10 Best Knee Braces and Sleeves for Running (2022) | Buyers Guide and Reviews

Written by on May 15, 2022 — Medically Reviewed By Mich Torres (PT)

most common knee injuries are referred to as “Runners Knee”

Knees are a runner’s most prized position. . Without proper knee care, your running days are numbered. It’s widely known, the most common knee injuries are referred to as “Runners Knee”.

This just goes to show how closely connected knee injuries are to runners.

Due to the constant pounding on the pavement, over long distances, running contributes significantly to knee problems.

Knee injuries not only impact your running but your entire quality of life.

However, with proper injury prevention and joint care, knee-injuries don’t have to impact your life… or the hours you spend on the road.

Braces for the knees can be your #1 asset for improving your quality of life, by offering pain relief and managing knee health.

Our team of experts has carefully selected the most popular runners’ knee braces on the market and put them through their paces, so you don’t have to.

Our Top Picks:

Best Overall: Knee Force Knee Compression Sleeve
Best compression knee sleeve to help aid recovery of minor-medium injuries.

Best for Recovery: Cocoon Knee Flex Pro
Provides excellent support for all rugged activities.

Best for Patellar Tracking: Braceability Patella Stabilizing Knee Brace
With side stabilizers and a U-shaped buttress for boosted support and optimized patellar tracking.

Top 10 Picks for the Best Knee Brace for Running

1. Knee Force Compression Sleeve

Pros

  • Effective pain relief.
  • Durable compound materials.
  • Exceptional freedom of motion.
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer as much support as the Shock Doctor.

What makes the Knee Force compression sleeve so fantastic for runners, is its ability to offer instant pain relief, as well as the breathable fabric, giving you incredible freedom of motion.

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The Knee Force was designed by Pain Therapists, to reduce joint inflammation and knee pain, as well as increase blood flow and circulation to the joint… which is crucial for maintaining a runner’s knee health and assisting recovery.

The Knee Force is constructed using nylon, spandex, and rubber material.

The compound fabric offers maximum support and comfort, particularly impressive for running long distances.

The sleeve is simple to put on – pulling it up, over your knee, not unlike putting on a sock.

It has a non-slip bar designed to keep the sleeve in place.

It is suitable for runners recovering from minor injuries, or to be used as part of your injury prevention strategy.

The Knee Force is available in M, L, XL, and XXL and comes with a 100% Money Back Guarantee.

The Knee Force doesn’t offer the same support as the Shock Doctor 875 (review below), however, it is perfect for runners with minor knee injuries, looking for an affordable, simple solution.

Material: 80% Nylon, 20% Spandex
Size: S, M, L.
Color options: Black, Blue

2. Cocoon Knee Flex Pro

Pros

  • Effective pain relief.
  • Durable compound materials.
  • Exceptional freedom of motion.
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer as much support as the Shock Doctor.

The Cocoon Knee Flex Pros are perfect for pre-and post-workout. The hydrogel filling retains hot and cold temperatures, making it perfect for soothing sore muscles before and after riding the waves.

These cocoons are built differently than any other knee brace I’ve seen. They basically are a compression sleeve and ice pack in one.

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The Lycra material is stretchy and comfortable, ensuring a snug fit that won’t slip during even the most strenuous activities.

These cocoons come in three sizes – small, medium and large – so you can find the perfect fit for your body. They are also available in blue, making them a stylish addition to any outfit.

However, they are not as supportive as some of the other knee braces on the market, so I suggest using them before and after running, not during. This will allow you to get the full benefit of their therapeutic properties.

  • Material: Lycra, hydrogel
  • Size: S, M, L.
  • Color options: Blue

3. Braceability Patella Stabilizing Knee Brace

Pros

  • Side stabilizers add more support to your knees
  • U-shaped buttress optimizes patellar tracking
  • Durable material
  • Velcro straps to help prevent slipping
  • Wide size range
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Slightly above average price
  • No color options
  • Bulkier and slightly more inconvenient to wear

I recommend Braceability’s Patella Stabilizing Knee Brace when our Knee Force sleeves don’t work. The reason(s) I say that is that it comes with side stabilizers and a U-shaped buttress.

The stabilizers make them more supportive while the buttress keeps your patella in place. For when pure compression isn’t enough to relieve you of your runner’s knee, the added stability and optimized patellar tracking will more than likely fair better.

Plus, it’s durable, has velcro straps that effectively keep it in place, and comes from a brand that offers excellent customer service. Pretty wide size range, too, which spans from S to 4XL.

However, its bells and whistles make it slightly pricier, bulkier, and more cumbersome to put on compared to compression sleeves. Not to mention that it only comes in 1 color.

4. Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Support

Pros

  • Unmatched knee joint support.
  • Extremely heavy duty.
  • Comfortable.

Cons

  • Very tight.

The Shock Doctor SD 875 is heavy-duty knee support compression brace with bilateral hinges.

Shock Doctor – known for making the most popular mouthguards on the market – offers the SD 875 hinged knee compression, perfect for runners with serious knee injuries, or knee joint instability.

The SD 875 is solid! One of the most heavy-duty design braces on the market.

The Shock Doctor comes with two removable, aluminum, bilateral hinges, offering unparalleled support, with the ability to quickly convert into a compression sleeve.

Holding the knee-brace tightly together is two solid Velcro straps – on top and bottom.

The SD 875 is incredibly tight. It really needs wearing-in… like a shoe.

The SD 875 allows for a full range motion… offering runners freedom to enjoy their time on the road, without feeling restricted.

The Shock Doctor offers superior support for runners with moderate to serious knee injury, as well as knee and patella instabilities.

The plastic packaging is solid enough to store away your Shock Doctor knee brace.

The Shock Doctor comes in 6 sizes. S, M, L, XL, XXL, and XXXL.

The Shock Doctor is a seriously supportive knee braces compression for runners with moderate to serious injuries. If you are suffering minor injuries, you may prefer the freedom and simplicity of the PentagonFit knee support brace.

5. Bauerfeind Sports Knee Brace

Pros

  • Exceptional comfort and stability.
  • Sophisticated pain relief.
  • Available in many size options.

Cons

  • Not as durable as the Shock Doctor.
  • Skin irritation.

The Bauerfeind Sports, is a high-quality, German-made knee brace, perfect for runners with moderate knee injuries.

The Bauerfeind is made from air-knit fabric, making it highly breathable. The brace is also wonderfully comfortable.

The Bauerfeind comes fitted with its anatomically contoured pad, that surrounds the kneecap, distributing the pressure evenly around the knee joint, while stimulating the muscles around the knees.

The Bauerfeind Sports has an incredibly impressive ability to make sure it reduces pain at the knee joint while improving circulation. A crucial feature for runners wishing to maintain knee health and avoid injuries.

The only thing letting it down is durability.

Yes, there are plenty of advantages the Bauerfeind offers runners with injuries, however, durability isn’t one of them.

It’s certainly not as durable as the Shock Doctor.

Another small issue we found with the Bauerfeind, was skin irritation.

The silicon inside the sleeve, that kept the brace from sliding down, can cause skin irritation from the abrasive fabric rubbing on the back of the knee.

The Bauerfeind Sports comes in 6 sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, and XXL.

The Bauerfeind Sport is perfect for runners suffering from moderate knee injuries or recovering from surgery.

If you’re after something more heavy duty, choose the Shock Doctor.

6. UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support

Pros

  • Aids in reducing knee pain
  • Suitable for running
  • Features the anti-slip silicone
  • Made with stylish yet durable materials

Cons

  • The rubber strips may wear out after a few uses
  • Machine wash is not recommended

Another great product on this review is the knee compression sleeve support produced by UFlex Athletics, which can reduce pain, reduce inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and soreness.

This knee compression is suitable not only for running but for all other activities that apply a lot of stress to your joints. It also aids in pain relief, as well as recovery from the runner’s knee.

It also comes with anti-slip silicone, to make sure it allows a more stable compression while you run the field.

Comfort and Stability

This knee compression for runners by UFlex Athletics is made with the 4-way stretch capability, making it a must-have for runners like you.

Durability and Quality

It is constructed in such a way that it helps you improve your everyday activities, most especially your running performance.

Cost and Value

UFlex knee compression sleeve, while being very affordable, will never disappoint you.

7. Patella Strap Knee Brace Support

Pros

  • Features fully adjustable straps
  • Perfect for runners
  • Made of very good quality materials
  • Durable

Cons

  • You might get a small bruise if you fit it too tightly
  • The padding may be too thick for some

best knee brace for running, top knee support compression sleeve for runners in American Forever Sports created these amazing braces, which would be perfect for you if you are experiencing knee pain and discomfort.

It features a fully adjustable strap, providing you with nice and tight compression. It is made of premium materials, which makes up for its longevity, as well as durability.

In addition, this knee support has a combination of neoprene and nylon, allowing you to feel very comfortable even when you are running.

Comfort and Stability

This is made by Run Forever Sports is made of lightweight materials, so much as if you will not feel any weight on your knee.

Durability and Quality

It is made of neoprene and nylon, allowing you to make the most out of it for an extended period.

Cost and Value

While being very affordable, you will know that it does not come short of awesome features.

Patella Strap Knee Support Review

8. Compressions Knee Brace Support

Pros

  • Fully adjustable
  • High-quality construction
  • Affordable
  • Perfect for running

Cons

  • The Velcro straps may be irritating for some
  • A bit bulky

This knee brace by Compressions made it to this review of the best knee brace for running because it effectively supports your kneecap while relieving pain and discomfort, all thanks to its excellent neoprene construction.

It comes with  Velcro straps, allowing you to fully adjust the tension where you need it. It is made of neoprene, so you would not need to worry about comfort, breathability, and flexibility.

Indeed, this knee support is perfect for use by runners.

Comfort and Stability

This knee support is made of extremely breathable, flexible, and lightweight materials, allowing you to be in your most comfortable state whenever you go for a run.

It also comes with Velcro straps, acting as a patella protector immobilizer.

Durability and Quality

It is made of premium materials, making sure that it can endure all the harshness running may entail on the knee support.

Cost and Value

At $15.99, we do consider this a steal, mainly because of its amazing features and benefits

9. Winzone Knee Support

Pros

  • Ideal for running
  • Very comfortable and stable to wear
  • Delivers maximum compression and support

Cons

  • The strap band may cause irritation
  • You may not be able to extend the straps

Yet another outstanding product on this review is this knee support created by Winzone. It delivers maximum compression and extra support on your kneecap whenever you run.

With its great construction, you are assured of its overall durability. It features fully adjustable straps that prevent it from slipping down.

This knee support is also very comfortable to wear while allowing you full mobility, especially when you are running.

Comfort and Stability

Winzone knee support is perfectly comfortable to wear, even when you discreetly put it on under your clothes.

This knee support feature alone is very impressive, especially if you engage in active sports.

Durability and Quality

Made of durable materials, this knee support for runners ensures that you will enjoy its benefits for an extended period.

Cost and Value

We do consider this product as one of the top knee supports for running, especially with its wonderful features and the fact that it does not cost more than $50

10. SB Sox Compression Knee Brace

Pros

  • Premium-quality construction
  • Made of lightweight materials
  • Perfect for runners
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Replacing the product might be challenging
  • Signs of wear may appear after several uses

Last on this review but certainly not the least is this knee compression by SB SOX, delivering an improved blood flow while promoting maximum support and compression to your knee joint.

This one is made of premium-quality materials, which are also lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking, and anti-odor. It is equipped with a non-slip top, as well as bottom cuffs, providing you with comfort.

Indeed, this knee compression for runners produced by SB SOX is necessary, especially if you are a runner.

Comfort and Stability

It is of great, breathable, anti-odor, and moisture-wicking construction.

It also comes with non-slip cuffs, which overall adds the required comfort and stability.

Durability and Quality

This SB SOX knee compression provides support, comfort, and compression without restricting your mobility.

Cost and Value

This one, while being very cheap, still does the job.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Knee Brace for Running

Comfort and Stability

Running mostly involves movements from the lower half of your body, which makes it vulnerable to knee pain, discomfort, or worse, injuries. To be able to protect your knees, you certainly need a brace that will be comfortable and stable to wear, even when you are out running.

Durability and Quality

When narrowing down your choices, be sure to include those that are made with premium materials in your list. This only ensures that you are getting exactly what you paid for. In addition, ensure to look out for all the useful features, as well as benefits, to be able to determine the best running knee brace for you.

Cost and Value

Investing in a great knee brace, knee sleeve or knee support for running might cost you up to a hundred dollars. To ensure that you get the value for your money, watch out for the features you are likely to benefit from. From that, you can relate the price, see if it is something you are willing to pay for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Knee Braces or Knee Sleeves Help with Running?

Knee braces or knee sleeves offer many benefits for runners.
One of the most immediate benefits is pain relief, for runners with nagging knee injuries – allowing you to spend more time running, as well as giving you the freedom to perform daily activities without knee pain.
More significantly, It can reduce the impact on your knees during running and improve joint stability.
It increases blood flow to the knees, which is crucial for the overall health and longevity of your knee joints.
A quality knee brace or knee support will apply constant pressure around the complex structures of the knee joint, reducing inflammation, assisting in recovery, and protecting your knees from further injury or any knee pain you may feel.

What are the Best Knee Braces for Running?

The best knee braces for running depends on the runner’s individual requirements and the severity of the runner’s knee injuries.
For moderate injuries, a good compression sleeve will provide all the benefits, including pain relief and added support, without impeding your ability to run comfortably over long distances.
For severe knee problems, a hinged knee brace will provide you additional support and stability, and will assist with faster recovery.

Can You Wear a Knee Brace While Exercising?

You can, and should, wear a knee brace or knee sleeve during exercise.
Knee braces or knee support keep your joint warm and increase blood flow to the knee. This will prevent injuries and contribute significantly to the overall health and longevity of your knee joint.
A quality knee support will give you immediate pain relief, and provide additional support and stability to your knee joints while exercising.
It can also reduce inflammation to your knee joints or knee pains assisting in faster recovery.
A knee brace not only protects your knees from injury but also contributes to knee joint health.

Should You Wear Knee Sleeves While Running?

Many runners take full advantage of the benefits of using knee sleeves while running.
Knee sleeves keep your knee joints warm and increase blood flow to the knees, which is especially important for overall knee joint health and longevity.
Runners with knee injuries will experience immediate pain relief while wearing a knee sleeve. The knee sleeve will reduce inflammation, and provide additional support to the knee joints – assisting in recovery and protecting your knees from further injuries.
Knee compression sleeve are comfortable, unrestrictive, and offer complete freedom of movement… without interfering with your running experience.

Conclusion

Now that we have done the hard work for you, it is now up to you to decide which one of our picks is the right knee brace or knee support for you. We recommended the Knee Force Compression Sleeve. Remember that all that it takes is your careful evaluation of each product, to be able to determine which is the best knee brace for running you should purchase.