Gear

Best Knee Braces for Running

June 11, 2019

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Best Knee Braces for Running

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At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Knee Braces for Running

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
  • Fully adjustable compression
  • One size fits all
  • Easy to wear and remove
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  • Breathable
  • Good compression
  • Affordable
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  • Protects from injuries
  • Offers fast relief from pain
  • Great for post-surgery recovery
See Price →
  • Has hinges on both sides of the knee for more support and stability
  • Has adjustable fasteners
  • Supports different ranges of motion
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  • Doctor-recommended
  • Made of high-quality durable materials
  • Offers excellent knee stability
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Running is without a doubt one of the best forms of exercise. However, it has its share of drawbacks because of the repetitive nature of the movement pattern. This repetitive movement causes injuries and pain in many people. It can also aggravate injuries from other sports, especially those in your lower body. Recovering from these knee injuries requires the use of a knee brace for running.

Why should you use a knee brace?

When a knee injury occurs, it leaves you either exercising in pain, which could make it worse, or having to take time off. If you choose to exercise with pain, depending on the severity and the type of injury, the increased pressure and stress may cause even more damage and pain by tearing the ligaments or damaging the cartilage. 

You should definitely stop running if you feel pain in your knees! It is better to be safe than sorry in this case because of the complexity and importance of your knee. Go to a physician that can correctly diagnose your injury so that you can be confident that you are doing the right thing for your body in the long term. 

What injuries could knee braces help with?

Common knee injuries include torn, bruised or sprained ACL, torn meniscus, fractures, knee bursitis, and patellar tendinitis among others. Many of these injuries will put you out of the sport for a couple of weeks and require physical therapy to recover. During your recovery process, your knee will need support, especially since our daily lives require the use of our knees to get around. 

Knee braces will play a crucial part in stabilizing your knee during this process, and even once healed, it may be a good idea to continue using a less obtrusive brace that will provide support and prevent the injury from reoccurring. 

So, a quick recap: knee braces are orthopedic products that provide your knee(s) with support, relieve pain, and protect them from injury. They also prevent inflammation. They are essential in every part of the recovery process. 

In this article, we list the best knee braces to help you get back on your feet and pounding down the miles pain-free in no time!

Best Rated Knee Braces for Running Reviewed

So, what makes a good knee brace? 

From my experience, and after speaking to many runners, we have distilled it to this: 

A good knee brace offers the support and compression that you need, while keeping you comfortable. That being said, below are the best knee braces for running injury prevention and recovery. 

Also keep reading or scroll down for a complete buying guide below the reviews!

Neo G Medical Grade VCS Advanced Hinged Open Patella Knee Brace
Product
Price: $39.99 In Stock. Sold by Online Sports Support Store and Fulfilled by Amazon. This item does not ship to Tel Aviv, Israel. Please check other sellers who may ship internationally. Learn more Deliver to Doron - Tel Aviv 6910141‌ Qty: Turn on 1-click ordering Add to Cart Add to List 3 new from $81.35 Other Sellers on Amazon Share Facebook Twitter Pinterest Ad feedback Neo G Knee Brace, Hinged Open Patella
Overall Score
Pros
  • Very comfortable
  • Fully adjustable compression
  • One size fits all
  • Does not constrain
  • Easy to wear and remove
Cons
  • The fabric irritates some skin types
  • A few people say it isn’t the most durable
Pros
  • Very comfortable
  • Fully adjustable compression
  • One size fits all
  • Does not constrain
  • Easy to wear and remove
Cons
  • The fabric irritates some skin types
  • A few people say it isn’t the most durable
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This knee brace is medically designed to offer runners maximum comfort and support. It is so comfortable that runners can use it daily for reducing fatigue, pain, and strain. It can provide relief and stability to knees that are stiff, weak or have had meniscus tears, arthritis, or runners’ knee. In addition, this high-quality adjustable knee brace helps control movement by using two straps; one above and one below the knee and a two point hinge system that stabilizes it on the inside and outside. It also keeps the muscles and joints compressed to reduce knee swelling. Finally, this brace gets the thumbs up from us because of its unique blend of materials (Neoprene, Nylon, Elastane, Polyurethane, Polyester, Polypropylene) make it the most comfortable knee brace on the market at this price. In addition, this high-quality adjustable knee brace helps control movements. It also keeping the muscles and joints warm to reduce knee pain. Furthermore, the knee brace is a favorite because it is one size fits all and is unisex.
Bauerfeind GenuTrain S – Knee Support
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Breathable
  • Sturdy
  • Offers great support
  • Made in Germany
  • Great for running
Cons
  • Some slippage
  • Not great durability
Pros
  • Breathable
  • Sturdy
  • Offers great support
  • Made in Germany
  • Great for running
Cons
  • Some slippage
  • Not great durability
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This knee brace is a great blend between a rigid metal brace and a sleeve. It has flexible lateral plastic stays that provide support on the outsides of your knee and the sleeve is made of a soft knit fabric. It is meant to be worn for long periods of time. This is a great quality hybrid knee brace that is great for a large variety of knee injuries.
Winzone Knee Brace by ComfyMed
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Protects from injuries
  • Sturdy
  • Offers fast relief from pain
  • Does not slip out of place
  • Great for post-surgery recovery
Cons
  • The Velcro does not hold for super long
  • Quite pricey compared to other braces
Pros
  • Protects from injuries
  • Sturdy
  • Offers fast relief from pain
  • Does not slip out of place
  • Great for post-surgery recovery
Cons
  • The Velcro does not hold for super long
  • Quite pricey compared to other braces
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This knee brace has an open patella design and an adjustable bevel strap that offers support, compression, and relief. Furthermore, this hinge-free brace is unisex, discreet and comfortable enough to allow free motion. Its neoprene sleeves are of very high quality and do not restrict blood flow at all, while preventing it from slippage. This knee stabilizer is perfect for giving your knees protection and relief from most minor knee pain and injuries.
Vive Hinged Knee Brace
Product
Vive Hinged Knee Brace
Overall Score
Pros
  • Has hinges on both sides of the knee for more support and stability
  • Its neoprene is light-weight, breathable and latex-free
  • Has adjustable fasteners
  • Good for short-term wear
  • Supports different ranges of motion
Cons
  • The Velcro is sticky and not the most durable
  • Just one size option
Pros
  • Has hinges on both sides of the knee for more support and stability
  • Its neoprene is light-weight, breathable and latex-free
  • Has adjustable fasteners
  • Good for short-term wear
  • Supports different ranges of motion
Cons
  • The Velcro is sticky and not the most durable
  • Just one size option
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This knee brace is made from breathable and light-weight, latex-free neoprene material. It is the perfect choice for runners suffering from sprains, strains, instability, ACL, MCL injuries or patellar tracking disorder. It also has adjustable fasteners and straps that you can alter to fit you. In addition, this brace has an open patella design and provides thermal compression to your hurting knee to ensure the best recovery. The Vive brace is an outstanding balance between support and bulkiness, making it the most versatile choice.
ZSX Compression Knee Brace
Product
Knee Brace Support by ZSX Brands
Overall Score
Pros
  • Has 4 size options
  • Made of high-quality durable materials
  • Offers good knee stability
  • Easy to use and clean
Cons
  • Too warm for some users
  • Does not stay in perfectly in place
Pros
  • Has 4 size options
  • Made of high-quality durable materials
  • Offers good knee stability
  • Easy to use and clean
Cons
  • Too warm for some users
  • Does not stay in perfectly in place
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
Unlike most braces, the ZSX Compression Knee Brace comes in four different sizes. Slim, comfortable and light-weight, this brace can be worn every day for and is useful for most sports. Whatever the source of the knee pain is, this brace will provide you comfort and stability. Many customers have testified that this brace has helped them with injuries. From avoiding surgery from a torn meniscus, to helping an arthritic woman go hiking, this brace is simple and does its job at an excellent price.
SB Sox Compression Knee Brace
Product
SB SOX Compression Knee Brace for Knee Pain
Overall Score
Pros
  • Very comfortable
  • Snug and allows blood flow
  • Can be worn discreetly
Cons
  • The elastic gives away after some time
  • Does not come as a pair
Pros
  • Very comfortable
  • Snug and allows blood flow
  • Can be worn discreetly
Cons
  • The elastic gives away after some time
  • Does not come as a pair
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This knee brace is exceptionally light-weight, since it is more of a sleeve. It is made from high-quality nylon and spandex, and has silicone grip gel on the inside to avoid friction and stay in place. The brace is breathable, versatile, form-fitting, and well-made for the price. Overall, this highly recommended brace is excellent if you need something less bulky and lightweight and don’t mind compromising on support and rigidity.
UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support
Product
UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support for Running
Overall Score
Pros
  • Very comfortable and offers excellent compression
  • Offers great support
  • Keeps the knee very warm
  • Good at absorbing shock
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • Not very durable
  • Does not stay in place for all leg sizes
Pros
  • Very comfortable and offers excellent compression
  • Offers great support
  • Keeps the knee very warm
  • Good at absorbing shock
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • Not very durable
  • Does not stay in place for all leg sizes
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
The material of this knee brace is very high-quality. It will also offer your knees maximum support. Moreover, it offers relief in muscular issues and helps heal injuries to give you fast relief and excellent athletic performance. Also, this versatile brace allows blood flow, offers your knee the much-needed protection. In addition, it speeds-up the recovery process and reduces stiffness and inflammation.
BREG ‘08814 Brace
Product
Running Brace BREG '08814
Overall Score
Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Medical grade
  • Very comfortable
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • Velcro sometimes loosens
  • Heavy
Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Medical grade
  • Very comfortable
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • Velcro sometimes loosens
  • Heavy
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This knee brace is a very high-quality orthopedic post-op immobilizing knee brace. It will offer your knees maximum support during your recovery from surgery. The Breg ‘08814 is a great alternative to purchasing a brace from an orthopedic surgeon, which will charge up to 10X the price of this one. This brace easily adjusts in length, circumference, and flexion. It is a stand-out choice for the price if you had to undergo surgery.
DonJoy Legend SE-4 Knee Support Brace: ACL
Product
running knee brace donjoy
Overall Score
Pros
  • Fits snugly
  • Bends smoothly
  • Excellent quality
  • Stabilizes the knee effectively
  • Company has excellent customer service
Cons
  • Some complain that the sizing chart doesn't line up properly
  • Some confusion between the pictured item and item recieved
  • Some sharp edges
Pros
  • Fits snugly
  • Bends smoothly
  • Excellent quality
  • Stabilizes the knee effectively
  • Company has excellent customer service
Cons
  • Some complain that the sizing chart doesn't line up properly
  • Some confusion between the pictured item and item recieved
  • Some sharp edges
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
If you are looking for the highest quality knee brace that provides you with the most support, this is it. The Legend SE-4 brace was created for treatment of moderate to severe ACL, PCL, or LCL instabilities. It is made of aircraft grade aluminum coated with Kraton, which does not chip, rust, or corrode. The brace is also comfortable, and due to its framed design, it allows your knee to breathe. This brace is well worth the price tag for its quality and effectiveness. Finally, DonJoy customer support is outstanding, and that gives you peace of mind in case there are any issues with fit.
Mueller Patella Stabilizer Knee Brace
Product
Mueller Patella Stabilizer Knee Brace, Medium, Black, 1-Count Package
Overall Score
Pros
  • Great for treating patellar tendinitis and other knee-related issues
  • Provides support during tough workouts
  • Easy to get on and off
  • Excellent knee stabilizer
  • Provides proper protection and comfort
Cons
  • Not a good fit for a few customers
Pros
  • Great for treating patellar tendinitis and other knee-related issues
  • Provides support during tough workouts
  • Easy to get on and off
  • Excellent knee stabilizer
  • Provides proper protection and comfort
Cons
  • Not a good fit for a few customers
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
Last but not least is the Mueller Patella knee brace. This knee brace is mainly for people suffering from patella knee issues. These include patellofemoral malalignment (where your kneecap is not aligned properly) and patellar subluxation (where your kneecap gets pulled as you move). This brace will help your knee move properly and straighten out patella tracking issues. It has adjustable 360 degree Velcro straps to securely fit to your leg and an anatomically shaped buttress. The brace is made mostly of neoprene and fits true to size.

Benefits of Using Knee Braces

The main functions of knee braces are stabilization, protection from injury, immobilization when recovering from an injury, and pain relief. It is essential for runners who have had knee injuries or those that are starting to feel stressors on their knees to wear knee braces consistently for prevention. Braces keep your knees in proper alignment during exercise. Here are some benefits to wearing a knee brace:

  • Knee braces lessen inflammation that may occur during or after exercise with compression.
  • Knee stabilization. They can prevent tearing of ligaments, damage to the patella or kneecap twisting.
  • Braces help your knee lengthen, which takes some of the work from your tendons and ligaments. This is especially important if you are a runner that is suffering from MCL, ACL or PCL injuries.
  • Compression also increasing blood flow, decreasing recovery time.
  • Compression also reduces pain.
  • Braces also help secure the patella while you run.

Knee Brace Buying Guide:

Key Considerations When Buying a Knee Brace

Getting relief from knee pain or injury is your priority if you are an avid runner. Knee braces are made to help you struggle less through the pain and discomfort. They also help protect your knees from further injury. Before you buy a brace however, there are a lot of factors to look into before getting a suitable knee brace. Take into account the following and you are bound to make the right decision!

  • Needs: You should know the specific needs you want the braces to meet. The type of brace you will need will depend on whether you are recovering from an injury, from a surgery, have arthritis, or are just trying to prevent an injury. If you are recovering from a surgery, for example, you will need a larger, immobilizing brace made from aluminum, and then transition to a flexible, synthetic sleeve that provides compression and support.
  • Breathability: Many braces will make you sweat, especially in the summer months and can be very uncomfortable. Consider getting one that is light-weight and well-perforated to increase airflow while running.
  • Comfort: The best knee braces should be very comfortable. That means no slipping, irritating, or itching. Ergonomic designs offer more comfort, support, and stability. For example, some braces include velcro straps to prevent slippage, and others have gel inserts. 
  • Compression: Knee braces have different compression levels. Some are fixed while others are adjustable. Although it is a good idea to get knee braces that are adjustable, fixed compression braces will meet the needs of most. Some may require a short break-in period where the brace may feel too tight. 
  • Maintenance: Your knee braces will need maintenance, and this should not be a stressful process. Some braces may get damaged when you wash them, while others may not. So, definitely take into  account how easy-to-clean your knee brace is, especially if you will be running (and sweating) with it.
  • Material and Design: The material and design used for the braces should be seamless, malleable, comfortable, light-weight and excellent at providing relief. Some materials have properties that may be beneficial to some but a detriment to others. For example, Neoprene is known for getting hot. This warms up the muscles before your run and enhances blood flow, but some may not like the heat and increased sweat that it produces.
  • Mobility: Again, your knee brace should be tailored to suit your specific need. Some problems like arthritis require restricted movement. Less severe injuries will allow full mobility. 
  • Performance: Whatever your choice is, it should enhance your performance. If you get a knee brace, but it irritates you, is not properly sized, slips off often, causes discomfort and does not relieve pain, your performance will suffer, and will not help you in the long run if this causes you to not wear the brace.
  • Price: The price of the brace should be within your budget. Also, it must match the quality of the brace. Most of the time, higher quality means a higher price.
  • Sizing: Sizing is critical. If the size is not right, the brace will be uncomfortable and will not offer the desired support. Therefore, be sure to use the size chart on the company’s website and read reviews to be sure that you’ve chosen the size that is perfect for you.

Types of Knee Braces

Knee braces are of different types. They help ease the pain, support the knee and protect it from further injury. Based on the nature of the knee problem, a trained professional will also know the type of brace that is most suitable.

  • Arthritic Knee Brace: This brace has a design with hinges. It reduces the pain by bones rubbing against each other when you run. Its primary use is the treatment of arthritis. Using adjustable compression can help in reducing swelling and inflammation caused by arthritis.
  • Hinged Brace: This brace is bigger and more rigid than others and provides the knee with support, stability, and rigidity. It restricts some degrees of motion and leg extension. Moreover, it may be adjustable and customized to fit an individual. Mostly, people wear it after a having knee surgery or when recovering from a severe knee injury. Furthermore, it is not very comfortable for running because it is bulky and large.
  • Knee Bands: These are straps worn for minor injuries and go around the knee. Also, they reduce soreness, strain, stress and pain in the patellar tendon, as well as help in the treatment of tendinitis and runner’s knee.
  • Knee Tape: This brace mostly protects the knee from injury. Furthermore, it helps to minimize the mild runner’s knee pain. It mainly helps prevent knee strain and soreness. Additionally, it is usually very light-weight and allows total mobility.
  • Neoprene Brace: This brace has a stretchable and insulating material called neoprene. Runners use it for bruised knees. Neoprene braces could be in the form of sleeves for retaining heat and compressing. Some could use patella stabilizers or hinges to stabilize weak knees. Moreover, the heat warms-up the sore muscles and joints, while the compression allows blood flow.
  • Patellar Stabilizing Brace: This type of brace is made with a strap to stabilize the patella while you run. As a result, it helps relieve the pain and friction caused by patellar tracking injuries. Additionally, it helps to compress the patellar tendon and consequently relieves the pain caused by tendonitis.

Final Thoughts

As a runner, you may have to jump a few hurdles to enjoy the sport. One of these hurdles that may occur is knee pain or injury. A knee injury can keep you off your feet for some time, but it is necessary to give it the proper treatment so that you can come back better than before.

A knee brace fro running will play a key role in the recovery and prevention process, so we found the best braces on the market to make your recovery as easy as possible. It is important to get a good quality and well-fitting knee brace to recover properly from you injury to prevent one, and we are sure that any of these will be an excellent choice. May you run many more pain-free miles!

Demi is a passionate mud runner who has worked for 12 years years in the sports footwear industry. When he's not our training for his next mud race he like speeding time with his wife and their 3 dogs
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