Ankle Destroyer

Back in July, I twisted my ankle and tore some of the goodness therein. It seems that a unicycle could be a good way to further destroy my ankle.

Will a brace seriously interfere with my ability to learn?

NO! they’re great… can’t praise them enough. I seriously messed BOTH my ankles (because of unicycling) last year but I’ve bought myself a pair of ankle braces… and I love them… they’re really annoying to put on just when you want to pick up your uni and ride but hey, it’s worth it.

i’m going to buy some sometime soon…

They’re expensivo… abomut 80$ but if you have a prescription for them then it’s tax-free.

You’ll want a hinged style ankle brace like the Active Ankle brace. You want something that will allow you to still flex your ankle. You need to flex your ankle to be able to pedal properly.

People ride with the ankle braces like the Active Ankle. The only issue is that they stick out from your ankle a bit and can get hung up on the crank if you’re not careful.

The best ankle suport is a cast. but its not very flexable and starts to smell bad after a while.

ankle brace’s are AWESOME, they help a lot and don’t impede your riding at all…

I should have been wearing my Active Ankle brace a month ago when I sprained my ankle during a muni ride. 20/20 hindsight. If I would have worn them that day I would have been able to go to the CA Muni Weekend instead of staying home nursing an injured ankle.

I was fortunate and it’s only a mild sprain. I’m able to light muni now about 4 weeks after the sprain. The ankle will be all good again shortly. The injury might get me to wear the Active Ankles more often now whenever I ride trails with stunts and other structures.

The funny part is that I injured my ankle on a log skinny with a flat top and laying on the ground. An easy low risk trail obstacle. Unfortunately it also had a dusting of slippery dirt on it. My wheel slipped out very suddenly, and wham! Ow! Oh oh, that’s not going to be good. The elevated structures didn’t get me, the one laying on the ground did.

yea i would say braces are a neccesity cause i am going to have a scar on my ankle from cutting it open.

Well, I never sprained my ankle when I started off… I only started to once I got good (Yes, I do realise that this is a paradox :P) so I wouldn’t necessarely recommend them right away… they ARE pretty expensive.

All the guys I ride with in Santa Barbara (myself included) badly sprained their ankles early on for exactly the same reason: when doing drops, we didn’t shift our instep over the pedal and instead did the drop more on the ball of the foot, wrenching the ankle back when it was shockloaded. These injuries take months to finally go away, and a few of us are still Muniing with ankle braces. Now I automatically shift my foot up to get my instep over the pedal for a drop, and if the teeth on the pedal won’t allow me to shift the foot, I bail. Being able to shuffle your foot on the pedal during a long rocky section is an aquired skill, but certainly worth learning.


I asked a similar question a few weeks ago, but it fell on dead ground.

Here is a link to ankle braces to start with. It looks like there are two types in general; recuperative, lay around braces and sport braces. The latter fit within the shoe.

Virtually any brace will protect against lateral eversion and inversion (“rolling” the ankle to the inside or outside); the real question is how well they reduce dorsiflexion (ball of foot forced upwards) and plantarflexion (difficult to imagine that injury).

Dorsiflex injuries are probably disproportionately common to uni-riders via rearward upds. I know I’ve had two, both near-misses that left me rolling around with a hot-poker burning in my ankle for about 5 minutes. I know of at least one video in the gallery of a young unicyclist breaking his ankle via dorsiflexion. Reading the post in this thread, it appears most, possibly all , of the aprains cited here are dorsiflex injuries.

Lots of good info about ankkle sprains and braces on google. HTH.

Something worth understanding (as I understand from an afternoon’s morbid sports medicine googling). Sprains can progressively weaken your ankle. The damage can be cumulative. Just because you don’t hurt anymore doesn’t mean you didn’t mess yourself up.

Ankle braces are high on my Uni acquisition list, co-equal to full calf/shin guards.

My sprain was a rolling of the ankle type. My foot rolled to the outside and I ended up sitting on nearly the sole of my shoe after the UPD.

I get those dorsiflex injuries occasionally from landing a drop. Usually from small drops where I’m rolling off a root step or something similar on the trail and don’t get the option of picking my pedal position when landing. They’ve all been minor for me. Just a little twinge in the ankle and nothing that kept me from immediately getting on and continuing the ride. I didn’t know that type of injury was called a dorsiflexion. I’ll have to remember that, or remember how to search for this thread again.

That’s what I’m worried about with my rolled ankle. I’m hoping that my ankle doesn’t end up weaker and be more likely to get sprained again. I’ve only had two sprains (both on the left ankle from rolling to the outside) that I can recall. Both during muni. One from walking along a side slope that I was chicken to ride. My foot slipped and rolled. The second from riding a log skinny and slipping off the log.

I scored a major plantarflexion injury while unicycling a few months ago (right ankle). It still hasn’t returned to normal. This type of injury is most likely to happen when a UPD goes awry. In my case, the left foot got tangled in the unicycle frame, and the right foot dragged while I unintentionally coasted a few feet, toe down, until my full weight came down. POP. When the ankle goes POP, that’s very, very BAD. Mine still looks like a baseball.

In regards to ankle sprains, I’m a repeat offender. All types, both ankles, multiple times since high school. And yes, they do get weaker each time. My ankles were first introduced to this repetative injury by a massive double-sprain while playing soccer. The kind of sprain where the joint swells up larger than a softball, bleeds internally and the blood pools in a massive bruises at the bottom of your feet. Since then, I’ve had ankles of butter. It helps to exercise the joint using giant elastic bands - keeping those muscles strong is imperitive once the sprain floodgates are open.

There is hope for MUni - a solid sport brace will virtually prevent rolling, and a often reduce the window for plantarfexion (uncommon) and dorsiflexion (frequent) injury. Braces that inhibit up-down motion are difficult start using, but not impossible - I really don’t notice them anymore, except when they help avert another sprain. For me, it has become necessary.

So, although I have a good brace recommendation, keep in mind that it is a very restrictive brace:

(Exoform with figure eight straps):$FIND?GroupID=RPG500004&layout=detail&html=htmlDetail.html&operator=equals
(Here’s the main site: )

Note that it is NOT the same as shoe sizing, and you’ll need to measure the circumference around the top of your ankle and under your heel to get the proper size.

I purchased mine here, for a nice price:

These were actually recommended to me by another Santa Barbara rider with horrible ankles. They’re great.

sounds like the name of a heavy metal band :smiley: