- Things to Consider Before Buying a Knee Brace for Hiking
- Best Knee Braces for Hiking: Our Top Picks
Hiking has been known to help lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol and type II diabetes. It is a good way to spend time with family and friends, and it helps reinvigorates the body. But if you are going to reap the full benefits of hiking, then you will need the right equipment.
A high quality knee brace is important for a hiker, especially one whose knees give them trouble on the trail. The knee brace offers support, stabilization and added protection for your knees. It makes for a more comfortable and enjoyable hiking experience. In this post, we review the 5 best knee braces for hiking. We also tell you how to narrow down your choices and buy a knee brace that suits your needs.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Knee Brace for Hiking
It is important to know what features to look for when shopping for a knee brace for hiking. With millions of options out there, this kind of knowledge makes your search easier. To start with, you should ask for knee braces that are specially designed for hiking. Below is a comprehensive list of factors to consider before purchasing a knee brace for hiking.
Knee braces are available in various shapes and styles. Slip-on knee braces are common and to wear them, you put your feet through and slide them up. They are great option for hiking since they provide exceptional support for the knees and have an excellent grip. Another type that you can consider is the wraparound knee brace. It is usually placed on the knee and adjusted with straps. We don’t recommend it for hiking because it stops providing knee support when the straps are loose.
The last thing you want is to purchase a product that ends up being either undersize or oversize. It can be quiet frustrating if your knee brace isn’t the right fit for you. Keep in mind that manufacturers don’t use the same size guides. As such, fitting before purchase is important to ensure that you go home with a hiking brace that sits on your knees correctly. Hiking in an ill-fitting knee brace will only cause discomfort and in some extreme cases, further health problems. If it is too loose, it will pull down the ligaments and ultimately cause knee damage. On the other hand, a knee brace that’s too tight will limit blood flow.
You will be walking distances on different terrains. As such, your hiking knee braces require well fitted adjustable straps that allow you to tighten or loosen accordingly. Getting the knee brace on and off should be easy. And while we are still on the subject of adjustability, the adjustable straps help align the joints to the patella. The patella is responsible for reducing internal friction on the knees.
While it is a fun bonding activity, hiking can often prove tasking. This is where a knee brace comes in. It not only helps cushion you from injuries, but it also feels comfortable. The knee brace you choose should be able to stay in place, which means opting for adjustable straps. Additionally, the fabric should be able to absorb sweat. Go for a knee brace with water-resistant properties that doesn’t get wet when on a damp trail or if it starts to rain.
The last thing you should ever compromise on is quality. A good knee brace should be made from high quality materials that ensure durability for a long time. Go for something made from a soft, light material like neoprene or nylon. You don’t want a knee brace that weighs you down. A light knee brace will keep your muscles relaxed and allow you to go about your duties without feeling uneasy or tired.
Best Knee Braces for Hiking: Our Top Picks
1. Exous Knee Brace Support Protector
This knee brace offers non-slip fitting with built-in lateral stabilization as well as 4-way all round compression. It features a skin friendly lycra lining and super strong Velcro attachments that allow for true functional support. There are two small crossover straps that are fully adjustable, and help stabilize the patella. The Velcro allows for a long-term grip while the 0.5″ gap behind the knee makes it easy to bend your knee with unrestricted access.
Also included are double stabilizers to provide LCL/MCL ligament support. This is particularly important for weak knees. These stabilizers also provide added support during exercise while allowing for full knee bending. The slimline profile makes it easy for the knee brace to be worn under clothes.
Exous uses a skin-friendly lycra lining that prevents skin irritation, even when you wear the knee brace all day long. An elastic inner sleeps does a good job of positioning the knee brace for an easy fitting.
- Uses two double metal coil stabilizers to provide side and lateral stability to the ligaments
- Premium lycra lining ensures minimal rash and 90-degree unrestricted bending of the knee
- Comes with a 4-strap system that creates o.5″ gap at the back of the knee
- Super string Velcro provides robust adhesion to hold more than 35lbs
- A little too loose for some users
- There were reported cases of the Velcro not holding up
2. Ipow 2 Pack Knee Strap Brace Support
The Ipow 2 Pack Knee Strap Brace Support offers everything you’d want in your hiking knee brace. It has a resilient compression strap located in the strap that absorbs shock and helps hold the patella around the knee. It goes a long way towards helping reduce pain associated with jumper’s knee, chondromalacia, patella tendonitis and runner’s knee.
The ergonomic wide shape of this brace contours the kneecap tightly, thus allowing for growth of muscle growth. It is made with a non-slip material and as such, will stay in place throughout the hike. Additionally, its non-slip nature will also ensure uniform compression.
Smooth edges wrap around the knee tightly to provide adequate support. They also don’t irritate the skin and because they are barely noticeable, you can wear the knee brace under your clothes. This product is designed to give your knee enough break, thus allowing you to kneel freely.
There is plenty of room for tightening or loosening the knee brace. Whether you are an adult or purchasing it for a child, this brace will offer a comfortable fit, alleviate the pressure and prevent any accidental damage.
- Backed by 100% money back guarantee
- Features reinforced stitching for durability
- Made from a soft and lightweight material
- Offers uniform compression
- Has a nasty petroleum smell when first removed from package
3. SB SOX Compression Brace for Knee Pain
While it may not look all that tough, the SB SOX Compression Brace for Knee Pain has a lot to offer the seasoned hikers. It is designed with a lightweight and breathable fabric that has moisture wicking properties. It provides the kind of support that’s effective for alleviating arthritis and knee pain during your backpacking trips.
Another notable feature is a silicone grip, which provides a soothing and friction-free fit. The compression technology used allows for optimum blood circulation and improves oxygen circulation. This ultimately reduces build up of lactic acid, thus aiding pain relief in the knees. We love the no-slip top and bottom cuff as they provide unmatched comfort.
This knee brace hugs your knee nicely, giving you support and stability whilst remaining irritation-free and comfortable. A good point to note is that the material is anti-odor, and doesn’t compromise your mobility in any way. Its breathability and ability to maintain stability regardless of the activity is a bonus for hikers.
- Designed with lightweight and breathable material
- Has moisture-wicking properties
- Provides 360 support and stability for the knee
- Can be used for hiking and various sports
- Comes in multiple sizes
- Not every hiker appreciates the closed knee design
4. Tech Ware Pro Knee Brace
This is one of the most top rated knee braces on the market and makes a good investment for someone hiking with a bad knee. The product is lightweight and offers superior comfort, thanks to the stitching and straps. Unlike other sleeve style braces that provide increased compression, this particular model is ultra-supportive and offers enough compression without limiting blood flow.
The Tech Ware Pro Knee Brace is made from a neoprene material, which boasts non-slip properties. Unlike other open patella designs that have straps on one side, this model features alternating Velcro straps as well as 4 spring stabilizers. This ensures maximum and uniform support around the knee. Your knee will feel particularly stable on long hikes.
The moisture wicking properties of the neoprene material keeps your knees drier than other models. You don’t have to worry about the brace rolling or slipping during your backpacking trip. If you love open patella braces, the Tech Ware Pro is worth considering.
- Lightweight and surprisingly comfortable knee brace
- Features an open patella design
- Made with moisture wicking neoprene that’s skin friendly
- Comes with non-slip silicon straps for a snug fit
- Comfortable support pain relief
- It slips away from the knee sometimes
5. Abco Tech Patella Knee Strap
If you are suffering from patella pain but don’t want that to deter you from enjoying a morning run or hiking trip, the Abco Tech Patella Knee Strap is worth considering. Many hikers and runners prefer it simply for its wide appearance. It has a slim design, but still covers a wider area below the knee and concentrates pressure in the right areas to ensure maximum comfort.
The Abco Tech Patella Knee strap is made from a blend of neoprene and nylon. This combination makes it quite stretchy and lightweight. It absorbs sweat and prevents a wet surface from accumulating on the knee. This goes a long way towards preventing slippage. Unfortunately, you will need to clean your knee strap regularly to prevent buildup of odor.
This strap is designed to allow you to align it with your kneecap accurately. It has dual adjustment straps that do a good job of preventing offsets that you find uncomfortable. Our main concern is that the Velcro, however strong, may stop binding after a few months of use. This is because the knee is a particularly active part of the body.
- Offers superior comfort at an affordable price
- It’s a good knee strap for individuals dealing with jumper’s knee
- Aligns accurately to the kneecap
- Can be used for running, hiking, workouts, biking etc.
- Fully adjustable for a comfortable fit
- Doesn’t provide as much as some users may like
Choosing the best knee braces for hiking isn’t the easiest task. The most important thing to remember is not to compromise on quality or comfortable fit. Going for a lightweight, breathable material like neoprene or nylon is also a good idea. Our top pick is the Exous Knee Brace Support Protector. This is because in addition to the above qualities, this brace offers built-in lateral stabilization, skin-friendly lycra lining as well as 4-way all round compression. It is also worth mentioning that the brace allows for a 0.5″ gap behind the knee for unrestricted bending.