Find the Best Football Brace for Your Position
As a full-contact, high-octane sport, football is a thrilling experience for both players and audiences. Unfortunately, the impactful nature of the sport leaves players susceptible to various injuries –– many of which involve the knee, ankle, and shoulder.
Thankfully, with the right protective gear, you can minimize your risk of injury and extend your time on the field. Whether you play defensively or offensively, here are some of the best football braces to suit your playstyle and maximize your longevity!
Ideal Braces For Offensive Linemen
As players primarily tasked with front-line blocking, offensive linemen are particularly at-risk of sustaining injuries to the ankle and knee. Aggressive, high-contact plays regularly force offensive linemen into close-quarter scenarios, culminating in repeated collisions. Over time, these plays can compromise the feet and lead to strains and sprains.
Because of these factors, many offensive linemen wear ankle braces to protect from the “ankle rolling” that can occur regularly during play. When a player’s ankle rolls, ligaments in the ankle can stretch and tear beyond their natural capacity. This can lead to pain and swelling that can disable players for long stretches of time.
So, what ankle braces do offensive linemen wear?
For an offensive lineman, the best football brace is likely to be a form-fitting, lightweight brace that provides comfort without hindering movement. Braces such as the DonJoy Velocity Hinged Ankle Braces are perfectly suited to the quick movements of offensive linemen and can reduce the chances of ankle injury by up to 61%1.
The product is made with ballistic nylon and features non-stretch figure-8 straps that provide protection from both inversion and eversion ankle sprains. And, due to a sleek, unobtrusive design, the brace can be worn within athletic and street shoes.
The Best Football Brace For Running Backs, Quarterbacks, and Receivers
Because players in these positions are regularly handling the ball, they have a heightened risk of shoulder injuries when compared to other players. Quick, twitch movements of the shoulder during throws and passes can aggravate the joint and ligaments in the area over time, leading to complications and instabilities.
However, the majority of injuries in these positions occur as a result of tackles and other forms of defensive intervention. When tackled and/or hit, players can hit the ground with immense force, resulting in shoulder dislocations that can take them out of the game for weeks, if not months.
Routine falls and shoulder checks can also lead to AC (acromioclavicular) joint injuries and separations. This injury occurs when the clavicle separates from the scapula and over stretches, or in some cases, tears. Usually, AC injuries occur as a result of a heavy blow or fall, such as a tackle, making them highly prevalent in football.
The ankle braces running backs, quarterbacks, and receivers wear tend to address these specific risks. The best football braces for preventing and controlling these injuries are products like the DonJoy Sully Shoulder Brace and the Sully AC Shoulder Brace with Pad. Both braces provide breathable, comfortable protection at an affordable cost.
Braces For Defensive Linemen & Linebackers
Defensive lineman and linebackers are tasked with rushing offensive players, which necessitates a lot of running and aggressive tackling. As such, these players are susceptible to a variety of injuries, many of which involve the ankle and shoulder.
However, the lesser-known and often overlooked point of injury for these players is actually the knee. Because defensive linemen and linebackers are constantly switching between crouched and standing positions before charging into action, their knees are especially vulnerable to injury.
As such, the best football braces for players in these positions are likely flexible fabric braces such as the Breg Lateral Stabilizer Knee Brace. This brace stabilizes the knee during play and provides mild compression and warmth.
For players that have already sustained a knee injury, rigid braces like the Breg Axiom Elite Ligament Knee Brace are ideal. These braces provide wearers with firm support that encourages timely and healthy recovery from ACL, PCL, or combined ligament injuries. The brace is available with either a lightweight magnesium or aluminum frame construction and can be pivoted for an optimal fit.
What Braces Do Defensive Backs Wear?
Defensive backs are typically tasked with intercepting the ball during play, which requires a lot of running. While these duties can sometimes aggravate the ankle and knee, defensive backs also run the risk of straining their hips and legs.
As such, the best football braces for defensive backs are braces that address the risks of leg and/or hip injuries. When players in the defensive back position dart back and forth across the field, tears in the hamstring and quadriceps can develop, leading to intense pain and discomfort. Depending on the severity of the resulting strain, players can be forced into recovery for weeks or months at a time.
Thankfully, braces like the DonJoy Neoprene Thigh Support Band protect players from sustaining hamstring, quadriceps, and groin strains. The thin construction of these braces provides compression and warmth across the thigh and allows them to be easily slipped on-and-off as needed. Most thigh braces are available in several different sizes to maximize support and stability.
Your Source For The Best Football Braces
Regardless of the position you play, SportsBraces.com carries a diverse selection of assistive products that support your time on the field.
At SportsBraces.com, we aim to provide our customers with an unrivaled online shopping experience and the best football braces in the game. If you have any questions about any of our products, we encourage you to get in contact with our friendly customer support team.