Which knee brace for running is best?

Running and jogging have been proven to greatly enhance and improve not only your overall physical health but also your mental and emotional well-being. Many people engage in daily runs to clear their mind as well as engage in some much needed cardiovascular activity. However, frequent running comes at a cost. Repeated use and impact can deteriorate joints over time, even when proper form is used. If you experience knee pain while working out, a knee brace for running may help alleviate discomfort and allow you to continue your regimen.

The POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve provides complete joint support in a lightweight and breathable package. Designed for active users, this brace helps prevent injury while exercising and provides relief for existing injuries.

What to know before you buy a knee brace for running

Consult your doctor

Knee pain is common among runners, walkers and joggers. In many cases, all that may be required is rest or an adjustment to your form to prevent the pain from intensifying. However, in some cases, it is advisable to cease all athletic activity to allow your knee to heal and to avoid permanent damage to your cartilage due to wear and tear. Before continuing to run with knee pain, be sure to consult your doctor to ensure that it is safe for you to do so.

Existing injuries

Many athletes have a laundry list of past injuries that they have experienced while playing sports or working out. If your pain is due to a past injury becoming irritated while running, you may be better off engaging in low impact workouts like swimming or using an elliptical machine. While running through the pain is a tactic often used by stubborn, determined athletes, your ability to exercise at all in the future may be hindered if you continue to inflame a past injury.

Not just for running

While running may be the most common source of a training-related knee injury, people have benefited from knee braces for walking, golfing, hiking and other sports as well. So, if knee pain is hampering your enjoyment of your favorite activities, a brace may provide the support and compression you need to continue life as usual.

What to look for in a quality knee brace for running

Compression and support

Compression and support are crucial when it comes to preventing your patella, or kneecap, from moving incorrectly. A patella that does not track optimally can result in pain, inflammation and permanent damage to the cartilage padding that keeps your knee moving freely. Select a brace with enough compression to confidently keep your joint working as intended but not so much that it becomes too tight for comfort.


Loose braces will not provide your knee with the support it needs. Braces that are too tight can cause chaffing, rashes and prevent proper circulation. Select a knee brace that is soft, flexible and appropriately snug.


The best knee braces for running will feature an anti-slip material to prevent the brace from loosening and moving out of place while you run or walk. An anti-slip brace will remain over your joint and not require constant adjustment to ensure that your knee is supported properly.


Select a knee brace that absorbs sweat and allows your skin to breathe. Braces that are too rubbery will result in sweat building up underneath them. Braces that are made of material that is absorbent but not breathable will become saturated. The best braces will be made from material that is supple enough to be easily worn and removed but also wicks sweat away from your body and allows it to evaporate.


Your knee brace should not be so heavy as to cause you to walk or run unevenly. While most braces will be light and thin, active wearers should avoid those that contain hard plastic or metal components. The lighter your knee brace is, the less you will notice it is there.

Closed vs. open patella design

Knee braces that feature an open patella design have a window on the front of them that allows your kneecap to slightly stick through. This window provides the most support for your patella as it physically surrounds your kneecap to help prevent it from tracking improperly. Closed patella braces fully enclose your knee but do not provide targeted kneecap support. The best brace for you will depend on your comfort, the source of your pain and your doctor’s recommendation.

How much you can expect to spend on a knee brace for running

Most basic, over the counter knee braces for running can be purchased for $20-$30. Unless your doctor provides a special brace for your specific injury, most runners suffering from knee pain will find relief from models in this price range, although models costing $80 and more are available.

Knee brace for running FAQ

Is it bad to wear a knee brace over your pants?

A. You can wear your knee brace over your pants as long as your clothing doesn’t interfere with the support and comfort that the brace provides. Unfortunately, many users find that their braces slip and move too much while worn over pants.

Will a knee brace fix arthritis?

A. Sufferers of arthritis can often find some relief in the added stability a knee brace offers. However, using a brace will not fix arthritis, and it is only meant to alleviate pain associated with the condition.

How do you clean a knee brace?

A. Some knee brace models are machine washable, while others require hand-washing. Because of the wide range of materials that knee braces are available in, it is best to consult the manufacturer of your specific model to ensure that you are washing it safely without the risk of damage or shrinking.

What’s the best knee brace for running to buy?

Top knee brace for running

POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve

POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve

What you need to know: This knee brace is available in a wide range of colors and sizes and offers full joint support.

What you’ll love: Flexible, comfortable, sweat-absorbent and light, this brace is ideal for athletes looking for relief from an injury or for additional support to prevent one. 

What you should consider: Buyers have noted that the sizing for this brace is not accurate and recommend purchasing a size smaller than you would expect.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top knee brace for running for the money

Bracoo Adjustable Compression Knee Patella Tendon Support Brace

Bracoo Adjustable Compression Knee Patella Tendon Support Brace

What you need to know: This budget knee brace features an open patella design and adjustable straps. 

What you’ll love: Featuring enhanced patella support, this brace is great for those who experience runner’s knee or other issues related to poor kneecap tracking. Its adjustable straps make it easy to fit.

What you should consider: Not the best for active users, this brace tends to bunch up and is a little bulky.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support

Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support

What you need to know: For those seeking extreme support and breathability, this premium knee brace delivers.

What you’ll love: With its knitted design, this brace allows for maximum ventilation. It is machine-washable and features a special ring for enhanced patella support. It is available in three colors.

What you should consider: This brace is expensive, and some users found that its construction and material quality did not match its high price.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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 Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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