Sports protection specialist G-Form have released the innovative PRO Ankle Guard intended to reduce and prevent soccer-related ankle injuries. Here is an up-close look at it along with our thoughts after trying it out over the last couple of weeks.
G-Form PRO Ankle Guard Specifications
The PRO Ankle Guards were designed to meet players’ demands for the prevention of bruising and abrasion typically experienced from late challenges, 50/50 balls, and sliding on a hard pitch. The guards provide protective coverage for the inner and outer anklebones and are also reversible, allowing the third anatomically designed pad to be worn on the front or back of the ankle depending on athlete preference.
The G-Form PRO Ankle Guard design process was exhaustive and detail-obsessed. The blend of fabrics on the compression sleeve were fine-tuned to 18% LYCRA and 82% nylon for a snug, comfortable fit, and just the right amount of stretch. Multiple stirrups were tested before an elastic stirrup was chosen for minimal slippage and distraction during play. The individual pad shapes were meticulously analyzed to provide the broadest range of coverage for all sizes and shapes of ankles. Even the stitching in the guards was reviewed before choosing flat lock for higher strength, a lower profile, and minimal chaffing.
Consistent with all G-Form protective wear, the PRO Ankle Guards are conveniently machine washable and preferred by athletes because the protective padding is soft, low profile, and lightweight. The Reactive Protection Technology (RPT) used means the pads harden on impact, absorbing and dissipating force before returning back to their soft state. The product also sports breathable, moisture-wicking, UPF 50+ fabric to reduce heat and sweat, keeping the skin underneath fresh and free of irritation.
Our testers wore the G-Form PRO Ankle Guard during a series of training sessions and pickup matches. They were trialed on natural and artificial grass surfaces using the collared PUMA evoTOUCH 1, PUMA evoPOWER 1.3 (both cleated) and the New Balance Audazo (a turf shoe) soccer boots.
The key to reaping the benefits of the G-Form PRO Ankle Guard begins with wearing them in the right size. G-Form has a size chart which should be followed when sizing any of their products. Going too big (as we did at first) will result in a loose, unsecure fit of the ankle guard on the foot.
Sliding on the G-Form PRO Ankle Guard is seamless thanks to the gliding effect of its fabric. No adjustment of the stirrup is required once it is on the foot. Pull your socks over them and you’re ready for business on the pitch.
We were concerned about the pads of the G-Form PRO Ankle Guard causing unwanted tightness in the collared area of some of the latest boots. We encountered no problems of this nature with the PUMA evoTOUCH 1. The pads are low profile and do not occupy much space at all in the ankle area. There were no worries with low cut boots since the pad sit above the boots’ uppers.
Feel on the Foot
We’ve tried out other soccer protection products with stirrups before. These included shin guards and shin guard sleeves. We’ve run into situations where we had to cut the stirrups off because of their uncomfortable pulling on the underside of the foot. We had no such problems with the G-Form PRO Ankle Guard. The stirrup is not felt at all when wearing the ankle guard but does very well at keeping the unit secured and in place.
The rest of the G-Form PRO Ankle Guard is also barely felt when wearing it. It is essentially a lightweight sheath on the ankle area that you can easily forget that you area even wearing. The only time you notice the ankle guard is whenever you see its pads beneath your socks.
We experienced no slipping, hotspots, blisters or chafing from wearing the G-Form PRO Ankle Guard.
The G-Form PRO Ankle Guard does its job in the protection department and does indeed shield the sides, back and front (depending on how you wear it) from the inevitable blows that you can be hit with during any soccer match. If you’re a hard tackling defender or defensive midfielder then the G-Form PRO Ankle Guard would be a good addition to your protective arsenal. Knowing that it’s is on also increased our confidence levels when going into tackles.