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10 Best Knee Braces for Hiking With a Great Support

A list of 10 best hiking knee braces including the best knee sleeves, knee braces for pain, running, arthritis, meniscus tear, walking, running, patellar stabilization and more.

best knee braces for hiking

Knee pain is something that may arise if you are a newbie hiker. When I started using knee braces for hiking, the pain I suffered throughout my early years of hiking vanished.

Using the best hiking knee braces would help you finish the trail and lowers the chance of injuring your knee if the pain is not too severe which might require you to seek medical assistance.

I decided to try dozens of knee braces and learn more about the topic after having my knee support frequently questioned by other hikers.

I created a list of the best knee braces for hiking, so you can pick one and keep going without having to worry about your knee!

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Knee Brace for Hiking – Pure Support Knee Brace

Best Knee Braces for Pain – Bracoo Adjustable Compression Brace

Best Knee Brace for Running – Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves

Best Knee Brace for Arthritis- Cho-Pat Knee Stabilizer

Best Knee Brace for Meniscus Tear – TheraICE Rx Elbow & Knee

Best Knee Compression Sleeve – POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve

Best Knee Support for Walking- TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support

Best Knee Brace for Patellar Stabilization- IPOW Patella Stabilizer

Best Knee Brace for Torn Meniscus – NEENCA Knee Brace

Best Knee Braces for Stability – McDavid Maximum Support Knee Brace

hiking knee brace

1. Pure Support Knee Brace

Premium quality and breathable materials, great support for the practice of sports, with graduated compression

Pure Support Knee Brace
Pure Support Knee Brace, Compression Sleeve for Running, Arthritis Pain, Sports

The option for supporting your knee during a walk is the TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support. It works almost like a knee strap and is very comfortable to wear and walk with it: the brace itself envelops the knee completely with two straps, closed up with Velcro.

The effects of this design are called bi-directional support, that being the main point for stabilization of the knee while walking. The kneecap portion of the brace is open so you don’t lose mobility.

However, unlike the other types of knee braces, this one is trickier to put on. The manufacturer suggests that another person adjust the braces in your knee for you, so maybe it’s not the most practical in that sense.

But once you’re wearing it, the effects of this support technology are great, and your mobility is not affected by it.

What we like

Excellent support for the knee

Good mobility when wearing

Bi-directional technology

What we don’t like

× Gets itchy after wearing for too many hours

× Runs a bit smaller in size so get a bigger size

Check product reviews on Amazon »

2. Bracoo Adjustable Brace

With a reinforced knee ring, capable of easing chronic and acute knee pain, while also being made with skin-friendly and breathable materials

Sale
Bracoo Adjustable Brace
Bracoo Adjustable Compression Knee Patellar Tendon Support Brace for Men Women - Arthritis Pain, Injury Recovery, Running, Workout, KS10 (Black)

The Bracoo Adjustable Compression Knee has a unique triple strap design, and it was made to be a knee brace for pain relief. It has a reinforced stabilizer ring, which provides extra support for the knee ligaments, distributing the weight better between them.

The ligaments are a major focal point for knee pain, and this brace takes care of that. It has a universal fit, with breathable materials. The downside to this knee brace is that if not positioned correctly, it tends to slip off the knee, making it ineffective in providing support.

What we like

Great design made for pain relief

Reinforced stabilizer ring

Extra support from 3 different straps

Made from good materials

What we don’t like

× Can slip off the knee and not work as intended

× Straps are not as long as in the previous version

Check product reviews on Amazon »

3. Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves

Performance knee sleeves with 7mm of neoprene, for the best injury prevention and muscle recovery after a run

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Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves
Knee Sleeves (1 Pair) Support & Compression for Weightlifting, Powerlifting & Cross Training - 7mm Neoprene Sleeve for the Best Squats - Both Women & Men - by Nordic Lifting

This option is not only one of the best knee sleeves for running but also a great elastic knee brace for high-knee-impact sports, like basketball or volleyball.

It has a simple design, no extra straps or problems with slipping: it’s just premium quality, 7mm neoprene sleeve for the knee. The compression helps with muscle recovery after hitting the gym, which is also great for injury prevention when running.

It comes with 2 of them, so you can protect both knees at the same time. Nordic offers a 1-year manufacturing warranty on the product. The downside to this knee sleeve is that it doesn’t provide any other benefits for the relief of pain or injury recovery.

What we like

Great athletic knee sleeves

Superior protection while running

7mm thick premium neoprene

Injury prevention technology

Comes in a pair

What we don’t like

× Made for sports practice: no injury recovery technology included

Check product reviews on Amazon »

4. Cho-Pat Knee Stabilizer

360° support around the knee, 4 high-quality surgical tubings, and an open knee cap design provide better support and help prevent pain associated with arthritis

Cho-Pat Knee Stabilizer
Cho-Pat Knee Stabilizer, Maximum Supported Pain Relief for Patellar Tendonitis, Arthritic Knees, and Overuse Syndromes

Arthritis is a serious issue for the knee, and using a knee brace is essential if you have this condition and want to go hiking.

Cho-Pat Knee Stabilizer is a top choice for arthritis, as the double straps focus the pressure around the kneecap almost exclusively, and give it a 360° pressure point around the knee.

It has one of the best brace designs in the market for helping with arthritis, with four surgical tubings surrounding the kneecap and giving even better support around it.

It’s a comfortable knee brace to wear, but it has a great number of different sizes to choose from, and some people may find it confusing when deciding which size is best.

What we like

Top technology for helping with arthritis

Different sizes to choose from

Superior knee pad stability

The double strap that focuses on the kneecap

What we don’t like

× Runs very small so you need to size up

× Scratchy on bare skin

Check product reviews on Amazon »

5. TheraICE Rx Elbow & Knee Ice Pack for Injuries Compression Sleeve

With all-around support for the knee, a slip-on design, a flexible ice cap sleeve will help prevent a tear or treat it after it happened

TheraICE Rx Elbow & Knee Ice Pack for Injuries Compression Sleeve
TheraICE Rx Elbow & Knee Ice Pack for Injuries Compression Sleeve, Reusable Gel Cold Pack for Knee, Elbow, Ankle, Calf - Flexible Cold Wrap Recovery for Meniscus, ACL, MCL, Bursitis Pain Relief

If you have a torn meniscus, perhaps the TheralICE Rx is the perfect solution. It’s easy to use, with no hard points or straps, very flexible, and comes with a reusable ice pack.

It’s a great pain-relieving knee brace, but the ideal use is for the recovery of post-surgery or chronic knee pain. The materials are great and the ice pack can wrap around the entire kneecap.

The downside to this is that the design is not focused entirely on the knee, as it can be used on the elbow too. Some people reported that the gel is not great for heating and that it may leak if heated too much.

What we like

Great chronic pain reliever

Easy to use and put on

Great materials

Ice gel pack included

What we don’t like

× The gel is not good at heating

× Packs do not stay cold for too long time

Check product reviews on Amazon »

6. POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve

Stable pressure around the knee for better blood circulation, faster recovery from injuries, and anti-slip design

POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve
POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve - Best Knee Brace for Knee Pain for Men & Women – Knee Support for Running, Basketball, Weightlifting, Gym, Workout, Sports

As far as single compression sleeves go, the POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve is the best in the category: it’s made from excellent materials, provides great compression around the knee, and increased protection and performance when hiking or practicing sports.

It’s very discreet too, and you can use it beneath any jeans and no one will notice. It has an anti-slip design and is very breathable. The downside to this product is that the sleeve is too long, and some people find it to be uncomfortable.

What we like

Great simple knee sleeve

The extra support around the knee

Superior protection when practicing sports

Very discreet

What we don’t like

× Too long, maybe uncomfortable for some people

× Material used to keep the brace in place is peeling off

Check product reviews on Amazon »

7. TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support

With unique bi-directional support, open kneecap design, with anti-moisture technology

TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support
TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support - Knee Braces for Knee Pain. Relieves ACL, LCL, MCL, Meniscus Tear, Arthritis, Tendonitis Pain. Dual Stabilizers Non Slip Neoprene. Adjustable Bi-Directional Straps -4 Sizes

It works almost like a knee strap and is very comfortable to wear and walk with it: the brace itself envelops the knee completely with two straps, closed up with Velcro.

The effects of this design are called bi-directional support, that being the main point for stabilization of the knee while walking. The kneecap portion of the brace is open so you don’t lose mobility.

However, unlike the other types of knee braces, this one is trickier to put on. The manufacturer suggests that another person adjust the braces in your knee for you, so maybe it’s not the most practical in that sense.

But once you’re wearing it, the effects of this support technology are great, and your mobility is not affected by it.

What we like

Good patellae stabilization for walking

Good mobility

Bi-directional technology

What we don’t like

× Not the most practical wearing method

× Needs readjusting after running for a few miles

Check product reviews on Amazon »

8. IPOW 2 Pack Knee Pain Relief & Patella Stabilizer

Simple and effective design, with a single strap capable of providing the best support for the patella, with shock-absorbing properties

IPOW 2 Pack Knee Pain Relief & Patella Stabilizer
IPOW 2 Pack Knee Pain Relief & Patella Stabilizer Knee Strap Brace Support for Hiking, Soccer, Basketball, Running, Jumpers Knee, Tennis, Volleyball & Squats.

Another knee brace for patella stabilization to consider, but also a simple and effective single-strap knee brace. It looks different than a traditional knee wrap for pain as it has only one strap, that firmly supports the patellae from below, giving it incredible support.

It’s one-size-fits-all, up to an 18 inches circumference, and a shock-absorbing technology. Beware that, being only a single-strap brace, it might cause blood circulation issues if used incorrectly.

What we like

Simple and effective

Best patellae stabilization

One size fits all

Shock absorption

What we don’t like

× Veins damage if used incorrectly

× Sometimes uncomfortable and restricting

Check product reviews on Amazon »

9. NEENCA Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers

With 2 extra adjustable side straps, an anatomically contoured patella gel pad, with an opening for the patella and four stabilizer springs

NEENCA Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers & Patella Gel Pads
NEENCA Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers & Patella Gel Pads, Adjustable Compression Knee Support Braces for Knee Pain, Meniscus Tear,ACL,MCL,Arthritis, Joint Pain Relief,Injury Recovery-4 Sizes.

NEENCA Knee Brace uses side stabilizers that reduce your knee’s pressure while walking. It offers great knee support with its anatomically contoured patella gel pads that surrounds the kneecap.

But the technology that greatly helps with the meniscus is the 4 flexible spring stabilizers at the sides of the knee brace. The downside is that it’s not recommended for the practice of sports, as it will ruin the bracer. Light hiking is fine, however.

What we like

The best knee brace for supporting the meniscus

An anatomical patellae gel pad

Four spring stabilizers

What we don’t like

× Can be damaged quite easily with running or practicing sports

Check product reviews on Amazon »

10. McDavid Maximum Support Knee Brace

It has geared side hinges that provide the most support possible for the knee, while maintaining mobility

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McDavid Maximum Support Knee Brace with Hinges
McDavid Maximum Support Knee Brace with Hinges (429X). Compression and Stability Straps for ACL, LCL, Arthritis, Tendonitis, MCL, Patella. Left and Right. Men and Women.

Hinges offer you the maximum possible knee support and McDavid Maximum Support Knee Brace is the best-hinged knee brace we could find on the market.

The hinges themselves are not rigid, but have gears: they are called bi-lateral geared polycentric hinges. With this technology, they can help you move around while continuing to stabilize the knee.

It’s made from very strong materials, and will not slip or move in any way once in place. The downside to this is that it just can’t be too breathable to work, so it will get moist inside. People also reported not being able to choose the right size correctly.

What we like

Best stability of all

The greatest hinge technology still allows for mobility

Strong materials

What we don’t like

× Manufacturer’s sizes inaccurate

× Will get moist inside if hot

Check product reviews on Amazon »

Things to Consider When Buying Knee Braces for Hiking

best hiking knee braces

Purchasing a knee brace can be overwhelming because many different options are available, and many can be pretty expensive. Before you purchase, you should consider a few things to ensure that you buy the brace that best meets your needs.

Size

You want to make sure that your knee brace properly fits, as one that is too big or too small will not provide the proper support. If your knee braces are too tight, you could risk cutting off your circulation.

On the other hand, if your knee brace is too loose, it could damage your ligaments. Sizing varies by manufacturer, so check all specifications.

Support

Some braces offer extra support, including many with bi-directional technology or side stabilizers. Others offer features like patella stabilization to protect your kneecaps better.

Make sure that you choose the option that addresses any specific needs you have or protects you better in areas where you had previous injuries.

Material

It is essential that you choose a brace with a breathable fabric because hiking involves exertion that can lead to sweating. You don’t want the skin under your brace to get wet, as it could cause a rash or other problems.

If you know you’ll be hiking in a rainy or damp area, choose a brace made of waterproof or moisture-wicking material.   

Types

Knee braces come in many different types. Prophylactic ones prevent injury to the ligaments or the knee. Functional ones work great for people with previous knee injuries.

Rehabilitative options limit potential harmful movements and unloader designs work well for people with osteoarthritis in the knee.

Factors

When purchasing a knee brace, other factors include compression, ease of placement and removal, durability, and comfort.

You may also want a brace that is less visible beneath your clothing or one made with anti-slip features. Some options also include two braces so that you can protect both knees at the same time.

How to Wear a Knee Brace?

Here is how to properly fit and wear a knee brace, as a general rule:

  1. Make sure the knee brace is in direct contact with the skin;
  2. Adjust so the brace is centered above or below your knee cap (depending on the model, around the knee cap);
  3. Tighten the straps and adjust the knee brace when it’s in the proper place.

Do not tighten it too much or you may risk harming your leg, and do not let it be too loose or it may not work. As a general rule, if you can fit a finger after tightening it, it’s a good fit.

Types of Knee Braces

Knee braces typically fall into prophylactic, functional, rehabilitative, or unloader categories.

However, there are also various other types and styles within these categories. You should choose the one that gives you the most comfortable and best fits your lifestyle and activity level. 

Sleeves

Sleeves are generally thin, stretchy pieces of fabric that you wear over your knee for additional support, comfort, and compression.

They typically are lightweight and can be worn for long periods of time. Many are also machine-washable. However, the support provided by sleeves may not be enough for some hikers.  

Stabilizers

Also known as functional braces, these are hinged options that allow you to both bend and straighten your knee. What they limit are any lateral movements.

If you have a mild or moderate sprain, this type of brace may work best because it keeps the knee stable when you put weight on your leg. 

Strap

Knee straps sit below the kneecap and put compression on the patellar tendon. This pressure can help reduce symptoms in the kneecap area and also help prevent some patella injuries.

Straps can also come in a dual format, which provides an additional strap above the kneecap.

Hinged

A hinged knee brace has rigid braces on one or both sides of the knee. It provides more support than sleeve braces or strap braces. Use this type of brace if you need help keeping your knee joint stable, such as after an injury to your ligament. 

Supports

Braces that are designed for support may include features like bi-directional support to stabilize the knee. They often leave the kneecap area open and do not restrict mobility.

They work a lot like a knee strap and are comfortable to wear and great for walking.  Supports make a good option for people with arthritis. 

Knee Braces FAQs

What Do Knee Braces Do?

Knee braces compress the knee joints, protect the muscles and the cartilage, and give extra stability to the walking motion of the knee. This compression will help the overall performance during a hike and prevent many knee pains associated with hiking.

What Is the Best Knee Brace?

Some people consider the best knee brace for hiking is the Pure Support Knee Brace. It offers support for meniscus tears, arthritis, and patella. Its optimum compression technology will prevent joint injuries, faster recovery, and improve blood circulation.

How Tight Should a Knee Brace Be?

A good measure is to fit one or two fingers into the space between your leg and the brace. If you can’t, then you need to lose it until you do. If you can fit more than two fingers, you need to tighten it.

How to measure for a knee brace?

You should measure the following:

  1. The circumference of your thigh, about 15 cm above the center of the knee;
  2. Around the knee joint, with the knee bent about 30 degrees, taking the center of the knee cap as a reference;
  3. Measure your calf with your muscles relaxed.

After that, compare the measurements you got with the knee bracers manufacturer’s measure chart, as each of them has different sizes and specs.

Last update on 2024-04-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API