Regardless of whether a runner is trying to protect their knee from conditions such as runner’s knee, or are looking to prevent an injury in the first place, they’re probably going to want to purchase a knee brace. That’s because some of the latest research has shown that almost half to two-thirds of all runner injuries are to their knees. To help our readers find the best knee braces for running, we’ve decided to review some of the most commonly available ones and the ones that are the most highly regarded among athletes. Below are the three products that we feel are the best for runners and the ones that we like the best.
Quick Summary of Knee Braces For Running
UFlex Athletics Compression Knee Sleeve
Uflex Athletics has made quite the name for themselves with their high-quality line of knee braces, so we knew that we had to review them. What we discovered is that these braces are some of the best-made products we’ve seen. They’re made to exacting standards and from high-quality materials, so the consumer knows when they place it on their knee, it’s going to do its job. Let’s take a closer look at these braces and see what makes them one of the best knee braces for running available.
This sleeve is made with anti-slip silicone, so it provides stable compression regardless of whether the athlete is running, squats, or yoga. It’s this stable compression that also aids in the recovery of jumper’s and runners’ knee, and is suitable for people suffering from both tendinitis and arthritis. It also helps to reduce the inflammation, soreness, and stiffness that comes with muscle injuries thanks to its ability to hold in warmth.
Since this product is made with 3D knitting technology, it stretches in ways that simpler knee braces can’t. And it’s capable of providing this freedom of movement all while limiting the patella movement. This can increase proprioception of the joint and help the user prevent further injuring their knees. Regardless of whether this sleeve is used as a preventative or a supportive knee brace, it will help get the runner back on the trail and keep them there.
It’s also worth mentioning that these sleeves don’t get as funky as some of the other braces available. That’s because it’s equipped with Anti-Odor Wave that helps the brace stay as odor-free as possible. Taking all of these features into consideration, along with this sleeve’s low price, it’s easy to see why we’ve selected it as our number one knee brace. We think it does an amazing job and is a quality product that many runners are going to love using.
- These sleeves don’t slip as other ones can.
- They’re easy to put on and wear.
Powerlix Knee Compression Sleeve
Athletes who need full support and also need to maintain a proper range of motion are probably going to want to give this knee brace a shot. This product applies stable pressure across the entirety of the knee joint, which helps to provide the muscle support they need while they’re working out or going about their day. It’s a brace that’s suitable for athletes who are looking to protect their knee while they’re recovering from an injury or for athletes who are looking to protect themselves against potential injuries while they’re working out or running.
This product is designed with a high-performance fabric that helps the knee maintain its proper healing temperature. It also allows for a full range of motion, so the athlete can resume normal activities as quickly as possible. It’s also equipped with a double silicone anti-slip wave that helps to keep the knee brace in place and allows it to hold this grip without applying too much pressure to the knee joint. And because it’s made of a smooth material, it can be worn all day without the wearer suffering any discomfort.
It’s also worth mentioning that this sleeve is designed in such a way that it helps to wick sweat away from the user’s skin. This keeps the runner more comfortable while they’re wearing it, and helps to prevent the accumulation of bad odors. And another thing we’d like to add to this review is that this sleeve looks good and can easily be worn underneath clothing if the user so desires.
If there’s one objection we have about this product—and it is a very small objection—is that it costs a little bit more than some of the other knee braces we’ve reviewed. It’s not prohibitively expensive, but it does cost a few dollars over some of the other brands we’ve tried. That’s just something that some athletes might want to think about before deciding on this sleeve.
- It provides optimal support for muscle endurance.
- It’s soft and comfortable to wear.
- It costs a little more than some other knee braces.
Mava Sports Knee Support Sleeves
As we reviewed these sleeves, we noticed that they were well made and easy to put one. We also noticed that they applied just the right amount of pressure and that they’re sold in pairs, so consumers can buy two of them for one low price. As a result, we were ready to place these sleeves at the top of our list. However, after spending some time with them, we decided that probably wouldn’t be a good idea because they did seem to have one fundamental flaw—a flaw that we’ll get to in just a few moments.
Before we talk about what we didn’t like about these knee braces, however, we thought that we’d take a few moments and talk about what we did like. One of the things that we liked was that these sleeves had a strap that prevented them from rolling down. We liked that a lot. We also liked that they were made from a soft material that felt good against the skin and didn’t cause irritation during those long workouts. That makes it a good choice for people dealing with Osteoarthritis, knee swelling or chronic pain.
The thing that we didn’t like about these knee braces, however, was that they didn’t stay where they’re supposed to during long activity sessions. At first, the braces seem like they hold on quite well, but after intense workouts, they can begin to slip down the leg. They still don’t roll up thanks to their straps, but they don’t precisely stay where they’re needed. This can present a problem to athletes who have intense workouts, although we don’t think it will pose much of a problem for casual joggers. Overall, we think that their good knee sleeves—they’re just not the right ones for marathon runners or those who are trying to take their workouts to the next level.
- They’re comfortable to wear.
- They’re sold in pairs for a low price.
- They will eventually slide down over time.
A Guide To Knee Braces For Runners
Even though we’ve labeled this guide as a guide to knee braces for runners, in reality, the advice we’re going to give in this guide can be applied to allow just about anyone to buy a knee brace for their needs. This includes not only athletes but those who are looking to prevent or recover from injuries as well. So let’s avoid the dawdling and find out what consumers should think about before purchasing their next knee brace.
Step One: Choose The Knee Brace Style
One of the first things that anyone is going to want to do before they purchase their next knee brace is to decide which type they need. Generally speaking, knee braces come in one of five different styles: Knee Sleeves, Dual-Wrap Braces, Hinged Knee Braces, Knee Straps, and Patella Braces. Each of these different types has its pros and cons, so the consumer should carefully consider which one they might need before purchase. Let’s examine each type separately to see which braces are suitable for which circumstances.
The main benefit of using knee sleeves is that they provide much-needed knee compression that helps to control pain and swelling in the knee. These sleeves are also suitable for athletes who are looking for a brace that can protect them from certain knee conditions. Since they’re easy to slip on and are slim, they can also be worn easily underneath clothing.
These braces provide a little bit more support than sleeves and are designed for those who are suffering from more than mild knee pain but less than severe knee pain. These braces can easily be used during training sessions, too, and they’re easy to slip on and off as needed. They’re also not as bulky or heavy as hinged knee braces can be.
Hinged Knee Braces
Hinged knee braces are designed for professional athletes who need a greater amount of support and protection than they can receive with either dual-wrap braces or knee sleeves. They’re also used by individuals after surgery to protect their knees while they’re healing. Hinged knee braces are either soft for a lower amount of knee support or rigid for the maximum amount of knee support.
Another type of knee brace commonly used by runners is knee straps. That’s because these work well with athletes suffering from runner’s or jumper’s knees, otherwise known as Patellar Tendonitis or Patella Tracking. These are easy to put on or take off, provide an excellent level of patella protection, and they help to compress the Patellar Tendon, which in turn can result in a lessening of knee pain. They’re also easy to wear underneath clothing as needed.
These braces come in either the open patella or the closed patella varieties. The open patella ones relieve knee pressure and also help to support the knee cap as the athlete moves. Closed patella braces are designed to offer compression directly on the knee cap as it does with the rest of the knee. This provides additional support and prevents the cap from moving during physical activities and causing pain.
Step Two: Consider Brace Tightness
The next thing the consumer should consider is the tightness of the sleeve. ideally, the consumer is going to want the brace to be tight enough to provide the support and the compression they need for pain relief, but not so tight as to cut off their circulation. Restricting circulation too much can be dangerous and can lead to leg swelling and even blood clots, so the consumer should only get a brace that’s as tight as they need it to be. Most manufacturers provide a sizing chart that makes it easy to choose a brace that’s right for their leg measurements.
Step Three: Think About Other Brace Features
Before buying a knee brace, the consumer is going to want to consider some of the optional features that they may need their brace to have. Although the above considerations are what’s really important when choosing a new knee brace for runners, the following features extend the usefulness of the brace or sometimes just make them easier to use. Of course, since the following features are considered optional, the consumer can embrace one or all of them, or dismiss them all entirely as they see fit. With that being said, let’s look at these optional features before we officially conclude this guide on the subject.
- Upper Straps That Prevent Roll-Downs
- Anti-Slip Silicone Pads
- Anti-Odor Features