Whenever injury takes place the most ideal thing to do is rest until it heals. However, if it’s your feet that are injured how will you let them rest and carry out your day-to-day activities? To aid in the recovery process and provide support, a walking boot for sprained ankles can be used.
Ankle injuries can be deceptive, appearing to heal quickly but causing lingering problems and potentially affecting other areas of the body. In this discussion, we aim to emphasize the significance of treating ankle sprains appropriately. We also provide insights into the expert-recommended walking boot designed specifically for this purpose.
Should You Wear a Walking Boot For Sprained Ankles?
When it comes to treating a sprained ankle, one common question that arises is whether wearing a walking boot is necessary. The answer is yes depending on the severity of the sprain.
One of the first things you need to do, obviously, is to manage the acute phase of the injury. You want to reduce inflammation and limit the range of motion to promote healing. Most of the cases, walking boots can be beneficial for reducing pain and preventing further damage by limiting movement and providing immobilization. The medical walking boot provides support, stability, and protection to the injured ankle, allowing it to heal properly. Keep scrolling we’ve presented our top choices that have earned the trust and praise of professionals.
Expert-Recommended Walking Boots for Sprained Ankles
We have classified ankle injuries into three grades: mild, moderate, and severe. Below we have recommended handpicked braces and walking boots for sprained ankles that we suggest to patients with different medical conditions. Before making any purchase let’s find out the type of injury you are carrying.
- Grade I Sprain: For mild sprains characterized by minimal stretching or tearing of ligaments, a lightweight brace or compression sleeve can provide sufficient support. These options offer gentle compression and stabilization while allowing for natural movement and flexibility.
- Grade II Sprain: Moderate sprains involving partial ligament tears may require a semi-rigid or hinged walking boot for sprained ankles. These boots provide increased stability and protection, often with adjustable features for personalized fit and support. They restrict excessive movement, allowing the ligaments to heal properly while enabling partial weight-bearing.
- Grade III Sprain: Severe sprains with complete ligament tears typically necessitate a rigid walking boot or an immobilization cast. These boots offer maximum support, immobilizing the ankle and restricting movement. They are designed to promote healing, prevent further damage, and allow for controlled weight-bearing or non-weight-bearing, as advised by a healthcare professional.
For Mild Sprained Ankle
Braces are often used to treat mild ankle sprains and tendonitis. They provide sturdy, adjustable support that’s excellent for ankle injury prevention and treating sports injuries, especially for mild discomfort. We mostly recommend lace-up braces as they are semi-rigid. The lace-up structure provides the perfect fit and allows you to make adjustments as the swelling fluctuates. Additionally, the side straps keep your foot in place during activity.
ACE Brand Deluxe Adjustable Ankle Stabilizer
You’ve heard of the ACE brand before; they have a lot of good quality products. Specifically, this is the deluxe ankle stabilizer, which is helpful in limiting lateral motion. It is a bilateral brace, meaning you can wear it on either foot, and it’s designed to provide extra stability when walking, hiking, or engaging in other sports. Among the braces this is the most minimal, occupying the least amount of space. This feature can be particularly useful if you’re trying to wear a shoe that doesn’t have much room, to begin with. Despite its minimal design, this lateral support stays noticeably increased stability. Although they may not appear highly supportive and may not be suitable for more moderate ankle sprains. But they do a great job of providing essential support and stability without being too bulky.
I would just use it as a transition brace or for very light sprains. I think ACE does a really good job with the quality of the materials, from the side straps and the elastic to the Velcro and the breathable material on the top of your foot. This is made out of a very comfortable material, which is especially helpful in the hotter seasons. And you can get it without breaking the bank; it’s about 15 bucks, which makes it one of the most accessible braces out there.
For Mild to Moderate Sprained Ankle
Individuals with recurrent ankle sprains or chronic ankle instability can benefit from semi-rigid ankle braces or a hinged walking boot for sprained ankles. These braces offer moderate support and help prevent excessive ankle movements.
Zenith Ankle Brace, Lace Up Adjustable Support
The traditional lace-up ankle brace from Zenith is an all-rounder because it provides good stability in all directions, protecting you from backward, forward, and sideways movements. Material-wise, it is typically thicker than the ankle brace from ACE mentioned earlier. However, we wouldn’t recommend using it for conditions like arthritis. It is more suitable for acute injuries such as ankle sprains or post-surgery recovery, for example, after an Achilles tendon rupture.
This brace is great for increased activity, such as getting back to running, jogging, or hiking. It’s pretty minimally invasive and provides decent ankle support on the side. However, immediately after experiencing a moderate ankle sprain, you’ll need something a little sturdier than this. So I wouldn’t completely dismiss this brace or consider it unsuitable; I would just use it as a transitional brace or for very light sprains.
Walking Boot For Moderate to Severe Ankle Injury
Recovering from an ankle sprain or stress fracture can be challenging. As you may know, an ankle sprain can leave you feeling pretty debilitated due to the pain, swelling, and the fear of recurring sprains. For people with chronic or grade 3 ankle sprains, addressing the weakness and instability in the ankle requires more than just a brace. That’s why a good medical walking boot is crucial in this case. Specialized Orthopedic boot helps prevent further injury, allows your ankle to heal, and gradually builds your strength. Make sure to check out the best shoes for walking on concrete.
United Ortho Air Cam Walker Fracture Walking Boot (Short)
This versatile boot is suitable for various conditions, including acute ankle sprains, soft tissue injuries, stable lower leg, foot, and ankle fractures, as well as post-operative use. Its exceptional durability is ensured by the combination of plastic molded uprights and steel reinforcement.
Personally, I have found this walking boot to be a significant improvement compared to other options I have tried. As someone who has experienced a broken ankle twice in the past, I wish I had access to this boot during those recoveries. I can confidently say that this boot has provided me with excellent support, allowing me to walk even with a broken foot. However, one aspect that I find peculiar is the convex sole, which resembles the shape of a small round-bottom boat.
This design places the center of gravity at the outer bottom sole, reminiscent of older cast knobs. While it takes some adjustment, it enables you to rock forward and apply pressure either to the front part of your foot or the heel. I must admit that walking on tile floors can be a bit challenging and unnerving due to this unique sensation, although I have not experienced any slips thus far. Overall, I find the boot supportive enough. However, the sensation of rocking and twisting on the convex center of gravity can still make me feel somewhat uncertain while walking indoors.
Aircast AirSelect Walker Brace/Walking Boot (Tall)
The Aircast walker boot is another excellent choice for a more supportive option due to its extra height compared to the previous boot we’ve discussed. Unlike short walking boots, this one is more bulky and can be a bit of a pain to wear. However, the main purpose of the boot is to secure it to the calf and immobilize the muscles that eventually turn into tendons and attach to the bottom of your foot. If your doctor has diagnosed this as the cause of your issue, these boots can help facilitate a smooth gait pattern. They can reduce pressure on the affected bone and allow for gradual healing without complete immobilization.
Comparison Table For Short & Tall Medical Walking Boots
|Best Walking Boots for Sprained Ankle||Aircast (Tall Walking Boot)||United Ortho (Short Walking Boot)|
|Pros||– Has an air bladder for extra cushion||– Less support with a less-than-full-length boot|
|– Provides extra support due to its tall design||– With orthotic and cushion, it keeps pressure off the ankle|
|– Inner sleeve can be adjusted for a lower fit|
|– Helps alleviate pressure off the ankle with proper orthotic and cushioning|
|– Lower cost compared to other walking boots|
|Cons||– Plastic rim can cause irritation||– Less support with a less than full-length boot|
|Tips||– Lift the cushioning material along the hard plastic rim to prevent irritation||– Use a lift for the other foot to prevent back and hip problems|
|– Keep the air bladder pumped up for maximum cushioning and support||– Use an orthotic for the flat footbed to enhance comfort|
|– Use an orthotic and a lift on the other foot to prevent back and hip problems|
|Best for||– Sprained ankle patients who require extra cushioning and support||– Individuals seeking a lower-cost walking boot option|
|– Those who can benefit from using orthotics and lifts for proper alignment||– Those who prioritize comfort over maximum support|
FAQs About Walking Boots for Sprained Ankles and Braces
How long should I wear a walking boot for a sprained ankle?
The duration of wearing a walking boot for sprained ankles can vary depending on the severity of the sprain and the advice of your healthcare professional. It is going to refer to the type of trauma or damage you’ve caused. Typically, ankle sprains are divided into three grades: grade one, two, or three, which are equivalent to mild, moderate, or severe. The grading reflects the stretch or laxity in your ligament and the extent of the damage.
In mild cases, you may only need to wear the boot for a few days to a couple of weeks. For more severe sprains or ligament tears, the boot may be required for several weeks or even months. It is important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding the duration of boot usage to ensure proper healing.
How to put on an ankle brace?
To wear an ankle brace, place your heel first and use the wraparounds to secure the support around your lower leg and foot. While ankle supports come in different shapes and sizes, they all have a similar purpose: to provide stability to the ankle.
How long does a sprained ankle stay swollen?
A sprained ankle can remain swollen for varying durations. In the case of moderate or severe ankle sprains, it may take up to six weeks for the swelling to completely subside. However, it’s worth noting that the swelling may persist for a longer period than the overall recovery time. It is important to monitor the swelling and seek medical attention if there are any concerns or if the swelling does not improve over time.
Related Article, Best basketball shoes for ankle support