It’s tough when you’re on an invigorating hike, savoring the sights and smells of the great outdoors when suddenly your knee starts barking.
You try to sit down and take a rest, but the pangs keep shooting up your legs until the discomfort becomes so distracting, you’re either forced to head back early or slow down your speed.
It’s a frustrating predicament for any hiker. No one wants to be held back by a balky knee.
Keep reading for the key factors you need to consider when selecting the best knee brace for hiking, plus the top 5 options available to provide the stability you’ll require out on the trail.
The top 5 knee brace for hiking we recommend for 2021:
The best knee brace for hiking is going to provide you support in the great outdoors while protecting your knees from injury or strain. If you already have knee issues, either from a previous injury, a pulled muscle, or otherwise, it is critical to select a knee brace that provides the support you require while being comfortable and highly durable.
Check out the key components you need to consider before buying the best knee support for hiking.
The first feature to consider if you are in the market for the best knee brace for hiking is the style of the product. Knee braces are sold in a variety of designs and styles, so it comes down partly to a matter of personal preference and partly to user functionality.
Slip-on knee braces are a frequent choice for hikers, as they offer excellent stability for your knees along with plenty of traction, so they don’t slide down during a tough hike.
Another kind of knee brace for hiking is a wraparound knee brace. Wraparound knee braces do just what their name indicates—you wrap them around your knee and can adjust them as needed with the integrated strap design.
The main element to bear in mind with a wraparound knee brace is that it may not offer the same support as the slip-on variety when you’re on the trail. Wraparound knee braces could come undone fairly easily during a strenuous hike, and you certainly don't want to have to keep bending over to adjust the straps.
Consider the intensity and frequency of your hikes. If you typically engage in light to moderate hikes and just want some extra support for your knees, the wraparound type might do just fine. For hikers who go on long, strenuous hikes, your best bet is going to be a slip-on knee brace.
The fit is an essential component to consider if you are on the hunt for the best knee brace for hiking. There is nothing worse than purchasing a knee brace only to find that it doesn’t fit your leg properly, rendering it essentially useless for your hiking adventures.
It is important to realize that the majority of knee brace manufacturers use different size guides, so being a certain size for one brand doesn’t necessarily mean that you will fit the same size hiking brace by another brand.
Carefully look over the sizing charts of the best knee brace for hiking products before making your selection. If you don’t take the time to do so and end up with a knee brace that doesn’t fit your knee quite right, this will not only result in further discomfort, but it could potentially lead to additional health concerns.
For instance, if your knee brace is too loose for your legs, it could drag down your ligaments and lead to further knee problems. Likewise, if you select a knee support for hiking that is a bit too small, you could constrict blood flow.
In short, take your time when selecting the best knee brace for hiking and pick the fit that is right for your needs.
As a hiker, it’s likely that you will be dealing with a variety of terrain when on your outdoor adventures. So, another key element you should look for when purchasing the best knee brace for hiking is adjustable straps. With adjustable straps, you can alter the fit as needed to make it tighter or looser as you require.
You shouldn’t have trouble pulling your knee brace on and off, so adjustable straps will make the process just that much easier. Plus, a knee brace featuring adjustable straps can actually aid in properly positioning your joints against your patella or kneecap, which reduces the overall strain on your knees.
Your knee brace isn’t going to be of much use to you if you’re wincing in discomfort whenever you put it on. As such, another feature to bear in mind when hunting for the best knee brace for hiking is the comfort and functionality of the product.
Hiking can cause definite strain to weakened knees, which is why you need a brace to help reduce the shock impact on your joints.
The best knee brace for hiking should not only protect your knee from a strain, but should be comfortable to wear and not slip when you’re walking on steep or rough terrain. Again, this is where adjustable straps can come in incredibly handy.
Your knee brace should also contain moisture wicking elements for sweat absorption, so your skin doesn’t feel all wet and clammy after a hot hike. Another element that contributes to the comfort of a knee brace is a waterproof design. In the event you run into damp conditions when out on the trail, you want to make sure that your knee brace won’t get wet and chill you to the bone.
When you purchase the best knee brace for hiking, you are not only making an investment for your hiking gear but for your overall health as well. The best knee brace for hiking is going to help reduce the impact of your hikes on your knees, aid in aligning your joints, and support you when out on the road.
As such, the knee brace you pick needs to be high quality and designed from materials that will really stand the test of time.
Nylon or neoprene materials are highly durable, while still being pretty lightweight and breathable. It is essential to pick a knee brace that offers the support and stability you need without being so heavy that you feel overly weighed down.
Here are the top 5 best knee brace for hiking products you’ll want to consider for your gear arsenal. Keep reading to see which one you like best (and find out which one we chose as the final winner of the group!).
The first best knee brace for hiking on our list is the Exous Knee Brace Support Protector, featuring an anti-slip design that offers exceptional traction and comfort.
We really liked the built-in 4-way compression incorporated into the design of this knee brace, along with a comfortable lycra lining that won’t irritate your skin. Another huge plus for us was the Velcro attachments for added stability when on the trail.
The knee brace also sports the all-important adjustable straps in a crossover design to ensure your joints and patella are in alignment when you’re on a tough hike. There is a half inch gap in the back of the brace, which we feel is a valuable feature so you can bend your knee when climbing without feeling constricted.
Another reason we really loved the Exous Knee Brace was for its dual stabilizers that offer support for your MCL and LCL ligaments. If you have sensitive knees from a previous injury, this knee brace could be just what you’re looking for. Additionally, this knee brace is light and thin enough that you can wear it beneath your pants and long shorts without issue.
The next best knee brace for hiking pick on our list features a durable compression strap so your knees bear less of the brunt of shock impact when you’re out on the trail. We also liked the fact that this compression strap is aptly positioned to keep your patella or kneecap in place and stabilize the general region.
If you suffer from conditions such as runner’s knee or chondromalacia, this feature is really going to come in handy.
We were very impressed to note that the IPOW Knee Strap sports an ergonomic design that molds to the shape of your kneecap, promoting muscle growth and also ensuring it won’t slip off.
The anti-slip material this knee strap is manufactured from also ensures that the product won’t come undone easily if you’re climbing steep terrain. You can adjust the strap as you see fit either to loosen it or draw it tighter.
The SB Sox Compression Knee Brace is lightweight and breathes like a dream, manufactured with a moisture-wicking design to ward off sweat and unwanted odors after a long day of hiking. The knee brace definitely offers support for conditions like arthritis, but it is also a great selection if you have generally weak knees and are looking for an option to provide additional stability.
One of the first things we noticed about this best knee brace for hiking is that it features a silicone grip, which not only ensures a fantastic fit but is highly wearable. The silicone design is very comfortable while remaining fitted enough that you won’t have to worry about it slipping off. The knee brace also sports compression properties to promote proper blood and oxygen flow.
We love that the material is designed specifically to ward off odors, making it an excellent pick for frequent hikers who embark on lengthy outdoor excursions. The stretchy fit of this knee brace also ensures that you’ll have plenty of freedom of movement for walking and climbing both easy and tough terrain.
The TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support is light and comfortable, with user-friendly straps and stitching for easy access, comfort, and functionality. One feature that really sets this best knee brace for hiking apart is that it offers heightened compression.
So, you’ll have even more stability when hiking without having to worry about decreased blood and oxygen circulation. If you have a history of knee problems, the additional compression technology could be a lifesaver.
We liked the durable neoprene material this best knee brace for hiking is manufactured from, sporting anti-slip technology and multiple Velcro straps.
Another great thing about neoprene material is its moisture wicking capabilities, so no need to worry about sweaty kneecaps or your brace slipping off after a strenuous excursion. The knee brace also features 4 different spring stabilizers, giving an added boost of support to your joints and ligaments.
The final best knee brace for hiking selection on our list is the Abco Tech Patella Knee Strap, which offers exceptional knee coverage and support with its wide, durable design. If you’re tired of discomfort in 1 or both of your kneecaps, this knee brace could be a strong contender for your shortlist.
Manufactured from a quality blend of nylon and neoprene, this best knee brace for hiking stretches well and is light to wear.
It features moisture wicking capabilities to absorb sweat and has sufficient traction, so you won’t have to worry about pulling it up all the time. We will note that the knee strap can gather odors, so if you wear it a lot on long hikes you’ll definitely need to do a thorough clean following each excursion. That said, we loved that this best knee brace for hiking sports 2 adjustment straps that you can position against your kneecap for optimal support.
While each of the best knee brace for hiking selections on our list are quality options to consider, for us, the final winner is unequivocally the SB SOX Compression Knee Brace. We just loved the supportive, compression design that promotes proper oxygen and blood flow, plus the moisture wicking and silicone grip components for fantastic comfort and fit.
We also really liked that the SB SOX Compression Knee Brace wards off odors well and is stretchy enough to provide you with excellent mobility out on the trail. What more could you want from the best knee brace for hiking?