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We review the top 6 best knee braces for hiking options and provide a buying guide to enable you to find the right knee brace.
Hiking is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors, but it can also put a lot of strain on your knees, especially if you have pre-existing knee issues or are carrying a heavy backpack.
A knee brace can help support and stabilize your knee joint, reducing the risk of injury and providing extra comfort on the trail.
Best Compression Undersleeve:
The DonJoy Performance Webtech Knee Brace is designed to provide mid-range support for high impact sports such as running, soccer, football, skiing, etc. It is also suitable for hiking.
It has a unique and innovative 3-part system that relieves common knee pain, prevents sports injuries, and provides optimal support and stability.
Its design includes patented silicone web technology for optimal shock absorption. The silicone web aligns and cushions the knee joint.
The second part of the 3-part system is an ergonomic compression molded back pad that adjusts easily for a comfortable fit.
Finally, the four-way stretching lycra undersleeve mesh eliminates hot spots and provides additional protection.
Overall, the DonJoy Performance Webtech Knee Brace is supportive, lightweight, breathable, and comfortable.
- Webbed support system
- Breathable and moisture-wicking
- Customizable fit
- Multiple sizes available
- One-year warranty
- Sizing runs small
Best Hinged Knee Brace:
The Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Support is designed to support a variety of knee conditions, including ligament sprains and strains, hypertension, patella, arthritis, minor ligament, muscle, meniscus injuries, patella instability, and arthritis.
It provides adequate compression to support soft tissues. It also boosts therapeutic heat for improved blood flow and aids muscle and tendon healing.
The Shock Doctor Hinged Knee brace has a well-thought-out, premium-quality design that boosts movement and provides comfort.
It features heavy-duty bilateral dual hinges for support and stability and four-way stretch Lycra mesh for comfort and breathability.
The vented N-Tex neoprene creates airflow and is moisture-wicking. It also has pre-curved anatomical design to ensure it fits the left and right knee.
It has easy grip tabs that ensure that knee support stays in place.
The brace is adjustable and can be easily secured using Velcro straps. It is easy to use and can be worn during various activities, including running, hiking, and sports.
- Premium design and construction
- Adjustable fit
- Breathable and moisture-wicking
- Available in multiple sizes
- Backed by a one-year warranty
- Size runs small
Best Support Knee Brace:
The Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support is a medical-grade knee support designed to provide support and stability to the knee joint.
It is made with a combination of elastic and neoprene materials, and it has a unique design that includes a viscoelastic insert and a patella pad to reduce pressure on the knee joint.
The New Omega+ pad stabilizes the kneecap and knee joint and massages the surrounding tissue when walking.
It stimulates Hoffa’s fat pad and the base of the meniscus, relieving pain.
The Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support is often used by individuals with knee injuries or conditions, such as arthritis or tendonitis, or by athletes who want to prevent knee injuries during physical activity.
It is also commonly used by individuals who have undergone knee surgery and need additional support during recovery.
Many users have found the Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support effective in reducing knee pain and discomfort.
It is easy to adjust to the desired level of compression and support, and it can be worn under clothing, making it a discreet and convenient option for daily use.
- High quality
- Breathable knitted fabric
- Fitted with omega-3 pads for support and pain relief
- Available in 3 color options and a wide range of sizes
Best Compression Sleeve:
The PowerLix Knee Compression Sleeve is made from a high-quality, breathable fabric that provides compression and support without restricting movement.
It is made of 80% Nylon and 20% Spandex.
The compression sleeve applies pressure across the knee joint to ensure optimal support whether you are taking a casual walk or hiking.
It has a non-slip design that keeps it in place during activities and a comfortable, snug fit that provides support without feeling tight or restrictive.
It has a special knitted design with two silicone gel strips that ensure it stays in place.
The PowerLix Knee Compression Sleeve is designed to support a variety of knee conditions, including ligament sprains and strains, patella instability, and arthritis.
It is often used by athletes, such as runners or basketball players, to provide support and stability to the knee during physical activity.
It is also commonly used by individuals with knee injuries or conditions, such as arthritis or tendonitis, to provide additional support and reduce pain.
The PowerLix Knee Compression Sleeve is available in multiple sizes to ensure a proper fit. In addition, it is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.
- Elegant design
- Moisture wicking
- 4-way stretch
- Suitable for high-impact activities
- 100% money guarantee
- Will be too tight if you buy the wrong size
Best Mid-Price Range Knee Brace/Best Knee Strap for Hikers:
The Cho-Pat Dual Action Strap offers maximum support stability to the knee joint for enhanced mobility.
It is made with a combination of elastic and neoprene materials and a dual-action strap that provides both compression and support to the knee.
Most importantly, it strengthens the knee cap mechanism by applying pressure on the tendon above the kneecap.
This pressure reduces the force of the quad muscles on the knee and lessens the potential for knee misalignment.
Pressure is applied on the patellar tendon just below the kneecap, therefore stabilizing it.
It improves the patellar’s tracking elevation, reducing pain from discomfort from various knee conditions, and improving weakened knee performance.
The Cho-Pat Dual Action Strap has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and discomfort in the knee.
Most often used by individuals with knee injuries or conditions, such as arthritis, tendonitis, Chondromalacia, IT band syndrome, runners or jumper’s knee, and Osgood Schlatter’s Disease.
It is also suitable for preventing knee injuries during physical activity.
One of the top benefits of the Cho-Pat Dual Action Strap is that it is available in a wide range of sizes ranging from Xs to x-large.
- Dual action
- Effective at reducing knee pain
- Easy to wear
- Fits under clothes
- Does not fit true to size
Best Budget Knee Brace:
One of the main features of the Bodyprox Knee Brace is its side stabilizers, which are designed to help prevent lateral movement of the knee joint and provide additional support.
The knee braces are also fitted with patella gel pads designed to cushion and protect the patella during activities. They have two springs on each side and a silicone pad on the kneecap position.
The Bodyprox Knee Brace is designed to reduce stress on the knee joint when doing intense exercise.
It also relieves acute and chronic pain caused by a meniscus tear, sprain, strain, tendonitis, etc.
These knee braces come in only two sizes – one size than fits all and XL. They are available in black only and offer moderate to strong support.
- Dual knee support and stabilization
- Soft and comfortable
- Available in only 2 size options.
Buying Guide for the Best Knee Braces for Hiking
Below is the key factor to consider when selecting the best knee brace for hiking.
Types of Knee Braces
There are different types of functional knee braces to choose from, each with its own set of benefits and limitations:
Compression sleeves are a type of knee brace designed to provide support and stability to the knee joint.
They are typically made from stretchy, breathable materials and can be worn around the knee like a sleeve. They are used for mild to moderate knee support and can help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness.
Knee sleeves work by applying gentle pressure to the knee joint, which can help stabilize the joint and reduce pain.
They are often used to treat conditions such as patellofemoral pain syndrome and runner’s knee.
If you’re considering using a compression sleeve for hiking, choose a product that fits well and stays in place while you’re moving.
Look for a compression sleeve with adjustable straps or a secure fit to help you achieve a comfortable and effective fit.
It’s also a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before using a compression sleeve, especially if you have a more severe knee injury or condition.
These knee braces are designed to provide more stability and support and often have hinges on the sides to allow for a greater range of motion.
In addition, they are commonly used for more severe knee injuries or conditions and may be a good choice for hikers who need extra support on the trail.
Patella stabilizers are designed to support and stabilize the patella. They may have a hole or cutout in the center to allow for proper patella movement. They are often used for conditions such as patellofemoral pain syndrome or patellar dislocation.
These knee braces are designed to limit movement in the knee joint and are often used after surgery or for severe injuries.
Knee immobilizers are more rigid and not typically recommended for hiking, as they can be cumbersome and restrict movement, making walking or moving around difficult.
If you have a severe knee injury or condition and are considering using a knee immobilizer for hiking, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.
They can help you determine the best treatment plan and whether a knee immobilizer is appropriate for your needs.
In general, it may be more practical to use a different type of knee brace that allows for more movement and support, such as a hinged brace or patella stabilizer.
They are a type of knee brace designed to provide support and stability to the knee joint.
They are typically made from stretchy, breathable materials and can be worn around the knee like a sleeve.
Often used for mild to moderate knee support, knee straps can help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness. They are lightweight and easy to pack, making them a good option for hikers.
Knee straps work by applying gentle pressure to the patellar tendon, which can help stabilize the knee joint and reduce pain.
They are often used to treat conditions such as patellofemoral pain syndrome (pain around the knee cap) and runner’s knee (pain around the front of the knee).
Choose a knee brace that fits well and stays in place while you’re moving.
To determine the right fit for a knee brace, use a tape measure to measure the circumference of your knee at the widest point, just above the knee cap.
Compare the measurement against the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer of your preferred knee brace.
If you are buying at a physical store, it is important to try on the knee brace.
However, for online purchases, the sizing chart is your main guide. Also, check the product reviews to establish if the knee brace fits true to size.
Consider if the brace will be worn underneath or on top of clothing: If you are wearing the knee brace over other gear, such as pants or socks, you might have to size up slightly to ensure they do not cause discomfort or irritation.
Different knee braces offer different levels of support. Some are designed for mild to moderate support, while others are meant for more severe knee injuries or conditions.
Choose a brace that matches your needs and the demands of your hike. If you have a severe knee injury or condition, you may need a knee brace with a higher level of support.
On the other hand, if you just need a little extra stability, a mild to moderate support brace may be sufficient.
If you are doing a lot of strenuous hiking over rough terrain, you may need a knee brace with higher support to help protect your knees.
Ultimately, your right support level will depend on your individual needs and preferences.
The material used to make the knee brace determines its comfort, breathability, durability, weight, and compatibility with other hiking gear.
Go for a knee brace made from lightweight, breathable materials to help keep you cool and comfortable on the trail.
It should be comfortable to wear, especially if you’ll be wearing it for extended periods of time.
Look for materials that are soft and non-irritating to the skin. A brace with sturdy construction and high-quality materials is built to last.
The material should also be comfortable to wear underneath your clothes.
Neoprene, spandex, and other synthetic materials are often used in knee braces. Neoprene and spandex are lightweight, breathable, and flexible, making them comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
Neoprene is also known for its durability and ability to retain heat, which can help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness.
Other synthetic materials, such as nylon and polyester, may also be used in knee braces for their strength, durability, and moisture-wicking properties
The right level of padding depends on your support needs, desired fit, and the material of the knee braces.
Consider a knee brace with extra padding or cushioning if you’ll be wearing it for long periods of time or over rough terrain or for extra comfort.
However, keep in mind that a knee brace with more padding may offer a higher level of support, but it may also be heavier and less breathable.
Consider the balance between support and comfort that’s right for you. Also, If the padding is too thick or too thin, it may not provide the right level of support or comfort.
Knee braces can range in price from less than $20 to several hundred dollars. A knee brace with a higher price tag may offer more advanced features, such as adjustable support levels or extra padding, but it may not be necessary if you don’t need those features.
You want to choose a brace that fits your needs and budget rather than just going for the cheapest or most expensive option.
Determine your budget and look for a brace that offers the features and support you need at a price you can afford.
Also, read reviews from other hikers who have used the knee brace you’re considering. Look for fit, comfort, and effectiveness feedback to get a sense of the product’s value.
Related Article: How Do Knees Braces Work and Help Hikers
Knee braces can help provide support and stability to the knee joint, but they are not a replacement for proper stretching and conditioning before a hike.
If you are experiencing knee pain or have a history of knee injuries, it is always best to consult a healthcare professional before engaging in any physical activity.
They will be able to assess your individual needs and recommend the most appropriate treatment or support.