Common movements in baseball – changing directions quickly when running and sliding feet-first – can cause knee ligament injuries or a meniscus tear if you’re not careful.
But, you can prevent or even heal knee joint baseball injuries with the right knee support. It should be thin to fit under your pants while providing enough stability, though.
So, the best knee brace for baseball players is a knee sleeve or a wraparound knee brace. Some include extra features, too – you’ll learn all about them below.
There are thousands of options out there, so our team sampled dozens of knee braces to find the best ones for baseball players. Use this guide to save research time and train safely.
PS: MCL sprains are very common in baseball players. If you have that injury, check this guide with the best knee braces for MCL sprains instead.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Knee Force Compression Sleeve
Its compression keeps your knee warm and stable, key features for boosting performance and preventing injuries. Fits perfectly under your pants too – ideal for wearing in and out of the field.
Best for Injury Recovery: Cocoon Knee Flex Pro
This knee sleeve doubles as a heat/ice pack. Whether you need to reduce swelling or manage knee pain, this knee brace has you fully covered. Plus, wear it on other joints!
Best for Nagging Knee Injuries: Braceability Knee Brace
Compression, lateral protection, and kneecap stability – all in one place. It’s the best sleeve to help you recover from mild or nagging injuries.
Comparison of the 6 best knee braces for baseball players
- Thin to fit under clothing.
- Uniform compression for healing.
- Extremely breathable.
- Won’t restrict movement.
- Doesn’t bunch up.
- Only 2 color options.
- No additional features.
The Knee Force compression sleeves offer what every baseball player needs – compression and thinness.
Its all-around compression keeps your knee joints warm, helping your leg muscles react faster – the kind of boost you need if you’re planning on stealing bases.
It’s also lightweight and thin, which will make you forget you have them on.
This knee brace doesn’t have much color variety though, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you’ll wear it under your pants.
- Material: 80% Nylon, 20% Spandex
- Size: S-XL
- Color options: Black, green
- 360° hot/cold pack.
- Uniform compression.
- Leakproof, antimicrobial material.
- Much more durable than average.
- Wear on other joints.
- Only comes in blue.
Wearing a Cocoon is like having a physical therapist on-demand.
This knee brace combines the compression of sleeves with the therapeutic benefits of ice or heat therapy. It’s a powerful tool to recover from any baseball injury.
The best part is that you can wear it on other joints, not only your knees. You can enjoy the same benefits on your elbows, biceps, or ankles with only one brace.
- Material: Lycra, hydrogel
- Size: S, M, L
- Color options: Blue
- Sleeve-like compression.
- Side stays for lateral stability.
- Patella buttress for kneecap protection.
- Doesn’t restrict movement.
- Neoprene and latex-free.
- Can pinch a bit behind the knee.
- Needs some time to put on.
This knee brace has a little bit of everything to fully protect your knee.
The compression boosts blood flow like a sleeve, which helps with pain and swelling. The side stabilizers add another layer of protection to your ligaments, but they’re flexible enough to allow a full range of motion.
It also has straps to help you further customize the level of compression. The only drawback is that it may need some time and patience to put on right – otherwise it can pinch a little behind the knee.
- Material: Neoprene alternative, velcro, aluminum spiral stays.
- Size: S-4XL.
- Color options: Black.
The Shock Doctor 875 is ideal for recovering from and/or preventing another sprain or meniscus tear.
No other knee brace in this list offers this level of support for your knee ligaments. Also, the amount of customization it provides is unique.
Although it feels tight at first, the fabric will mold to your skin over time. Thus, providing the compression of knee sleeves with the added protection of hinges and straps.
It can be excessive if you only have mild instability with little pain and swelling, though. If that’s you, the options above will suit you better.
- Material: Spandex, lycra, aluminum
- Size: S-3XL
- Color options: Black
This Glofit knee brace provides all the benefits of knee sleeves while taking special care of your kneecap.
The patella gel pad keeps your knee cap in place and reduces pressure in that area. This is ideal if you feel knee soreness at the front of your joint, during or after a game.
Also, the bilateral straps cross right below the kneecap. This provides further relief to that area. The downside is that they aren’t as durable as other options in this list.
- Material: Nylon, cotton, polyester, spandex
- Size: S, M, L
- Color options: Black/Yellow
This wraparound knee brace from TechWare Pro has a little bit of everything at a fraction of the price.
The 3 alternating straps make it extremely easy for you to customize the level of compression you need. And its side stabilizers add an extra layer of stability.
We were greatly surprised by how durable it is, given the price tag. However, it’s not a knee brace to put on in a hurry – it takes some time to place it right so it doesn’t slip down.
- Material: Neoprene, velcro, silicone
- Size: M – 2XL
- Color options: Black
Factors to consider when choosing the best knee braces for playing baseball
The most comfortable knee braces tend to be sleeves. They are soft with high breathability and ideal for everyday use. Most of them have non-slip silicone strips to keep them in place.
Wraparound knee braces offer more customization, but the straps can pinch on the back of your knee if you don’t put them right.
And although hinged knee braces offer the most stability, the hinges can dig on the sides of your knee joint. This is the tradeoff for protecting your knee.
Further reading: What kind of knee brace do I need?
Design and extra features
The specific design and extra features of the best knee braces for you will depend on whether you have a health or fitness problem or not.
If you only want to reduce swelling and manage mild pain, the compression from a minimalistic sleeve will likely be enough for you.
But, if you have previous knee injuries, you should consider a brace with additional features, such as:
- A wraparound knee support or a sleeve with straps to give you more customization.
- Specific fabrics/materials that can boost recovery, like germanium or hydrogel.
- Open kneecap designs for patella issues.
Level of stability
Baseball players with previous knee injuries, like meniscus or ligament tears, might need external knee support. It will reduce the stress on your ligaments and/or avoid worsening previous tears.
This can be the difference between finishing a game safely or getting reinjured in the first inning.
If this is you, choose designs with hinges or side springs. These features provide support and protection. If you don’t know which one to pick, it’s best to ask a healthcare professional for advice.
Durability and quality
Over time, most knee braces will inevitably stretch, regardless of their fabric. But, certain materials are more durable than others.
If you’re looking for a durable knee support, focus on blends with germanium or neoprene-based knee braces. Or with leakproof materials, like hydrogel.
Also, keep in mind that although straps provide tons of customization, the pulling required to put them on will make them stretch over time as well.
Value for money
If you want to decide based on the price tag, choose brands that sell knee braces in pairs or offer competitive bundle options. But when it comes to injury prevention, is key to consider your specific needs before making your final purchase.
The right knee brace can save you money in rehabilitation, surgery, or missed days down the road. You can also use our codes to get high-quality knee braces at a fraction of the price.
Why you should trust Knee Force
Mitch Torres is a physical therapist specializing in lower back and leg injuries. For this comparison, he drew from his experience treating baseball injuries.
He researched the latest scientific evidence regarding knee braces for baseball players. Then, he tested many products along with the Knee Force team. He cross-referenced their experiences with other athletes’ and finally reached a verdict.
Mitch is the lead editor of Knee Force, where he gives professional advice while making sure the content is up-to-date and to the highest standards.
Although there are thousands of knee braces for baseball injuries, now you know exactly what to look for in your knee support.
Remember that the best knee braces for baseball aren’t necessarily the most expensive or with the most features.
The best knee braces are those that are the perfect fit for your needs – whether that’s healing or preventing baseball injuries or boosting your performance.