Having a beautiful weekend getaway on your feet to enjoy the scenic beauty of the countryside is what most of us wait for during the week. However, when we consider hiking, most of us don’t usually dress up quite correctly. While everyone spends a decent amount on some sport shoes and sportswear, one must consider investing in a knee brace for, of course, your knees.
A knee brace is usually a tight-fitting band worn around your knee. It provides support and resistance to your knees against the wear and tears and sudden shocks and damage during your hiking. It constricts too much movement of the knees. A knee brace is usually worn by people with injuries or recovering from some medical ailments, but should also be worn by sports enthusiasts for safety and prevention. You would be amazed at how important this ‘knee sleeve’ is.
Tips to Choose the Best Knee Brace for Hiking
There are a couple of things to consider when buying a knee brace that will help you choose the best in the market. Although its primary work is to provide support, you must consider the following things before purchasing:
There should not be any doubt that comfort comes first. A band which is irritating or too tight will stop the blood circulation to your knees and will cause discomfort while hiking. Choose a size which fits perfectly. To know what your size is you measure the circumference of your thigh or the area above the knee cap and according to that you select your size.
You must choose a tightly knitted fabric which is highly elastic as they are the strongest to hold your knees. Not buying elastic and breathable material can cause itching and skin rashes due to sweat accumulation and let’s just say nobody wants that. There are many designs from fully enclosed and compressed to hinged to strappy bands running around your knee.
Most knee braces in the market come with gel pads to provide stiffness and girth and also some extra protection. They are usually embedded between the fabric stitching for maximum comfort. These also ensure your knee brace doesn’t slide during hiking.
Knee side stabilizers
Stabilizer is fixed at the sides of the knee brace to assess controlled movement and stretch. These stabilizers are usually metallic springs ingrained on the sides of the brace for reducing strain and pressure and ensures a speedy recovery if you are going through any osteoarthritis ailment.
Top 10 Best Knee Braces for Hiking
This is a medical-grade knee brace and has all the good features. It is an enclosed type of knee sleeve. It has anatomically structured Patella Gel Pads and double-sided Spring Side Stabilizers technological upgrade. It maintains joint stability and effectively controls pressure. They come with non-slip silicone strip with high elastic fiber. It’s made with 3D cutting technology for knitting. It is also lightweight and provides high absorbency. It can be worn by men and women both. It usually comes in 5 sizes:- Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and XX-Large also have a variety of colour options to choose from.
- High absorbency
- More size options available
- Double-sided spring side stabilizers
- A medical-grade product widely used for ailments.
A perfect-fitting knee hugging product. Great for running and hiking. It also consists of 3D knitted technology and in addition 4-way stretch capacity and anti-slip silicone pads for a firm grip. It reduces stiffness, inflammation and swelling and provides heating effect for faster recovery. It provides excellent optimal compression and support. There is no constraint on the ventilation of the knees. However, these provide moderate support in minor or incipient knee injuries. The product limits the patella movement and can increase the effect of proprioception. It usually comes in 4 sizes:- Small, Medium, Large and X-Large.
- Very comfortable.
- Tight and proper fit.
- Reduces unnecessary knee movement.
- Anti-slip silicone wave
- Great for minor knee injuries and ailments
This brand is great for ACL recovery and meniscus tears. It will ensure you a comfortable hike. It comes in a pair, which is great. The materials include 65% nylon, 20%latex and 15% spandex. It helps in muscle recovery. Suitable for all types of sporting activities. Widely used by people suffering from knee pain, sore muscles & joints, arthritis, tendonitis, and other common conditions that are caused by repeated injury of the knee. This product is also approved by the FDA. They offer unique designs and a huge range of colour.
- Can be used in all sporting activities
- Comes in a pair
- Unique material blend
- FDA approved
- More design choices
This pair is sweat-resistant & has breathable material for Maximum Comfort! It can be worn daily to help ease arthritis pain. It moves along with your knee and doesn’t constrain your mobility. It provides a great fit for men and women because of its unique gender-neutral design. It also comes in 4 sizes namely small, medium, large and X-large. It provides non-slip top cuffs to prevent sliding down during activities which can be rather annoying. It’s orthopedics approved design allows you to move and perform better at your sports.
- Orthopedic approved design
- Gender-neutral design
- Helps in easing pain
- Helps you focus better on your sport.
This would be the most breathable knee brace. It’s a one size fits all and sits just below your knee cap. If you find fully enclosed knee sleeves uncomfortable, these may be the right choice for you. It has a segmented fix design with a fully adjustable strap. You have control over the tightness of the strap. It has smooth edges and small stitches with its double knot design. Perfect for cycling, running and hiking. This product comes in 4 colours.
- Fully adjustable strap
- Double knot design
- Segmented fit with fine stitches
- Comfortable and breathable
- Perfect for those who don’t prefer knee sleeves
This good looking brace provides maximum blood circulation and oxygen delivery. It provides muscle and joint support while engaging in vigorous workouts. It is made of a tight breathable fabric and provides odor control. It also helps with sweat prevention. This product can be worn for hours for continuous use. The compression fabric has neoprene and it is adequate to ensure stiffness. It offers special knitted technical design and two silicone gel strips. It comes in 5 sizes:- small, medium, large, X-large, XX-large.
- Maximum blood circulation and oxygen delivery
- Tight breathable fabric
- Compression fabric with neoprene
- Two Silicone gel pads
- Provides odor control
This is one of the most durable brands made of a lightweight design and helps to keep the knee joints warm. Its speciality neoprene material ensures maximum stability over a range of temperatures. It is designed with a durable 4-way stretch.
They provide excellent stability and stiffness. It is so light that it can be worn under your regular clothes. It is made up of a blend of nylon and lycra. Easily glides and sits on your knee. It is available in 3 colours and 5 sizes: small, medium, large, X-large and XX-large. Although it is suitable for both men and women, this brand is more popular among women.
- A unique blend of nylon and lycra
- Works well with a range of temperatures
- Helps to keep the knee joints warm
- One of the most durable brands.
It has an open patella design and can be secured with straps so you have control over the fitting. It’s available in 3 sizes. It also has strong velcro closures. It offers quadruple side stabilizers on either side of the knees for maximum lateral support and wraps around your knee perfectly It is made up of 3.5mm quality stretch neoprene with nylon and polyester for easy maintenance and washing. It also helps relieve patella tendonitis and patellofemoral with its 3 fully adjustable closures.
- Open patella design
- Easy maintenance and washing
- Made up of 3.5mm neoprene, nylon and polyester
- Offers quadruple side stabilizers
- Strong velcro closures
It stimulates blood flow and is made up of a breathable yarn. It feels like a second skin and fits perfectly under clothes. Great for people recovering from knee injuries. It also ensures faster recovery and does an excellent job in absorbing the shock wave. Helps maintain the stability of your knee for a long time. Extremely effective against tears, pulls, strains and sprains. Comes in 4 colours and 4 sizes.
- Made of breathable yarn
- Stimulates blood flow
- Absorbs shock wave
- Can be worn for a longer time
- Ensures faster recovery
It has a velcro designed strap that fits any part of the knee exterior. It is also sweat absorbent. This product is universal fit and it has 2 straps each on the upper and lower side of the knee cap that you can fasten as you like. Effective against acute and chronic knee pain. It provides unique open patella gel pads and two springs on the lateral sides to ensure maximum unhindered movement.
- Open patella gel pads
- 2 straps for personalisation
- Velcro straps
- Best for acute and chronic knee pain
- 2 springs on the lateral sides
- Universal fit
Isn’t knee brace only for senior people and people recovering from surgeries and ailments?
No, anyone can use it to prevent unwanted fractures and injuries while hiking. It’s always important to take care of yourself before you engage in any kind of sporting activities.
What are the instructions to wash and maintain durability?
You must wash it either with hands or machine wash in normal water. You must let it air dry. This will also ensure its durability. It is important to maintain the cleanliness of any sportswear.
Is spandex good material to purchase?
Spandex is known to cause irritation and itchiness of the skin. As spandex is not much breathable, other alternatives like neoprene and yarn are better options. Although, spandex, when mixed with other materials, can be equally effective.
When should I wear these?
You can wear it as you wish! But it should be a must when considering vigorous workouts, gym routines, hiking, running, riding a bike and other activities that require more knee involvement. Senior people should consider wearing it more often as they provide effective recovery from major knee ailments.
So, these were the top 10 products for a knee brace. There are certainly more brands, but these are the most readily available and quality products. For sizing and fit please refer to the individual product size chart. In general, it is advisable to invest in good knee protection during your hiking or any sporting activity. Have a fun and safe Hike!