Did you know that more than 24 million people enjoyed the sport of golf in America in 2020? Couple this with the fact that the average age of the American golfer is 54, and it reminds me of the importance of looking after our bodies during this surprisingly athletic sport. I have already tackled the subject of wrist supports for golfers, and today I want to do the same for knee supports. These types of products can go along way to preventing or working alongside injuries and prolonging your enjoyment of golf.
Unlike other articles I have read on the subject, I don’t just want to jump into the recommended knee supports. This first section will talk about some key factors and considerations you should have in mind when choosing a knee support for golf. Of course, feel free to jump to the lower section to get straight to the product recommendations if this doesn’t interest you.
Why Might a Golfer Need a Knee Brace?
A golfer might need a knee brace for a few reasons. Firstly, you may have a pre-existing knee condition that could flare up during golf and need support to limit this.
For example, if the golfer has arthritis in their knee, which can make it difficult to move their knee. A knee brace can help the golfer move their knee more easily and help them stay in the game. Another reason a golfer might need a knee brace is if they have a ligament injury. A ligament injury can cause the knee to buckle, which can lead to a lot of pain and difficulty moving around. A knee brace can help support the ligament and keep the knee from bending too much.
Secondly, don’t underestimate how much stress golf puts on your knees. The rotational nature of a golf swing, combined with the potential club head speed of up to 120mph, can cause fatigue and even injuries to your knees. Some golfers choose to wear knee supports to pre-empt such injuries. This can be especially helpful if you feel that you have particularly weak knees.
Different Types of Knee Braces for Golf
There are many types of knee braces for golfers. Some are designed to help support the knee while playing, while others are specifically designed to prevent injury. Before deciding on a knee brace, you should always consult your local health professional to make sure you are using the most appropriate for your particular needs.
1. Ortho-Knee brace: This brace is designed to help support the knee (otherwise known as the patella) and prevent injury. It usually has an opening around the kneecap accompanied by supportive straps. Although your kneecap is not likely to be injured during golf, these types of knee supports can do wonders for those that feel pain from their kneecap during golf due to tracking issues.
2. Bandage: A simple, but effective, knee brace is an elastic bandage wrapped around the knee. This type of brace is easy to put on and take off, and can prove to be one of the cheapest and easiest solutions. However, the downside is that if you do this badly, you could not be providing the correct support for your knee. Be sure to watch the below video demonstration if this is a route you wish to take.
3. Knee sleeve: A knee sleeve is, as the name suggests, an elasticated sleeve that fits around your knee. It is a simple knee support that offers increased warmth, compression and reassurance that your knee if being supported during your round. I would wear this more as a preventative measure against knee injuries rather than active support following a knee injury.
4. Knee Pad: A knee pad is along the lines of the knee sleeve above, but adds extra padding to prevent injury. This is more useful for a contact sport or a sport where you are likely to bump your knees, so it is not something I would choose for golfing.
5. Hinged Knee Brace: With these products, you will get a set of supportive bars hinged together to add more protection and support to your knee. As one of the most serious knee supports, these would only be needed for golf following a serious knee injury or the resulting surgery, where a reconstructed knee will require such intensive support. I would always recommend speaking to your local health professional before using such a serious knee support, as it most cases you probably won’t need it.
6. Patellar Bands: A patellar band is a type of knee brace that uses elastic straps to keep your knee stabilized. They are often recommended for sports where you frequently hyperextend your knee, such as football or soccer. This brace would be best for golfers who frequently overreach with their swing and end up hyper-extending their knee. These are also great for people that have had issues with their patellar tendon whilst golfing.
4 Considerations for a Knee Brace worn for Golf
As well as the type of knee support, there are a few other things to keep in mind when choosing a knee brace for golfers.
It is important to find a knee brace that is comfortable to wear. For me, this means using something that is slim and unobtrusive, easily fitting below my golf attire. I would only wear a bulkier knee support if advised by my health professional.
Think about the climate that you are golfing in too, and the best support to match it. If you are in a hot and humid country, for example, something more open and breathable may be required.
Be aware that a warm knee will be less prone to injury, so consider this when choosing the design and style of any knee support to buy for golf.
A knee brace should provide adequate support to keep the knee from bending too much. The brace should also fit snugly to avoid movement. But not too tight to effect the natural operation of the knee.
Most good quality knee supports come in a wide range of sizes. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s size guide and choose the best fitting size for you. This is vital for getting the support detailed in the previous section.
5. Quality VS Price
On one hand, no-one wants to pay the earth for such a simple piece of golfing equipment, but on the other hand you don’t want to buy a sub-standard product that falls apart after a few uses and fails to offer the advertised levels of support. We are looking for a good balance of quality and price in this purchase!
My Top 5 Picks for Golfing Knee Supports
Now let’s get down to brass tacks and let you know what my favorite knee supports for golf really are at the time of writing.
You can view any of the recommended products below over on Amazon simply by clicking the image.
1. Copper Knee Brace by JHVW
I am a massive fan of these Copper branded knee supports. First of all, they fit in with my requirements of a low profile support that can be easily worn below golfing attire. Unlike many of the neoprene alternatives out there, these come with a more knitted material that is much more breathable and comfortable as a result.
The level of support they give for this sleeve type of support is great too, whilst also allowing enough flexibility to play golf normally.
The only downside of these supports is that they come in a limited range of sizes, so if you don’t fit into their sizing guide well, you should look elsewhere.
These Copper knee braces also combine value and quality very well. You are buying something that will last but is still priced competitively. And if you are still unsure, they come with a full refund or replacement policy if not satisfied. Click the image below to check the price for yourself over at Amazon.
2. Incrediwear Knee Sleeve
You may baulk at the higher price of these Incrediwear supports, but they really do offer one of the best solutions for anyone that suffers from knee pain after playing golf. Rather than going for full on knee compression, these knee sleeves are combined with active elements that promote better blood circulation and reduce inflammation when in contact with your body’s natural heat.
I know it sounds a bit ‘out there’ but trust me, these things work and are recommended by many health professionals up and down the country.
As with the first offering, I like the slimline nature of these supports, as well as the more knitted approach to the material, rather than the neoprene almost plastic or rubber feel of a lot of the competition.
Just be aware that these sleeves don’t give ultimate levels of support, but do give a decent amount coupled with a more anti-inflammatory and high recovery approach. If you want to feel that ultimate support, you might want to try something more compression based (like the recommendation above).
3. Compression Knee Brace with Side Stabilizer by Ace
If you have been around any type of brace or support products in the past few years you are likely to have heard of Ace, who have made quite a name for themselves here.
This compression knee brace from Ace features a side stabilizer to help keep your knee stable while you swing. These side stabilizers can mimic and increase the support given by your natural knee ligaments, whilst still allowing the natural knee movement required for golf.
And, as with my other recommendations above, this knee brace is slim and stealthy, as well as coming in a nicely breathable cotton fabric. No more neoprene induced sweaty legs for you!
And one of the big advantages of going with the Ace Brand is the fact they can offer all of this at one of the cheapest price points on this list. The only downside to this is the fact that the sizing options do leave a little to be desired. But if you can live with this, you have an excellent knee support at an excellent price.
4. IPOW Thickened Pad & Wide Patella Knee Strap
If you are particularly worried about overextending your knee or protecting and stabilizing your Patellar tendon during golf, this could be the knee strap for you.
It offers a good amount of support whilst also coming in a breathable and durable material. Unlike a lot of the other supports in this list, you don’t need to worry so much about sizing with this patella strap, as it comes in a one size fits all fully adjustable variety.
I know you may be wondering what such a small and simple knee brace can offer, but trust me, a lot of people swear by the supportive nature of these types of straps/supports. And the comfortable fit of this IPow variety will make sure you can experience this support in style 🙂
For a simple method of knee support that slips easily between your golfing slacks, these could be lifesavers! For the life of me, don’t why they are called IPow though!! ha ha!!
5. Mueller Max Knee Strap
You have probably noticed a lack of full on ortho style knee braces in this list, simply because in my opinion they are overkill for most people. If you do think they may be needed, please consult a health professional to make sure! Therefore, instead of that, I want to recommend a dual strap alternative. It will still offer comparable levels of knee support whilst also being easy to wear for a round of golf.
If support it what you are looking for, this should be your first stop on this list. And, unlike most of the other generic brands you may see in the world of knee supports, Mueller is a brand with history in the field. The Mueller family has been involved in sports medicine since 1959, no less! So they should know a thing or two!
See this support as a type of double patella strap, offering support both above and below the knee. The great thing here is that it offers an excellent level of support without binding or reducing the natural movement of the knee.
You may see this strap as a little pricey when compared to the others, but you are buying from a quality brand and the construction of this knee support is more substantial than a lot of others on this list.