Next-generation sports tech brand, BetterGuards, has recently brought its innovative ankle brace to the U.S., following a release in Europe a year prior. It’s just an ankle brace, how much could it be innovated? A lot!
The BetterGuard ankle brace takes on an age-old problem for athletes or even the regular individual dealing with ankle issues. In the past, an athlete would wear a rigid brace for protection after suffering from or recovering from an ankle sprain. However, these braces are meant to immobilize the ankle to reduce the risk of a re-sprain, but the trade-off is that you sacrifice performance. As an athlete, this makes it tough to come back from a sprain and play at peak performance. The other option would be a soft brace, which can provide some compression and allow for better range of motion, but you sacrifice the protection you get from the rigid brace.
What’s the solution? The BetterGuard!
As the company explains on its website, the BetterGuard ankle brace “uses smart technology to protect you from ankle sprains and strains. Elevate your game with the ultimate lightweight ankle protection system, providing a full range of motion and intelligent ankle support only when you need it.”
The BetterGuard will give the wearer the protection of a rigid brace while allowing for almost complete range of motion. It features a soft compression sock that has a strap that is attached to the outside part of the middle of your foot. It features a mini-piston placed on the outside of the ankle, which utilizes a micro-hydraulic fluid system that works in the same way as a seatbelt in your car. In quick, sudden movements where your ankle would roll, the piston activates, stiffens and prevents the ankle from rolling. However, if you are moving slowly, you have full mobility. According to BetterGuard, the adaptive protection technology reacts three-times faster than your body. It is essentially a seatbelt for your ankle.
“The first time I tried it on I knew it was different than any of the braces I tried before. Similar to tape, it’s super lightweight and fits easily inside my shoes, but the BetterGuard is way more convenient,” Orlando Matic player Moe Wagner told the Sports Business Journal. “During games, if your ankle starts to twist then you can feel The BetterGuard adapter tighten so it stops your ankle from turning. Then it goes back to normal so fast it’s like you don’t have to worry about it slowing you down at all.”
Since it’s release in the U.S., the BetterGuard has won the Sports Technology Award for the Best Technology for Injury Prevention and Recovery. And, was selected as one of just five companies for the NBA Launchpad program in 2022 — the leagues’ initiative to source, evaluate, and pilot emerging technologies that advance the NBA’s top priorities. After its success last year, the BetterGuards returned to NBA Summer League offering NBA an up-close look at The BetterGuard’s groundbreaking injury prevention and recovery technology shaping the future of basketball.
One of the primary goals for NBA Launchpad is to seek companies that focus on player availability regarding health and rest. Betterguards was one of the original companies selected by NBA Launchpad in 2022 to focus on injury prevention and recovery technology. As part of NBA Summer League 2023, the company presented its game-changing ankle brace technology to NBA league and team executives, strategic partners, and investors.
We currently have our hands on a pair of BetterGuards for a more in-depth review, which we will be publishing in the coming months.
The BetterGuard ankle brace is available now at their online store, BetterGuards.com. However, the technology comes at a premium, as it is available to order for $199 USD.