McDavid Ankle Brace Review 2018
Updated December 12, 2018
McDavid’s 2018 range of ankle protection and support products is one of the most comprehensive on the market. They offer a full complement of braces featuring X design, lace up and strap designs. In addition, McDavid provide ankle sleeves with dual compression, sleeveless elastic, gel buttressing, 4 way elite elastic and Figure-8 straps. McDavid achilles tendon support straps and plantar fascia support straps offer more specific protection.
In this article, we provide detailed reviews of the top McDavid products and then put them head to head with the best of the rest.
The Best of The McDavid Range
The McDavid ankle brace range encompasses 17 products that deliver a full spectrum of support and protection from sprains, strains and lateral or medial injury. In this section, we zoom in on the top selling products in the McDavid range, their top brace, the McDavid 195, the 199 lace up and the 195 Level 3 Max Protection.
The McDavid 195 ankle brace is a low profile, lightweight design in polyester. A top strap allows you to control the level of tension and compression that you apply. The greater the compression the more oxygen and blood flow you will get, delivering more healing nutrients to the area.
The tongue on McDavid 195 Ankle Brace is extremely light and airy, allowing the air to circulate throughout the entire support. This ensures that your brace has effective moisture wicking and will not overheat or accumulate sweat. The lacing system provides a secure fit and features reinforced eyelits. The single layer polyester construction improves the durability and rigidity while reducing the weight.
The figure 6 strapping system of the David 195 effectively simulates wrapping tape without the hassle of having to apply the tape. The padded lining and reinforced closures add extra durability and comfort to this very impressive product.
- Single layer of polyester fabric
- Compression comfort top strap
- Breathable tongue
- A little bulky
The McDavid 199 Lace Up features dual levels of nylon and vinyl mesh fabric, providing an impressive blend of rigidity, flexibility and breathability. Spring steel stays have been inserted to provide structural integrity. Special Hydravent hDc Moisture Management Technology does a brilliant job of wicking away moisture and ensuring you don’t suffer from sweat build up. The tongue is also ventilated, providing you with extra ventilation and breathability. Sewn in arch supports provide increased durability.
McDavid 199 Lace Up is a McDavid level 3 ankle brace. This is the ultimate protection level, suitable for moderate to severe pain or injury. This is a bidirectional support, so can be used on either foot. McDavid have gone to great lengths to reduce the weight of this support in order to make it more mobile and non invasive. It can fit easily under your shoe.
This product is used by pro athletes around the world as a replacement for cumbersome wrapping tape.
- Level 3 support
- Dual levels of nylon and vinyl mesh fabric
- Very lightweight
- Sizing is a little small
The McDavid ankle support with strap is a neoprene ankle support that features wrap around velcro straps. This provides for a very secure hold on the foot. The strapping system puts you in control of the level of tension that is applied to the foot. This support gives you Level 2 protection, which makes it ideal for minor to moderate sprains and strains, light ligament instability or pain.
The one eighth inch thick neoprene material delivers therapeutic warmth to speed up blood flow and oxygenation which brings nutrients to the affected area faster. This is a bi-directional support which fits both feet. It contains no latex. It will deliver a high level of support throughout your entire day, yet is so comfortable you’ll forget that you’re wearing it.
- Wrap around velcro straps
- Level 2 protection
- Tight fit in a running shoe
The McDavid 195 Level 3 Max Protection is manufactured from a durable, lightweight nylon material with a vinyl fabric shell that has been ergonomically contoured. This makes it extremely flexible, while also delivering the guidance and protection that you need. The padded lining throughout makes this is a very comfortable brace to wear. An arch support has been sown into the base of the support to provide extra tibial integrity.
The McDavid 195 features figure six stirrup straps that allow you to simulate wrapping your foot without the hassle of actually having to do so. This also puts you in charge of controlling the tension and compression level. This support gives you Level 3 protection, which is the maximum level available.
- Vinyl fabric shell
- Figure six stirrup straps
- Level 3 protection
- Does not fit snugly
While McDavid’s ankle support range of products constitute an impressive range, there are some viable alternatives that deliver as good, if not better support and protection. The Mueller XLP ankle brace is a low profile brace that is fitted with stabilizing stays on either side to ensure maximum medial and lateral support. The Donjoy ankle brace is made from superior 800D ballistic nylon, providing a greater level of stretch and comfort than anything in the McDavid range.
The Shock Doctor 851 brace delivers a low profile design which has greater foot stability than anything that McDavid offer due to its non slip silicone gripper.
The Mueller XLP ankle brace is a low profile lace up support that is made from lightweight, breathable polyester. It features a minimalistic design which fits comfortably inside of your running or walking shoe. A rigid plastic stay has been inserted to provide additional lateral and medial support to the tibia. The design of this brace ensures that you get the support your ankle needs to stay safe without compromising your freedom of movement.
The Mueller XLP is a smart choice when you need that extra protection to carry your injured ankle through game time. It has proven to be very effective for players of basketball, football, netball, tennis and racquetball. This product is completely latex free.
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- Lightweight polyester
- Rigid plastic stay
- Latex free
- Sizing is a little small
The Donjoy speed stabilizing ankle brace is a lightweight low profile lower leg protector that fits seamlessly in with your normal footwear. It is constructed from 800D ballistic nylon, providing a blend of strength and flexibility. This allows for the protection you need while still allowing the freedom of movement to walk and exercise naturally. The lace eye-lits have been reinforced to provide a strong, durable lace up system.
The Donjoy speed stabilizing ankle brace features a full circumferential strap to provide superior stability and compression. This delivers the pressure and tension that the tibia needs to keep it in the right plane of movement. Your proprioception is enhanced with the addition of unique removable medial stays that have been inserted into the strap.
Mueller Sports Medicine have been a leader in the ankle support market since 1961. Check out the best of their range with our Mueller Ankle Brace Review 2018 - we review and then compare them against the competition.
- 800D ballistic nylon
- Removable medial stays
- Full circumferential strap
- Straps need to be more secure
The Shock Doctor 851 ankle brace is a complete multi-directional adjustable foot strapping system. It is ideal for moderate to severe ligaments and strains. It features an ergonomically designed low profile fit that provides compression and stabilization to the ankle while also ensuring that you are still able to move the foot naturally. This product is completely latex free.
The Shock Doctor 851 comes with a non-slip footbed so you’ll have no problem with it bunching up or sliding around. You will get excellent multi-directional lateral and medial support without the need to tape your foot. A non slip silicone gripper pattern on the footbed provides you with a sure footing. The brace is even fitted with easy pull finger tabs.
For the most efficient, cost effective ankle support across all categories, go to our Best Ankle Supports, Straps, Wraps and Sleeves Review 2018. We provide in depth reviews on the 9 best performers.
- Low profile
- Latex free
- Non slip silicone gripper
- Velcro needs to be more robust
The McDavid range of ankle support and protection products is one of the oldest and most respected on the market. McDavid offer 17 different solutions, each one targeted toward a slightly different application. Our favorite McDavid product is the hugely popular 195 ankle brace, which comes as a single layer of polyester fabric and has a compression comfort top strap and breathable tongue. We were also very impressed with the 199 lace up, which provides Level 3 support, comes with two levels of nylon and vinyl mesh fabric and is extremely lightweight.
When it comes to McDavid alternatives we found the Mueller XLP brace to be a great option. It is made from lightweight polyester and has rigid plastic stays fit to boost lateral and medial integrity. The Donjoy ankle brace is more structurally sound than anything in the McDavid stable, being made from 800D ballistic nylon and featuring removable medial stays and a full circumferential strap.
Finally, we recommend the Shock Doctor 851, which features the best ground support, with its non slip silicone gripper.