper.
Apr 24, 2012 4:12 PM # 
This site is great for US orders. Good prices and service. Not sure if they ship to UK.
Apr 25, 2012 7:35 AM # 
ASO ankle braces?
Apr 25, 2012 11:11 PM # 
I also bought the T2 from Sportset in the UK.

This discussion thread is closed.