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McDavid Goalkeeper Protection Products

McDavid’s beginnings can be traced to a basement in Bellwood, Illinois in 1969, when Dr Robert F. McDavid designed and developed what was to become the first widely used lateral protective knee brace in American Football. McDavid now markets and manufacture over 400 products and is reportedly “the most widely used and recommended brand of braces among sports medical professionals”.

McDavid gets interesting for Goalkeepers with its recent innovation, HexPad™ Technology. Basically this is clever padding – very dense, protective padding bound into small hexagonal shapes in the fabric of sports garments, creating the great advantage of fantastic padding but maintaining excellent flexibility of movement. With a second clever step, McDavid blended Hexpad technology with special-purpose performance fabrics – i.e. tight spandex under-layers, designed either to take heat away from the body quickly, or to keep it in (depending on the fabric and the conditions for which it is intended). In this way, McDavid has pioneered an new category of sports and Goalkeeper Clothing, which it calls ‘protective apparel’.

There is certainly something in it. Staggeringly, by 2003, over 92% of professional basketball players and 55% of American football players were wearing McDavid HexPad technology. The possible benefits to goalkeepers are obvious and the McDavid brand is becoming increasingly popular, and for some keepers it has already become a key piece of performance-enhancing equipment. McDavid’s has an extensive list of high profile football endorsees, featuring Francesco Toldo, Jussi Jaaskelainen and Angelo Peruzzi, and also interestingly including the entire squad of Belgian 1st Division team KVC Westerlo.

KEY ENDORSEES: Francesco Toldo, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Angelo Peruzzi

LIST OF ENDORSEES: Francesco Toldo, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Angelo Peruzzi, Giorgio Frezzolini, Sebastiano Frey, Paolo Orlandoni, Dei Emiliano, Giacomo Brichetto, Malatesta Enrico, Luca Bucci, Morgan DeSanctis, Nando Grana, David Thiel, Armando Pantanelli, Fortin Marco, KVC Westerlo (entire team).

Compression – McDavid’s ‘compression technology’ fits like a second layer of skin, and moves with the movements of the body. McDavid believe that compression garments – garments that fit tightly to the body - provide a performance advantage. With compression garments, momentum-reducing factors like friction are reduced by keeping the thigh and groin muscles separate. This further aims to prevent muscle pulls, reduce fatigue, and increase proprioception (the ability to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of the body and its parts).
Compression also aims to help injury prevention, supporting the large muscle groups and thereby helping to reduce muscle pulls and fatigue.
hDc – this is McDavid’s moisture evaporation system, keeping the body cool and improving performance.
McDavid hDc starts with a process that permanently bonds hydrophilic (water-attracting) molecules to mid-weight and heavy-weight synthetic fibre surfaces. This ensures that the performance of hDc remains intact even after numerous washings. As an individual exercises, the body produces perspiration to cool itself. In warm conditions, this perspiration condenses on the skin and builds up heat, but use of McDavid’s hDc means that moisture is actually pulled away from the skin. The skin therefore remains cooler and drier, and the body's own temperature management system can do its job more effectively.
Once the fabric absorbs moisture, it is spread rapidly across a broad surface area for faster evaporation. It is this evaporation which draws heat out of the body. Once the moisture is one molecule thick, hDc starts its drying process, allowing for consistent and rapid moisture transport ability over a long time. McDavid claims “hDc evaporates moisture faster than any other fabric after the initial washings, including any modified cross-section fiber.”

“Two shirts.
One intense workout.
The McDavid shirt stays 8-10° cooler”.

HexPad – Hexpad Technology is a padding system that bonds dozens of individual athletic foam pads permanently into fabrics. Hexpads are machine washable and cost effective, allowing the development of apparel that incorporates protection right into the shirt or pant, allowing the replacement of old-fashioned undershirts, pants and sleeves.

Hexpad Technology utilizes super-lightweight athletic foam that conforms to and stretches with the body, and it doesn’t pinch or bind like traditional sports padding. The lighter weight Hexpads allow for greater coverage at the same or less weight than padding systems.
Products using Hexpad Technology have been designed and tested to be durable. In the words of McDavid – “They have been used in some of the most rugged sports like American football and rugby and wear well through at least one full season for Goalkeepers. They may be machine washed and dried. Hexpads are being embraced by athletes in virtually all contact and collision sports including soccer, American football, basketball, lacrosse, rugby and volleyball to name a few.”

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