The 10 Best Shoulder Braces

Updated April 06, 2018 by Quincy Miller

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We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you've got a bum shoulder, these braces can help support your joints, taking the strain off and enabling you to perform your day-to-day tasks with less pain and discomfort. There are options here for everything from restricting movement to allowing total range of motion, as well as those designed to offer snug compression or to hold ice packs in place. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best shoulder brace on Amazon.

10. Neo G

The Neo G is easy to adjust and comfortable enough for long-term wear, so it's perfect for rehabbing both chronic and acute issues. It's budget-friendly as well, making it a good starter model for anyone skeptical that a brace might help their specific problem.
  • one size fits most
  • tends to trap sweat and odors
  • better models available for women
Brand Neo-G
Model 3872355.0
Weight 8.5 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Zamst Wrap

The Zamst Wrap is extremely easy to put on without assistance, and not only stabilizes, but also provides compression to your rotator cuff muscles. It rides high on your chest, so women may find it more comfortable than other models whose straps cut across the sternum.
  • well-ventilated for summer wear
  • quickly wicks away perspiration
  • not useful for pain relief
Brand Zamst
Model 474801-P
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. MedX Wrap

This MedX Wrap doesn't have many bells and whistles, as far as those exist for shoulder braces, but it will help restrict movement while holding hot or cold packs in place. It's a good temporary solution for users awaiting surgery or recovering from it.
  • excellent for sprains
  • perfect for targeted relief
  • you might need help putting it on
Brand MedX
Model pending
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. EVS Sports SB03

The EVS Sports SB03 is suitable for all levels of athlete, from the college or professional ball player to the casual golfer who overextended on a swing. It has an X-strap technology system that prevents it from sliding around, and comes in five size options.
  • adjustable motion restriction
  • won't cause underarm chafing
  • velcro tends to lose stickiness
Brand EVS Sports
Model SB03BK-L
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Bauerfeind OmoTrain

Made from a lightweight knit fabric, the Bauerfeind OmoTrain can be worn under your business clothes without causing excessive sweating, making it a great choice for weekend warriors who still have to put their best foot forward in a corporate setting.
  • promotes natural movement
  • firmly anchored at both ends
  • not ideal for larger users
Brand Bauerfeind
Model 11071702080003
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

5. Saunders Sully

The Saunders Sully has a form-fitting design that contours nicely to your body, offering controlled movement as you go about your daily business. The fit can be adjusted by a Velcro strap that can attach at any point and in any direction.
  • good for rotator cuff injuries
  • suitable for post-operation use
  • stitching could be more durable
Brand Saunders
Model DJ141SW02
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

4. Babo Care

Made of lightweight, breathable Neoprene, this option from Babo Care has a pouch to store an ice pack, helping to reduce inflammation and speed the healing process. It's adjustable as well, so it can do everything from provide support to completely restrict mobility.
  • easy to put on by yourself
  • can be worn over or under clothes
  • very strong velcro straps
Brand Babo Care
Model pending
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Leatt Brace

It's not reversible, but if you have problems with frequent dislocations, this Leatt Brace is great at keeping your joint in the socket. It puts gentle, but constant, backwards pressure on the shoulder, ensuring that nothing pops out during everyday activities.
  • excellent for wearing under jerseys
  • comfortable for all-day wear
  • good for chronic issues
Brand Leatt Brace
Model 5015800111
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. NatraCure Compression

NatraCure Compression has an inflatable pad that can be used to hold an ice or heat pack in place while gently constricting the affected area, giving you a double whammy of healing. It's a bit bulky for everyday use, but it can do wonders for your joints.
  • machine-washable fabric
  • supports from all angles
  • provides ample coverage
Brand NatraCure
Model pending
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Simpliostore Support Sleeve

Ligament damage sufferers will want this Simpliostore Support Sleeve, as it's great for holding your arm up and supporting the joint, even when you can't do it yourself. The straps criss-cross to provide complete and uniform reinforcement to the entire area.
  • helps teach proper alignment
  • good for frozen shoulder pain
  • comes with a helpful ebook
Brand Simpliostore
Model pending
Weight 7.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

A Shoulder On Ice

I almost made it to thirty-years-old before ever breaking a bone. I wasn't careful; I was lucky. I did, over the course of all that time, encounter my fair share of sprains. I sprained my ankles about a dozen times, my wrists here and there, my knees once in a while, and my elbows quite a bit, as well.

The worst sprain I endured was a shoulder sprain. I've been an ice hockey player since I was four, and that's a sport that comes with a lot of injuries. I'd had a little rivalry going with a guy in one of my recreational leagues, and he decided – rather than drop the gloves and fight me (which is totally legal in hockey, by the way) – that he would do the dirtiest thing you can do to another player: he hit me from behind.

My shoulder and my neck crashed into the junction of the boards and the ice with the full weight of my body at about 20 mph. I tore two of the three major tendons in my shoulder about 85% each, just tempered enough not to require surgery. That saved me a big medical expense, bit the recovery without surgical intervention ended up being much longer.

I was laid up with instructions to keep my shoulder in a brace for the better part of two months, and the braces I tried worked more or less the same as any other I'd used on previous injuries.

A brace works primarily as an immobilizer. Torn muscle and tendon tissues will heal much faster if you don't subject them to a lot of use, so having a little help to keep things still can mean the difference between a six week recovery and a six month recovery.

What's more pressing is that re-injury during the healing process can build up masses of scar tissue that might put pressure on nearby nerves or prevent you from ever regaining full mobility in the joint. A good brace will prevent this by fixing your injured shoulder to a healthy position for a given injury, and, in some cases, by aiding the healing process by compression, cooling, or even magnetic resonance.

Depending On the Tendon

There are a lot of ways you might injure your shoulder, and fitting a corresponding brace to your injury is the first step in determining which of the braces on this list will be the most helpful in your healing. The more advanced braces on our list have enough adjustment options that you could use them to target almost any shoulder injury, but some of our options are a bit more specific in their design.

Take, for example, shoulder braces that use the offset shoulder as a leverage point for bracing. These appear to symmetrically stretch across the back and wrap around both shoulders at the same time. They are ideal for shoulder injuries related to your posture, or injuries to the anterior portion of your coracoacromial ligament.

In the case of my hockey injury above, I tore into the posterior section of my coracoacromial ligament as well as my supraspinatus tendon. The symmetrical leverage braces wouldn't necessarily have hurt my healing process, as they still would have partially immobilized the joint, but there was a risk that if the ligament repaired itself in a compressed position (like the one such a brace would have created), I might have lost some forward mobility.

Instead, I turned to the types of braces that elicit in their users the sense that they've become bionic. They strap below the opposite shoulder, and are immensely adjustable, so you can find a comfortable position in which to immobilize your injured shoulder that will promote the most thorough healing.

Some braces offer additional treatment variables, like cooling systems or magnets. After a certain point in the healing process, cooling is no longer necessary, so this kind of feature is only really useful for people with chronic shoulder problems who require frequent immobilization and relief for pain and swelling.

Immobilized For Millennia

Ancient Egyptian tombs and burial sites tell fascinating stories about the medical histories of their inhabitants. You can see once-broken bones that must surely have been set to achieve such a clean healing, as well as some pieces of ancient splints in the tombs with them. This evidence dates back to roughly 2465 BCE, and clearly shows how deeply an understanding of immobilization went with ancient man.

Almost 1,000 years later, a papyrus text was written by an unknown Egyptian medical scholar. The scroll, dubbed the Edwin Smith Papyrus after the famous Egyptologist, Edwin Smith, details several medical procedures from the top of the head on down, with occasional reference to the importance of immobilization.

Later, in a painting found in another Egyptian tomb dated to 1300 BCE, we clearly see a technique illustrated toward the reduction of a dislocated shoulder. Presumably ignorant of this painting, Swiss physician Emil Theodore Kocher would present a similar technique to the medical world some 3,200 years later.

While we have undeniably come extremely far in a great many fields of medicine, and as computer technology has mapped out our healing processes to excruciating detail, it's humbling to take a look at human medical knowledge from nearly 5,000 years ago and see the same tried and true techniques we practice today.

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Last updated on April 06, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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