If you are a regular or professional basketball player, your basketball protection gear should be your biggest investment. You need the best knee brace, pads, and sleeves for basketball to offer maximum protection and comfort so that you can be worry-free on the court.

This article brings you a selection of top knee braces, pads, and sleeves so that you can take fast breaks, dives, and make your way through the court traffic fearlessly and confidently. We have tried, tested, and researched tens of protective gear for basketball, and chose the following 9 ones.

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Product

Why Choose?

Score

Check The Price


McDavid Maximum Support Knee Brace with Hinges

Best Overall Knee Brace

4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

McDavid 6440 Hex Knee Pads

Best Overall Knee Pads

4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

McDavid 6446 Hex Knee Compression Sleeves

Best Overall Knee Sleeves

4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Bauerfeind Sports Compression Knee Brace

Best Knee Brace for Youth Basketball

4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Mikasa 832JR Competition Knee Pads

Best Alternative Knee Pads

4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

COOLOMG Protective Knee Sleeves

Best Alternative Knee Sleeves

4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

TechWare Pro Knee Brace

Best Budget Knee Brace

4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads

Another Knee Pads To Consider

4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

MODVEL Knee Sleeves

Another Knee Sleeves To Consider

4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

McDavid Maximum Support Knee Brace with Hinges – Best Overall Knee Brace

SCORE: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

McDavid Maximum Support Knee Brace with Hinges

This McDavid knee brace uses several hinges and straps to provide maximum but strategic external support to the knee joint, ligaments, and the patella. There are steel hinges on either side of the knee to prevent excessive knee extension and lateral movement, which can stretch the injured or inflamed ligaments.

The edges completely bind the knee joint, and the straps help the maximum level of adjustment. These also prevent irritation of the skin and the uncomfortable feeling of having something on the most mobile joint of the body.

There is a 360 degrees buttress with padded margins to provide extra support for the patellar bone and tendon. The elastic straps provide a sufficient range of comfortable movement while keeping the vulnerable muscles and tendons warm and compressed. This thermal compression is crucial for injured, inflamed, and stiff knee conditions as it helps with faster healing and prevents re-injuries.

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Pros

  • Elastic straps provide room for adjustment
  • The padded buttress supports the patellar bone and ligament
  • Back panel fabric manages moisture and heat
  • Thermal compression provides healing and protection
  • Unisex; suitable for both men and women

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Cons

  • Does not ship in pairs
  • Not the most budget-friendly option

McDavid 6440 Hex Knee Pads – Best Overall Knee Pads

SCORE: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

McDavid 6440 Hex Knee Pads

McDavid 6440 knee pads feature the hexagonal foam cell technology, which is their biggest selling point. These cushion cells provide comfortable fitting as compared to one hard knee pad that would interfere with knee movement.

Another great feature is the soft and thin, moisture-wicking fabric that keeps you cool and dry. The amount of compression and cushion these knee pads provide is surprising given the soft and thin fabric. You can see that they are ideal for people with a history of knee injury such as ACL, as the cushion and compression effect can help a great deal in healing. This pair of pads can also be used as elbow and shin pads.

McDavid 6440 knee pads are available in seven different sizes, which, honestly, is a wide range! Make sure you buy yourself one size up for comfortable movement as the knee pads have been designed for an optimum compression effect.

 If you are the type of basketball player who goes for the dives, this pair of knee pads have to be in your basketball protective gear!

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Pros

  • Hexagonal cushion foam cells for protection
  • Soft and thin fabric that stays cool and dry
  • Seven different sizing options
  • Packaged as a pair
  • Reliable compression effect to facilitate healing of injuries

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Cons

  • Sizing can be a bit tricky

McDavid 6446 Hex Knee Compression Sleeves – Best Overall Knee Sleeves

SCORE: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

McDavid knee compression sleeves are just an elongated version of the McDavid hex knee pads we have discussed above. These entertain those who want better coverage of the thigh and shin and a better compression effect.

These sleeves use the same hex technology and hence the knee pads for protection against impacts and injuries. The Hydra Vent hDc moisture management technology plays a more prominent role here as the fabric extends on the larger part of the legs, keeping them dry, cool, and comfortable.

The sleeves provide extended protection against cuts and bruises, and the compression effect keeps the muscles warm. Warm muscles resist fatigue and recover faster post-game. Also, the fabric fits just right for optimum compression and is non-slip so that no matter how long you stay in the field or how sweaty you get, your knee sleeves keep you comfortable and safe.

The sleeves come with six different sizing options. For comfortable fitting, you have to size up for these too if you fall in the larger size range.

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Pros

  • Closed cell knee padding offers optimum protection
  • Enhanced coverage protects against cuts and scrapes
  • Potent compression effect for reduced fatigue
  • Six different sizing options
  • Moisture management keeps the legs cool and dry

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Cons

  • Tricky sizing; larger sizes offer too much compression

Bauerfeind Sports Compression Knee Brace – Best Knee Brace for Youth Basketball

SCORE: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Bauerfeind Sports Compression Knee Brace

There is hardly anything better than Bauerfeind when it comes to knee braces, which is why they are the most trusted brand by NBA players. This specific knee brace strikes the perfect balance between premium quality and a reasonable price.

Unlike all other knee brace brands that use neoprene, Bauerfeind uses the 3D knit tech fabric which is manufactured by the brand supervisors. This technology makes the fabric extremely lightweight, soft on the skin, and breathable, while it contours your body seamlessly.

When you move, this knee brace massages the muscles gently to allow efficient blood circulation for better endurance and recovery.

Two silicone grip bands keep the knee brace in place even when you are dribbling through the traffic on the court! This knee brace, being the officially licensed knee brace of the NBA, provides extended coverage, compression, stability, and comfort. Young players can definitely rely on this knee brace for the best performance and comfortable experience on the basketball court.

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Pros

  • 3D knit tech-fabric; lightweight and protective
  • Gentle massage and compression effect provide better endurance
  • Extended coverage like a sleeve
  • Snug and comfortable fitting; moves with the joint

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Cons

  • This knee brace is on the premium side of price tags

Mikasa 832JR Competition Knee Pads – Best Alternative Knee Pads

SCORE: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Mikasa 832JR Competition Knee Pads

Mikasa knee pads are specifically popular among young basketball players. They are not medicated; nor do they offer too much compression. However, the thick material with thick paddings makes them a favorite for the level of protection they provide.

This pair of pads use elastic knit material which is comfortable to wear for long basketball games. The elasticity of the material also offers a snug fitting, providing room for sufficient adjustment with the knee shape and size. This snug conformation also allows you to move freely in these, without any restraints or heavy feeling.

Since the material is thick nylon-knit with uniform padding, you can expect warmth and mediocre compression. Together these hold your knee stable, protecting against extreme medial and lateral movements. The warm temperature also helps in faster healing with any mild inflammation and stiff muscles.

This knit fabric is soft and breathable, and it does not let sweat accumulate and produce odor. If you are looking for a low-profile, basic knee pad that offers mediocre compression, stability, and warmth, Mikasa 832JR knee pads will do the job for you.

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Pros

  • Nylon knit material; light and soft
  • Mediocre compression and sufficient stability
  • Thick paddings for protection
  • Antimicrobial, breathable, and moisture resistant

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Cons

  • The knee pad is equally thick at the front and back

COOLOMG Protective Knee Sleeves – Best Alternative Knee Sleeves

SCORE: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

COOLOMG Protective Knee Sleeves

COOLOMG knee sleeves are a rather budget option for those who want dependable quality for a nice price. The fabric uses ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) for elasticity and flexibility and better durability. EVA is mixed with resins to reduce the probability of tearing with abrasions and impacts with the ground.

With the honeycomb knee pad structure, you can pull it easily up your shin and the sleeve conforms almost effortlessly with the shape of the knee. Due to the elastane and spandex content in the fabric, the sleeve won’t move an inch no matter how many hours you keep them on.

The construction of the sleeve provides a graded compression effect so that the muscles stay warm and protected against pulls and strains. The elastic and flexible polyester and spandex-based fabric also tend to retain the knee pad better.

COOLOMG uses a standard sizing method depending on the circumference of your thigh. Measure it 5 centimeters above the knee cap. Choose the size with the closest dimensions.

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Pros

  • Standard sizing method
  • Elastic and flexible material fits like a second skin
  • Honeycomb knee pad provides extra stability and protection
  • Graded compression for medical benefits

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Cons

  • Moisture-wicking abilities are not as dependable as McDavid’s

TechWare Pro Knee Brace – Best Budget Knee Brace

SCORE: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

TechWare Pro Knee Brace

For a low-profile knee brace, without any complicated situation of hinges and huge price tags, TechWare Pro knee brace support is the best option you can avail yourself of.

The style and construction are pretty straightforward, but this knee brace keeps up the game of comfort, support, stability, and protection. You can choose out of five available sizes to find the best compression and fitting.

The fabric uses neoprene for lightweight make-up, and the bi-directional strap system keeps the mediolateral movement of the knee in check. The brand claims that this knee brace is suitable for patients with inflammatory joint diseases such as arthritis. It may do for some patients, but for medical benefits, you need knee braces with more advanced features such as thermal compression.

This knee brace is the simplest way to protect your knee on the court while using maximum constriction for sufficient compression. The strategically-placed open patella design also helps a great deal with knee pain and stiffness, while supporting the knee while running and jumping.

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Pros

  • Affordable
  • Low-profile; easy to use
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Straps and silicone strips keep the brace in place
  • Open patella design for external support

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Cons

  • Compression is not ideal

Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads – Another Knee Pads To Consider

SCORE: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads

Bodyprox knee pads are known for their ergonomic design. Each pair has separate right and left sides, which fit like skin to allow a maximum range of movements even for an injured knee.

The fabric construction uses EVA, polyester, and rubber for durability, flexibility, and elasticity. the knee paddings use high-quality foam, which is strong enough to protect against impacts, collisions, and tendon pulls due to frequent bending.

The best feature of these Bodyprox protective pads is the making and ergonomics, which together provide a breathable, comfortable experience. They feel so light in weight that you will not even feel that you have your knee pads on.

In addition to the physical protection, these knee pads also protect the muscles and joints from getting stiff and fatigued by keeping them warm. Bodyprox knee pads come in two sizes only, which works well thanks to the elastic and flexible construction. This makes your choice easy, but some people may not fall in any of these size ranges!

These knee pads provide great grip and are non-slip, but you cannot rely on them for compression benefits.

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Pros

  • Great value for money
  • The foam pads are breathable and easy to maintain
  • Ergonomic design and flexible fabric construction provide comfort
  • The knee pads keep the muscles and joints warm and protected

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Cons

  • Only two sizing options are available
  • These knee pads are not ideal for compression benefits

MODVEL Knee Sleeves – Another Knee Sleeves To Consider

SCORE: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

MODVEL Knee Sleeves

This knee sleeve ships in pairs, and is ideal for those looking for extraordinary compression to facilitate the healing of an injured knee joint. If you are looking for something that functions like a knee brace for support and looks like a knee sleeve for compression and comfort, MODVEL knee sleeves will help you out.

The knee sleeves use non-slip silicone grip waves to prevent the fabric from bunching when you are moving a lot on the basketball court. The latex and spandex fabric content keeps the moisture away and keeps you cool and comfortable. MODVEL calls it a four-way stretch fabric as it allows maximum elasticity while staying wearable underneath workout leggings.

The best feature of this pair of sleeves is the ample compression, which provides reliable support and stability to the joint and ligaments. You may also feel that it is a bit on the thicker side of fabric construction, but remember, that’s what you need for healing your injuries.

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Pros

  • Affordable
  • The sleeves fit snugly, but comfortably
  • 7 different sizes and 9 different color schemes
  • 4-way stretch fabric for a wide range of movement
  • Non-slip; moisture-wicking fabric
  • Extraordinary compression and stability

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Cons

  • Does not feature knee cap cushions or paddings for protection
  • The fabric is a bit thick

Choosing the Best Knee Brace, Pads, and Sleeves for Basketball – Our Buying Guide

You should consider the following factors when buying knee brace, pads, and sleeves:

Mobility

Protective gear for basketball should not limit your movement in any way. Knee braces sure are supposed to prevent excessive lateral and medial rotational movements of the knee to prevent ligament injuries but this should not stop you from taking a dive or running faster.

Knee sleeves and pads should in fact help you be the best version of yourself on a basketball court, by keeping your muscles warm and comfortable. Players use knee braces when they are going through a knee injury and are in the process of healing.

Durability

Basketball protective gear especially knee braces do not come for a small price. Since basketball is a high-contact sport, involving a lot of mobility and sweat, this investment is totally worth it. At the same time, the knee sleeves, pads, and braces should stay a long time with you. The durability of your protective gear hence is a very important game changer.

Comfort

No matter how hot or cold, you are definitely going to sweat during an intense game of basketball. Knee sleeves, braces, and pads should be lightweight and soft enough to keep you cool and dry while cushioning against impact and falls at the same time.

If you are dealing with knee pains or healing injuries, knee braces and pads should also be able to ease the pain. High-quality knee pads and braces such as McDavid’s use elastic straps, hinges, and paddings to keep the sore and inflamed muscles warm and protected.

Best Knee Brace, Pads, and Sleeves for Basketball – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do basketball players need knee sleeves?

Basketball is a physical sport that exposes you to impacts and contact injuries. So, yes – basketball players need knee sleeves for protection against fatigue and injuries.

How tight a knee sleeve should be?

Knee sleeves are made to fit tight and snug to provide sufficient compression, however, they should not be tight enough to impede your movement, especially while performing sports.

Final Thoughts

If you play basketball as your love or profession, the above list of the best knee brace, pads, and sleeves for basketball will help you protect yourself and improve your performance on the court. Knee sleeves offer mediocre protection and better compression, while knee pads and braces are better for injuries and safety.

Once you figure out your priorities, you can easily make a wise choice for yourself!

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