We looked at 15 of the most popular knee braces on the market and considered their durability, capability, construction, materials used in making them, guarantees, instructions on how to use them properly, amount of support they offered, cost, variety of size options, customer feedback, doctor recommendations if they have any and other things as well. These three knee braces were above the rest in all of these categories. If you need a good quality, supportive knee brace, any one of these will do the job well.
Introduction to the Knee Braces for Running
If you have any kind of knee injury or weakness, you can benefit from a good quality, supportive knee brace. They are customarily used in recovery and to stabilize a previously injured knee so it doesn’t become injured again. The brace’s job is to stabilize the knee and limit the movement so it doesn’t get reinjured.
If you have need of a knee brace it will be crucial for you to know what kind of brace you will need and what you will need it to do. In addition you will want to know how to take care of your knee brace so it lasts a long time and how to ensure that you don’t hurt yourself while wearing the brace by engaging in activities that the brace can‘t support.
There are many different types of knee braces on the market. Which one you choose is determined by several factors. The purpose of this guide and the reviews of three top knee braces are to help you understand what you need to know about knee braces so you can sort through all those choices and make the right decision for your personal needs.
Top Ranked Knee Braces for Running
Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Supporter with Bilateral Hinges
This protective knee brace has bilateral hinges for support along with stays that are made from tempered aluminum which offer premium stability, increased performance, and reliable protection for your knee. This strong and supportive knee brace enables you to workout, practice or play without fear of reinjuring the knee.
If you have been released by the doctor to do these activities, this knee brace can give you added peace of mind and real support to prevent you from injuring the knee again. It helps to keep you mindful of the injury and limits the movements that can cause re-injury.
Construction is durable and long lasting with premium stitching, lycra binding and support for the patella, making this knee brace a great choice that will support even rigorous activities. You will have exceptional protection and comfort that will last a long time. The easy grip finger tabs make it easy to tighten and adjust when you put it on. It offers level 3 support which is medium stability for injuries that are considered moderate to major and include muscle strains, unstable joints and ligament sprains.
This knee brace will feel very tight when you first put it on. That provides the best support for your knee while you engage in activities that could potentially reinjure or aggravate it. When it is in the breaking in period it could feel scratchy and uncomfortable and be a little rough to remove at first. It will feel more natural and break in after a few days of wearing it.
Be sure to order one size larger to avoid it being too tight to wear safely. The idea is support not cutting off circulation. It is made from air flow vented, latex-free, neoprene and provides plenty of moisture wicking properties that will prevent uncomfortable sweating during use. Also make sure that the Velcro straps are not tightened too tightly. Their purpose is to prevent slipping so over tightening is not necessary.
EXOUS Bodygear® EX-701 Knee Brace
The 4 way compression design that Exous Bodygear knee brace offers encompasses the knee from all sides, making it ideal for knees that have been previously injured and that may be weak.
It fits calves up to 16 ½” in diameter and a thigh measurement of 20”. (This measurement is taken 3” above the knee)
Wearing this knee brace relieves multiple types of pain including Patellofemoral pain and Patella Tendonitis due to the crossover straps that are located below and above the knee cap.
This provides compression around the patella tendon and reduces the inflammation by aiding in resetting the patellar tendon. This will improve pain as well.
Another benefit to the 4 way, wrap around straps is that it will not slip down like so many, less quality braces can do. With this added stability and security users that wear the Exous knee brace can engage in basketball, tennis, swimming, football and other sports where you are moving multi-directionally.
The brace is designed for maximum comfort thanks to the built in gap at the back of the knee that stops the bunching up so wearers can bend the knee a full 90 degrees with no issue or discomfort from sagging braces. The lycra lining removes excess sweat and moisture, further improving comfort. It is also lightweight and slim enough to be worn under clothing.
Premium Knee Brace Support
If you’ve recently had knee surgery or are recovering from a knee injury of some kind, the Premium Knee Brace Support by THT Galaxy is the answer to being able to get back into the sports and activities you love without fear of reinjuring the area.
If you are a runner, engage in fitness programs, play basketball, bowling, ride your bike or any other kind of activity that requires multi-directional movement of your knee, this knee brace will help stabilize and support your injured knee so you can enjoy engaging in those sports again.
The superior comfort of this knee brace is due to the 5 bands of support it provides. It can be worn on either leg and is fully adjustable to allow for the different needs that users will have. Unlike many knee braces, this Premium Knee Brace Support is available in several attractive colors including bright pink, bright blue, gray and black.
Construction consists of lightweight and long lasting neoprene that washes easily breathes well and will not lose its supportive ability over time. The design that leaves the patella open reduces the pressure on the knee and doesn’t give up any of the compression and support to the muscles in that area. They offer a 100% money back guarantee if for any reason you are not satisfied.
Top Rated Knee Braces for Running Summary
With all of the choices on the market available for knee braces, it may be daunting to try and figure out which type you need for your personal needs. The three top rated knee braces reviewed above are all excellent products when you need support for moderate to major pulls and sprains or you are recovering from knee surgery.
The construction of all three choices is durable, long lasting and made to be comfortable while offering plenty of support for the knee so you can engage in the activities you want to do. Knee problems can keep you from being able to do a lot of your favorite activities; a good quality knee brace that offers the right amount of support in a durable brace allows you the pleasure of being active without the worry that you will just reinjure the area.
Read the buyers guide below to learn more about choosing the right type of knee brace from all the choices available. This information will allow you to make an informed choice that will meet your personal needs while offering the best in support.
Knee Brace for Running Buyers Guide
Types of Knee Braces
There are several different kinds of knee braces on the market. Determining which one you need depends on several factors including whether there is a current injury, how long you need to wear the brace, if you are still experiencing knee pain, and other factors.
With all of the different choices available, you will need to do a bit of research to match the right brace to your specific needs. We have listed the common types of knee braces that are available below so you can understand the differences between them.
- Prophylactic Knee Brace – This type of knee brace is designed to protect the ACL, PCL and LCL. If you’ve ever gotten injured playing sports, this is the brace that can help you support your knee the way it needs to be. This brace is not designed to be worn during games because the limited movement will reduce your performance.
They are often worn during practices and then taken off when it is game time. Many athletes wear this type of brace when they are working out and conditioning. The majority of prophylactic knee braces utilize unilateral and bilateral bars and hinges to provide that support.
- Functional Knee Brace – Functional knee braces are popular for helping to stabilize the knee while it is in the healing and recovery process. The type of functional knee brace will depend on the degree of injury the person has sustained.
In general, if the injury is mild to moderate you could use a brace that is constructed from neoprene with hinges on the side for extra support. If the injury is more serious, you might need a brace that has a metal frame and hinges. The purpose of a functional knee brace is to provide firm support and stability when the user is twisting, pivoting, running or jumping.
- Rehabilitative Knee Brace – If you’re in rehabilitation for a sports injury or you are recovering from surgery, a rehabilitative knee brace is a good choice for you. This type of knee brace will limit your knee’s movement so it can heal and recover properly.
This type of brace, when combined with therapy is believed to be a good foundation for healing and recovery. In general, one can expect to wear this brace for 6-8 weeks following surgery. For additional comfort they have liners that are around the thigh, calf and knee that are made of foam. The stiff, adjustable bars on the sides hold the knee in place and are secured with straps. It is easily taken off to check the progress of the knee.
Knee Brace Varieties
Even though there are typically four categories of knee braces, there are many different models within those categories. It is beneficial to you to understand the differences and how they work so you can match your particular needs to the brace that best fits it. We’ve listed them below.
- Hinge Brace – A hinge brace prevents the left or right motion of the knee that can aggravate or reinjure the knee that has already been injured previously. The stiff bars stabilize the knee. In some cases there may be a locking feature that will also prevent the knee from bending or straightening too much as well.
- ACL Brace – This is a good brace for those who have had ACL surgery or something similar. They keep the knee/leg from engaging in excessive rotation. They need to be custom made to fit each individual person.
- Patellofemoral Brace – Injuring the leg at the knee joint is a common injury for people to suffer from. A patellofemoral brace has a hole at the knee cap that pushes the knee cap outward. The patellar remains on track during extending and flexing.
- Neoprene Sleeves – This is the easiest of all the knee braces and is actually the type that offers the least amount of support to users’ knees. This slip on sleeve is made of breathable and moisture-wicking neoprene. It keeps heat surrounding the knee which is great for reducing inflammation and swelling of the knee.
- Knee Immobilizer – If you have had surgery or an injury that involves the ligaments. This brace goes from the calf to the upper thigh. There is a plate that is located behind the knee that also runs from thigh to calf. Each side is stabilized with plates that protect the ligaments.
There are many different reasons you may need a knee brace; from preventing injuries to an already weak knee to reducing pain. More than likely you will need a specific type of knee brace for your particular needs. One you have determined exactly what those needs are, you can begin to search through the different choices available.
Knowing how to narrow the selection field will help make the choice that much easier. The right information provides you with the tools you need to eliminate the braces that won’t work for your specific injuries/needs. With the right tools, you can be confident that the choice you make will be the right one.