Best Knee Braces For Running in 2021

Natalie Cecconi
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If you have pain in your knee and you want to protect it while you run or you are a heavy runner or jogger then you should consider buying a knee brace that can offer support and protection while you’re on the move.

But what kind of knee brace should you buy?

Before you buy a knee brace you need to ensure that you know what the best knee braces for running are. Below I have selected the 3 best running knee braces available on the market today. These may suit your needs but if they don’t then you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Before we look at knee braces, take a look at our detailed buying guide below:

This is our quick guide on knee braces for running:

These products scored 4.9 out of 5 stars.

I have personally used these, they are very good knee supports. Reviewers who tried these have praised their durability. If you want the best knee braces for running, this brand is for you.

For the same price, there are super lightweight knee supports from McDavid that I have also used. Because of their high quality fabric with mesh paneling, they are extremely breathable, which makes them great for long delay running. They also feature 3 different adjustable straps that provide fantastic support for helping with all knee injuries.

NameCategoryProduct
Bauerfeind Sports Knee SupportBest OverallBauerfeind Sports Knee Support
OS1st PS3 Performance Patella SleeveBudget PickOS1st PS3 Performance Patella Sleeve
Zamst IW 1 Knee/Elbow Icing SetUpgrade PickZamst IW 1 Knee/Elbow Icing Set

1. Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support

Our rating: 9 / 10

Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support

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For Crossfit, Running and Hiking.

If you’re specifically looking for a knee brace for running, you’ll want to check out the Bauerfeind model. This knee brace uses an air mesh padding that feels comfortable and breathable. It also comes with an adjustable Velcro strap.

One thing you’ll notice about this brace is that it doesn’t use compression – rather, it uses stitching to secure the tissues around the knee joint, so it feels more rigid and motionless.

2. OS1st KS7 Performance Knee Sleeve

Our rating: 8 / 10

OS1st KS7 Performance Knee Sleeve

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Pros:

  • Breathable, stretchy material allows for a more comfortable fit
  • High quality, durable construction
  • Provides compression and support
  • Easy to wear under clothing
  • Recovery sleeves
  • Multiple sizes to choose from
  • Lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects
  • Good price for the quality and design
  • One of the more popular brands you can find
  • Great reviews

Cons:

  • Some concerns of wear and tear resulting in tears
  • Some users have reported the shape of the pad is uncomfortable
  • High risk of being too tight for some
  • Sensitive users report that the presence of rubber caused chafing

Blending the latest developments in athletic compression materials and movement control, the KS7 performance knee sleeves from Os1st are designed to provide excellent support for athletes, weekend warriors, and anyone else who wants to prevent prevent injuries while also warding off post-injury aches and pains.

Built and designed to aid athletes of all runs of life, these sleeves compress and support muscles which reduces pain and risk of body aches.

They are available in a range of sizes, but they must be ordered online. To try them on for size, wrap them around an object that you can measure against.

3. Pro-Tec Athletics IT Band Compression Wrap

Our rating: 8 / 10

Pro-Tec Athletics IT Band Compression Wrap

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Pros:

  • Don’t slide or bunch up during movement
  • Provides effective compression and support
  • Excellent value for money
  • Breathable and comfortable material
  • Travel friendly

Cons:

  • Offers little support for sprained/ torn ligaments or muscles
  • The plastic clips on the strap can break if you bend them too much

Over the years we have tested out quite a few knee braces and wraps. It is interesting to see how products change over time and we can surely say that there are a lot of things that we like about the Pro-Tec Athletics IT Band Compression wraps.

This brace is made with a lightweight material that is stretchy and breathable to the touch. It is unique because it comes with a low profile design which means you will not feel as if it is restricting your movement or bouncing around once you start using it. This knee brace is ideal for mild to moderate knee pain so it is not suitable for very serious injuries.

If you’re looking for a good compression wrap that does the job well and doesn’t give you pinching or rubbing sensations then this brace is for you. It is very affordable as well so it comes at a great value for money.

4. Zamst JK-1 Knee Brace

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zamst JK-1 Knee Brace

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Pros:

  • The knee wrap design provides extra support for pronation
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Front and back Velcro for adjustments
  • Can be worn on either knee
  • Can be worn under your clothing
  • Available in three sizes
  • Available in three colors
  • Quick shipping, delivered in 3-5 days
  • Excellent customer service

This knee support braces from Zamst are made from neoprene and polyester. It features a double strap design with Velcro closure for easy on-and-off application. The brace straps perfectly and has a very durable construction. It comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large so you are sure to find one that fits you correctly.

We liked the overall design of the straps. Each strap has two Velcro closure points, which provides even more adjustments when needed. The design of the straps allow for a close-to-body fit while still providing optimal support when you’re on the go.

The brace is ideal for running, cross-training, or other physical activities where the knee is exposed to heavy impact. It can also be worn while doing daily activities.

5. Zensah Compression Knee Sleeve

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zensah Compression Knee Sleeve

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Pros:

  • They don’t bounce around when running
  • Compression knee sleeves are highly recommended for varicose vein treatment and prevention
  • Great price and value
  • Length is perfect for covering the knee without too much extra material dangling
  • Really it’s like wearing a comfortable thin pair of knee-high socks

Cons:

  • They’re not completely odorless
  • They’re not entirely soft and flexible either, as other reviewers have suggested

Alignment, Durable Moisture Wicking Compression Octopus Sleeve for Running, Jogging, Basketball.

In today’s world, it seems like everything from food, to electronics and even currencies are being digitized.

But one asset class that has stayed strong in the midst of this change is precious metals – gold and silver.

6. Pro-Tec Gel-Force Knee Support

Our rating: 8 / 10

Pro-Tec Gel-Force Knee Support

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Pros:

  • Very affordable price
  • Available in several sizes
  • Gel sleeve features a firm compression to reduce the potential for injury
  • Breathable mesh fabric

Cons:

  • The front Velcro closure strap may cause irritation
  • Sizing instructions are hard to interpret

Black.

The Pro-Tec Gel-Force Knee Support is a low cost knee brace which will provide you with the support required to prevent strain and injury to the knee area. It is made up of a Gel sleeve with two hook and loop straps. It has a breathable mesh fabric and an adjustable Velcro closure strap.

The Pro-Tec gel forcer knee support offers firm compression to give you the optimum protection against injury.

7. McDavid Knee Ice Wrap

Our rating: 7 / 10

McDavid Knee Ice Wrap

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Pros:

  • Great value for the price
  • Has elastic straps for compression
  • Breathable material, so you won’t feel sweaty while using it
  • Great for people who want to apply ice instantly
  • Can be used for many purposes like shin pain, knee pain, ankle pain, back pain, and knee pain

Large.

McDavid Knee Ice Wrap is an ideal product to be applied to the affected areas like knees, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. Applying it externally helps to decrease the pain, swelling, soreness, and discoloring of the joints.

It comes with three Velcro closures and an inner elastic wrap to provide adequate compression. The inner ice pack is reusable and can be reused after being fully frozen. It can also be kept in the free zippered bag. It also requires you to remove the inner pad before you put the rest of the wrap.

8. Pro-Tec Athletics Knee Patellar Tendon Strap

Our rating: 7 / 10

Pro-Tec Athletics Knee Patellar Tendon Strap

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Pros:

  • Sturdy construction
  • Adjustable straps
  • Comfortable and sturdy

Cons:

  • Some users get blisters from the straps
  • The straps don’t always stay in place

Many athletes who play sports want to improve their performance by getting rid of their knee injuries. And to get rid of those ailments, many people opt to buy expensive physical therapy sessions.

However, there’s an easier, and sometimes cheaper way of treating these knee conditions: a knee brace. Although knee braces are mainly used for prevention and rehabilitation, you can actually make use of it even if you’re not having any knee problems.

The Pro-Tec Athletics Knee Patellar Tendon Strap does an excellent job of stabilizing the knee by improving the power and stability of your legs. It is a simple and easy-to-use device, so it’s literally a wrap-and-go type of item.

9. Cw-x Women's Stabilyx Joint Support Compression Knee Sleeve

Our rating: 7 / 10

Cw-x Women's Stabilyx Joint Support Compression Knee Sleeve

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Pros:

  • Made with a highly durable material that won’t tear easily
  • High quality that’ll last a long time
  • Helps support the knees during exercise and daily activities
  • Ideal for mild arthritis and knee pain
  • Not as tight or constricting as some other options
  • Comes in three colors
  • Reasonable price

Cons:

  • For petite individuals whom have smaller frames
  • May be too tight for individuals with bigger thighs
  • May cause irritation or chafing if not positioned or sized properly
  • The knee sleeve may loosen over the course of the day

The Cw-x Women’s Stabilyx Joint Support Knee Sleeve is an effective way to reduce the risk of injuries, promote recovery, and improve overall comfort.

It is suitable for everyday wear, and it feels comfortable to wear thanks to its solid compression and lightweight design.

The Knee Sleeve is washable and it will not lose its functionality over time. Its fabrication includes three important elements: neoprene wrapping, anti-bacterial protection, and compression. These elements help to provide users with both warmth and a restrained hug that helps improve your blood circulation.

10. Pro-Tec Athletics Ice Cold Therapy Wrap-Small

Our rating: 7 / 10

Pro-Tec Athletics Ice Cold Therapy Wrap-Small

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Pros:

  • Incredibly effective
  • Relieves pain and inflammation
  • Moisture wicking material
  • The closure strap keeps everything in place
  • Top-notch customer service

Cons:

  • It can be a little tricky to put on
  • You need to wear an extra layer underneath where the pack sits
  • Injury recovery can be slow, depending on the injury
  • It’s more expensive than other options

We like this product because it’s all natural and provides effective and targeted cold therapy for injuries.

The wrap is one size fits all and comes with a carrying case, making it easy to carry around and to store. The product is made of neoprene fabric designed to keep ice packs in place. It’s available in small, medium, and large sizes.

It’s suitable for a wide range of knee injuries including joint pain from running, tendonitis, ligament and knee joint discomfort and inflammation.

11. OS1st PS3 Performance Patella Sleeve

Our rating: 7 / 10

OS1st PS3 Performance Patella Sleeve

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Pros:

  • Colorful and fashionable
  • Minimal patellar pressure
  • Elastic band with velcro for a better fit
  • Compression pad with gel
  • Compression pad absorbs impacts
  • Good quality material
  • Comfortable enough for everyday use

Cons:

  • Can be tricky to slip on
  • The sizing chart needs more information
  • Not machine washable
  • It is best to handwash this sleeve to prevent shrinkage

This Patella sleeve is an effective, contoured support system that helps to alleviate knee pain and discomfort caused by patellar tendonitis, IT band syndrome, Jumpers knee and Osgood Schlatter’s disease, as well as help to address many other knee related complaints. It can be worn on either knee and is designed to provide anti-slip action, moving with your patella as you move throughout the day. The sleeve best supports the Knees and Patellar Tendonitis and reduces the friction between the patella and the tendon.

While knee braces are primarily used to support your knee joint during recovery from injury they can also provide relief from ongoing problems with the knee such as patellar tendonitis or Osgood-Schlatter’s disease.

12. McDavid MD4205 Versatile Knee Wrap

Our rating: 6 / 10

McDavid MD4205 Versatile Knee Wrap

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Pros:

  • Made of breathable and lightweight material for extra comfort
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Highly durable
  • Hand washable
  • Extra straps to hold the patella straps in place
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Very reasonable price

The McDavid MD4205 is a snug knee brace that is designed for athletes who participate in sports where the knee is at risk of hyperextending. This product is a perfect option for those who suffer from patella instability or those who wish to prevent it.

The MD4205 is designed with dual straps that go behind the knee, while the pressure straps wrap around the kneecap. There are also two stays that attach to the tension straps at approximately midpoint on the calf. There is also a hinge strap that attaches at the Achilles tendon. This helps keep the patella protected while allowing some limited movement.

The brace has structural support for the medial side of the knee joint with a tension strap contoured for the medial area. It also provides more overall rigidity with the use of abrasion-resistant polyester and netting.

13. Pro-Tec Athletics X-Factor Knee Brace

Our rating: 6 / 10

Pro-Tec Athletics X-Factor Knee Brace

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Pros:

  • Adjustable sleeve provides the perfect fit
  • Lightweight and breathable material
  • Comfortable; can be worn all day

Cons:

  • No extra kneepad provided
  • Reinforced material can cause uncomfortable hot spots

The Pro-Tec Athletics X-Factor Knee Brace is an excellent brace for anyone looking to provide added support and stability to their knees.

The brace is adjustable and comes with a soft neoprene sleeve designed to provide a comfortable fit. The sleeve is breathable so it won’t cause you to overheat and give you the perfect amount of support to take the pressure off your knee.

The outer material is designed to be soft and flexible for maximum protection and easy wear. It also has a reinforced pull tab that will make it easy to pull the brace back on after use for storage.

14. Cw-x Men's Stabilyx Joint Support Compression Knee Sleeve

Our rating: 5 / 10

Cw-x Men's Stabilyx Joint Support Compression Knee Sleeve

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Pros:

  • Adjustable heat retention pad
  • Breathable material
  • Better compression around the joint
  • Strong elastic and soft fabric upper
  • Highly effective
  • Inexpensive
  • Natural stabilizing power
  • Five sizes available
  • Long-lasting
  • Thin and lightweight

Cons:

  • Only available in supports sizes
  • Not suitable for outdoor use
  • The durability is average

When it comes to support, the CW-X Stabilyx Joint Support Compression Knee Sleeve Support is definitely a winner. It offers targeted support for joints and tendons. It’s meant to promote balanced alignment for your knee joints and tendons, it also provides heat retention pad for extra relief from pain and swelling, and key benefits include a longer, healthier life.

The sleeve is designed for comfort and a natural feel with a flattering fit and a strategically placed support band that provides stability. It's made from advanced CW-X Stabilyx fabric that provides targeted support and support where you need it the most.

In addition, this sleeve is great for those who participate in athletics on a regular basis. This product is able to provide you with the support you need to keep your knee joints and tendons healthy.

15. McDavid HyperBlend Knee Compression Sleeve

Our rating: 5 / 10

McDavid HyperBlend Knee Compression Sleeve

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Pros:

  • Allows complete mobility and freedom of movement
  • Unlike other compression sleeves the McDavid doesn’t limit your range of motion
  • Ultra-lightweight and durable
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • Not machine washable
  • Long term wear may cause skin irritation due to the texture

Fall.

The McDavid Hyperblend Knee Compression Sleeve is an excellent choice if you’re looking for relief after a knee injury or if your knees suffer from arthritis, inflammation, ligament or patellar instability. The compression sleeve will help relieve knee pain, prevent joint swelling and increase blood flow.

This sleeve is easy to put on, lightweight and durable. Its anatomically designed knee pad also protects the knee and provides additional support. It’s 26mm squat trainer and joint compression technology also mades it a helpful remedy for knee joint pain even during strenuous physical activity.

16. OS1st IT3 Iliotibial Band Performance Sleeve relieves ITB Syndrome

Our rating: 5 / 10

OS1st IT3 Iliotibial Band Performance Sleeve relieves ITB Syndrome

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Pros:

  • Comfortable on the knee
  • Moves freely with the knee
  • Breathable materials
  • Comfortable on the thigh and calf as well
  • Useful for long distance runners
  • Fits well with big thighs

Cons:

  • Only one size
  • Not for small calves
  • Not suitable for everyday use

The OS1st IT3 Knee Brace is an IT band support sleeve that uses Pli-Lycra compression technology for effective compression. It fits well on the lower leg and upper knee. It also provides compression around the knee joint.

The Knee Brace is perfect for relieving IT band syndrome, upper lateral knee stress and related pain.

It is also recommended for runners suffering from patellar tendinitis, Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, and jumper’s knee.

17. Zamst IW 1 Knee/Elbow Icing Set

Our rating: 4 / 10

Zamst IW 1 Knee/Elbow Icing Set

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Pros:

  • Comes with knee, elbow, and back braces
  • Affordable
  • Multiple sizes available which is crucial for knee braces

Cons:

  • The cuffs tend to be a little bit on the small side
  • The elastic is a bit loose for some people

The Zamst IW 1 Knee/Elbow Icing Set is a pack of three separate products: the knee, the elbow, and the back brace.

The knee brace is supported with two straps, which go over the top of the knee. The straps are adjustable to allow the brace to fit most knee sizes and they have an adjustment mechanism that keeps the straps on firmly.

The package also comes with a strap to secure the brace to the lower leg. A belt goes around the waist, while a strap goes around the thigh. The brace is made of a thick neoprene material that helps to keep the knee warm.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do knee braces help for running?

Whether they can help or not depends on your knee injury and your goals.

If you have meniscus or cartilage injuries that are resurfacing without rest then knee braces will certainly help you to prevent a relapse. However, note that rehabilitation associated with both of these injuries is best done via rest and the use of anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy is good as long as the therapist has experience with running related injuries.

If you are an avid runner who has suffered patella related injuries then a knee brace is probably not going to do much to help you. Most of the time, patella related pain is from patella tracking issues. In many cases, a good pair of running or walking shoes should help your knees stay healthy. If you are a runner who has suffered patella tendonitis, then a knee brace could help.

Which knee brace is best for running?

Knee braces help to stabilize the joint and prevent future injuries.

The most popular knee brace models are patellar and quadriceps, since they fix similar types of problems that a runner may experience.

If you’re a runner, you are probably familiar with the pain of knee injuries, heel spurs, and knee tendonitis. It’s even possible that your knees give out on you once in a while. If that is the case, you probably want to get yourself a knee brace. These braces do more than just protect your knees; they also improve its functions and give you a chance to interact with people again.

Listed below are the top ten knee braces for runners that you can try buying and using on your next run.

What are the best knee braces?

The knee braces in the market differ in their structure, but essentially they all assist in alleviating pain when running by absorbing shock and stabilizing knee when it is twisted.

The best knee braces for running has to be…

Conclusion

The best knee braces for running should have the ability to relieve that pressure on your knee, as it’s the main area that’s affected by arthritis. The material should be made of breathable and comfortable fabric, allowing your knee to heal and recover to its former self.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Bauerfeind Sports Knee SupportBest OverallBauerfeind Sports Knee Support
OS1st PS3 Performance Patella SleeveBudget PickOS1st PS3 Performance Patella Sleeve
Zamst IW 1 Knee/Elbow Icing SetUpgrade PickZamst IW 1 Knee/Elbow Icing Set