Best knee brace for women, elderly and others

The different anatomy makes women more prone to knee injury.
The different anatomy makes women more prone to knee injury.

Best knee brace for women, elderly and others

Both women and the elderly are more prone to knee injury than others.

For women the problem comes from the anatomical and hormonal differences (read more here), while for the elderly knee tissue degeneration due to old age, and the pain and injuries which come after that are pretty much a fact of life.

Best knee brace for women

Women's anatomy differs just enough from men's anatomy to make their knees more vulnerable to injury.

The differences is ligament, gait, load caused by the wider hips are just enough to wreck your knees, so it's a good idea to protect them with a brace.

Braces and sleeves work well for these kind of issues as they take over some load from your knees, making them less suspectible to injury.

Winzone Neoprene knee brace, adjustable strap

Overview

The Winzone brace is a one size fits all, both left and right knee brace. This flexibility is great because you just can't mis-size this brace. The brace is bit on the shorter end so if you need a long brace this might not be good for you.

The brace comes as a single, so you'll have to buy two if you need a pair. The manufacturer does not advertise warranty for this brace.

Sporting with the sleeve

As for sports this brace is good for skiing, running, squats, wrestling, basketball, weight lifting, zumba, and tennis. It may not be suitable for pro basketball players though. It bunches up a bit behind the knee, however most sleeves without hinges do this.

The brace does not hinder bending your knee, so it's great for squats and weight lifting.

Helping your health

Among health issues, the brace tends to help with runners's knee, ACL problems (stabilizes the knee even if your ACL is in a bad condition), and helps with MCL, LCL and PCL sprains too. As arthritis sufferrers benefit from the stablization, it helps them too as it prevents the buckling. As such it's good if you are waiting for total knee replacement too.

The brace provides both patella support and lateral support (even though the lateral support is not as strong as if it had hinges).

Material

The material is not hot, so you will not get all sweaty under it, even in warm weather.

The brace does not have metal hinges, so it should not pose problems at airport security. The brace contains neoprene so it has some odor initially. It is latex free too, however this could be manufactured in a factory that also handles latex - allergy is not expected, still, be careful with it if you have latex allergy. It has a silicone strip and it does not slip. The velcro is good quality, but not great.

Wearing it

You can wear this brace under your clothes. Due to it's size this will be visible under tight clothing however works well with regular clothing.

For best results only hand-wash this brace.

Old age wreaks havoc on the joints - knee sleeves can improve the symptoms.
Old age wreaks havoc on the joints - knee sleeves can improve the symptoms.

Best knee brace for elderly

For general protection of aging knees, the best solution is probably a simple compressing sleeve made of a flexible material.

Such sleeves provide the compression and support that elderly knees need, without limiting the movement too much.

For elderly it's also important to choose a sleeve which is easy to put on, and easy to take of, as their hands are both weaker, and arthritis could make it hard for them to move their fingers.

However if you have other, specific knee issues, such as ACL injury or patella pain, you'll be better of with a sleeve specialized for that very problem.

  • Mayo Clinic has an overview on knee braces and osteoarthritis.
  • The National Institute of Health has all the details you'd ever need.

UFlex Athletics knee compression sleeve

Sizing and overview

To size the UFlex sleeve measure 4" above your kneecap:

size S: 14.5" - 17"
size M: 17" - 19.5"
size L: 19.5" - 22"

The sizing is well thought-out, you can expect it to fit well even if you have an above-average calf.

The sleeve comes as a single, you'll have to get two if you need it for both knees. There's no warranty information for this sleeve.

Using the brace for sports

The brace effectively helps you during running, swimming, skiing, wrestling, zumba, hiking, cycling also with sports which require quick movements such as basketball and tennis.

It lets your knee bend freely so you can do deep squats with it too. It's good for weight lifting too. Note that this will not give you as much support for these sports as a thick neoprene sleeve such as the Rehband could.

Helping your health

As for health issues, it's suitable for minor runner's knee, jumper's knee, ACL, MCL and LCL issues, meniscus tear (lateral too) and arthritis too. As it's a simple sleeve it does not provide much lateral support, you'll have to get a proper hinged brace if you need that. The sleeve is good for a wide variety of knee issues as most knee problems benefit from the compression and stabilization it provides.

Material

The sleeve contains no metal so no issues at the airport security gates with this one. It tends to bunch up a bit behind the knee, but does not slip.

It contains no neoprene, still can have a bit of smell when first opened. The sleeve contains latex so it's not a good fit if you have latex allergy. It also has no velcro so one less thing that could go bust with this one.

Good to know

This is a fairly simple but effective knee sleeve, with a silicon strip to prevent slipping. You can wear it under your clothing, as it's really thin. You can wear it over your clothes too, however this is not really recommended as it's both less comfortable and less likely to stay in place.

For best results only hand wash this brace and let it dry by itself.

Best knee brace for cartilage damage

The two main type of cartilage in the knee are the meniscus and the hyaline cartilage.

Both of these are prone to damage from old age, or from simple wear and tear.

As cartilage can hardly repair itself, you'll need a knee brace which unloads your knee.

These braces help by taking over some load from your knee, so they can effectively lessen the pain from bone-on-bone rubbing, arthritis and meniscus degeneration.

Note that these braces can only lessen the symptoms, they do not fix your knees.

PowerLix comression knee sleeve

Overview and sizing

The PowerLix Compression Knee Sleeve is a simple sleeve which provides relief for many knee issues as almost every knee problem benefits from compression.

The sleeve comes as a single - you'll have to buy two if needed for both knees. The warranty is unfortunately unknown for this sleeve.

As for the sizing, measure your thigh circumference 5" above your kneecap:

Size codeKnee circumference
S11" - 12"
M12.5" - 16"
L16.5"- 18"
XL18.5" - 22.5"
XXL23" - 25"
Sporting with the sleeve

The sleeve is great for tennis, skiing, running, jogging, hiking, soccer, basketball, cycling and and zumba too - so anything that requires fast movement and basic support.

It's good for wrestling too however it does not give you much lateral stability as it has no hinges.

This sleeve even survives in the pool, you can use it for swimming or for aquafitness.

It also supports your knee when squatting or lifting weight, however it's not the heavy-duty neoprene sleeve so it can't give that much support.

Helping your health

On the health side this brace is good if you need light patella support, it compresses and stabilizes your knee during the movements. It's also good for runner's knee, ligament issues (ACL, MCL, LCL and PCL sprains) and arthritis, as the compressions helps a lot.

Material

The material is thin and breathes well. It contains neither latex nor neoprene. As a plus it does not smell - most braces tend to have some chemical smell initially, get this one if you hate the new-sleeve-smell.

It also rarely bunches up behind the knee and rarely slips, as it has an anti-slip strip.

It contains no metal hinges which means no airport security issues, and less lateral support.

Wearing it

The sleeve is thin, you can easily wear it under your clothes. If you wear it over your clothes expect less grip.

Sizing is not as good as it could be, if you have large thighs and calves you may find it compresses your calves and thighs more than your knees. If you are not sure if this sleeve will be a good fit get one with velcros.

For best results hand-wash this sleeve and let it dry by itself.

Best knee brace for lateral meniscus tear

Lateral meniscus tear means that you have torn the outer side of your meniscus, the cartilage in your knee joint.

If the tear is small, RICE protocol (Rest ,Ice, Compress, Elevate) could be enough to fix your knee.

However a more serious tear will probably require surgery. Both minor and major tears can benefit from wearing a brace.

For such tears your best bet is to get a hinged brace, as these braces can effectively unload your knees, which help relieve the symptoms of the painful tear.

Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Supporter with Bilateral Hinges (Black, Large)- Single

Overview

This sleeve is great for skiing, helps if you have acl, mcl, pcl or meniscus tear, and helps with runner's knee too. As the brace limits lateral movement and offloads your knee, it helps with arthritis too.

Unfortunately it has no warranty information. It comes as a single, so you'll have to buy two if you need support for both knees.

The sleeve limits how much your knee can bend, however it also protects against lateral bending so it's great at stabilizing your knee.

Sporting with the sleeve

As it stablizes well it also helps with squats. Deep squats can be a bit of a problem as the back side can pinch a bit, however it does not bunch up, which is a great plus.

While you can jog in this brace it's not really suitable to high speed running as it limits the speed you can move with.

As for other sports, this brace is good when you do not need sustained, fast knee movements such as wrestling, weight lifting, zumba, skateboarding, or just doing the housework.

However it's not really good for basketball, tennis or football or cycling.

For swimming you may have to remove the hinges to let your leg move more freely.

Helping your health

As for patella support, this brace is adequate, however do not expect it to hold your patella rigidly in place - it was designed for lateral support.

Material

The material is thick neoprene, so it can get sweaty on the inside, particularly if the weather is hot. Due to the neoprene it can smell a bit. On the upside it's latex free so you will not get latex allergy. The velcro is adequate, but not particularly strong, so do not overtighten it as that could make it wear out early.

Sizing the sleeve

The sizing can be tricky, as you have to get the correct size, and let it break in by itself. You can expect this brace to be a bit tight in the beginning. Just make sure you do not pull on the measuring tape when sizing your thigh - this way it will not become overly tight.

This brace will feel tight on your calves when you put it on first, but this is normal, and will fix itself as the sleeve brakes in.

When in doubt use this sizing chart:

Size code
XS11.5" - 12.5"
S12.25" - 13.25"
M13" - 14"
L13.75" - 14.75"
XL14.5" - 16"
XXL15.75" - 17.25"
XXXL17" - 18.5"

For sizing measure the circumference of your knee 2" bellow your knee cap. Do not pull tight on the measuring tape.

Wearing it

The brace is thick and needs good fit, so you can't wear it above your trousers or pants. It will hide under your clothes as expected, unless you wear tight leggings.

Good to know

As for washing, you can wash it in warm water or in the washing machine with "hand wash" program. Make sure you remove the metal hinges before washing.

The brace has quite an amount of metal in it, it will cause alert at the airport metal detector.

Best knee brace for jumping

When jumping a lot, your patellar tendon gets overloaded, which can lead to patellar tendonitis.

A lot of knee braces can help with this problem, however the best ones are the open patella braces, which help keep your patella in place.

Besides the open patella designs, simple straps which only apply pressure at the bottom of your patella help too, as tendonitis reacts well to this kind of pressure.

A real upside of choosing a strap is that they hardly limit your movement, while keeping the pain in check.

IPOW 2 pack knee pain relief straps

Sleeve overview

The IPOW knee strap comes as a pair, and fits knees up to 18 inches. It's a one size fits all solution, and it comes as a pair so you will not have to buy two for both knees.

If you have large knees, measure their circumference right bellow your the patella to check if this strap will fit you.

Unfortunately the warranty is unknown for this knee strap.

Sporting

As for sports, this product helps if you need to bend your knee or do squats, running, wrestling, basketball, weight lifting, pilates, zumba, cycling, tennis, hiking and even swimming. As this is a small and light product it can help both with power sports and sports which require quick movements. The strap does not tend to slip as you move around.

Helping your health

On the health side this strap can help after accidents, runner's knee, jumper's knee, arthritis. It does not really help with MCL or LCL.

It also helps the patellar tendon absorb shocks, so it's great if you have patella problems, patella stability/tracking issues. For best results place it right bellow the knee cap on the patella tendon.

This can help to reduce the pain while you are waiting for total knee replacement too.

However this product is not for you if you need lateral support - you'll need to get a hinged knee brace for that.

Materials used

The materials: the strap contains a small amount of metal so it could cause issues at the airport. It's made of neoprene so it smells a bit initially.

On the upside it's so small that it won't make your knees sweat. The product is latex free, you can use it even if you have latex allergy. The velcro holds up as expected.

Wearing and washing the sleeve

For best results wear it under your clothing - it may slip if worn over pants. The device is small, and will be visible only under tight clothing.

Washing the straps is easy, either hand wash these or use a light duty cycle with your washing machine.

The EXOUS knee brace

Overview

The EXOUS knee brace comes with a very-optimistic lifetime warranty, which is unique in it's class. It comes as a single, so you'll have to buy two for both knees.

Sizing the brace

Sizing this brace is easy, as one size fits all: measure your thigh circumference 3" above your knee. If it's less than 20" the sleeve will fit your thighs. You should also measure your knee circumference, which should be bigger than 13", and your calf circumference where your calf is the largest - this should be less than 16"-18".

Sporting with the sleeve

As for sports, the Exous knee brace is suitable for skiing, skating, running, hiking, basketball, zumba, cycling, tennis, and even skateboarding sports which require bending your knees such as squats, weight lifting. Sometimes the brace bunches up during deep squats, but it's fairly rare. Wearing this brace in the pool for swimming works well too.

Health

On the health side it's good for PCL, LCL, ACL, MCL, PCL issues, runner's knee, jumper's knee, and before total knee replacement - mainly because these all benefit from the compression and stability provided by this brace.

It also provides good lateral support and supports the patella too. This is important because it will help prevent your patella from sliding to the sides.

The material

As for the material the velcro is sensitive for washing, so hand-wash only. Do not put it in the washing machine, not even for a light cycle. The brace contains metal, which is an issue if you want to fly with this on - it will trigger the metal detectors. The brace rarely smells, even though it's made of neoprene. There's no information if it contains latex - take care if you have latex allergy.

Wearing it

This brace rarely slips out of place, and it's suitable even if you have large calf muscles.

You can wear this brace under your clothes, due to it's size it will be visible if you wear skinny jeans or other tight clothing. If you wear it over your clothing you'll lose some of it's ability to stabilize your knee.