ASO Ankle Stabilizer Review
Most of us know how important proper ankle support is, and we dread the schlep of an ankle injury. A good ankle brace is one of the best preventative measures that an athlete can take in order to help ward off injuries. It’s also a great device that may help promote a faster recovery period for those that already obtained an injury.
The problem is this: ankle braces come available in hundreds of different shapes and sizes, all claim to be the next best thing, and they vary greatly in design and price. So how do you know which one is right for you?
One of the products that we recently reviewed (and really liked, by the way) is the ASO Ankle Stabilizer. We actually selected this as one of our top ankle braces for running, but we will focus on the ASO ankle brace here in more detail. Check out our information below to see if this lace-up ankle brace might be right for you!
ASO Ankle Stabilizer - Initial Thoughts
The Ankle Stabilizer from ASO is essentially a lace-up ankle brace that looks pretty traditional and offers solid stabilization for the ankle without being too bulky. Since it has a universal fit, it can be worn on the left or right ankle. It has a top-entry point which is encased in a ballistic nylon boot, which sounds pretty odd, but it’s super flexible, and it’s pretty easy to put on. We weren’t sold on the idea that it would ‘glide’ onto an injured ankle without causing some panicky squirms, but we’ll get to that shortly.
Most athletes are familiar with the practice of taping, or being taped, and the ASO Ankle Stabilizer was designed on the same concept of support pattern, which makes it effective and versatile. The device has nylon straps that cover the front and bottom of the ankle and it sports Velcro sides for a secure and anatomical fit with leverage to prevent excess motion in all the right places.
ASO Ankle Stabilizer - Fit
Since the nylon straps on the ASO have finger loops, it’s easy to tighten, and then secure them with the elastic cuff closer over the ankle. The stabilizer also has laces (hence "lace-up" style ankle brace), which are secured with the cuff closure, which ultimately keeps them tight during activities. Although movement is restricted by the ASO Ankle Stabilizer, you can easily adjust the fit for a more comfortable fit (just be careful to not defeat the purpose of the brace itself), and you don’t even have to take your shoe off for this!
As far as the profile goes, the ASO has a pretty small one, and it can easily fit into a shoe. This is a major bonus since it cuts down bulk and ups the comfort level while wearing the device.
With its Cool Flex tongue material, the ASO contours the foot and prevents rubbing in the Achilles. We were impressed by this feature, to say the least. If you’re wondering if the tongue shifts during activity; rest assured. The laces of the brace are attached directly to the tongue, ensuring a perfect fit that won’t move around as you do.
A Matter of Support
This one is pretty important: The ASO Ankle Support won’t give you the same level of support offered by some of the best hinged ankle braces, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you are in the recovery process of your injury and your doctor or physiotherapist has recommended a lace-up style ankle brace, then chances are you may not need the extreme support offered by a hinged ankle brace.
Generally speaking, we think of lace-up ankle braces as a great balance between support, flexibility, and practicality. If you don't need the ultimate support of a hinged ankle brace, then a lace-up is the next best option for support. The ASO lace-up ankle brace that we are reviewing in this article is one of the best options for a lace-up ankle brace in terms of value, as you get a highly functional brace for a price that won't break the bank.
Whow should use this ankle brace?
As we eluded to above, this ASO ankle brace won't offer the top-level support offered by ankle braces with rigid hinged components. Due to the design and material of this brace, and lace-up ankle braces in general, you don't really have a strict end point for range of motion, but the additional support offered by this brace is still way more substantial than a compression sleeve or something along those lines.
Therefore, this ASO ankle brace could be a great option for those with previous ankle injuries looking for added support during activity (assuming you are ready for activity), or even if you're completely healed but looking to reduce the risk of subsequent injury. That being said, please keep in mind that the type of brace that is right for you will ultimately be a decision that is made between yourself and your health professionals, likely a physician, physiotherapist, athletic therapist, or surgeon.
What do we like about the ASO ankle stabilizer?
- The brace is supplemented with a ballistic nylon boot to enhance its durability.
- It also has stabilizing straps to ensure adequate support without unnecessarily reducing range of motion in certain directions.
- The bilateral design enhances the fit and ensures that the brace can be worn on the left or right ankle.
- It has a low-profile, which eliminates bulk.
- The brace is very lightweight, which really helps with comfort.
- This brace is very durable.
What don't we like about the ASO ankle stabilizer?
- Doesn't provide maximum support like a rigid/hinged ankle brace, so make sure a lace-up ankle brace is right for you first.
- The appearance is a little plain, which is fine by us, but some misinterpret that as a sign of a poor product. Not the case here!
Overall, the ASO ankle stabilizer is a top-notch lace-up ankle brace that simply gets the job done. It's comfortable, form-fitting, provides a good level of support, and also adds a couple bonus features as well like being able to adjust it without taking your shoe off.
Once again, this ASO lace-up ankle brace isn't meant for those with really severe ankle injuries, but more so individuals who are ready to return to activity and want a good amount of additional support while the participate in physical activity. Additionally, lots of people where this ankle brace as a preventative measure if they have had ankle injuries in the past, as it provides a good balance between support and mobility.
Therefore, if you know a lace-up ankle brace is right for you, then the ASO ankle lace-up brace will be tough to beat, especially at such an affordable price! That being said, there are definitely other comparable models out there as well, such as the McDavid 195 ankle brace, so don't feel you have to go with this particular ankle brace, just know that it's definitely a good one!