An ankle sleeve will provide high levels of user comfort and uniform compression for your ankle to help heal mild muscle soreness and fatigue. It will also help with the treatment of other non severe ankle injuries. However, it will not provide lateral support of the type an athlete would need to prevent inversion or eversion ankle sprains.
Another situation for which an ankle sleeve is a great choice is if you need a source of warmth to help treat a stiff ankle. Neoprene sleeves in particular can retain the wearer’s body heat and use it to keep the ankle warm, even if the wearer has not completed a proper warm up before his/her sporting or other exertions. We would always advise completing a proper warm up before commencing any physically rigorous activity. However, we also recognize that this may not always be possible or convenient, and this is where an ankle sleeve can come in handy.
The advantage of a warm ankle joint is that your ligaments, muscles and tendons will be more supple and stretchable. As a result, the user is less at risk of incurring injuries like sprains or strains that are the result of ligament, muscle and tendon overstretching or tearing.
When Is An Ankle Sleeve Not A Good Choice?
Having explained what an ankle sleeve can do, it is also incumbent upon us to explain what it cannot do. We would not suggest this type of ankle brace as an appropriate remedy for an ankle sprain or ankle instability. There is no lateral support mechanism that will prevent the user rolling his/her ankle and aggravating an existing sprain.
We would also advise against the use of a sleeve for sporting or other activities that may place stresses on your ankle. The absence of lateral support means that there will be no protection for the ankle in situations like landing awkwardly after a jump and trying to regain balance. For this type of situation, the user is better off trying an ankle brace with straps, for example.