What Is the Best Knee Brace for Hiking?: Our Top 5 Guide

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Hiker hiking up a mountain, some of them aided by the best knee brace for hiking.

When somebody tells you to “take a hike” they normally mean it as insult. But hiking is one of the most reward activities you can do with many health benefits including, lowering the risk of heart disease, improving your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, boosting your bone density and can be a great social affair too. A study published by the International Journal of Sports Medicine even suggests that hiking may be beneficial in the recovery of cancer patients.

But it’s not all good news.

If you suffer from knee pain or instability the idea of going for a hike may fill you with horror. The best knee brace for hiking will help alleviate that pain from the knees, providing support as you hike and compression that increases the blood flow. Just like many other athletes who use knee braces to improve their sports performance and protect their knees, a hiker can use a knee brace to make their hikes longer and more enjoyable.

Later we’ll look for the best knee brace for hiking but first let’s see why knee braces are so good for us and other ways we can protect those all important knees. Our knees bear the weight of our body for the majority of the day with over a third of Americans currently suffering from knee pain. With safe hiking practices and the best knee brace for hiking we can help you protect your knees and avoid becoming just another statistic.

How to Look After Your Knees While Hiking

Hiking is defined as the activity of going for long walks in the countryside, with the Cambridge dictionary giving the example of “We’re going hiking in Sierra Nevada”. Hiking can be a social experience or just a personal way of exploring nature and your local surroundings while also being a great form of exercise. As with most forms of exercises it carries risks of injury, with knee pain being one of the most common forms of injury experienced by seasoned hikers.

When you go out hiking, you don’t want to spend more time worrying about the health of your knees, there are all those sights to enjoy instead. A knee brace for hiking will help add more stability to your knees and allow you to trek for many more miles.Knee problems are common because they can be one of the most abused joints in your body, especially when descending down a steep slope.

The following YouTube video looks at exercises you can perform to enhance your knee health while hiking.

Safety should always come first when hiking, whether just walking for half an hour outside in the park or to a more remote corner of your state. A knee brace will offer compression which can improve the blood circulation to your legs but shouldn’t be so tight as to restrict blood flow or movement of the knee. The best knee brace for hiking will offer support stabilization and added protection for your knees for a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

How Knee Braces Can Help

Knee braces can help with numerous specific issues, many of which are suffered by hikers but by no means unique to them. Using the best knee brace for hiking can put a spring in your step if you suffer from arthritis or any other form of joint pain. A knee brace will apply pressure to the joint which can reduce the pain associated with arthritis and give the additional support to hike without pain.

Injuries like meniscus tear or ligament sprains can be prevented with the support from a knee brace and if the injury has already occurred can aid the recovery. Knee braces that use compression to increase the circulation to the patella area will help support the knee and aid its healing. Using a knee brace means you can start hiking again without risking further injury.

For people who’ve suffered a dislocation of the knee, a knee brace can help to stabilize the kneecap while keeping it in place. Hinged braces or closed patella designs tend to work best in these cases as they surround the kneecap and prevent it from slipping out of place.

Best Knee Brace for Hiking

With so many different types of knee braces, sleeves and straps available it can be hard to know which will offer the best support for your knee as you hike. Choosing a lightweight, breathable material like neoprene or a nylon/cotton blend is always a good start, although remember to check if it contains spandex or latex if your skin is sensitive.

You’ll want something which can be easily worn under your clothes and waterproof is always a benefit if you can find it. Check the sizing available, sizing charts provided by the manufacturer, and if only one size is available check your knee fits into the maximum/minimum measurements. If you wear a brace that’s too small, you risk making the injury worse, while on the other hand a brace that’s too large won’t help your knee at all.

If you know you need a knee brace or support but don’t know which one to go for, we’ve looked at many of the top-selling models to bring you the best knee brace for hiking. Now let’s wrap this up (bad pun!) and look at our favorite five knee braces we found.

Our Choice

Choosing the best knee brace for hiking can be more difficult than choosing your next route for a hike. The most important thing is not to compromise on quality or a comfortable fit, you only get one pair of knees. Knee surgery can be a very painful and invasive process which the best knee brace for hiking can help you avoid.

In our opinion, the Exous Knee Brace Support Protector is the best knee brace for hiking you can buy today. The built-in lateral stabilization, a four-way, all-round compression system and skin-friendly lycra lining will offer a comfortable support for your knee as you climb that next big hill. And who knows, maybe the next hill you hike up will be a mountain.

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