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First Impression: McDavid Ankle X Ankle Brace



As I reported earlier this week, McDavid has released what they are calling a ‘revolutionary’ ankle brace – The Ankle X Ankle Brace.

Hit the jump for more…

Being that my ankle is nearing its full recovery, I figured its at least time to get back on-court to shoot around and get going on a few drills to really test my ankles mobility. I can already feel that its very weak due to the sprain I recently suffered so what better way to test a product than when you actually need it. Honestly, there was another brand’s brace available at the store that was not only cheaper in price but one that I felt was overall a better product with an initial inspection and try on but since McDavid is a well known brand and higher in price, I figure its best to test this one first then move onto the lesser priced models and see how they stack up against one another.


Inside the package you have the plastic brace along with a thin compression sleeve.


The brace itself is decent at best, in my opinion, but it will offer you full front to back movement while it completely restricts any medial and lateral movement. This to me is not a true definition of ‘support’ but it does restrict…


The compression sleeve is cheap and thin. There are two additional pads inside the sleeve but they are too thin to aid you in comfort.


In order to put the product on, you must first slide your forefoot into the sleeve.


There are two Velcro straps, one at the heel and one above the ankle.


Secure the two straps to the point where you are comfortable.


Once that is complete you will place your heel into the brace.


Fasten yourself up and you are ready to go… or are you…

One thing I despise about a brace is the fact that you have just limited the sneakers you can wear on-court. For those of you who consistently wear a brace, I recommend that you wear the brace to the sneaker shop and try on your potential new hoop shoe with the brace on, that way you can determine which sneaker fits you better with your additional accessory.


The very first shoe I tried on was one that I knew wouldn’t be easy… the Air Jordan 2012. You can forget about the higher cut sleeve the shoe comes with because it just isn’t going to happen while wearing a heavy duty brace such as this. However, I figured the lower cut sleeve would work.

I couldn’t get my foot into the shoe so I ended up taking the inner sleeve out and putting it on then put my foot inside the shoe. This was not only a pain in the butt, but it was also very difficult and I had to unlace half the shoe just to fit my new found ‘cankle’ inside.


Once that was done, already working up a sweat by the way, I laced the shoe up. I couldn’t go all the way to the top eyelet and the shoes fit was fairly uncomfortable with the brace.


Next up was a lower cut option, the CP3.V. This was easier but the fit felt very awkward… I was able to fully lace the shoe up though which was a plus.


To my surprise, the shoe that I rolled my ankle in was the one that offered the best fit and feeling with the brace. It even increased its lack of heel lockdown as well. I was not able to get the brace into the Play Strong system… in case you were wondering.


The KD IV was another easy one to lace up but the strap is barley hanging on.


Reebok’s Zig Encore was easy as well even though it is a mid cut sneaker. The upper is soft and flexible so it contoured around the bulky brace perfectly fine.

At this point I’m not too impressed with the $50+ dollar piece of equipment and feel that it is hardly revolutionary, but it does restrict the ankle heavily so it may work out. I will do a full review once I begin to really play in them and update you on their performance. Additionally, I will go back and purchase the lesser priced brace and review that as well so you can have some options if you are ever in need of a restrictive accessory for your on-court antics.

  1. wow $50 for an ankle brace is steep! i haven’t tried on many ankle braces but the one that i can really recommend is the ASO ankle brace (ASO Ankle Stabilizing Orthosis on Amazon). it’s made up of a very durable and nice nylon material, and it uses laces, 2 velcro cross straps, and a bungee velcro strap for a customized fit. at the time, i was wearing the hyperdunk 2010 and kobe 5 at the time and they weren’t a big hassle getting my foot in with the brace and lacing them up.

    lol anyway, my point is to try them on if you need them! get well soon, nightwing2303! and i can’t wait for your cp3.v and kobe 7 reviews!

    1. I checked those out but my ankle needs to be prohibited from medial and lateral movement at this point so the nylons and lace up braces just dont offer much protection for my needs.

  2. i have used ankle braces for quite a long time and the bulky look and non optimal fit in shoes is something i guess everyone has to get used to wearing a brace, doesnt’t matter wich one u wear (f****** hate it!). But from a first look i can tell that this brace won’t work properly for your purpose. Looks uncomfortable and that it allows forward and backward movement is something you do not want to have with an already injured ankle. This brace may work if your ankle is fine and u want to prevent rolling your ankles. What bothers me the most with braces is the extra time you need to put them on and then adjust the adjust the lacing to achieve the right amount of pressure. Standard braces with a full lacing system are just annoying, although they do their job.
    Currently i’m wearing adidas speed wraps and these things are really good (despite a bulky look)! Had issues first with some pressure points on my lateral ankle but after the first wearings they actually adapt to your ankle shape and they fit perfectly now. Lacing them up doesn’t take much time because the upper part consists of a velcro strap system which allows a good adjustemt of pressure/support. You should really try them (i’m not an adidas employee! ;-))

    1. Lol, i need to try them out for sure.

      So far ive been able to play roughly 8hrs with this brace. Ill get more into it w a review but the front to back movement on my ankle feels fine, its the lateral movements that needed restricting which this did surprisingly well at. Its fairly easy for on and off but you can feel it the entire time.

  3. Nightwing…. Didn’t you even try them on for the adizero rose 2.0? That shoes is made for players who wear braces. Also the adizero rose 2.5 just got unveiled what are your first thoughts about it? Would you recommend the 2.5 or the 2.0?

    1. Since ive completed the Rose 2 review i need to get all these other shoes done so thats why they were left out. The 2.5s look great and i cant wait to try them out.

  4. nightwing my friend’s getting the kobe 7’s and he wants to know if he can only buy the attack strong midsoles because he doesnt want to get the attack fast midsoles. if anyone knows the answer please reply. thanks in advance.

    1. If you buy them at your local sneaker shop you have to buy the entire “system” or both midsoles I believe, unless you go through Nike ID. And I also think that the later color ways will only come with the play fast midsoles.

    2. The models that are releasing without the system (both midsole options) come with the play fast setup. If you wanted the cushlon play strong with either sleeve setup youd have to NikeiD them and pay $60 additional.

    1. Ive tested the Rose 2s so i wont be using them right now since i have so many other shoes to get through.

      The speed wrap wasnt avail in store for me here so this was one of two options i had that would give the restriction i need.

  5. I had i purchased one but i had difficulty on finding a shoes that i can use with it. Can you help mo or can i use this with dwade’s Li Ning?

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