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6 Best Knee Braces for Skiing

by Amanda Ghosh August 03, 2017 0 Comments

man and woman skiing

A skier’s knees are particularly vulnerable. MCL, ACL, LCL, and meniscus injuries are among the most common ski injuries. If you’re concerned about injury, it’s time to get a knee brace for skiing. Your boots support your ankles. Make sure you have a brace to support your knees. The best knee brace for skiing protects and stabilizes the knee, while absorbing shock and minimizing pain. We’ve compiled a list of six amazing knee supports for skiing to keep you safe on the slopes.

Best Knee Braces for Skiing - Top 6

Model Brand Lowest Price
1. Armor  Knee Brace  DonJoy
BEST PRICE »
2. Reaction Web  Knee Support DonJoy
BEST PRICE »
3. Hinged Knee Brace McDavid
BEST PRICE »
4. Hinged Knee Brace Vive
BEST PRICE »
5. Compression Knee Sleeve  Ultra Flex Athletics
BEST PRICE »
6. Adjustable  Knee Brace Vive
BEST PRICE »

1. Armor Knee Brace by DonJoy Best Knee Brace for Skiing by DonJoy

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Your knees are arguably your most vulnerable joints while skiing. You don’t want to mess around with a flimsy support. This DonJoy brace is incredibly strong and durable. In fact, it’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum. This brace will protect your knee and prevent re-injury for those with previous ACL, MCL, or LCL injuries. This brace will mold to your knee. Its sleek, minimalist design makes it comfortable and less distracting on the slopes.

Pros:
  • Superior support and protection designed for skiing
  • Keeps your knees out of dangerous positions
  • Stabilizes injured ligaments
Cons:
  • Significantly more expensive than other braces

2. Reaction Web Knee Support by DonJoy Knee Support for Skiing by DonJoy

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If your primary concern is how your knee will handle moguls, take a look at this brace. Its web design will make you feel as invincible as Spiderman by absorbing shock and dispersing energy away from your knee. This brace even reduces pain. It’s surprisingly comfortable to wear, and the mesh backing lets your leg breathe while also keeping your long johns and the inner lining of your snow pants dry. Plus, this brace is extremely lightweight.

Pros:
  • Universal sizing
  • Fits right or left leg
  • Absorbs the shock of moguls and lets the leg breathe
Cons:
  • Velcro loses its staying power with wear

3. Hinged Knee Brace by McDavid Hinged Knee Brace for Skiing by McDavid

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This is a great brace for kiers with latex sensitivities. It’s made from latex-free neoprene, which is strong and durable. The fabric also provides compression and therapeutic heat, which is perfect for cold days on the mountain. The hinged sidearms can be individually adjusted according to your needs and add an extra layer of stability. They also ensure your knees avoid awkward and potentially dangerous lateral movements. Overall, this is a supportive and comfortable brace that won’t irritate your skin.

Pros:
  • Ideal for skiers with latex allergies
  • Hinges add strong support and protection
  • Compression and therapeutic warmth keep muscles toasty and relaxed
Cons:
  • Takes time to learn how to work the hinges

4. Hinged Knee Brace by Vive Skier’s Hinged Knee Brace by Vive

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This knee brace is perfect for active individuals, including skiers. The open-patella design is a huge benefit on the slopes—it keeps the brace from slipping and increases joint stability. The extra-strength fasteners stay in place, so you won’t need to constantly readjust your brace on the trail. Plus, the fasteners allow for a customized fit—you choose how tight your brace feels. This brace delivers a wonderful amount of compression, so keep it tight on the trail and loosen it in the lodge. The super strong hinges are made from aluminum and will keep your knee stable. And the brace itself is made of breathable, lightweight material that is comfortable enough to wear all day.

Pros:
  • Comes with a peace of mind guarantee
  • Comfortable enough to wear all day
  • Stays in place while skiing
Cons:

    5. Compression Knee Sleeve by Ultra Flex Athletics Compression Knee Sleeve for Skiing by Ultra Flex Athletics

    CLICK TO READ REVIEWS >>

     

    This is the ideal companion to any knee brace. Wear it after a long day of skiing to soothe your muscles. Any knee brace you use on the slopes needs to be extremely supportive, so you’ll need a bulkier brace. But after you’re done for the day, remove that brace and slip on one of these. This sleeve reduces inflammation and swelling, and it soothes stiffness and soreness. It has a heating effect on muscles and is incredibly comfortable to wear. And the compression feels amazing after a long day of skiing!

    Pros:
    • Perfect for apres ski recovery
    • Compression reduces inflammation and swelling
    • Soothes soreness and minimizes stiffness
    Cons:
    • May slip down the leg if you walk a lot while wearing

    6. Adjustable Knee Brace by Vive Knee Brace by Vive

    CLICK TO READ REVIEWS >>

     

    This brace has many of the features of more expensive braces, but costs a fraction of the price. Its open-patella design stabilizes the knee while holding the brace in place. And the adjustable compression soothes the muscles and tendons surrounding the knee and improves circulation. This brace is incredibly breathable, and it’s comfortable on the slopes. Wear this on the mountain and at home doing yard work.

    Pros:
    • Well-constructed
    • Supportive
    • Budget-friendly
    Cons:
    • One size fits most

     

    Why Your Knees Are Vulnerable on the Slopes

    “Skier’s knee” refers to the unique ways that skiers injure their knees. With your feet and ankles secure in a stiff boot, your knees are the portion of your legs left unguarded. This means that instead of spraining your ankle, you’ll tear your meniscus or do a number on your MCL, ACL, or LCL. For this reason, it is imperative that all skiers protect their knees.

    Protect Your Knees On and Off the Slopes

    Several strategies will ensure your knees are ready for the slopes. Some of the best tactics focus on fundamental strength and mobility. Start building your fitness before it snows.

    Get in Shape to Ski

    Skiing is a demanding form of exercise. In fact, you can burn over a thousand calories in a single day of vigorous skiing. Since you’re in a constant squatting position on the slopes, your knees feel a lot of pressure. Plus, your knees absorb shock every time you land a jump, hit a bump or take to the moguls. Fortunately, you can protect your knees by strengthening the muscles that support and stabilize them. Try the following exercises:

    • Cycling
    • Running
    • Inline Skating
    • Strength Training

    Tip:
    Focus strength training on your quads, hamstrings, hips, glutes, calves, and core.

     

    The key to preventing knee injuries on the slopes is ensuring you can maintain good form for an extended period of time. To do this, you should have good cardiovascular fitness and strong muscles. Focus on endurance sports that also strengthen the legs, like running and cycling.

    Click here to learn how to build muscle and get ready for ski season.

    Stretching Out

    After you’ve gotten in shape, it’s time to hit the slopes. Just remember to slow down and practice healthy habits. This includes stretching before you put on your gear. Here are a few great ski stretches for the knees.

    old man stretching in the snow Performing dynamic stretches before and static stretches after skiing is crucial to preventing injury. ( Image Reference)

    • Lying Knee Roll: Over Stretch: Lie on your back with your arms straight out at your sides. Let both knees fall to one side, keeping your eyes on the ceiling. You’ll feel a nice stretch as you twist.
    • Kneeling Quad Stretch: Kneel on the ground with your hands on your hips. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the groin/quad area of your back leg.
    • Standing Toe-Up Achilles Stretch: Place the ball of your foot on an object and push your heel down. You’ll feel a great stretch in your calf and Achilles.

    Protecting with a Brace

    If you’ve already injured your knee, wearing a brace is one of the best ways to protect your knee. Before you even sit down on the chairlift, make sure your brace is on and ready to rock and roll. Any of the braces we’ve listed are terrific options.

    You may want to consider a knee sleeve to promote recovery after skiing.

    Using Proper Technique

    As mentioned earlier, it’s important to maintain good technique. Once you’re in shape enough to maintain proper technique for a full day of skiing, follow these tips to improve your form and keep you safe. These suggestions are known to prevent ACL injuries in skiers.

    • Keep your arms facing downhill where you can see them.
    • Maintain your balance. Avoid shifting your weight all the way to your rear.
    • Keep your hips above your knees—don’t sit down.

    Find the Best Knee Brace for Skiing

    Using a knee brace will make sure you end your ski session on a positive note, relaxing in the lodge. Keep your knees warm and safe with a knee brace, and try a compression sleeve during recovery for post-skiing pain relief.

    Sources:

    http://stretchcoach.com/articles/stretches-for-snow-skiing/

    http://vermontskisafety.com/research/tips/

    Amanda Ghosh
    Amanda Ghosh

    Amanda has a Masters of Science in Nutrition from Syracuse University which equipped her with courses applied to licensure as a dietitian. She also worked as a Program Director for the Wellness and Fitness Department for the YMCA. She is well versed in physical fitness, with a certificate from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in physical fitness training. She has taught numerous fitness classes, including college courses in the Athletic Department, as an adjunct instructor, at the SUNY University at Buffalo. She currently resides with her husband in the NYC area, and loves to put her knowledge of anatomy and physiology to use by being active. Both her and her husband are self-declared "foodies."



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