For those who play basketball frequently, there is always a concern for injury and pain, particularly in the knees. Basketball players, like many other athletes, are required to do strenuous motions that lend themselves to strains. Quick and forceful lateral movements, jumping, and running on hard floors or pavement can over time cause high levels of wear on the knees from these repeated activities. In addition, the torque and tension of these movements can sometimes cause immediate injuries of varying degrees.
Despite these physical risks to the legs and knees, many people love the game of basketball and it can still be a fun and exciting way to exercise and stay healthy with friends. In the case of immediate and severe pain or injury, it is always best to consult a doctor or visit the emergency room, but if you experience general pain or soreness in your knees, wearing a brace can provide support and stability while you play.
A knee brace can help prevent injury by absorbing some of the impact on drives and lay-ups. It can also help manage knee pain by allowing less strain on lateral movements. Knees braces can be useful as well when recovering from an injury, for example returning to basketball after ACL surgery. They can provide knee support with movement on the court until you are fully recovered and ready to work at full speed. There are many benefits to wearing a knee brace, but there are some things consider when looking at the different types and variations of products.
Should I Wear a Knee Brace for Basketball?
There are many types of products available for athletes and basketball players that provide knee support and stability. A traditional knee brace provides structural support with fabric straps and metal bands embedded in the brace. This is designed to greatly reduce the stress and impact from athletic movements.
In some cases braces may restrict full mobility, but the support is unmatched by other products. Similar to a brace, a knee sleeve is another product that some people use for support in place of a full brace. Usually made of neoprene, polyester, or nylon, a knees sleeve is a tight, fabric sleeve that usually covers the knee as well as part of the calve and thigh. Many sleeves now come with padded inserts that cover and protect the kneecap from the impact of contact or falls. A knee sleeve is frequently used to provide basic support and keep the legs warm throughout play. A sleeve provides much less support and structure than a brace, but it can be less restrictive.
Finally, there is a knee strap. A strap consists of a single band of material, sometimes with metal inserts, that provides support at the knee joint. This can provide some structural support and is less bulky than a full brace. The support is not as comprehensive as the brace and covers very little of the knee. This is best to use when there is minimal and general soreness and a need for a less cumbersome product.
In all, there are many types of products and its best to understand what your specific needs are for for knee brace products. There is sure to be something that meets what you’re looking for.
Here is a review of some of the top products available on the market today for basketball knee braces to help you choose the right product for you.
Top 5 Best Knee Braces for Basketball
1. Exodus Bodygear EX-701 Knee Brace
Pros: The Exodus EX-701 is a top-rated product for several reasons. It has a four-way adjustable compression system of straps that wrap around the knee to provide support from all angles. Two smaller straps above and below the knee cap provide compression and allow the brace to stay in place with a great fit, while a larger wrap at the top provides overall stability to the whole brace. Designed to allow the knee to bend a full 90 degrees, its constructed of durable and strong velcro to keep its shape, but also includes lightweight materials like neoprene. Weighing under 6 ounces, its also comfortable to wear, with open spaces behind the knee and at the kneecap to provide breathability and to avoid irritation. Overall, this should be considered one of the top braces available on the market, and it has top reviews from most customers.
Cons: Despite the weight being only 6 ounces, there are other products that weigh even less than that. Many athletes are looking to choose the lightest products, so there might be better options available in that regard. At $2x.xx (Click Here for Current Price & More Details), this brace is a bit more expensive than a lot of the products out there. There are some products that are more expensive, but there are similar braces available to buy for a bit less money.
2. NeotericBody Knee Brace
Pros: This relatively simple design is very effective at providing support for injured or sore knees. It has two straps, placed above and below an open kneecap area. The Neoteric Body Knee Brace is also durable, constructed of 4mm thick neoprene with spring coiled stainless steel stabilizers, providing a thicker and sturdier construction than most braces without sacrificing breathability and comfort. At $1x.xx (Click Here for Current Price & More Details), its also a relatively good bargain.
Cons: This brace only comes in one size. Though it says one-size fits all, for customers of either smaller or larger stature, the fit might not be as good as other products. Though the design is simple and easy to use with only two straps, other products with a slightly more complex design might allow for maximum range of motion for the knee. The thicker neoprene might also cause some chaffing and irritation for some.
3. Ipow Breathable Support Knee Brace
Pros: This neoprene knee brace provides excellent stability and comfort. With four pieces, three velcro straps that wrap around the open-patella front piece, it provides a great fit for anyone. The inside is lined with anti-slip silicone with ventilated fabric so it stays in place while keeping you cool. At $1x.xx (Click Here for Current Price & More Details), it is also priced competitively compared to other products.
Cons: The Ipow Knee Brace is constructed of mostly neoprene, silicone, and velcro. Though there is padding and spaces to increase comfort and breathability, the velcro straps are not completely covered when coming in contact with the skin, and can therefore contribute to some chaffing and irritation. Also, neoprene can bunch up behind the knee joint and also cause some discomfort. It only comes in one size, so an exact fit might not work for some customers. Despite some of these negatives, for the price, the Ipow remains a relatively good deal.
4. PeakAttacke Breathable Adjustable Knee Support Brace
Pros: This design is pretty simple and straightforward with three adjustable, velcro stretch bands. A non-slip rubber insert provides shock-absorption and impact protection. A four-spring design provides stability and durability, allowing the brace to maintain shape and structure, even over extended use. The The back of the knee pad has breathable, perforated cloth material to reduce heat and sweating during play. It also comes in a variety of colors, whereas most braces come in only one color. The price, at $1x.xx (Click Here for Current Price & More Details), is also a good bargain.
Cons: With the current design intended to provided maximum protection and stability, full range of motion and mobility is not as great compared to other products. For those desiring a brace that provides maximum flexibility and movement, a different product might be best. It also only comes in one size, so the fit might not be perfect.
5. McDavid 6446 Hex Padded Compression Sleeve
Pros: This knee compression sleeve is made of nylon and spandex, providing a superior fit and feel, covering a larger portion of the leg than most other products. It has a padded insert that covers the knee joint, providing protection from impact or collision. It comes in a wide variety of colors as well.
Cons: This compression sleeve is not a full brace, so without straps or metal inserts, it provides less structure and stability than a full brace would provide. The material is also rather thin, so the durability is not as strong as other products.
For basketball enthusiasts, the presence of knee pain and discomfort can be a hindrance to competitive and enjoyable activity. Knee braces can be a great product to help alleviate the impact and stress placed on the legs during games and allow a greater level of exertion on the court. By providing support and structure, the strain from quick lateral movements and impact from jumping and running can be greatly reduced.
Knee braces can also be useful for players recovering from recent knee injuries. When returning from injuries, players often require added support and stability to the knee joints until they are fully recovered. Whether you are experiencing knee pains and aches, or returning to the court after an injury, a knee brace can be a great way to gain added support and stability for your knee, maximizing your performance and ability.
There are a number of products available to fit specific needs, so its important to determine your specific needs. Factors like pricing, size, comfort, and durability can all vary widely, but no matter what your are looking for, there is most likely a knee brace available on the market that will fit your needs.