Want to stay safe during sports or exercise? The best knee braces are a great way to prevent injuries and strain during intensive activity. Or, if you’ve already suffered a mild injury, they can help you prevent further damage and get you back in the game faster and stronger.
There are many different types of knee braces, and each one offers a slightly different purpose. In this article we’ll walk through the 10 best knee braces for sports, and give you an in-depth look into the science behind the knee brace. If you’re ready to get on the field safely and comfortable, let’s check out the best knee braces of 2018.
Top 10 Best Knee Braces
We’ve curated a list of the top 10 best knee braces for sports so you can choose the option that best fits your needs. Each one has been given a rating and a snapshot summary of important features and perks.
Best Knee Brace for Running
The Bracoo Knee Support is an open-patella brace that relieves pressure and stress while leaving room for breathing and flexibility. Its unique design combined with thick neoprene padding makes it the best running knee brace at such an affordable price.
- Stabilizer ring keeps the kneecap in the right position while providing ample support
- Velcro straps and tight fit adds an additional layer of security and protection
- Easy to wear under clothes thanks to its slim profile
Best Knee Brace for Basketball
The Powerlix Compression Knee Sleeve is marketed as one of the best knee braces for basketball thanks to the knitted design with silicone gel support strips. It provides incredible security and comfort alongside unique features like breathable fabric and compression technology.
- Applies pressure across knee joint for guaranteed protection
- Attractive blue and black design features compression technology and superior support
- 100% money back guarantee offers an additional level of safety
Best Athletic Knee Brace
As one of the best athletic knee braces available, the UFlex Knee compression Sleeve offers unparalleled support at an incredible price. It features a number of benefits like compression and heating technology for quicker recover, making the UFlex Sleeve an affordable option for amateur and top athletes alike.
- Anti-slip silicone keeps it locked onto the knee for protection and support
- Comes in a number of sizes for youth through adult users
- Optimal compression provides pain relief and a reduced risk of injury
Best Knee Brace for Runner’s Knee
The Pro Knee Brace is an attractive design by Techware that combines style, comfort, and unparalleled support. It features a unique adjustable band that stabilizes the patella while decreasing pain and possibility for injury. Convenient breathable and moisture wicking neoprene add to the its safety and comfort, making it the best knee brace for runner’s knee.
- Compression is tight and keeps your knee locked into place
- Open patella and adjustable stabilizer offer flexibility and room to breathe
- One of the best knee braces for running due to quality materials and design
Best Compression Knee Brace
This pair of compression knee braces by Crucial Compression is a quality and ultra-affordable option for athletes across the spectrum. Guaranteed to offer immediate relief, these knee sleeves are uniquely designed with Power Support Technology that increases circulation and blood flow while providing a tight and supportive fit.
- Offers a comfortable and snug fit that supports your knee while offering plenty of circulation
- ComfortFlex design by Crucial Compression leaves your knees with their full range of motion
- No slip grip and quality materials make this one of the best compression knee braces
Best Knee Brace for Sports
Thanks to powerful injury-prevention technology and a tight fit, the Berter Knee Brace is one of the best knee braces for sports. This classic black and white design features snug strapping and moisture wicking fabric for breathable security that leaves you safe and ready to play. We also recommend the non-strapped version as the best knee brace for soccer.
- Stretch fabric and 3D weaving tech offers quality ergonomic support for all athletes
- Non-slip injury prevention padding keeps your knee secure and ready to take on the game
- 100% guarantee ensures full satisfaction or your money back
Best Knee Brace for Football
The Exous Knee Brace is one of the more expensive braces on our list due to its 4 way compression system that keeps your knee totally secure. Multiple straps lock the brace into place while the open-patella design offers enhanced mobility and comfort. Lycra lining and functional support provide optimal protection for intensive sports.
- Provides all day comfort thanks to unique open-patella design and strap system
- Unassuming all black design offers a slim profile to be worn with or without clothing
- One of the highest rated braces on the market with a full satisfaction guarantee
Best Brand Knee Brace
With a very unique design uniquely designed braces on our list, the Vive hinged Knee brace offers and a supportive and comfortable fit for athletes of all types. Superior compression system offers unrivalled injury resistance and stability. Unique aluminum support hinges provides lateral movement, also making it one of the best knee braces for running.
- Breathable fabric and open-patella design give the Vive Brace room to breathe
- Hinged mobility provides medial and lateral support
- Extra strength fastening system provides and snug and secure fit
Best FDA Approved Knee Brace
As the only knee strap on our list, the Sable Knee Brace doubles as an FDA registered medical device for preventing damage and eliminating pain. Unassuming and lightweight design offers a one-size-fits-all compression support system for all athletes. Power support and low cost make this one of the best knee braces on our list.
- FDA registered as a medical device that is guaranteed safe and effective
- Cozy and lightweight system creates little tension and leaves plenty of breathing room
- Lifetime warranty offers best in class customer care and support
Best Knee Brace
Coming in as the most expensive knee brace on our list, the Shock Doctor is not lacking in features or performance. Unique bilateral hinges offer incredible mobility and support while providing your knee with a maximum range of motion. Plus, Shock Doctor’s unique strap system secures your leg with a patent-pending design that contours for a perfect fit.
- Bilateral hinges provide balance and support for your knees
- Antimicrobial and breathable fabric makes for a comfortable fit
- Performance and ultimate stability make this the best knee brace of 2018
What is a Knee Brace?
Knee braces are supports that you wear on your knees after injury, or to prevent injury or strain during sports or other activities. The best knee braces for sports offer a comfortable and effective way to keep your knees safe and supported.
Most knee braces are made from a variety of materials that work together to keep the knee in alignment. Most knee braces for sports are made of:
- & other materials
However, each brace is different, and you’ll need to find the right combination of materials that is most comfortable and effective for you.
How Do Knee Braces Work?
There are a few different types of braces, each of which serve a different purpose. For instance, most sports braces on our list are classified as prophylactic or preventative braces. In other words, they act as a preventative measure to keep your knees from being injured during strenuous activity. Depending on the material used, these may also be classified as knee sleeves or wraps.
Types of Knee Braces
The other types of braces you may run into include:
- Patellofemoral braces. These braces work to keep the kneecap in proper alignment.
- Functional braces. These offer support to knees that have already been injured.
- Rehabilitative braces. These restrict knee movement, similar to a cast, to prevent additional tear or strain after a surgery or major incident.
Our list covers mostly prophylactic braces and sleeves, but you’ll also find a few of these other options mixed in as well.
Depending on what you need it for, choosing the right brace for your situation is very important. But how do you know which knee brace is best?
Choosing the Right Knee Brace
Once you’ve identified the goal of your knee brace, you can look to find which one best suits your needs. For instance, if you’re trying to stay safe during a sport such as football or soccer, a prophylactic brace or knee sleeve is definitely the right choice for you.
But if you’ve already been injured and need some over-the-counter help, a functional brace is probably the way to go. Just keep in mind that it’s best to consult your healthcare provider with any serious concerns about your condition.
If you already understand the need, then it’s time to move on to finding the right fit. There are a number of different things to keep in mind as you’re looking for the proper brace.
Knee Brace Features to Consider
- Function. As we’ve discussed, the function of your brace should be your number one concern. You must be sure to choose a knee braces that addresses your particular need or injury.
- Material. There are a number of different materials that go into knee braces. Most of the affordable prophylactic or sleeve options on the market are made from elastic or silicone. More expensive functional options options utilize foam and plastic, while the best rehabilitative knee braces often consist of metal and patented materials.
- Size. Depending on the size of your knees, you’ll need find a brace that matches your specifications. Most prophylactic braces come in a variety of sizes that cover most consumers, but you have to look at each product description for exact measurements. Additionally, the more expensive functional and rehabilitative braces may need to be custom ordered.
- Comfort. A big factor that goes into choosing the right brace is comfort! Since the best knee braces are designed to prevent or treat injury, chances are that you’re going to be wearing it a lot. Pick an option that emphasizes long-lasting comfort.
- Support. The best knee braces offer plenty of support to your knees, no matter the conditions. When looking for the right one, read the manufacturer’s recommendations for use, and check the user ratings. This will give you a better idea of what the brace is like. Also, find options that have been proven to offer support or that have performance guarantees- there are many of these on our list.
What Else to Look For
Choosing the best knee braces always comes down to finding the perfect fit for you. Since there is no one-size-fits-all solution, do your research to find the best choice.
Keep in mind that many braces offer additional perks such as compression technology, padding, and breathable fabric. These can be huge selling points depending on how you plan to use your knee brace.
Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time to put it to work. Using a knee brace is a fairly straightforward process that will keep your knees strong and healthy in the long run.
Using a Knee Brace
So you’ve decided on the perfect knee brace and you’re ready to try it on? Perfect! We’ve got just the answer.
Knee braces come with different outfitting requirements, from slip on, to velcro, to buckles and more. Most injury prevention knee braces slip on and off in a matter of seconds for convenience and ease of use. However, the more expensive options and intensive function or rehabilitative braces require a bit more thought.
To help you use your brace effectively, we’ve found a great video by Oaswo over on Youtube. She shows you the best way to insert a functional knee brace in just over a minute.