10 Best Knee Braces For Running 2017
Are Knee Braces Good For Running?
As runners, our knees are put under a lot of stress on a regular basis. The knee, like any other part of the human body, can wear, tear, and ultimately give way. This is why many runners are often on the lookout for the best knee braces for running.
But first, what is a knee brace? Used in the prevention and healing of running (and other) injuries, a knee brace is a device worn over the knee to provide support, alleviate pain, and reduce swelling. Aside from athletes, people with knee problems like arthritis and those recovering from surgery turn to knee braces for pain relief.
If you're suffering from knee pain or an injury due to running, you may find that your ability to move around has become limited. You may be itching to get going again, but your body won't let you.
Depending on how much pain you're in and the type of injury you have, a knee brace can help improve your condition. For example, if you have a dislocated patella, a brace can keep it in place during walking and running. Or it can help stabilize the knee joint if you had just undergone a meniscus repair
Top 10 Best Knee Braces for Running
Looking for the best knee braces for running? We've checked out several different products and here are our top 10 recommendations.
1. Winzone Knee Brace
Made with soft neoprene material, the Winzone Knee Brace features adjustable straps to fit different leg sizes and a center knee cutout for easy bending and icing.
Designed to support the knee without restricting movement, this knee brace is suitable for people who are suffering from arthritis, a torn meniscus or ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), and other injuries.
The Winzone Knee Brace is easy to use and stays on tight, allowing you to go about your day normally. You can go grocery shopping, keep up with your kids, and take part in various activities, all without the pain.
Some online reviewers even reported that they were able to forgo their canes or crutches after putting on this product.
- Several users noticed an improvement immediately
- Stays where it is secured; no slippage
- High-quality product for a good price
- Extra padding around the kneecap
- Easy to put on and take off
- Does not fit large or swollen knees
2. WITKEEN Knee Support Brace
Though it was designed with competitive athletes in mind, the WITKEEN Knee Support Brace can be worn by anyone suffering from knee pain or injuries.
One of the only affordable knee braces comfortable enough for daily wear, this brace provides protection from further damage while speeding up the healing process.
The open patella design and three-strap system have been clinically proven to stabilize the kneecap and provide immediate relief from sprains, tendonitis, arthritis, overuse, and injuries.
Unlike other braces that feel uncomfortable after a while, the WITKEEN Knee Support Brace can be worn for long periods so you can recover in a shorter amount of time.
The straps are fully adjustable to fit a wide range of knee sizes and so that it can be set to the exact level of support you need.
- Non-irritating design made from neoprene and nylon
- Includes a complimentary knee recovery guide
- Fits 12.5” to 18” knees
- Stays on during exercise
- Adjustable straps make it easy to increase or decrease compression
- Some customers complained about the lack of support
3. SB SOX Compression Knee Brace
Recommended by doctors and trainers, the SB SOX Compression Knee Brace features enhanced compression support technology that improves performance, alleviates discomfort, and accelerates recovery.
Made with anti-odor, moisture-wicking fabric, this knee brace support is suitable for year-round physical activity, whether it's running, tennis, working out, cycling, or traveling.
The no-slip top and bottom cuffs keep the sleeve in place as the compression improves blood and oxygen circulation, reducing lactic acid buildup and pain in the knee.
Swelling and fatigue are reduced for people who are suffering from arthritis, meniscus tears, joint pain, and other injuries as well. Form-fitting and lightweight, the SB SOX Compression Knee Brace offers support and comfort while maintaining mobility.
- Fits snugly without being too tight
- Stays in place all day long
- Tear-resistant and sweat-proof
- Comes in four sizes (S, M, L, XL)
- Includes a free health e-book and customer service FAQ guide
- Some users had problems with sizing
4. Alvada Knee Sleeve
The first thing you might notice about the Alvada Knee Sleeve is that it looks stylish. But more than the attractive design, it's a product that works. Boasting a 99 percent 5-star rating on Amazon, it promises to provide pain relief, shorten recovery time from injuries, and enhance muscular health.
If you're a runner, athlete, or active person, wearing the Alvada Knee Sleeve takes the shock off your knees during running or training. By compressing the knee and surrounding areas, pressure is distributed evenly and pain is prevented.
This sleeve also uses your own body heat to warm up the knee area and deliver pain relief from arthritis, tendonitis, meniscus tears, jumper's knee, and other conditions. The slim, durable silicone construction allows for it to be worn all day under clothing.
- Provides support without being bulky
- Fits snugly, not too tight
- Stays in place during activity
- Has a heating effect but does not get too hot
- Minimal sweat even after a long day of using it
- One reviewer complained that it wore out quickly
5. Simple Health Adjustable Compression Brace
The Simple Health Adjustable Compression Brace may look like a regular knee brace, but its three adjustable straps actually contain magnets that promote blood circulation. This magnetic therapy, when combined with the power of compression, provides maximum pain relief.
Ideal for athletes, arthritis, tendonitis, aging knees, and injury recovery, this brace starts to work almost immediately after putting it on. The self-heating tourmaline, once heated up, keeps aching joints warm. This is especially useful during cold weather, which aggravates the pain.
If you've been using heating patches or heating pads in the winter, you can probably replace these with the Simple Health Adjustable Compression Brace. The new and improved model also has a no-slip design so you can do your daily activities freely without having to constantly pull up the brace.
- Special therapeutic magnets sewn into the straps
- Warms up to provide pain relief
- Great for cold weather
- Adjustable to any size knee
- Comes with a free ankle support brace
- Some users found it too bulky
6. Blitzu Flex Professional Knee Brace
Equipped with the world's most advanced compression technology, the Blitzu Flex Professional Knee Brace is suitable for anyone with aching and swollen knees or anyone who's recovering from surgery. It is also beneficial for a variety of conditions such as DVT, varicose veins, edema, gout, and knee effusion.
Embedded in this product is a gel pad that absorbs pressure, keeps the patella in the right position, and stabilizes the ACL, MCL, PCL, and LCL ligaments. This gel pad, together with the unique lateral wings, provides relief from pain and accelerates the recovery process.
Because it helps reduce inflammation following an injury or surgery, the Blitzu Flex Professional Knee Brace is ideal for individuals who are undergoing physical therapy or returning to their normal activities. Even if you haven't been injured, you can use this brace to reduce your risk.
- Great for athletes and active individuals
- Offers lateral support
- Breathable material prevents accumulation of sweat
- Premium quality construction
- Comes with UV protection
- Might not be for thick thighs
7. Abcosport Patella Knee Strap
An unobtrusive solution to knee pain, the Abcosport Patella Knee Strap provides patellar support and comfort without restricting movement.
Fully adjustable to provide the desired amount of compression, it goes around the leg right below the kneecap and over the patellar tendon to reduce tension and alleviate pain.
Unlike other knee straps that feel itchy, the Patella Knee Strap is made of soft, high-quality nylon and neoprene. The fabric absorbs sweat to keep the knee dry, while the padding offers good support especially when going up or down an inclined surface.
Aside from delivering immediate relief from knee pain, the Patella Knee Strap also corrects misalignment. It can be used during various physical activities, including walking, running, biking, golfing, and working out.
- Doesn't irritate or rub on the skin
- Stays in place even while running or playing sports
- Can be worn under clothing
- Comes in two colors (black or pink)
- Lacks support, according to some comments
8. Mauwi Knee Brace
If you need a product that offers extra intramuscular support and protection, then the Mauwi Knee Brace might be what you're looking for.
Made from high-quality, high-tech materials that are flexible and durable, it provides support without limiting the movement of your knee during exercise. You can wear it during running, jogging, lifting, yoga, CrossFit, hiking, cycling, basketball, or just everyday activities.
If you've sustained an injury or have a knee problem like arthritis, you can use the Mauwi Knee Brace to improve blood circulation and reduce pain and swelling in the area.
The lightweight material also wicks away sweat and prevents bacterial growth, so you can wear it for long periods without any discomfort.
- Great for active people and athletes
- Breathable and sweat-releasing material keeps knee dry
- Graduated compression boosts blood flow
- Does not twist around or slide down
- Fits true to size, based on some comments
- Might not be for thick thighs
9. Bracoo Knee Support
Designed in the USA and made in Taiwan, the FDA-certified Bracoo Knee Support is ideal for preventing sports injuries and post-surgery recovery.
The open patella design reduces pressure on the knee joint during intense activities, while the padded stabilizer ring keeps the knee cap in its proper position.
By distributing stress across the different knee ligaments, the Bracoo Knee Support decreases the risk of (re)injury and alleviates acute and chronic pain.
The three Velcro straps can be attached to almost any point for a custom fit and to prevent slippage during movement and exercise.
In addition, the thick neoprene material provides added protection as well as retains heat to boost blood circulation and accelerate healing.
- Each strap can be adjusted individually
- Perforated moisture vents dissipate excess perspiration
- Can be worn underneath clothing
- Easy to put on and take off even with shoes on
- Might not be for thick thighs
10. IPOW 2 Pack Knee Strap Brace
For knee support that doesn't cover a large portion of the leg, the IPOW 2 Pack Knee Pain Relief & Patella Stabilizer Knee Strap Brace is a good option. Sold in packs of twos, this knee brace is fully adjustable to fit a variety of leg sizes, up to 18 inches.
In addition, the double knot design allows for different degrees of tightness while following the individual curves of the user's knee. This customization, along with the flexible straps, protect the patella from injury and provide a comfortable fit.
Worn just below the knee cap, the IPOW 2 Pack Knee Strap Brace alleviates the pain that accompanies injuries like jumper's knee and tendinitis, as well as relieves the strain from intense activities such as running, soccer, volleyball, and squats.
- Easy to put on and adjust
- Can be worn under or over clothing
- Small in size but provides enough support
- Cheap; good value for money
- Easy to wash
- Plastic bukles dig into skin
How to Choose a Knee Brace for Running
There are four general categories of knee braces, each with a different purpose. Finding the best knee brace for running would depend on your specific needs.
Types of Knee Braces
- Rehabilitative. Typically used following an injury or surgery, a rehabilitative knee brace helps keep the knee stable and limits potentially harmful movements during the healing process. Aside from protecting a repaired or reconstructed ligament, this type of knee brace also serves to prevent future or recurring injury.
- Functional. Often used by athletes, functional knee braces support knees that have been injured before, either from a fall or playing sports. By controlling movement and stabilizing the knee, they prevent another injury from happening.
This type can also be used to reduce rotation after an injury to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), provide extra support after ACL repair surgery, or aid in mild to moderate instability in the MCL (medial collateral ligament) or PCL (posterior cruciate ligament).
- Prophylactic. Most commonly seen on football players and other athletes, prophylactic knee braces are designed to protect the knee from injuries during contact sports. Ideal for individuals who are at high risk for MCL injury or those who have previously suffered form one, prophylactic knee braces shield the MCL from valgus stresses.
- Unloader or offloader. Unloader knee braces are designed for people who suffer from arthritis in their knees, especially those who have medical compartment knee osteoarthritis. This type of knee brace “unloads” the stress from the affected joint and shifts it to a stronger area like the thigh bone.
Offloader knee braces can also be used by people who are due for knee replacement surgery and want to take the weight off their knees while waiting.
How to Wear a Knee Brace for Running
If you have injured or have had surgery on your knee, a knee brace can provide support and motion control while running. However, it's important to remember that a brace does not cure injuries.
Rather, it is only one of a set of tools used to treat an injury. Strengthening and stability exercises, and sometimes physical therapy, are still necessary for treating knee problems.
- The strap type, which is usually worn below the knee, applies pressure to the tendon and has a proprioceptive effect on the knee joint. It is commonly used for runner's knee, patellar tendinitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome, iliotibial band friction syndrome, and chondromalacia.
- Compression knee sleeves, which does not have a hole, are best for conditions with mild swelling around the knee, like arthritis or a bruised knee.
- Meanwhile, the patella brace, which has a hole, is recommended for loose kneecaps and returning to activity after surgery.
Make sure your knee brace is worn and fitted properly so that you get the most out of it and avoid further injury from incorrect use. But also note that relying on a brace may lead to disuse of your leg muscles. As mentioned earlier, strengthening exercises are essential components of the recovery program. The knees, hips, and ankles are areas to focus on in particular.
Of course, it never hurts to consult your doctor and physical therapist. They can help you determine the best knee brace for your condition.
With many quality products available, there's actually more than one good knee brace for running on the market. We strongly suggest that you go for the one that speaks to your needs and preferences.
While it's not easy to pick just one, the best knee brace for running for us would have to be the Winzone Knee Brace. We particularly love the three graduated compression zones that support the patella and muscles and accelerate recovery.
We hope that with the help of this guide, you find the perfect knee brace for running support. Keep running and stay injury-free!
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Who am I ?
I'm Sam Rondot, the person behind the blog Running Addicted. I'm a French entrepreneur and I'm passionated about running. I started running since 12 years old and have covered 16 marathons (at the point of writing).I enjoy running and the exhausted feeling I have after a long run. I always follow one rule: I try to do my best and run until I can’t. This makes me feel that I can do anything. I know you have that feeling, too. Running has taught me that I am capable of so much more than I have ever imagined.Learn more
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