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  • Best Basketball Knee Support [Buyers Guide 2020] – Top 5 Knee Pads, Sleeves and Braces

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Best Budget Knee Guards For Basketball Players

Combovo Knee Compression Sleeve

  • Quality compression
  • Great value
  • Anit-slip silicone


Top Basketball Knee Guard Winner

McDavid Knee Sleeves w/ Hex Pad

  • compression 
  • Moisture wicking tech


Basketball knee sleeves, pads and braces have become increasingly popular over the past decade. If you have watched any professional basketball game lately you would have noticed that almost every player is wearing some type of knee compression and protection wear. 

Wearing knee protective sleeves and support guards is a very smart move for any basketball player as it can greatly reduce the risk of knee injuries, plus improve on court performance. 

Basketball Knee Guards Can Prevent Knee Injuries

 Knee guards can help prevent many (but not all) basketball related knee injuries

In the following article I will teach you everything you need to know about knee support and protection gear

I will also introduce you to the top 5 of each of the basketball knee sleeves, guards and pads on the market.

You may think that basketball players just wear knee sleeves for vanity reasons.  

Yes, it is a fact that many players do choose to wear knee compression gear for the primary purpose of making an on-court fashion statement.

Let's be honest, knee sleeves do look dope on the court, however they also offer many injury prevention and performance enhancing benefits.

Wearing knee compression sleeves, guards, braces and pads can benefit basketball players in a number of ways including:
  • Preventing sprains/strains to the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the knee joint by keeping the muscles warm.
  • Preventing contact and collision injuries and bruises to the knee joint (when wearing a padded sleeve).
  • Promoting recovery and assisting in knee rehabilitation.
  • Improving neuro-muscular power in the muscles surrounding the knee joint.
  • Enhancing proprioception around the knee joint which may improve agility and lateral quickness on the court.
  • Provide support after a significant knee injury like an ACL tear.


Here is a quick look at the current top 5 best basketball knee guards that you can buy online.

You can find full reviews and see images/videos of each of these products a little further down on this page.


We will get to the top 5 knee protection gear reviews list shortly. But first here are a few very important things that you need to consider before purchasing protective knee wear to ensure that you get the right gear for your specific needs,

Should You Choose To Wear Basketball Pads, Sleeves Or Braces? What's The Difference?

The type of knee support gear that you choose to wear while playing basketball will be determined by the specific outcomes you would like to achieve.

Let's take a look at the 3 most common styles of basketball knee wear to see which style is best suited for your individual needs.

OPTION 1 - Choosing A Knee Sleeve For Basketball

If you have read our Best Basketball Arm Sleeves post you would have learned that compression sleeves can provide many performance and recovery benefits for basketball players.

Like arm sleeves, knee sleeves offer a mild compression that provides many benefits including:

  1. Improved Proprioception : Wearing a knee sleeve provides tactile feedback to your brain from sensory nerves around the knee. Some players find that this sensory feedback improves their agility and lateral quickness on the court
  2. Improved Blood Flow: Light compression applied above and below the knee improves circulation to the hamstring, quadriceps and calf muscles. Improved blood flow means that your muscles will stay warm which can help prevent muscle strains. Improved blood flow also promotes faster recovery after strenuous basketball games and training sessions.

Knee sleeves are great for the performance and recovery benefits however offer little protection from injury or stability for rehabilitation purposes. If you are recovering from an ACL knee injury you would be better off choosing a basketball knee brace as they offer much more lateral support to the knee joint.

OPTION 2 - Choosing A Knee Pads

Most basketball knee pads offer all the benefits of compression knee sleeves plus offer extra protection against direct impact from contact and collision

Knee pads give basketball players the confidence to play lock down defense, drive to the hoop and dive on a loose ball without worrying about suffering contact knee injuries.

Most current NBA players wear basketball knee pads as they help prevent those annoying and very common knee on knee contact injuries that can keep them out of the game for weeks. 

Our pick of the best knee pads/sleeve on the market for basketball players are the GenuTrain NBA knee guard. This knee guard is a cut above any other knee protection wear currently available. It is the choice of many NBA players and the only NBA endorsed knee guard on the market.

OPTION 3 - Choosing A Knee Brace For Basketball

While compression knee sleeves only provide mild stability benefits, knee braces greatly increase the stability of your knees.

Most quality knee braces provide either sewn in or braced lateral and anterior support. Some also have built in patella support and are designed to limit dangerous hyper-extension of the knee joint.

Knee braces are the best option for basketball players who have suffered a significant knee injury such as an ACL tear.

Braces can also help to prevent re-injuries post rehabilitation and help give players the confidence they need to get back out on the court.

One of the most popular basketball knee braces available to purchase online is this great product from Shock Doctor.


Basketball knee protection wear is much more than just a fashion statement. A quality knee guard or brace can provide significant performance and recovery benefits to basketball players who choose to wear one. 

Here are 5 great knee protection products that can help you perform at your best and keep you injury free this basketball season:

#1. GenuTrain NBA Knee Compression Brace With Gel Pad Review

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Product price last updated on 2020-07-13

The Bauerfeind GenuTrain NBA Knee Brace is by far the best knee protective gear that a basketball player can buy. It offers the perfect blend of compression, stability, support and comfort.

This knee guard is made of a specially knit fabric which allows it to maintain its shape and structure long term.

The GenuTrain is made in Germany and  features medical grade compression that improves the blood flow in the leg for endurance and recovery.

Personally I find that the inclusion of the gel patella ring and pad to be most innovating features which set this knee guard apart from the rest. 

I suffered from patella tendinitis for years and since wearing this device I have not had any flare ups.

NBA teams trust the GenuTrain line of products to support their athletes on the court and during knee recovery and rehabilitation.

A must have item for any serious basketball player who wants to protect their knees and invest in their future basketball career.

Key Features
  • Medical grade compression provides stability and promotes recovery
  • Gel patella pad reduces patella tendon pain 
  • Active knit tech material is lightweight, breathable and moisture-wicking 
  • Super comfortable
  • Officially licensed knee guard of the NBA

#2. McDavid Knee Sleeve With Hex Pad Review

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Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads Compression Leg Sleeve for Basketball, Volleyball,...

Product price last updated on 2020-07-13

This large McDavid knee compression sleeve includes a hex pad that protects the knees.

The knee sleeve and pad combo offers the duel advantages of both providing compression to the muscles and providing impact protection.

If you like to take it hard to the hoop or are the type of player who is willing to hit the floor to dive on a loose ball then this is the knee protection wear for you.

Key Features
  • Hex pad protect knee from contact injuries
  • Long length compression sleeves keeps muscles warm
  • Quality moisture wicking material
  • Wide selection of colors to choose from

#3. Shock Doctor Knee Brace Review

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Hinged Knee Brace: Shock Doctor Maximum Support Compression Knee Brace - For ACL/PCL Injuries,...

Product price last updated on 2020-07-13

This popular Shock Doctor knee brace is perfect for basketball players who are recovering from a knee injury and want to reduce the risk of re-injury.

This premium knee brace offers duel hinges for maximal support. The anchors prevent hypertension and over extension. The straps provide excellent lock down.

This Shock Doctor brace is one of the most comfortable knee braces you will find to wear on the basketball court.

It is very well ventilated and the moisture wicking technology keeps it dry while playing. They have even included some antibacterial properties to reduce nasty odors which are a common problem with most knee braces.

If you want to get back on the court after an ACL injury then this is the knee brace for you

Key Features
  • Premium protection and lateral support
  • Great ventiliation
  • Comfortable and lightweight

#4. Combovo Knee Compression Sleeve Review

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Product price last updated on 2020-07-13

These Combovo compression sleeves are a great knee support option for basketball players on a tight budget.

These sleeves are made anti-odor and anti-bacterial fabric that offers nice compression around the knees. They are made of very breathable material which will help keep you cool and dry on the court.

Key Features
  • Great value for money
  • Quality compression material
  • Lightweight

#5. Buckwild Knee Guard Review

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Product price last updated on 2020-07-13

These Bucwild knee compression sleeves come with a built in pad to protect against collision injuries.

These pads come in some crazy colors and designs making them the perfect choice for basketball players who want to stand out on the court.

Most professional basketball leagues limit the colors and patterns that can be worn in games so you probably wont see these been worn in an NBA game anytime soon.

However, if you are the type of player that has game to match these wild knee guards then be sure to pick up a pair today.

Best yet, they are very affordable considering the great quality.

Key Features
  • Large range of colors and styles
  • Quality sweat wicking material
  • Durable

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How Do I Find The Correct Size Knee Guard For Playing Basketball?

It is very important to choose the correct size knee wear in order to get the most comfortable fit and optimal protection.

If you decide to purchase any products through the links on this page you will notice that the manufacturers have provided an easy to follow size guide.

Why Should I Wear A Knee Guard While Playing Basketball?

The basketball knee sleeves, pads and braces provide basketball players with a form of external knee reinforcement plus many other performance and recovery benefits provided by the compression material.

Why Do NBA Players Wear Knee Sleeves and Pads?

Almost every NBA player is now wearing knee guards, ankle guards, mouth guards and other forms of protective equipment. Imagine if you were getting paid millions of dollars per season to play basketball... You would do everything you could to ensure you can stay injury free wouldn't you?

NBA players look at protective equipment such basketball knee guards and other protective equipment as an investment into their future on-court performance.

Even if you are not a professional basketball player wearing a knee guard is still a very worthwhile to invest in your knee health to ensure that you can keep playing ball for many years to come.

What Knee Braces Do NBA Players Wear?

Most NBA players choose to wear the Bauerfeind GenuTrain knee brace as it is the only knee protection wear endorsed by the NBA.  There are many reasons why this is a preferred option for NBA players after a quality knee guard. If you have read our complete knee brace buyers guide above you would know exactly why it is a cut above the rest.

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Product price last updated on 2020-07-13

Why Do Basketball Players Wear One Knee Pad?

Back in the day basketball players would only wear one knee guard or brace to help mend an injured knee. Some players also choose to wear a long compression knee sleeve on one leg to cover a wound.

However, in the recent era of basketball the wearing of one knee guard only has become a trend. You will see this trend played out in many junior basketball competitions around the nation.

Therefore, most basketball players know seem to be wearing one knee sleeve for vanity reasons rather than for injury rehabilitation or prevention.

Why Do Basketball Players Wear Knee Bands Under Their Kneecaps?

Many basketball players wear a band under their knee cap to help provide support and reduce pain within the patella tendon. This band is commonly known as a patella strap or a patella bands. Patella bands sit under the knee and often have an adjustable knee strap which allows you to add graduated compression to your patella tendon.

Many basketball players will experience patella tendinitis, jumpers knee and Osgood-Schlatter disease over their careers.

These knee conditions can be very debilitating and severely reduce on-court performance. 

Wearing a basketball patella knee band can help people with knee troubles play through pain that otherwise may be a limiting factor.

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McDavid Knee Support Strap Band, Pain Relief, Patella Tendon Support, Tendonitis, Jumpers Knee...

Product price last updated on 2020-07-13


We hope you have found this buyers guide helpful in allowing you to find the best basketball knee support and protection wear currently available.

You should now have better idea of the differences in the features and benefits that the most popular knee support products have to offer. 

As you can see, these quality basketball knee sleeves, pads and braces offer a range of different features and benefits.

If you are recovering from a knee injury and want to get back out on the basketball court a brace such as the Shock Doctor may be the best choice for you as it offers premium stabilization and support.

If you are like most pro basketball players and just want to prevent niggling knee bruises and bumps I recommended picking up either the incredible GenuTrain knee guards. These knee pads can help boost confidence on the court and allow you to attack the rim like Russell Westbrook without fear of contact. They can also make for a great gift idea for a basketball player you know.

Be sure to check back in to this page in the future as we regularly update the post with the latest and greatest basketball knee braces, sleeves and pads on the market.

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