Ask any hiker about the most common pain they have experienced while hiking. You will mostly get one answer: knee pain. Our knees do a lot of work to push us through those rocky and uneven trails. Due to muscle overuse, overpronation, injury, weak support, and worn-out boots, knee pain starts to take a toll on you.
Initially, you may experience a sharp, stabbing pain behind your knees. And sometimes a dull one around your patella (kneecap). Knee pain in hikers depends on the type and intensity of their activity. For example, research suggests that your knee joint takes eight times your body weight when you go downhill. For uphill movement, that load is about two to three times your body weight.
Now with that being said, you need to take some extra care of your knees. One such way is to use a knee brace for hiking. As more and more people will hit the trail to become active, fit, and energetic, the use of knee braces will also become fairly common to help with associated knee problems while hiking.
To help you keep your hiking genes active and enjoy the wild without knee pain, injury, and discomfort, we’ve researched, analyzed, and reviewed the top 8 best knee braces for hiking.
8 Best Knee Braces for Hiking
We’ll review and analyze each hiking knee brace and help you pick the one that is the best.
Can’t wait to read until the end? Here’s the winner.
POWERLIX Hiking Knee Brace
After reviewing and analyzing many different hiking knee braces on the market, we have concluded that POWERLIX Hiking Knee Brace is the best.
Jump to read the reviews, instead? HERE
How Do I Protect my Knees While Hiking?
Before you embark on your hiking journey, you need to take care of your knees. They are frequently (or continuously) used while hiking. So the best thing is to do some work beforehand.
Let’s start with your boots. Footwear plays an important role in the stability and support of your body. Boots specifically made for hiking will help you with pain and injury relief. On the other hand, wearing shoes that don’t fit well and have weak soles won’t be effective. They can cause knee and foot pain and discomfort.
Knee braces are worn around your knee joints for stability and support while hiking. Even if you’re not suffering from any pain, wearing a good knee brace can strengthen your muscles and protect from potential injuries during hiking.
Trekking poles are also essential if you’re planning a long, tedious hiking trip. They help hikers reduce the risks of muscle soreness and lower limb joint force significantly.
Pack what you need. Many people will carry a lot of things they won’t even touch during the entire journey. Extra load puts unnecessary pressure on your knees, which results in pain and inflammation.
Knee Protection Tips while Hiking
Once you’ve everything set up and are ready to move, make sure you know the trail, its difficulty level (ask those who have been there before), and which route you will take.
Take a route that you know is easy to traverse. If you have no idea, ask around. Or better, do some homework beforehand. A relatively short trail, having a steeper grade, may not serve your knees well.
Walking with short steps can relieve your knees from an extended weight. Thus keeping your knees comfortable without overstraining them.
Forefoot hiking can help you minimize ground impact and reduce extra load.
Physical Fitness and Exercise
While most people don’t pay attention to their physical fitness, it’s actually important to prepare well. Do some stretches before and after hiking. Warming up your body can keep you active and fit. Also, your muscles won’t become inflamed due to an abrupt change in your body system.
Keep your muscles active, mobile, and healthy. Overuse or no use at all can cause your muscles to develop pain and many other knee conditions.
Do Knee Braces Help with Hiking?
Sometimes exploring outdoors can bring a lot of challenges for your knees. It means you may have inflamed knees, patella dislocation, osteoarthritis, and patellar tendon tear. Fortunately, each of these problems can be addressed by wearing a knee brace for your painful knees.
There are different types of knee braces you can choose from to help with your knee problem. For example, knee straps are simple, smart looking braces that absorb shocks and reduce the impact on your knees.
On the other hand, open patella design knee braces will minimize pressure directly on your knees and keep your kneecaps in place. Also, some knee braces are better at allowing free motion, while many others simply restrict your full range of mobility.
Based on that, you can tell how helpful knee braces are for your knees.
Why Do my Knees Hurt After Hiking?
If you’re suffering from severe pain after hiking and it’s not getting any better, you may need to see your doctor. However, based on the type of pain, you can also evaluate your own condition. For example, most hikers may experience dull pain behind their knee caps due to knee injury while hiking.
Sometimes, your knee bursa – which is a tiny sack of fluid – can become inflamed due to injury or strike to the kneecap, thus causing pain and swelling of your knees.
Hiking with a heavy load can lead to repetitive knee stress due to which your tendons are subjected to mild rupture. As a result, your connecting tissues become weaker and inflamed.
Another common knee pain is due to meniscus tear – which occurs when your knees twist abnormally due to an external force. Stiffness, pain, and swelling are mostly the common symptoms of a meniscus tear.
The above were just a few knee problems you may experience after hiking.
Your knees may also hurt due to:
Knee tendinitis – Which is a sharp pain around your patella.
ACL damage – which occurs due to the inflammation of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Osteoarthritis – The knee cartilage degenerates and deforms, which causes severe pain.
Tendinosis – Which is caused by putting repetitive stress on your knees.
Symptoms include pain and discomfort without redness or burning sensation.
Should I Wear a Knee Brace for Hiking?
Knee braces can be useful for hiking. Here’s why:
- You may need to trudge steep terrains to reach your destination. For that purpose, you should have your knees supported. Along with other precautionary measurements, you should wear a knee brace to improve your stability and reduce the risks of injury while hiking.
- Some routes are a bit more challenging than others. It means you have to put in some extra load on your knees to keep moving forward. Weak and unstable knee joints might not help because of the demanding slope of the ground. To avoid abnormal twisting of your knees that could lead you to a grinding halt, wear a knee brace that can power your legs and reduce the chances of knee strain
- Sometimes people don’t realize that their damaged knees can worsen the symptoms if they don’t adopt preventative measures. Take care of your injured knee before you go hiking. You may want to make sure it will support you throughout the way. But don’t leave anything to chance. Wear a knee brace so it can help you reduce pain and inflammation. You should also use a knee brace for a healthy knee to prevent possible injuries.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Knee Brace for Hiking
Before you choose that best knee brace for hiking, consider these tips:
The right type of hiking braces help stabilize your knee, distribute the pressure, and restore its normal function. If the knee brace is not providing enough compression and causing discomfort, then it may not help with your pain.
Comfort and ease of use:
Lightweight, durable, breathable, and dustproof knee brace will keep you comfortable throughout your hiking journey. If it’s bulky and cheaply made, don’t expect comfort and ease of use.
Knee braces come in different sizes for your leg. Also, the straps are either flexible or rigid. With that being said, you should ensure the right fit. Custom sized knee braces can be flexible as you have the freedom to choose from different sizes. Also, flexible straps can be easily adjusted according to your needs.
If it’s made of latex-free, breathable, and ultra-durable material, the knee brace is probably of high quality. A good quality knee brace is the one that wicks away moisture, keeps odor away, doesn’t irritate and, and is highly comfortable.
Pricing plays some role in the quality of a hiking knee brace. But expensive doesn’t always mean high quality. While all the knee braces we have reviewed are budget friendly and won’t break the bank, it’s still a fair way of judging the product.
Top 8 Best Knee Braces for Hiking
1. POWERLIX Hiking Knee Brace
POWERLIX Knee Brace for Hiking ensures an overall best knee support during intense activities. Whether you’re hiking or climbing, this knee brace will allow for a complete leg movement so you can perform your best. As made of breathable compression fabric, POWERLIX brace stabilizes joints and protects from injuries without causing discomfort and irritation.
The material wicks away moisture and keeps your knees dry and odor free. Hikers who tried POWERLIX Knee brace said it stayed in place and allowed them a full range of motion.
Stability – POWERLIX knee brace helps with instability and patellar dislocation due to injury.
Support – The ergonomic design of the knee sleeve maintains exceptional knee and muscle support without limiting your movement.
Movement – Hike or climb freely as this brace doesn’t limit your normal leg movement. You can comfortably bend your knees without any efforts.
✔️ Comfortable fit
✔️ Doesn’t limit movement
✔️ Anti-slip silicone strips
✔️ Keeps joints warm
✔️ Different knee sizes available
❌ May not be flexible
2. IPOW Hiking Knee Brace
IPOW Hiking Knee brace is specially developed for outdoor and sports activities. It comes in a pack with two patella straps that help absorb shocks and provide pain relief. The straps are flexible and can be tightened within a range of 10-18 inches circumference.
IPOW knee straps are comfortable and stay in place without digging into you. Hikers found this knee brace easy to use and convenient.
Pain relief – It helps with severe pain and injury by giving your muscles and knee caps enough support and pressure.
Stability and comfort – The adjustable velcro straps keep the brace comfortably in place and stabilize your knees while hiking.
Support – With these braces put on, you’ll be able to train, hike, and play with maximum support.
✔️ Budget friendly
✔️ Non slip design
✔️ Support while hiking
✔️ Provides pain relief
✔️ Adjustable velcro strips
❌ May slip down
3. Cho-Pat Knee Brace for Hiking
If you’re looking for complete mobility during hiking and climbing, then this dual action knee brace from Cho-Pat is a better choice. This knee strap absorbs shock and distributes it to keep the impact as minimal as possible.
Cho-pat hiking brace supports quadriceps muscles and patellar tendon – thus enabling you to have a dual action knee support. Unlike IPOW, this one comes in different sizes for a comfortable fit and adjustment. Many campers and hikers had their knee pain relieved within just a few weeks of using it. A few also found it easy to put on.
Support – Cho-pat knee brace has comparatively better knee and muscle support.
Comfort – During hiking, sports, and intense activities, these knee straps keep your patella comfortable from above and below.
Pain relief – Choose the right size, so you get maximum pain relief and injury or overuse protection.
✔️ Adjustable velcro fasteners
✔️ Customized sizing
✔️ Pain relief and protection
✔️ Knee stability and patella support
❌ May cause some uncomfortable pressure
4. Bodyprox Side Stabilizers Hiking Brace
Bodyprox Knee brace comes with two side stabilizers in the form of springs to reduce knee joint stress and relieve pain due to intense hiking or workout activities.
This brace has an ergonomic design with an open patella for kneecap stability and support. The area surrounding the kneecap is padded with cushion for maximum comfort and relief. The straps are flexible and can be adjusted according to an individual’s needs. Most campers reported knee pain relief and joint support with Bodyprox knee brace.
Comfort – This knee brace is comfortable to wear and won’t cause irritation and itching even if you wear it all day.
Stability and support – If you’ve knee pain and instability, Bodyprox will help you stabilize your knee and support it to keep you moving without pain.
Adjustability and quality – The flexible straps with velcro fasteners make the brace highly adjustable. Made of high grade, breathable neoprene, the brace doesn’t cause an allergic reaction, skin rashes, and irritation.
✔️ Flexible and adjustable
✔️Stabilizes and supports the knee
✔️ Wicks away moisture and sweat
✔️ Comfortable and easy to use
✔️ Non-slip design
❌ May be a little uncomfortable during certain activities
5. Bodyprox Hinged Hiking Knee Brace
Bodyprox Hiking Knee Brace comes with a ring-shaped, open patella design and two removable hinges. The hinges, which are made of aluminum, comfort your knees and support your joints during hiking.
This knee brace is made of high quality neoprene material, which provides optimum thermal compression without causing irritation and discomfort. With four different sizes to choose from, this wrap around type of knee brace custom fits your knees. Athletes, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts found Bodyprox Hinged knee brace comfortable and supportive.
Support – The brace offers better support for those with knee defects, severe injuries, and patellar dislocation.
Stability – The dual aluminum hinges relieve knee pain and provide lateral and media stability.
Comfort and pain relief – The open patella and open back features help with stability and alignment. The knee brace has enough compression to soothe your knees, warm the affected area, and improve circulation.
✔️ Adjustable sizes and fit
✔️ Velcro fasteners for a snug fit
✔️ Pain relief and support
✔️ Ideal for hiking and outdoor activities
✔️ Reduce pressure on the patella
❌ This knee brace is somewhat bulky
6. TechWare Pro Knee Brace for Hiking
TechWare Pro Hiking Knee brace has a relatively different design. It has three adjustable straps with two on one side and the third on the other. The straps feature silicone grip beads to prevent the brace from slipping down. Its open patella design help stabilizes the knee cap and prevents patella dislocation.
This brace has four spring stabilizers that increase flexibility and support while you’re hiking or covering long distances on foot.
Support and stability – The straps on both sides distribute the pressure around your patella for full support and knee stability.
Pain relief – Most hikers reported that TechWare Pro helped with swelling, injury discomfort, and post-surgery knee pain. Most hikers also got relieved from lingering knee pain and arthritis.
Comfort and ease of use – Simply open the velcro, set the brace around the affected area, and fasten the velcro straps.
✔️ Adjust accordingly
✔️ Easy to use and comfortable
✔️ Reduces pain and inflammation
✔️ Allows range of motion
❌ May be not ideal for every sports activity.
7. Run Forever Sports Knee Brace
Unlike other knee straps, Run Forever Patella knee strap targets your patellar tendon. Wear it just below your kneecap by adjusting the straps and compressing the brace as you feel fit. It has a universal size between 13 to 19 inches in leg circumference (just below the knee joint).
The knee brace is made of soft, light, and breathable neoprene and nylon materials. With Run Forever Sports knee strap on your knee, you’ll feel less pain and more power to push through that tedious hiking trail.
Pain relief – Users relieved from pain due to torn meniscus and osteoarthritis. A torn lateral ligament pain was also relieved after using this knee brace.
Adjustability – The knee brace can be adjusted by pulling the straps as you feel fit.
Comfort and ease of use – The brace is sleek, simple, and easy to use. It’s also comfortable for hikers and runners.
✔️ Adjustable velcro straps
✔️ Breathable neoprene and nylon material
✔️ Eases pain and discomfort
✔️ Reduces pressure on the injured area
❌ Not many
8. ANRI.E. Knee Brace for Hiking
If you’re looking for a heavy duty knee brace to support your intense sports and exercise activities, then this brace will better suit you. Whether you’re running, training, hiking, or climbing, ANRI.E. hiking knee brace will protect your knees from severe injuries. The open patella design carefully supports your knee cap and still allows for movement.
With anti slip silicon strips, adjustable velcro fastener, and breathable material, this knee brace will keep you at a higher level of comfort.
Knee relief – The open patella design prevents as well as relieves knee injuries and osteoarthritis.
Adjustable design – Pull the straps until you feel tightness in your knee for increased support and compression.
Quality and comfort – The high quality material makes the brace comfortable for hikers and fitness geeks. You can use it for any activity without discomfort, irritation, or itching.
✔️ Open patella design for support
✔️ Ventilated knee brace
✔️ One size fits
✔️ Anti slip silicone strips
✔️ Worry free warranty
❌ Not many
This wraps up our list of best knee braces for hiking. We have tried our best to present the features and specs of each knee brace in an easy to consume way. Quality, comfort, ease of use, adjustability, and pain relieving capabilities are all the things that we evaluated for each knee brace. Finally, we found POWERLIX Knee Brace to be the best knee brace for hiking.