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3 Ways to Avoid Ankle Injuries While Hunting

There’s no replacement for conditioning, but a brace can reinforce injured ankles.
There’s no replacement for conditioning, but a brace can reinforce injured ankles. (Ultra Ankle/)

Our feet and ankles are literally the foundation of any outdoor adventure. But sometimes we need a little extra support to mitigate the effects of age or injury. Common ankle and foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and tendon sprains can all be helped to one degree or another with an ankle brace. While no device is a replacement for proper treatment and conditioning, here three types of ankle braces to consider in order of increasing support.

Compression Supports

Ankle compression sleeves reduce swelling from injuries.
Ankle compression sleeves reduce swelling from injuries. (Crucial Compression/)

A compression sock or sleeve reduces swelling associated with injury, arthritis, or other types of inflammation. They don't offer much physical rigidity, but they do alleviate pain so you can continue training or take a hike that otherwise might be too uncomfortable to bear.

Lace-Up Braces

A lace-up brace is slim enough to wear under a boot.
A lace-up brace is slim enough to wear under a boot. (Z Athletics/)

A lace-up brace offers increased support and allows you to adjust pressure right where you need it most. It's slim enough to wear under a hunting boot, although the lacing system can tend to pinch and bite after long miles. Be mindful of any developing hot spots so you don't aggravate an already sensitive condition with blisters.

Rigid Support

A good brace will support your ankle without restricting your freedom to move around.
A good brace will support your ankle without restricting your freedom to move around. (Ultra Ankle/)

For the ultimate support after a fracture or severe sprain, you need a brace with some sort of integrated reinforcement. The key is to find one that will allow you to remain mobile but still provide the rigidity necessary to get back in the field with confidence.

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