There’s no doubt that knee braces are essential for preventing and nursing injuries. Wearing one can mean the difference between stepping off the court and being able to continue playing. So if you keep the game going, investing in the best knee brace should be your priority.
Choosing the best knee brace is, however, easier said than done. There are almost as many knee braces as there are ways to injure your knees. And it doesn’t help that they make boisterous claims meant to convince you they’re the best even when they're not.
So how do you identify the best knee brace for your needs?
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The Low down On Knee Braces
Before you begin your search for the best knee brace, it’s vital to understand the available options, in addition to when and how you should use them. Besides, it’s essential to know what to look for to make an informed decision. So let’s jump right in.
Types Of Knee Braces: Which One's Right For You?
There are three main types of knee braces on the market, and they all serve different purposes. The first type you’ll come across is the knee sleeve. Athletes wear knee sleeves during and after medium to intense workouts.
This type of knee brace is excellent for preventing knee injuries, and you can wear it during all games. The compression it provides is what makes it so effective; it’s useful for preventing swelling during and after intense physical activity.
Next, there’s the knee brace, which is worn when there’s already an existing injury. Knee braces come in different materials and often feature metallic hinges that limit knee movement.
Before you buy a knee brace, it’s advisable to consult your doctor so that they can suggest the best type depending on your injury.
The other type of knee brace that’s common among athletes is the knee wrap. Similar to the knee sleeve, knee wraps are excellent for preventing injuries. However, they’re also great for enhancing performance.
This type of knee brace is common among powerlifters and bodybuilders as it collects the elastic energy that builds up during powerlifting, thus preventing injury. The mechanical benefits of using a knee wrap include faster and deeper squats and better vertical impulse.
Common Knee Brace Materials And Their Benefits
It’s also essential to know the different knee brace materials available, how they benefit your knee, and whether or not they restrict or enhance your movements while playing.
With this information, you not only know which knee brace would work best for you but also what to expect while playing.
Most knee braces and sleeves feature Velcro straps. Velcro is an excellent material because it’s easy to adjust and stays put when you move. However, it’s not durable, so it may not be the best option if you’re looking for a knee brace that can take some abuse.
A better alternative would be a strapless knee brace. Just make sure you try it on before buying to check the fit and ensure it stays in place even when you move.
Neoprene is also quite common. The best thing about this material is that it doesn’t stretch out with time and it keeps its shape. However, some people don’t like it because of how it smells. Nonetheless, it offers incredible knee support for minor injuries.
Fabric is an excellent alternative to neoprene. It doesn’t smell, and most people find it more comfortable compared to neoprene. However, fabric knee braces tend to stretch over time, and they move around your leg when you walk, so they may not be the best option for strenuous exercises.
Copper lined knee sleeves and braces are believed to prevent injury, enhance blood circulation, and reduce recovery time after an injury. However, there isn’t much scientific evidence to support these claims. What’s more, copper is way more expensive compared to the other materials.
Other factors To Consider Before Buying
Apart from the type of knee brace and material, you also need to consider the size. If your knee brace is too small, you risk making your injury even worse. And if it’s too big, it won’t help you in any way. Therefore, make sure you try it on before purchasing to get the right fit.
If you’re buying online, it’s best to go for a company that has an exchange policy that allows you to get a different one if you buy the wrong size.
Also, before buying, consider how much flexibility the brace offers. Generally speaking, the sturdier the brace, the more restricted your movement will be. Again, try it out and find out if it provides the support and flexibility you’re looking for.
Last but not least, consider your injury type. For minor injuries, knee sleeves and wraps will get the job done. For serious injuries, you’ll need more heavy-duty knee braces. But consult your doctor before making a final decision.
How We Reviewed
We want you to have a hassle-free experience when looking for the best knee brace. For this reason, we decided to help you with your search.
We analyzed the top options based on expert and customer reviews. Our primary focus was on the features and durability of the knee braces. However, we also considered their prices to give you various options depending on your budget.
The Best Knee Brace on the Market
After extensive research, we managed to come up with a list of eight of the best knee braces on the market. Whether you’re looking for a knee sleeve for your everyday physical activities or a knee brace to enhance your healing process, we’re confident you’ll find one that works for you on this list.
PowerLix Knee Brace
You don’t need a bulky knee brace for every knee problem. Sometimes, a high-quality knee sleeve is all you need for enhanced performance and low risk of injury. The PoweLix Knee Brace fits this description.
One of the things we love about this knee brace is its anti-slip feature. It features silicone straps that ensure the sleeve stays put when you’re moving. This knee sleeve also breathes well and wicks moisture away from your skin when you sweat -- precisely what you need when you’re engaging in intense physical activities.
What’s more, you won’t have to deal with odors or itching, which is a bonus. And if you’re not satisfied with the sleeve’s performance, you can take advantage of the 100 percent money-back guarantee that comes with every purchase.
Amazon buyers love it as much as we do. They rated it 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.
UFlex Knee Sleeve
If you have arthritis or you simply need extra support for your knees when training, the UFlex Knee Sleeve may be the best knee brace for you.
This brace features anti-slip silicone material that saves you the hassle of adjusting the brace with every little movement you make. What’s more, it offers effective knee compression that not only prevents injuries but also relieves arthritis pain.
And if you love making a fashion statement even when burning some calories, you’ll love how stylish this knee brace is. Whether you choose to wear it indoors for your arthritis or while training, this knee sleeve won’t disappoint.
Buyers believe it’s the best knee brace for athletes. They rated it 4.6 out of 5.0 stars.
Cambivo 2 Knee Compression Sleeves
The last thing you need after a knee injury is something heavy and bulky. The Cambivo 2 Knee Compression Sleeves provides dependable and lightweight support that ensures you don’t overstrain your knee when training. It’s also the best knee brace for post-surgery exercises because it limits the amount of pressure exerted on your knees.
We also love that it has anti-slip technology, which guarantees a stress-free experience. What’s more, the fabric is breathable and wicks away sweat to keep your knees dry throughout your training session. The compression sleeves also come with a refund guarantee. That means you have no excuse for not trying them out.
Customers believe this compression sleeve is worth the investment. They gave it a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.
IPOW 2 Pack Patella Knee Strap
A good reason to go for a patella knee strap is if the problem is mainly in your knee cap. Knee straps are excellent for conditions like patellar tendinitis (commonly known as “jumpers’ knee”) and chondromalacia, among others.
The IPOW 2 Pack Patella Knee Strap is among the top options you can buy. Several things make this strap stand out from the crowd.
For starters, because they’re not bulky, you can wear them underneath your pants without anyone noticing. You’ll also have an easy time finding your size because it’s a one-size-fits-all kind of strap.
It’s also durable, comfortable, and stays in place when you move. And the best part? You get two for the price of one, and you won’t have to spend a fortune to afford it. Plus, if you’re not satisfied, you can take advantage of the refund guarantee.
Amazon buyers love it. They rated it 4.3 out of 5.0 stars.
TechWare Pro Bi-Directional Knee Support Brace
If you’re a sports or training enthusiast recovering from ACL or a meniscus tear, the last thing you want is to stay on bed rest until your knee recovers. With the TechWare Pro Bi-Directional Knee Support Brace, you don’t have to.
This knee brace provides the support you need to limit pressure in your knee while also enhancing your recovery. However, it may be best to take it easy lest you cause even more damage to the area.
This knee brace features an open-patella design that’s excellent for supporting and compressing your knee cap and tendon areas to prevent injuries. What’s more, it’s breathable and moisture-wicking to ensure maximum comfort.
The only downside is that this knee brace is quite pricey. However, buyers believe it’s a worthy investment. They rated it 4.4 out of 5.0 stars.
Vive Hinged Knee Brace
The Vive Hinged Knee Brace is the best knee brace for individuals with weak knees or anyone suffering from a severe knee injury.
This knee brace features aluminum hinges on either side, which offer excellent stability to enhance healing and prevent further injuries. What’s more, the knee brace is very lightweight to limit the amount of pressure exerted on your knees.
It’s also breathable and stays put thanks to the extra strength fasteners. Besides, the knee brace features latex-free neoprene that provides thermal compression to aid in the healing process.
The brace costs a pretty penny, but buyers believe it’s worth it. They gave it a rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars.
Venture Pal Knee Brace
If you don’t mind the smell of neoprene, the Venture Pal Knee Brace is also an excellent choice. It’s perfect for pain relief and recovery.
One of our favorite things about this knee brace is that you can adjust the firmness to what’s most comfortable for you. It features Velcro straps that allow you to customize the compression to your needs. What’s more, the neoprene material ensures the brace stays in place even when you’re doing strenuous exercises.
We also love that it offers 360-degree protection for your knees, it’s breathable, and has moisture-wicking properties.
Amazon buyers love it as much as we do. They rated it 4.4 out of 5.0 stars.
Cantop Compression Knee Pads
If you play basketball or volleyball, a restrictive knee brace won’t cut it because you have to jump a lot. What you need is the best knee brace for basketball. The Cantop Compression Knee Pads are an excellent choice.
They don’t restrict your movement and provide excellent support to prevent injuries and enhance recovery.
The best thing about these knee pads is that they’re long, which means they not only protect you from knee injuries but also from scratches, harmful UV rays, and cuts. What’s more, the knee pads feature an elastic fiber material that ensures the brace stays in place at all times. They also offer effective compression that also aids in injury prevention and recovery along with the support.
The other factor that makes these knee braces stand out is the anti-collision design. The knee pads have high-density PEF gaskets that absorb most of the force upon collision, thus preventing injury.
These knee pads come in four colors, and they’re quite affordable. Buyers are crazy about them. They rated them 4.2 out of 5.0 stars.
Now Go Hit The Court!
They say prevention is better than cure. Most athletes who have suffered a knee injury can attest to this. Some knee injuries can be so bad they make it impossible for you to play your favorite sport ever again. But with the best knee brace, you can protect your knees from injury and prevent already existing injuries from getting any worse.
So don’t waste any more time and get yourself one of these braces. Whichever you choose, it will prove to be a worthy investment.
Have you tried any of the knee braces on this list? Would you recommend them? Please share your views in the comments section below. We love hearing from our readers.