As an avid runner, I’ve had my fair share of aches and pains. While most of them aren’t worrying (we love a good post-run burn!), I had to make sure to take preventative measures to avoid more serious injuries. One part of the body I focus on in particular is my knees!
I decided to invest in the best knee brace for running, which gave me enough support to push through my runs. But are knee braces really for you? And if they are, which one is made for your needs?
Read on as I show you the ultimate purchasing guide to learn about these useful running accessories!
- 1 10 Best Knee Brace For Running 2020
- 1.1 1. The Relieving and Great Fit: Vive Knee Hot/Cold Brace
- 1.2 2. The Versatile and Slip-Resistant: UFlex Athletics Knee Brace
- 1.3 3. The Protective and High-Quality: POWERLIX Knee Compression Brace
- 1.4 4. The Knee-Hugging and Extra Mobility: EXOUS Knee Brace
- 1.5 5. The Supportive and Pain-Managing: CAMBIVO Knee Brace
- 1.6 6. The Adjustable and Breathable: TechWare Pro Knee Brace
- 1.7 7. The Simple and Shock-Absorbing: IPOW Knee Strap Brace
- 1.8 8. The Stabilizing and Universal Fit: Bodyprox Knee Brace
- 1.9 9. The Comfortable and Soft: Shock Doctor Hinged Knee Brace
- 1.10 10. The Open and Thick: Brace Knee Support Brace
- 2 Do You Need Knee Braces For Running?
- 3 How to Choose the Best Knee Brace For Running
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 Wrapping It Up
10 Best Knee Brace For Running 2020
Based on tests, research, and overall customer reviews, these are the ten best knee braces to choose from:
1. The Relieving and Great Fit: Vive Knee Hot/Cold Brace
The Vive Knee Brace is my editor’s choice for the excellent features it offers for post runs! It’s one of the ideal knee braces for recovery, soothing your knee pain. This is done through its hot or cold therapy to reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation caused by muscle fatigue from runs.
The knee brace comes with three removable gel packs for either hot or cold therapy, fitting into your brace. It’s easy to use and place to your brace, as well as reusable and leakproof so you can use it for years to come.
- Best to use after runs for recovery and pain relief
- Flexible fit and can fit knee circumferences up to 21-inches
- Easy to use and slip gel packs for hot and cold therapy
- The brace can fit most people comfortably
- Some complaints of receiving only two packs instead of three
- Gel packs may not stay cold for long as expected
2. The Versatile and Slip-Resistant: UFlex Athletics Knee Brace
The UFLex Athletics is another excellent choice for the many benefits it offers for runners. This is a knee sleeve that won’t treat injuries but can help provide adequate support for most runners and athletes.
The knee sleeve can help reduce swelling and inflammation, as well as pain, stiffness, and soreness felt during runs. It also offers a heating effect for efficient muscle recovery!
Because of the benefits it offers, I believe it’s versatile to use for more than just runs. If you’re a cross trainer, then you’ll get your money’s worth with this knee brace.
- Versatile and can use in many applications besides running
- Aids in muscle recovery with its heating effect
- Offers pain relief and reduces swelling and inflammation
- Rubber grips may not be as durable as the entire brace
- Better off for starters with joint pain than professional runners
3. The Protective and High-Quality: POWERLIX Knee Compression Brace
If you’re looking for a high-quality knee brace without the high price, you’ll appreciate the POWERLIX Knee Brace. It provides the excellent protection many runners need, applying stable pressure all-around your knee joints. Not only is this useful for running, but for other everyday activities as well.
It comes in different sizes, all of them accurate to fir specific measurements. They are not too tight, but you feel the compression and support as you move around without feeling stuffy. As for its material, I can see it’s made to last, which is a good sign considering its affordable price!
- The knee brace is made of premium quality to last for years
- It comes in various sizes and stays true to its fit
- Great protection and support for running or everyday activities
- A bit challenging to take it on at first
- It feels itchy when you begin sweating a lot
4. The Knee-Hugging and Extra Mobility: EXOUS Knee Brace
THE EXODUS Knee Brace might be a tad pricier than the standard knee brace, but in terms of support, it’s one of the most superior. It comes with a unique 4-way compression system, which would hug your knee at all angles. This gives your whole knee joints the lateral and medial support, offering the stability of weak or injured knees.
This can improve your mobility, a must for runners! It keeps your knee in place, resulting in less irritation and adjusting, ensuring protection and better posture. If your main focus is support, then this is the brace for you.
- Excellent support and protection that protects the entire knee
- Hugs your knee in the right places without being too tight
- No pain or inflammation felt, lessens knee pain after runs
- The knee brace is a bit of a hassle to clean
- Some complaints of the sleeve being loose
5. The Supportive and Pain-Managing: CAMBIVO Knee Brace
For those who want something simple and pain-relieving, then you’ll like the CAMBIVO Knee Brace. It’s made with a combination of nylon, latex, and spandex, giving it the universal fit. Plus, I love that it comes in various designs and colors, so I can look great as I run!
Besides its looks, it features the anti-slip material and snug fit, ensuring the pain relief during and after runs. I recommend it most for those who suffer from nagging knee pain or sore muscles after a run! For its design and price, I believe it a good buy.
- The knee brace offers a great fit and easy to put on or take off
- Affordable price but still offers great quality and support
- Stays in place and doesn’t slip off despite a lot of movement
- Need to order at least a size smaller for good compression
- Feels slightly itchy until after you begin sweating
6. The Adjustable and Breathable: TechWare Pro Knee Brace
I like the TechWare Pro Knee Brace for its ease of adjustment and soft material. The sizes run accurately so you won’t need to order a size smaller or larger, fitting excellently without struggling. It has the right amount of compression, which you can adjust to your needs.
It has the bidirectional support unique to the knee brace, stabilizing the knees more to reduce pain around it. That way, it gives even support throughout your runs. Besides that, I commend the knee brace for its breathability, having the moisture-wicking and lightweight properties to prevent itchiness and stuffy feelings.
- Breathable and lightweight to keep your knees cool
- The knee brace is adjustable for even support and less pain
- Unique performance and technology to improve movement
- Feels slim and may not be as durable as other knee braces
- Some complaints of the material wearing off when too wet
7. The Simple and Shock-Absorbing: IPOW Knee Strap Brace
I was a bit surprised with the IPOW Knee Brace, as it was slimmer and smaller than most knee braces I was used to. However, once I tried it out, I noticed that it still offers excellent support similar to other products. What makes this beneficial is that it covers only the important area of your knees, so you won’t have to worry about heat and stuffiness.
It has a segmented fix design for better adjustment, as well as the one size fits all feature to fit knee circumferences of up to 18-inches. For its extra breathability and shock-absorbing performance, it’s worth trying.
- Small yet effective and will absorb shock from runs
- Easy to adjust and one size fits all for most runners
- It offers good stability and lessens any pain
- May chafe a little if you will run long distances
- Complaints of the Velcro loosening up quickly
8. The Stabilizing and Universal Fit: Bodyprox Knee Brace
The Bodyprox Knee Brace is the one for everyone, having the universal fit for all shapes and sizes. I also like its adjustability and strength, having sprints in two sides and one silicone pad for comfort. This reduces stress and will hold your knees well to keep them stable and in proper positioning.
Furthermore, there are patella gel pads for increased comfort as you move around when running. It’s got the complete features one needs from a knee brace without the high price, including the breathability and absorbent material.
- Made with breathable and absorbent materials to keep knees cool
- Built with patella gel pads and silicone pad for extra comfort
- It has the universal fit for all types of knees, adjusting well
- The knee brace will feel a bit bulky and heavy
- It sometimes creases behind the knee
9. The Comfortable and Soft: Shock Doctor Hinged Knee Brace
The Shock Doctor is the ULTIMATE knee brace made best for runners who suffer from serious injuries. It’s made of premium materials, such as the latex-free and integrated side stabilizers. It also has the premium and accurate stitching so you know it’s built to last for a long time.
As for its support, it provides amazing support and stabilization. It prevents and protects knees from further injuries. Even if it looks a bit bulky, you have freedom of movement and comfort, as it feels soft and made with Lycra mesh for its breathability.
- It can lift and compress soft-tissue for pain relief
- Can provide therapeutic heat for better blood flow
- Made with premium-quality material that feels soft and breathable
- You need to buy a size larger, as it hugs knees too tight
- The brace might feel a bit bulky at first
10. The Open and Thick: Brace Knee Support Brace
And lastly, the Brace Knee Brace has most technologies unique to the brand. It offers the open-patella design, which can relieve pressure and reduce stress around your knee joints. It also has the stabilizer ring, which can stabilize the knees and stay in place, though be wary about it slipping now and then.
I like that it’s made with extra-thick neoprene, which ensures more protection, comfort, and blood circulation. It feels comfortable despite the thickness, being lightweight and breathable. If you need the extra support and a stronger grip, then this brace is for you.
- Made of thick neoprene but still breathable and lightweight
- Velcro straps are easy to adjust and last long
- Comfortable and open-patella design for pain relief
- There is a restriction of movement, making it uncomfortable
- Some complaints of the brace slipping off
Do You Need Knee Braces For Running?
Did you know that while you run, about four times your body weight would pass up and down through your knee? That’s the reason why you might be feeling a ton of pain and soreness, which is a complaint about most runners.
While stretches and proper running posture helps, many runners also find help in knee braces. Why, exactly? Here are the reasons why you may need a knee brace for your runs:
- With the extra pressure your knees receive as you run, you are more susceptible to injuries. You’ll require extra support from knee braces, which can prevent knee dislocations and other running-related injuries
- Those who suffer from arthritis can benefit from a good knee brace, managing the pain and symptoms they feel daily. That way, you can run faster and longer without feeling excruciating soreness or pain
- If you just suffered from a knee injury, then doctors will suggest you use a knee brace. They stabilize and grip your knees to heal your joints and ligaments. It also prevents and stops swelling as it gives your knees the tight and firm hold it needs. This can help quicken the healing process, whether you’re running or taking a break from training
- After recovering from injuries, your knees are still at risk of injuries. If you want to continue running, then you can do so while using a knee brace to prevent further potential knee damage, as it protects your joints
- Your chosen knee brace can also help encourage better posture during runs. It keeps your knees in a straight position, which is helpful post-injuries, which may have adversely affected your posture. That way, your entire body is balanced during runs
- Knee braces are also versatile and can be used for more than just running, may it be treating knee injuries or for other sports such as weightlifting
While it isn’t an absolute must-have, they are extremely helpful in stabilizing your knees to prevent injuries and pain in the long run. Knee braces are made best for runners who are coming back from serious knee injuries or who suffer from chronic knee pain.
How to Choose the Best Knee Brace For Running
There are a ton of knee braces available today, varying in type and brand. To help narrow down your choices from my reviews, here are important factors to consider:
1. Type of Knee Brace
There are many different types of knee braces you can choose from, based on your needs:
These are used to reduce swelling and treats patellofemoral pain. They’re made with padding over the cap and with straps and opening for kneecaps. This brace type can help with warmth and compression, but it won’t provide stability.
These are used as protection around the knee, preventing injuries. Athletes use these for extended kneeling, NOT providing stability but reducing the risk of injury from intensive sports like running, biking, or skateboarding. They have a hard outer shell and extra padding to cover the knees.
This knee support relieves pain from sports and everyday activities, compressing the knee joints. Through compression, it reduces pain and corrects your knee posture, also increasing your comfort.
Patellar Tracking Orthotic
This is used for pain caused by patellar mal-tracking or instability. It adjusts compression as you run and relieves pain. Known as PTO, it helps with most patella-related injuries, such as dislocations, tendonitis, pain syndromes, and more.
Hinged Knee Support
This is prescribed for athletes that suffer from ligament damage, adding protection and increasing stability. These are prescribed and only worn when recommended by an expert. It also works for people who have mild arthritis, sprains, or tears.
Custom Knee Braces
These are made specifically for you according to your needs, activities, and fit. The brace you receive is based on examination and diagnoses, prescribed by a medical professional.
2. Size and Adjustment
Knee braces are usually flexible, with the ability to adjust according to your knee measurements. But you should also be sure to choose a knee brace with the appropriate size if prompted, coming in sizes between small (less than 17 inches) to XXL (up to 26 inches).
You should also focus on the tightness. It’s normal for knee braces to feel tight, as it should compress the knees. However, it should still feel comfortable enough while providing support and stability. You can test this by walking or running around using it, loosening the straps if you feel uncomfortable or lose circulation as you move.
3. Comfort and Material
The material of your chosen knee brace is crucial, as it can determine both comfort and durability.
Most knee braces are made with soft material and extra padding, adding to its comfort for runs. I highly recommend that you get those that feel great for your knees and prevent slipping as you move around. It should also be strong enough to have a firm grip around your knees without risk of wear and tear.
Your chosen knee brace should also be made with the premium material to last. It should be able to withstand runs, weather conditions, and daily use.
4. Price and Brand Reputation
Lastly, you need to make sure that you select knee braces that are worth the investment. Fortunately, these aren’t as expensive as other running equipment (like shoes), but I don’t recommend you scrimp on it.
You’ll find good knee braces that range between $10 to $30. If you want premium quality, then you can go as high as $50, though you won’t need to overspend unless they are custom braces. Find the middle ground based on what you can afford.
I also recommend that you look into the brand and its reviews. The more positive testimonials from real customers, the better the knee brace may be for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know all about how to choose the best running brace for running, what else is there to know about it? Here are frequently asked questions from many other runners and readers:
1. How can I clean my knee brace?
It’s easy to clean your knee brace, following these steps:
- For non-metal knee braces, soak it in cold water, mixing it with a small amount of mild detergent (one tablespoon for every two to three gallons). If you have a metal-made brace, then remove the material from the brace, soaking it similarly
- Soak it for up to 15 minutes, washing and kneading it with your hands
- Rinse until there is no more soap residue and air-dry
- If the brace is machine-washable, you can put it in the machine on a gentle cycle, using cold water and a similar amount of detergent. Have an extra rinse cycle before you air-dry it
2. How do I maintain my knee brace for it to last longer?
To care and maintain for your knee brace to last longer, follow these tips:
- Make sure that you clean your knee brace after a run or at least once a week
- Avoid exposing your brace to extreme temperatures, such as hot summer or freezing winter days
- If you have a metal knee brace, lubricate it with dry lubricant if you hear it squeaking. Also, cover any exposed metal to reduce injury risks
- Inspect your brace regularly for any signs of wear and tear, repairing it immediately to have it continue working well
- You know it’s time for a replacement if you feel more pain and soreness, or the straps don’t hold as tightly as before
3. How long do I wear the knee braces for?
If you were prescribed a knee brace, then you’ll need to wear it for the recommended time your doctor asked you to. For those who were injured or recovering from it, it’s best to wear your knee brace 2-3 hours daily, or more if you’ve grown comfortable with it.
For those who need it just for support during runs or strenuous activities, you can wear it only while doing the activity. You can also wear it for an hour or two afterward to help with recovery and any swelling felt after exercise.
4. I’m recovering from an injury. Will I still need exercise and rehab with the knee brace?
If ever you were injured and require a knee brace, you should follow doctor’s orders and follow any prescribed exercise or therapies. Knee braces aren’t the ultimate cure for you to begin running again, but an accessory to your recovery.
Continue to follow your therapy and exercises for full recovery so you’re able to run even faster and longer. Even after you’ve recovered, stretching and proper exercises can help strengthen your joints and prevent the injury from happening again.
5. How do I use my knee brace when running?
To use your knee brace, follow these tips:
- Wear your knee brace properly, worn directly next to your skin. If you want to avoid skin irritation and perspiration, you can wear a wrinkle-free and fitted cotton sleeve
- Tighten it enough to feel compression and support, but not to the point it prevents healthy blood circulation. Stretch and run, as usual, adjusting the knee brace as necessary
- After your run, check your skin after wearing it to see if there is redness, irritation, or pain experienced. If so, you may need to adjust the tightness of your brace next time, or to either look into using a sleeve underneath or change the knee brace with safer material for your skin
Do you want to learn more about using quality knee braces for your runs properly? Check out this informative video:
Wrapping It Up
As you continue running, you may need to improve the support on your lower body. With the best knee brace for running, you won’t have to worry about any existing injuries, and you can even prevent them from happening. As long as you know what knee brace is best for you, then you can enjoy its excellent benefits.
Of all the different knee braces tried and tested, the best one will have to go to the Vive Knee Ice Pack Wrap. This knee brace is perfect for post-runs, helping with knee pain relief after runs or when suffering from running injuries. With its hot or cold therapy, you’ll feel more relieved and ready for your next runs.
I hope that my purchasing guide on the best knee brace for running gave you an idea of what to invest in. So don’t wait any longer and make the right decision for your knees now!
Do you have any questions or want to share your tips and experiences on the best knee brace for running? Share your comments below, all your thoughts are much appreciated!