There’s no doubt that with all the jumping and diving around the court, volleyball players are at much greater risk than other athletes when it comes to knee injuries. In fact, one study showed that more than 40% of high-level players suffer knee overuse injuries.
Buying a knee brace or sleeve that can be relied upon to protect your knees, whether you’ve never suffered an injury or are coming back from one, is therefore key.
Here are a few that we recommend.
4 Best Volleyball Knee Braces & Sleeves
Best Overall: Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support
Trusted by professional athletes, including pro volleyball players, the Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support offers unrivaled support and protection. So much so, in fact, that it manages to eliminate any pain while playing, allowing you to freely jump and hit even if you are recovering from a recent injury.
The support’s anatomically contoured pad that surrounds the knee cap not only captures and redistributes pressure to protect against overloading but also ensures a high level of comfort, breathability, and durability.
If you want a knee support that doesn’t force you to compromise your level of play, look no further than the Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support
Best Value: Shock Doctor Maximum Support Compression Knee Brace
Shock Doctor is another company whose products are relied upon by professional athletes. Think of the Shock Doctor Max Support Knee Brace as a more economical alternative to the Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support.
The brace delivers a similar amount of support while also allowing for a full range of movement. It is also comfortable to wear thanks to its breathable design, though is more challenging of the two to remove after use. However, if you have sensitive skin, it might be the better choice.
Also Great: Pro-Tec Athletics Gel Force Knee Sleeve
The Pro-Tec Athletics Gel Force Knee Sleeve strikes just the right balance between support, comfort, and price.
The sleeve’s thick gel, breathable design ensures a high level of comfort, and its 4-way stretch material provides fantastic compression and stabilization of the knee while also allowing for a full range of movement. The sleeve is also easy to slip on and off, which anyone who plays frequently will appreciate.
Budget Pick: McDavid Hex Knee Compression Sleeves
What makes the McDavid Hex Knee Compression Sleeves a great choice is that it is more than just a knee sleeve.
Not only do the sleeves provide a good level of support, but they can also be used as knee pads to protect your knees from pain and bruising as you dive around the court. This is down to the sleeves’ 9mm closed cell foam padding.
Additionally, due to being made of breathable material, these McDavid Sleeves will keep you cool and dry.
What is the Difference Between Volleyball Knee Braces and Sleeves?
In a nutshell, knee braces are used to provide a high level of protection to better prevent and/or heal from injuries; knee sleeves are used for support. Knee sleeves are the most common type of knee support worn by athletes.
Either way, when it comes to volleyball the goal is to provide compression to the knee joint and support the entire knee – i.e. all of the knee’s tendons, ligaments, and its overall structure.
Deciding which one is the better choice will come down to your personal preferences and circumstances. If you are recovering from an injury or simply prefer additional protection, opt for a knee brace. If you’re just looking for additional support and compression, a knee sleeve is enough.
Important Factors to Consider When Buying Volleyball Knee Sleeve/Braces
- Purpose/Amount of Support
As just mentioned, while knee braces and sleeves are both designed to support and protect the knee, think about your needs and circumstances.
If you’re suffering from jumper’s knee, aka patellar tendonitis, you need something that is able to deliver excellent support without limiting your normal style of play.
From volleyball shoes to volleyball knee pads, comfort is always at the forefront of any player’s mind. Knee sleeves and braces are no exception. Ideally, your knees should be supported while still allowing for a good range of flexibility and mobility all around the court. A sleeve or brace that is able to wick away moisture is always a plus too.
Price is important, and no one likes to spend more than is necessary, but don’t let it be the deciding factor. A few dollars in savings isn’t worth putting your knees at risk, especially if you need a sleeve or brace to wear as you come back from injury.