Best Knee Braces For Running

Knee pain and injuries affect millions of people per year. While for some this may mean mild irritation after being a weekend warrior, for others this may mean debilitating pain or surgery. A knee brace can improve your quality of life by reducing pain, healing time, or the risk of further injury. Further, a knee brace can also help those who suffer from chronic knee ailments such as arthritis, lupus, and ligament deformities.  If you’re a runner, chances are you’ll experience the need for a knee brace at some time in your life.  Whether you’re using the knee brace to help heal an injury or to help keep your knee in good condition during the running season, choosing the best knee brace for running can be quite a challenge.  That being said, this buying guide can help you choose the best option for running, and to combat knee pain, swelling, and reduce the risk of future injuries.

Last Updated: September 16, 2018
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By Kris Kierstead-Lewis:

We've put together this list to show you the best knee braces on the market for running. Our newest products are the Cambivo 2pk Compression Sleeve, Pro-Tec Gel Force, Copper Wear Compression Sleeve, and the TechWare Pro Knee Support.

TechWare Pro Knee Support
  • TechWare Pro Knee Support
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Latex free fabric
  • Moisture wicking design
  • Price: See Here
Cambivo
  • Cambivo
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Comfortable
  • Anti-slip design
  • Price: See Here
Pro-Tec Gel
  • Pro-Tec Gel
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Gel pad for extra support
  • Breathable
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Running Knee Braces

 

 

TechWare Pro Knee Support

Most knee braces only have straps on one side, which can result in uneven support. The TechWare Pro Knee Support uses bidirectional velcro closures to ensure even support around your knee, while the non-slip silicone strips ensure a secure fit during physical activity.
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Overall Fit:


Using a bidirectional pair of velcro straps, the TechWare Pro Knee Support works to stabilize the patella evenly to reduce knee pain. An open knee design allows for compression and support without hindering your ability to move freely.

Materials Used:


The body is made of a lightweight neoprene that wicks moisture to keep you dry and reduce irritation. Non-slip silicone strips ensure that the brace stays securely in place during physical activity.

Adjustability:


The TechWare Pro comes in four unisex sizes, and sizing is based on the circumference of the knee. If you find that you fall in between sizes, it's best to go up a size. Velcro straps allow for an adjustable fit as well.

Protection:


As stated above, the alternating strap design provides even support around the knee while allowing for freedom of movement. A gel pad inside of the brace works to reduce inflammation and swelling, reducing pain and the likelihood of an injury.

Summary:


While it is expensive, the TechWare Pro Knee Support provides even support around your knee and patella, and the bidirectional velcro and non-slip silicone ensure a secure and comfortable fit.
Pros

Wide range of sizes

Non-slip silicone for a secure fit

Bidirectional velcro for even support

Cons

Expensive

 

Cambivo 2pk Knee Support

Most knee supports only come with a single brace, meaning that in order to have support for both knees you'll have to spend twice the money. The Cambivo Knee Support comes in a 2-pack for a similar price as to what you would pay for a single one.

*These knee supports do contain latex, so if you have a latex allergy this isn't the right product for you. Don't fret, however; we have plenty of latex-free products on this list as well.
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Overall Fit:


This brace is offered in five sizes, ranging from small to 2XL based on the circumference of the knee. It also comes in three color options; black with blue accents, black with gray accents, and black with orange accents. Anti-slip silicone ensures a secure fit.

Materials Used:


The supports are made of a nylon, latex, and spandex blend for flexibility, as well as moisture wicking, to reduce sweat and irritation. This allows for comfortable movement and a secure fit without the need to use velcro straps, which can be a hassle for some. The stretch fabric makes it easy to put on take and off.

Adjustability:


While the lack of straps means that adjustability can be somewhat limited, the stretch fabric provides a good amount of give without hindering support. If you prefer a more relaxed fit you can order a size up, and if you prefer more compression you can order a size down.

Protection:


The anti-slip silicone means that the Cambivo Knee Support will securely stay in place during physical activity, without hindering comfort, and range of motion. This stable fit allows for maximum support for your knees, to relieve pain and prevent injuries.

Summary:


Provided you don't have a latex allergy, the Cambivo Knee Supports are a great option. The stretch fabric allows for a comfortable fit and solid range of motion while providing adequate support for your knees, and the moisture-wicking fabric works to reduce sweat and irritation.
Pros

2-pack

Anti-slip silicone

Breathable fabric

Cons

Contains latex

 

ProTec Gel Force

A slightly more expensive option on our list, the ProTec Gel Force features a large gel pad covering the patella (kneecap) area to extra support as you move. The dual spiral stay system provides extra support and joint stability where you need it most.
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Overall Fit:


The ProTec Gel Force support is offered in four sizes, ranging from small to extra large, as measured by the cirucmference 1" above the kneecap. If you prefer a relaxed fit it's suggeset to go a size up, and if you prefer extra compression it's suggested to go a size down.

Materials Used:


The four-way stretch fabric is made to move with you during your activites while providing support and a secure fit. It's also light and breathable as well, to ensure proper moisture management and mitigate sweat and irritation.

Adjustability:


While this is a sleeve-type support without adjustable straps, the four-way stretch fabric allows for it to be easily put on and removed. This also facilitates a comfortable and secure fit.

Protection:


Equipped with both medial and lateral spiral stays, the ProTec Gel Force ensures proper support and joint stability where you need it the most, while a thick gel pad over the kneecap provides ideal comfort during physical activity.

Summary:


The price may be off-putting to some, but with the ProTec Gel Force that price comes with high quality and support. A wide range of sizes and stretch fabric allow for a comfortable fit and support for a wide range of body types.
Pros

Thick gel pad for extra support

Breathable

Spiral stays for improved stability

 

Neo Ally Flexufit

Neo Ally Flexufit
The NeoAlly Flexufit latex-free patella stabilizer support brace is designed for those who enjoy an active cardio lifestyle. The latex-free design supports knee stabilization and improves circulation for quicker muscle recovery.
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Overall Fit
The longer fit provides additional support and with three sizes on the chart, and its easy to choose the right fit for you. The tighter weaving and 3D design provides additional support.

Materials Used
Latex-free and made with nylon, spandex, and polyester, for a highly woven ultra-supporting material that shouldn’t roll or bunch during use. The silicon inner weaving should keep the brace in place and prevent sliding too.

Adjustability
It comes in three sizes fit most, there are no straps or adjustments to be made. Simply buy the size nearest your measurements and order up or down a size according to your preferences for fit. Remember though, measure five inches above your knee as these are longer than average.

Protection
The 3D weaving design and tightly woven fabric will provide strong support and stabilization in highly active sports. The Flexufit design means an ultra-light and breathable fabric with 4-way stretch with optimal compression design to improve blood flow and reduce muscle recovery.

Summary
The Neoally Flexufit design is made for highly active sportsman looking for quick injury recovery or injury prevention. This knee compression sleeve is made to support and stabilize the patella and tendons during activity.
Pros
  • Latex-free
  • Anti-slip weaving
  • Additional patella support
Cons
  • Only one knee brace per order
  • Seam stitching is weak

Copper Wear Compression Sleeve

Copper Wear Compression Sleeve
A unique feature typically not seen in most knee braces, Copper Wear uses copper-infused fabric for their products, hence the name. Copper is a soft and malleable metal that's been used in supplementary and alternative medicine to assist with treating inflammation and pain.
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Overall Fit:


This compression sleeve comes in a range of sizes, from small to 2XL. Sizes are based on the circumference 5" above your knee. As this is a compression sleeve the fit is meant to be tight, so if this is a concern to you, you may be best ordering a size up from what you would typically wear.

Materials Used:


The copper-infused compression fabric offers strong support for your knees without being as bulky as other supports, meaning you can inconspicuously wear it under your clothes. A silicone band on the top and bottom ensure a secure and stable fit during physical activity.

Adjustability:


This is a sleeve-type support, without any velcro straps or buckles. The fabric is lightweight and stretchy, allowing for a flexible fit without hinder its compression abilities.

Protection:


While the healing benefits of copper are still under debate by the scientific community, this sleeve definitely shows promise. The compression fabric works to support your knee and reduce inflammation, which can in turn relieve pain and joint swelling.

Summary:


If you're looking for a sleeve that incorporates supplemental medicine and compression support, the Copper Wear Compression Sleeve is something to consider. While it is slightly more expensive, this sleeve offers support and pain relief in a lightweight product that you can wear anywhere, under any type of clothing.
Pros

Lightweight

Wide range of sizes

Silicone bands for a secure fit

Cons

Expensive

Titan Brace

Titan Brace
Tired of achy knees? These knee braces from Titan are designed to stabilize your knee, reduce inflammation, and keep it warm and supported. Designed for a full range of motion, the durable fabric allows your knees to breathe while improving performance during any activity including a jog around the park. They can easily be worn as a pair, or only use them as needed to give one knee some extra care.
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Overall Fit
The Titan knee brace is made to act as a knee stabilizer during sports activities where a stable joint is required to perform. Their fit is snug, yet flexible, allowing for a full range of motion while still providing the stability that you need.

Materials Used
The latex-free hypoallergenic material allows skin to breathe while wicking away moisture and preventing odors. The 3D circular knitting and silicon ribbing helps keep the sleeve in place while stabilizing the knee.

Adjustability
The Titan Knee Brace comes in four sizes, but these are suggestions as the specially woven fabric allows for a wide range of one-size-fits-all adjustability. The sizing helps the user select a tighter or looser fit.

Protection
In addition to the circular woven fabric, the Titan Knee sleeve has reflective designs to help keep athletes safe, and visible especially at night and during low light conditions.

Summary
These knee braces come in a pair set with a storage bag. They are machine washable, durable, and can be worn by either an adult man or woman. They can also be used independently, or together for maximum protection. The attention to detail, comfort, and style will help keep your knee stable through tough workouts or during daily activities.
Pros
  • Anti-itch, moisture-wicking latex-free fabric
  • Super anti-slip double grip design
  • Retains original shape and size after wearing
Cons
  • Only comes in pairs

Eveshine Knitted

Eveshine Knitted
These colorful, orange and gray, Eveshine knitted knee braces are made from a soft, breathable fabric and built to reduce knee pain and improve performance during a knee injury. They are made to reduce movement of the ligaments in your knee.
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Overall Fit
The fabric is designed to fit a variety of knee sizes and retain its shape after removal. The size you choose will depend on your size and the amount of compression you desire. With four inches of support above and below your knee, they will help stabilize the knee joint in a way that is most recommended by physical therapists.

Materials Used
The materials used are not disclosed, but they are woven with elastic and contain silicon grips. The fabric is breathable, moisture wicking, and designed in a circular 3D patter, for optimal support.

Adjustability
With two sizes available, the right fit for your compression needs is easy to find. The stretchable, breathable fabric retains its shape, helping to ensure a customized fit for your running needs.

Protection
The weave, combined with the internal texturing, helps keep the compression sleeve in place, to stabilize the knee and tissues around the knee. The moisture-wicking fabric helps keep the knee dry and warm.

Summary
For a third-best in show, the Eveshine knee compression sleeve has great overall quality, and is very easy to use. The two-sizes-fit-most design is woven for comfort and support while the textured fabric and silicon grips keep the support in place during moderate activities.
Pros
  • Textured inner fabric
  • Colorful design
  • Provides warmth
Cons
  • Unknown materials used
  • Only two sizes available

Longfit Weaving

Longfit Weaving
The Longfit 3D weave design, with its cotton, latex, tourmaline fabric is designed to keep injured knees warm and stabilized through moderate activities. The breathable, washable fabric is designed for outdoor use, but can also help provide support while resting or in cold, drafty rooms.
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Overall Fit
Longfit weaving knee brace is a breathable support sleeve to aid in the stabilization of injured and irritated knees. It comes in three sizes that stretch to fit, for the perfect compression type for your activity and needs.

Materials Used
This compression sleeve is made from cotton, latex, and tourmaline for optimal warmth, elasticity, compression, and support. The fabric is woven together in a circular pattern to improve durability and help it retain its shape for longer.

Adjustability
With three sizes to choose from, these one-size-fits-most knee compression braces stretch to fit a variety of sizes with varying compression needs. Remember to choose up a size for a looser fit and down a size for a snugger fit.

Protection
The 3D weave design and advanced silicone grips provide proper support and compression where your knee needs it most. The support matrix structure is woven right into the brace, not sewn on, for a better support that won’t come apart during use.
Pros
  • Goes on like a sock, stays on like glue
  • Can be worn over or under clothing
Cons
  • Only one knee brace per order
  • Has latex
  • Does not work for weight loss or fractured bones

Toncy Gear Orthopedic

Toncy Gear Orthopedic
The Toncy Gear Orthopedic Knee compression brace is engineered for pain management during physical activities. Unlike other compression sleeves with multiple fabrics and directed compression support, these bamboo knee braces are made for even compression support and warmth.
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Overall Fit
Instead of measuring your thigh, the Toncy gear measured your knee for a perfect fit of your knee and not your leg. The four sizes make it easy to order up or down in a size for more, or less, compression support as desired.

Materials Used
The bamboo fabric is stretchy and moisture wicking. As a bonus, bamboo fabric is ultra-smooth on skin and antimicrobial, for added support and comfort. The antimicrobial bamboo fabric means you won’t need to wash it nearly as often. When you need to wash simply hand wash in warm water and air dry.

Adjustability
Bamboo is extremely stretchy, and this brace comes in four sizes. Simply order the size nearest your knee measurements for the right fit, or order up or down a size to obtain a looser and snugger fit.

Protection
The patella and tendon compression-support is woven right into the fabric in the form of additional support bands. It is made for active wearers, but is comfortable enough to wear for a lazy day around the house.

Summary
The Toncy Gear orthopedic compression knee brace is made of a breathable and stretchy bamboo fabric for ultimate comfort and support. They come in a pair, so you can wear one or both as needed.
Pros
  • Bamboo fabric
  • Comes in a pair
  • Breathable and warm
Cons
  • Unknown other materials
  • Can roll down during use from time to time
  • No additional support than compression

Bracoo Support

Bracoo Support
The Bracoo neoprene Knee Wrap provides compression support for injured knees. The two-layered opening provides a non-slip grip to help keep the brace in place during all activities.
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Overall Fit
With five sizes to choose from, it’s easy to find the right size brace for your knee and desired compression and support level. Use the chart and measure four inches above your knee, then order the size smaller or larger, depending on how tight you want it to fit. The material doesn’t stretch out or become misshaped.

Materials Used
Made of a mixture of elastic, spandex, and nylon, this 4-way stretch fabric is hand washable and air dries. But it shouldn’t need much washing as the weaving helps wick moisture away from your skin and keeps the knee brace dry.

Adjustability
The five sizes are a one-size-fits-most design that enable you to choose the right fit for your compression needs. Simply order a size lower than your measurement for a tight fit and a size higher than your measurement or a looser fit. The 4-way woven elastic design is really stretchy and leads to a comfortable fit.

Protection
This knee brace provides pain relief and moderate support to aid in faster recovery from sports injuries. It helps limit tendon and patella shifting and movement to reduce further injury of delicate tendons and joints.

Summary
Non-slip is woven right into the design of this Relax Support rs2 knee compression sleeve and athletic support. The 4-way weave design and five custom sizes mean the perfect level of support for injured and recovering knees.
Pros
  • Deep gray color
  • Smooth fabric
  • Super stretchy
Cons
  • Only one brace per order
  • No additional patella support

The Main Points We Looked At

Providing the right support type and fit is essential for choosing the right knee brace for your knee injury or issue. Look first for any designs that are specifically tailored to your particular knee issue, then look to this guide below to choose the right overall fit for proper knee recovery.

 

Overall Fit

Brace sizes vary in size, be sure to check each one for their unique measurement instructions. Some knee braces measure right around the patella, while others measure three, four, and even five inches above the knee. Take the measurement placement into consideration. Further, a size medium in one brand might be a size large in another brand. Make sure to check the sizing chart carefully. Finally, decide if you want a loose or tight fit with your knee brace, the right fit will ensure the knee brace stays in place and provides optimum support during your activities.

Materials Used

The materials used to make the compression braces is important, especially if you have a latex or nylon allergy. Ideally, bamboo or non-latex spandex makes for the best materials, but the combination of materials contributes to its look, feel, and durability.  More importantly are how these materials are woven together, an interwoven design will hold up better than a sewn together design because eliminating the extra stitching reduces ways the brace can come apart during washing or use. Keep the design and materials in mind when choosing the best knee brace for you.

Adjustability

None of the braces on this list had additional straps that would hamper adjustability issues. Each brace we looked at had super stretchy fabric and additional support woven or sewn right into the compression sleeve. Finding the right fit means deciding if you need more or less compression and taking no account swelling due to injury and use.

Protection

Protecting your knee after or from future injury during activities is important and a compression knee brace can help stabilize the tendons, joint, and patella. When choosing the best knee brace for your situation, consider what you need to stabilize and protect and look for a knee brace that offers the proper protection for that injury type. Those that simply stabilize the joint will have all-around compression while those that stabilize the patella will have additional patella support on the knee cap area.

Summary

Look for a knee brace that provides all-around support and specialized support woven from a single piece of fabric. Look for materials that will be smooth against the skin and comfortable to wear a long time. Pay attention to the inside of the brave as well as the outside, to make sure it provides the right support inside and doesn’t just look nice to wear.

More to think about when choosing your next knee compression brace sleeve

What type of activity will you be performing?

Choosing a knee brace is more than looks, material, and fit, some braces work better for light activity and others for moderate activity. Choose your brace for your type of activity, whether it is walking around the home or office, or doing cardio on the track or bike. It might be a good idea to have a couple of different knee braces at your disposal to make sure you have the right brace for the right activity and provide your knee with the maximum support.

What is the nature of your injury?

A torn tendon needs a different knee brace than a dislocated patella. Which brace you choose will depend on if you have an actual knee injury or are simply looking for pain relief from age-related knee ailments or knee over-use soreness. Look for braces that provide support that’s right for your knee’s needs.

Brace Types:
  • ACL Brace – An ACL brace keeps the knee from rotating excessively, but this brace needs to be fitted individually.
  • Functional Knee Brace – The type of functional knee brace depends greatly on the injury type and where you are at in your recovery. Functional knee braces are made for everyday wear, to stabilize your knee joint during daily activities.
  • Knee Immobilizer – This type of knee brace is made to stabilize the ligaments of your knee, especially after surgery.
  • Neoprene Brace – these offer a low level of support and are a generally used to keep a knee warm and dry while resting. Neoprene is made to help reduce swelling and inflammation while promoting healing.
  • Patellofemoral Brace – with a hole or additional support at the kneecap, this brace type is geared to keep your patella, or kneecap, stable during activity and prevent it sliding out of place after injury.
  • Prophylactic Knee Brace – This type of brace is specifically designed to keep pressure and protect either the ACL, LCL, or PCL. Its main function is to immobilize the knee joint during activity, particularly during practice before a game.
  • Rehabilitative Knee Brace – if you are recovering from knee surgery, this type of brace if designed to promote healing and recovery. They are usually made of foam and straps and are worn for six to eight weeks following surgery.
Does your knee need additional support?

A compression brace sleeve may not be the only part of the solution. Consider buying additional support devices to stylize your patella and wear over the brace or compression sleeves to stabilize your ankle and thus improve the stability of the muscles attached to your knees.

General Characteristics

In addition to knowing the type of injury you have, you also need to know what type of support the knee brace offers. Also, consider:

  • Compression – Compression braces reduce swelling (inflammation) caused by injuries. Reducing swelling improves circulation and reduces pain.
  • Impact Protection – The right knee brace will prevent future damage caused by daily activities or resuming physical activity.
  • Stability – Look for a knee brace that provides stability for the joint and immobilizes the ligaments, so they don’t shift as you move around.
  • Adjustability – Not every knee is the same and swelling or injury can make a brace fit differently, take this into consideration when choosing a knee brace, that it won’t always fit the same way every day.
  • Movement – Choose a knee brace with the right level of stability for your injury type. Some braces allow for more movement than others. The more rigid the brace, the less likely re-injury will occur.
  • Slippage – Generally the softer the material, the more it will slip down. For soft compression sleeve braces, look for those with special grip inner weaving and silicon grip pads. When a brace is made well and fits right, it should not shift or slip.
  • Area of Effect – if your main goal is to provide compression to the entire knee area, then you will need a longer brace. Make sure to choose a brace that covers what you need to be covered.
  • Rigidity – Generally soft compression sleeves are not very rigid. Rigid-type knee braces must be fitted at a physical therapist’s office. However, compression sleeves vary in how much support they provide. Some compression sleeves provide more ligament support while others are made only to keep compression and warmth in the knee area.
  • Moisture – If you plan to bathe, swim, or dance in the rain, take this into consideration when choosing a knee brace. Some knee braces are made to withstand getting wet, while others will become uncomfortable, deteriorate, or slip off under wet conditions.
  • Weight – Consider how much weight you need to put on your knee and the weight of the brace. Both factors will determine how fatigued your knee will become when using the brace.

 

Your orthopedic doctor will help you select a rigid brace and fit it to your knee for maximum relief. Compression knee braces are for recovery after the doctor has permitted resuming regular activities and the rigid brace has come off. A compression brace will be your knees best friend during activity and rest for many years to come.

 

 

FAQs

Q:   What should I do if my knee injury worsens?

Always consult with a doctor. If you have sustained any knee injury or are experiencing pain, its best to see an orthopedic doctor and have the exact issue discovered before looking for a brace to aid in recovery. And of course, if your injury or pain worsens, consult again with your doctor before resuming activity. Knee braces are not meant to substitute for a doctor’s care and are only used to aid in healing and stabilization, not prevent injury or cure a disease.

Q:   Do I really need to wear a knee brace?

If you have sustained a knee injury and are ready to resume activity, then probably, yes you need a knee brace. If you feel you need relief from pain, swelling, or additional stabilization of the knee joint, then yes you need a knee brace. The purpose of a knee brace is to reduce healing time by stabilizing your knee and improving circulation. Knee braces can also help prevent injury when deadlifting or performing non-usual activities.

Q:   How do I know the knee brace fits my knee properly?

The best knee brace will hardly feel like it is there. it will reduce pain and swelling and stabilize your knee. You will know its right when your movements feel more stable and sure. The right knee brace will not shift or slide during use and will hug your knee warmly like a well-fitting glove.

Q:   Will a knee brace mask the injury?

A knee brace will not repair a knee injury, nor will it negate the damage or pain during recovery. A knee brace is only to support your knee and help hold it in place during recovery. However, many people report less pain and reduced healing time with the proper knee brace an compression equipment worn faithfully daily.

Q:   Can I exercise while wearing a knee brace?

Check with your orthopedic doctor before resuming activity after a knee injury. Only a doctor can determine if your injured knee is ready to resume physical activity. But, generally, yes. In fact, certain knee braces are designed for physical activity and to help stabilize your knee during athletics. While others are designed to provide warmth and compassion while you rest. For this reason, you will need more than one type of brace during and after recovery from injury and surgery.

Q:   How long should I wear a knee brace?

Two factors go into this, how long you should wear it per day and how long you should wear it after the injury. First, you should wear the knee brace for as many hours per day as directed by your orthopedic doctor. Certainly, if it becomes uncomfortable or your knee or the brace needs a wash, please do so, in fact, cleaning the area daily is ideal. Second, you may need some form of support for months, or even years, after an injury or surgery. A knee brace, especially a compression or stabilization sleeve, is considered long-time care.

Q:   How do I know if I bought the right knee brace?

The right knee brace will reduce pain, inflammation (swelling) after a few days. You won’t see immediate results, but the right brace will reduce healing time significantly. Additionally, you will see more stability in your knee with the right brace.

Final thoughts

There are many reasons to need a knee brace; preventing injuries, reducing pain, stabilizing the joint, and aiding healing. You will need a specific knee brace for your knee injury type as well as your activity type. Once you have identified these factors you can easily find the right knee braces for your lifestyle choices.

Narrowing the knee brace selection down by looking at reviews made by others will help you select a comfortable knee brace that holds up well and does its job. Remember that rigid-type braces will need to be specially fitted by a doctor or physical therapist, while compression sleeves are to help reduce pain, fatigue, and swelling during use of rigid type braces or after discontinuing their use. The best compression sleeve knee brace will hold up for many months or years, wash well, and reduce pain. This type of brace will be your knees life-long companion, so choose well.

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