Prevent Ankle Sprains on the Trail

My chronic ankle sprain has not hindered in years, but I’m considering specific trail running shoes in future.

From the Sierra Trading Post blog:

An Ounce (or Two) of Prevention

So here’s the damage control. If you have a weak or dysfunctional ankle, you can reduce the likelihood of injury, and re-injury, by taping, bracing, stretching and strengthening the joint in question. If you’re planning on taping your ankles, see a physical therapist or an athletic trainer who can show you how.

Ankle braces are easily found in your local drug store and can effectively fortify vulnerable joints.

Another ankle-saving consideration is in selecting the proper shoes. Jason McGrath, USATF Level 2 Track Coach, decorated ultra trail runner, and shoe expert suggests trail-specific shoes that are neutral and low to the ground. Most running shoes suitable for pavement are well cushioned; however, a thick midsole means that your feet are farther from the ground, causing less stability and increasing the probability of rolling an ankle. McGrath also warns strongly wearing “stability” shoes, common on the road-shoe market. These shoes contain medial posting, or a separate material lining the instep that prevents overpronation of the foot. When running on uneven terrain these shoes place more stress on the physiologically weaker lateral (outside) portion of the ankle, making it more likely to roll. In the meantime, you will also want to add ankle strength and flexibility exercises to your workout regimen.

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Trailrunner Mag: Prevent Ankle Sprains on the Trail

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