5 Best Knee Braces For Support & Protection In 2023 | Pros & Cons

1 comment by Tabinda Shah

Table of Contents


Have you ever experienced knee pain due to any reason?

If yes, then you must know how disabling it could be for you. People have different reasons for knee pain, some experience dull achy pain from sports injuries while others feel sharp pain from arthritis. In short, every kind of knee pain indicates a problem within your knee joint.

Since your knee is a weight-bearing joint, you need to use the best knee support to protect your joint surfaces from bearing undue load. But how do you choose which one is the best knee brace for arthritis or the best knee brace for a knee injury? The decision is confusing because of the numerous options available in the market.

Here we will discuss the importance of wearing a knee brace and a comprehensive review of some of the best knee braces to help you decide which one is the best knee support brace for your knee pain.

Importance of Knee Braces

Your knee joint has a complex anatomical structure consisting of static as well as dynamic components including bones, ligaments, meniscus, bursa, tendons, and muscle attachments. All these along with a tough joint capsule provides stability and functional mobility to your knee joint. A problem with any of these structures leads to a functional restriction accompanied by pain, and if not resolved, it can progress into a disability. Here is when a knee brace's importance is recognized.


What does a knee brace do?

It provides support, stability, as well as functional mobility to your injured knee. The variety of knee braces has distinct characteristic features which make each brace suitable for a specific knee problem. Knee braces hold the structure of the knee joint together in case of a ligament tear and prevent hypermobility or dislocation. In case of meniscus injury or after a knee surgery a knee brace can help by offloading the joint for recovery. Functional knee braces are used by athletes during training as such braces restrict only unwanted knee movements but allow the normal range of motions along with providing support.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Knee Brace

You need to choose a knee brace wisely. Considering the following factors can help you better understand how to choose a knee brace.


Always check if the material of the brace is breathable or not. Choose braces with sweat-absorbing material to stay rash-free while wearing the knee brace.


Comfort is the most essential aspect to look for. To check the comfortability of a knee brace consider the size and padding provided in the brace. Choose a brace that is adjustable so that you can wear it according to your fit, and it must have internal padding to prevent excessive pressure or rubbing on your skin.


Consider the material of the knee brace and make sure to choose a brace that is made from a durable material, is break-free, tear-free, and resilient for long-term use.


Always choose a brace that is easy to use. Consider the ease of donning/doffing the brace and make sure the brace is not too heavy to prevent extra fatigue.

Your Condition

The decision of choosing a knee brace depends on your knee condition. Therefore you must have to be aware of the types of knee sprains, acuteness, severity, and chronicity of the condition. The knee injury types define how much support is needed. If you require maximum support as in case of severe injuries then go for a rigid brace with limited mobility. It also depends on your knee injury recovery stage. If your condition requires moderate to minimum support as in the later stages of knee injury recovery then you should wear a more flexible knee brace to allow a functional range of motion. 

Your Activity Level

Always consider your activity level before deciding on the right knee brace for yourself. Active people who perform regular exercises, and play sports, and those athletes who must engage in physical activity after knee injury recovery require a brace that is resilient to wear and tear and allows for more range of motion while limiting twisting at the joint. People who have lower activity levels and experience knee pain after physical activity might need the brace for support purposes and should opt for a knee brace that provides more stability than mobility.

types of knee braces for injuries table

Best Knee Braces for Annoying Knee Pain

When grappling with persistent knee discomfort, finding the optimal knee braces in Australia can make all the difference. Among the array of choices, selecting the most suitable ones for your knee pain becomes crucial.

McDavid Knee Brace with PSII Hinges 429: Features, Pros & Cons

To know exactly why McDavid’s Knee braces are the best, have a look at the following features.


mcdavid knee brace with polycentric hinges


  • Bilateral Aluminum Hinges with Polycentric Design: The bilateral hinges of the Mcdavid knee brace with PSII hinges 429 are made from aluminum with a polycentric design that reduces the weight of the brace. It allows flexion and extension ranges but restricts torsional or sideway movement of the joint.
  • Hyperextension stops: Internal stops are present to restrict the degree of knee extension to prevent overloading of the vulnerable knee joint.
  • Rubber condyle pads: These pads reduce the pressure on the condylar portion of the joint which is the area where your knee is the broadest and thus more prone to friction or rubbing. Therefore the rubber pads protect you against friction injury or skin bruises.
  • Patellar buttress: It is an opening for the patella in the front to catch the kneecap, increasing its stability while allowing free gliding during flexion and extension. It also works as a way for breathability.
  • Adjustable hook and loop straps: Two fully adjustable hook and loop straps, one above and one below the kneecap are located in front which allows you to tighten the sleeve according to your fit.
  • Neoprene material: using neoprene material makes it lightweight and warm. It is breathable because neoprene also absorbs moisture that helps you prevent rashes. The inside of the brace is latex-free.
  • Variety of sizes: The McDavid 429 knee brace is available in 5 sizes, small, medium, large, extra large, and XXL. Also, note that a brace either fits the right or the left knee.

Purchase McDavid Knee Brace with PSII Hinges 429


  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable
  • Provides Level-III support and protection
  • Availability of sizes for a comfortable fit
  • Controlled range of motion for optimum recovery
  • Hand washable
  • Easy to don and doff


  • Expensive (but all the features are worth the cost)
  • Be careful while buying for left or right knee

To see how to use this brace, check out this video!

(Real) Reviews For McDavid Hinged Knee Brace


  • ACL, PCL, or MCL tear
  • Meniscal tear
  • Protection of knee injuries while playing sports like basketball, football, or skiing.
  • Recovery after knee replacement surgery


Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Support With Bilateral Hinges 875: Features, Pros & Cons

Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Support With Bilateral Hinges 875


  • Bilateral Hinges: The bilateral hinges support the knee and allow for movement while preventing twisting injuries. These hinges aid in the compression provided by the fabric of the sleeve and thus provide stability to the knee joint. The hinges have hyperextension stops that prevent unwanted knee extension and thus promote recovery by preventing re-injury.
  • Impact-absorbing pads: The inner sides of the hinges are fitted with impact-absorbing pads to increase comfort while wearing the knee brace.
  • Front-lying patellar buttress: The patellar opening in the front works for the prevention of injury of the patellofemoral joint, and enhances the recovery of the joint in case of an injury to the patella itself or the surrounding ligaments. It supports the patella and encourages patellar tracking.
  • Comfort Flex four-way stretch lycra mesh: The back of the knee is covered with a more comfortable lycra material. The material is stretchable so that it doesn’t get pinched during complete knee flexion.
  • X-Fit strap system: The straps for tightening the brace are winded around the joint forming X at the back. This X-fit strap system overlaps the bilateral hinges and provides extra support to the knee during flexion and extension.
  • Finger tabs: The finger tabs make it easy to pull the brace while donning.
  • Cotton+Neoprene Material: The brace is made from a combination of cotton and neoprene. Cotton is good for absorbing moisture, preventing odors, and is comfortable on the skin. Cotton itself is not a highly elastic material it is blended with neoprene to increase the extensibility or elasticity of the brace so that it also provides some degree of compression on the joint. Neoprene further increases the moisture-absorbing capability of the cotton.
  • Antimicrobial technology: The antimicrobial technology used in designing the brace prevents bad odors, rashes, and friction due to sweating.
  • Variety of sizes: The Shock Doctor Ultra Knee brace with Bilateral Hinges 875 comes in 6 sizes; small, medium, large, extra large, XXL, and XXXL.

Purchase Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Support With Bilateral Hinges 875


  • Breathable material and antimicrobial technology
  • Supportive and preventive functions
  • Used pre-op, post-op, and during sports.
  • Precurved design ensures a good fit
  • Prevents over-extension and helps in recovery
  • No-latex and safe from allergic reactions


  • Heavy


  • Pre-surgical knee pain relief
  • Degeneration of the knee joint due to arthritis
  • Knee instability due to grade 3 ligament tear of ACL, MCL, or LCL.
  • While playing high-impact sports like football, rugby, CrossFit, powerlifting, and, cycling.

To see how to use this brace, check out this video!

(Real) Reviews For Shock Doctor Hinged Knee Brace

Mueller Hinged Wraparound Knee Brace 5313X: Features, Pros & Cons

Mueller Hinged Wraparound Knee Brace


  • Triaxial Hinge: The hinge is designed with three pivot points that mimic the knee flexion and extension within the normal ranges as well as prevent excessive knee extension ranges.
  • Wraparound design: To wear the brace, one has to wrap the brace around the knee and then secure the straps as suited. This feature distinguishes the Meuller knee brace from other braces in the list as it doesn’t require you to reach your feet for wearing the brace.
  • Adjustable straps: These straps work for the wearer to fasten the brace as best fits the knee.
  • Open patellar buttress: The opening for the knee cap in the front is lined with proper cushioning material that stabilizes the knee cap and prevents bruising.
  • Open back: The back of the knee remains open in the Mueller Hinged Wraparound Brace 5313X which maximizes its comfort by preventing bunching and pinching.
  • Material: It is made from neoprene and latex which make it elastic yet sweat absorbent.
  • Three sizes: Mueller hinged knee brace comes in three sizes; small, medium, and large. Within these three sizes, you can further customize the size of the brace using adjustable straps.

Purchase Mueller Hinged Wraparound Knee Brace 5313X


  • Good for elders who can’t reach their feet to wear other braces
  • Easy to don and doff
  • Breathable due to an open-back design
  • Adjustable compression
  • Affordable price
  • The metal hinges can be detached to wash and air-dry the brace


  • Not suitable for major knee injury and instability
  • Not suitable for use in too hot weather


  • Grade 1 or 2 ligament tear of LCL and MCL
  • Preventing pain during mild arthritis
  • Mild meniscal injury
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome
  • Can be worn during light to moderate activities to prevent injury.

To see how to use this brace, check out this video!

(Real) Reviews For The Mueller Hinged Wraparound Knee Brace 5313X

McDavid Knee Brace With PSII Hinges & Cross Straps 429X Features, Pros & Cons

mcdavid knee brace polycentric hinges


  • Polycentric Bilateral Hinges: The geared hinges of the McDavid Knee Brace With PSII Hinges & Cross Straps 429X fitted bilaterally help the knee to move smoothly after an injury while providing maximum support. These hinges have hyperextension stops that restrict your knee movement within the normal ranges.
  • Hook and Loop Closure: 2 hook and loop closure straps are present at the top and bottom with the help of which you can adjust the tightness or compression of the brace as suits you best.
  • Cross Straps: 4 cross straps; 2 above and 2 below the patellar buttress are present to further enhance the support provided by the brace. As this brace is known to provide the maximum amount of support for severe traumatic knee injuries or instability, these cross straps prove the extra stabilizing effect on the injured knee.
  • Patellar Buttress: The patellar buttress is padded for sufficient cushioning and stabilizes the knee cap.
  • Material: The sleeve of the brace is 100% latex-free and is made of neoprene that absorbs moisture and keeps your skin rash-free. The neoprene also provides warmth and compression for fast recovery of the injured knee.
  • Sizes: It comes in five sizes; small, medium, large, extra large, and XXL.

Purchase McDavid Knee Brace With PSII Hinges & Cross Straps 429X


  • Can be worn for preventive and rehabilitation purposes
  • Maximum support for complicated knee injuries or post-surgical patients
  • Adjustable
  • Breathable


  • Expensive
  • Can not be worn for a long time


  • ACL or PCL tear
  • Pain relief from severe osteoarthritis
  • Used for protection during high impact sports
  • Offloading the knee after knee replacement surgery
  • Postoperative support and protection in severe cases of meniscus tears

To see how to use this brace, check out this video!

(Real) Reviews For The McDavid Hinged Knee Brace With Cross Straps

Shock Doctor Knee Stabilizer with Flexible Support Stays 870 Features, Pros & Cons

shock doctor knee stabilizer with stays


  • Anatomical design: The shock doctor knee stabilizer comes with a pre-curved design of the sleeve that fits comfortably to contour the natural curves of the knee.
  • Straps: 2 straps; at the upper and lower end of the brace makes it easy for you to adjust the compression level of the brace. You can use the hook-and-loop strap system to fasten the brace as it suits you best.
  • Patellar buttress: The patellar buttress is provided with cushioned edges that stabilize the patella without causing discomfort.
  • Side stabilizers: Two support stays on either side are present. Shock Doctor knee stabilizer with flexible support stays helps with weight bearing and stabilization during various angles of knee bending while playing sports and other activities.
  • Lycra mesh at the back: The back of the knee is covered with a 4 way stretchable Lycra material that ensures ventilation of the knee inside the brace and allows knee flexion without pinching.
  • Antimicrobial technology: The brace has an odor-cancellation mechanism due to the presence f its antimicrobial technology.
  • Material: 100% latex-free neoprene material is used in making the stretchable sleeve of the knee brace. Neoprene absorbs moisture and can be washed and air-dried. Lycra mess is only used to cover the back of the knee.
  • Sizes: The Shock Doctor Knee Stabilizer 870 comes in 6 different sizes; small, medium, large, extra large, XXL, and XXXL.

Purchase Shock Doctor Knee Stabilizer with Flexible Support Stays 870


  • It provides moderate support
  • Has antimicrobial technology
  • Affordable price
  • Breathable and anatomic design
  • Adjustable


  • Needs to readjust the straps after sometime
  • Not suitable for severe cases as it does not provide maximum support.


  • Mild patellar instability
  • Mild instability due to grade 1 or 2 sprain of the LCL and MCL
  • Can be used in moderate intensity exercises and sports for preventive purposes

To see how to use this brace, check out this video!

(Real) Reviews For The Shock Doctor Knee Stabilizer With Flexible Stays

Comparison Chart For Knee Braces

knee brace comparison table


With the review of the five knee braces you can now choose from the best knee braces for knee pain. The McDavid knee braces offering the highest level of support and protection are ideal for protection against injuries while playing high-impact sports. The Shock Doctor brace with hinges improves stability and weight-bearing support is useful in severe traumatic type of injuries and arthritic conditions, whereas the brace with support stays can be used in cases of moderate ligament sprains. The Mueller brace is good for preventing any kind of knee injury, suitable for elder use due to the wraparound design, and preferable for daily use due to the lightweight is the most versatile choice. The comparison table summarizes everything for you that makes the decision easier. So you are ready to choose the best brace for your knee.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Are the Best Knee Braces for Knee Pain?

The best knee braces for knee pain must have to provide support, is breathable, lightweight, easy to wear, and restrict only unwanted movements while allowing functional ranges. The best choices are McDavid’s hinged knee braces, Shock Doctor Hinged knee braces, and the Mueller wraparound brace.

  • What is the Best Knee Brace for Running?

The choice of knee brace for running depends on the condition of your knee. If you have healthy knees and you want to wear a brace for protection against injuries then go for the Shock Doctor Knee Stabilizer with Flexible Support Stays 870. In case you have pain due to progressing arthritis then you need a brace that offloads your knee much more than only protecting it against instability. In such a scenario, you must go for the McDavid’s Knee Brace with Cross Straps.

  • How Long Should You Wear a Knee Brace in a Day?

You can wear a knee brace for 4 to 6 hours during the day. Make sure to wear it at the time when you are performing some high-impact activities or lifting weights.

  • How Long to Wear a Knee Brace for an MCL Injury?

The duration of wearing a knee brace for recovery after an MCL sprain depends on the grade of the sprain. In Grade-1 MCL sprain you do not necessarily need a brace. For Grade-2 sprain you need to wear a hinged knee brace for 30 to 40 days. In case of Grade-3 injuries when the MCL is torn, you might need to use a brace for at least 6 months to let the ligament heal properly.

  • What is the Best Knee Brace for Bone on Bone? 

To reduce the bone-to-bone friction or direct impact you need a hinged knee brace with maximum or level 3 support system. It is required in cases of severe osteoarthritis for offloading the knee joint to reduce friction between the bone surfaces. A few choices can be the McDavid’s Bilateral Hinged Knee Brace with Cross Straps and the Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Support with Bilateral Hinges.

1 comment

  • Kira Miller

    My right knee hurt

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