If you have ever rolled your ankle during sparring, training, or even just walking down the street, then you can definitely relate to the need to have the best Muay Thai ankle supports available. This rings true especially if you are on the heavier or more muscular side. Ankle injuries have taken out anyone from the most casual gym-goers to the most elite sports athletes. This is why it's important to be extra cautious when it comes to handling our lower body and powering through intense training and workouts.
In this guide, we will run through the purpose of Muay Thai ankle supports, understanding the unique benefits they provide when worn during training and sports activities, as well as a few of the most noteworthy products that you should definitely consider before finalizing your Muay Thai ankle support purchase.
If you are ready to learn more about Muay Thai ankle supports and ankle wraps, then keep reading!
What are Muay Thai Ankle Supports? How Do They Work?
Muay Thai ankle supports, otherwise known as ankle guards, ankle support, ankle brace, ankle joint stabilizers, ankle compression gear, or Muay Thai ankle wraps, are a piece of optional equipment that we absolutely recommend using during intense training, sparring, and workout sessions. If allowed in competition, we advise wearing an ankle support, too.
Although they serve limited functions, they can spell the difference between incurring a severe injury and having a minor ankle sprain.
Benefits of Using Muay Thai Ankle Support
Let us now take a look at the unique benefits Muay Thai ankle support can provide to a Muay Thai fighter.
Stabilizes the Joints and Muscles
First off, Muay Thai ankle support stabilizes the ankle joints and muscles to prevent unnecessary movements such as rolling your foot inward or the rarer (but just as devastating) rolling outward of your foot.
Gives You the Ability to Unleash Powerful Kicks
Second, Muay Thai ankle support (especially the compression gear variant) can really help in enabling the proper form and movement in executing kicks.
Whether it be extending the foot forward to land deep kicks (or push kicks) with your feet or bringing it up from the side to execute a well-placed roundhouse kick, the support provided by Muay Thai ankle supports will help you get the necessary angle and ample wide range of motion without compromising the safety of your ankle joint.
Enables All Other Techniques
Third, it enables you to execute all the other movement, stances, clinches, and strikes. If you have ever heard a coach or gym instructor tell you that everything comes from the feet, then he/she might as well have just said that everything comes from the ankles.
It is in the stability and strength of the feet and ankles that allow you to execute practically every stand-up strike, clinch, and grapple applicable in the world of combat sports and more particularly, Muay Thai.
Even defensive maneuvers start from the ankles, from raising your guard (or lowering your guard to your midsection) to bobbing, weaving, and slipping certain strikes, ankles are important in terms of supporting the entire body. This is why supporting your ankle with an external piece of gear such as ankle support will definitely help you perform better overall.
Aids in Preventing Aggravation of Injury, Recovery, and Rehabilitation
In the fight business, especially in the professional scene that involves a lot of fame, fortune, and reputation, Muay Thai fighters rarely enter the ring with 100% health.
Therefore, it is essential to have the necessary protections in place to ensure that any lingering physical issue or injury will not be aggravated during the match.
In terms of recovery and rehabilitation, Muay Thai ankle support is also a valid tool to utilize even when outside the gym or training facility. Ankles are very fragile, especially for bigger men and women. So having protection on all the time (specifically Muay Thai ankle support that is elastic and breathable) will definitely help speed up the process of healing and recovery.
The Mental Game
Before slipping into the next section, we also have to talk about the fifth and final benefit: the mental aspect of wearing ankle supports. If you are someone who is prone to ankle or lower body-related injuries, then having protective gear and equipment, whether in the form of spandex, padding, brace, or wraps will give you a tremendous boost in confidence when executing strikes and footwork.
Do not dismiss this part as you would soon realize that injury prevention is the key to constantly improving, constantly getting better at your craft.
What to Consider Before Buying Muay Thai Ankle Support
Now that we fully understand Muay Thai ankle support, let's dive deeper and take a look at the specific aspects of ankle supports.
Materials and Durability
There are so many types of Muay Thai ankle support materials that offer varying levels of performance, stability, durability, and breathability.
We have spandex, which is more elastic and lightweight.
Polyester, which is the more traditional material used for Muay Thai ankle support.
Cotton, another common component in Muay Thai ankle support.
Synthetic blend (usually either a cotton and polyester blend or a spandex and cotton blend) which is a hybrid form of ankle protection that sports multiple materials for different portions of the foot and ankle.
All types of materials are good, but take note that none of these components are as durable as other materials for other Muay Thai gear such as genuine leather or even synthetic leather. So adjust your expectations accordingly when it comes to ankle support longevity.
Most traditional martial arts ankle support devices do not offer thick padding as the priority is to still allow the foot to have a wide degree of motion.
However, there are new ankle support products for Muay Thai and other combat sports that offer padding in certain parts of the ankle support, creating a hybrid between shin guards and Muay Thai ankle support.
We have had our fair share of experiences with these so-called padded ankle supports and although it does offer the much-needed protection and stability we need in protective gear and equipment, we just feel like it does not match the intended purpose in allowing a wide range of motion while offering ample protection, stability, and support.
Size and Fit
The nature of most of the best ankle supports in terms of size and fit is one size fits all. However, despite the convenience and flexibility of a "one size fits all" type of ankle support, we would still recommend that you try on the ankle support yourself before finalizing your purchase.
If a physical Muay Thai store is inaccessible to you at the moment, then measure the dimensions of your lower leg and foot (including the ankle) and compare them to the specifications listed in the Muay Thai ankle support's product description.
There is no need to worry about this as there is a wide range of sizes that could accommodate all kinds of ankles and ankle sizes.
There are certain types of ankle support that are heavier than the others but this typically comes with an added degree of protection. On the other hand, most common ankle support devices are very light, offer maximum range of motion, but can be a bit limited in terms of the protection and stability it can offer.
In this regard, we would advise that you assess your Muay Thai training habits and training workouts before choosing the right weight and type of ankle support for you.
If your training involves frequent sparring and kick-heavy sessions, then it would be preferable to go with heavier ankle support to minimize the risk of injury. However, if you are only doing light to moderate Muay Thai training, then the lightweight ankle support for Muay Thai should suffice for your ankle needs.
There are rarely any ankle support products nowadays that are not machine stitched. With that being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with machine-stitched ankle support.
As long as the quality assurance and production facilities are established (this is true for most of the best Muay Thai brands), then there is no need to worry about machine-stitched products, whether it be through reinforced stitching, double-stitching, or the traditional standard stitching.
Brand and Product Reviews
Take advantage of the internet and look at the brand's background and the specific ankle support product reviews.
Products from Venum, Fairtex, RDX, Twins, and Sanabul have always been reliable and have constantly received great product reviews.
If you are looking to purchase from a lesser-known brand or small-market Muay Thai business, then make sure to look up their company history and the actual product reviews so you would know what you are getting yourself into.
The Best Muay Thai Ankle Supports Right Now
Here are our the best ankle support products for Muay Thai, MMA, and any other combat sport available for purchase right now.
The Venum Kontact Evo Foot Grip is great for MMA and Muay Thai sparring sessions. It is made of neoprene, a material that promotes breathability, flexibility, and agility.
This pair comes in a wide range of sizes and is one of the most well-reviewed products available online.
It also features traction and slip-on technology that is not usually found in other ankle support products. You can wear this product as easy as you wear your socks (or wear your slip-on shoes).
The RDX MMA Ankle Support is a great product for kickboxing, Muay Thai, and MMA training.
This pair has more than one size (to accommodate different foot sizes and shapes) and is known for injury prevention through its high-quality polyester elasticated fabric construction.
RDX has made a lot of great products and equipment (such as their heavy bag) and this is definitely one of them. There is no doubt that RDX will occupy a bigger piece of the market share the more fighters learn about how great the brand's products are in terms of quality, material, and design.
One of the best in the sport of Muay Thai, the most popular and reputable brand known as Fairtex has come to offer what they simply call the Fairtex Ankle Support that is marketed for MMA, boxing, and Muay Thai.
This pair is free-size (one size fits all) and the quality and craftsmanship are clearly not neglected when looking at this product.
It is constructed with a polyester and cotton blend and features good mobility and padding to protect the foot and reduce the occurrence of ankle-related injuries.
One of our favorites in terms of design, function, and simplicity is the Twins Muay Thai Ankle Support.
Although limited in what it can feature, this Twins product is amazing for the sport of Muay Thai and the sport of MMA.
Similar to the Fairtex entry earlier, this Twins product offers great joint safety and can handily protect fighters from any lower-body injuries (or at the very least, reduce the occurrence of injuries).
The material used is a blend of polyester and cotton to allow for flexibility and breathability.
Grab a pair now and seamlessly fit this into your bag of accessories and gym products.
It does not matter if Sanabul is a non-Thailand brand. What matters is that the materials, technology, and cushioning found in the Sanabul Essentials Ankle Guard are the best in the market.
Made specifically for fighters who engage in striking arts, the material used, identified as Sanabul Gel, is one of the greatest innovations this brand has to offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do ankle supports help in Muay Thai?
Ankle supports definitely help in Muay Thai and are particularly effective for individuals who are prone to foot or ankle-related injuries on the mat. Wearing Muay Thai ankle supports is beneficial as they are effective in stabilizing the ankle joints and supporting the movement of the foot without hampering range of motion, on top of pain relief and recovery.
Can Muay Thai ankle supports be used in other martial arts?
Muay Thai ankle supports can be used in training for other martial arts. However, in terms of using them in competition, it would all depend on the rules and regulations of the organizer or the promotion handling the bouts.
Conclusion (and the Best Overall)
In terms of flexibility, padding, slip-on technology, and affordability, we have to go with none other than the Venum Kontact Evo Foot Grip by the French Muay Thai manufacturer. The grip technology feature alone at the base of the foot provides us with enough traction to execute strikes and footwork without the worry of slipping on the floor or mat.
Aside from traction, Venum has been one of the best Muay Thai brands that has been surging in popularity. This is because of how good the products are to wear, the innovative features the company can offer, and the affordable yet high-quality materials used to construct the end-products.
Overall, in terms of being one of the best brands, having the foot traction feature, and coming at an affordable price point, the Venum Kontact Evo Foor Grip is the best in our minds when it comes to choosing the best ankle support.
We hope these recommendations on the best Muay Thai ankle supports has been helpful to you in making the right decision.