RDX A1 Dot Grip Ankle Support (formerly RDX Pro Neoprene Ankle Support) Review
RDX is one of the UK’s most widely known fight brands. They also have a strong presence in the US and many other countries. The brand have a reputation for producing quality gear for any level, with reasonable price tags. They’re often people’s first choice for equipment when they’re starting out in martial arts.
Note: Since we originally wrote this review, RDX have made some minor updates to the product name and printed logos. As a result, some details may not be fully accurate, although the review is still representative of the current product.
These Ankle supports come in one style, a modern, clean design also seen on many of RDX’s products. This is what personally drew me to these originally, as they look more refined than similar ankle supports. The black, white and red works well, utilising RDX’s clean logo and wordmark to detail the supports. The red also highlights the grip pads on the sole of the foot.
As seen in the images, it has a more exposed area around the heel of the foot than most other supports, as well as being slightly shorter up the leg. Each support is also angled at the front, mimicking the shape of the foot. The RDX logo is on the outside of the leg, so these appear to be intentionally designed for specific feet. I found this makes a refreshing change from most ankle supports, which are more of a generic shape designed to fit on either foot.
The main selling point of these ankle supports for me was the material. They’re made out of Neoprene, which is sturdier and more supportive than the more standard elasticated material blend. While the Neoprene feels great to wear, it isn’t quite as elasticated as it could be. The stitching is well done, and although there are seams across different parts of the foot, these are all really flat and are not noticeable in the slightest. The seams around the edges again are almost unnoticeable. None of the pads on the bottom have come off despite frequent use, and the graphics aren’t coming off at all, despite regularly kicking pads and heavy bags, which leads me to believe these are incredibly durable supports.
As for the fit there are both positives and negatives. I personally wear a UK size 9 shoe (US size 10, EUR size 44), which I would have assumed was a medium size, except in the end I decided a small size actually fitted me better. Around the foot, the fit is nice and tight, but not to the point that it feels too much. I admit that I probably prefer my ankle supports slightly tighter than most people do though.
Although the material is a great fit around the foot, the fit around the top where it meets the leg is completely different. I have slim ankles, but not overly skinny, yet I could easily slide several fingers between the support and my leg without stretching the material at all. Without the elasticity these just don’t seem to fit tightly. This probably won’t affect anyone with large ankles, however for most people (and especially females and youths) these offer very little support of the ankles themselves. In a way this defeats the point of an ankle support, yet despite it I still love these supports for a variety of other reasons.
While the fit is weird, these are great to wear, and the contoured shape doesn’t limit movement at all. These are thicker than usual, which means added protection for the instep region when kicking. This is great for both serious and casual martial artists. For casual martial artists it means that less soreness will be felt when kicking with the instep. For serious martial artists it means that you can kick harder in order to condition the insteps without worrying about damaging anything.
The heat these retain is more than with regular supports, which increases blood flow and oxygen transfer to the muscles and tissues, and at the same time allows the skin to ‘breathe’ through the material, both of which are helpful for preventing and healing foot injuries. The grip pads on the underside are small and only make a minor difference to grip, however they’re a nice addition.
The RDX Pro Neoprene Ankle Supports are sold individually for around £6 to £8 in the UK, which means a pair is somewhere between £12 and £16, which is a price at the same level as many other high end brands sell theirs before. This may be a little ambitious by RDX, however I’m sure it’s mainly down to the materials. For that sort of price, I wouldn’t expect to have the problems with the fit as mentioned earlier.