Sure you can stop. But once you’ve experienced the pleasures of running — giving it up for sore or painful knees isn’t exactly the best solution. Knee sleeves are the perfect answer for added support and stability while running and for recovery. But, What is the Best Knee Support for Running?
There’s a lot of options out there, partly because knee support sleeves are for different applications-partly because some are junk. But, whether you’re running around the block, a marathon, CrossFit, or iron man — wearing the best knee support can make a world of difference when you’re running.
Which knee support is the best is hard to pin down? The best results will depend a lot on your own needs. So, what I’m going to do is to show you what I’ve had the most success with, and what I like about each.
What is the Best Knee Support for Running?
These are My Favorite Knee Sleeves for Running:
If you are new to wearing premium compression knee sleeves, you’re in for a real treat. Each of these will provide noticeable support and stability for either weak or strong knees. Choose any one of the products below for great and proven results for runners.
1. UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support for Running Jogging Sports
Even though every knee sleeve I’ve listed is comfortable and adds tremendous support and stability, UFlex is my favorite all-around product. It delivers moderate support which is what I like to run with. (Moderate is not nearly as rigid as something for powerlifting and not nearly as flimsy as something like a Tommy Copper.)
Whether you need more knee and leg muscle support and stability while running or less swelling, soreness and stiffness afterwards — UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support is a great choice. A lot of runners say UFlex is the best knee support for running with arthritis?
UFlex for Running, Jogging, Sports, Joint Pain Relief, Arthritis and Injury Recovery
2. RiptGear Compression Knee Sleeve
RiptGear is a great and comfortable fit whether I’m running the streets, or standing on my feet all day. Even with the outstanding support I feel as soon as I slip it on, it’s super flexible, breathes well and fits my leg perfectly.
Get the added support and knee stability you need when running with RiptGear knee sleeves for running. You’ll keep your knees dry and forget about them slipping with the silicone rings. RiptGear will add warmth, uniform compression, feel good and comfortable for short and long runs.
RiptGear Compression Knee Sleeve – For Running, Volleyball, Football, Basketball
3. Physix Gear Knee Support Brace For Running
Physix Knee Sleeves are definitely a great support brace for running. Whether you run on a treadmill, track, or streets, Physix works! You notice the added stability and all around muscle support right away.
Physix Gear Knee Support Brace for running knee support and recovery. Great compression sleeve for Meniscus Tear, ACL, MCL recovery and Arthritis.
4. Sable Knee Brace Support
Sable has a lot in common with UFlex when it comes to comfort and support. The knit material is very much the same and the compression level feels the same. It’s also a moderate support knee sleeve which is what most runners consider the best option. Never worry about slippage due to the dual silicone anti-slip design.
The Sable Knee Sleeve cloth is very strong and durable allowing for plenty of mobility and compression at the same time. These sleeves provide plenty of support for the joint and leg to allow you enjoy running.
5. Zensah Elite Knee Compression Sleeve with Patella Gel Pad
The Ultimate in comfort! Really soft and made from Spandex and Nylon. If you like a little lighter weight sleeve Zensah is the pick of the crop. The cloth material is lighter and a little thinner than most Premium grade knee sleeves, but boy do they pack plenty of support.
Zensah Sleeves Deliver great compression, have no problem staying in place and are extra comfortable for runners. They are more popular every day for immediate pain relief and reducing swelling from a run and you can easily wear them under your clothing. ***Sold as Singles.
5. Rehband Rx Knee Support 5mm for Running
Rehband is one of the best known names when it comes to knee sleeves. They make neoprene sleeves for the best support possible. They don’t breathe like other materials, but if you’re looking for a lot of support these 3mm sleeves are this runners choice.
The 3mm Rehband offers the most support and extra stability of any I’ve used. They are 5mm neoprene which gives them the utmost stability without losing any mobility of the knee joint. If you’re into long-distance running or need plenty of support and stability you’ll love Rehband Knee Sleeves .
What is the Best Knee Support for Running?
I don’t think there’s a pat answer to the question. Some runners just like the way the added support and compression feels. On the other end of the spectrum are people running with injured and recovering knees: They need a lot more support, sometimes from 5mm or thicker neoprene knee sleeves.
Then again, some runners are able, or more willing than others, to pay a premium price for Bauerfeind Genutrains that I review on another page.
I have one good knee and one suffering with osteoarthritis. It would be next to impossible for me to run or do anything that puts extra stress on that knee without the best knee support for running.
The other knee is fine, but the added support is invaluable along with the faster recovery times from longer runs. So, I wear two knee support sleeves.
I started out with a cheap sleeve from Walmart that felt like wearing cheap elastic panties on my knee? Compared to the ones we’ve discussed on this page, they were really useless. However, as lousy as they were, I immediately understood the value of knee sleeves for runners.
Benefits of Knee Sleeves for Running
- Compression. It all starts with compression that gently squeezes on your knee and surrounding areas. The compression comes from the elasticity of the material it’s made from, whether cloth or neoprene and serves several purposes.
- Adds Support and Stability. Until you wear a knee sleeve it’s hard to describe the extra level of support and stability that comes from the compression. You can’t miss how much stronger your knee feels each time you wear it. With the constant and steady compression around your lower thigh , upper calf , and knee joint itself — your knee feels strong and is much more stable.
- Increases Blood Flow. The compression factor of the knee sleeve causes increased blood flow to the entire area. The reason I like to stretch and start out running slow is to give my knee, muscles, and tendons a chance to warm up. Without that warming up I risk tearing and injuring muscles and tendons. The increased blood flow from the compression helps keep the joints, muscles, and tendons warm all the time, which can help prevent injuries.
- Pain Relief. Most people are shocked at the degree of relief from pain and soreness that simply disappears when wearing a well fitting sleeve. I’m by no means suggesting you put off seeing a physician, and sometimes a knee brace is in order rather than a sleeve. On the other hand, I have one knee with severe arthritis that could stand a knee replacement. Instead of surgery, I am amazed that I can run several days a week with the aid of my own knee sleeves.
- Reduces Swelling. If your knee tends to swell when you run or stand on your feet all day, compression sleeves will help reduce and disperse the normal swelling.
- Prevents Injury. You do not need runners knee to take advantage of knee sleeves. The compression increased blood flow and added support and stability all work together to help prevent runner’s knee from the get-go. The term runner’s knee actually covers all the most common knee injuries and the best way to help prevent all of them is wearing sleeves on healthy knees when you run.
- Faster Recovery. Each point I’ve listed above is advantageous when comes to a speedy recovery from common knee injuries or surgery including Meniscus tears, ACL, PCL, and MCL injuries.
- Helps alleviate the customary minor aches and pains associated with running. Knee sleeves keep me from dealing with things like shin splints, muscle cramps, tendonitis, and more during a run.
- Increases overall performance. You’ll simply won’t tire as easily or quickly because the compression increases blood flow which increases oxygen levels which increases energy levels.
- Less fatigue from running. Besides the increased oxygen levels compression sleeves are holding your knee joint, muscles and tendons firmly in place. You’ll notice that there is less vibration through your joint from your foot striking the ground and your muscles won’t tire as quickly. (When you realize that, you’ll want a sleeve on both knees when you run.)
Runners all over the world agree that the best option for running with an unstable, unsure, sore, or painful knee is a knee sleeve. However, when it comes to protecting your knees against injury and upping your running game there’s nothing else to compare to wearing sleeves on your knees.
The only real way to answer the question “What is the best knee support for running?” is to purchase one you think you’ll like and give it try. Until you step up to the medical grade sleeves, the price is usually affordable enough to keep researching and trying knee support for your running until you find your best option.