McDavid 195 Ankle Brace Review

The McDavid 195 is a lace-up ankle brace that has been shown to help prevent sports-and-exercise related injuries. It may also help speed up recovery times for chronic or acute injuries to the ankle joint. This brace is designed to immobilize the ankle laterally while still maintaining a good range of motion in the plantar/dorsiflexion direction. This brace will resist inversion of the ankle, which is the common sprain resulting from rolling the ankle, making it an appealing option for those looking for assistance during recovery from a sprain, or prevention of ankle injuries in general.

This review will focus on some of the more detailed aspects of the McDavid 195 ankle brace, and what we feel are the major pros and cons.

McDavid 195 Ankle Brace - Selling Points

  • The brace may reduce the possibility of ankle injuries by 3 times.
  • It supports the ankle, prevents injuries, and speeds up recovery times of ankle injuries.
  • Minimal weight and full support are made possible by the single-layer nylon fabric.
  • Supports like athletic tape with its figure-6 pattern of strapping.
  • The brace has an elastic top strap to allow for a custom fit and extra support.
  • It can be adjusted without removing or unlacing your shoe.
  • For added comfort, the brace has a built-in anatomical arch.
  • It can be worn on the left or right ankle.
  • This brace offers maximum support and can be worn by those that have minor injuries as well as individuals who have a need for extra relief and protection.

McDavid 195 Ankle Brace - Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The McDavid 195 Ankle Brace offers great flexibility and amazing wearing comfort.
  • It can be used for a variety of injuries, mild to severe.
  • Versatile and can be worn on left or right ankle.
  • ‚ÄčIt's easy to put on and take off, as well as easily adjustable.
  • It's durable, especially for how lightweight it is.
  • Great balance between support and a slim lightweight design.
  • Extensively studied compared with other ankle braces.

Cons

  • Can take some getting-used-to, especially if you are unfamiliar with ankle braces.
  • Getting the proper size can be a little tricky sometimes, but the company is good with returns.

Studies of the McDavid 195 Ankle Brace

There have been a few fairly robust scientific studies performed using the McDavid 195 ankle brace. These studies provide some very useful and unbiased information about the effectiveness of this ankle brace; however, it's worth noting the the purpose of these studies weren't necessarily to investigate the performance of this brace alone, but rather, how ankle braces can help reduce and prevent injuries, where the McDavid 195 was chosen as the representative of a lace-up ankle brace. Below is a quick summary of the two aforementioned studies.

In 2012, a study was performed that focused on reducing injuries in high school basketball players. This study was a randomized control trial with a whopping 1460 athletes included in the analysis, and a calculated power of 80%, all of which is indicative of a well-controlled and unbiased analysis. In this case, two groups were randomly created: One group contained basketball players that wore the brace during training, practices, and games, while the other group simply didn't wear the ankle brace.

The results of this study were rather favorable for the McDavid 195 ankle brace. First of all, the researchers found that ankle injuries represented 40% of all the injuries observed, so there is justification for this study. More importantly, they found that the group that wore the McDavid 195 ankle brace had less than half the occurrence of injuries than the non-brace group. Additionally, first-event ankle injuries, as well as re-injuries, were all found to be lower in the ankle brace group. Even when injuries did occur, they typically occurred later in the analysis than the non-brace group. 

Therefore, the results of this study are very promising for the efficacy of the McDavid 195 ankle brace. While this study didn't go into specific biomechanical analysis of how the brace actually functions compared to other brands, it is at least an ankle brace that is known to be popular and reliable, and this study supports all the claims made by McDavid.

The second study was performed on military cadets. In this study, different types of bracing conditions were investigated in relation to injury prevention and performance on obstacle course performance. While the investigators did notice some very small negative effects on mobility during specific lower limb reach tests, they found this did not effect overall mobility or performance on an obstacle course that was very tactical in nature. Moreover, the concluded that this type of lace-up ankle brace, of which they used the McDavid 195, was more than a suitable option to be worn under footwear in order to prevent injury without sacrificing performance.

McDavid 195 Ankle Brace - Recommendation

Overall, the fact that the McDavid 195 ankle brace is present in scientific literature with positive results is a very promising sign. Additionally, this lace-up style ankle brace provides a great balance between support and comfort, where you can still use it while participating in sports with the overall effect of reduced injury risk without a reduction in performance. This is one of the major reasons that we voted it as a top ankle brace for running. That being said, if your ankle injury is severe, you should double-check with your doctor or physiotherapist that something more robust and restrictive isn't necessary first. McDavid is a highly respected brand for braces, so we wouldn't hesitate to try this one out.

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