Do you have an ankle giving you a hard time while you skate?
Well, you’re not alone. Ankle issues affect almost every hockey player at one point or another.
If left alone, it could be a real problem. However, by taking the right action and using the right equipment, you’ll be able to play at the level you were at before.
In this article, we’ll show you whether you can wear an ankle brace with ice hockey skates. Plus, we’ll show you a few different skating tips to strengthen your ankles, and show you what equipment you should use for better ankle support.
Here’s Whether You Can Wear an Ankle Brace in Hockey Skates:
Yes, you can wear an ankle brace in your skates. There are a few types of ankle braces you could use. Keep in mind, ankle braces that offer more support are often thicker and harder to fit in your skates, while braces with a bit less support are easier to wear comfortably in your skates.
4 Types of Ankle Support for Hockey Players
Ankle injuries are common in hockey due to collisions at high speeds.
Ankle supports can help prevent ankle injuries and help you find the support you need as a player.
Whether you’re recovering from an ankle injury, or you’re just looking for a bit more support, you’ll be happy to know there are a few different types of ankle supports you can use as a hockey player.
Lace-Up Ankle Braces
Lace-up ankle braces are ankle supports that help minimize movement in your foot and ankle.
This type of brace supports the entire ankle all the way up to the midpoint of your foot (so your toes can still move freely).
Lace-up ankle braces are made from sturdy canvas material that can fit pretty well into your skates with a bit of effort. You can also use them in your shoes.
This type of ankle brace is a great option if you deal with frequent ankle sprains, chronic ankle instability, or you’re simply recovering from a serious ankle injury.
If you’re interested in getting a lace-up ankle brace, we recommend the McDavid 195 Ultralight Ankle Brace.
Elastic Ankle Support
Elastic ankle support provides you ankle support without limiting your range of motion. It’s also one of the easiest types of support to fit in your skates.
Elastic supports offer support for sore, stiff, or weak ankles. Even though they’re thin, they offer great support through compression.
Compression helps reduce pain, reduce swelling, and improve your overall ankle joint function. It can also help with your endurance, which is a nice bonus.
This type of support is usually made from pretty breathable materials, allowing you to play comfortably throughout an entire game.
This type of support can fit easily in any skate without affecting the comfortability of your skates (or shoes).
If you’re interested in getting an elastic ankle support, we recommend Captain Sports Elastic Ankle Support.
The ankle support option that will most easily fit in your skate is athletic taping.
Taping your ankles helps increase the overall stability of your ankle without having to use an ankle brace.
Athletic tape can help you recover from ankle injuries and also prevent further injury.
Ankle taping works so well because it limits the movement of your ankle joint, allowing it to heal quickly in a set position.
Overall, it fits really well inside almost any hockey skate since it’s so thin. It’s pretty easy to put on yourself—or you could have your coach or athletic trainer help you put it on before a game.
If you’re interested in getting some athletic taping, we recommend Iconikal Easy-Tear Athletic Tape.
Built-In Ankle Supports
While you can purchase different types of ankle supports to wrap around your ankle during or after a game, the best option over the long run is to simply purchase some hockey skates made with great built-in ankle supports.
Most hockey skates will come with built-in ankle support that protects your ankle and foot from the puck.
Higher-end hockey skates will typically mold to your feet within a few sessions of skating in them, providing you with great ankle support.
If you’re looking for hockey skates and you’re dealing with ankle issues, you’ll probably want to avoid any lower-end skates. It’s important to find skates that provide adequate ankle support and low-end skates typically don’t offer nearly as much as mid to high-end skates.
Your boot should fit snug around your ankle when you try your skates on. If you’re looking for hockey skates with durable built-in support, you should look at well known brands like Bauer and CCM.
If you’re interested in getting some hockey skates with great built-in ankle supports, we recommend Bauer Vapor 2x Pro Senior Ice Hockey Skates.
We’ve also provided a few more options at the bottom of this article.
How Do You Tie Your Skates For Better Ankle Support?
If you’re struggling with weak or wobbly ankles, you need better ankle support.
One of the best ways to fix this is by typing your skates tighter.
An easy way to do this is by creating a loop at the top of your laces:
- When you’re about to bring your laces up across to the final hole, don’t cross them over.
- Instead, keep your lace to the outside of your boot, and on the same side, just slip the lace through the top hole towards the inside of your boot. This will create a loop.
- Once you’ve got the loop, you can then cross the laces over through each top loop.
- Finish tying your skates how you normally would.
This will help get your skates a bit tighter so you have much better support on the ice.
Here’s a video showing you exactly how to do this:
How Do You Strengthen Your Ankles for Hockey?
Do you struggle with weak ankles in hockey?
Maybe your ankles bend inwards quite a bit?
Don’t worry, this happens with every new hockey player. And, there’s a few tips you can follow to ensure you strengthen your ankles to have better support:
- Get your skates properly fitted (they could be too big)
- Try on a wide variety of skates to get skates that are nice and snug
- Get your skates molded to your feet
- Work on your overall leg strength. It impacts your ability to keep your ankles strong more than anything.
- Bend your knees more when you’re skating
- Tighten your laces more
- Talk to a sports physiotherapist if you’re dealing with an ongoing ankle injury
If you’re really serious about strengthening your ankles for hockey, then you should work on some ankle training drills.
This is a great video you could watch that includes a simple 30-day ankle training plan:
Ice Skates Hurt Your Ankles? Try This
Ankle pain is a very common thing among hockey players.
This is especially true for new players whose ankles are still adjusting to hockey skates.
Here are a couple tips to reduce or prevent ankle pain from playing hockey:
- Get your skates fitted properly
- Get your skates heat molded
- Wear thicker socks (but not too thick)
- If you’re injured, take a break
- Start doing ankle-specific workouts
- Try loosening your laces a bit (but be careful not to make them too loose)
- Use slightly thicker hockey skate insoles
- Use a lace-up ankle brace, elastic ankle support, or athletic tape
If you’re new to the game, it’s important to remember that ankle soreness is completely normal (and expected).
However, if your ankle pain is consistent for a few weeks, and your ankles every time you play, you might want to try to rest a bit more in between ice time to give your ankles a chance to recover.
Best Ice Skates for Ankle Support
If you’re wanting to get skates that have great ankle support, you’ll want to aim to get some mid to high end skates as they have much better ankle support than low end skates.
Here are 3 of the best ankle supportive hockey skates on the market:
Best Overall Hockey Skates for Ankle Support:
Bauer Vapor 2x Pro Senior Ice Hockey Skates
Runner-Up Hockey Skates for Ankle Support:
CCM Jetspeed FT4 Senior Ice Hockey Skates
Budget-Friendly Hockey Skates for Ankle Support:
CCM Jetspeed FT475 Senior Ice Hockey Skates
For more hockey gear tips and recommendations, check out these guides: How to Remove Hockey Jersey Wrinkles, Bauer vs. CCM Sticks (Everything You Should Know), and 3 Great Hockey Skates for Ankle Support.