Ankle Armor

Ankle injuries are annoyingly common for trail runners, so keep these tips in mind to ensure your ankles stay injury-free.

Stretch and strengthen. 
Toe raises, tracing the alphabet with your foot, and resistance-band exercises are a good start. Progress to a wobble board or balance disc to increase strength.

Wear the right shoes.
Trail shoes have a grippy outsole to prevent slipping, and also feature a stiffer sole to protect your feet from bruising and keep your stride consistent.

Watch your footing. 
The less you trip, the less likely you are to torque an ankle.

Avoid overstriding. 
If you misstep with your front leg outstretched too far, your knee is straight and the other leg is too far behind to correct. The only option becomes rolling your foot outward. Shorten your stride for quicker corrections on tough terrain.

Tape for stability. 
Wobbly ankles? Old injury? Taping your ankle or investing in a stabilizing brace can save you from injuring (or re-injuring) yourself. Taping incorrectly can be worse than not taping at all, however; ask how at a local running store.