A lace up ankle brace, as its name implies, is an ankle brace that is secured using laces akin to those of a shoe and aims to provide lateral ankle stability for treatment and prevention of sprains.
Like ankle braces with straps, lace up ankle braces provide greater ankle stability and support than an ankle sleeve but at the cost of less comfort. Compared to ankle braces with straps, lace ups are easier to apply (put on) since they do not involve the complex strapping patterns that are you sometimes have to deal with when wearing braces with straps.
However, one potential disadvantage of lace ups relative to ankle braces with straps lies in their potential to restrict up and down ankle movement. This type of ankle movement (plantar extension) is of key importance in actions like running or jumping. As a result, using a lace up brace for sports like basketball or volleyball can sometimes cause an impairment in athletic performance.
Moreover, as the game or training session goes on, the laces can sometimes loosen, causing a decrease in the lateral support that is the primary reason for wearing the brace. To counter this problem, the user will need to re tie the laces every so often. This is akin to reapplying knee or ankle tape jobs regularly during games or practice.
As a result of these considerations, we would regard lace up braces as suitable for treatment of moderate sprains and for wear during everyday activities that do not involve running or jumping. They are also a good choice for treatment of ankle instability while performing everyday activities.