In Search Of The Best Hinged Knee Brace: 2018 Buying Guide

Running with knee arthritis doesn’t have to be an impossible task – all you need to get is proper equipment for the job. The goal here is to give your knee the stability and support it needs, without limiting its range of movements.

How does one do that?

With a little help from the best hinged knee brace, of course.

Stick around to learn more!

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*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Necessary Steps To Finding The Best Hinged Knee Brace: Buying Guide 

Do you have your best walking shoes for bad knees already picked out and ready? Then it’s time to move on to the next piece of equipment that will help your knee heal.

Yes, I’m talking about the best hinged knee brace.

There are several steps you should follow to make sure you did, in fact, pick the best model out of the bunch. I'll explain each step today to help you find the best hinged knee brace.

Let’s dig in, shall we?

Step 1: Pick The Right Size 

While it may seem like an easy thing to do, picking the right knee brace size is probably one of the most frustrating steps to finding the best hinged knee brace.

Why?

Because there's no consensus among the manufacturers, both regarding taking the measurements, and available sizes you can choose from – everyone has their guidelines.

As long as you don't make any assumptions based on previous experiences and follow the instructions to the letter, and I'm sure you'll get it right!

Step 2: Set A Budget  

As a runner, you should treat your knees as one of your most important assets. Investing in one of your most valuable assets is a pretty logical step, isn’t it?

How much should you spend on the best hinged knee brace?

I can’t tell you that – you’re the one that should decide on a budget limit. But once you do, please stick to it, don’t go browsing through products you most certainly can’t afford.

I can tell you one thing, though:

Spending a bit more usually means you’ll get a more reliable, higher quality knee brace. Keep that in mind when setting a price point you’re comfortable with, okay?

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Step 3: Open Or Closed Patella?

At this point, you should decide whether you want your best hinged knee brace to feature an open or closed patella.

What’s the difference, you ask?

The difference is in the amount of support and compression provided to the patella, of course.

If you want your kneecap to be affected by the hinged knee brace the same way the rest of your knee is, then you should choose a model with a closed patella design. On the other hand, if you want to keep your kneecap free of pressure, while still providing a certain level of support, opt for an open patella design instead.

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Step 4: Make Sure It’s Comfortable

Let me assure you that comfort isn't something you'll have to compromise on with your knee brace, as long as you make sure to check some things before you make a purchase. For instance, make sure the material is breathable. Nobody likes to be all sweaty under their knee brace.

Another vital factor concerning comfort is the padding – due to their nature, best hinged knee braces contain metal bars that keep your knee in place. You want these hinges tucked up in a layer of soft padding, or they'll probably cause a lot of discomfort and soreness.

It has to be comfortable, especially if you plan on performing some knee tendonitis exercises or various types of physical therapy for sprained knee, for that matter.

Step 5: Don’t Forget Ease Of Use

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Since you’ll be wearing your best hinged knee brace pretty much every day – until your knee recovers, that is – you need to make sure it’s easy to use. You should be able to both put it on and take it off quickly, without much hassle.

That said, there are two types of hinged knee braces to choose from:

  • Slip-On – Much like the best knee sleeve for running, a slip-on knee brace is put on by sliding it over your foot and shin, all the way up to your knee. Sounds like a lot of work?

That's because it is – these are commonly known for being the less user-friendly type of hinged knee braces.

  • Wrap-Around – Having Velcro straps that can be quickly wrapped around your knee makes this type of braces extremely easy to use.

If that's a necessary criterion to you, I'm sure you'll find the best hinged knee brace for your needs on the following list of models.

Best Hinged Knee Brace In 2018: Top 5 Recommendations 

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.



Don't want to bother with measuring your leg and worrying whether or not you picked the right size when you placed your order? Then this one-size-fits-all model by Vive is the best hinged knee brace for you.

With its top and bottom fasteners, the brace is made to fit you like a glove and, most importantly, stay in place, no matter how big (or small) your legs are.

The hinges – aluminum bars – are 100% removable, so you get to decide how much support you want. As your recovery progresses, you can remove them, and wear just the brace. Talk about versatility, huh?

The stitching doesn't seem very durable, though. I expected more from seams that are supposed to hold in the metal hinges. As it turns out, I'm not the only one who had the same issue – they tend to poke through the stitching after a couple of months of daily use.


Pros

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    Removable aluminum hinges
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    Neoprene makes the brace breathable and lightweight
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    Provides thermal compression
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    Top and bottom fasteners ensure a perfect fit
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    One-size-fits-all design
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    The product comes with a 60-day guarantee 

Cons

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    The metal hinges poke through the stitching



If one of the main reasons you're buying a knee brace – besides recovering from an injury, that is – is to keep your joint from hyperextending, Shock Doctor is the best hinged knee brace for the job.

Since it offers both lateral and medial support, due to its dual hinge system, you can rest assured that it will give you the stability you need. The fit is regulated by the X-Fit bottom strap (a Shock Doctor's pending patent), that wraps around your leg, and keeps everything in place.

Using antimicrobial technology to minimize bacterial growth regulates the not-so-pleasant odors that usually occur after wearing a knee brace all day. I give it a minus point for breathability, though – it gets somewhat sweaty under the brace.

Also, double check the size chart before you order your knee brace. It seems a bit off; going a size larger (especially in-between sizes) is probably a good idea.

Pros

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    Dual hinges provide lateral and medial knee support
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    The X-Fit bottom strap ensures a perfect fit
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    Uses antimicrobial technology to minimize bacterial growth
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    There’s plenty of sizes to choose from 

Cons

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    The sizing chart is a bit off
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    It gets a bit sweaty 



Are you looking for the maximum level of support without feeling limited in any way? McDavid's the best hinged knee brace for you! It doesn't matter if you plan on wearing them on your right or left knee, either – it's made to suit both.

Offering both medial and lateral support, with additional crossing straps that will enhance the compression level tremendously – you'll notice this as soon as you put them on for the first time.

Allowing natural freedom of movement is something a lot of hinged knee braces struggle with, but thanks to the polycentric hinges, this McDavid model isn't one of them.

Everything is nicely wrapped in latex-free neoprene, ensuring comfortable thermal compression minus the annoying sweating. Amazing, right?

I should mention one thing, though:

They run small in size, so if you're in between sizes, go a size up, just to be on the safe side.


Pros

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    Offers a high level of medial and lateral support
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    Crossing straps enhance compression and stability
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    Polycentric hinges allow freedom of movement
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    Suitable for both left and right knee
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    Perforated back panel for added ventilation 

Cons

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    They run small in size



As I mentioned previously, following the knee's natural movement is a bit of a struggle for most hinged knee braces, but luckily for you, this Mueller model doesn't. The triaxial hinge will be able to keep up with you, tracking the knee joint and giving you a pretty much free range of movements.

Getting the support you need without feeling trapped? Sign me up!

The knee brace is suitable for both your knees, so don't worry about that, either. If it fits your right knee, it will suit your left, as well.

The only issue here is the sizing chart. It seems to be a common theme with hinged knee braces, huh?

Anyway, I feel like they run small, which can be a severe problem for online buyers – you won't know if you picked the right size until you get to try it on for the first time.


Pros

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    The triaxial hinge will follow your knee’s natural movements
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    The fabric is breathable, yet supportive
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    Suitable for both right and left knee
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    Antimicrobial barrier fights off the bacteria (and odor)
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    Comes with a mesh carry bag 

Cons

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    Sizing is a bit off



I understand if you want your new best hinged knee brace to be FDA-registered, that's one of the main reasons I included the Neo-G in my round-up. That, and the fact that it's pretty reasonably priced, too.

One-size-fits-all design is a massive advantage for those of you that are scared of ordering the wrong size – the possibility of making an error in that department is virtually non-existent. Speaking of benefits, the fact that this model is a wrap-around style knee brace makes it extremely easy to put it on, even if you're already dressed.

The only problem is durability. While the knee brace itself held up very good, meaning it didn't start to loosen up, I can't say the same for the seams. The stitching was so low-quality that it began to unravel after just a couple of months, and at the most inconvenient place, too – below the metal hinge.


Pros

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    Neoprene helps keep your knee and muscles warm
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    One-size design ensures a good fit for a variety of users
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    The wrap-around system makes them easy to put on
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    FDA-registered hinged knee brace 

Cons

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    The seams holding the metal hinge started unraveling


The Best Hinged Knee Brace In 2018 Is...

So, which of these model deserves the title of the 2018’s best hinged knee brace?

My vote goes to Mcdavid Knee Brace Stabilizer & Compression Sleeve w/ Side Hinges & Cross Straps. Offering both lateral and medial support, a high level of compression, and at the same time, leaving you with your freedom of movement virtually unchanged – what more could you possibly want?

Which hinged knee brace gets your vote? Let me know in the comments below!

Bella Williams
 

Hi! I'm Bella. I love running. I write this blog to share everyone about running.

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