The unfortunately reality of training any martial art is that you’re going to run into an injury at some point or another.
These injuries can require lengthy amounts of time to recover from, which often means you’ll have to take a break from training and other strenuous activities. Even worse, severe injuries can stay with you for life, so it’s best to try and avoid them as much as you can.
With that in mind, it’s good to put measures in place that help to mitigate the risk of injury. One such way of doing this is with an ankle support. They’re cheap, they’re useful and help to protect and support one of the most fragile areas of your body.
What’s more, if you're training with an injured ankle, wearing a support or foot sleeve can help to alleviate some of the pain and protect it from any further damage.
So today we’re going to be taking a look at the best ankle supports for Muay Thai and MMA, providing a break down and comparison of each option.
Let’s get to it.
Comparison of Our Top Picks
Below is a quick comparison of some of out top picks.
Benefits of Wearing Ankle Support
Pain/ Discomfort Relief
If you are training with an injury, wearing an ankle support can help to alleviate some of the pressure on the injured area. The ankle support will also help to keep the area warm and nimble, reducing the chance of any further strain being caused.
Pain/ Injury Prevention
A study carried out by University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health claims that athletes (in this case basketball players) that wore an ankle brace, had 68% less injuries than those who did not wear a foot sleeve.
Considering how affordable foot wraps are and their ability to reduce the chance of sustaining an injury, it really is a no brainer to wear one when training Muay Thai and MMA, or any other Martial Art for that matter.
Protects the Skin
Lastly, the ankle support itself protects the area of skin that it covers. In Muay Thai especially, a good amount of kicks are going to be thrown on the heavy bag. Although if you’ve been training a while and have good technique it wont matter too much, but if you’re a beginner, wearing a foot sleeve can cushion the impact nicely.
List of the Best Ankle Supports for Muay Thai & MMA
Venum Kontact Evo - Editors Choice
First up are the Kontact Evo MMA foot wraps. Venum as a brand make some of the best fight gear out there, whether that’s gloves, gi’s or ankle wraps.
Their Kontact Evo ankle support’s for example are made using durable neoprene material. This fabric allows for plenty of dexterity in the ankle joint, whilst not causing any friction and providing a ton of support.
You’ll notice that the bottom of the support is lined with anti-slip material. As the name suggests, this helps to maintain a good amount of friction with the floor, preventing you from slipping around all over the place.
Venum also offer their support in a number of different sizes; Small, Medium and X-Large.
With that in mind, you should be able to find one that’s just the right size for you, as opposed to some brands that offer a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
As with a lot of gear from Venum, the Kontact Evo foot wrap is fairly pricey, especially compared to some of the other options on our list.
That said, they’re made to last, provide a substantial amount of support and look awesome as well.
The Sanabul Essentials foot wrap is undoubtedly the best value for money Muay Thai foot sleeve you can find.
Not only do these provide you with more than enough support to the ankle region, they also feature Sanabul’s gel foam padding located at the front. This adds another layer of protection, which is especially welcome when drilling kicks on the heavy bag.
As with a lot of the best Muay Thai ankle supports, the Sanabul’s feature anti-slip material at the sole of the sleeve. As I mentioned earlier, this is pretty much a must have feature, as you don’t want to be slipping around and losing balance, especially if you’re sparring.
In terms of customisation, these are by far the most versatile. Sanabul offer their Essentials Foot wrap in 6 different colors and 2 different sizes. With that in mind, you’ll be able to find the perfect support both in terms of design and fit.
The icing on the cake with this foot support in particular is the price. You can pick one of these up for less than half the price of some others on the list, so they really are an absolute bargain.
Twins Special Ankle Guard
If you’ve been training Muay Thai for a while, you’ll definitely have heard of Twins. They make some of the best Muay Thai gear in the world and have been doing so for quite some time.
Unlike some of the other ankle guard’s we’re discussing today, the Twins Special are a lot shorter, meaning that it covers less of the foot. As such, you’ll notice there isn’t any form of anti-slip material. Don’t worry though, as you’ll have plenty of your foot on the mat to prevent you from slipping.
You can pick these up in two different sizes, as well as 9 different color variations and designs.
Considering you get two foot wraps when you order the Twins, their price point is nothing short of incredible, making them easily one of the best Muay Thai ankle supports going.
Fairtex Muay Thai Ankle Support
Much like Twins Specials, the name Fairtex is synonymous with the sport of Muay Thai. All of their products are made in Thailand, the home of Muay Thai and are built to the highest possible standard.
As such, Fairtex gear has become one of the most popular brands amongst Muay Thai practitioners.
Their ankle supports for example are made from tight fitting uni-directional stretch material. This allows the ankle support to tightly form around the shape of the ankle without effecting the wearers ability to move.
Although coming in one size, the stretch of the material allows the ankle support to fit a wide range of sizes, fitting pretty much anyone.
Considering these are made from a reputable name such as Fairtex, their price tag is extremely reasonable. They'll last a long time, feel comfortable to wear and allow you to focus on your training without worrying about an injury.
Venum Muay Thai Ankle Support
Up next, we’ve got another appearance from Venum, this time with a slightly different ankle support that’s significantly cheaper than the previous one we discussed.
The only downside to this particular option is that they only come in one size, meaning that if you’re somewhat small or somewhat bigger than average, they may not fit optimally.
The good news it that they’re made using high quality elasticated cotton, allowing for a tight fit that doesn’t hinder the wearers ability to move their foot. Much like the Twins we just discussed, these ankle supports don’t extend far enough down the foot to warrant having anti-slip material.
With that in mind, don’t be put off by the fact here isn’t any form of rubber located at the bottom of the supports, as you’ll have enough skin exposed to maintain a solid grip with the floor.
In terms of design, they come in 9 different colors and designs, so you should be able to find one that you like and that goes with the rest of your gear.
All in all, a great option for anyone looking for a top notch pair of ankle supports from a reliable brand for a reasonable price.
RDX MMA Ankle Support
This is another amazing value for money option, this time coming from RDX. You’re able to pick up two high quality Muay Thai ankle supports for less than half the price of some of the higher end options on our list.
What’s more, RDX offer a ton of different sizes for their foot supports, ranging from Small through to Extra-Large. This in turn allows you to get a perfect fit, as opposed to going for a one size fits all approach.
The material used to construct the RDX ankle supports is made up from 38% Polyester, 16% Rayon and 46% Elastic. This creates a tight, but not ever bearing fit that provides ample support to the ankle.
All in all the RDX’s are a great option for a great price, so you really can’t go wrong with these.
Anthem Athletics Raptor
Last up, we’ve got the Anthem Athletics Raptors.
Sold as a pair, these ankle supports are offered in a ‘one size fits most’ design. If you’ve got a somewhat regular shoe size then these will be fine, however if your feet at fairly small or fairly large, I’d go for an option where you can pick a specific size.
That said, in terms of quality, these tick all the right boxes. They’re made from durable material that can stretch and mould to the shape of your foot. They’re machine washable and at the end of the day, they got the job done.
Anthem Athletics have definitely taken the ‘no bells and whistles’ approach with these ankle supports, as they only come in one design option as well.
Having said that, fancy and flashy designs aren’t going to support your ankle any more than these, so I guess that doesn’t matter too much.
Finally, these are the cheapest pair on our list, making them an awesome option for anyone looking for a straight to the point ankle support that’ll help protect you in training.
What to Look for in Ankle Supports for MMA & Muay Thai
When shopping around for a new ankle support, there’s a number of different aspects to pay special attention to.
I’ll discuss these below.
Firstly, is size. Companies will either offer their foot supports as a ‘one size fits all’ option, or they’ll have different sizes corresponding to different foot sizes.
Generally speaking, it’s better to go for a brand that offers multiple sizes, as you’ll be able to pick one suitable to your foot size specifically. The down side to this though, is that whatever reason, these tend to be a bit more expensive.
Having said that, you really can’t put a price on protection and safety, so always make sure you’re getting the best possible fit. If the ankle sleeve is too loose, it may not offer you much protection in terms of support.
If it’s too tight, then it won’t be comfortable and can even start to cut off the blood supply to your foot.
There are usually two different ways that an ankle support for MMA is designed.
One is longer and covers more of the foot, utilising some form of rubber located at the bottom of the sleeve to create traction with the mat.
The other option is shorter, leaving more of the foot exposed, allowing your skin to create traction with the mat.
It’s really down to personal preference, however the longer designs tend to offer more protection to your skin. As such, these tend to be better for heavy bag work, where after 10-minutes or so, your foot is going to be looking like a lobster.
Some companies, such as Sanabul have implemented padding into their ankle supports.
This kind of creates a hybrid between a shin guard and ankle sleeve. These are great for heavy bag work as they provide much more protection than traditional ankle sleeves without any padding.
Best MMA & Muay Thai Ankle Support: The Verdict
Right then, which two ankle supports do we recommend the most?
Editors Choice: Venum Kontact Evo
We deem the overall best ankle support for MMA to be the Venum Kontact Evo’s. They’re sold as a pair, are extremely comfortable and provide plenty of support. The anit-slip rubber bottoms are the best we’ve encountered, allowing you to focus on your training, without any worries about your gear.
Best Value for Money: Sanabul Essentials
In terms of value for money, you’re not going to beat the Sanabul Essentials. They’re built to a great standard, feature extra padding for even more protection and are exceptionally priced. Without a doubt, these are one of the best Muay Thai ankle supports available.
Thanks for taking the time to read our article on the best ankle supports for Muay Thai and MMA. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to get in touch via the comment section below.