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.