A stirrup ankle brace is a design that provides high levels of lateral ankle support for protection against sprains and instability, even during periods of rigorous physical activity.
This ankle brace design is in the form of a stirrup and passes down one side of the ankle, goes under it and then comes up on the other side. The surfaces on either side of the ankle usually have soft pads for user comport but also play the role of inversion or eversion prevention.
Compared to ankle braces with straps, stirrup ankle braces offer even greater lateral support albeit at the expense of some user comfort.
Some ankle brace with straps (e.g. the Stirrup Strap used with the BioSkin Trilok) incorporate a stirrup strap that passes under the ankle and supports it on either side in the same manner we have described above.
Stirrup ankle braces provide very high levels of lateral support and are therefore an excellent choice for ankle sprains or instability. We would also suggest considering them for use during sports or other activity that may place significant lateral stresses on the ankle, e.g. sports with plenty of jumping such as basketball or volleyball. However, be careful to find a brace that is low profile enough to not interfere with your athletic activity and will not excessively restrict your ankle’s range of motion. Some stirrup braces, although providing excellent lateral support, may be too bulky for use on the playing field. They will nevertheless be a great choice for post op support and rehabilitation.
One advantage of using this type of brace for sports activity is the fact that it does not interfere with the up and down movement of your ankle. This type of movement is particularly important for activities like jumping and sprinting.