Skiing is a sport that’s notoriously hard on the knees. Bumps, jumps and the occasional fall can all leave your joints feeling a bit worse for wear.
If you’ve ever had an injury, you will know how effective a good knee brace can be. It provides the support required to ski at your best and minimizes the risk of future injury.
Finding the best knee brace for skiing isn’t a simple task. They come in a range of different styles, with each one offering a different level of protection.
In order to help you sift through the myriad of products, we have analysed the data to list the best options currently on the market. We have reviewed the pros and cons of each one, while also listing the key features to find the one that’s right for you.
Best Knee Brace For Skiing At A Glance
Why Do I Need The Best Knee Brace For Skiing?
Skiing is a sport that can often be hard of the knees. They act as shock absorbers when skiing uneven terrain and are often subject to extreme pressure.
If you’re prone to knee trouble, wearing a brace can help you immensely. Skiing on weak knees can be a painful experience, so making sure they’re supported will make all the difference.
The best knee braces for skiing can also provide protection against injury. By using a strong support system, they lessen the ligament damage that might occur if you twist your knee during a fall.
If you love skiing, knee health should be one of your top priorities. By choosing the right brace; you can lessen the impact on your joints, prevent injury and feel comfortable enough to ski with confidence.
How To Choose The Best Knee Brace For Skiing
Type of Knee Brace
Knee braces come in a range of shapes and sizes. Each option is best suited to a different skier, so you need to find the one that works for you.
Compression sleeves are the most basic type of knee brace. They are usually made from a single piece of stretchy fabric, designed to provide a tight ‘compression’ fit.
Knee compression sleeves are used to protect the knee from future injury or risk of damage. They are a good choice for anyone putting their knees under regular pressure on the slopes.
The compression element encourages blood flow through the blood vessels in your knee. This ultimately leads to reduced pain, reduced swelling and a more comfortable skiing experience.
Knee sleeves can do a great job of reducing pain, but they will not provide much ligament support. If you have an unstable knee due to a previous injury, you will need to look for something more substantial.
Hinged Knee Brace
Hinged knee braces usually offer the highest level of protection. Constructed from a compression material that straps around your leg, they feature metal ‘hinged’ bars that sit either side of your knee joint.
Hinged braces are a great way to protect a previous injury from further damage. They are usually the choice of anyone with a previous tendon issue and are often recommended by medical professionals.
The idea of a hinged knee brace is to keep your knee correctly aligned. It will stop it from moving sideways or overexerting into unnatural positions. They also provide mild compression, which can assist in pain prevention.
If you’re worried about knee stability and are looking for maximum protection, a hinged knee brace is probably best for you. Despite sometimes feeling bulky or restrictive, they ensure the highest level of support.
Double Strap Knee Support
Double strap knee supports offer moderately high protection and pain relief, without being too bulky. They are made from compression material and include two velcro straps that are secured around your leg.
Double strap knee supports are often viewed as a more substantial version of a compression sleeve. They are a good way to reduce pain and provide added joint support under pressure.
Using a double strap system, they are easy to wear or remove when you’re on the mountain. They are also great at limiting patella movement, which is often the cause of knee pain.
If you’re looking for a moderate amount of non-bulky support and pain relief, double strap knee braces are a safe choice. However, they don’t provide the necessary stabilization most previous injuries require.
Knee straps are a simple way to take pressure off your knee joint. They consist of a simple ‘hook and loop’ style strap that’s usually made from compression material.
Knee straps are predominantly used to treat mild patella injuries. They work by stabilizing the knee to reduce pain and prevent further injury, while also acting as a shock absorber.
Knee straps are a great way to reduce patella pain, with a basic design that is easy-to-use. However, they provide very little support or prevention from other types of injury.
Getting the right size knee brace is vital. If you get the wrong size, its ability to provide support will be compromised.
Find a knee brace that has a ‘snug’ fit. It should feel tight to your skin, without cutting off circulation.
Remember that it’s designed to provide compression, so you can expect it to feel a little tight at first. However, it should start to feel more natural as you progress through the day.
Most braces come in a range of different sizes, so make sure you follow the guidelines and take the proper measurements. If you’re choosing a product with straps, you will at least have some size adjustment wiggle room.
Serious skiers are going to put their knee brace to the test. The wide range knee movement required, skiing will be a real test of its durability.
The best knee braces for skiing offer quality seam stitching that will not split under pressure. They are designed to handle the toughest sports, with reliable strapping that should not come detached in any weather.
If your knee brace gives way while you’re skiing, it could pose a serious problem. Make sure you check the materials used and product design to gauge its quality.
One of the best ways to check reliability is through previous customer reviews. It will give you an idea of any design flaws that might be detrimental to your knee health.
Best Knee Brace For Skiing Reviewed
- Style: Double Strap Knee Support
- Material: Neoprene, Elastic, Steel
- Best For: Moderate Support
The Mueller Self-Adjusting Knee Stabilizer has a number of features that make it great at preventing injury and providing support. It features flexible steel springs either side of the knee to improve stability and reduce ‘side to side’ movement.
The self-adjusting tension straps are strong enough for a tight fit, while also flexing at the right points to make sure performance isn’t compromised. The open patella at the front provides added support to the kneecap and prevents slippage.
If you’re looking to prevent injury or support a weaker knee, the Mueller Self-Adjusting Knee Stabilizer is a good option. It has a range of features that will improve the strength of your knee and has a comfortable design that feels natural on the slopes.
- Springs minimize sideways knee movement
- Self-adjusting straps for a compression fit
- Double interior buttress stops slippage
- Open patella supports the kneecap
- Open back prevents bunching
- Easy to take on and off
- Odour-resistant fabric
- Can be prone to fraying over time
- Velcro durability not the best
The ACE Compression Knee Brace is a great choice for those looking to reduce minor knee pain or protect against injury. Made from knitted four-way stretch cotton, it provides a solid amount of compression that will protect your knees against repetitive pressure.
Stabilizers have been included either side of the knee joint to provide lateral support. With comfort in mind, it comes with a special panel behind the knee that reduces bunching.
If you’re looking for low-profile knee support that can guard against heavy impact, the ACE Compression Knee Brace might be your best bet. It has a reliable compression design with features that make it a performance fit for skiers.
- Lateral support stabilizers
- Stretch cotton compression fit
- Low-profile design
- Allows full range of motion
- Back panel reduces bunching
- Reversible design works with either knee
- Stabilizers can dig into your leg at times
- Size can run small
If you have suffered a previous knee injury or require maximum support, the McDavid 422 Hinged Knee Brace provides great protection. It features strong and lightweight hinged arms either side of the knee that can stop hyperextension to reduce the risk of injury.
Using a neoprene and nylon fabric blend, this brace offers compression and insulation that can help with pain management and circulation. It also comes with a padded buttress around the patella that provides medial and lateral support to further improve stability.
The McDavid 422 Hinged Knee Brace provides maximum stability and support. Featuring solid hinges and a heavy-duty compression design, it’s sure to improve your confidence on the slopes.
- Strong hinges stop hyperextension
- Lightweight hinge metal
- Durable straps provide a solid fit
- Compression neoprene material
- Patella supporting buttress
- Back panel provides heat management
- Nylon fabric improves durability
- Doesn’t always run true to size
- Can be difficult to remove after skiing
Patella injuries are common place within the sport world, with the Cambivo knee strap being a great way for skiers to combat the pain. It uses a compression pad to hold the patella around your knee, helping to reduce shocks.
The double-knot closure system has a large range of adjustability and is designed to be non-slip. In addition, the material is made to be breathable on warmer days to keep you feeling comfortable.
If you’re suffering from a sore knee, the Cambivo Knee Strap might be the relief you’re looking for. It’s designed with sports in mind, using breathable fabric and a secure closure system that is capable of improving your time on the slopes.
- Compression pad hold patella
- Shock absorbing design
- Adjustable strap
- Secure double-knot closure
- Breathable fabric
- Lightweight and easy-to-use
- Velcro can lack durability over time
- Can become uncomfortable after a few hours
The DonJoy Tru-Pull Lite is a versatile knee support that can protect and prevent a range of injuries. It includes removable plastic hinges that provide medial and lateral support for extra stability when required.
The compressing neoprene fabric constantly pulls on the patella during flexion and extension to keep it properly aligned. The material is also anti-microbial and moisture-wicking, making it excellent at dealing with mountain weather conditions.
If you’re looking for lightweight and versatile support, the DonJoy Tru-Pull Lite is a good choice. It’s designed using quality materials, while adding versatility and strength through its removable hinges.
- Removable support hinges
- Compression neoprene design
- Moisture-wicking fabric
- Pull straps hold patella
- Lightweight and breathable
- Soft patella connection stays in place
- Velcro can show wear and tear
- Right or left knee specific (not reversible)
The amount of knee braces on the market can make it difficult to find the right product. Each one has a different design that offers a variety of benefits.
Take the time to read the buying advice and find the style that provides the support you need. Analyse the pros and cons of each option and make sure you’re aware of any durability issues before purchasing.
The best knee braces for skiing are all designed to provide support on the slopes. Once you’ve found the right option, you can ski confidently with the knowledge that you’ve taken the necessary precaution.
James is the founder of SnowSunSee. He started skiing when he was five years old and has been a qualified ski instructor for 8 years. He has taught skiing in many countries, including UK, Europe, Japan, China and Malaysia. When he’s not on the slopes, James spends his time travelling the world one trail at a time.