Ankle sleeves are the simplest and most comfortable ankle brace design available on the market. They however provide minimal support for your ankle, so are not a good choice to wear for anything other than extremely minor ankle sprains or instability.
In addition to their high comfort level, ankle sleeves are the easiest type of ankle brace to put on. There is no need to remember complex strapping patterns as you would normally need to do with ankle braces with straps.
Ankle sleeves will provide compression to help with minor ankle sprains or other injuries. The compression helps heal these injuries by boosting blood circulation which increases the supply of nutrients to the injury area.
Ankle sleeves made from neoprene or similar materials will also bring therapeutic warmth to the joint by retaining body heat. If you suffer from stiff or weak ankles, the effect of this warmth will be to increase the suppleness of your ankle ligaments and tendons. This in turn will make them less likely to experience overstretching or tearing once your game or workout begins. Although experts advise us to warm up properly before exertions, the sad fact of life is that many of us do not always follow this advice. An ankle sleeve will provide the additional protection we need when we fail to warm up properly.
A slight disadvantage of ankle sleeves compared to ankle braces with straps is the lack of adjustability of the compression they offer. Unlike braces with straps, you cannot increase your ankle support when you need to in advance of a game or workout, and reduce it afterwards.