As a runner, your knee experiences a lot of pressure which left unchecked may lead to knee pain. It is estimated that your knees experience five times your body weight when you are running. This continued pressure on the knees can tear ligaments, damage cartilage, and lead to injury and knee pain. Fortunately, getting the best knee braces for running can significantly reduce the chances of developing knee injury or even knee soreness.
Should you wear knee braces while running?
While some people see knee braces as uncomfortable and bulky, the truth is that it has numerous benefits. Running has it benefits such as making the heart strong, knee braces negate the negative effects of running. The advancement in knee braces technology has led to a new breed of lightweight, easy to wear braces that are less intrusive. The benefits of knee braces include;
a)Increases blood flow- Knee braces compresses the knee leading to more blood flow in the knee which prevents knee swelling and pain even after intense workouts.
b)Reduces risk of a knee injury- Knee braces restricts the movement of the knee to forward and backward only which prevents injuries such as knee twisting, ligament tearing, and patella dislocation.
c)Helps runners with pre-existing conditions- Knee braces is beneficial for runners with arthritis, dislocated patella, meniscus injury, PCL, MCL, and ACL. It lessens pain associated with arthritis by reducing the weight impact on knees. It keeps the patella in place for those with dislocated patella. You can, therefore, run without fear of re-injuring yourself and having to deal with excruciating pain.
Which Type of Knee Brace is best for Running?
There are several brands and types of knee braces. Each brand has its advantages and disadvantages. The main types of knee braces are:
a)Neoprene Brace- Neoprene is known for its insulating properties hence helps in warming muscles and joints while running. Apart from warming, it also provides compression that minimizes swelling and pain by increasing blood flow. It is elastic and conforms to the knee structure while applying slight pressure.
b)Hinged knee brace- This type of brace is rigid hence provides more support while lessening mobility. It is ideal for people with severe knee injuries and needs more stabilization and support. If you have just had a knee surgery, or suffering from ligament tear, PCL, MCL or ACL, then this is the ideal brace for you.
c)Patella stabilizing brace- Just as the name suggests, this brace supports the patella by holding it in place. It, therefore, prevents further injury, swelling and pain while running. It also compresses patellar tendon hence reducing pain associated with tendonitis.
d)Arthritis knee brace- This is a specialized knee brace made for people suffering from arthritis. It minimizes the contact between bones that increases with arthritis hence less pain while running. The brace compression reduces swelling and soreness caused by arthritis.
How do you choose the Best Knee Braces for Running?
There are important factors that you should consider when buying the right knee brace. The knee brace you buy should be in line with your needs and what you intend to achieve with the brace. These factors are:
i)Mobility- If you have a pre-existing condition such as arthritis or injury, a knee brace that minimizes movement of the knee is a good choice. If you want full mobility, an open patella knee brace, knee bands and tape are great options.
ii)The level of support and compression- The level of support and compression depends on the intensity of your running. Knee braces can either have fixed or adjustable compression. Adjustable knee braces allow you to set the level of compression depending on the intensity of the workout.
iii)Knee Brace Material and Breathability- You should go for a knee brace that is made of a durable material but offers you maximum breathability. A perforated knee brace ensures that knee gets maximum amount of air. The knee brace should be lightweight for non-intrusive running.
iv)Pricing- The price of knee braces range from ten to hundreds of dollars. Specialized knee braces are more expensive but designed to meet your specific needs. Set aside the amount of money you are willing to spend and choose the best knee brace within your budget.
Now that you can differentiate the different types of knee braces and the factors that are essential for selecting a knee brace, it is time to choose the best knee brace that best suits you. We have a mixture of different types of knee braces to give a wide choice. The Top 10 Best Knee Braces for Running in 2018 are:
10.Exous Knee Brace Support Protector
Exous Knee Brace is designed to offer you maximum support especially if you have knee complications such as patella dislocation and arthritis. The knee brace has four Velcro straps that hold it place even when one is running. It perfectly fits without causing you any irritation. You can squat with the brace on thanks to its built-in gap behind the knee. The inner lycra lining wicks away sweat making you comfortable throughout the running session. The knee brace is lightweight and flexible.
i)The knee brace has metallic support on the side for maximum lateral support hence ideal for people with arthritis
ii)The four Velcro straps hold the brace in place even during running sessions
iii)It is easy to put on and take it off
i)The Velcro straps wear out after prolonged use—normal wear and tear.
9.Crescendo Athletics Knee Sleeve
Crescendo Knee Sleeve has a smooth design that allows it to be worn underneath your sports gear. It is open patella knee brace that means that you have free knee movement. The knee brace is made of 4mm thick neoprene which offers maximum support without exerting too much pressure. It is perfect for intense running workouts and other activities that can strain your knee. The brace is durable and breathable. It is available in different sizes.
i)Made of flexible neoprene material that is breathable
ii)Has patella opening which allows maximum movement of the knee
iii)It is cost effective
i)It takes a little more time to wear and take off.
8.TuffBrace Athletics Knee Brace and Support
TuffBrace Brace is a high quality and versatile knee brace available at a phenomenal price. The knee brace is made of thin, perforated, malleable neoprene for breathability and comfort. The brace has Velcro straps, and you can adjust them so that you achieve the required level of compression. The knee brace can be used by people with arthritis and patella dislocation for padding, stability and minimizing pain associated with this conditions. The open patella design gives a free knee movement while running. You can wear the knee brace on either knee with much ease.
i)It is available in two sizes each adjustable for perfect fit
ii)The open patella design ensures full range knee movement
iii)It offers you maximum support to prevent new knee injuries and minimizing the pain of existing injuries.
i)The Velcro straps wear out after prolonged use
7.Yosoo Adjustable Neoprene Knee Support Brace
Yosoo Knee Braces feature fully adjustable Velcro straps to fit into most knees—to be precise 11.8”-19.6” circumference. You can also adjust the compression so that you get the right compression for the knee and allowance for running and bending. The brace material is a blend of neoprene which makes it durable. It is also breathable and can wick away sweat thus preventing skin irritation. The brace does not slip even during rigorous workouts. The lateral and patella stabilizers offer maximum support.
i)The knee brace is breathable and wicks away sweat
ii)It provides lateral and patella support for rigorous workouts
iii)Comfortable to wear for long workout sessions
i)It has a rather strong odor out of the bag but clears away after some time
6.Mueller Patella Stabilizer Knee Brace
Mueller Patella Stabilizer Knee Brace is the best knee brace for dislocated patella. The straps hold the patella in place, therefore, alleviating pain and swelling associated to with dislocation. The brace is well cushioned for maximum comfort while the Velcro straps ensure that the brace gives you a customizable level of compression. The brace is seamless hence there is no risk of chafing even under extreme running
i) The knee brace is ideal for people having patella dislocation
ii)It offers maximum support while remaining comfortable.
iii)It is durable, and you can use it for a long time
i)It is a bit costly but considering it is a specialized knee brace it is worth the cost.
5.McDavid Reversible Neoprene Knee Support
McDavid Reversible Neoprene Knee is one of the cheap knee braces in this list. The brace is made of neoprene which makes it ideal for people who want to prevent knee injuries while running. The sleeve conforms to knee hence giving you maximum support without compromising on comfort. It is a standard knee support and may not provide adequate support for people with dislocated patella and arthritis. However, it is effective in preventing swelling and soreness associated with running.
i)The brace can be worn on either knee
ii)The outer material is made of sturdy nylon material for durability
iii)It is very affordable
i) Since the knee support lacks Velcro straps, it may slide down a bit when you sweat.
4.Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Brace
If you are looking for knee braces that won’t bother you about knowing the right size, Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Brace is the best choice for you. Its Velcro straps ensure that you can adjust it to fit you perfectly. It has an open patella design for extra free movement without compromising on support and muscle compression. The brace does slip even when during intense running workout thanks to its silicon strips. Jump to shower with the brace as it is waterproof due to its 80 percent neoprene composition. The knee brace is ideal for people who want to avoid knee injuries and those who have Arthritis, Meniscus tear, ACL tear and other knee injuries.
i)It is waterproof and no need to take it off when washing the excess sweat
ii)The brace is durable
iii)It is adjustable hence you can buy it without having to worry if it will fit you
i)People with large knees find it challenging to close the middle strap
3.Knee Brace Support by Winzone
Knee Brace Support by Winzone is the most durable knee brace in this list. It has a life span of up to three years. It made of 100 percent neoprene material and sewn with no exposed seams. This knee brace combines durability and comfort. It is a high-performance knee brace ideal for long distance athletes. It can also be worn by people suffering from arthritis so that it takes pressure off the knee joints. The knee brace is breathable hence you can run for long without your knee feeling hot. It has side and front stabilizers for maximum support hence you can run without injuring your knee.
i)It is very durable and has a long lifespan
ii)The fabric is breathable for maximum aeration of the knee
iii)Offers both side and lateral support
i)It is a bit costly but gives you value for money
2.EzyFit Knee Brace Support Dual Stabilizers
EzyFit Knee Brace comes second in our list due its durability and quality. It stays in place throughout your workout to offer you effective support. The open patella design gives you free movement of the knee while running. The edges are round and double-stitched for durability and comfort. The material is a perfect blend of neoprene, polyester, and nylon for breathability and to form a perfect bond with Velcro straps. The silicon strips hold the knee brace without exerting too much pressure.
i)The knee brace is of high quality and durable
ii)It is easy to wash and maintain
iii)Can fit on either leg
i)It is a bit small and may not fit people with knees having a diameter of more than 24 inches.
1.Bracoo Breathable Neoprene Knee Support Sleeve
Top on our list is the Bracoo Knee Support Sleeve. The knee brace ranks on position due to its innovative design. We like the padded open patella design that relieves stress in the knee while stabilizer that prevents dislocation of the patella. You can choose the most suitable compression by adjusting the 3 strap closure. The knee brace is versatile in that it can be worn by people with arthritis, ACL, PCL, MCL and prevention of injury during intense workouts. The material used is breathable but still retains heat for quicker recovery.
i) The knee sleeve brace offers maximum support even in intense workouts
ii)It is made of neoprene that is elastic and breathable
iii)The patella area is open, and the side padded to prevent patella dislocation
i)No machine wash but easy to hand wash
The list above is comprehensive and feature only the best knee braces in the market. Get yourself one so that you can continue running without the fear of damaging your knees. If you got injured, this knee braces allows you to go back running by giving you support to absorb the extra stress on the knees without fear of re-occurrence of the injury