This is one of the more interesting and unique topics in the world of volleyball. Knee braces, unlike volleyball shoes, bags, shorts and other kit, rely heavily on functionality. Often, they are your best friend for relieving chronic knee pain--the one piece of equipment that lets you keep getting out and competing on court, even when the knees have take a beating after many years of volley.
When shopping for a knee brace, you need to consider what function it will serve. To understand this fully, you might begin at the end of this article where we have some information on why you might need a knee brace in the first place.
If you already know what you're looking for though, then here are the 5 Best Knee Braces for Volleyball in 2020 for you to choose from as companions on your volleyball journey.
There are several reasons why you might need a knee brace, but one of the main reasons will be to relieve chronic or temporary knee pain. In this case, the Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Brace or the Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support might be the right choices for you. If you are suffering from kneecap misalignment caused by various knee injuries, then the Bauerfeind GenuTrain P3 Knee Brace may be a better option.
*Please note: While this article has been informed by real volleyball players (who actively wear knee braces to compete and train) this is not medical advice, and if you do suffer from severe Jumper's Knee or any other knee-related injury, always seek advice from a medical professional before making a purchase.
Top Pick: Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Brace
Incredible support for the knee
Moisture-wicking for all-day comfort
Full review below.
Best Muscle Relaxation: Bauerfeind GenuTrain P3 Knee Brace
Has muscle-relaxing pads
Anti-drifting pads for the kneecap
Prevents the tilting of the patella
Full review below.
Best Injury Support: Bauerfeind GenuTrain P3 Knee Brace
Improves circulation and muscle regeneration
Absorbs pressure peaks
Full review below.
Best Mobility Support: McDavid Hex Reversible Leg Sleeves/ Pair
Provides optimal protection on both sides of the sleeve
Absorbs high impact pressure
Full review below.
Best Kneestrap for Volleyball: IPOW 2 Knee Strap Brace
Relieves sharp knee inflammation pain
Adjustable tightness for various knee sizes
Full review below.
Best Knee Braces for Volleyball 2020: Top Pick (Editor’s Choice)
Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Brace
First, I’ll like to start by saying, Bauerfeind knee braces are considered the industry standard of the knee brace industry. Therefore, their knee braces are probably the most sought after in the world. I say probably because the ones made in your local shop might the next best thing, but up until now Bauerfeind knee braces have been the prized pieces.
The Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Brace is an absolute charm when it comes to performance, sleekness, and overall design quality of the knee brace. This is an award-winning knee brace that is designed to provide targeted support in a way that helps it relieve pain and stabilize the knee during plays on the volleyball court.
This knee brace doesn’t just support the knee or help to prevent it from getting injuries. If, for some reason, you have not been using a knee brace before, and you incurred a knee injury already, the GenuTrain Knee Brace can help with recovery. With the use of design technologies like the Omega pad that improves neuromuscular joint stabilization, meniscus wings that help to relive meniscus pain, and Hoffa pads for pressure relief, it is no wonder that this is my top pick.
Who Should Buy?
If you are interested in getting the type of knee brace that is the best at preventing knee injuries, as well as helping to recover from knee injuries, then this is for you.
Special Feature: Omega Pad for neuromuscular joint stabilization.
· Incredible support for the knee
· Pressure relief
· Moisture-wicking for all-day comfort
· Doesn’t allow rolling at the top and bottom of the sleeve.
· Material is breathable and easily washable
· Not the cheapest model
Best Knee Braces for Volleyball 2020: Best Muscle Relaxation
Bauerfeind GenuTrain P3 Knee Brace
This Bauerfeind product is another of my favorites, and this is probably because it has so many things going for it. In fact, the only reason it is not on top of my list is because of its price point.
The Bauerfeind GenuTrain P3 Knee Brace is an advanced knee brace designed for pain relief and alignment of the kneecap while nursing a knee injury. According to the product description, it is stated that the P3 Knee Brace is ideal for pain caused by patellar lateralization (kneecap misalignment). It is also very useful for relieving the pain associated with ACL and MCL injury and even patellar tip syndrome.
Some of the special features used to deliver the optimum performance include the muscle -relaxing pad that helps to reduce the pulling of the kneecap sideways. It also has a corrective guide that prevents the outward drift of the kneecap and helps it to heal without reducing your mobility on the court. With the use of a Patella cover, the tilting of the patella is counteracted, while the corrective strap can be used to adjust the kneecap.
Who Should Buy?
Do you like looking stylish? Do you like your knee? Do you have a knee injury that needs to be treated while you play? Do you play volleyball like a pro or as a pro? Do you breathe air? Then buy this knee brace.
Special Feature: Highly versatile knee injury healing mechanisms.
· Has muscle-relaxing pads
· Anti-drifting pads for the kneecap
· Prevents the tilting of the patella
· NBA stitching
Best Knee Braces for Volleyball 2020: Best Injury Support
Bauerfeind GenuTrain Sports Knee Support
The next product on our list is also from Bauerfeind. Hey, it is safe for me to say that they are a knee brace giant at this point? Too soon? Okay. The Bauerfeind GenuTrain Sports Knee Support is a device designed to improve circulation and stimulate muscle generation around the knee. Just like the Knee brace at the top of the list, it is suitable for use mostly as a recovery mechanism. It comes as no surprise that a lot of volleyball players use it for recovery, and it is very good at relaxing the muscles around the knee.
During the game of volleyball, there can be an excessive strain in the muscles and tendons surrounding the knee. However, the Sports knee support prevents excessive strain around the knee. Also, with the use of controlled compression, you can be sure that your knee will still undergo maximum movement while remaining stable during movements.
The sports knee support is light and knitted with airy fabrics that improve its comfortability during use. Also, to ensure that your knee doesn’t suffer from pressure peaks during volleyball plays, it contains absorption pads to absorb peaks pressures. Plus, it is durable, easy to clean, and looks very cool on your knee. (I am a big fan of looking cool.)
Who Should Buy?
This product is for heavy and aggressive players that have sustained some form of a knee injury, and still need something that can support them completely without needing to temper their play style.
Special Feature: Innovative pads that absorb pressure peaks.
· Improves circulation and muscle regeneration
· Lightweight fabric
· Absorbs pressure peaks
· Limited color options
Best Knee Braces for Volleyball 2020: Best Mobility Support
McDavid Hex Reversible Leg Sleeves/Pair
The McDavid Hex Reversible Leg Sleeves are a very affordable pair of knee brace that offer protection regardless of which side of the sleeves faces outward. Apart from the affordable pricing that this pair of knee braces offer, the reversible sleeve design allows you to get knee protection with both sides of the sleeves while you rep your colors with solid and exclusive prints.
There isn’t really much to say about this pair of braces than the fact that they are awesome and affordable. Some of the inbuilt technology include enhanced fit and comfort that makes use of the long length of the sleeves to protect a volleyball player from scrapes and cuts.
Also, the design of the McDavid Hex helps to warm the muscle over which they are worn. The sleeves are kept cool and dry with something called the advanced hDc Moisture Management Techs. Also, this pair of knee braces are machine washable and dryable. The best feature of this pair of braces is the high level of mobility that they afford a volleyball player on the court.
Who Should Buy?
In my opinion, there are two major reasons why you would need this pair of braces. The first is the affordability of the braces, and the second is the functionality that it provides, even with its highly flexible material.
Special Feature: Highly flexible fabric
· Allows high level of mobility
· Provides optimal protection on both sides of the sleeve
· Absorbs impact pressure
· Moisture management
· Proper fit
· Not complete support or stabilization
Best Knee Braces for Volleyball 2020: Most Lightweight Design
IPOW 2 Knee Strap Brace
The IPOW 2 Knee Strap Brace is probably the least expensive knee brace on this list, but this does not take much away from its functionality and design aesthetics. I am almost certain that the manufacturers were able to cut down so much on the price with the use of their compact design, as it allows them to use fewer materials overall.
The IPOW 2 is built to provide support for the knee joint while you play volleyball by providing support to the patella. The best thing about the design is the targeted nature of it, rather than provide support around a wide area; it instead provides relief and support at a particular spot. Just like most of the knee braces on this list, the IPOW 2 can either provide support for the knee to prevent injury or enhance your healing process.
The main features of the IPOW 2 knee brace include stabilizer knee strap, adjustable tightness, and flexible and slim design. The design of the IPOW 2 allows it to be versatile and flexible that it allows a full range of movement during volleyball matches.
Who Should Buy?
This knee brace is lightweight, and the design is simple and compact. If you are the type of volleyball player that likes a knee brace with a simple and lightweight design, then this is for you.
Special Feature: Compact design.
· Stabilizer knee strap
· Adjustable tightness for various knee sizes
· Low shock absorption.
Why Do Volleyball Players Wear Knee Braces?
Contrary to what most people might think, volleyball players know that volleyball can be a heavy contact sport between your body and the ground. The only problem is that the ground is an unyielding opponent.
Jumper’s knee is one of the most common injuries and causes of pain to most volleyball players, and this is true for almost every position in volleyball. The truth is, regardless of your style of play, the heavy-hitting grunt or the skillful and graceful picker in any position. You still need a lot of effort from your muscles, and most of the stress is put on your tendons.
As a means of protecting their knees against knee injuries or managing the pain from the patellar or quadriceps tendon due to previous injuries, many volleyball players choose to wear a knee brace. Some volleyball players complain that wearing a knee brace sometimes impede their movements on the court during plays, but this is mostly because there are using a knee brace that is too small or too loose for them. By choosing the right knee brace for you, you can be sure that your play will be seamless.
Here are some of the other reasons why you might require a knee brace (or a pair of knee braces):
· If you feel pain in your knee that messes with your confidence when you jump.
· If you have no previous knee injury but want some extra support and form of prevention during your volleyball matches.
· If you simply need to keep your knees warm probably because the gym is cold or you have to train outdoors in the cold.
What is Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)?
The first thing you should understand is that I am not a medical professional, and any information provided concerning medical conditions are retrieved from third party websites and sources. Also, I can speak of it from my personal experience of playing with this condition.
Patellar Tendonitis, according to Healthline.com, is a common injury which is basically an inflammation of the tendon that connects your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone (tibia). Depending on the nature of the injury, the pain caused by it can be mild or severe. Also, even though this condition can occur in anyone, it is more common among athletes (especially those that play volleyball and basketball).
It is estimated that in the professional world of elite volleyball, at least 50% of volleyball players have Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee).
What Causes Jumper’s Knee?
The major cause of Jumper’s knee is the impact shock that comes from jumping repeatedly and landing on hard ground. The shocks resulting from these landings cause the tendons connecting the kneecap to the shinbone to become chronically inflamed. While the pain can come and go depending on how much breaks you get between volleyball matches. However, in most cases, the moment the pain starts, it will probably last throughout your volleyball career.
Most people think that this pain usually occurs after a bad landing from a big jump, but it is the repetitive nature of a volleyball player’s jump that causes Jumper’s knee.
To prevent Jumper’s knee, it is highly recommended that you get a knee brace that fits your leg properly if you intend to play volleyball professionally, or if you already play the sport professionally.
Note: It is important to note that if Jumper’s knee is not appropriately treated with the use of some medical treatments and perhaps knee braces, it can be career-ending for many players.
Do Knee Strap Work for Volleyball and Jumper’s Knee?
Okay, this is two questions bundled in one, so, I will answer them separately.
Yes, knee strap can work for playing volleyball, especially if you don’t have an underlying knee injury already like Jumper’s knee.
Does it work for Jumper’s knee? This question is a complicated one because Jumper’s knee (Patellar Tendonitis) can range from being a mild condition to a very severe condition. Therefore, it is recommended that you see your doctor before trying any form of therapy that might help with the pain associated with Jumper’s knee.
However, in the case in which your doctor has asked you to use a knee strap or knee brace for volleyball, you need to get the one that supports your knee structure properly during play and off the court.
Can you wear a knee brace in volleyball during competition and training?
Yes! You can definitely wear a knee brace during your volleyball training and professional competitions. You can double-check with the officials to make sure that your attire is accepted during a volleyball competition, but I am sure a knee brace is not going to be a problem.
How to Choose a Knee Brace for Volleyball
Comfort: This is a big part of choosing a knee brace. If you are wearing the best knee brace in the world like the Bauerfeind GenuTrain P3 Knee Brace and you don’t feel comfortable in it, you will find it difficult to play well. Comfort here means how it feels on your knee when you play, and when you wear it generally. If you feel comfortable in terms of how well it fits you, the lack of itching, and proper sweat absorption, then you have the right knee brace.
Support: Support is basically the functionality aspect of a knee brace, and technically, most of the knee braces on this list should satisfy the support part of a knee brace. All of the knee braces on this list are carefully designed to support your tendons and prevent the shifting of your kneecap during aggressive plays, and hard landings.
Price Point: Like I always say, pricing is subjective. What is expensive to me might not seem expensive to you. However, the first three Bauerfeind GenuTrain knee braces on this list are quite expensive, but they are also considered as the holy grail of knee braces, so I guess they are worth it?
The last two knee braces on this list come at much lower price points than the first three, so if pricing is a huge factor for you, one of them should do the job just fine.
Features: The special features that come with a particular product of knee brace are particular to that product, and they are mostly added features. You can decide whether or not you want a knee brace based on its special feature of not. However, most special features satisfy much-needed functions.
Why Do My Knees Hurt After Volleyball?
If you feel pain in your knees after your volleyball matches, it is caused by repetitive jumps and lands that occur on a volleyball court. These landing can cause the tendons in your knees to become inflamed. This condition is called Jumper’s Knee or Patellar Tendonitis.
If you are already feeling pains in your knees after your volleyball matches, it can be an indication of the onset of Jumper’s knee. You should immediately get it checked out by a medical doctor and treat it accordingly. It might be a good idea to start using knee braces already, but you should check with your doctor first.
How do you prevent Jumper’s Knee?
The best way to prevent Jumper’s knee from happening will be to start using knee braces for your volleyball matches before you even begin to feel any pain at all. Also, it will be a good idea to have proper rests between volleyball matches to avoid overworking the tendons in your kneecap. Building up the muscles and tendon strength around your knee to support the patellar tendon can also be an important step.
If you have read this far, then this means you already know all I know about knee braces and Jumper’s knee. Also, you know have a better knowledge pool to pull from when deciding on the next knee brace that you should get for volleyball.
Good luck and stay safe out there on the volleyball court.