Best Knee Brace for Running

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, the RiptGear knee compression brace was our favorite.

KNEE BRACE FOR RUNNING Reviews
14 mins to read
15 products considered
10 products reviewed
33 hours reviewing

1. RiptGear

Best Overall Knee Braces for Running

5/5 Product Rating

The knee sleeve from RiptGear is one of the best knee compression braces for running. Its construction is durable and long lasting with premium stitching, 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. 

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 breathable materials and provides plenty of moisture wicking properties that will prevent uncomfortable sweating during use. 

Jonathan Maxwell

2. RiptGear Patella

Best Overall Knee Braces for Running – Runner Up

4.9/5 Product Rating

The 4 way compression design that the RiptGear patella knee brace offers encompasses the knee from all sides, making it ideal for knees that have been previously injured and that may be weak.

Measure 4 inches (10 cm) above your knee cap and around your thigh to make sure ensure this brace will fit. It is designed for both men and women with measurements between 12 – 23 inches (30 – 58cm) diameter around leg.

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 reduce 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 RiptGear open patella support 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.

Jonathan Maxwell

3. Arrow Splints

Best Budget Knee Braces for Running

4.5/5 Product Rating

If you’ve recently had knee surgery or are recovering from a knee injury of some kind, the Premium Knee Brace Support by Arrow Splints is the answer to being able to get back into the sports and activities you love without fear of re-injuring 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.

Jonathan Maxwell

Knee Brace for Running Comparison


RiptGear

RiptGear
Patellar

Arrow
Splints

PowerLix

CopperJoint

Crucial
Compression

Blitzu

Nordic

Sable

SB Sox
SizeSmall – XLargeUniversalSmall – MediumSmall – XXLargeSmall – XXLargeXSmall – XXXLargeSmall – XLargeXSmall – XXLargeSmall – XLargeSmall – XLarge
Material75% nylon,
10% spandex,
10% rubber,
5% silicone
Neoprene,
Spandex,
Velcro
Neoprene,
Spandex,
Velcro
NeopreneNylon,
Spandex
Nylon,
Rubber,
Spandex
Nylon,
Spandex
Nylon,
Spandex
Nylon,
Spandex
Nylon,
Spandex
Non-Slip
Silicone
Layer
    
Ultra
Flexible
Compression
        
Warranty
(Months)
121212612121212Limited
Lifetime
12

 

Knee Brace for Running Buying Guide

Knee Brace for Running Reviews

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.

Knee Brace for Running1With 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.
  • Knee Brace for Running2

  • 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.

Conclusion

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.

Resources

  1. Shock Doctor – https://www.shockdoctor.com/
  2. EXOUS – http://www.exousbodygear.com/