Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Finding the perfect ankle brace... like searching for a needle in a haystack.

And lucky for you, I have done the dirty work. You're welcome.

I know everyone with Hypermobile type EDS is different. Anyone can be ridiculously flexible anywhere, but most people are especially flexible in specific parts of my body. For me, it's my lower half, especially my hips and ankles. Fun fact/party trick: I can turn my ankles 180 degrees behind my body with little to no effort. I didn't even know or realize I could do this until I had EDS, but I started learning very quickly that if I pivot quickly without thinking, I do it all this by accident all the time. And it hurts. I started to feel like I was rolling my ankles on nearly a daily basis--not even from exercising--just daily life being a klutz. I was and am hoping I never have to wear an ankle walking boot, like many EDS-er wear 24/7.

Before I told my geneticist about this, I started looking online and again, with the theme of this blog, came up with little to nothing. My ankle braces started out mild and continued to get crazier and more intense as I found new things. My ankles are so unstable that I am convinced there is almost virtually nothing on the market to keep them in their places, except ONE brand, which I will share. 

Here is the ankle brace spectrum/my ankle brace journey.

MILD (and my first ankle brace): McDavid Classic Lightweight Ankle Brace

Not even close. Not. even. close. This brace did little to nothing to stabilize my ankles from rolling side to side. Almost laughable.

I thought I'd step my game up considering these are lace up, plus the s-wrap around the ankle, plus the strap around the top. Turns out---nope.

MEDIUM-HOT At this point, I had seen my geneticist, who agreed I needed a brace. She recommend the Bauerfeind MalleoTrain S Ankle Support

My geneticist is really into Bauerfeind (a German product) and honestly, the quality of their products is not amazing but comparatively to everything else on the market, it is the best. The reason this one doesn't go up a full level in severity is because it's not very different from the last and I was definitely in between sizes. The sock feels like a compression garment. But the size 2 felt like it was cutting off circulation and my toes were turning purple but the 3 felt so big it felt like it was doing nothing. I also felt like the strap gave little to no support as well. I wasn't asking for a brace to completely hinder my ankle moving my foot from side to side, but I would at least like it to prevent my ankle enough from rolling it. This didn't do that. At all. 

So, from pictures, this one may not seem that different. Is it the perfect brace? No. But Bauerfiend had greatly improved their product from MalleoTrain S. It may not be easy to see in this picture but they have added an extra piece on each side of the ankle that supports the outer part of the ankle bone. For some reason, that made a big difference. Strangely enough, the size 2 that felt so shitty with the last Malleotrain feels much better with this. It's still not as stable as I would need, but it does comfortably fit in an athletic sneaker, so I wear them now for exercise and extended walks. It actually also feels more stable in a sneaker as well, so finally, we have a KEEPER. 

SUICIDAL (/the ultimate ankle brace) Bauerfeind Malleoloc Ankle Brace

This brace was probably made by some evil genius in Germany. This thing is 100% pure ridiculous--in the best way possible. While it is sadly too thick on the sides to fit in an athletic sneaker, it can be worn with other shoes like Converse, etc. This brace actually has foam on the inside the contours to your body. When you wrap the "S" strap around your ankle, it literally has a lock on the outer side so your ankle is just about as stable as it gets. My foot pretty much cannot roll at all. Only up and down--as a foot should. I don't wear this out. I wear them around the house when I'm home and they help. I also wear comfy old long song underneath (that I've cut the toe off of) and stole from my dad. (Sorry Dad.) Yes, they are silly and ridiculous looking but it saves me a lot of hassle so it's worth it.

So, these last two are the two I own and wear for different reasons. Bauerfeind, if you're reading this, I will be the next bionic woman (probs) so feel free to make me your spokes-girl. I look good in blue. 

(It's a Beyonce day.) 


  1. i realize ankle brace is really nesscesary . Thank you for sharing.

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  3. McDavid is my daughter's favorite. These ankel braces were recommended by my daughter's physical therapist after a bad ankle sprain. They worked great and she'll wear them next season from the beginning, both ankles!

  4. Have you tried a RocketSoc?