An active lifestyle has undeniable health benefits.
Unfortunately, for some of the intense workouts such as running, it's all too easy to pick up an injury or experience discomfort, especially on your joints.
For most athletes, waking up to a swollen knee, knee injury, or knee pain is usually their biggest fear. Getting sidelined due to a knee injury is devastating, especially if you've been working to a weight-loss or fitness goal.
Fortunately, it’s possible to show your knees some TLC with the help of the best knee braces for running.
While they won't replace strength training and proper physical therapy when it comes to injury rehab, this fitness equipment can give your knees with an extra supportive boost.
However, not all knee braces are created equal, and each type has its level of usefulness and intended functionality.
To help you choose the right brace for your needs, we’ve outlined the top 5 knees braces for running in the market. We’ve also included a handy buying guide that will make your selection process easier.
This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and just need to know the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick!
Nylon and Spandex
Other Great Recommendations
Top 5 Knee Braces for Running in The Market for The Money
Bracoo Knee Support - Best for Athletes with Arthritis
Topping our list of the best knee braces for running is the Bracoo Knee Support.
It's an intriguing option for athletes with arthritis because of the compression support feature.
Features and Benefits
The Neoprene material on the Bracoo is tough, meaning this brace can withstand wear and tear that comes with the hard and strenuous running.
It also means it’s possible to use the Bracoo for much longer without the need for replacement, even in the adverse weather conditions.
More importantly, however, neoprene is waterproof, which helps injuries to heal faster.
During running, your body produces a lot of sweat, which might cause a "boiling" effect on the injury, therefore slowing down the healing process. The Neoprene, however, is water-resistant, so it keeps the injury dry, thus expediting the healing process.
The proprietary X-it strap securely wraps the contours of your knees to provide comfort and enhance stability during flex.
The X-Fit strap is specifically built for reducing the amount of force at the knee joint, which in turn prevents injuries, and enhances your workouts.
For better running performance, you need a stable and strong knee brace.
Fortunately, the bilateral hinges on the Bracoo Brace comfortably align with your knee's anatomy, which is crucial for achieving the perfect fit.
In particular, it’s quite a handy feature for the athletes with damaged ligaments as it increases stability and protection.
By partially leaving the kneecap uncovered, this knee brace provides plenty of flexibility, and comfort, even when used for extended periods.
The open patella design also has the added benefit of supporting the patella, while at the same time aligning your knee to the rest of the knee joint.
Easy to Clean
Bracoo knee brace is easy to clean. You can clean it either by hand or machine.
It also takes a short time to dry.
Generally, it’s easy to take care of this product.
- Great for healing and preventing injuries
- It’s uncomfortable during the first few days
Mueller Hg80 Hinged Sports Knee Brace - Ideal for those with sensitive Skin
Mueller Hg80 is a lightweight and comfortable hinged running brace designed to provide users with maximum medial, lateral support, and support for the weak and injured knees.
Features and Benefits
Design-Hinge Knee Brace
Typical of the hinged knee braces, the Mueller Hg80 features two supporting steel on both sides for security against the external forces.
The hinge knee design makes the Mueller Hg80 an inspired choice for the serious runners because it withstands relative contacts with hard surfaces and has an incredible weight-supporting function.
The HydraCinn fabric, a synthetic rubber option, delivers incredible flexion and compression, both of which are necessary for improved performance and comfort.
The material is also durable, though, with time, causes irritations on your skin due to the presence of chloroprene.
The presence of heat on a knee injury can exacerbate the growth of fungal infection.
With the Mueller Hg80, you don’t have to worry about this because the brace is preserved with the help of antimicrobial treatment.
The treatment controls the fungal and micro-organisms that may result in the deterioration of your knee injury.
At the same time, it saves you from the development of rashes and irritations.
The tri-axial hinge is probably the selling point of this knee brace.
This feature aligns your knee bones with the ligaments and joints. At the same time, it stabilizes your motion by fixing aligning the kneecaps through the small opening.
Quality Strapping System
Fit has always been a concern with many knee braces.
With this option, however, achieving fit is a cinch thanks to the strapping system, which is capable of covering all the prospective parts.
Additionally, the brace comes in five different sizes, so you can always find the right size, regardless of your size.
- Anti-bacterial properties
- Easy to use
- Not supportive enough for the big users
SB SOX Compression Knee Brace - Best for Pain Relief
Because of the weight they carry, it's easy for the knees to get tired and damaged easily. In most cases, the knees suffer from painful busts as you struggle to maintain the shape of your body.
The good news is, it’s easy to alleviate the pain from your knees with the use of SB SOX Braces.
This knee brace is designed to provide maximum support and protection of the knee, while at the same time ridding any instances of knee pain.
Features and Benefits
The starting point of a healing wound is the free flow of air, and so, a good knee brace should support a sufficient flow of air around the knee.
The nylon and spandex blend on the SB SOX Brace is highly breathable, allowing the free flow of air, which avoids the “boiling” effect on your knee and promotes faster wound healing.
Also, the fabric has moisture-wicking capabilities, which help to get rid of odor-causing bacteria.
The advanced compression technology on the SB SOX Brace boosts the blood circulation around the knees, which ensures there’s sufficient oxygen around the knee and the entire leg.
The technology also expedites the healing process, which ultimately enhances your overall performance.
Unlike the uncomfortable generic 3 strap knee braces that require over-tightening, the 4-way system on the SB SOX Brace provides a comfortable snug fit that won't shift even during the strenuous exercises.
At the same time, the straps provide enough support by ensuring your knee is aligned well with the rest of your foot.
Soothing and Frictionless
While running, your brace can shift, but with the SB SOX Brace, you don't have to stop to adjust the knee brace.
The silicone grip gel on the brace offers a soothing and frictionless fit, which provides a snug fit and ensures you don’t have to keep on shifting the brace.
The brace is also soft to the touch and won't result in the uncomfortable itching and irritation.
- Incredible compression
- Tends to lose shape with time
EXOUS Knee Brace Support Protector - Best for Knee Support
Without proper knee support, it’s easy for athletes to collapse during the strenuous training sessions.
EXOUS Knee Brace Support Protector, however, is designed to prevent that as it's strong enough to provide the much-needed knee support.
At the same time, it’s not rigid either, as it’s flexible to facilitate smooth movement.
Features and Benefits
Like the SB SOX we’ve reviewed above, this brace offers a comfortable snug fit that doesn’t shift during movement thanks to the 4-way system.
Uniquely, unlike other straps, the system on the EXOUS Knee Brace is supportive and ensures your knee is perfectly aligned with the rest of the foot.
Built-in Patella Bracing
Though EXOUS Knee Brace is not a full-patella design, the two adjustable cross straps function like the true patella by ensuring that the knee brace is securely fit and it doesn’t shift during the strenuous exercise.
Additionally, it provides the tracking and stabilization required to avoid the conditions associated with an inflamed or aggravated patella tendon.
A pair of flexible metal springs on both the lateral and medial sides of the EXOUS Knee Brace provides the much-needed lateral stabilization to the lateral ligaments and the overall knee.
This way, the knee brace provides a supportive element to the vulnerable and injured knees.
It also sets up users for a snug fit and a smooth finish that prevents any sharp straps from irritating your skin.
The 4-way strap leaves a 1cm open gap that makes the brace comfortable to move and bend the knee.
Considering that the straps on the brace will normally pile behind the knee, the opening is quite a functional feature as it improves on the overall flexibility, especially when bending or squatting.
The Velcro straps on the EXOUS Knee Brace ensure that the brace will not lose their shape due to extended use.
The straps are also crucial in the overall durability of the brace and can allow the brace to withstand the pressure that comes with the hard and strenuous activities.
- It pinches on the back occasionally
POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve - All-Around Brace
Powerlix Compression Brace is all–around brace suited for a variety of physical activities. It's not limited to running alone, but can also be used for basketball, powerlifting, football and much more
It has the most wonderful support and protection to the knee.
The fabric on this brace is also highly breathable and ensures that air passes through the brace without difficulties. This helps to keep your knees dry and keeps the odors away.
Features and Benefits
The synthetic fiber construction of the Powerlix Compression Brace promises long-lasting wear and support.
The material is a hard-wearing option and will survive even through the hardest of your running trails.
And as we had mentioned in the introduction, it's a breathable fabric that easily wicks away the moisture and keeps your knee free from any moisture and dampness.
The 4-way compression feature of this braces guarantees support and protection.
The design keeps your ligaments and bones aligned to the knees, and this way, you're less likely to suffer from bursts of pain.
Also, due to the ergonomic design, it supports a whole range of motion.
Smooth and Soft
The interior fabric of the Powerlix Compression Brace is smooth and soft to the touch, which is quite handy or those with sensitive skin as it prevents skin irritation and rashes.
Also, it offers quite a discreet approach, and when wearing it, you won't feel as if you've have anything on you.
- Wicks away moisture
- Doesn’t ill all knees
Best Knee Brace for Running Buying Guide
If you’re going to purchase a knee brace, you need to consider a few factors to help you with the selection of the best.
Here are some of the factors to consider;
Types of Knee Braces
The first thing to consider is the type of knee brace, which is largely influenced by the purpose, or rather what you need to achieve with the brace.
Here are the common types:
Rehabilitative Knee Braces: These braces are designed specifically for those recovering post-injury. They work by controlling the movement of the knees to protect the injured ligaments from further damage. They also allow swelling.
Unloader Knee Braces: These braces shift weight from a damaged section of the bone to the thigh. They “unload” the inner knee from any stress.
Prophylactic Knee Braces: These braces protect your knees from common injuries such as Medial Collateral Ligament, Posterior Cruciate Ligament, and ACL.
Functional Knee Braces: These are post-injury braces that aid in recovery.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Knee Brace
Compression is necessary for providing an extra level of support. Compression can also limit swelling due to an existing knee injury.
However, you should take care to ensure that the brace is not too tight as you’ll be losing circulation and too much compression may worsen tenderness and sensitivity.
Knee braces come with different levels of padding, and the right amount of padding will depend on the support you need and the activity your plan to do.
The more the padding, the greater the support, but it comes at the expense of flexibility.
For activities that require a lot of movement, you should look for a flexible knee brace.
To a larger extent, the material construction of your knee brace, similar to wraps for crossfit, determines the level of comfort.
If for example, you sweat a lot, you should consider getting a brace with breathable material, or one that can wick away sweat.
Also, if you’ve sensitive skin, you’re more likely to react to rougher fabrics, so you need to look for options that are flexible and soft to the touch.
A knee brace’s flexibility is a key indicator of how well it enhances your performance and improves your condition.
The level of flexibility is determined by your activity.
For runners, however, they will want to get moderate flexibility and support since too much or too low flexibility might restrict their movement.
A primary reason for compression braces is for better blood circulation, ultimately improving the performance and circulation.
Warmth, to some extent, affects the recovery, and the thicker gloves are preferred as they are warmer than the thin braces.
However, different runners have different priorities, and some won't prefer warmth.
Comfort is personal, as individuals have a varied opinion on what is comfort on a knee brace.
However, the ergonomics of a brace play a crucial role in the comfort level.
Fit is yet another factor that influences the comfort levels.
Ideally, you should find a knee brace that runs true to size and one that offers a form-fitting experience.
The market is filled with plenty of support and recovery option for runners.
However, the best knee braces are probably the best options; this equipment is non-invasive, inexpensive, yet highly functional.
When you find the right running brace, you can be assured of support, and depending on the brace type; you also get compression without sacrificing on your comfort.
Current Best Selling Knee Braces!
Can knee braces interfere with blood flow?
This depends on the size of the brace vs. the size of your knee. If the brace is too small, this means it will fit tight on your leg and, in turn, interfere with blood flow hence interfering with your running. All you need is to check the sizes available or get an elastic type that fits on various knees for easy running.
Will the knee brace interfere with a healing wound?
Most knee braces come from high-quality breathable fabric, which promotes the free flow of air. This keeps the wound free from the boiling effect when using the brace. This enables faster healing.
What is the essence of moisture-wicking capabilities on a brace?
Though not found on most knee braces, the moisture-wicking feature is essential in keeping your braces moisture-free and, in return, preventing the buildup of odor when using the knee brace for running. This will eliminate instances of bacteria and other infections.
What braces are suitable for my sensitive knees?
If your knees are sensitive, you'll need braces that come from smooth and soft fabric. This is because the rough materials are likely to react to your knees.