Neuromuscular control of the ankle is disturbed in patients with chronic ankle instability due to an initial ankle inversion trauma. Static balance is assumed to be a measure for this disturbance. Functional (ankle) scores are another way to evaluate ankle impairment. The hypothesis was that there is a difference in static balance measures between small groups of healthy subjects, patients after an acute ankle inversion trauma and patients with chronic ankle instability and that static balance measures correlate well with functional scores. Static balance in healthy subjects (N = 15), patients after a primary ankle inversion injury (N = 14) and patients with chronic ankle instability (N = 23) was tested with a single leg test on a force plate (Postural Sway test) and on a compliant floor (Simple Balance test). Functional impairment was evaluated with the Karlsson, AOFAS and SF-36 (ankle) scores. There was a statistically significant and clinically relevant difference in functional (ankle) scores, but not a statistically significant difference in balance measures between the groups. Balance measures did not correlate to the functional scores. It was concluded that, despite a clinically relevant difference in functional outcome measures between the groups, static balance measures do not appear to be useful for clinical application in the individual patient. © 2010 The Author(s).