Best Knee Brace Support 2020- Buyer’s Guide

Knee brace is the most simple and elegant solution so that you can gain additional stability. These devices can help you walk, run, and even jump, even if you’d typically experience pain while doing so without a brace. There are a plethora of knee conditions that can be alleviated by a good brace, which is why we created this guide so that we can help you find the best knee support available.

Best Knee Brace support and braces can really help you in a wide variety of situations. If you think that you need one for the relief of a preexisting condition or a recent injury, then be sure to speak to your doctor or orthopedic specialist before you start to wear one of these devices.

Best Knee Support

NameDimensionsWeightUse for 
Bauerfeind GenuTrain11 x 7 x 1 inches1 poundsarthritis or osteoarthritis Check Price
DonJoy OA12 x 0.5 x 9 inches10.4 ouncesaffected osteoarthritis Check Price
Braceit K2-1.3 poundssport injuries,etc Check Price
M-Brace AIR13.8 x 1.8 x 6 inches10.4 ouncesoptimal support Check Price
Lightweight Breathable-13.6 ouncescontrol pain and swelling Check Price

#1. Bauerfeind GenuTrain S Knee Support--Best Knee Brace

The GenuTrain S by Bauerfeind is a great option for providing light stabilization for knees that may have support issues. It’s a viable option for those looking to train, recover from an injury, or who are simply in the need of heightened support. In fact, these are considered a great option for arthritis or osteoarthritis of the knee sufferers. These are closed patellar knee support braces, which means that they completely encircle the knee in order to prevent swelling and aid in compression.
One of the better features of these support braces are their unique material construction. There is a tendency with knee braces to let sweat and moisture accumulate, which can lead to odors and discomfort while exercising. With the Genutrain S, there is a mesh knit that lets the skin breath and reduces perspiration so that there is a more comfortable experience.

In addition to this, this product has a pain-relieving effect that is produced directly when you move. The knit of the product actively adapts to the shape of the patient’s knee and provides a supportive outer shell that relieves pain as you walk. Additionally, there is a kneepad that encloses and protects the kneecap during use.

The first thing that you might notice about these is that they are a bit on the expensive side. Despite the extra cost, these are very effective at helping knees heal and can even be covered by some insurance plans. Also, after extended use, the stainless steel components can eventually start to push outside of the mesh fabric. When this happens, you’ll have to push them back inside manually.

Final Verdict

Breathability is one of the key benefits of the GenuTrain S knee support brace. These are a good option if you are recovering from an injury but still wish to stay in shape.

Pros
  • This knee support brace is completely machine washable.
  • They are very flexible so that you won’t feel hindered.
  • There are straps and an internal hinge structure that supports all knee movement.
  • This is a very breathable product; you will be able to exercise freely in the GenuTrain S.
  • There are several sizing options available.
Cons
  • Sometimes, the braces in the body of the support can rub against the skin painfully.
  • Despite their ability to custom-fit most knees, these still seem to not exactly adjust to some knee-types.
  • They can be a bit expensive.

#2. DonJoy OA Reaction WEB Knee Support Brace-Best for Osteoarthritis

The DonJoy OA knee support is specifically designed to provide support for people that are suffering from osteoarthritis. Additionally, theses open patellar support braces are designed to be discreet and can fit neatly underneath most pants. While helping OA sufferers is the primary goal of this product, they also work well for individuals looking to recover from obesity and need more knee support for cardio. This brace was designed by one of the country’s leading orthopedic surgeons, and its effectiveness in treating knee conditions is recognized around the country.
What makes the Reaction Web effective is its unique web-like support structure. There’s built-in breathability as a result of the spaces between the web, support for the patella, and a good amount of flexibility as well. Effectively, the Reaction Web works like a spring for the knee that helps the knee bend and flex without causing additional damage to the bones or internal structures in the area. Simply put, it disperses the energy of your strides so that there is less wear on the knee itself.

The product is mostly comprised of silicone because of its natural ability to flex without excessive strain to the materials. For those suffering with obesity, the Reaction Web is designed so that it can fit nearly any leg size.

Like anything, this isn’t a perfect product. In fact, the silicone can sometimes dig into the legs as you walk, which can be very painful. While this doesn’t happen to everyone, it’s worth noting. Additionally, despite its ability to be worn under pants, the hinges and straps often feel and look bulky. Also, the strap has been known to fail over time.

Final Verdict

The DonJoy OA Reaction Web is a great, low profile solution to osteoarthritis and other debilitating knee conditions. If you need good support for your knees due to gradual weakening or inflammation, then this could be a good option.

Pros
  • The web structure adapts to the shape of your knee.
  • It’s designed to relieve the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis.
  • It supports the patella, the ligaments, and the tendons.
  • It can flex in any way without causing too much discomfort.
Cons
  • The metal inner structures can poke through the fabric.
  • It doesn’t fit every knee-type.
  • It could be tighter.

#3. Braceit K2 ComfortLine Knee Brace

When it comes to injuries on the ligaments of the legs, hinge-based knee supports offer a lot of value. The Braceit K2 Comfortline knee brace uses stainless steel polycentric hinges so that energy is transferred and you’ll be able to jump again. In fact, these hinges are able to transfer the energy gathered in the calf and thigh muscles and disperse it throughout the legs without adding much pressure to the knee joint itself.
This is a custom-made knee brace; as a result, it will be manufactured based on the measurements of the user. If you are experiencing a torn ACL, PCL, or MCL, then the Braceit K2 may help you play sports again. In addition to this, these braces can also help fight osteoarthritis pain, heal sports injuries, and actually prevent bone and join deterioration and degeneration.

Another great advantage of these knee support braces is their open kneecap design. In fact, much of your skin will be exposed with these braces so that sweat is evaporated away while you exercise. The hinges are exceptionally strong and the frame liners are comprised of silicone-coated neoprene for maximum flexibility and strength.

Like most hinged supports, you will have to add lubrication to the K2 in order to maintain its joints. Also, the hinges themselves aren’t adjustable for those that suffer from bow legs. While it has a great, open design, this is definitely not a product that is discreet. In fact, these look a bit bulky as a result of the hinges and the straps.

Final Verdict

The K2 is a great option for someone that’s looking to relieve knee pressure as a result of an injury. It fits snugly, has some great hinges to reduce the pressure, and provides an extensive amount of support.

Pros
  • If you have a ligament tear, a torn meniscus, or even osteoarthritis, then these can help you maintain stability.
  • The hinges are made of durable materials that will really keep the pressure off of the structures of the knee.
  • In general, this is a very well-built brace.
  • It’s custom fit for your specific leg.
  • It’s very breathable.
Cons
  • The plastic that is aligned along the knee has a tendency to be brittle.
  • The straps can hinder movement, making your gait feel robotic.

#4. Bioskin Lightweight Breathable Wrap-Around

This open patellar knee brace is a good way to reduce swelling and compress the knee so that it’s supported and can heal from injury. This is a very lightweight solution for those that want to support their knees without wearing a bulkier brace. As an open patellar product, your knee is fully exposed, so if you are experiencing an issue with the structures underneath the kneecap, then this may not be the best knee support brace for you.

Sometimes, getting the brace on is a hassle. Fortunately, this Bioskin product has finger loops that make it much easier to wrap your knee without external assistance. Also, to fight the gradual movement of the brace; a process called migration, this knee support brace has a system of straps that will hold it securely in place.

Additionally, this knee brace also has an offset hinge that will help reduce the pressure on the knee joint itself. Instead, the calves and the thighs will absorb most of the energy. In addition to providing an adequate level of overall support, these knee braces also treat ACL, LCL, meniscus, and MCL tears and can hasten the healing of sprains as well.

Despite its ability to help manage these conditions, the Bioskin wrap around brace does an admirable job at having an inconspicuous shaping. It fits tightly to the leg and you’ll even be able to wear pants and jeans on top of it.

Unfortunately, if you’re planning on running in these Bioskin wrap around hinged braces, you may experience some chafing behind the knees. Additionally, since this is a hinged product, they will take some getting used to since the hinges will actively hinder movement somewhat. You may feel somewhat robotic as you adjust to the braces.

Final Verdict

 

The Bioskin Lightweight Breathable Wrap-Around braces provide a good amount of support without the need to be excessively bulky. They fit tightly to the leg and help it heal from strains, tears, and sprains. Additionally, they even feel very comfortable on the skin during wear.

Pros
  • These are great open patella knee braces for running.
  • Using the finger loops, these can easily be pulled up by the wearer.
  • These really compress the knee area in order to inhibit swelling.
  • These are very lightweight and breathable.
  • The interior material is very soft and comfortable on the skin.
Cons
  • These aren’t custom-fit, which means that you will have to find the size that works best for your legs.
  • These will make your legs feel stiff at first.
  • They can cause chafing, especially in the behind the knee area.

#5. M-Brace AIR Vega Plus Patella Stab Brace Hinges

As a closed patellar brace, the M-Brace AIR Vega Plus has a lot going for it. Designed to reduce swelling and support the knee during your daily exertions, the AIR Vega utilizes some unique technologies to help restore function and stability. The AIR Vega Plus has good patellar tracking, which makes it a good option for those that need to use a brace to keep their kneecap firmly in place.

Additionally, this is a hinged support brace, which makes it a good choice for athletes that are suffering from torn tendons or other activity related tears and sprains. Breathability is important in a knee support brace, which is why the 100 percent cotton of this brace is useful for those that are active.

This cotton of this knee support brace is comfortable on the skin and can help you avoid skin irritation during your exercise. Adjustability is a feature that many orthopedic surgeons recommend and the AIR Vega Plus has excellent adjustability so that you can have a better fit for your specific knee. This particular product can help relieve problems associated with rehab or post surgery, chondromalacia, patello-femoral pain, patellar subluxation, or patella tendonitis.

The hinges are some of the best features of this support because of the fact that they are so well integrated into the brace’s design. This is a very form-fitting brace that can be worn under pants when you’re going about your day-to-day. Additionally, when it is time to wash, the support is machine washable.

The Air Vega Plus is a bit difficult to find the correct size. There’s a tendency for the product to end up being somewhat loose, even with the adjustability. Also, without the rods that come with the brace, there is a tendency for the sleeve to migrate downwards from time to time.

Final Verdict

The M-Brace AIR Vega Plus is a good option for anyone looking for a brace that has support for both the knee and the underlying tendons. With its hinges and the rods that you can insert for support, this makes for an excellent choice for anyone recovering from an injury.

Pros
  • Even with the hinges, this isn’t a bulky support.
  • It is thin and lightweight enough to go under pants.
  • There’s no neoprene or latex in the design.
  • It’s a lightweight, cotton support brace.
Cons
  • Sizing can be rough.
  • It can ride downwards without the optional rods.

Best Knee Support Buyer’s Guide

Uses Common Reasons to Wear a Knee Support Brace

  • Arthritis: Arthritis affects more than 54.4 million adults in the United States based on a 2015 study by the CDC. This inflamed joint pain can be almost entirely debilitating, but fortunately, this pain can greatly be reduced by a knee support brace. Some of the solutions on the market will even reduce the pain of side-to-side motions as well.
  • PCL, MCL, or LCL Tear: There are several potential tears that can happen as a result of exercise and a knee brace can make each of these far less painful. Most tears of this type will rob you of stability, which is why a good knee brace is so useful; it provides the support that you need to be active and recover from your injury.
  • Patellofemoral Dislocations or Subluxations: The patella is better known as the kneecap and the dislocation of this important bone can be very painful. Additionally, a subluxation of this bone, which accounts for instability in the area, can also lead to dislocation. A knee support brace with medial or lateral support for the knee can bring back the missing stability and also help the knee heal into place.
  • Tendonitis: Tendonitis occurs when a tendon becomes damaged or inflamed as a result of physical activity. Typically, pain occurs when the joint is moved in a side-to-side manner, which is why a hinged brace works well to alleviate some of this discomfort.

 

Causes of Knee Pain
There are a few ways in which you can experience knee pain. While not all knee pain requires knee support, it doesn’t hurt to support your knees even if you aren’t experiencing pain. Some of the primary causes of pain are in the knee are patellofemoral pain syndrome, patellar tendonitis, and chondromalacia. Additionally, knee pain can also be caused by IT Band friction syndrome.

In many cases, these conditions are lumped into runner’s knee despite the fact that they are all very unique. In any situation, a knee support brace can really help your knee and legs recover from these conditions and provide the support you need for extended exercise.

 

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Knee Support
Maintenance of the knee brace can vary based on the particular product that you’re using. For example, if your brace uses a hinge system, you will occasionally have to add lubrication to the joints so that you can bend your knee smoothly. This typically consists of a few drops directly on the articulation points. This will prevent the brace from squeaking or grinding when you move your knee.

Additionally, knee braces have to be cleaned periodically, especially considering that they can become sweaty. There are some bacteria that thrive on sweat and when they form colonies they tend to emit an odor. Fortunately, some knee support braces are machine washable so that you can deodorize your brace from time to time. When this is not an option, you can hand-wash or use deodorizing and antiseptic sprays on the knee brace in order to make them smell better.

Sometimes, when you’ve worn a knee support brace for an extended period, it’s useful to cut the Velcro straps shorter so that you can have a tighter fit. This is because the elastic material has a tendency to wear out over time. Cutting the straps and reapplying the Velcro will enable you to restore some of the tightness of the strap.

 

Types of Knee Support to Consider

  • Open Patellar: Open patellar knee support is designed to reduce painful swelling without inhibiting the movement of the knee cap. This is perfect for people that may be experiencing pain directly behind the kneecap; this prevents the kneecap from pressing into the inflamed area as a result of compression.
  • Closed Patellar: When swelling occurs around the entire knee, but the pain isn’t located underneath the patella, then this type of knee support can be used. This can use compression to greatly alleviate the symptoms of discomfort and swelling. These can also be used for jogging or running as it will support the entire knee and reduce the chance of injury.
  • Patellar Tendon: This is often referred to as jumper’s knee. This is a relatively painful condition that can be relieved through a knee brace that employs knee straps to keep the patellar tendon stable. The best braces for this condition are those that won’t restrict movement.
  • Hinged Knee: When ligament damage occurs, the knee is significantly weakened. In this situation, an orthopedic surgeon may prescribe this to protect the ligament and to support the knee. Hinged knee braces have metal components that will need to be lubricated periodically. This type of support should be worn all day long and will need to be prescribed by a physician.

Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a means to get active again after experiencing a knee injury, then a quality brace will serve you well. The products that we’ve covered in this guide all work well and employ features like hinges, rods, and high tech materials in order to provide relief and stability during your daily exercise.

In the future, the knee brace may be powered so that even less stress and pressure is applied to your knee as your exercise. In the past, these types of braces were bulky and only used to help those suffering with paralysis gain some mobility. The Levitation, which is a crowdfunded Kickstarter project, is seeking to change this by bringing powered movement to the sports injury recovery process. In any situation, the benefit that a support brace provides is clearly still evolving.

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Darel Broterickson
Expert of equipment: tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, clothing, accessories, sticks, rugs, thermal underwear.