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I would like to learn how to strap my ankle before playing soccer. I have had some problems with my ankle and I've heard many professional players strap regardless of being injured or not.

I also need to know which is the best tape I should be using. I've never bought this before and don't know what I'm looking for.

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Unless you are injured, I would not recommend random taping of the ankle. Tape jobs if they are not tight can cause their own injuries. Also, if the tape is not completely tight/flat, wrinkles can cause discomfort and blisters. Finally, there are specific taping jobs that are designed for specific injuries (For example the taping job for an inversion sprain is different than an eversion sprain, which is different than a plantar fasciitis support), and to do them wrong can cause injury. And, it's incredibly difficult to tape your own ankle well. – JohnP Aug 16 '13 at 15:31
Consider improving your ankle control and agility to prevent injury rather than relying on tape. See Ankle Exercises with a BOSU, Proprioception, Ankle Strengthening, Plyometrics – BackInShapeBuddy Aug 18 '13 at 11:22

2 Answers 2

I do not agree with strapping your ankles unless you are battling through an injury and the bracing is critical to you being able to perform/play.

I really really oppose any young athlete to wearing hi-tops, braces, or anything else that hinders ankle movement.

First and foremost you are debilitating the strengthening of that region of your body. The sport of soccer is a great example. Compared to football players their ankle injuries are less common and less severe. Big surprise - because they have been wearing low cut shoes their whole lives. Yes they might have gotten quite a few low ankle sprains along the way. But those are the ones that are good in a day or two.

What I am seeing now is a generation of teen girls and boys that have grown up playing in hi-tops. Their ankles never developed. Yes they don't get the nuisance ankle sprains but when they do it is a high ankle sprain and they are out forever. I have seen high ankle sprains compound into a year or two of PT.

Also I am sure that some pro soccer players strap but in no way is that the norm. Straps, braces, and hi-tops all inhibit ankle movement which decreases speed and power. There is movement in football where skill position players are switching back to low cut cleats. In basketball pros are switching to mids and lows (Kobe's shoes are lows with extra ankle support).

If you are injured I would use the brace to help heal the injury. I have worn braces for half of practice if going through an injury. The muscles need to be used to properly heal and most importantly strengthen for future injury. Given that you are injured I would try the Mueller brace. I have personally worn this and recommend it because it allows for different degrees of tightness in multiple regions. Your goal should be this fitting looser and looser until you can lose it.

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Braces have their own pluses and minuses. One of them being that they often cause an injury unrelated to what is being protected, because they prevent all movement in a direction which has it's own complications. You also state you are against young athletes wearing braces, but then recommend it? – JohnP Aug 16 '13 at 15:28
@JohnP - if they have an injury and will continue to play no matter what I will suggest what I would offer someone. I have two teenagers that have played basketball, football, and lacrosse and I have never let them wear a brace or hi-top. They have never had an ankle injury last more than a couple days and I really can't remember the last time they had one... The older one's football team... Half of them are battling through ankle injuries (2-a-days) as we speak. – DMoore Aug 16 '13 at 15:32

82% of all ankle issues in soccer are inversions sprains (rolling the ankle inward). The most common are the non-contant inversions sprains that come from uneven surfaces, seams in turf fields, etc. While many clubs worldwide for decades used taping to minimize sprains in elite professional players, conditioning is now recommended by FIFA's medical committee. Don Kirkendall from North Carolina is the resident expert here in the United States who serves on the U.S. and FIFA Medical Committees.

The FIFA 11+ training exercises are recommended for adult players and with some modifications for youth players. See

FIFA also recommends the balance board and wobble board exercises on page 16 of the following document to strengthed the ankles and connecting tissue Board exercises are also very useful in preventing knee issues.

If an ankle absolutely needs to be taped a better solution is a well fitted ankle brace. The issue with tape is after 15 minutes it starts to loosen and does not provide the same benefit for the entire playing time.

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