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If someone had told me I could run this hard ten days after a bad ankle sprain with the Bauerfeind Malleotrain Ankle Support, I would have invested in one a long time ago. My first at-bat in my softball game Tuesday found me hitting a line drive to the gap between the right and center fielders. As I rounded second base in an effort to stretch my double into a triple, my cleats digging into the dirt, arms and legs pumping like pistons, I was immediately impressed by how much support my Bauerfeind ankle brace gave me and how little pain I felt as I ran. Call it adrenaline if you must, but as I stood on third base, gasping for breath after my sprint, I realized that the Bauerfeind Malleotrain Ankle Support, snugly yet comfortably wrapped around my injured ankle, had not only enabled me to run without further aggravating my injury, but had actually improved my ability to run the bases. Incredible.
Bad ankles run in my family, and in the last ten years I have made at least 5 trips to the emergency room for ankle related injuries. I have tried just about every ankle support available without much success, so when I sprained my ankle a week and a half ago, I knew it was time to invest in a brace that really works. Eager to get back on the softball field, I knew a hinged brace or hard plastic support would not give me the flexibility I would need, but I was also concerned that a soft brace would not provide enough support. Years ago I had actually re-aggravated an ankle injury because an ACE ankle wrap didn't hold up when I stepped on uneven ground.
Bauerfeind is a trusted name in active sports therapy products because their products have a great history of being very effective. Their knee supports, ankle braces, elbow supports, and thigh wraps are widely used by professional therapists, athletes, and trainers everywhere. Even Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers uses the Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support during the Olympics and the NBA season. So, while the Malleotrain would cost me more than other braces, I was confident that it would be worth the investment. Given my history of ankle injuries, I figured that if the Malleotrain kept me on my feet it would be worth every penny.
The first thing I noticed about the Bauerfeind Malleotrain was the style and colors. I opted for the black support with the blue heel, because it matched a pair of shoes and two belts I have (just kidding). The color actually wasn't nearly as important to me as the comfort, and the Malleotrain certainly did not disappoint me in that department. The ankle support slips on like a sock and consists of a stretchable, knitted material that provides just the right amount of compression without cutting off circulation. Unlike other ankle supports that typically are lined with foam if anything, the Bauerfeind brace uses silicone inserts on each side of the brace that are specifically designed to fit your ankle's anatomy (which is why you must specifiy right or left when ordering). I was immediately impressed with how silicone molded to the contours of my ankle, providing support without any decrease in circulation. I still had good range of motion with my foot as well.
Like any athlete with ankle issues, I was concerned about how well the brace would fit in my shoes (or cleats in this case). Despite the silicone inserts on each side, the Bauerfeind Malleotrain Ankle Support was slim enough to allow me to lace up my cleats as normal. Since I play third base, there really isn't a lot of running necessary, but I do have to be able to react quickly to a ball being hit to me or to cover the base, so snug cleats are a necessity. The Malleotrain removed any doubts I had of being able to effectively cover that position.
My softball team did very well in our doubleheader, despite losing one of the games by one run, and I was very pleased with my performance. The Bauerfeind Malleotrain allowed me to run the bases quickly and cover third base with ease - I even made a jumping catch at one point. The next day there was no residual soreness in my ankle. It was as though I had taken the night off. Best of all, the ankle support helped restore my confidence; when I play softball, run, or do any sort of physical activity, I no longer have to worry about suffering another painful ankle injury.
I highly recommend the Bauerfeind Malleotrain Ankle Support to anyone with ankle injuries or chronic ankle problems. It has taken away the concern about my bad ankles when I play, and in doing so, helped changed my life.
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