A common question I get several times a week from people inquiring through our website portal is, “which ankle brace is best for me, the Ultra Zoom or the Ultra High-5.” Which I reply with several questions about their current ankle condition and injury history.
- How many ankle injuries have you had to the same ankle?
- What is your activity level now?
- Do you have any weight bearing pain?
- Do you play a sport?
These questions are always a starting point in determining which of the two ankle braces are best suited for your ankle condition.
Although the Ultra Zoom and Ultra High-5 look somewhat similar, here are the differences you need to know to help you choose the correct bracing solution for your ankle condition.
Quick Comparison Chart
|Ultra Zoom||Ultra High-5|
|Primary Use||Sports/Prevention||Ankle Instability|
|Injury History||0-4 Previous Ankle Injuries||5+ Previous Ankle Injuries|
|Shell Material||Flexible Soft Shell||Semi-Rigid Shell|
If you are an older individual with 5+ previous ankle injuries and are suffering from chronic ankle instability, then the Ultra High-5 is recommended for you. If you are an athlete who plays a sport on a regular basis and has less than 5 previous ankle injuries the Ultra Zoom is recommended for you.
The Ultra High-5 has a semi-rigid plastic shell, padding system and one strap to secure the brace to your ankle. The Ultra Zoom has a flexible shell called Performathane® that uses body heat to form-fit to the ankle. The Ultra Zoom uses the same padding system as the Ultra High-5 however it has two straps, one to secure the brace to your ankle and one to secure the brace to your foot.
The Ultra High-5 is placed in the shoe first, with the foot plate of the brace fitting beneath the insole of the shoe. The Ultra Zoom is applied to the ankle first, then inserted in the shoe.
If you are a very active person who plays sports on a regular basis, then the Ultra Zoom is your brace of choice. The Ultra Zoom is designed to form-fit to your ankle, so it will be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. And the Performathane shell will never crack, break to tear offering the durability to last for several sports seasons.
If you are not an athlete or active individual because you have a history of multiple ankle injuries that have caused your ankle to become loose and unstable, then the Ultra High-5 would be recommended for you.
Both the Ultra Zoom and Ultra High-5 have a hinged cuff shell design which is unique to all Ultra Ankle braces. The hinge allows for full up and down ankle mobility to help increase your ankle range of motion and promote muscle strength. For athletes this mobility is a must to run and jump without restriction. The “cuff” of the brace encircles the posterior of the lower leg providing added stability for both ankle turning and twisting.
Ankle turning, or inversion causes the classic lateral ankle sprain. Ankle twisting, or rotation causes the high ankle sprain which is much more sever and takes longer to heal. Both the Ultra Zoom and Ultra High-5 helps to prevent excessive ankle turning and twisting which causes both low and high ankle injuries.
If you still have questions about which Ultra Ankle brace is best for you, please email our Certified Athletic Trainers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Rick Peters
Rick Peters is a Certified Athletic Trainer who has been advancing ankle bracing technology for three decades. Peters patented his first ankle brace in 1985, revolutionizing the industry by adding a hinge to traditional stirrup braces for greater mobility. In 1989 he was a founder and became President of Active Ankle Systems. In 1998 he co-founded Ultra Athlete LLC to develop the next generation of ankle bracing technology. Peters has 18 ankle brace patents and is considered an authority on ankle bracing technology worldwide.