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J Athl Train. 1994 September; 29(3): 224-226, 228, 230.
PMCID: PMC1317790

Effects of Ankle Braces Upon Agility Course Performance in High School Athletes

Mark R. Beriau, MS, ATC
Mark R. Beriau is Athletic Trainer at Maine Sports Medicine, Waterville, ME.
William B. Cox, BS, ATC
William B. Cox is Athletic Trainer at Maine Sports Medicine, Waterville, ME.
James Manning, PhD, ATC


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of wearing the AircastTM Sports Stirrup, AircastTM Training brace, Swede-OTM brace, and DonJoyTM Ankle Ligament Protector while running an agility course. Eighty-five high school athletes with no history of ankle injury and no experience in wearing any ankle support served as subjects. Each subject participated in four separate testing sessions. During sessions 1 and 4, subjects ran the agility course under the control (unbraced) conditions. Sessions 2 and 3 consisted of randomly wearing the ankle braces while running the agility course. A questionnaire concerning support, comfort, and restriction was completed by each subject after wearing each of the braces. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures revealed that a significant difference existed between the agility times. Tukey's post hoc test indicated that a significant difference existed between each ankle brace and the control 2 agility times as well as a control 1 and control 2 time difference. The control time difference was attributed to a learning effect. An ANOVA with repeated measures of only the four braces revealed that a significant difference existed between the agility times. Tukey's post hoc test showed the only difference was between the DonJoy Ankle Ligament Protector and the Aircast Training brace. We concluded: 1) there is limited practical performance effect upon agility while wearing an ankle brace; and 2) an athlete's perceived comfort, support, and performance restriction are contributing factors that may directly influence the effectiveness of ankle bracing.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Burks RT, Bean BG, Marcus R, Barker HB. Analysis of athletic performance with prophylactic ankle devices. Am J Sports Med. 1991 Mar-Apr;19(2):104–106. [PubMed]
  • Myburgh KH, Vaughan CL, Isaacs SK. The effects of ankle guards and taping on joint motion before, during, and after a squash match. Am J Sports Med. 1984 Nov-Dec;12(6):441–446. [PubMed]
  • Paris DL. The Effects of the Swede-O, New Cross, and McDavid Ankle Braces and Adhesive Ankle Taping on Speed, Balance, Agility, and Vertical Jump. J Athl Train. 1992;27(3):253–256. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rovere GD, Clarke TJ, Yates CS, Burley K. Retrospective comparison of taping and ankle stabilizers in preventing ankle injuries. Am J Sports Med. 1988 May-Jun;16(3):228–233. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association