The best knee brace for hiking is a fundamental accessory for every sportsman: the protective role it plays towards the knee in fact preserves intact and keeps in place one of the most delicate parts of the body, subjected to frequent and sometimes violent stress during the course of sporting activities. Wrapped around the knee, this band tightens the joint in an elastic fabric, in some cases covering or in others leaving the kneecap uncovered.
In any case, the knee brace is always the same: the knee remains protected from injuries and unnatural torsions thanks to the compression that the elastic band manages to exert on all its components, which thus remain correctly in place even when muscles and tendons are subjected to excessive strain.
Also known in some cases as a knee brace, there is not a single version of the knee brace on the market and a particular model may have characteristics more or less suitable for one category of sport rather than another. Those who practice extreme sports, for example, will prefer models with more rigid reinforcement, while athletes engaged in basketball or volleyball will have to rely on knee braces that guarantee them a certain agility and freedom of movement.
Knee braces proper are another category of knee brace. As the name suggests, these are tools used in recovery from injury, designed to guide healing joints that have yet to recover. These devices are generally sold in single item packages and should be used after consultation with your doctor.
The best knee braces and knee braces
The knee pads on the market differ not only for the type of use, but also for other characteristics that distinguish them, such as the materials used and the type of compression exerted on the knees. Here are the best for each variety.
How to choose knee pads
In order to find your way around the endless range of knee pads available in online shops, it is important to keep in mind some of the main characteristics that distinguish one product from another, such as materials, area of use, type of compression exerted on the knees and number of elements in the packaging.
The material of which the knee brace is made must be of high quality to prevent the product from irritating the skin under stress or after prolonged periods of use. Neoprene is one of the most widely used materials for kneepads dedicated to sports, both for its ability to retain body heat and for its ability to provide good support without excessively affecting the elasticity of movements. Other materials, however, used for kneepads with high wearability, are nylon and spandex, elastic and tight.
The correct knee brace should also be chosen taking into account the activity for which the knee needs protection. A knee brace with soft front padding can be used for volleyball but is useless for physiotherapy. A high-fitting knee brace may be used for recovery during daily activities but may not be sufficient during more intense training or competitive sessions. A knee brace that is rigid enough to limit movement may be suitable for recovery from injury but not recommended for sport.
Type of compression
The type of compression exerted on the joints divides the knee pads into three types. Preventive kneepads compress the knee by supporting it in the right way in situations where you are slowly returning to sport. Soft knee pads are designed to support weakened knees by supporting devices such as metal side bars, patella protection rings and elastic bands. Finally, rigid knee pads are designed for recovery after an injury: on the one hand they limit performance, but on the other they re-educate the body to make the correct movements and avoid relapses.
Number of kneepads in the pack
The last aspect to take into consideration before purchasing is the number of knee pads in the package. While orthopaedic products but also aimed at athletes are normally sold in pairs, other types of knee braces dedicated more specifically to post-injury recovery could be sold in single units.