The Best Knee Brace for Basketball in (2020)

Best Overall
Shock Doctor Hinged Knee Brace Maximum Support...
Premium Pick
Mcdavid 429X Knee Brace, Maximum Knee Support &...
Budget Option
Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads...
Best Overall
Shock Doctor Hinged Knee Brace Maximum Support...
Premium Pick
Mcdavid 429X Knee Brace, Maximum Knee Support &...
Budget Option
Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads...

Looking to get yourself a high-performing knee brace for that intense basketball tournament? Well, that may be a bit challenging if you do not already know which type would suit you the best.

Knee-pads and braces are designed to ensure maximum comfort and flexibility for you on the court, along with providing all-round protection against common sports-injuries. However, factors such as size and material play a vital role in determining the overall quality of a knee-brace.

Hey, I’m Chris. And although I am a cartographer by profession, my heart’s where the basketball court is.

I’ve been playing for more than a decade now, but when it comes to sports-gear, I still get a little anxious about the performance of new models. And that’s what makes me try out the latest launches in this department.

This guide is focused on knee-braces, and in the following sections, I’ve discussed some of the best ones which you can get for yourself right now!

So, simply read on to know all about them!

Best knee brace for basketball reviewed and rated.

1. Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Brace

Shock Doctor Hinged Knee Brace Maximum Support...
  • Kindly refer the sizing image before buying this...
  • MOISTURE AND ODOR PREVENTION - Antimicrobial and...
  • BOOST MOVEMENT AND COMFORT - Heavy duty bilateral...
  • PREMIUM MATERIALS - Latex-free, premium stitching,...
  • LIFTS AND COMPRESSES - Compression supports soft...

The 875 Ultra Knee Brace has been one of the most in-demand braces for basketball players. And the primary reason for its popularity are the bilateral hinges, which provide you with the best knee support!

This has been one of my personal favorites since a good couple of years, and right now, I’m gonna tell you why!

My Experience 

I’ve been passionately playing basketball for 12 years now, and I’ve seldom scored hoops without getting my knee all worked up. I am more of an active scorer than a passive defender on the court. And this puts constant pressure on my knees all during those long hours of matches.

This knee brace was recommended to me by my coach when I developed “Jumper’s knee,” a condition that affects the patella. The Shock Doctor 875 ultra knee brace comes with enduring bilateral dual hinges, which guarantee the utmost comfort for your knees while playing.

It features integrated side stabilizers that coordinate well with the natural movement of the knee-joints so that the pressure is evenly managed on the knee-caps. This keeps the ligaments protected from any sharp impact, which can otherwise cause a tear in these soft tissues.

The high-quality material of the brace did provide my sore knees with just the right amount of compressive support. This aids the circulation of blood to quicken the healing process.

One of the main advantages of this brace is that it prevents odor and moisture. The brace is made of N-Tex Neoprene, which enables fast wicking of moisture, preventing bacterial growth that may cause malodor and irritation.

After a good couple of years of using this Shock Doctor knee brace, I can say that it returns substantial worth for the money that you pay for it.

What could have been better?

There isn’t much to complain about this knee brace, but the one issue that could arise with it is that of standard sizes. It can be challenging to find just the right size for your knee. And, this happened to me when I ordered the brace for the first time, after which I had to re-order a smaller fit for myself.

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Pros

  • Made using 4-ways lycra that coordinates well with the natural movement of your knees
  • Advanced compression provides utmost comfort and insulation to injured knee-joints
  • Improves blood circulation to quicken the healing
  • Pretty durable and flexible, featuring advanced integrated side-stabilizers

Cons

  • Getting the right size can be difficult
  • Can be expensive

2. McDavid 429X Knee Brace

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Mcdavid 429X Knee Brace, Maximum Knee Support &...
  • This Knee Brace provides high level support to...
  • COMPRESSION Elastic crossing straps for enhanced...
  • SUPPORTIVE- Geared side hinges add stability and...
  • ADJUSTABLE top and bottom straps assure a...
  • LATEX-FREE neoprene provides thermal compression...

McDavid is a brand that has consistently provided some of the best knee braces for all athletes. It ensures high-quality materials for its braces, which maximize the comfort factor while lowering the risk of substantial impacts on your knee joints.

The 429X is the top-selling knee brace from the brand, that has been highly rated for its efficiency and the kind of protection it offers.

My Experience

The 429X knee brace from McDavid was one of the knee braces that I bought for a tournament a couple of years back. This was initially recommended to me by one of my fellow mates who has a similar condition as of mine. I had also read a lot of positive reviews about this knee brace online, which especially talked about its performance during sport.

The 49X features durable elastic crossing straps that modify the rotational and collateral support for the ligament. We all know that ligament tears are the worst kind of injuries for a player. What this brace does is provide your joints with flexible support and compression that you need while playing, improving your knee stability over time.

What helped me the most was the open 360 degrees padded buttress isolates, which keep the patella in your knee stable, preventing any kind of sudden pressure. This has been especially helpful while taking the leaps to score a basket since it helps you land safely back on the ground without jabbing at your knee cap.

Additionally, this knee brace comes with geared side hinges, which contribute to free movement as well as the overall stability. This is quite essential for the healing of injured joints.

It’s also a significant added advantage that this brace provides thermal compression that helps blood to flow in the injured parts of the knee. This helps enormously in muscle recovery, giving your joints the time to heal without straining them.

The latex-free neoprene construction of this brace not only makes it incredibly durable, but it also keeps it comfortable for your knees by wicking sweat fast. This prevents the build-up of odor and irritation-causing bacteria.

What could have been better? 

The only things that I wish really worked with this knee brace are the adjustable top and bottom straps on it, which are supposed to give you a personalized fit. Well, with what I noticed, these straps are too thin and short for putting to any use.

So, my advice to you would be to avoid depending on them too much and try out the size chart to know your perfect fit. But that being said, the brace itself can provide a snug fit without needing you to rely too much on these straps.

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Pros

  • Made of high-quality neoprene which makes it pretty durable
  • Wicks sweat fast, preventing odor or irritation
  • Thermal compression helps relieve pressure and quicken the healing process
  • Side hinges in the brace provide maximum support during movement

Cons

  • The adjustable straps don’t do much
  • Can be an expensive buy

3. McDavid 6446 Hex Knee Pad

Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads...
  • PATENTED HEX PROTECTION - Closed cell foam padding...
  • MOISTURE WICKING TECHNOLOGY - Keep Cool & Dry with...
  • DURABLE FOR DAILY WEAR - 9mm Hex technology is a...
  • ENHANCED FIT AND COMFORT - extended length of...
  • COMPRESSES WITH CONFIDENCE - Warm muscles = happy...

The 6446 Hex Knee Pad from McDavid is an efficient knee compression sleeve which is widely used by players and athletes. This particular model is from the “hex” range of the brand, which offers you the utmost comfort of closed-cell foam padding.

An affordable and versatile sleeve, this McDavid knee pad is something that you should definitely keep at hand while going for an intense sport.

My Experience

There’s really no doubt regarding the quality offered by McDavid when it comes to its knee braces and sleeves. I have actually used quite a few from the brand, most of which did a pretty good job of providing a strong grip-support to my knees. The company provides efficient knee braces along with comfortable knee pads and sleeves, which you can comfortably wear for long durations of time.

The 6446 Hex knee pad is manufactured using 9mm Hex technology that involves creating a structure of closed-cell foam padding. Firstly, this is an extremely durable material which can resist regular wear and tear for prolonged periods. It will not rip or loosen with time that easily, providing you with the benefit of a really strong knee pad design and construction.

But, the crucial aspect of the Hex design is that it is specially created to provide maximum comfort for your knees during games. These pads can protect your knees from sudden and considerable impacts, deflecting them right off your joints. The padding in these adequately covers and protects the sensitive knee patella from sharp blows that can otherwise cause major ligament tears.

The flexible and non-slip nature of this pad helps improve the stability in your knees by keeping it in the most comfortable position during strenuous activities. These can include anything from running and jumping to cycling or playing.

I like to use these when I’m training hard. It works decently for such purposes, keeping your knees from cramping and reducing muscle fatigue.

Overall, this one’s a pretty nice knee pad sleeve that is affordable and versatile enough to be used for a number of things.

What could have been better?

There is a considerable problem with the size chart that is provided by the brand. It actually took me a good while to land the ideal size for myself.

Another issue I had with these is that they aren’t sweat-proof. It did cause redness and itchiness on my skin after a prolonged period of use.

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Pros

  • McDavid’s patented “Hex” design ensures maximum comfort for your knees during game-play
  • Protects knee patella from sudden, sharp impacts at all times
  • Reduces muscle fatigue and cramping while playing
  • A pretty affordable knee-protection gear

Cons

  • Could be challenging to get the right fit
  • Not sweat-proof; may cause redness and itchiness

4. McDavid 6440 Hex Knee Pads

McDavid 6440 Hexpad Knee Or Elbow (Black, XSmall)
  • Hex Technology is superior, closed cell foam...
  • Can be used for the knee, elbow or shin
  • Moisture Management Technology is all about cool...
  • Highly versatile pad available in 9mm Hex...
  • Machine washable/dryable

Next up is yet another knee pad from MacDavid’s “Hex” line. This one is the 6440 Hex knee pad that offers substantial comfort and protection to your knees against sharp impacts while playing.

And like the 6446, it features the brand’s signature “hex” design, which not only makes it comfortable, but also incredibly durable against considerable wear and tear on the field.

My Experience

The 6440 Hex knee pad is a comparatively recent launch from McDavid, which came after a few higher-selling models. I have tried this out only recently and, I must admit that these knee pads don’t fail to impress, especially when it comes to those intense matches and training sessions.

What I like the most about these knee pads is that they score very high on durability. This is a newer material used by the brand, which is even sturdier than the previous hex models.

It is made using the 9mm Hex technology, which is combined with a “Moisture Management” feature. The closed-cell foam padding forms a tight structure that can sustain heavier impacts on the ground or the court.

Along with providing proper cushioning to the knee patella, these knee sleeves make sure that that there’s no discomfort while wearing them. The moisture-management feature helps keep the pads cool and comfortable for you so that there’s no redness or itchiness due to sweat.

I like to use these knee pads for most of my training sessions, as they offer a high degree of flexibility. The material of this is actually a tad bit thinner on the sides, that matches your natural movements. Now, if you’re a basketball player, you will know how much a feature like this is needed when you make your leaps to the basket.

This helps contribute to the agility of movements rather than bearing you down. But, this in no way lessens its comfort factor.

Another reason why I like these McDavid knee pads is that they are pretty versatile. You can actually wear these as elbow or shin guards and be rest assured that they will provide the same comfort and protection.

What could have been better? 

Although I like these knee pads quite a bit, I wish they did cover a portion of your shins. These don’t extend down to your shins, and that can feel kind of uncomfortable. Because of this, the knee pads may feel a bit inadequate to some.

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Pros

  • Considerably durable material that resists a substantial amount of impact
  • Advanced 9mm Hex Technology provides utmost comfort during games
  • Thinner and enduring texture makes it easier for you to move and jump
  • Pretty versatile; can be worn on your hands and shin

Cons

  • Doesn’t extend to your shins

Best knee sleeves for basketball

5. UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve

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UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support...
  • BENEFITS: Reduces inflammation/swelling, soreness,...
  • SPORTS: Suitable for all sports activities that...
  • PAIN RELIEF: Aid in recovery, runners & jumpers...
  • ANTI-SLIP SILICONE: stable compression during gym...
  • CONSULT OUR SIZE CHART: choose the best knee brace...

UFlex Athletics is another renowned brand of sports gear that makes some of the most enduring knee compression sleeves. Featuring a premium anti-slip silicone design, this knee sleeve from the brand brings you the utmost comfort during matches along with substantial shock-absorbing protection.

This knee sleeve has been a great buy for me, and here are all the things that made it work really well for me.

My Experience

I have used a few products from UFlex Athletics previously for my practices and matches. I was first introduced to the brand by one of my seniors at the court. The first thing that I noticed about these knee-pads is that they score really high on their overall durability even under the harshest conditions.

So, when my last pair of knee pads got worn out at the time, I decided to try this one from UFlex Athletics. It performed really well for me, offering considerable protection from quite a few sharp turns and crashes. And, surprisingly, this one is still going without much of a rip on it.

These knee pads feature a 4-way stretch material that aligns well with your movements, especially while jumping and running. This makes it appropriate for basketball players, who require the most flexibility during such activities.

The UFlex Athletics knee pads have also got their compression-game strong! These provide optimal compression that improves your muscular endurance. Additionally, this helps relieve tension and stiffness in the muscles, reducing swelling and inflammation.

One of the things that I really like about these pads is their anti-slip silicone material. Unlike most fabric that can chafe and irritate your skin when you sweat, the silicone construction of the pads stays comfortably in place without causing any reaction.

What could have been better?

These knee pads indeed offer a considerable amount of comfort and protection. However, the only thing that, in my opinion, could be modified is the rubber grips on the inside of the pads. I found them to be a bit flimsy, and, due to this, they may fall off after a point of time.

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Pros

  • Provides ample comfort and protection against knee injuries while playing
  • Extremely durable material resists rips and tears even after prolonged usage
  • Offers optimal compression, reducing swelling and inflammation
  • A pretty affordable option

Cons

  • Rubber grips on the inside seem a bit flimsy

6. COOLOMG 2 Knee Pads

COOLOMG 1 Pair Kids Youth EVA Pads Crashproof...
  • Package Included:Pair (2PCS).Thanks for the...
  • Material:High Quality Soft & Elastic Polyester...
  • Coolomg Print Technology - Using Environmental...
  • Fit tensile strength for...
  • Coolomg Care Plan: if the item you recieved have...

The knee pads from COOLOMG are a decent pair that are pretty versatile and much affordable for everyone, offering a flexible fit for adults and kids alike. Made of a high-grade polyester elastic base, these knee pads provide sufficient comfort on the playground or court. And at the same time, they do offer all the protection that you need while playing.

My Experience

I first got to know about these particular pair of knee pads from my nephew, Ryan, who is actively pursuing his interest in badminton right now. He swears by his COOLOMG knee pads, which he keeps for both for his practices as well as matches.

It was on his ardent request that I really tested these knee pads out for myself. And, it did provide me with some great benefits on the court.

The COOLOMG knee pads are made of a quality elastic polyester base featuring EVA pads protectors. It contains a resin mix that makes the weave enduring enough to sustain a great many trips and crashes without running a tear.

The pads offer substantial tensile strength, which makes them adequately flexible. And, they allow all the freedom of movement during matches or practices.

These pads helped me during dodges and runs, which occur more than the leaps to the basket, anyway. This requires the pads to sit on your knees for the most part of the match. And, honestly, that hasn’t been much of discomfort to me.

A thing that I really like about these is their versatile fits. The brand has really created an efficient “all-size-fits-all” standard wear that caters to the wider demographic.

Moreover, this one’s a pretty affordable buy that brings you a good deal of benefits without requiring a fortune.

What could have been better?

The only thing that somewhat irks me about these knee caps is that they aren’t sweat-proof. This can cause your skin to itch if you are sensitive to polyester. And, it really makes it a hassle for some people to wear them for longer hours.

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Pros

Pretty enduring and comfortable
Sits well for long hours without slipping
Substantially flexible; allows you complete freedom of movement while playing
Quite affordable

Cons

Not sweat-proof; may cause irritation to some


7. Shock Doctor Knee Brace

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Shock Doctor Knee Compression Sleeve (Black,...
  • SUPPORT / RELIEF – Get instant relief thanks to...
  • LATEX FREE COMFORT – Extremely breathable and...
  • SHOCK DOCTOR GUARANTY – We have been a leader in...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY – Made from the highest grades...
  • 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - If you are not...

And the last one up on my list is a pretty heavy-duty knee gear from Shock Doctor. I have already talked about the superior design and quality of the knee braces from this brand when I reviewed the previous model for you. And this one too, is no exception to that rule.

This knee brace comes with a unique Pre-Curved design that enables it to resist the heaviest blows and crashes to protect your knee from their impact.

My Experience

This is one model from the brand that I am currently using, and I’m really impressed by what it provides me with. I find this brace to be a pretty reliable one, very similar to the previous model  I discussed, especially when it comes to bigger leaps on the court. The condition with my patella often makes it extremely painful for me to land back on my feet after scoring a basket.

This knee brace features immensely comfortable padding that provides efficient thermal compression. This duly takes care of my leaps and lands. The Pre-Curved design of the brace stabilizes the knee by preventing the soft connective-tissues from dislocating and causing more pain.

Moreover, this effective compression design reduces painful swellings by increasing the blood flow in those regions. And, it provides all-round protection against sudden crashes and heavy impacts, that can otherwise cause massive tissue damage.

This knee brace, similar to other models from Shock Doctor, is made of superior N-Tex neoprene that offers you therapeutic thermal healing. But, at the same time, it also ensures an entirely breathable and snug fit, by wicking sweat real fast. This keeps it really cool and comfortable for you during the games.

This Shock Doctor is not only budget-friendly, but it actually carries a money-back guarantee on it. This, in my opinion, is a pretty nice touch on the brand’s part, which makes it easier for us to trust it.

What could have been better?

Shock Doctor undoubtedly makes some pretty amazing knee braces for athletes. However, a downside to this one is that it may loosen a bit after a point of time. This is something that can cause the brace to slip. And, there are no adjustable straps really which can offer a little help with this situation.

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Pros

  • Provides utmost comfort and thermal compression for swollen and inflamed joints
  • Ensures well-guarded protection against sudden impacts
  • The pre-curve design makes an ideal fit
  • Comes with a money-back guarantee

Cons

  • May get loose after a point of time

Buyers’ Guide

Finding the best knee braces and sleeves is not going to be an easy feat, especially if you are a first-timer with them. The solution to this is to be well-informed about what type of brace will suit your needs the best and what to look for while buying one.

So, here’s a buyers’ guide that will help you with both of those things, so that you find the ideal knee brace for you.

Types of braces

There are mainly 4 types of knee braces that you can get in the market. These are designed for giving you different benefits

Functional braces: these are primarily designed to reduce knee instability that has been caused by an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in your knee. These braces prevent further damage and provide extra support during movement.

Prophylactic knee braces: These are usually preferred by athletes who play contact sports. These braces reduce the severity of ligament injuries, protecting the medial collateral ligament in the knee from stress.

Rehabilitative braces: These are the types that people are generally recommended to wear after an injury or surgery for a good number of weeks. These help keep the knee stable while it’s healing and allow little movement. They also help to prevent and protect against future injuries.

Unloader/Offloader knee braces: People with medial compartment knee arthritis widely use these. This type of braces are designed to relieve stress from the joints, by placing the pressure on the thigh bone instead.

Padded or unpadded basketball knee pads?

If you are a basketball player, then two types of knee pads can work for you: padded and unpadded.

If you’re diving to the court for a loose ball, then you can opt for a standard sleeve which will prevent scrapes and friction burns.

Padded sleeves offer extra comfort and protection against shocks and impacts. These are pretty useful for a player who is fighting for rebounds in the post and cutting through traffic, which may, at times, result in sudden crashes.

What should you look for while buying a basketball brace, pad, or sleeve?

Material

This is the primary thing to consider while buying a knee pad or sleeve. Some will come with a high-density foam padding for absorbing shocks, while other models may be more elastic.

In any case, do make sure that the one you’re settling on would be comfortable when put to use. It should be breathable so that there’s no irritation caused by sweat and flexible enough to allow natural movements.

Compression

Compression provided by a knee pad or brace helps improve blood circulation in that part to quicken the healing process. It also keeps the ligaments and tissues of the knee in a comfortable position to protect them from further injury. That is why you should ensure that your knee pad offer proper compression before buying it.

Size and fit

Knee pads and sleeves will obviously come in different sizes that generally range from XX-Small (typically, for kids) to XX-Large. While smaller fits will provide you with tighter compressions, bigger ones usually come with an extra bit of comfort-padding. But, at the end of the day, you should, by all means, go with the size that fits you best and seems the most comfortable in any situation.

Flexibility

This, again, is a crucial thing to consider since the flexibility of your knee pad will affect your movements on the court. If the pads are too tight, they may restrict your movements, and if they are too padded and bulky, they can bear you down. So, you must always give knee-pads or sleeves a thorough trial before wearing them to the game, to see if they coordinate with your movements or not.

FAQs

Do NBA players always wear knee pads during games?

Basketball players have it very hard due to the competition on the court and are always prone to trips and crashes. So, yes, most players in the NBA, especially the ones in central positions, actually wear knee pads while playing.

Can I wear knee-pads all day?

Knee pads are specifically designed to give you maximum comfort and protection during intense physical activities such as playing, running, or jumping. But, these can get a bit uncomfortable due to sweat and chafing if worn for a long time. However, there are certain knee braces and pads which you can wear all day long, especially if you have sustained an injury.

What are the best brands of knee pads?

Different brands make their knee pads in a specific way. And not all of them perform equally. However, brands like Shock Doctor and McDavid ensure high quality and durability for their knee pads and are considered to be some of the leading ones in the field.

Can you wear a basketball knee pad for some other game?

The knee pads designed for basketball players may be a tad bit different than other sleeves and pads. These may be a bit heavier, given the extra padding to resist massive impacts.

Due to this, basketball knee pads may bear you down in other, less intense games where there isn’t much risk of falling

Conclusion

And so that was it for my extensive guide on some of the best knee braces for basketball players which you can get your hands and legs on right now! I hope I was able to explain how this work and the highlights of each of these products.

And, finally, here’s wishing all the luck and success for your upcoming basketball game!

Thanks for reading!