6 Handy Tips to Wear an Ankle Brace With Shoes

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Looking for tips on how to wear an ankle brace with shoes?

You’re exactly where you need to be!

Below, I’ll go over everything you need to know about using the two together, from choosing the right size to dealing with soreness.

Let’s get started!

Don’t forget to also check our review about the best ankle supports for weak ankles!

How to Wear an Ankle Brace With Shoes

Wearing an ankle brace with shoes is not just about putting a brace and a shoe before starting your day.

You need to find the correct size brace and a perfect pair of shoes. You need to feel comfortable wearing both, and you need to know how to maintain your brace.

That’s a lot of “needs,” isn’t it? No worries, I’ll walk you through each step.

Tip 1: Buy the Right Size Brace

foot covered with an ankle brace

One of the biggest mistakes most people make while buying an ankle support brace is, purchasing one according to their shoe size.

Shoe size and brace size are often different. Shoes cover your entire foot while an ankle brace does not.

Different ankle brace production companies have different measurement charts, that help you select the correct size.

Check out the size matrix of respective companies and only then invest in your ankle support.

Tip 2: Quality of Footwear Matters

an athlete holding her sprained ankle but when to wear a brace for ankle sprain?

Wearing a shoe over your ankle support brace is a must. But you need to be wise while selecting your footwear.

The intention of wearing a shoe over your ankle brace is to provide sturdy support.

Footwear like floaters, slippers, flip-flops, sandals, heels, etc. does not fulfill the purpose.

The material of the shoe needs to be sturdy but not too hard. As there is a possibility it might limit the range of motion of your foot and make your injury worst.

But, using cheap shoes made up of extremely flexible material is equally useless. As it does not give the necessary support.

Trying an oversized shoe is the best way to find the correct shoe size to wear over your ankle support brace. Oversized shoes are firm, yet gentle and offer enough room for your foot to settle.

Snickers or casual shoes are the best shoes to wear with an ankle brace. Unlike other footwear, shoes with laces can be adjusted according to your preference. This reduces the possibility of severe sprains. 

Tip 3: Make Sure You’re Wearing the Brace Correctly

Once you’ve found the perfect fit and the right shoe, the next step is to make sure you’re using the two together the right way.

The lower strap of the brace needs to be removed while wearing a shoe. Make sure the shoelaces are loosened.

Insert your foot carefully and take your time, especially if it’s your first time or you have an injured ankle.

Once your foot is safely placed inside, fasten the laces and but make sure it’s not too tight or too loose.

Walk a few steps to make sure you are comfortable.

Tip 4: Wear socks to prevent rubbing

Many ankle support users experience redness, irritation, blisters, or sores. Your foot is not used to wearing a brace and hence it requires some time.

Often first-time users wear a sock underneath their brace to avoid unnecessary friction between the skin and the brace.

Your ankle needs time to get accustomed to wearing a brace. If you are healing from severe injury take extra precautions while selecting and using a brace.

Tip: Book an appointment with your physical therapist if you feel discomfort despite taking all the necessary precautions while wearing an ankle support brace.

Tip 5: Know Why and When to Wear a Brace

doctor checking the lady's feet with an ankle brace

If you consider wearing an ankle brace means, either you wish to use it as a preventative device to avoid potential ankle injuries. Or you need it to heal from the previous one.

In both cases, an ankle brace is needed, and you need to wear it as instructed by your physician.

However, the unnecessary use of an ankle brace has adverse effects on the entire foot. Your muscles began to rely on the brace for extra support.

Which in turn weakens your ankle joint. Plus, if you wear a snug shoe over the brace it may restrict the range of motion of your foot. 

Try an ankle sleeve before opting for ankle supports for weak ankles.

Tip 6: Take Care of Your Ankle Support Brace

Regular use of ankle brace gets its sweaty, dirty, and leads to wear and tear. Keep an eye on the condition of your brace. Occasionally, check the hinges and insides for any sign of damage.

If possible, hand wash your brace once a week to get rid of dirt and odor.


Do I wear an ankle brace over or under socks?

black ankle brace

You can wear an ankle support brace both under and over a sock. Some users prefer wearing a sock under the brace to avoid blisters, redness, sweat, and sores. Whereas, many wear it over the brace for extra ankle compression. Consider wearing a sock that travels past the top of your brace for maximum protection.

Is it OK to wear an ankle brace all day?

Yes and No! It is ok to wear an ankle brace all day if you are active most of the day. Otherwise, using a brace all day will weaken your ankle increasing the risk of injuries. As your ankle will depend on the brace for support and stability, other than healing itself.

Do ankle braces go by shoe size?

No! Shoe size should not be considered while purchasing an ankle brace. There is a separate size chart you need to refer to while buying an ankle brace. If you get one according to your shoe size, chances are it won’t fit well and be extremely uncomfortable.

Is an ankle brace bad?

No! If you are recovering from an ankle injury or if you are a sportsman, an ankle brace is a good preventive measure against ankle sprain. However, do not overuse it. Moreover, it is better, affordable, and feasible than an ankle tape.

Should I wear an ankle brace to bed?

So, can you sleep with an ankle brace on? No! Unless advised by your doctor you need not wear your brace while you sleep.


Wearing an ankle support brace with shoes is an easy task if all the above points are taken into consideration. An ankle brace is an excellent help while healing tissues and increasing muscle strength. 


  • “Fit and Sizing | How to Wear Your Ankle Brace | Ankle Braces for Performance, Prevention & Injuries | Ultra Ankle.” 2018. Ankle Braces for Performance, Prevention & Injuries | Ultra Ankle. December 19, 2018.
  • “How to Wear an Ankle Brace with Your Shoes?” 2019. |. October 2, 2019.
  • “How to Wear Ankle Supports & Braces with Socks & Shoes? |” 2020. January 20, 2020.
  • 2017. “Brace for It: When to Use an Ankle Brace.” Mayo Clinic Health System. 2017.,consider%20rehabilitation%20as%20part%20of%20your%20treatment%20plan..
front view of shoes with ankle braces

Do you have more tips on how to wear an ankle brace with shoes? Please share with us in the comment section below!

About Haley Burress

Haley has been working with seniors and their caregivers for more than 17 years. She has held local and national leadership roles in a variety of senior services and senior care agencies. Today, she is a sought after writer specializing in topics for older adults, their family members, and professional caregivers. When she isn't at her computer sipping coffee, you can find her hiking with her husband, son, and dog or trying a new cookie recipe in the kitchen. Follow her on LINKEDIN

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