10 Best Knee Braces | March 2017

We spent 28 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Don't let arthritis, inflammation or an injury slow you down. The additional support you get from one of these knee braces will let you go about your day while protecting the damaged or vulnerable area. We've included models specifically designed to protect as well as those that are lightweight and flexible enough to let you continue your fitness regimen or favorite sports. Skip to the best knee brace on Amazon.
10 Best Knee Braces | March 2017

Overall Rank: 2
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 9
Best Inexpensive
The Neo G 894 offers a dual-sided, two-point geared hinge system that helps to control both flexion and extension movements, while also assisting with strains, sprains, instability, and patella tracking problems. Unfortunately, the Velcro isn't very durable.
Decent for both college and professional athletes, the McDavid 6446 is made from a combination of 80% nylon and 20% spandex, and comes in an extended length to prevent cuts and scratches. Also, its fabric easily wicks moisture away from the skin.
Constructed from incredibly durable and high-performance elastic fabric, the CopperJoint Knee Brace is designed for constant use and offers the ability to reshape perfectly after each removal. Its natural cooling effect also prevents excess sweating during heavy exercise.
Unlike some of its competition, the Crescendo Athletics knee brace combines the value of superior compression technology with flat-seam stitching to eliminate potential chafing, improve comfort, and promote increased blood flow at sore joint areas to warm your pain away.
  • will not rip or tear
  • looks discreet under clothing
  • it's a bit pricey
Brand Crescendo Athletics
Model pending
Weight pending
Relieve pain and improve your mobility using the Motion Infiniti Premium, thanks to its superior grip with reinforced stitching and dependable neoprene construction, which gives you reliable support during a variety of physical activities. Unfortunately, it's rather short.
  • 4 built-in metal springs
  • anti-microbial treated fabric
  • adjusting the brace is a bit cumbersome
Brand Motion Infiniti
Model pending
Weight pending
Serious athletes trust the distinctive Rehband 7051 when participating in athletic competitions or trying to speed along a knee's recovery from injury. It provides a flexible design and a strong, royal blue fabric that's relatively easy to put on and to keep clean.
  • provides warmth for stiff muscles
  • designed in sweden and made in estonia
  • inner seam is a bit coarse/uncomfortable
Brand Rehband
Model 7051
Weight 8 ounces
Keep your knee supported without feeling restricted using the Winzone Knee Protector. Its dual side stabilizers offer relatively dependable protection against injury, while the brace itself is easily adjustable to fit a variety of sizes. However, it's on the narrow side.
  • straps on quickly and easily
  • stays on securely without slipping
  • fabric is a bit thin
Brand Winzone
Model pending
Weight 4.8 ounces
The Bauerfeind Sports knee brace features an anatomically-contoured pad that surrounds your entire kneecap. The pad's knitted fabric helps to massage both your connective tissue and muscles, while dispersing excess pressure and improving the stability of your joints.
  • lateral wings deliver targeted stimuli
  • lightweight and sturdy construction
  • moisture-wicking and washable design
Brand Bauerfeind
Model pending
Weight 10.6 ounces
Ideal for weightlifting, crossfit training, and other heavy fitness activities, these Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves will provide you with the support you need for a superior workout. Made from premium-quality neoprene, their ergonomic design makes them super easy to use.
  • perfect for squatting exercises
  • 1-year replacement guarantee
  • heavy-duty, reinforced stitching
Brand Nordic Lifting
Model pending
Weight 12 ounces
The BioSkin Gladiator has an offset, durable 15-inch hinge that is built to reduce excess pressure right at the knee joint for a comfortable fit. Its rigid strapping system also limits painful movement and twisting, while its Visco gel ring regulates pain and swelling.
  • front closure for easy application
  • hypo-allergenic design
  • protects against ligament damage
Brand BioSkin
Model pending
Weight 1.4 pounds

The Vulnerable, Venerable Knee

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to defend yourself physically against a much larger opponent, there are a few incredibly vulnerable places for you to attack before they get the better of you with sheer size. In a lot of self-defense training methods, you'll quickly learn to identify and attack these targets, which include the knees.

Knees are so susceptible to injury primarily because of their complexity. It's that very complexity, of course, that makes them such a useful aspect of our anatomy, allowing us to jump significant heights, to pivot, juke, doge, duck, crawl, and even to use them as weapons themselves. But in order for a single joint to have that much strength and flexibility, it has to contain a handful of ligaments.

The majority of knee injuries occur when one or more of the four larger ligaments of the knee joint tears. If you've seen it happen to someone, you know how gruesome it is. If it's happened to you, you know how painful it is. Other injuries can include the sensitive alignment of your kneecap and its ligaments, as well as avulsion fractures to the bottom of your femur or the tops of your shin bones. A lot of the time, a significant injury to your knee will require surgery for a proper healing process.

Whether or not you need surgery, immobilizing and compressing your knee as much as possible is often the most effective, and always the most prudent initial treatment. For this, we turn to a good quality knee brace, as they are each intended to provide stability and compression to an injured area. That compression will help prevent a buildup of fluids, the removal of which often results in a surgery of its own.

Immobilization is vital for the prevention of further injury. Those four primary knee ligaments, the ACL, MCL, PCL, and LCL all work together to provide stability. When one or more is injured, it's very easy for you to unintentionally flex your knee in a direction that it isn't designed to flex, further damaging already torn tissue. By reducing the articulation of the knee from without, you protect yourself against such additional injury.

Brace Yourself

Selecting a brace for any injury will depend heavily on the severity of the injury at hand, or at knee, as it were. Your doctor may well have a specific recommendation for you, and far be it for us to fly in the face of modern medicine and all its achievements. It is worth remembering, however cynically, that a lot of doctors have relationships with pharmaceutical manufacturers as well as sports medicine companies, and that their recommendation might be affected by this relationship.

So, it falls to you to do a little bit of critical thinking when comparing the knee braces on our list with each other, as well as with anything you may have had suggested to you. We think you'll find our recommendations in line with those of top doctors, if not exceeding them.

The first thing to contend with is the degree to which you need to stabilize your knee. For minor hyper-extensions, which usually only result in the smallest tears to a single ligament, the simpler knee braces on our list would suffice. As the complexity and severity of your injury increases, so too should the apparent complexity of your brace increase.

For the most severe injuries, look for a knee brace with a number of straps above and below the knee cap, as these will be the most effective in providing stability and inhibiting movement. The straps also allow you to adjust the tightness of the brace for maximum comfort.

On a comfort note, it's also worth investigating whether you have any physical aversion to certain medical materials. Most of the braces on our list are made from hypoallergenic materials like treated cotton or neoprene, but that doesn't mean you won't find one material more comfortable for your skin than another.

The Xanadu Papyrus

It doesn't deal with knees specifically, but the oldest medical text to describe the immobilization of a joint with some kind of brace dates back to roughly 1600 BCE. The ancient Egyptian discovery is named for the man who found it, an explorer and anthropologist named Edwin Smith.

The Edwin Smith Papyrus is widely believed to have been a scholarly exercise cut off before its midpoint. In all likelihood, a medical scholar sat copying the information from a known medical text for study purposes when, like Coleridge composing Kubla Kahn, something called him away from his task. As such, his descriptions of various injuries and their recommended treatments, beginning with injuries to the head and working downward, cut off at around mid-torso.

In the intervening years, we've learned a thing or two about human anatomy and physiology, owing in no small part to individuals willing to dissect dead bodies in the name of medical science, often against the will of their governments. In more recent years, MRI technology and computer imaging, as well as 3-D printing, have allowed manufacturers to research and create medical and athletic braces like the ones on our list, which represent the pinnacle of our anatomical understanding.

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Last updated: 03/24/2017 | Authorship Information