People experiencing knee pain often find relief by wearing a knee brace; as such the question of what is the best knee brace for running is a frequently asked one. Not only do knee braces offer support but they can also prevent further injury when the knee is attempting to recover from a previous injury. Runners use the braces to minimize pain, prevent injury, and improve the overall comfort of the daily run.
Knee braces are typically made from a combination of materials including metal, plastic, elastic, and foam. One thing consumers can be sure of is that they will get what they pay for. Going on the cheap almost always results in a cheap knee brace that either does not last long or does not provide the kind of support the consumer is looking for.
For the record, there are three different kinds of knee braces. The first is the rehabilitative brace usually worn in the weeks immediately following injury or surgery. These braces limit movement to promote healing. The second kind of knee brace, known as the unloader, is intended to relieve knee pain. Finally, there are prophylactic braces to protect knees against injury during contact sports. The best knee brace for running tends to be either a rehabilitative or unloader brace.
Below is our top 10 list of the best knee braces for runners for 2018 (in descending order):
10. Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support
This rehabilitative knee brace is designed to accommodate runners looking for pain relief through stabilization of the knee. It offers medical-grade compression to relieve both knee pain and swelling. The sleeve is made with lightweight, breathable materials while the brace component consists of a silicone pad that fits squarely over the kneecap.
9. Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeve Support
Runners who find their sport uncomfortable due to osteoarthritis, tendinitis, or strains and sprains will appreciate this knee brace. It is more of a compression sleeve than anything else, but it gives excellent support with no stiffness. In short, it will not interfere with running.
8. Exodus EX-701 Performance Stabilizing Knee Brace
The Exodus EX-701 may be the best knee brace for running if you are looking for a product that offers strong patella support along with double stabilizers above and below the knee. This particular knee brace has been designed to offer maximum performance for athletes. It is not intended as an all-day device, though it certainly could be used as such.
7. Rehband Rx Knee Sleeve
The Rehband Rx Knee Sleeve is ideal for runners and other athletes who put a lot of stress on their legs and knees. It features patented technology that creates an anatomical fit for maximum comfort and support. This knee sleeve is comfortable to wear, flexible, and designed to provide excellent compression. The company behind it has been designing joint support products for more than 60 years.
6. Winzone Knee Brace Support Sleeve
Runners, basketball players, and other athletes may find the Winzone knee brace helpful for relieving the pain associated with osteoarthritis and past ACL and meniscus tears. It is made with 100% neoprene and is held in place by two Velcro straps, one at the top and the other at the bottom. It is easy to put on, quick to take off, and fully machine-washable.
5. WITKEEN Knee Support Brace
This knee brace is similar to the Winzone brace in terms of design. It also has the dual Velcro straps along with a built-in patella space to relieve pressure on the kneecap. It provides pain relief from arthritis, hyperextension support, and a neoprene/nylon construction guaranteed to be 100% irritation-free.
4. SB SOX Compression Knee Brace
If you are looking for a reliable compression sleeve from a company that already has a good reputation among athletes, this knee brace may be what you’re looking for. Features include no-slip top and bottom cuffs, full compression support, and circular knitting that is resistant to tears. This knee brace comes in four different sizes.
3. Compressions Knee Brace
The Compressions Knee Brace is an open patella brace with adjustable Velcro straps at the top and bottom. Athletes of all kinds will appreciate its excellent support while runners will be pleased with its breathability and flexibility. Neoprene is an ideal material for the braces that runners need to provide support and relief pain.
2. Venom Knee Sleeve with Gel Padded Support
The Venom Knee Sleeve is somewhat unique in that it offers a gel inlay for better comfort. The inlay reduces pressure and minimizes the risk of further injury. This knee sleeve is made of a lightweight, elastic fabric to minimize bunching that could otherwise interfere with a comfortable run.
1. Alvada Knee Sleeve Compression Knee Brace
The best knee brace for running in 2018 may very well be the Alvada Knee Sleeve Compression brace. This brace gets top reviews from users on Amazon thanks to its sturdy silicone composition and no-slip design. It is a brace that provides just the right amount of compression to properly protect the knee when you are running. Best of all, it also provides comfort and support throughout the day.