I wear something called foot-ups on a daily basis and have done for over 10 years since I was handed a pair by a nurse during a hospital visit. They have a piece of strong elastic where one end anchors under the laces of your shoe and the other end clips into a velcro ankle wrap. They provide no lateral ankle support, their only function is to reduce foot drop. They are only as good as the shoe you wear and the fit round your ankle. If there is give anywhere their effectiveness is reduced. Also, because it’s a strong piece of elastic holding the foot up towards the ankle, there is an element of bounce.
This instability has been contributing towards me consciously lifting my left foot fractionally higher which has been quickly leading to strain.
“Today I think I cracked it and the problem causing it!”
I have some really old ankle braces that I haven’t worn for many years. They provide lateral support and also help to hold my foot up. They are pure fabric, slide over the foot, lace up around the ankle, then have wrap around straps on both sides of the ankle that go under my foot and velcro to the opposite side of my ankle. Finally, there is a large velcro strap that wraps laterally around the ankle to hold everything in place. They feel feel very secure, but they are a pain to put on and take off and don’t left my foot up as effectively as foot-ups which is why I stopped wearing them.
For this mornings walk with the dog I thought I’d try them, but also layer the foot-up over the top. Having put on the ankle braces without too much trouble, I managed to get the foot-up, ankle wrap over the top, but only just as the old ankle braces are quite bulky.
The next challenge was getting me feet into my walking shoes. Just about managed this with a bit of jigging about, got them laced up, and the foot-ups clipped in. Instantly it felt better to walk. I didn’t feel any give or wobble and it felt easier to walk around.
Out with the dog, I did a forest, cart track and field walk which has tree roots to navigate, undulating ground, sloping ground, sandy soil and grass. It also has some steep descents and inclines to manage. I did all of it with confidence and without issue. It felt great! Some slight discomfort with the ankle braces but nothing to complain about.