Best knee braces for snowboarding

5 Best Knee Braces for Snowboarding (2024)

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by James

Any snowboarder with a previous knee issue should wear a knee brace.

Having that extra support builds confidence. And reduces your risk of getting injured again.

I have been working as a snow sports instructor for over a decade. And have seen many of my students use various knee braces.

I have used that experience to review the best knee braces for snowboarding.

Here are my recommended options:

Best Knee Brace for Snowboarding comparison

Name

Price

Overview

Stylish, full of features and excellent vision. The best budget snowboard goggles.

Wide field of view and great lens-changing system. Close second and great value for money.

Budget-friendly goggles with great vision and a strong design. Ideal for beginners.

Exceptional lens quality and reliable time-tested design. Small size for small faces.

Best women's specific snowboard goggles. Reliable design and vision.

Best For

Overall

Second Best

Cheapest

Small Faces

Women

Pros

Wide vision, magnetic lens change, no fogging, durable, good lens quality

Magnetic lenses, wide vision, durable, good lens contrast, wide vision

Budget price, wide vision, durable, many lens tints available, trustworthy

Best lens quality, wide vision, durable, time-tested, stylish

Good fit for women, no fogging, cheap, trustworthy brand

Cons

Spare lenses not included

Not great with glasses, lens can get icy

Cannot change lenses

Spare lenses are expensive

Slow lens changing

Overall Rating

Changeable Lenses

Magnetic

Magnetic

Yes

Yes

Yes

Frame

Frameless

Frameless

TPU Frame

Frameless

Flexible Frame

Should I wear a knee brace when snowboarding?

You should wear a knee brace when snowboarding if you are recovering from a knee injury.

I recommend anyone with a previous ACL injury to wear a knee brace. And it should be one that has a hinge system for the greatest support.

Those with a minor knee sprain should use a compression sleeve. This is enough to keep the joint warm and flexible.

People who have never suffered a knee injury do not need a knee brace.

I have used a knee brace on and off during my 20 years of snowboarding. And it does make a difference – especially if you have a minor tweak.

It also improves the confidence you have in your knees. And this translated to better snowboarding performance.

Snowboarding with a knee brace

Detailed Reviews of The Best Snowboarding Knee Braces

Best Overall: Techware Pro Knee Brace

Techware Pro Snowboarding Knee Brace
  • Type of Knee Brace: Knee Strap
  • Best For: General Knee Pain, Runners Knee
  • Size: 5 Sizes
  • Price: $$

Most snowboarders with knee issues need a knee strap. And the Techware Pro is the best pick based on my experience.

I picked this one as the best overall because it’s the most versatile. It comes in 5 sizes so you get a perfect fit.

The combination of compression and support is excellent. It’s very well suited to runners knee, and minor to moderate knee pain.

The open patellar design keeps your knee cap secure. And stops tendonitis pain.

The design is not perfect for arthritis. But I know snowboarders with osteoarthritis who have used this product with success – despite it’s open patellar design.

The Techware Pro is also great value for money! It lasts a long time despite it’s budget price. I cannot rank this highly enough.

Pros

  • 5 size options
  • Good for runners knee
  • Lightweight
  • Good blend of support and compression
  • Breathable
  • Budget price
  • Durable for snowboarders

Cons

  • Largest size still not big enough for some riders
  • Can feel bulky under tighter snowboard pants

Best for Previous ACL Injury: DonJoy Performance BIONIC FULLSTOP ACL Knee Brace

DonJoy Performance Bionic Fullstop Snowboarding Knee Brace
  • Type of Knee Brace: Hinged Knee Brace
  • Best For: Previous ACL Injury
  • Size: 7 Sizes
  • Price: $$$$$

The DonJoy Bionic FullStop is designed to protect a previous ACL injury.

This brace has hinges that stop your knee from going into risky positions. The joint stability offered is second to none. And it greatly reduces the risk of further injury.

7 size options make this brace highly versatile. And it also has excellent compression to keep the joint warm and flexible.

I have worked with multiple snowboard instructors wearing this brace. And they ride for 6 hours per day all season without any discomfort.

The durability is excellent. But that should be expected at this price point. The most expensive brace I have reviewed, but also the best quality.

This is overkill for most riders. But essential for anyone with a previous ACL injury.

Pros

  • Stops knee going into risky positions
  • Excellent level of support
  • Design provides compression
  • 7 size options
  • Comfortable
  • The most durable product I have reviewed

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Overkill for riders with minor knee injuries

Strongest Support: McDavid Maximum Support Knee Brace

McDavid Maximum Support Snowboarding Knee Brace
  • Type of Knee Brace: Hinged Knee Brace
  • Best For: Previous ACL Injury
  • Size: 5 Sizes
  • Price: $$$

The McDavid Maximum Support is another hinged knee brace that is great for ACL injuries.

This is the strongest feeling brace on test. It’s less high-tech than the DonJoy Bionic Follstop, but is just as good at preventing injury.

The hinged design stops your knee from going into unnatural positions. It also provides a good amount of compression.

McDavid are also a tried and tested company. I know many snowboarders who have used their products with great success.

The McDavid Maximum Support is bulky and feels heavy at first use. But it’s a great affordable option for anyone with ACL issues.

Pros

  • Very supportive
  • Stops knee hyperextending
  • Good compression
  • Tried and tested for over a decade
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Feels bulky
  • Doesn’t fit well for everyone

Best for Minor Injuries: TechWare Pro Knee Compression Sleeve

TechWare Pro Snowboarding Knee Compression Sleeve
  • Type of Knee Brace: Compression Sleeve
  • Best For: Arthritis
  • Size: 5 Sizes
  • Price: $

Compression sleeves are great for snowboarders with minor strains.

The Techware Pro compression sleeve is the best one I have used. I have had multiple students in my snowboard classes use this sleeve with great success.

Small stabilising bars on the outside add more support than a regular knee sleeve. And the patellar gel stabilises the knee cap.

This is more than your average compression sleeve. It’s versatile enough to work for minor knee strains.

5 sizes are available – and based on my experience it fits well for most riders. And it’s inexpensive. A great investment for many riders.

Pros

  • Good compression for arthritis
  • Stabilising bars give enough support for minor knee injuries
  • Patellar gel keeps knee cap in place
  • Versatile – works for many different injuries

Cons

  • Not strong enough for previous ACL injury
  • Can get pulled out of shape while riding

Best for Arthritis: ACE Brand Adjustable Compression Knee Support

ACE Brand Adjustable Compression Knee Support
  • Type of Knee Brace: Knee Strap
  • Best For: Arthritis
  • Size: One Size
  • Price: $

The ACE knee strap is great for riders with arthritis.

It has great compression that keeps your knee warm. Stopping it from getting stiff and painful.

The strap design also gives it more versatility. Riders needing added support for strains and tendonitis will also benefit.

ACE is a popular brand and I know many riders who have used their braces over the years. They have time-tested durability and are great value for money.

The main issue with this knee strap is the amount of support. It’s not enough for anyone with a serious knee injury.

But minor injuries and arthritis can be assisted with this brace. A top pick.

Pros

  • Versatile knee strap for minor injuries
  • Compression is great for arthritis
  • Time-tested disign
  • Budget price
  • Fits most riders

Cons

  • Velcro wears out quickly
  • Not enough support for serious knee injuries

Which type of knee brace do I need for snowboarding?

The type of knee brace you choose depends on the injury you have.

Here are the different braces and who should wear them:

Knee Sleeve

This slides right over your knee. It’s made from stretchy material (usually neoprene) that compresses the knee joint.

The compression provides a small amount of support. And keeps the joint warm.

This improves flexibility for those with minor knee injuries. And is great for arthritis.

Knee sleeves are lightweight and fit under your snowboarding pants. They are also cheap and easy to find.

Wraparound Brace

The easiest to put on and take off. Two straps surround your knee so you do not need to slide it over your leg.

This is the next level of support up from a knee sleeve. It has an open patellar that keeps your knee cap in place.

Wraparound braces are great for mild knee strains. Less great for arthritis.

They are easy to find and cost-effective.

Knee Strap

The most common type of snowboarding knee brace.

It slides over your knee. But also has straps for extra tightness.

This combines compression with support. A great combination for most snowboarders.

Most knee straps are open patella – which helps keep your knee cap in place. But riders with arthritis are better off choosing a closed patellar option.

Knee straps are great for runners’ knee.

Being a runner myself – I have benefitted from using one on the slopes before. So I can testify that they actually work.

Hinged Knee Brace

The most supportive knee brace. Two metal hinges hold your knee in place.

This provides alignment so your knee does not twist in the wrong direction. Designed to stop you from aggravating a previous injury.

Hinged knee braces are for snowboarders with previous ACL injuries.

They are expensive and bulky. But worth the investment if you have had a serious injury in the past.

Snowboarder on his knees

What to consider when buying a knee brace for snowboarding

Previous knee injury

The type of knee problem you have will determine the knee brace you need.

Here is a quick recap of which brace is best for each injury:

  • ACL injury: Hinged knee brace
  • Arthritis: Knee sleeve or knee strap
  • Meniscus: Knee strap
  • Patellar tendonitis: Wraparound knee brace

A minor knee tweak usually requires a wraparound knee brace or knee strap.

Fit

Cheap knee braces are usually uncomfortable.

Snowboarding required a lot of knee flexion and extension. And a poorly fitting knee brace will rub your skin.

Knee braces that are too tight are also uncomfortable. They provide compression but cut off blood supply.

Most knee braces are universal fitting. But they all feel different.

Don’t be afraid to try a few and see what works for you. Send back the ones that feel uncomfortable.

Quality

Cheap knee braces don’t provide much support.

How important is your knee health? I suspect the answer is ‘very important.’

Don’t skimp on a knee brace. Especially if you have a previous ACL injury.

Poor-quality knee braces also wear out rapidly. Cheap knee sleeves rip at the seams. And hinged knee braces have metal that gets bent out of shape.

Invest in your knees and snowboard with confidence.

Snowboarding

Advice from an instructor

I have seen many knee injuries during my decade of teaching. And they are upsetting to watch.

I worked in a snowboard school that lost 6 instructors to knee injuries in one season. And it took many of them 1 year to recover.

Knee injuries are no joke. So take protection seriously.

People always feel more confident when wearing a knee brace. It’s often the best thing you can do to improve your snowboarding.

Being safe is always better than being sorry.

Protect yourself and enjoy the slopes.