The 10 Best Knee Braces

Updated November 24, 2017 by Melissa Harr

10 Best Knee Braces
Best High-End
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Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 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 stability 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 supports specifically designed to shield as well as those that are lightweight and flexible enough to let you continue your fitness regimen or favorite sports. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best knee brace on Amazon.

10. Bio Skin Gladiator

The Bio Skin Gladiator has a robust 15-inch-motion hinge that's built to reduce excess pressure for an agreeable fit. Great for rehabilitation, its rigid strapping system limits movement and twisting, while its visco gel ring regulates pain and swelling of the patella.
  • front closure for easy on and off
  • hypoallergenic design
  • pricier than other options
Brand BioSkin
Model pending
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Neo G Hinged Open Knee Support

The Neo G Hinged Open Knee Support 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. The Velcro isn't very durable, though.
  • universal size fits all
  • compatible with hot and cold therapy
  • stitching tends to unravel
Brand Neo-G
Model 3872314
Weight 14.9 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. McDavid 425

Offering greater protection than a sleeve, the McDavid 425 can take on minor ligament instabilities and pain. Its latex-free neoprene has been designed for therapeutic heat retention, and it accommodates either the left or right leg.
  • padded open buttress
  • perforated back panel
  • sizes run quite small
Brand McDavid
Model 425R
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. O2 Cold Therapy

Get release from swelling with the O2 Cold Therapy. The removable gel liner is no simple ice pack; put it in the brace, then use the air pump to help compress and conform it to your knee. It’ll give you an ultra-cool and quick pain-relief experience.
  • trouble-free cleaning
  • good for post-workout recovery
  • gel liner could be more hardwearing
Brand O2
Model LM-605
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Shock Doctor 875 Ultra

Vented neoprene, tempered aluminum stays, and bilateral support hinges combine to help the Shock Doctor 875 Ultra offer you maximum stability during healing. You’ll get long-lasting use thanks to the superior stitching assembly and Lycra binding.
  • finger tabs make using straps easy
  • wraps leg contours securely
  • hinges aren't well padded
Brand Shock Doctor
Model ulknee-siz
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Rehband 7051

Serious athletes trust the distinctive Rehband 7051 when participating in competitions or trying to speed along recovery from an injury. It provides a flexible form and a strong, royal blue fabric that's relatively easy to put on and to keep clean.
  • offers warmth for stiff muscles
  • first-rate swedish design
  • seams need better durability
Brand Rehband
Model 7051
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Bauerfeind GenuTrain

Breathable, washable, and created to prevent rolling at the top and bottom, the Bauerfeind GenuTrain has a 3-D knit design with a viscoelastic insert that offers lightweight support. This lets it protect your delicate joints without lessening your mobility.
  • made in germany
  • several colors available
  • some bunching behind the knee
Brand Bauerfeind
Model Knee Support
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves

Ideal for weightlifting and CrossFit training, these Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves will give you the reinforcement you need for a superior workout. They're made from premium-quality neoprene, and their ergonomic design promotes injury prevention and muscle recovery.
  • perfect for squatting exercises
  • 1-year replacement guarantee
  • heavy-duty stitching
Brand Nordic Lifting
Model KneeSleeves_L
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Winzone Knee Brace Support

Keep your knee secure without feeling restricted by using the Winzone Knee Brace Support. Its dual side stabilizers offer relatively dependable protection against injury, while the brace itself adjusts simply to fit a variety of sizes.
  • straps on without trouble
  • isn't prone to slipping
  • wear over or under clothing
Brand Winzone
Model pending
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve

If you’re tired of products that won’t stay in place, you might give the Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve a try. It’s got anti-slip silicone for grip, meaning you won’t need to continually readjust it during squats, yoga, gymnastics, or any other activities.
  • helps with jumper's knee
  • nylon and lycra blend
  • no uncomfortable bunching
Brand Ultra Flex Athletics
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

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, dodge, 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 on November 24, 2017 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.

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