10 Best Patellar Tendon Straps Reviewed & Tested
Before we begin we need to briefly go over what a Patellar Tendon actually is. Simply put, it’s a tendon that reaches from your quad muscle to the patella (or kneecap) and attaches to the shinbone—this provides extension around the knee joint. Your Patellar Tendon literally works every single time you take a step—so it definitely plays an important role in a runner’s life.
That being said, the best patellar tendon straps allows your knee muscles to work at their maximum capacity to provide you with adequate support. A lot of runners, and athletes need to use these straps to help support their patella tendon. It allows you to move naturally, and lifts the weight and pain off of your patella tendon so you can continue to run without being in pain.
If you suffer from runners knee then you will definitely benefit from a patella tendon strap.This strap will relieve and prevent symptoms from runner’s knee. If runner’s knee isn’t properly addressed, it can lead to further injury—such as tendon tears, tendonitis, bursitis, and long-term pain. If you already have some of these issues, these straps can still help you manage some of your symptoms.
As a runner, your knees are of upmost importance. So, we have taken the time to research and review the best patellar tendon strap in order to narrow it down to 10 solid options.
- Mueller Max
- Run Forever Sports
- McDavid 414
- Abco Tech
- Mueller Jumper’s
- Athlerus Reflective Support Strap
- The PattStrap Knee Compression Strap
- Paragon Sports Patella Knee Strap for Running
- Cho-Pat Dual Action Knee Strap
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Mueller Max
- Targets both the patellar tendon and quadricep muscles
- Fairly comfortable fit
- Breathable mesh back
- Straps tend to slip some
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.Read more
- 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
Best use: Multi-use
Material(s): Latex-free Neoprene, Nylon
Weight: 3 ounces
2. Run Forever Sports
Easy to put on
Wicks away sweat
Unique curve forms to fit you comfortably
Haven't found anything wrong with this strap
Run Forever Sports figured out how to make a supportive patella strap that fits just about anyone. Easily adjustable for a perfect fit that won't scratch or irritate your skin. It also absorbs and wicks away sweat which will prevent any wet or slippery feeling on your knees.Read more
-Universal size fits most
-High quality material
-Money back lifetime guarantee
Best Use: Walking, Running, Hiking, Etc.
Material(s): Neoprene and nylon
Weight: 2.4 Ounces
3. McDavid 414
- Latex free
- Adjustable for most body types
- Lightweight, minimal design
- The one size fits all design of the newer version may run a bit small
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.Read more
- 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)
Best use: Multi use
Material(s): 100% latex-free 3.2mm diameter neoprene
Weight: 2 ounces
4. Abco Tech
- For great for either prevention or rehab
- Unisex sizing
- Fairly breathable design
- Machine washable
- Sizing runs smaller than the original version
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.Read more
- Made of neoprene and nylon to prevent scratching or skin irritation
- Adult unisex fitted product
- Absorbs moisture and sweat
- Easy to wash, machine ready
- Velcro Closure
Best use: Running, Hiking, Soccer, Weight Lifting
Material(s): Neoprene, Nylon, Velcro
5. Mueller Jumper’s
- One size fits most, but adjustable
- Several different color choices
- Tubular insert can relieve pain
- Inconsistent sizing
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.Read more
- 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
Best use: Multisport
Material(s): Neoprene 80% Nylon 20%
Weight: 1 ounce
- Segmented design allows customized fit for specific needs
- Sizing is adjustable up to 18 inches (about 45cm)
- Easily washable
- Some find the plastic adjustment loops uncomfortable
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.Read more
- 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
Best use: Running, Multi
Material(s): Neoprene/ synthetic nylon
Weight: 1.5 ounces
7. Athlerus Reflective Support Strap
Antimicrobial odor resistant technology
Ergonomic shape and low profile design contours to the form of your knee allowing maximum freedom of movement
One size fits most (8-18 inches)
Size runs a little big
This extra thick patella strap is 1 centimeter thick to provide added support, and extra comfort. The Athlerus is made out of neoprene, and delivers superior knee support by cushioning impacts, and distributing force away from the patella tendon. It has reflective lettering on it for night visibility. This fits most adults, and children and is adjustable to fit just about everyone. Its ergonomic shape and low profile design contours to the unique form of your knee, allowing you maximum freedom and comfort. Has a no-slip plastic loop to keep the strap from falling or slipping off your knee. It also has moisture wicking material, and antimicrobial technology that prevents unpleasant odors from lingering after your workout.Read more
-Thick cushion for enhanced support.
-Made out of Neoprene insert which delivers support by cushioning impacts and distributing force away from the patellar tendon.
-Reflective fabric boosts visibility at night
-No-slip plastic loop
-Moisture wicking material
-Antimicrobial prevents unpleasant odors
-Fits 8 to 18 inches
Best use: Running, walking, hiking, basketball, etc.
Material(s): Lightweight Neoprene
Weight: Approximately .8 ounces
8. The PattStrap Knee Compression Strap
Made from non-latex composite
Easy to put on
Comfortable and durable
Solid therapeutic support.
No reported cons
A new strap on the market which takes a very innovative approach towards helping runners when they need a compression strap which can stimulate neurons into two-way communication between leg muscles and the brain, which results in the muscles giving much more support.
This strap is fiddly free and easy to put on, offers very good therapeutic support along with great breath-ability and good wick solid performance.
If you have met and understand runners knee, this strap is a good option.Read more
The PattStrap Knee Compression Strap
Made to be user-friendly the strap is easily fitted to below or above the knee, constant compression at a comfortable level gives solid therapeutic support, supportive compression, and wards inflammation.
If you run long distances such as marathons you can wear it during the run or afterward to bring down any potential ITB flair ups after running.
When wearing the strap direct skin contact with the foam side of the strap, tighten it to a comfortable level and avoid it being too tight. The strap has velcro fasteners and these should finish up attached at the back. Always put on the strap when you are in a natural standing position, not while you are sat down.
Optimal repeatable beneficial support and compression use come from the innovative construction from nonlatex composite which gives an excellent performance.
This is a Fabrofoam system and will give great wick factor. durable long lasting performance can be adjusted for any leg size and designed to give very good consistent compression.
9. Paragon Sports Patella Knee Strap for Running
Secure stabile FIT
Easy To Adjust
Easy to put on
No cons reported so far
A high performing knee strap which is comfortable while being worn, given ongoing targetted compression while not limiting or restricting movement. The padding built into the strap gives a soft, stable secure feeling and due to its light qualities, good breath-ability, this strap can be worn for a full day.
For convenience, the strap will FIT all sizes from 11 inches up to 22 inches and adjustment is easy via the two durable velcro strap systems. This two strap system ensures that the strap will hold for FIT and support and will not work loose while you are active.
If you have any problems with runners knee, chondromalacia, osteoarthritis, Osgoods Schlatters disease this strap will give the level of support you are looking to get.
Constructed of top quality nylon, good for all types of weather and you will not encounter problematic skin irritations.
This may well be exactly the type of support you want to add to your wardrobe of running gear.
Read on to get more details.Read more
A MEDICAL HIGH STANDARD KNEE STRAP
► A designed profile and shape which gives maximum FIT and hold for the kneee while ensuring zero restriction for flexible movement.
► The design is non-obtrusive and has very good non-slip capability.
► The materials wick away moisture and have a high level of breathability.
► Odor problems are dramatically reduced through designed in anti-microbial tech.
► Easy for adjustment through two velcro straps working in conjunction to ensure hold and FIt and preventing slip.
► Use a soft detergent and easilly keep the strap clean.
Durable and irritation free comfortable nylon which performs well in every type of weather, twin straps prevent the strap from becoming loose or slipping even while exercising.
Suitable for a range of sizes which start at eleven inches up through to twenty-two inches, very easy to put on with easy adjustment and secure comfortable FIT.
Set at an affordable cost for a high performing and beneficial knee strap
10. Cho-Pat Dual Action Knee Strap
Effective targetted compression
Durable and comfortable
Relief from pain
Attention to sizing
Maximized mobility through maximum support for both below and above the knee while allowing free flexible safe movement.
Gain additional stable strength fully around the area of the knee through targeted compression of the tendon over the kneecap. This brings down forces from the quadriceps to the patella tendon allowing comfortable pain-free movement.
Very good for those encountering problems with patellar tendonitis, Osgoods Schlatter disease or any pains resulting from the knee area which requires a need for secure, comfortable and reliable support for relief.
Easy and comfortable to wear with a secure FIT, very easy to take off or put on, can be worn over or beneath pants and has a designed in strap system for ease of adjustment.
Read on and check if this is what will work for your knee.Read more
Assured maximum comfortable Supportive FIT and mobility. A very well patented knee strap design providing maximum stabilizing support above the kneecap while not restricting needed movement.
Designed to improve knee performance through providing targetted strenthening for the knee area through compressive support to the knee which reduces the force from the quadriceps upon the patella tendon.
Effective for patellar tendonitis, runners covering longer distances, navigating stairs, osteoarthritis, post knee surgery, Osgood Schlatter disease,
To Wear - Comfortable, easy to put on and take off, can be worn under or on top of pants, adjustable straps
Made from durable material which will avoid skin irritation while allowing for a secure FIT, breath-ability
Available at a cost which reflects a good performing knee strap
Criteria Used for Evaluation
...a proprioceptive effect on the knee joint, which means that they signal the brain that the muscles supporting the knee must be on high alert...
There are two different types of knee straps, and they each provide a unique type of support:
An infra-patellar strap is worn below your kneecap. It applies pressure to the patellar tendon and spreads the pressure, and resulting pain, across a larger portion of your leg so that your tendon is less stressed. It is best suited for conditions that cause knee pain to occur from the kneecap and below.
A supra-patellar strap is worn above the kneecap, at the bottom of your thigh. In this position, the strap reduces stress related to IT band tightness and the resulting friction and soreness it causes in the knee. It is best suited for conditions that cause knee pain from your kneecap and up your leg.
Both straps do share one thing in common. They both have a proprioceptive effect on the knee joint, which means that they signal the brain that the muscles supporting the knee must be on high alert because extra support and strength is needed in that area. Additionally, the straps can be worn together to address multiple causes of knee pain in a more comfortable and mobile way than wearing a full knee brace would.
A knee strap won’t provide you with adequate, or any, support if it isn’t staying where it belongs
Straps are, well a pretty basic thing. You securely wrap it around your knee and off you go. However, some knee straps can be used as both infra- and suprapatellar straps, while some are designed to provide only one of these types of support.
A strap that has multiple uses can be a great value and can adjust to your injury and support needs.
A strap that only functions in one way may provide better support for a specific injury.
Another type of use to consider is the physical activity in which you participate. Some straps are designed to accommodate the movements required in multiple sports, while others are specifically designed for individual activities or categories of activities, like running, jumping, or field sports.
A knee strap won’t provide you with adequate, or any, support if it isn’t staying where it belongs- around your knee. The ability of a strap to stay in place is really important because an improperly fitting device can actually cause more harm than good. We considered the material used to construct the device as well as its closing mechanism when ranking how well they stay in place.
You don’t want the device to weigh you down and kill your times.
Runners live for speed, and most things runners use- clothes, gear, shoes- tend to be pretty lightweight so that they aren’t weighed down, and as a result, run more slowly.
The same principle applies to knee straps and other support devices. You don’t want the device to weigh you down and kill your times. A lightweight, supportive, and a properly fitted device will take you far (literally!).
Other Factors to Consider
These types of devices are made with a variety of materials, including latex. When you are deciding which strap to purchase, make sure to check the materials used to construct the device so you don’t buy one that is going to cause you the additional pain and suffering of an allergic reaction.
Patellar tendon straps that can be purchased at the pharmacy or sporting goods store are not intended for people that have had previous, doctor-treated knee injuries or major knee surgery, like a knee replacement or ACL repaired. If you have had a previous, doctor-treated knee injury, it is best to see your doctor or physical therapist to obtain a custom strap that will provide the exact type of support your knee needs, especially considering your previous injury.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a variety of conditions for a which this type of device can be useful. All of them involve having knee pain. Three of the most common conditions for which a strap may be beneficial are described below:
Patellar tendonitis (also known as “jumper’s knee) is a condition where the patellar tendon, which connects your kneecap to your shinbone, is injured. The initial symptom of this condition is pain between the kneecap and shinbone, especially after physical activity or playing your sport. Eventually, the pain may worsen during intense physical activity or occur during daily activities like standing up from a chair or going up a flight of stairs.
Runner’s knee (formally known as patellofemoral pain syndrome), is when the impact and stress of running cause irritation where the kneecap and thighbone meet. The pain can vary from sharp and sudden to dull and chronic and can occur only during running, but also during other non-running activities.
IT Band Syndrome is when the iliotibial band (henceforth IT band syndrome) becomes inflamed or tight because of overuse. It runs down the side of your thigh from your hip to your shin to help stabilize and move your knee, and when it is injured, it causes knee pain because your knee is not properly supported.
Before we get into the differences, it is important to know that both types of straps have a proprioceptive effect on the knee joint, which means that they signal the brain that the muscles supporting the knee must be on high alert because extra support and strength is needed in that area. The specific support provided by each strap is as follows:
An infra-patellar strap is worn below your kneecap. It applies pressure to the patellar tendon and spreads the pressure, and resulting pain, across a larger portion of your leg so that your tendon is less stressed.
A supra-patellar strap is worn above the kneecap, at the bottom of your thigh. In this position, the strap reduces stress related to IT band tightness and the resulting friction and soreness it causes in the knee.
The strap you should use depends on the pain you are experiencing. If your pain is occurring from your knee down, an infra-patellar strap is probably your best choice because it is your patellar tendon that needs extra support due to an injury.
If your pain is in your knee but does not go below it, or if the associated pain is occurring in your thigh, a supra-patellar strap is most likely what you need because it will support your knee and quadriceps muscles, which help stabilize and move the knee.
If you aren’t sure what exactly is causing your knee pain or don’t feel confident in selecting a strap or identifying the area that is affected, your best bet is to schedule an appointment with your physician or physical therapist.
Studies have shown that the greatest benefit of wearing either type of knee strap (or both) is that there is improved quadriceps muscle timing imbalances because of a delayed timing of the vastus laterus. This helps address the knee pain you are experiencing by providing better stabilization and support.
It’s not necessarily that wearing this type of device will worsen your condition. It is more than it will not help alleviate your symptoms, which can get worse from not being addressed. If you are wearing an ill-fitting strap or are wearing it inconsistently or incorrectly, it will not address your pain or symptoms. Similarly, if you have had previous knee injuries, it is better to get a load-bearing knee brace as it is better suited to deal with major knee problems. Load bearing braces can be obtained through your doctor or physical therapist, as they are custom made.
There are a few possibilities:
You are wearing the strap incorrectly. Make sure you are following the directions that came with the device.
You are not wearing it consistently or when needed. The strap may feel annoying at first when you run, but getting over a little irritation is preferable to running in constant pain.
There may be a more serious issue occurring. If you have adjusted the fit and placement and are wearing the strap when needed but are still in pain, it’s time to see a doctor or specialist.
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