Participants started each trial with a straight approach run with a velocity of 3.5 ± 0.3 m/s, which was determined via photoelectric sensors (Timer S3, Alge Timing, Palling, Germany) over a distance of two metres at the end of the approach run. When they reached a force plate (OR6-7-2000, AMTI, Watertown, USA), they had to perform one of two different movement tasks with a change of direction: a 180° turning movement (TURN) or a 25° crossover-cutting movement (XOV) (Fig. 1). Which movement had to be performed was indicated by light signals that appeared during the approach run when the participants crossed a photoelectric barrier. The signal appeared approximately 1000 ms before foot strike with the test leg on the force plate, which allowed enough time to perform the desired movements safely, but still presented a challenging task [36]. Before the beginning of the measurement, all subjects performed a number of familiarization trials in order to get used to the velocity of the approach run and to make sure that participants felt safe in the execution of the required tasks. For data collection, the order of the two movements was randomized and participants had to perform 10 trials in each direction. This procedure was repeated in three series of movements in a randomized order: without external stabilization, with a soft brace and with a semi-rigid brace, which were chosen as representatives of the respective type of brace. The soft brace (MalleoTrain® S open heel, Bauerfeind AG, Zeulenroda, Germany) consisted of an elastic knitted sleeve and an adjustable elastic strap, while the semi-rigid brace (MalleoLoc®, Bauerfeind AG, Zeulenroda, Germany) was composed of a plastic splint that was attached to the medial and lateral side of the ankle joint with two hook-and-loop straps.

Experimental Setup: Depending on the respective light signal (illustrated in red and blue for the sake of clarity), participants had to perform a 180° turning movement (TURN, depicted here) or a 25° crossover-cutting movement (XOV) on a force platform after a straight approach run

Only TURNs were used for further analysis, because no significant inversion loading was expected in XOVs. XOVs were only included to impede early anticipation of the upcoming task in order to simulate more game-like movements [36].

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