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If you’re an outdoorsy person then you’ve probably gone for a couple of walks or hikes by yourself or a friend and by now you probably know how important hiking is. Hiking is a form of mild exercise and it helps you lose weight and ward off diabetes, heart disease and other life threatening conditions. As fun and engaging as hiking with friends is, it can become less and less fun or tolerable as you get older, develop joint aches, arthritis or convalescence from an accident or condition. Healing from knee related accident can suck, it puts activities like hiking and sports just out of reach until your body heals up.
Some medical conditions like osteoarthritis are permanent and they place certain exercises or activities out of the realm of possibility, but only if you let them.
Having the best knee brace for hiking will make convalescing much easier and faster, reconnecting with nature hasn’t been easier. It can offer convalescing patients the support they need to become whole again. Braces were built from different types of material and consequently provide various kinds and grades of knee support. This means that these braces have their advantages and disadvantages. Going on a hiking trip is no small task, when you add other factors like a preexisting knee condition and a tumultuous terrain, hiking can be very stressful for those with knee problems and that is why it’s important to not only get a knee brace, but to get the best knee brace out there.
Of course, it needs to suit your needs and fit into your budget. And that is what this article about. It’s meant to guide you through choosing your hiking and sports support equipment. There are eight braces that are recommended in this article as hiking companions. They differ greatly and all have unique features that make them different from the other items in this review.
The 8 best knee braces for hiking
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1. Powerlix Compression Knee Sleeve
The Powerlix compression knee sleeve is an athlete’s best friend. It’s designed to prevent athletes from damaging their knees any further as they engage in physically demanding exercises like squats, running, weightlifting and other high intensity workouts. This brace improves performance and maintains a proper alignment between bone, tissue, ligament and muscles by gripping them and keeping them in place. The material used is highly sweat absorbent meaning sweats just evaporates and leave no odor behind and it’s also very breathable.
With Powerlix’s revolutionary stretching fabric, there is room for a wider range of movement. It provides the much-needed knee support that an athlete needs. It is considered as one of the best knee braces for hiking on the market.
Its insulating fabric regulates knee temperature and with its double silicone technology provides comfort and stability.
This knee sleeve is the right option for hiking, it not only adapts to the terrain, it prevents further knee damage too.
This equipment, however, does not provide such of a support system for those dealing with serious medical conditions like arthritis and tendonitis.
- Extremely flexible
- Features unique fabric technology
- Prevents extensive support
- Increases performance
- Limited range of use
- No Open patella system
- Isn’t particularly breathable or comfortable
- Does not provide the kind of support that an open patella sleeve would provide
2. IPOW 2 Pack Knee Pain Relief
This fantastic piece of sport equipment is the result of IPOW ingenuity and dedication to making people’s life better. The product is designed to cater for all possible needs that a potential user might have. The products are tested in real time by several individuals before they are released for sales.
The IPOW 2 is a delicate mix of comfort flexibility and relief. Like most knee braces, it is designed to disperse some of the pressure that is transferred to the knees as they move. All the pressure is sent to the braces instead of the knees and they in turn send it out of the body. This makes it particularly good for exercises that might require jumping or other excessive movements, and because of its amazing shock dispersion system, it is considered one of the best knee braces for hiking out there.
The sleeve was built to be extremely comfortable. It is made of advanced yet high quality materials that ensure minimal skin irritation, breathability and comfort.
Its universal size is the most enticing feature of the product. Because of its uniform size, it becomes incredibly easy to order or buy one from Amazon without bothering about the right size or availability.
It’s designed to take shock so expect it to increase performance in every sport imaginable.
- Its uniform size
- Amazing grip
- Tailor made to help every user
- Shock absorption technology
- It’s relatively fragile
- Isn’t exactly stylish
- Difficult to use at first
- Its size makes it impossible to always keep track of
- No Open patella system
3. BLITZU Flex Plus Compression Knee Brace
This sleeve comes in pairs and it’s designed to help you recover from surgery, arthritis, strains, tendonitis, and other joint related conditions and issues. The sleeves help reduce inflammation and will whip you back in shape in no time.
The BLITZU Flex Plus Compression Knee Brace supports a fragile or weak knee and provides the additional support that it needs to get back to fighting form. It is also fitted for exercises. Athletes can attempt exercises like jumping jacks, basketball, long jumps, etc. The sleeve will stabilize the knee and make them perform better.
The fabric comes equipped with a 360.degree stretch capability, ensuring maximum comfort and maneuverability. The kind of flexibility and comfort that this sleeve possesses is only a fraction of its capability. It’s designed to prevent injury as well as heal the knee. The sleeve comes in three generic sizes. This sleeve is more than enough to get a hiker through the woods and back.
- It’s well rounded
- Amazing color
- It’s comfortable and versatile
- It does not support Open Patella technology which takes more stress and pressure off the knees
- Not particularly impressive when compared to the rest of the braces in the line-up
- Medium fabric build
4. Sable Knee Brace Compression Sleeves
The Sable Knee Brace Compression Sleeve is equipped with a two-part compression sleeve that allows a full range of motion. It’s suitable for type of knee related conditions. It provides a sturdy support that facilitates proper joint and muscle repair and maintenance. The unique blend of fabric provides comfort to potential users. Its double-silicon slips keep the brace from slipping off too fast. It also features a breathable fabric and supports a diverse number of sports one of which is basketball. It also supports other activities such as hiking and other recreational sports.
- It is flexible
- It’s incredibly breathable
- Supports a variety of sports
- Great fabric
- It doesn’t have an extensive pressure distribution system
- Doesn’t have an open patella feature
- It’s very mediocre for the price
5. Bracoo KS10 Knee Support
This amazing brace has a comfortable fabric that facilitates the flow of blood around the knee, which in turn speeds up the healing process considerably. The flexibility of the Bracoo KS10 Knee Support accommodates knees no matter their shape or size. Its extensive support system accommodates diverse injuries and conditions and alleviates them.
The knee support features a strap system that allows users to adjust just about everything about the product, from its grip to its breathability. It can be adjusted to fit into the user’s knees like a glove. It’s incredibly comfortable and it’s definitely one of the best knee braces for hiking you can find.25
Open patella system
The open patella system stabilizes the knee fully; it keeps the muscles, bones and joints aligned. Unlike most knee braces in this review, this particular one features an open patella system that provides more stability and distribution of pain or stress. These sorts of braces are more effective than the usual knee sleeves. They distribute the friction better and are sometimes recommends by medical practitioners. It also features up to 9 spring stabilizes on creating models.
It’s super breathable
The customization function allows users to adjust it until they feel comfortable. The superior quality fabric and strap system ensures breathability and less skin irritation.
It features standard neoprene fabric. This makes super comfortable. This knee brace cannot be dry cleaned or washed by using a washing machine and must be hand washed in cold water instead.
It provides relief and support for the following conditions; sprains and strains, joint instability, minor tears in ligaments and other conditions.
This is one of the most effective knee support braces out there and there it so properly suited for hiking. The extra spring stabilizes which are absent in most models will put the brace above other types with a similar structure.
- Open patella system
- Fully adjustable
- Beautifully well-rounded
- Not particularly small
- Not washing machine compatible
6. Winzone Knee Support
This brace is like any other brace, it provides light support that keeps your knee stable as your body heals from a sport injury or surgery. The Winzone Knee Support is designed to be compact and efficient. It boasts of being slim enough to fit under trousers without being noticeable. Like the Bracoo knee support, it features a strap system and an open patella system, but unlike its counterpart its strap system is a dual strap system, meaning a wider range of flexibility.
The knee support boasts of so much versatility it should fit in knees between the circumference of 12.4 to 21.7 meaning there is only one size and there isn’t a need to search for your knee size.
The brace treats all knee related problems at the same time. The knee is not only stabilized, the open patella technology allows pressure to be taken off the knee specifically and allow the healing process to begin.
The brace is already an impressive sport accessory as it is, but the makers of this particular accessory chose to take it to the next step. They involve an unlimited lifetime warranty. This warranty means that if you find any part of the item inadequate you have a right to return it and get your money back.
- The unlimited lifetime warranties
- The open patella system
- It’s ultra-thin
- Strap system
- No spring stabilizes
- Difficult to sometime keep track of
- Washing is quite a hassle
7. SB SOX Compression Brace
This brace set comes in two interesting deals. The first is the standard, this package includes the sleeve alone while the second, the premium is more exciting. It contains an eBook, the brace, an extensive social presence and support team and a FAQs guide. This is certainly more extensive than any of the previous brace deals. The brace boasts of a standard knee support system that claims to improve circulation to the knees that in turn improves performance and recovery. It also provides a support system that reduces the risk of injury, reduces swelling considerably and saves energy.
The brace has a myriad of real-world applications, from light tasking exercises like hiking to more strenuous exercises like hockey or running, this sleeve covers it all.
It also features other standard attributes like light weight, breathability, compression technology and moisture and odor elimination technology.
The SB SOX Compression Brace is relatively standard but the one thing that sets it apart is its premium deal and the accessory that follow.
- It has an eBook and FAQs book with the premium version
- Nextgen fabric
- An extensive online and support team
- It doesn’t use neoprene
- Its average compared to other products in the same price range
- It doesn’t do much in term of pressure dispersion
- No open patella system
What to know before buying a knee brace
The thing about sport accessories is that they are always so similar and they seem like they are basically the same thing. Some of the knee braces on this review were designed to target specific problem and others are more all-rounded. The essence of this review is to determine which brace is best for hiking, and truthfully, it’s no easy task. There are so many knees supports that are capable of perfectly serving that function. So ultimately whichever brace you choose might do what it is that you want, but before you choose the SB SOX or some other brace we will help you to select the best knee brace for hiking according to your needs.
After reading some parts of this article you might be asking yourself, what are straps, open patella systems, neoprene materials, silicone slips, wraparound, and those other weird things I mentioned in the reviews? Well, they are all terms that come with the trade. They are the features that you need to look for when searching for a long-lasting, comfortable and effective brace. Sure you’re thinking “I am just going Hiking, I can pick out any brace and I’ll be fine” but you’ll be dead wrong to think that. Picking a brace carefully is a process, you need to have all the available information first before making any decisions.
I am not saying that any of these braces are categorically bad, I am just saying a couple of miles down the road you want the Brace that won’t itch so much, or a brace that’ll manage the pain better, and that’s where all these terminologies come in.
Knee brace types
Like I said earlier there are types of knee braces and when we’re talking about that we are referring to support braces, stabilizers, hinged and sleeves. The four types of braces do different things.
Sleeves – They are more of ultra-light support, sure they basically do the same thing that stabilizers do, but they are more limited in their effectiveness because they only use neoprene and ultra-sturdy and flexible fabric.
Support – Built with adjustable straps, they provide support to the knee and alleviate pain that comes from surgery, arthritis or tendonitis. Its main purpose is to alleviate pain.
Stabilizers – Fitted with spring stabilizers, they keep pressure of the knee by not only distributing the pressure that comes through the joint as you move, they also help stabilize the joints and muscles and keep them in place as the muscles and bones heal.
Hinged – Built with hinges to provide the comfort and support needed after recovering from an injury where the knee pain must be relieved.
Knee brace styles
When we talk about knee brace styles it is pretty simple because there are only two: the slip-on and the wraparound.
Slip-on – Flexible braces because of the neoprene material used for making them. Neoprene is a super elastic, soft, absorbent material that is used in making most braces. The slip-on brace is placed on your knee by putting your foot in the brace and sliding it onto your knee until you are comfortable. Almost like traditional sock.
Wraparound – They come with straps on braces and are very easy to put on and take off. They are adjustable until you are comfortable, without a hitch.
Open patella vs close patella
Open patella – This system is essentially a hole in the brace that allows pressure to be released or dispersed. It also improves breathability.
Close patella – The brace covers the entire knee and provides more pressure on the kneecap.
Useless to say that choosing the right size for your brace is very important, you don’t want to buy a too big or to small support for your knees, since it could be completely inefficient or worse. So once your best knee brace is found, then you can usually find a guide provided by the manufacturer that shows you how to measure your knee in order to find the size that fits the best for you.
No matter what knee brace you think is the best for hiking, all of the braces on this list will probably help you hike better. Choosing the best knee brace for hiking is not a clear cut process, in the end a large part of your experience with these braces come down to you.
After you’re done hiking, remember that these accessories can be used for so much more than hiking. Every last one of these items was built to alleviate pain, and help you take up more challenging exercises like tennis, soccer, badminton and lots more. Ensure you properly exploit these accessories fully and try new things. Your knee doesn’t have to limit you.