The Top 7 Best Patellar Tendon Straps Reviewed and Tested

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Take a look at our in-depth review of the best patellar tendon straps currently available. We’ve done all of the research for you in this complete guide.

To start this post a brief anatomy lesson may be in order.  What exactly is a Patellar Tendon? To state it in simple terms: it is a tendon that reaches from the quadriceps muscle in the thigh to include the patella (or kneecap) and attach it to the tibia (the shinbone), providing extension around the knee joint (insert visual?). It’s a big connector of sorts, and it’s at work every single time you take a step.

Our Top 3 Picks
Mueller Max Knee Strap
  • Mueller Max Knee Strap
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Breathable design
  • Price: See Here
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DonJoy WEBTECH
  • DonJoy WEBTECH
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • pull tabs for easy on/off
  • Price: See Here
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McDavid 414 Patella Strap
  • McDavid 414 Patella Strap
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Innovative tubular design
  • Price: See Here
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Its importance cannot be overstated when it comes to running. The unfortunate truth is our knees are such important weight bearing joints that they are relatively easy to injure. Especially when it comes to consistent running. Common injuries that can affect the Patellar Tendon are as follow: Chondromalacia Patellae (or the famous runner’s Knee), Patellar Subluxation, tendon tears, tendon strains, tendonitis, Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, Prepatellar bursitis, and bruising. We don’t list these to scare or depress anyone but rather underscore that there are many things that can affect your patellar health. Trying to run or train with some of the above injuries is challenging. Professional medical advice should always be deferred to, but there are some useful aids (such as straps) that can provide a surprising degree of relief and support.

Mueller Max Knee Strap

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Trending more in the direction of a knee brace than strap, this strap from Mueller offers full support and stabilization to your Patellar tendon. For runners needing a certain type of extra support this is probably a wise choice. The strap features compression tubes surrounding the knee area, which help to stabilize the patella and generally keep things in good alignment. There is also a strap above the knee with this model, compared to most other straps having the singular coverage. Here is where that extra bit of support and functionality comes in.
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- Lower compression tube targets the patellar tendon providing just the right support

- Upper compression tube targets quadricep muscles to help prevent misalignment

- Breathable mesh fabric on the back for a cushy fit

- Hook-and loop closure adjusts for just the right fit

Specs:

Best use: Multi-use

Material(s): Latex-free Neoprene, Nylon

Weight: 3 ounces
Pros
  • Targets both the patellar tendon and quadricep muscles
  • Fairly comfortable fit
  • Breathable mesh back
Cons
  • Straps tend to slip some

DonJoy Performance WEBTECH Knee Support Strap

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If you like to experiment with the latest and greatest technology the Webtech knee support strap from DonJoy Performance may be the right choice for you. This strap incorporates an innovative system that provides targeted relief for knee pain and provides full range comfort The silicone strap (that covers the front of the knee) is built in such a way as to fit with the contours of the knee as smoothly as possible. It works with the compression molded backing of the strap to evenly distribute pressure on the Patellar Tendon. The price is a little bit higher than some other straps, but there is no disputing this is one of the best tools out there for combating Patellar tendon related issues.
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Details:

- Reflectivity creates greater visibility in low light conditions
- TPR pull tabs make getting it on/off a breeze
- Compression molded back pad with mesh lining allows air to flow freely
- Contoured body for an improved fit
- Silicone web seamlessly applies pressure to the tendon

Specs:

Best use: Multi-use

Material(s): Neoprene, Silicon, Nylon

Weight: 1 ounce
Pros
  • Super lightweight
  • Not bulky
  • Applies just the right amount of pressure
  • Mesh lining offers decent airflow
Cons
  • May slip on skinnier legs

McDavid 414 Patella Knee Strap

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Another household name when it comes to braces, guards and straps is McDavid. The 414 Patella Strap from McDavid is another solid choice, and is designed to help you overcome different types of knee pain. This strap has a specialized non-slip buttress which applies full compression right on the tendon. It is also a latex free product (for anyone with an allergy) and it features an adjustable hook and loop closure apparatus that will fit most knees. There are quite a few different colors you can choose with the 414, and best of all its price tag is budget friendly.
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Details:

- Designed to fit the left or right knee, versatile
- Innovative tubular, non-slip buttress gets the pressure just right
- Designed to fit most body types
- Customize your fit with an adjustable hook and loop closure
- Designed specifically to help lessen the symptoms of patellar tendonitis (runner’s/jumper’s knee)

Specs:

Best use: Multi use

Material(s): 100% latex-free 3.2mm diameter neoprene

Weight: 2 ounces

Pros
  • Latex free
  • Adjustable for most body types
  • Lightweight, minimal design
Cons
  • The one size fits all design of the newer version may run a bit small

Nike Pro Combat Patella Band 2.0

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Nike’s foray into Patellar tendon straps is predictably more sporty than many of its counterparts. The Combat Patella Band 2.0 is made from a blend of nylon, polyester, rubber and even a bit of spandex for good measure. Its trim, very lightweight and it breathes better than your average Patellar strap. Not everyone cares too much about aesthetics, but for those who do this is a good choice, as it looks quite sharp. If you are looking for a bit of support for your knee and prefer to keep things stylish this made be the ticket for you.
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Details:

- A great product for injury rehab or even preventive measures
- Adult unisex fitted product
- Classic Nike Swoosh centered logo
- Easy to wash, machine ready
- Breathable elastic strap ensures a nice fit

Specs:

Best use: Running, Hiking, Soccer

Material(s): 40% nylon, 18% polyester, 6% rubber, 5% CR, 3% EVA, 3% spandex.

Weight: 1.5 ounces
Pros
  • For great for either prevention or rehab
  • Unisex sizing
  • Fairly breathable design
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • Sizing runs smaller than the original version

Mueller Jumper’s Knee Strap Pink-One Size Fits Most

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Don’t be deterred by the pink in the picture, this strap comes in many different colors and is just as suitable for gentleman as it is for ladies. The Jumper’s Knee Strap from Mueller helps improve patellar stability and tendon function. With tubular inserts this strap is meant to provide uniform pressure and support. This is a simply designed product, it comes from a known brand that you can trust, and the price tag is one of the most competitive out there. Not a lot of downsides when you add it all up.
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Details:
- One size fits most, fully adjustable
- Manufactured proudly in the USA
- Maximum pain relief from tubular insert designed to take the load off your knee
- Through the careful application of pressure the Jumper’s strap can improve patellar tracking and elevation

Specs:

Best use: Multisport

Material(s): Neoprene 80% Nylon 20%

Weight: 1 ounce
Pros
  • One size fits most, but adjustable
  • Several different color choices
  • Tubular insert can relieve pain
Cons
  • Inconsistent sizing

Ipow Fully Adjustable Patellar Tendon Support Strap Band

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The Ipow strap has a little more body to it than other straps, and because of this you can count on it for a bit more support. It has premium slims inserted and is designed to be worn directly below the kneecap, over the patellar tendon itself. It acts as a great buffer for the force going between the tibia/patella in the tendon itself. This strap is fully adjustable so you can tune it to just the right size, its very well reviewed, and commonly recommended by occupational therapists. Overall it’s one of the safest picks there is in terms of patellar straps.
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Details:

- Segmented fix design adds extra support and allows for customization to specific needs
- Double knotted design, fits up to 18-inch in maximum size
- Built-in high quality flexible slims, reduce pressure and backup your knee
- Breathable, permeable, washes easily, high quality fabric

Specs:

Best use: Running, Multi

Material(s): Neoprene/ synthetic nylon

Weight: 1.5 ounces
Pros
  • Segmented design allows customized fit for specific needs
  • Sizing is adjustable up to 18 inches (about 45cm)
  • Breathable
  • Easily washable
Cons
  • Some find the plastic adjustment loops uncomfortable

Pro-Tec Athletics Knee Patellar Tendon Strap

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If knee ailments have you down a great place to turn is the Pro-Tec Athletics Patellar Strap. This strap is designed to apply constant pressure on the patellar tendon. The strap itself is made from neoprene, which allows it to be flexible and and stretch in the desirable ways. There is tubing sewn into the strap designed to make it sit more comfortably against your skin, and it also has a handy plastic loop which makes adjustment a breeze. High grade velcro attaches in the rear ensuring a nice snug fit.
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Details:

- Spreads compression evenly to the patellar tendon reducing tension and irritation
- Compression shown to help stabilize your patella, improving its tracking function
- Detailed sizing chart available, sizes are pretty true
- Neoprene strap stays in place with a VELCRO® brand fixture

Specs:

Best use: Multisports

Material(s): Lightweight Neoprene

Weight: Approximate .5 ounces
Pros
  • Reduces tension by evenly spreading compression to the patellar tendon
  • Helps to improve tracking function
  • Neoprene design stays in place pretty well
Cons
  • Sizing is a bit off

The idea behind a Patellar strap is to provide additional support and compression directly to the tendon itself reducing the stress its under. This aims to redistribute tension, thus reducing the stress any particular tendon must assume while contracting. There is some evidence that a counter-force strap helps keep the Patella and Patellar tendon properly aligned.These straps are essentially all designed to ergonomically to move with your knee and not restrict movement. There is a little bit of variation to how they are worn but generally speaking they rest just underneath the patella itself. For experienced runners (or anyone with a medical background) this will be extremely basic. For beginners or casual runners we aim to provide a simple primer and some advice regarding different types of straps.

If this post is relevant to you first of all, we’re sorry. But don’t be discouraged, with proper medical treatment, care of your body and a strap there is no reason why patellar issues should keep you out of action.

What is Runner’s Knee?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS for short), got its name for one simple and quite unfortunate reason, it’s very common among runners. The repetitive stress of running (legs hitting the ground) can cause irritation where the kneecap (patella) rests on the thighbone. This can manifest itself in a number of painful ways which to paraphrase Webmd can include:

  • Pain behind or around the kneecap
  • Pain when you bend the knee
  • Pain that’s worse when walking down a slope
  • Swelling/inflammation in the kneecap area
  • Popping or grinding sensations in the knee, especially while in motion

 

How to treat Runner’s Knee?

As our disclaimer states we do not provide medical advice on this site, we do however exercise some common sense. A strap can go a long way toward alleviating some of the symptoms listed above. But there are of course many other things you can do and should consider. Some great resources can be found here, here, and here. Or if in doubt seek the advice of a qualified physician.

 

Are Patellar Tendon Straps effective?

This will always come down to individual experience. An article in the Wall Street Journal explored this issue in some depth. One quote that does a good job of summarizing is seen below:

“They help you continue to function, but they are not the definitive treatment,”-

– Dr. Scott D. Gillogly

 

Disclaimer

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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