Snowboarding can be a challenging sport. Not only is it difficult to learn how to ride at an advanced level, but it can also take a toll on your body. A knee brace can give you a little extra support to help prevent an injury.
I’ve been riding for most of my life and have used knee braces from time to time over the years. This experience allows me to know what to look for in a high-quality option that will give you the performance you need.
The Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support is my pick for the best knee brace for snowboarding. It’s designed to provide stabilization during all sorts of athletic movements and will give you compression and support.
There are a few other solid options out there, and I’ll give you all of my favorites here so you can find a brace that works best for needs on the mountain.
Time to bend those achy knees and get started.
- Quick Summary:
- Top Choices of Best Knee Brace for Snowboarding
- What to Look for in Knee Braces for Snowboarding
- My Verdict
- Best Overall: Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support
- Best ACL: Shock Doctor 872
- Best for Meniscus Tear: McDavid Knee Brace
- Best for Beginners: Shock Doctor Compression Sleeve
- Best Budget Pick: NEENCA Professional Knee Brace
- Best for Stability: Neo G Hinged Knee Brace
Top Choices of Best Knee Brace for Snowboarding
Here are my top picks for the best knee braces for snowboarding. Even if you don’t have knee problems, a brace can help prevent any issues from appearing when you ride.
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Excellent support, comfortable fit, padded patella, multiple sizes available, breathable, durable
- Style: Padded sleeve
- Material: 3D air-knit fabric
- Cost: $$$
The Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support is my pick for the best overall knee brace for snowboarding. This is a high-quality option that is well designed to give you a lot of support and stability when you ride.
It is a compression-style sleeve brace that slips over your leg and up onto your knee. It will fit snuggly from your lower thigh to your lower leg for an extended area of support to prevent twisting and slipping.
The brace also comes in multiple sizes ranging from extra small to XXL. This gives you the ability to achieve a customized fit that will provide tremendous amounts of added stability. With the proper size, the brace won’t slip or slide as you ride.
It also comes with an anatomically contoured pad that is strategically placed over the kneecap area. This helps to disperse pressure and reduced discomfort if you already have an injury and provides added cushioning in case of a fall.
You’ll also benefit from a unique design that involves two pressure points that activate when you move your knee. This works to enhance the stabilizer muscles in your leg. In effect, the brace helps your body better support your knees.
It’s also very lightweight and easy to wear all day long. In addition, a breathable 3D air-knit fabric helps wick away moisture and keep you dry on the mountain.
This doesn’t have any rigid support, so it isn’t the best for coming directly off an injury. It’s also pretty expensive.
- Best for: ACL
- Key features: External support for ACL injuries, comfortable, aluminum stability stays, multiple sizes available
- Style: Rigid support, straps
- Material: Elasticized fabric
- Cost: $$
If you are coming back on the snow after an ACL injury or any other significant knee injury, the Shock Doctor 872 is a knee brace well worth considering. It gives you the benefit of added stability on both sides of the knee to prevent twisting and turning.
The 872 has a pre-curved anatomical design that will sit snuggly over your knee and provide you with natural compression that will support the soft tissue in your knee. This helps increase blood flow and will keep your muscles warm and active.
It also has aluminum stability stays on either side, which gives you a lot of additional support. These provide effective bracing that you can rely on. The stays have hinges that bend with your knee without compromising the brace’s rigidity.
It’s also available in multiple sizes, from small to XXL. This lets you get the perfect fit and amount of support you need to help limit further injury or protect a surgically repaired knee. You also get velcro straps that let you adjust the tightness of the brace.
This brace is a little bulky, so it might get in the way of a base layer or your snow pants if you have tight-fitting clothing.
- Best for: Meniscus Tear
- Key features: Great fit, durable neoprene construction, comfortable, cushioned hyperextension stops, padded patella, breathable
- Style: Sleeve with straps
- Material: Neoprene/Nylon
- Cost: $$
The McDavid Knee Brace is a good option for anyone who wants to help prevent the possibility of a meniscus tear. It provides you with extra support and stability that can pay off when you are riding hard anywhere on the mountain.
This brace has a neoprene construction that is durable and flexible. It will easily fit around your knee and is then secured in place by two velcro straps on the top and bottom. This gives you a secure and customizable fit.
Support is provided by a hinge system that bends with your knee while the sidearms give you rigid support on your inner and outer leg. This will help limit the chance of severe hyperextension or weird angles that can lead to a meniscus injury.
It also has an open 360-degree padded buttress. This supports the patella while still providing airflow and cushioning. It’s an innovative design that also helps make this brace lighter and more comfortable.
All-day comfort is provided by bound edges that are soft and smooth to limit the possibility of any chafing or skin irritation. It’s also available in many different sizes so that you can get the perfect fit.
The open knee-cap design does allow for the chance of impact on your knee, and the velcro straps can loosen slightly if you wear a base layer over the brace.
- Best for: Beginners
- Key features: Pre-curved design, comfortable, breathable, low profile, durable, multiple sizes available
- Style: Compression sleeve
- Material: Neoprene/Spandex
- Cost: $$
If you are a beginner and just want the peace of mind a knee brace can provide, the Shock Doctor Compression Sleeve is an excellent option to purchase. It’s a simple but effective brace that will give you a little extra support without weighing you down.
This is a compression sleeve style brace, so it has a minimal design that is very comfortable to wear and easy to put on. It’s suitable for beginners because you don’t have to worry about adjusting a bunch of straps or having a bulky brace weighing you down.
A pre-curved design gives you plenty of support to provide you with extra stability and a little bit of cushioning for those inevitable falls you are bound to take.
The compression design helps increase blood flow, which will keep your knee and surrounding muscles warm and activated as you ride downhill. Multiple sizes are available to give you a solid fit.
It’s also made with a strong and durable neoprene and spandex construction. This material will hug your kneed without adding any bulk. It’s also breathable and will dry out quickly if you work up a sweat.
This one won’t give you much support against twisting and turning and is pretty basic in design.
- Best for: Budget Pick
- Key features: Affordable, spring technology, patella gel pads, good support, metal spring stabilizers
- Style: Compression sleeve
- Material: Polyester/Elastic
- Cost: $
The NEENCA Professional Knee Brace is an affordable budget pick that will give you plenty of comfort and support at a friendly price.
This one features many of the same performance attributes as higher-end options, but you’ll pay about half as much for it. In addition, it has a spring knee support technology that gives you a lot of stability for a compression sleeve style brace.
It has double-sided metal spring stabilizers built into the fabric. This gives you a lot of support against twisting, turning, and hyperextension. Combined with the compression of the sleeve, it’s a very practical design.
You’ll also benefit from a patella gel pad that gives you additional cushioning in case you fall. This also helps make the brace very comfortable. Multiple sizes are available so that you can find the perfect fit, as well.
This brace runs a little large, so you might want to get a size down. Also, the elastic bands can wear out quicker than some more expensive options.
- Best for: Stability
- Key features: Excellent support and stability, non-slip design, comfortable, medical-grade quality, side hinge system
- Style: Sleeve with straps
- Material: Polyester/Nylon/Spandex/Neoprene
- Cost: $$$
The Neo G Hinged Knee Brace is one of the best options around, with knee stability in mind. It has a medical-grade quality that the professionals use, so you know it will work well for snowboarders too.
The brace easily slips over your knee area and is then secured in place by strong velcro straps on the top and bottom. This gives you a firm and stable fit that will limit twisting motions and help reduce the risk of injury.
It also has a two-point geared hinge system that gives you additional support and rigidity. The compression fit helps increase blood flow for effective joint movement.
It also has a non-slip design that will stay effectively in place when you ride for long-lasting comfort and support.
This is a one-size option, so if you are a very small or very large rider, you might have issues with the fit.
What to Look for in Knee Braces for Snowboarding
Here are some essential things to keep in mind when looking at different knee braces for snowboarding. Braces might seem similar, but a high-quality option has characteristics that make it above average.
Knee braces come in a few different styles. The most basic is a compression sleeve that is a brace that will slip over your knee and stay in place using elastic-like materials to provide comfort and support.
A compression-style brace is good for anyone who wants a little extra knee support and possible protection against injury. However, it doesn’t provide a tremendous amount of support if you already have an injury.
A reinforced brace gives you rigid pieces of plastic and/or metal that make it more sturdy and capable of preventing twisting and turning of your knee when you ride. These are more expensive but offer a lot of benefits if you are coming back from an injury.
Look for durable synthetic materials that are built to last and won’t wear out quickly. Nylon, spandex, neoprene, and polyester are all good synthetic options that can withstand the rigors of high-impact activities without losing their support.
Synthetic materials are good for snowboarders because they will also dry out quickly if they get wet. This will help you stay warmer in the long run. You might not think your knees will get cold, but any wet clothing item can affect your comfort.
You need a brace to fit correctly to give you beneficial support that can keep your knees in good shape and prevent injury. Tighter is generally better, but you don’t want things too tight to cut off your blood circulation.
Braces are available in a few different sizes. Try to match your body size to this to get an accurate fit. For example, if you wear small-sized snow pants, get a small-sized brace – large for large, etc. Braces with straps can help you achieve a better overall fit, as well.
Here are a few quick answers to some common questions relating to knee braces for snowboarding.
Should I wear a knee brace for snowboarding?
If you are just returning to the snow from a knee injury, I would highly suggest wearing a knee brace. It can help stabilize your knee to keep it from getting reinjured. A knee brace is a good idea for anyone worried about injuring their knees.
How do I protect my knees when snowboarding?
There is no guaranteed way to protect your knees when you are snowboarding. It’s a high-impact sport, so accidents and injuries are always possible. However, if you ride carefully and don’t do anything over your ability level, you can protect your knees a bit better.
Is snowboarding bad for knees?
Any high-impact sport can be bad for your knees, and snowboarding is no different. If you try to ride safely and don’t go off too many big jumps or cliffs, you can reduce the chance of injury. Snowboarding can affect all of your joints, including your knees.
Are knee braces good for skiing?
Yes. Knee braces are good for just about any sport, and they can help skiers in the same way they can help snowboarders. Skiing places similar stresses on your knees, and a brace can help give you additional support.
The Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support is my pick for the best knee brace for snowboarding. This is a well-designed option that provides a lot of support to help stabilize your knee to prevent possible injury and discomfort. It’s also very comfortable and durable.
All of the options you’ll find on this list come highly recommended. If you have any knee problems or just want to have a little extra support, a knee brace is a good investment. These can help out all styles of riders, no matter your age or ability.About Lorraine