Ankles, a lot of people know the problem or have met/seen someone during a race. Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries in our sport. At the 2014 OCRWC, I snapped my ankle, and my OCR “career” was over. After two surgeries I started running again, but I was too afraid to go all the way like I did before.
At first, you start training with a conventional brace. You know, the ones with the steel or hardened plastic on your ankle which prevents moving your ankle anyway. It’s a pretty uncomfortable thing in your shoe.
Then you start taping. First, you let your physiotherapist do it and later you can do it yourself. My experience with tape is that it hurts during the race because your feet swell, and you always have hair somewhere stuck under the tape. The removal afterward is painful too, and you have several days sticky feet because of the remains of glue.
Both of these are great if you don’t have to run. They totally prevent your ankle from rolling……anyway you want. If you are running in an OCR, you want the total freedom of movement for your ankles. Both are painful and expensive and taping costs a lot of time without comfort. A second disadvantage is that you don’t build up strength but loose strength the more often you use a brace or tape.
When you surf the internet and search for things you always get “ads”, you would like to see according to Google, long live the cookies!! Google tried several times to convince me to look at the ad of the EXO-L brace, but I ignored it all the time. Till one day I clicked on it because I was curious about the magic of the EXO-L, would it help me with my problem?
After filling in the contact form on the website, you get a phone call to make an appointment at home. After a personal and detailed conversation about the EXO-L, they make a digital copy of your ankle. With that copy, they produce a one of a kind EXO-L. You can choose your color and a text for the EXO-L. Also, they have to stitch a special band on your shoe.
After ten days you get a box with the EXO-L and your shoe. Ready for use!
There’s is only one thing left a run to test the EXO-L!
During the Strong Viking run in Nijmegen, the Netherlands I had my first run with the EXO-L. I'm really happy with the result. You don’t feel the EXO-L around your ankle, but it gives you confidence that can’t roll your ankle. Also with the rope climbing, walls and Tyrolean traverse you don’t feel you wear it. Personally, I put something over the brace to prevent that the lace comes loose or mud gets stuck between the brace. The service department of EXO-L takes a look at it also.
For me, it is an easy and comfortable brace which gives lots of confidence to run your run. It is the invention I was waiting for. Just put It on and run! No more appointments to get your tape ready or uncomfortable in shoe braces. The only thing you have to do is stitch the special band on the shoes you use for the sport you want to do.
How does it work?
The EXO-L is a brace which is placed around your ankle. With a special lace, you attach it to your shoe which prevents you to roll your ankle. Because the EXO-L doesn’t do anything when you use it in normal circumstances your ankle can train and build up strength.