One of the most important first steps you must take when choosing the best knee brace for running is to determine how much knee support you need. If you have suffered from a knee sprain, strain, or other relatively minor knee injury, you should select a lightweight knee brace that offers low to moderate support. In contrast, if you have been diagnosed with a tendon or ligament tear, knee dislocation, or other serious injury, you should look for knee braces that are a heavier weight and offer higher amounts of support. While lightweight knee braces can usually be found at your local sporting goods store, you may need to see a doctor or physical therapist for the right kind of knee brace for a ligament or tendon tear.
Once you have decided what type of knee brace for running is right for you, you must decide what size brace is appropriate for you. For best results when sizing this brace, try the knee brace on. Ideally, the brace should fit snugly against your knee and the surrounding parts of your leg, and it should be easily adjustable. Be sure to closely follow instructions from your doctor or physical therapist or those on the packaging of the knee brace to achieve optimal results.
Make sure that the knee brace for running is designed to wick moisture. Clothing, support braces, and other pieces of athletic gear that are able to “wick” moisture are becoming more and more popular, especially in running circles. When a piece of sporting gear claims that it wicks moisture, it means the product is able to move moisture away from your skin, thus preventing the painful blisters that can often occur as a result of fabric rubbing on moisture. Moisture-wicking knee braces will be especially important for runners who live in locations with high amounts of heat and humidity.
Finally, make sure that the knee brace for running fits within your price range. While knee braces that are provided by your doctor, physical therapist, or athletic trainer are typically covered by insurance, knee braces purchased at a sporting goods stores must often be paid for out of pocket. While price should not be the only consideration when choosing a knee brace, it is important to keep a specific price range in mind when making a final decision. Shop around to find the best price for your preferred type of knee brace.