The Best Ice Packs for Foot and Ankle Pain in 2021

A female runner with ankle pain that could easily be treated with the best ice packs for foot and ankle pain.

Somedays you just appear to be on your feet for hours on end. Getting home you can’t wait to take those shoes off and just let your feet relax. A bag of frozen peas may help calm any swelling but if this is a regular thing, maybe it’s time you looked for the best ice pack for foot pain.

As well as relieving the aches from daily wear and tear, ice packs for feet provide fast relief from swelling and pain following a fall or surgery. Many chronic conditions like arthritis or plantar fasciitis will also benefit from regular icing of the feet. Ice therapy isn’t just an alternative home remedy but a medically proven technique of reducing pain and inflammation.

But did you know using ice treatment incorrectly can actually make things worse? Here we’ll look at when you should use ice for the maximum safe benefits before looking for the best ice pack for foot use.

Product
Details
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated
Ankle Cold Compression Wrap

The Pain Soother

Ankle Cold Compression Wrap

4.5 out of 5

In the Ice Packs for Foot Pain category

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  • Complete foot and ankle ice boot pack using temperature-resistant materials.
  • Only for cold therapy, but stays colder for longer.
  • Inflatable gel pack for compression with included ball pump.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #1 Rated

4.5 out of 5

In the Ice Packs for Foot Pain category


Our #2 Rated
Cold/Hot Therapy Pack

NatraCure

Cold/Hot Therapy Pack

4.5 out of 5

In the Ice Packs for Foot Pain category

Click for price

  • A three-in-one pain solution that uses cold/hot therapy and compression therapy.
  • Versatile and can be used on feet/hands/wrists/elbow.
  • Nylon strap with removable gel pack.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #2 Rated

4.5 out of 5

In the Ice Packs for Foot Pain category


Our #3 Rated
Hot/Cold Foot and Ankle Wrap

TheraPAQ

Hot/Cold Foot and Ankle Wrap

4 out of 5

In the Ice Packs for Foot Pain category

Click for price

  • Neoprene foot and ankle sleeve with adjustable gel pack.
  • Can be used use for hot or cold therapy.
  • Adjustable fit with one-size-fits-all which covers the front and sides of the ankle.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #3 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Ice Packs for Foot Pain category


Our #4 Rated
Hot/Cold Foot and Ankle Wrap

Elasto-Gel

Hot/Cold Foot and Ankle Wrap

3.5 out of 5

In the Ice Packs for Foot Pain category

Click for price

  • Hot and cold foot/ankle therapy wrap for minor muscle aches and pains.
  • One-piece flexible gel wrap won’t leak if punctured.
  • Microwaveable and latex fee.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #4 Rated

3.5 out of 5

In the Ice Packs for Foot Pain category


Our #5 Rated
Cold Therapy Socks

NatraCure

Cold Therapy Socks

3.5 out of 5

In the Ice Packs for Foot Pain category

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  • Pair of bootie socks with two full foot-length gel cold packs and two half-size gel packs.
  • Available in two sizes; small/medium and large and only suitable for people with narrow or medium width feet.
  • Chills entire foot within seconds to relieve sore or tired feet and painful conditions like plantar fasciitis and arthritis.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #5 Rated

3.5 out of 5

In the Ice Packs for Foot Pain category

When Should You Use Ice?

A survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) found 77 percent of Americans have experienced foot pain. Only a third of those would seek expert care by a podiatrist. If not treated correctly, a foot or ankle injury may quickly become debilitating.

In most cases of foot or ankle injury, the symptoms are moderate and don’t require extensive medical intervention. Cold therapy is sometimes the best way of treating the pain and inflammation combined with rest and relaxation. Basically stay cool and put your feet up or RICE (rest, ice, compress and elevate).

Cold treatment will be most effective in the first few days after an injury. Ice therapy works best on cases of acute trauma associated with bruises or swelling. Extreme pain is often instantaneous in cases of acute trauma, like dropping a book on your foot or spraining your ankle.

In the following YouTube video, a naturopathic physician examines when to use heat or ice treatment for foot pain and injuries:

How Does Ice Therapy Work with Foot Pain?

Ice applied to the affected area cools down the soft tissue and constricts the blood vessels in a process known as vasoconstriction. This reduces the blood flow which minimizes bleeding in the area. Less bleeding helps to decrease the irritation and swelling which aids normal mobility.

Exposure to colder temperatures will also help in numbing your sensory fibers to reduce the pain and discomfort. Fluid which increases in swellings contains inflammatory chemicals which irritate surrounding nerves and tissues causing pain.

How to Use Cold Therapy

Placing ice directly on your skin will cause ice burns. Always place a fabric between your skin and the ice or use a specially designed ice pack. Ice burns will actually reverse the effects of the ice and open up the blood vessels which will increase the blood flow to the area.

To further avoid ice burns you should limit the amount of time you apply the ice pack to your foot. The optimum time for ice therapy is approximately 15 to 20 minutes. It’s recommended to allow the area to return to normal temperature before reapplying.

Ice should be applied as soon as possible after the injury, and continued at regular intervals for three to five days. The AMPA discourages using ice alone to treat an injury and argue it’s most effective when paired with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE).

When You Should Avoid Using Ice Packs

In some situations it’s not advisable to use an ice pack or cold therapy. These include conditions like decreased sensation where you may cause yourself an ice burn. People with high blood pressure or heart problems shouldn’t use ice due to the vasoconstrictive effect on your blood flow.

Ice therapy isn’t recommended for the elderly or young children. Avoid placing ice directly over an open wound. And finally, people who suffer from Raynaud’s disease, a rare condition affecting blood vessels, should avoid ice therapy.

What Is the Best Ice Pack for Foot Pain?

Some ice packs are designed to be used on many different body parts, while others are specifically designed for your feet. Ice packs for your feet will normally wrap around the foot, and maybe the heel. A Velcro strap can be used for fastening and sometimes compression too, with a secure fit meaning you remain mobile.

Size, or fit, matters when it comes to choosing an ice pack. The ice pack should be large enough to cover the affected area, whether it’s just the arch of your foot or the heel too. Most ice packs for feet come in one-size-fits-all.

It’s important to ensure the fabric used to cover the ice pack should protect your skin from the cold. You’ll also need a material that’s pliable enough to mold to the contours of your feet. If the ice pack is designed to be reusable, make sure it’s durable enough to stand repeated use.

We’ve looked at some of the top-selling ice packs specifically designed for feet, to bring you in our opinion the top five best ice packs for foot pain.

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

The Pain Soother

Ankle Cold Compression Wrap

  • Quality
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Although the description refers to this as an ankle wrap, this boot-like ice pack covers the whole foot. Made with state-of-the-art temperature-resistant materials, this ice pack claims to stay cool for two hours or more. Many ice packs we looked at needed re-chilling after just 30 minutes or so.

Some ice packs use adjustable straps for compression, but this unique device uses an inflatable gel pack to apply targeted pressure to your foot. Using the included ball pump you simply inflate the pack to speed up pain relief combining the power of compression with cold therapy.

Pros
Pro Stays colder for much longer than similar ice packs.
Pro Easy to target compression with inflatable gel pack.
Pro One-size-fits-all and provides complete coverage for either your left or right foot.
 
Cons
Con Can only be used on the foot.
Con Considerably more expensive than other ice packs for the foot.
Con Air can seep out and need repumping frequently.
Con Too cold for some customers even when wearing socks with the ice boot.

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

NatraCure

Cold/Hot Therapy Pack

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If you want something a bit more versatile, this ice pack is also great for your hands, wrists and elbows. A removable gel pack uses a Velcro compression strap to ensure it stays in place. For people with wider than average feet the larger size is a good alternative to one-size-fits-all ice packs for feet.

The stretchable nylon strap is 14 inches long and can provide adjustable compression therapy to assist with swelling and inflammation. It can also be used to lift the plantar fascia tissue to relieve arch pain. This pack can be used straight from the freezer in cases of emergency or heated in the microwave to increase blood circulation for pain relief and to soothe stiff joints.

Pros
Pro 14 or 24-inch strap means it can be used on multiple parts of the body.
Pro Hook-and-loop closure ensures reliable fit.
Pro Adjustable compression.
Pro Can be used both hot and cold.
Cons
Con Removable gel pack is small and doesn’t cover entire foot.
Con Ice gel pack doesn’t stay cold long enough and needs constant freezing.
Con Doesn’t fold well if wrapped around the ankle.
 

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

TheraPAQ

Hot/Cold Foot and Ankle Wrap

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This gel pack can be used for both hot and cold therapy and offers compression support to the ankle and foot. A one size-fits-all neoprene foot wrap it can be used on either the left or right foot. Velcro straps secure the pack as it wraps around your foot arch and ankle.

A non-toxic gel is contained in a leakproof blue plastic pack which can be inserted above or below the foot for ankle and arch pain relief. The gel pack freezes within two hours or can be heated in a microwave for 30 seconds for heat treatment. The ice pack remains flexible even when frozen for easier walking with the pack on your foot.

Pros
Pro Can be used for hot or cold therapy.
Pro Velcro straps securely keep the ice pack in place.
Pro Large ice pack can be used for ankle or foot arch pain.
Pro Ice pack remains flexible and allows for movement.
Cons
Con Designed only for use on feet and ankles.
Con Users with larger feet can find the wrap too tight.
Con Ice pack only remains cold for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Con Ice doesn’t reach the back of the ankle.

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

Elasto-Gel

Hot/Cold Foot and Ankle Wrap

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Unlike other foot brace styles for ice treatment that use an adjustable pack, the Elasto Gel foot wrap is completely made of gel. Using a tough yet flexible high-glycerine gel covered with a four-way stretch fabric allows for maximum conformity to your foot and ankle. This reusable wrap is durable and won’t leak if punctured.

You can keep this ice pack in the freezer for emergency injury relief or pop it in the microwave to deal with aches and pains. The gel is very pliable, even when frozen to minus 20 degrees F, and folds to where needed. An L-shape allows the user to have the wrap go up the ankle for sprains and strains, or it can be laid flat across the entire foot. A long Velcro strap (27 inches) secures the ice wrap to where you need it most.

Pros
Pro All-over ice coverage with no packs to slip.
Pro Extra tough gel won’t leak if punctured
Pro Flexible latex-free fabric covering stretches to your foot contours.
Pro Can be used hot or cold.
Cons
Con Can be too large and bulky for users with smaller feet.
Con Complaints that it doesn’t stay cold long enough for the price.
Con No washable cover and getting gel wet can cause it to swell.
 

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

NatraCure

Cold Therapy Socks

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I was quite excited when I first saw this product. As somebody who regularly suffers with swollen feet, the idea of a comfortable pair of socks you can slip on for ice relief sounds perfect. A gel pack runs along the length of your sole, with a half sized gel pack designed to slip into a pouch over your toes or behind the ankle.

For everyday wear and tear on your feet, simply pop these soft comfortable socks on while you watch TV in the evening or maybe even while you take a nap. (NatraCure advises you not to walk on the socks.) The gel packs are easy to place in the pouches and remove, meaning the socks can be washed just like any other pair you may own.

Pros
Pro Soft comfortable sock with full foot-length ice pack.
Pro Additional ice pack offers added relief.
Pro Instantly cools the entire foot.
Pro Larger size includes optional strap for compression.
 
Cons
Con Not suitable for people with wider feet.
Con Advised not to walk when using the socks and gel packs.
Con Sizing tends to run small with many customers finding the socks too tight.
Con Complaints of gel packs not getting cold enough or staying cold for long enough.
Con Not durable enough for constant adding and removing of packs.

Our Choice

Sore and tired feet can be an unfortunate side effect of your active lifestyle. Standing on your feet all day takes its toll. But foot pain shouldn’t stop you from being active the next day too. The best ice pack for foot pain will reduce the pain and swelling by numbing the affected area quickly and speed up healing.

There are many generic ice packs you can balance on your feet, I’ve even been known to use a bag of frozen peas. But an ice pack designed for use on the foot will ensure you get the cold to the required area fast, and it stays there too.

Ice treatment is best when used as part of a rest, ice, compress and elevate treatment. The adjustable compression used by The Pain Soother Ankle Cold Compression Therapy Wrap, in our opinion, makes it the best ice pack for foot pain. A temperature-resistant fabric ensures the ice stays colder for longer, with added compression for maximum pain relief.

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