If you don’t have time to read the entire review and just want to find out the best knee braces for running, then we recommend Cambivo 2 Pack Knee Compression Sleeve as the best choice.
For a runner, the knee can often be a troublesome joint, whether that be due to an impact injury, a sprain or simply through wear and tear. To help support the knee so that one can continue running as pain-free as possible, a knee brace is the solution most runners turn to.
If you love to run but your knee needs support, read on and you will see our reviews of 5 of the best knee braces for running and you will also gain more insight and information on their most important features.
We’re going to review the following knee braces for running:
- UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve
- Physix Gear Sport Knee Support Brace
- Vive Adjustable Hinged Knee Brace
- Cambivo 2 Pack Knee Compression Sleeve
- Sleeve Stars Knee Support Brace
Best Knee Brace for Running Reviews
Whether running is your only sporting pursuit, or it is one of many that you participate in, this simple, one-piece knee support brace from UFlex can be used for all of them.
This knee brace from UFlex can offer support and compression for your knee for multiple sports, including running, football, athletics, tennis, hiking, and soccer. One practical advantage of this is it negates the need to buy multiple knee braces for each sport, which obviously saves you money.
It is made from a combination of an elasticated material and silicon with the elastic ensuring that it can stretch in any direction so that you have maximum flexibility in your movements. The fabric is waterproof, breathable and anti-bacterial so it will help keep your knee dry and allow sweat to evaporate.
The silicon wave in the knee brace prevents it from slipping as you are running, and thus avoids the need for you having to stop at random intervals to adjust it.
Compression from this knee brace is a vital aspect of the benefits it provides, which include limiting muscle fatigue, protection for your knee, reducing swelling or inflammation, and the promotion of blood flow.
There is also the support that it provides your knee, not just when it is 100%, but more importantly when you might be carrying a slight strain.
What I Like
The compression which this knee brace for running provides for your knee is exceptional and ensures that it is supported as well as can be, no matter what sports you are participating in.
What I Don’t Like
When it is brand new and just out of the packaging it has a very distinctive odor, which many users might find unpleasant, albeit it does reduce as it is used.
- Waterproof for wet weather
- Elasticated to promote flexibility
- Silicone wave keeps brace secure
- Breathable to allow sweat to evaporate
- Excellent knee joint support
- Thick fabric may make leg too warm
- Might be too big for smaller users
This is another very simple knee brace for both male and female runners that comes in a variety of sizes to suit, and you also get to choose the color too.
The first thing we notice about this is that it’s actually quite stylish, if that is possible for a knee brace. It has decent patterns on both the front and the back, and if you wish to color coordinate your running kit, there is the choice of either black/pink or black/grey.
As far as wearing the knee brace, the materials used are a combination of nylon and Lycra, and this firstly enables you to stretch it in all four directions so that you can put in on easily. This stretching also means it should be very comfortable to wear when you run, as it effectively moves in line with your knee’s movements.
Whether you suffer from issues such as swelling or inflammation in your knee, or more serious ailments like osteoarthritis, the Physix knee brace will help to support it while you run, and as such, reduce, if not, eliminate the pain.
Making sure your knee area is neither too cold nor too warm is another feature of this knee brace. In warm weather it is breathable, so it will allow excess heat and sweat to escape, and in cold weather, it will help retain warmth in your knee.
What I Like
While it may not be at the top of most runner’s priorities when looking for a knee brace, the appearance of this one is particularly pleasing especially given the choice of colors.
What I Don’t Like
After prolonged use, occasionally this knee will try to slide down from the knee area and this may be annoying for some who take part in long workouts.
- Flexible to promote movement
- High level of support for knee
- Keeps knee warm in winter
- Easily slides on and off
- Breathable fabric
- Sizes seem smaller than stated
- Poor return policy
This hinged knee brace from Vive is particularly helpful for those runners with an injury or ailment and require a high degree of knee support.
Injuries do not always mean you can’t run, but if you have one and want to run, then a strong knee brace is highly recommended, such as this one from Vive.
First, the main material is neoprene which provides thermal compression but does not do so at the expense of your knee getting too warm while you exercise and becoming uncomfortable. Instead, the neoprene makes the knee brace breathable so that heat can escape and sweat does not build up.
Enhancing the support of your knee are the aluminum hinges within the knee brace which provide both lateral and medial stability. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of strains, sprains, and twists to your knee while you run. The hinges are removable if you require less support or feel more comfortable running without them.
The knee brace is secured using Velcro fasteners which are extra strong to give your knee even greater stability.
The Vive knee brace is one-size-fits-all so there is no need to measure your leg/knee size, but you do get to choose which color your knee brace is from black, beige or gray.
What I Like
Support is everything when it comes to knee braces for running so the fact that this knee brace has strong aluminum hinges is very welcome indeed
What I Don’t Like
Depending on how you wear this, it is possible that the smaller straps might slightly pinch which at best is annoying and at worst painful.
- Breathable neoprene material
- Universal sizing
- Aluminum hinges enhance stability
- High level of lateral support
- Choice of three colors
- Velcro straps can curl up
- Needs regular repositioning
Our next review looks at a knee brace which is super-easy to put on, has an excellent range of colors, and if you want value, how about getting two instead of one?
The last point we made in the intro is a reference to the fact that with this Cambivo knee brace comes in a two pack, so you can either use one on each knee or give the other one to a running partner or friend who might need it.
We also mentioned the color choices and while it is for the trimming, you do get a choice of no less than 9 different color options.
In terms of looking after your knee while you run, the Cambivo has several benefits. The first is the silicone double lining which should prevent the knee brace from slipping and thus keep it in place while you are running. The greater thickness also provides extra reinforcement to the support without reducing the comfort of the knee brace in any way.
The anti-bacterial fabric is very flexible so your movement should not be hindered as you run, and it is also breathable to promote the evaporation of any sweat and reduce the chances of overheating. The other main benefit provided to your knee while wearing this knee brace includes improved blood flow and reduced swelling.
What I Like
The double-lined silicone interior not only helps keep this knee brace in place but also provides excellent support for your knee, especially if you are recovering from an injury.
What I Don’t Like
When first worn, you may feel itchiness, which is caused by the silicone material, although this recedes after several uses.
- Anti-bacterial material
- Breathable to reduce sweating
- Promotes blood flow
- Choice of 9 colors
- Two pack is excellent value
- Sizes are larger than stated
- Elastic needs to be more robust
Our final review looks at an open patella type knee brace that can be used to support your knee for running, and many other sports including hiking, basketball and gym sessions.
This knee brace has universal sizing therefore instead of selecting your leg size option, it has an adjustable fitting. This is achieved using the two straps which have Velcro fasteners.
You place the brace over your knee, wrap each strap around your leg, and then fasten using the Velcro. From here you can adjust the strap so it either less or more tightly wrapped around depending how secure you want the brace to be.
It is made from neoprene which makes it breathable to reduce sweating in your knee area, and this also ensures no moisture can come in the other way should you be running in wet conditions.
Support is provided both by the material and the dual stabilizers within the sides of the brace. This ensures that your knee is kept stable and helps to reduce the chance of sprains and twists occurring. It will also reduce the risks of more serious stress and impact injuries including ligament tears and cartilage damage.
For existing knee conditions like arthritis or meniscus tears, this knee brace is ideal for helping to support your knee while you recover so that any discomfort or even pain that might be felt while walking or running is minimized.
What I Like
Every leg and knee size will be different so being able to fully adjust this knee brace so that it not only fits correctly but is also at its most comfortable is a big plus.
What I Don’t Like
The robustness of the Velcro is not great and as such, its ability to hold the knee brace in place over the longer term is compromised.
- Breathable neoprene material
- Fully adjustable straps
- Offers excellent support
- Can aid recovery from injuries
- Suitable for many sports
- Rather bulky
- Unpleasant plastic smell
With your knee being one of the most important joints in your body, especially if you a runner, the purchase of the correct knee brace is essential. In order to do so, it is vitally important that you are fully aware of all the main features and buying options of the knee braces you are considering.
To help you with that task, we have created this simple buying guide which will take you through what we believe are the 6 most important features of knee braces.
They are not in any particular order, especially as the importance of any one feature may differ between individuals. However, in their entirety, they are what you should be considering when choosing the knee brace for running you wish to buy.
There are basically two types of knee brace for running. The first is a sleeve type which is normally a single piece of fabric and this is worn by simply sliding in on to your leg and positioning it across your knee area.
The second is called the ‘open patella’ and instead of a single sleeve it has straps which are fastened using Velcro once you have the knee brace in position.
Levels of Protection
The protection that a knee brace will give you when running is mostly in terms of supporting the knee so that it has as much stability as possible. The compression which the knee brace provides also promotes blood flow.
Knee braces can help those who are recovering from an injury by reducing inflammation, and they also generate heat within the muscles which aids recovery too.
Support is the primary function of a knee brace, and although the level of support is not something which knee braces are graded by, there are some differences in how it is achieved.
Knee braces which are fastened using straps, tend to use the hinges within the brace. With sleeve braces, the support is achieved by the nature of the material and the way it uses compression. Silicone is used on the inside of the brace to keep the sleeve from moving, and this also enhances the support.
While knee braces are not exactly what you would call a ‘fashion accessory’ they are some options in terms of their design.
The simplest ones are those sleeve-type knee braces that have color options, with some having several to choose from. Other than that, it is a choice between the simple sleeve knee brace, or the more noticeable hinged knee brace.
Knee braces tend to be relatively inexpensive and they normally cost a lot less than the running shoes you might be wearing on your feet. Prices range from around $15 and go up to $45 depending on the size. Look for any of them coming as a 2 pack instead of a single knee brace, as these offer better value for money.
To allow sweat to evaporate and thus keep your knee area cool and your knee brace from generating odor, you want the material used for the knee brace to be breathable. This is especially the case with sleeve knee braces due to them not having any open areas.
Best Knee Brace For Running FAQ
How do I run without hurting my knees?
While any underlying condition can cause pain in your knees when you are running, one of the best ways you can avoid pain is to wear a knee brace. This will give your knee the support it needs to avoid injury and reduce any stiffness that might occur.
How do I protect my knees when running?
One of the best ways to protect your knees is to ensure you have a proper warmup before you start running. This loosens the muscles and avoids the risk of stretching cold ligaments within the knee area.
Once again, a knee brace is the best solution to protecting your knees given that it provides stability and keeps the knee joint warm.
What does a knee brace do?
The primary benefit of a knee brace is that it supports the knee joint. This support reduces the risk of injury due to sprains or twists that might otherwise occur. The compression the knee brace provides also promotes blood circulation around the knee.
How easily can you run with a knee brace?
While it may take some time to get used to running with a knee brace on, beyond this it should not inhibit your movement to the extent that you feel unable to run. If you are using an adjustable knee brace, you could try adjusting the strap if you feel that the knee brace is uncomfortable.
Do knee braces help runners’ knees?
Knee braces are especially useful if you are recovering from a knee injury as they protect the knee and thus allow you to exercise sooner than you otherwise might. On the flip side, knee braces help you to avoid injury in the first place, thanks to the support they give your knee when you are running.
Final Thoughts on the Best Knee Braces for Running
Hopefully, our buying guide and FAQ relating to knee braces for running gave you all the information that you were looking for. We also hope the product reviews have helped you move closer to choosing which one you want to buy.
For our part, we like the Cambivo Knee Compression Sleeve. Its double-lined silicone provides a high level of knee support, and it has the other benefit of helping to keep the knee brace in place.
The cherry on the cake is the fact that when you purchase, you will receive two knee braces which constitutes great value for money and gives you a brace for each knee.