The Best Knee Braces for Running & Support Reviewed
We can often take our healthy bodies for granted, but when something goes wrong, and we hurt ourselves, we quickly realize how important wellness is. This is especially true for an athlete and runner. Some simple ways in which runners take care of their body and health are by eating right, sleeping well, and training, but what about a runner's knees? It might seem like a silly question, but an avid runner knows how crucial knee health is to keeping up and living well.
There are many ways to take care of your knees. You can do specific exercises. You can use ointments, but what about support? To boost the protection of your knees, you may want to invest in a quality knee brace. A brace is great because it provides protection and support, and it can also help one to recover from and prevent injuries.
We at RunnerClick know that you are busy with work, families, and, of course, your running schedule, so to save you time, we have put together this comprehensive list of the top 10 knee braces so that you don't need to spend any time researching. Enjoy the list and be sure to check back again, as we are always updating these posts to keep you up-to-date.
- Mueller Jumper’s Knee Strap
- Neo G Medical Grade VCS Advanced
- SB Sox Compression Knee Brace
- McDavid Reversible Neoprene Knee Support
- FLEXUFIT from NeoAlly
- Crucial Compression
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Knee Braces for Running
1. Mueller Jumper’s Knee Strap
- Available in 7 different colors
- Strap is fully adjustable, comfortability is good
- Fits a wide range of knee sizes
- Extremely well reviewed
- Helps with patellar tendon issues as well as osgood-schlatter’s disease
- Very budget friendly
Obvious coverage limitations when compared to full brace
Our number 1 pick is from Mueller. Comes in different colors bucking the convention that all braces must be black. A great pickup for anyone trying to deal with tendonitis this strap is small, lightweight, and easy to wear, making it an ideal strap for runners. A great choice in lieu of a full support knee brace.Read more
This brace is ideal for those with patellar tendonitis or other issues where knee stabilization is needed. It's small enough that it can be easily worn under another compression sleeve if you need a little extra support, and by itself, it offers great relief in a hard spot that many other braces fail to reach.
The closure on this brace is a simple velcro attachment, making the entire brace just one easy-to-use strap that sits just below your knee. You can get this brace in a handful of different, bright colors so feel free to color coordinate away with gym clothes and jerseys.
This is a very affordable brace that only has a little price variation between colors and sizes. You can even buy them in packs of 3 to save a little if you plan on using them fairly frequently.
2. Neo G Medical Grade VCS Advanced
- Helps with stabilization and patellar tracking
- Two point geared hinge provides a lot of support
- Reinforced Patellar gap
- Made from durable high quality material
- A bit more expensive
For those who need some high grade support and stabilization look no further than the Neo G Advanced Hinged Brace. This is specially designed to provide optimum support and stabilization to the knee. It can be a great aid for arthritis or a simple fallback for runner’s knee. The hinge system ensures your leg stays in a relatively consistent range of motion, this greatly reduces the odds of pulling or tearing something. The neoprene material is perfect to provide a bit of heat for sore joints and best of all this brace can be worn on either knee.Read more
This brace is medical grade, providing reliable and quality compression and potentially making it the first choice for those who need rehabilitation and orthopedic relief. Always consult your doctor or physical therapist before using a medical device to see if it's right for you.
The side hinge keeps this brace snug without restricting movement in the back of your knee. It is only available in blue and the sizing is one-size-fits-all but it does have velcro closures that allow you to get a close fit.
This brace is definitely more pricey than some others on our list, but that's because it is a medical grade device. If you find that other braces just don't offer enough support or coverage then it's definitely worth the investment.
3. SB Sox Compression Knee Brace
Provides 360 stability and support for your knee
Breathable and moisture-wicking
Multiple sizes available
Closed knee design may not be desired by some athletes
Even though this knee brace may not look all that tough, it is way more supportive than the first glance gives away. The SB Sox Compression Knee Brace hugs your knee, providing stability and support while remaining comfortable and irritation free.
This brace is made of lightweight, breathable, anti-odor material, and is made to be worn during any physical activity for which you need support. It is great for running, weight lifting, or even just day-to-day movement. As an added bonus, this product comes with a free e-book from the company.Read more
With this sleeve, the multiple sizing options let you have more control over the amount of compression it will provide. However, this also means you have to be careful and accurate when taking measurements and choosing your size. However, with the correct fit you'll have firm support.
This brace is more similar to a sleeve, easily slipping on and off your leg so you can adjust it in the most comfortable position. It comes in three different neutral colors so you can wear it casually at the gym or at the office. There are four different sizes available so you have more control over the fit.
Depending on the size and color the price varies quite a bit, but at it's lowest it is a very affordable brace.
4. McDavid Reversible Neoprene Knee Support
- Fits left or right knee, versatile
- Made from durable nylon
- 5 stitch construction does not stretch or fray easily
- Anatomical design, fits comfortably
- Tends to slip if not sized perfectly
Runner’s knee got you down? Fight back with the McDavid Neoprene support brace. This is a simply designed and easy to use sleeve that slides over your knee, improving blood flow, stabilization, and offering a bit of support. In terms of neoprene sleeves this is the de facto brace. It’s seamless so you can expect a smooth and comfortable fit. All in all its a good way to get a handle on stiff and sore knees.Read more
Like the SB Sox knee brace, this sleeve relies more on accurate sizing to give you control over how firm the compression is. It isn't as targeted as the gel pad or open patella style that you can also get from McDavid, but it does provide even support and compression through the covered area.
This sleeve from McDavid comes in several different styles, although here we've chosen to focus on the closed patella sleeve style. You can choose from five different sizes, all available in a solid black color. The materials are latex free and provide both compression and thermal therapy.
The style and size of brace you select can affect the price which has a pretty large range, but at it's cheapest this brace is more than affordable. You can easily get two of these for about ten dollars.
5. FLEXUFIT from NeoAlly
Good price for the product with this quality
Great not only for runners but also for weightlifters, jumpers and other athletes
There are different sizes available
Flexible enough to provide full range of motion
Helps to relief the pain in the knee
Only a few runners said it was slipping down
This one is made of 60 %, nylon, 35 % spandex, and 5 % polyester. These fabrics make this product really breathable and nylon makes it also much more durable. This is a compression sleeve that improves your bold circulation and that helps the muscles to recover faster. This product is completely latex free, which is great for those who have sensitive skin.Read more
The variety of size available gives you some control over the amount of compression you get from this sleeve, so be sure to take accurate measurements when selecting your size. The circular woven design helps provide tight support and has enough flexibility to maintain compression over long-term use.
There are four different colors of stripes available on this solid black sleeve, as well as four different sizes. The "stay put" design has a mesh area that settles on the back of your knee as well as silicone lining to keep it in place and prevent bunching.
The price for this sleeve is higher than most of the other options on our list and although they are available in packs of two you won't really save any money by buying a pair. It does have a more complex design than some others, but you'll have to decide if the investment is worth the value you'll get from this brace.
6. Crucial Compression
There’s a guarantee on this product
It is suitable for many different kinds of sport
Comfortable all day wearing
There may be problems with choosing the best size
Crucial Compression really want to, as the tile implies, provide great compression to you knee. Forget about swelling, soreness and many other knee problems. Power Support technology boosts blood circulation and provide more heat to your muscles. You can wear even underneath your clothes. It will work both for people who want to relieve the pain but also for runners and many different athletes who want more support for their knee.Read more
As long as you take accurate measurements and choose the correct size these braces will offer a firm amount of compression. They are tapered for a good fit and are flexible enough to retain compression over time while still offering a decent range of motion.
There are three different colors available: black with green or pink accents and a light grey. These make for great casual sleeves to wear at the gym or work or just out and about. The knit shape works with a double silicone slip to help to keep these sleeves centered and there are seven different sizing options to choose from.
When you purchase these they come in a pair, so for the price you pay they have a pretty decent cost-to-value ratio.
There are 3 sizes available
30 days money back guarantee
Runners said it’s very slip resistant
Some runners said it’s not tight enough
UFlex athletics is a popular brand that specializes in making high-quality gear for athletes. When it comes to a knee brace, they also have something great. The product isn’t very thick but it’s very strong and gives great compression. This is a blend of nylon and lycra so you can wear it all day long. It will be great if you want to improve your muscles endurance and it will help you to recover faster.Read more
It is important with this brace to choose a size that is accurate and true to your measurements because it will directly affect the amount of compression you get from the sleeve. If the fit is right then you'll get a good amount of firm support out of it.
Although there is only one color available, there are 3 different sizes to choose from. Silicone liners help keep the brace in place and the weave pattern encourages flexibility in the crook of the knee as well as snug placement over the knee. The blend of
The price of this sleeve is a little high but not unaffordable. If you're working with a budget there are more cost-friendly choices on our list but if you can make a little bit of an investment you'll be satisfied with this brace as well.
Great for injured muscles and recovering after surgery
Good Velcro fastener
Very attractive price
People claimed that the sizes are undersized
Providing enough support for your knees is very essential. If you don’t do it, pain may stop you from running and it’s obviously not what we would like to experience. Here comes Vive with help. It has multiple usages, it can be used not only for running but also after surgery and it reduces the inflammation.Read more
Customized compression is really useful as you can choose the pressure and level of compression on your own, and with adjustable closures, that's exactly what this brace lets you do. The open patella design provides more support to the kneecap, it helps to lower stress and pressure.
There are 3 fastening straps so you can use them to adjust the brace for a closer fit. The closures are towards the front of the brace, allowing for free movement in the back of your knee. The fabric is mostly neoprene and is latex free which is good news for those with allergies or sensitive skin.
There is a lot of great value to be found in this knee brace because of the adjustable range of fit it provides at a very affordable price.
Users were content with the level of support
The price is very attractive
Form some users it can be not tight enough even with velcro
This brace is a little more heavy duty than the sleeves on our list and features adjustable closures to help get a snug fit for the most support. The reinforced open patella design may be more firm than some runners want but it's also a great option for those who want more targeted support.Read more
Adjustable straps with velcro fasteners give you some room to control the tightness of this open patella knee brace. The area around the knee is lightly padded to reinforce the support and help with tracking and motion.
It’s made of neoprene and it helps to minimize the swelling and pain while running. Chafing won’t be a problem here, and the material is also good quality so you shouldn’t have a problem with unpleasant odor.
This is a quality knee brace with some great customization options as far as fit goes, but it is also a little more expensive. You might be able to catch a deal on this sleeve, but you'll most likely have to make a bit of an investment for this kind of value.
Thanks to the high level of stabilization, your knees are less prone to injuries
Lightweight and breathable
Takes the direct pressure off the kneecap
Not particularly durable
This knee brace from Bauerfeind is a heavy duty sleeve that uses a silicone pad to provide support in the knee. The sizing system is more intricate than most to offer the most secure fit and compression possible. This is a knee brace with plenty of extras, and although the price reflects that it may be worth it for people who need the intensity.Read more
The silicone Omega pad sits around the kneecap, creating an open patella design to remove direct pressure from the knee. It wraps the kneecap and targets muscles and tendons for recovery, helping to lower the impact of movement and activity. A huge range of sizes allows for extreme customization when it comes to compression, so it's crucial that you get your measurements right.
The material is very easy to care for, as well as being very breathable and easily wicking excess moisture. It stays in place during the movement but you can do whatever you want, it doesn’t restrict your moves.
This is an extremely expensive knee brace compared to any other product on our list, but the price definitely reflects the intensity of the kind of support you'll be getting out of it.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Knee braces come in different support levels, and the support level is crucial.
Whether you need support for a knee injury, or you just want extra strength during a workout session, you will want to consider your activity and overall knee health before choosing your option.
Furthermore, some knee injuries tend to require extra support compared to others: for instance, a knee brace worn after a knee surgery must provide plenty of support in order to stabilize the injured knee. Injuries like patella tendonitis (a mild knee ache), might require as much lower support level that allows knee flexibility (minus too much restriction).
The activity that you will be participating in will also be a large factor in choosing a knee brace. In cases where a patient needs a short period of resting with little knee movement, a knee brace with higher support will be perfect to make sure the injury stays relatively immobilized.
Knee Braces by Level of Support
The Basic Knee Braces: They are perfect for current knee conditions which demand support. They are easy to wear, very affordable and provide a small amount of support.
The Advanced Knee Braces: They are perfect for providing support but in moderate levels and for a reduction in forces that go through the foot (particularly the knee). They are long lasting and adjustable to provide a comfortable and good fit.
The Elite Knee Braces: They provide a very large degree of stability hence no giving way. They are
perfect for knees that face repeatedly buckling or after undergoing a surgery.
The Knee Braces, the Pads model: They are perfect for reducing pain and providing the needed protection when an athlete is kneeling. It’s a must-have for people or athletes who spend a lot of time kneeling.
Part of finding the perfect knee brace for you is finding the right fit and style for your needs.
If your running buddies are stopping to adjust their knee braces, or if they complain about fit, they’re not doing it right. Comfort and protection can co-exist. This can only be achieved by getting the right size of the knee braces. To ensure that you get a perfect fit, the circumference measurements ought to be taken when the leg is straightened, you should use a tape measure that is soft.
If you can not find such a tape measure, you can opt to use a yarn or string. Sizing charts for each knee brace are available on most online stores. You can successfully fit a knee brace by following the maker’s instructions and taking some careful measurements around your knee. The manufacturers all use unique sizing methods, and the more detailed ones are outlined on the Chaparral website.
Knee Braces for a Specific Illness or Conditions
Arthritis type of Knee Braces: They reduce the number of forces that go through knee (arthritic parts), offer ample support, improve the stability of the foot and reduce pain. They can delay the need for undergoing a knee surgery.
ACL type of Knee Braces: They provide the maximum stability and protection. They are perfect to be used after the knee ligament tears and a reconstruction surgery was done or to hinder any form of knee injury
Style of Knee Braces
The Pull Up Sleeve type of Knee Braces: They are simple with pull up design supports which provide basic support, and compression. They are great for knee injuries and knee pain that are minor.
The Wrap Around type of Knee Braces: They are adjustable and have velcro straps, hence allowing them to offer the perfect fit for the knee. They are especially good when swelling tend to come and go.
The Hinged type of Knee Brace: They provide a good amount of support to your knee. This is done using a variety of hinges that offer support and offload the joint of the knee. They are perfect for sever to moderate instability and pain around the knee.
The Strap type kind of Knee Braces: They have a double/ single strap in order to reduce the pressure exerted on the tendons of the knee. They are perfect for people with conditions such as knee pain (anterior) etc
The Magnetic type of Knee Braces: They are made with magnets that are inbuilt, the magnets are designed to enhance the healing process, reduce pain and promote the general health of the knee.
The Neoprene type of Knee Braces: Neoprene happens to the most preferred material when it comes to heat retention, this helps in promoting healing and reduces the pain and the swelling of the knee.
The affordability of a knee brace can mean the difference between long-term damage and preventing injury during recovery.
Wearing a knee brace is no guarantee you’ll avoid an injury that may require surgery. But if you buy the right brace – one that fits you well – and you wear it while riding (or skiing, or snowboarding) you’ll be far-better protected against a knee injury that could sideline you now or later in life. The knee brace is a good investment that you should consider buying and that’s why it’s good to make sure you get what suits you best in terms of a knee injury, fit, comfortability and style. Cheaper knee braces are most often soft-shell braces.
These types wrap the leg and brace in Neoprene® or other soft material, even if they use a hinged knee. Rigid-style braces are the more expensive ones, and they use frames made of carbon fiber or aluminum, creating a brace designed to closely mimic your knee’s motion while protecting it against any unwanted and potentially dangerous motion ranges. Both types of knee braces have limitations.
Softer braces are not able to provide enough protection and cannot eliminate all knee injuries, but then they are still able to offer protection to the knee from a lot more damage compared to someone not wearing any knee braces. The soft-shell braces will have a shorter life, and that all depends on how hard and how often you ride. The more rigid knee braces are able to protect your knee but then its capable of while transferring a damaging force to your femur (thigh bone). Maybe, but even a broken femur is better than a destroyed knee, which may never heal completely. The more-expensive rigid-frame knee braces should last for a long time, assuming you don’t need a different size. Therefore, it’s important to consult with your doctor about the right type of brace to use.
Other Factors to Consider
You should look for a product with a maximum ventilation. Running in knee brace and sweating may cause blisters. The breathable mesh prevents sweating so make sure that it is moisture-wicking and it reduces heat retention.
Many knee braces being sold tend to have a size guide, but one should always make sure that they take measurements of their leg and knee (as well as any surrounding areas that the brace will be sitting on). There is no need to play a guessing game with size, and if you have any questions, ask a professional at a runner’s shop. Getting the right size will ensure that you are comfortable and the knee brace does its job effectively.
Wearing an incorrectly sized knee brace will cause more damage than good. For example, a brace that is too tight will place pressure on your injured knee, restricting the injured section and blood flow. This will cause plenty of discomfort for the athlete. A larger brace will not be able to provide the wanted amount of support that the knee needs so it may cause more damage to your knee when involved in any activity. In case you realize that the measurements you have are above/ below the preferred average proportions, its best to determine which one suits you properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
This may be a very good idea. While such a long run, there is a lot of work on our knees. It’s advisable to make sure that they are less susceptible to injuries. When your feet hit the ground, the knee sleeve support can help to absorb to shock. You should look for a brace with kneecap stabilization. Searching for a brace which main aim is to relieve pain may be a bad idea because this type of braces may have a bad impact on your running performance. What you also should look for is a lightweight material as you don’t want anything bulky on your knee. Try to look for breathable material which is also very flexible.
Taking care of your running brace is crucial if you want to use it for a very long time. Always read the instructions on how to wash it. We don’t recommend to dry it with dryer- let it dry on fresh air. You need to clean it regularly. If there’s a mud on you knee support sleeve, it may damage the hinges. What is very important, if the brace is damaged, it shouldn’t be worn as it doesn’t work well.
There are some signs that let you know that you should buy a new one. If the is a tearing of straps or there is something wrong with seams, this means you should look for a new brace. Also, try to check the tightness. If the brace started to be too loose, we would recommend buying a new one.
We can’t tell how long exactly your brace will last because it depends on many factors. If you use it very often, it’s obvious that it will damage faster. The next thing that is important is the maintenance of the product. Most braces need to be cleaned in no-detergent products and you should also let them dry on air. Typical braces usually are able to last for 2 years but you must remember that soft goods may be not as durable as the rest.
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