Table of Contents
- How to choose a good knee brace?
- Frequently asked questions
- The 9 Best Knee Braces for Skiing and Snowboarding
- DonJoy Performance Bionic Fullstop ACL Knee Brace – 4 Points of Leverage Hinged Knee Support for Ligament Protection, Injuries, Prevent Knee Hyperextension for Football, Soccer, Lacrosse, Contact Sports
- DonJoy Performance Bionic Knee Brace – Hinged, Adjustable Patella Support, Lateral / Medial Ligament (ACL, MCL, LCL), Meniscus, Knee Sprains for Soccer, Basketball, Skiing, Hockey, Running, Water Sports
- DonJoy Armor Knee Support Brace with Standard Hinge: Short Calf Length, ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), Right Leg, Small
- DonJoy Legend SE-4 Knee Support Brace: ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), Left Leg, Large
- Hinged Knee Brace: Shock Doctor Maximum Support Compression Knee Brace – For ACL/PCL Injuries, Patella Support, Sprains, Hypertension and More for Men and Women – (1 Knee Brace, XLarge)
- DonJoy Reaction Web Knee Support Brace with Compression Undersleeve: Blue, Medium/Large
- Zamst ZK-7 Knee Brace
- McDavid Hinged 429X Knee Brace with Cross Straps
- EXOUS Knee Brace Support Protector – Relieves Patella Tendonitis – Jumpers Knee Mensicus Tear – ACL Lateral & Medial Ligament Sprains Comfort Design True Non-Slip FIT for Arthritis – Sport – Running
Skiing and snowboarding happen to be two of the most exhilarating yet risky sports in the world. They involve quite a lot of play and leg movements which places sports people at risk of injuries. Knee injuries account for a significant percentage of all the injuries that occur in winter sports because the knee joints are more involved in coordination than any other part of the body. This is why getting good knee support, for protection or speedy recovery after injury, during aggressive sports is important. Among the products used for this purpose is the knee support brace.
||DonJoy Performance Bionic Fullstop ACL Knee Brace||4.7|
||DonJoy Performance Bionic Knee Brace||4.3|
||DonJoy Armor Knee Support Brace||4.8|
||DonJoy Legend SE-4 Knee Support Brace||4.7|
||Hinged Knee Brace Support Compression Knee Brace||4.5|
||Lumintrail TSA Luggage Security Cable Locks||4.3|
||Zamst ZK-7 Knee Brace||4.1|
||McDavid Hinged Knee Brace with Cross Straps||4.2|
||EXOUS Ligament Sprains Comfort Design Knee Brace||4.0|
For cases such as ACL injuries, braces will facilitate progressive recovery where the knee heals slowly by limiting some knee movements. Beyond sports-related injuries, osteoarthritis patients can also benefit greatly from knee braces
Types of knee braces
Knee support braces are divided into three main categories
- Knee sleeves. These medium-sized knee support products offer support and compression to knee joints. They are good for controlling inflammation around the knees and offering relief for mild knee pain.
- Knee stabilizers. Stabilizers feature some rigid support on the frames running on both sides of the knee. They are used to offer advanced knee support for knees with mild to moderate injuries
- Hinged knee support. Hinged knee braces typically have two or four straps above and below the knee which are integrated into the knee’s lateral support system. They offer high-level support for serious knee injuries and are mostly recommended after surgery. They will help your knees remain on the right track even when bending.
How to choose a good knee brace?
If you are injured and are looking for a brace for support during recovery, it is wise to follow the recommendations of your physician. In addition to this, consider the following parts to get yourself the best knee brace for your condition
Each manufacturer indicates the size specification of the knee support products that they will release in the market. Most of them will also include a sizing guide that will help you get the measurements right during selection. Basically, sizing is determined by above, around, and below the knee measurements
Open or closed patella design
Knee support braces come in two designs, the open and closed patella designs. Each of these designs is functional for specific knee injuries. This is why if you are getting a knee brace to correct instabilities caused by an injury, your physician or a professional will be in a better position to recommend the right design. Equip yourself with information about the amount of pressure required for your injured patella. Too little or too much may not alleviate the pain
Slip on or wrap around
Choosing between the slip on or wrap around design depends on the pressure that you need to be exerted on your patella or knee to ease the pain caused by an injury. However, the wrap-around design is the more popular design especially as a prescriptive remedy for specific knee problems. Slip-on knee support braces, on the other hand, are designed with fixed sizes ranging from small, medium, and the larger sizes with some adjustment measures for instance adjustment straps or elasticized fabrics like neoprene
Level of protection
There are four main levels of protection from 1, 2, 3, to 3+ with level 1 being the least supportive and ideal for mild knee pain but with the normal range of motion. Level 2 braces will allow some movement but with less flexibility and are ideal for ligament problems. Wrap around knee braces fall in this category. Level 3 and 3+ braces offer maximum medial and lateral support with a limited range of motion. The hinged knee braces are a good example and they tend to be a little bulky compared to the others
Frequently asked questions
Are knee braces the only solution to knee injuries?
No. There is a wide range of knee problems. Most knee problems are related to pain in the ligaments, muscle, tendon, or bone. Your doctor should advise you about the best remedy for your specific condition
What should I do when I feel pain?
Professional ski trainers or any medical expert specializing in injuries will tell you that you need to rest. You need to immediately stop when pain sets in and resume when the pain goes away
Can I fly with my knee brace?
Yes. Most airlines allow you to fly with your knee brace on. However, you should be ready to take it off when going through a security check.
The 9 Best Knee Braces for Skiing and Snowboarding
Knee braces are designed to offer protection for the knees as you glide down the slopes. We hope that the features we have highlighted in these top braces will place you in a better position to choose the best for yourself.
1. DonJoy Performance Bionic Fullstop ACL Knee Brace
DonJoy’ s Bionic Fullstop knee brace is built to provide maximum protection to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). It is a good option for both the prevention of injury to the knees and protection of the knees in the process of recovery. It is highly adjustable featuring DonJoy’s very own patented 4-point strapping system with 2 adjustable straps on the upper thigh and 2 below the knee areas for enhanced knee protection and support. These straps are outfitted with Velcro closures to offer a customized fit and come with a reflective element to enhance visibility
This knee brace is designed with an innovative hinge technology which features a dampening mechanism that will help get your knees used to staying out of the knee risk position ultimately preventing hyperextension, which is the leading cause for ACL injuries. Fullstop’s hinges can only engage to the 145°, within which the knee joints can operate safely without the risk of hyperextension which happens when the knee joints stretch to 170°
Secondly, the compression and thermal regulation system integrated into this knee brace feature a meshed neoprene fabric, with an excellent compression set and great breathability properties. This makes it wrap supportively around the knee while still preventing overheating. In addition, the anti-migration technology integrated on the inside liner of this knee brace keeps the sleeve intact during activity. If you are looking for a supportive knee brace for you ACL, joints, and patella, the Bionic Fullstop Knee Brace will be a good option
2. DonJoy Performance Bionic Knee Brace
Here is another top bionic knee brace by DonJoy that makes a great support for your knee’s patella. It is designed with bilateral polycentric hinges outfitted with hyperextension stops to prevent injury caused when the knee operates beyond its range of motion, usually at 170°. To secure the brace in place and give your knee a personalized fit, this knee brace comes with two webbing straps with TPR pull tabs above and below the knee
It also features a wrap design with a hexagon shaped patella opening to offer maximum support to the patella. Its neoprene compression is perforated. This makes it highly breathable to deliver a cooling effect, preventing the wrapped knee area from overheating. Secondly, like other braces by DonJoy, this one also features an anti-migration technology to ensure that the sleeve stays in place without shifting during activity. Other impressive features in this knee brace include an easy access pocket, a reflective element that enhances visibility in poorly lit conditions
Overall, you need stability, protection from injury, and a good fit in a brace and this is what the DonJoy performance bionic knee brace offers. Plus it is also easy to take off and put on. This knee brace will be an excellent reliever for non-serious tendon and ligament sprains as well as a remedy for hyperextension
3. DonJoy Armor Knee Support Brace
The DonJoy Amor Knee Support brace uses a standard hinge technology outfitted with a 4-points leverage system. Unlike the Fullstop model, Armor’s strap tabs are attached on the inside so they will not damage or break easily thus giving your knees maximum support and providing relief from ACL injuries which end up causing instability. It features an aircraft-grade aluminum frame which makes it a sturdy option suitable for gait enhancement during motion as well as preventing hyperextension
Its low profile hinge design makes it suitable for wearing under ski pants with ski boots without hindering the natural motion of the knee. It also features an anti-migration mechanism which holds the brace securely in place. Armor’s anti-migration mechanism is made up of supra condyle pad which presses against the sides of the knees to keep the brace firm. It comes in two calf sizes, the short calf size ideal when wearing the brace with ski boots. Otherwise, go for the standard calf size
If you need to support your ACL after reconstruction or instabilities from injuries or prevent hyperextension and ACL injuries DonJoy’s Armor is the knee brace to have. It also makes a good option for aggressive sports like snowboarding, hockey, skiing, and many more. However, it may not be appropriate if you have suffered PCL injuries or its effects
4. DonJoy Legend SE-4 Knee Support Brace
The Legend model by DonJoy is a good knee brace for protecting your ACL as well as correcting a wide range of instabilities including ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL, as well as a combination of instabilities. It comes in a low-profile design with minimalist fabric to allow your knee maximum mobility and ventilation. This makes it suitable for aggressive sports that need no bulk or limitation on the knee. The frame of this knee brace is made of the tough but lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum layered with the comfortable and flexible high resistant Kraton polymer making it quite comfortable to the knees
This is a unisex knee brace which fits both men and women equally well. It has also been outfitted with DonJoy’s patented 4-point strapping technology, with its straps made of durable nylon with Velcro closure, to deliver a personalized fit. If you love alpine skiing or snowboarding, the Legend knee brace comes as a good option since the materials used in its construction effectively withstand the effects of fresh and salt water
5. Hinged Knee Brace Support Compression Knee Brace
This hinged knee brace by Shock Doctor is regarded as one of the best forms of knee protection and instability correction and can be used for a range of injuries including ACL and PCL injuries, ligament tears, patella instability, hyperextension, and other forms of instabilities and injuries
The 875-Ultra Knee Brace by Shock Doctor is made with moisture-wicking neoprene material with spandex mesh at the back of the knee which delivers ventilation and eliminates odor and moisture that may accumulate from sweating. Its bilateral hinges have been designed with hyperextension stops and ample padding for cushioning. This knee brace has been fitted with X-Fit strap technology with wide straps above and below the knee. While your knee will still be flexible, it will be secured firmly to the brace in the proper position. Coupled with an anatomical design, this brace is one of the best in terms of fitting. In addition, it can be worn on any knee
The hinged knee brace by Shock Doctor comes in a range of adult sizes from small to XXXL
6. DonJoy Reaction WEB Knee Support Brace
The DonJoy Reaction WEB model offers the best knee support to alleviate pain caused by instability on the patella and bring it into its proper position. It features an unconventional webbed frame that sits on the front of the wrap-around knee brace whose function is to absorb shock while distributing weight away from the area experiencing pain. The brace itself is made of an elasticized highly breathable mesh fabric to keep the area covered by the brace well ventilated
This brace is outfitted with wide Velcro straps above and below the knee to secure a firm fit while delivering maximum support all around the knee. Its package also includes an undersleeve made of 15% stretchy spandex and 85% tough nylon since this brace is designed to be worn for a long time. Together with the flexible hinges, this is among the most stable braces
The fact that it is designed to a universal fit means that the Reaction WEB hinged knee support can be worn on either side of the leg
7. Zamst ZK-7 Knee Brace
Zamst is one of the most robust knee support braces designed for moderate to severe joint pains. It features an open-panel design with Exo-Tech four-way ligament support which is made up of the x-cross straps at the front bottom of the brace as well as parallel straps at the top and bottom on the rear side of the brace. These adjustable straps coupled with the pre-curved design offer anterior and lateral stability to the knee while still accommodating the natural movement of muscles of the thigh and the lower part of the leg when in motion. It also features a semi-circular patella pad which compresses gently around the patella for enhanced knee stability
Made of an innovative combination of polyester, nylon, and elastane fibers and PU, Acrylic, and Polystyrene non-fiber materials in its Flyweight Technology, this brace will deliver excellent breathability and stretch properties making it quite comfortable. It is pretty lightweight too
Bend or stretch your knee freely without the fear of further injury or an uncomfortable feeling. For ACL, PCL, MCL, and LCL instabilities, the Zamst ZK-7 knee brace comes as an excellent option
8. McDavid Hinged Knee Brace with Cross Straps
Here is another well-designed knee brace suitable for you if you have suffered lateral instability or hyperextension. It features robust Bilateral steel hinges, firm vertical construction along with crossed straps to offer the most excellent knee support without limiting motion. An outstanding feature in McDavid’s 429X knee brace is its perforated back panel that is not only comfortable but also highly breathable. This neoprene brace will fit the knee well enough provided one selects the right size from the 5 sizes available
This knee brace comes with an open design at the patella with bound hems and 360° padding to deliver all-around knee support and is agreeably a top knee brace as far as recovery and protection from injury are concerned. It can be worn on the right or left leg
9. EXOUS Ligament Sprains Comfort Design Knee Brace
The EXOUS 701 Knee Brace uses a 4-way compression system which features 4 adjustable fastening straps, including 2 crossing straps and 2 large leg straps, with Velcro closures below and above the patella together with side stabilizers for all-around support. For weak or painful injured knees, this knee brace presents a good option as it will stabilize the patella and reduce pain at the same time. Secondly, this strapping system ensures that your brace stays firmly in place without shifting when involved in any kind of sport
This knee brace, made of 3.5 mm thick breathable neoprene fabric, features the open patella low-profile design, to give you a great fit and maximum comfort throughout without any instance of overheating or itching. It will not limit your knee movement but will certainly give your knee the lateral and medial support it needs
Knee braces are important for knee protection. However, after injury or surgery, it is not advisable to get a knee brace without the doctor’s recommendation because you may end up with the wrong knee brace and worsen the injury. However, with the best knee brace for your condition, you will be protecting your knees and preventing it from injury or further injury if you have already hurt your knee