Ball Till We Fall is supported by readers. When you buy with our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

Top 10 Best Knee Guards (Sleeves, Pads, and Braces) For Basketball Players [2020 Buyers Guide & Reviews]

Best Knee Guards, Pads and protectors For Basketball Players

By Ball Till We Fall, Last Updated March 24, 2022

Category: Basketball Clothing & Accessories, Basketball Products


Welcome to the ultimate buyer's guide to basketball knee support gear. In this guide we are going to introduce you to a range of the current top 10 best basketball knee sleeves, pads, straps and braces that can help keep your knees healthy this season. We will also teach you how to choose the best knee guards for your particular on and off court performance and recovery needs.
Our Top Pick
Best Choice Knee Protection Guard For Basketball Players
GenuTrain NBA Compression Knee Sleeve/Brace

The Ultimate Basketball Knee Brace For Serious Ballers

The Bauerfeind GenuTrain is the knee brace trusted by NBA athletes and pro triainers. It is the only officially liscensed knee brace of the NBA. This is by far the best basketball knee brace on the market. Expensive, but well worth the investment.

Also Great
Top Basketball Knee Guard Winner
McDavid Knee Sleeves w/ Hex Pad

Hex Protection To Keep You Safe While Going Hard In The Paint

The McDavid Knee Sleeves W/Hex Pad have been a favorite among basketball players around the world. The hex padding protects your knees from impact and the extended length of sleeve protects leg from scrapes and cuts.

Budget Pick
Best Budget Knee Guards For Basketball Players
Combovo Knee Compression Sleeve

A High Quality Basketball Knee Guard At An Affordable Price

The Combovo Knee Sleeve sleeves are designed with anti-slip silicone waves on the top for superior comfort. This sleeve is made of the same premium material that is used in many of the more expensive knee braces.


  1. 1
    Best Overall Basketball Knee Guard = Genutrain
  2. 2
    Best Basketball Knee Pad = Mc David Hex Pad
  3. 3
    Best Budget Basketball Knee Guard = Combovo
  4. 4
    Best Post Injury Basketball Knee Brace = Shock Doctor
  5. 5
    Best Aesthetic Basketball Knee Guard = BuckWild


Knee Sleeve To prevent basketball injuries

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

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. 

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 10 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.

Summary List Of The Top 10 Best Basketball Knee Sleeves, Pads, Braces & Straps Of 2020

Here is a quick look at the current top 10 best basketball knee wear items 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.

See What's In This Guide...

Table Of Contents

What Are Basketball Knee Sleeves and Pads For, and How Can They Help You On The Basketball Court?

Wearing knee compression sleeves, guards, straps, 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.


We will get to the top 10 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 and playing style.

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

OPTION 1 - Why You Should Consider Choosing To Wear 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.

Best-Selling Basketball Knee Sleeves:

[amazon bestseller="basketball knee sleeve" items="2"]

OPTION 2 - Why You Should Consider Choosing To Wear Knee Pads For Basketball

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.

Best-Selling Basketball Knee Pads:

[amazon bestseller="basketball knee pad" items="2"]

OPTION 3 - Why You Should Consider Choosing To Wear 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.

Best-Selling Basketball Knee Braces:

[amazon bestseller="hinged knee brace" items="2"]

OPTION 4 - Why You Should Consider Choosing To Wear A Patella Tendon Strap For Basketball

Patella tendon straps are a band-like devices which wraps around the bottom of the knee . This band applies pressure to the tendon. This band helps to spread pressure across a larger area and take stress off of the sore area of the patellar tendon. These straps are very helpful for basketball players suffering from the the very common "jumpers knee".

Best-Selling Patella Tendon Straps:

[amazon bestseller="patella strap" items="2"]


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 10 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

[amazon box="B07L18JFM7" template="vertical"]

"It is easy to see why NBA teams trust the GenuTrain line of products to support their athletes on the court and during knee recovery and rehabilitation. This is 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

Review Summary

The Bauerfeind GenuTrain NBA Knee Brace is by far the best knee brace 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.

At the time of writing this post the Genutrain Basketball Knee Guard had an average customer rating of 4.6 out of 5.  You can learn exactly how it works, read reviews here on Amazon .

#2. McDavid Knee Sleeve With Hex Pad Review

[amazon box="B008BJ7KPU" template="vertical"]

"The hex knee pad is a very popular option in the basketball community. They just look great on the court. It is also a smart option as it can prevent contact knee injuries"

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

Review Summary

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.

At the time of writing this post this McDavid basketball knee sleeve had an average customer rating of 4.3 out of 5.  You can learn exactly how it works, read reviews here on Amazon .

#3. Shock Doctor Knee Brace

[amazon box="B00598YB3A" template="vertical"]

"The Shock Doctor knee brace has the perfect blend of high comfort and high level of support for athletes recovering from problematic knee injuries who are ready to return to action ."

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

Review Summary

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

At the time of writing this post this Shock Doctor basketball knee brace had an average customer rating of 4.3 out of 5.  You can learn exactly how it works, read reviews here on Amazon .

#4. Combovo Knee Compression Sleeve

[amazon box="B07G24KZ65" template="vertical"]

"The Combovo brace is a great knee support option for baller's on a budget. If you are after comfort and support at a great price this is the knee sleeve for you"

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

Review Summary

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.

At the time of writing this post the Combovo basketball knee brace had an average customer rating of 4.4 out of 5.  You can learn exactly how it works, read reviews here on Amazon .

#5. Buckwild Knee Guard

[amazon box="B07G3GXP3Q" template="vertical"]

"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."

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

Review Summary

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

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.

At the time of writing this post the Bucwild basketball knee pad had an average customer rating of 4.2 out of 5.  You can learn exactly how it works, read reviews here on Amazon .

#6. Mcdavid Knee Support Strap

[amazon box="B000UVVY0Y" template="vertical"]

"The McDavid knee support strap is a great option for basketball players who are dealing with pain directly under the knee cap. This pain is often referred to as jumpers knee or patella tendinitis."

Key Features
  • Pressure strap relieves symptoms from patella tendinitis
  • Innovative tubular, non-slip buttress applies constant uniform compression
  • Comfortable to wear
  • One size fits all

Review Summary

The McDavid Patella Tendon Strap is the perfect choice for athletes suffering from patella tendonitis otherwise known as "jumpers knee" (pain under the kneecap). This strap is designed to deliver direct tendon pressure for supportive pain relief.

At the time of writing this post the McDavid basketball knee support strap had an average customer rating of 4.4 out of 5.  You can learn exactly how it works, read reviews here on Amazon .

#7. NEENCA Knee Brace

[amazon box="B07R725272" template="vertical"]

"The Neenca knee sleeve is a great choice for basketball players who want comfort and knee support at an affordable price"

Key Features
  • Anatomically contoured patella gel pads surrounds the kneecap
  • Double-sided metal spring stabilizers fit tightly with your knee joint
  • High-elastic tight and breathable compression fabric

Review Summary

The Neenca Knee Brace is a budget version of the super popular NBA Genutrain Knee Brace (the officially licensed basketball sleeve of the NBA). It comes with lateral stability guides and a soft silicone gel knee protector. This brace lacks the quality finish of a high end brace but is definitely a great choice for ballers on a budget.

At the time of writing this post the Neenca basketball knee support had an average customer rating of 4.4 out of 5.  You can learn exactly how it works, read reviews here on Amazon .

#8. Mueller Max Knee Strap

[amazon box="B002WS49FA" template="vertical"]

"The Mueller Max Knee Strap is an innovative device that supports both the quadriceps above the knee and the tendons below the knee. Great for sufferers of jumpers knee"

Key Features
  • Lightweight, breathable and comfortable support
  • One size fits most
  • Multiple compression tubes to target patella and quad pain

Review Summary

The Mueller Max Knee Strap has duel compression tubes that provide pain relief within the patella tendon and quadriceps muscle. It is also designed to help maintain proper patella tracking and quadriceps alignment.

At the time of writing this post the Mueller knee strap had an average customer rating of 4.3 out of 5.  You can learn exactly how it works, read reviews here on Amazon .

#9. UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve

[amazon box="B019ZK0WS0" template="vertical"]

"The Uflex is a great light weight option for basketball players who need support and don't want to be weighed down."

Key Features
  • Provides pain relief and moderate support
  • The sleeve adds warmth, limits patella movement
  • Can increase proprioception

Review Summary

UFlex Athletics has combined the newest technology with highest quality materials to produce this super comfy knee support. This knee sleeve is designed to reduce inflammation and swelling, soreness, stiffness, and has heating effect for muscular recovery. 

At the time of writing this post the Uflex knee guard had an average customer rating of 4.5 out of 5.  You can learn exactly how it works, read reviews here on Amazon .

#10. Colorful Basketball Knee Sleeves/Pads

[amazon box="B08DFYQQGG" template="vertical"]

"If you love to be the center of attention when you're on the court then these are the knee sleeves for you.."

Key Features
  • Knee pads have special honeycomb pad shock absorption
  • Extended Leg Sleeve length for a better fit
  • Range of colors and design available

Review Summary

This range of super colorful and eye catching Knee Sleeves are sure to get attention on the court. 

You can see all of the cool designs here on Amazon .

Deal Of The Day

Jump Higher and Dunk! 

Get Vert Shock Today For Only $67 (Regular Price $138)

Gift for basketball fans


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 guardsmouth 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.

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.


[amazon bestseller="basketball knee sleeves" items="3"]


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.


>> See All Posts In Basketball Equipment and Gear:

Related Posts:

Check It Out

Check It Out

About the Author

Our goal is to provide basketball enthusiasts with free access to the content, skills, and gear they need to level up their game, basketball I.Q and on/off-court swag. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the game or if you’ve been ballin' out for decades, we have everything you need to get your basketball fix.

  • Rodriguez Icahn says:

    I have always wondered if basketball players wear knee guards for show or if they actually serve a purpose. I’ve had some bad knee tendon pain. Do you think the Genutrain would help with this or would I be better going for an under the knee strap? Do these straps tend to slide down when playing basketball? Thanks

    • Ball Till We Fall says:

      Hi Rodriguez, both the Genutrain or a tendon strap would offer some relief from jumpers’ knee. The strap is more targeted to the tendon pain you are experiencing. They do not fall down and are quite comfortable. I hope that helps.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}



    + MUCH MORE...