Before McDavid, there was “sport” and there was “med”

We started the evolution with a quiet revolution. McDavid has been at the sharp end of sports medicine advancements, technology and thinking for 30+ years. Our focus remains intensely on bringing every advantage to every athlete via:

  • Prevention – Provide preemptive protection to reduce the incidence of injury and rehabilitative protection to speed an athlete’s return.
  • Protection – Support an athlete’s post-injury return to activity and enhance an athlete’s performance both physically and mentally.

McDavid SportMed® products are often recommended by physicians and athletic trainers to be worn while recovering from an injury. With varying levels of support and adjustability, McDavid products may shorten recovery time. Additionally, selected products may be worn to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.

McDavid offers a tremendous variety of SportMed® products; each designed to offer a targeted level of protection, performance and comfort.

Overall categories: 

  • Elastic products offer support without the retention of heat.
  • Neoprene items provide stability and added warmth to muscles.
  • Hinged braces and ankle stays are designed for unmatched stability and provide confidence for those with troublesome body parts.

Body parts of the whole: 

Ankle, calf, knee, thigh, waist, back, elbow, wrist, shoulder and it all goes back to the mind and ultimately, the mental state of the athlete.

Beneficial to sufferers of: 

Arthritis, bursitis, carpal tunnel, Osgood-Schlatter Syndrome (knee inflammation), shin splints, tendonitis, tennis elbow and others.

Aid in recovery and prevention of injuries to: 

Achilles tendons, ACL, hamstrings, ligaments, patella, quads, ankles and among other ailments.

Protection Selection

McDavid’s SportMed® products provide three levels of protection/support:

PRIMARY – Features sleeves and supports designed to deliver general purpose protection and support

  • Minor pain, sprains and instabilities
  • Arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis
  • Includes features like adjustable straps for custom fit
  • Promotes healing through the use of neoprene thermal therapy and/or breathable elastic

ADVANCED – Features wraps and supports designed to deliver minor to moderate protection and support 

  • Minor to moderate ligament instabilities or pain
  • Includes features like straps, stays and buttresses for additional protection and support through compression. Neoprene promotes healing through therapeutic heat retention and soft-tissue support.

MAXIMUM – Features braces and guards designed to provide the ultimate protection and support 

  • Moderate to major instabilities and pain
  • Includes features like hinges, splints, straps and stays for additional protection and support
  • Neoprene promotes healing through therapeutic heat retention and soft-tissue support through compression

Painless Shopping

McDavid’s SportMed® Center makes shopping easy by organizing the category: 

  1. What Body Part? – Identify what part of the body needs to be protected / supported
  2. What Protection Level?– How severe is the injury / how much protection / support is needed
  3. What Size? – Size Guides are clearly identified on the packaging, helping consumers choose the best fit

McDavid advancements and features

McDavid’s passion for SportMed® knowledge has led to an array of big breakthroughs and small, smart advancements. 

  • The laced ankle products offer arch support, varying degrees of stays for structural stability, and breathable materials.
  • Neoprene knee products meet a variety of needs including patella tracking, lateral support, adjustable sizing and 5-needle stitching for comfort and fit. McDavid’s decision to use 100% neoprene creates a latex-free product designed to meet the stability and durability needs of the consumer.

McDavid's glossary of terms

Fabric that stretches in two directions, or all four. 4-Way stretch offers a more contoured fit.

Our 5-needle seam construction technology provides unrivaled comfort and a contouring fit.

Counteracts the inversion movement that causes ankle injuries. This feature mimics the taping technique used by athletic trainers. The strap begins on one side, crosses under then over the foot, and is adhered to the same side from which it started.

Hinged knee braces are ideal for those needing to alleviate the amount of stress being applied to their knees. Functionally, a hinged brace is able to transfer the weight of the body, the cause of the stress, from above the knee to below the knee. Hinged knee braces are recommended for anyone who suffers from medial or lateral instability as well as anterior or posterior cruciate instabilities or meniscus issues.

A single axis, or monocentric hinge is the most stable hinge offered. These single axis hinges offer only one point of rotation, which in turn can offer restriction of certain movements.

A polycentric hinge consists of multiple axis points, which mimics the complexity of the pivot point in the human knee. This design allows for greater comfort and depending on the centers of rotation of the hinges, provides varied protection and movements of the knee. Geared polycentric hinges offer changing degrees of movement with increased stability to that of a polycentric hinge lacking gears.

Used for fastening and straps, while increasing adjustability for overall greater performance. When the two faces are pressed together, the hooks catch in the loops and the two pieces fasten or bind temporarily. When separated, by pulling or peeling the two surfaces apart, the hook and loop strips make a distinctive "ripping" sound.

Our SportMed® products are made from 100% Neoprene (CR), a latex-free compound. Latex-free construction eliminates any risk of exposure for those with latex-sensitivity.  McDavid SportMed® products use ETU-free neoprene. ETU (ethylene thiourrea) is a known skin irritant that is used in some processes of curing neoprene.

McDavid’s decision to utilize 100% neoprene gives superior resilience, tensile strength, tear resistance, compression set, and heat aging benefits to its SportMed® products. Should someone decide to ignore the "air dry" instructions, McDavid products will survive and perform just as well after many washings/dryings. This is not the case with SBR, as it will begin to deteriorate.

SBR — a flat tire technology

SBR was actually developed to make tires during WWII. During this time, tires were prone to dry rot from excessive heat and ultra-violet rays. Dry rot wasn't resolved until they added EPDM to the compound. The only benefit of SBR other than cost is that it has a 30° low temperature use advantage.

McDavid uses varied thicknesses of neoprene for our different products:

  • 4.8mm is used for products that are associated with the knee, which is larger and requires additional support, making the best use of the thermal qualities of neoprene.
  • 3.2mm is used for ankle supports that need to fit into shoes, or worn with socks. Other products include elbow and wrist supports that are meant for smaller parts of the body.

McDavid uses different fabrics and materials bonded on neoprene for different purposes:

  • Nylon double knit is used on the outside of larger and higher-wear areas like knees and elbows.
  • Polyester is used in lower-wear areas of the body, or smaller products like wrist and elbows. Also used as the inside liner to most of the neoprene products. This adds comfort without sacrificing durability and support.

Circular opening that relieves pressure on/around the patella (knee cap). The padding provides impact protection.

Sorbothane is the brand name of a synthetic viscoelastic urethane polymer used as a shock absorber and vibration damper.

A small piece of tightly wound steel used to maintain rigidity.