5 Best Unloader Knee Braces for Running

Unlike other knee brace types, the unloader knee braces help patients like athletes whose active lifestyle becomes compromised by knee and muscles pains around the knee area. In the following article, we’ll look at five of the best unloader knee braces for running despite having osteoarthritic pains.

Also read: 5 Best Knee Braces for Torn ACL (Before and After Surgery)

1. Ossur Unloader One OTS OA Knee Brace

Ossur Unloader One OTS OA Knee Brace

Ossur is a trusted knee brace manufacturer with a host of other knee brace models in the market, but the Unloader OTS OA stands out and is one of the very best on the market. It’s designed to treat mild to serious uni-compartmental osteoarthritis along with other knee conditions and is ideal for running.

The OTS OA has a minimal lightweight design ideal to be worn under clothing and can be used for different activities of varying intensity. Ossur made this particular brace elegant and more low-profile yet incorporated it with newer technologies.

One feature that stands this model out is the dual dynamic force straps that enhance its unloading capabilities, with easily adjustable SmartDosing control dials that make it easier for patients to easily and effectively manage pain and stress relief.

Another impressive feature of this knee braces is flexible straps that make it easy to wear and remove. The traps are also perforated and hence breathable, making them ideal for running.

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2. DonJoy OA Everyday Knee Brace

DonJoy OA Everyday Knee Brace

Just like Ossur, DonJoy is an equally reliable and reputable brand in the orthopedic and knee brace industry. The DonJoy Everyday braces also feature a lightweight easy-to-use design with quick release straps. They’re ideal for patients with severe or mild osteoarthritic pain and provide stability and pain relief.

These braces also feature elescoping condyle pad’ that allows patients to fine-tune the level of unloading required as per the activity in which they’re engaged. They also feature an ergonomic sweeping medial thigh and calf frame and thermoformed suede padding for comfort.

The DONJOY OA Everyday makes use of a 3-point load redistribution to spread the load, provide relief and enable greater flexibility and mobility.

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3. BraceAbility OA Knee Brace

BraceAbility OA Knee Brace

The BraceAbility OA knee braces are an innovative and affordable model by BraceAbility that are quite innovative and unloading both mild and severe osteoarthritic symptoms. These are not necessarily as low-profile as the Ossur Unloader but are quite lightweight and effective for their cheaper price point.

Read more: Best Compression Knee Sleeves and Braces for Meniscus Tears

These braces feature a laterally aligned hinged knee design to correct both lateral and nside’ and medial or utside’ compartmental arthritis and minimize side-to-side movement. The braces are also easy-to-apply and remove with quick release buckles. Then hinged and slightly bigger design is what makes these braces ideal for running as they provide support.

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4. Bledsoe Z12 OA Knee Brace

Bledsoe Z12 OA Knee Brace

The Bledsoe Z12 osteoarthritis knee brace is dual-upright brace designed for OA patients with an active lifestyle, especially the runners. It also features a condoyle adjustment device so you can adjust the unloading power by up to 6 degrees of load correction.

What makes this a runner’s brace is the dual-upright design that provides enhanced knee support and ligament stability. The brace is ideal for both medial and lateral osteoarthritis. The Z12 also is very lightweight, with its frame made of magnesium, and this further makes it ideal for running as well as and other athletic activities.

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5. Breg Fusion OA Plus Knee Brace

Breg Fusion OA Plus Knee Brace

Breg’s Fusion OA Plus is ideally designed for patients with medial compartmental osteoarthritis; which means the OA is on the inside part of the knee. Breg also provides the Fusion OA Plus for lateral OA that affects the outside of the knee.

This brace has a low-profile but hinged frame that “fuses” with the knee to provide an adaptive instead of disruptive support. One of its most prominent features is the AirTech frame pads that facilitate proper ventilation and air flow. The pads have minuscule windows cut-out in channels within the pads move air and moisture out of the leg leaving it cool and comfortable. This feature makes them a good candidate as a running brace. The Fusion OA Plus also provides effective protection against any further knee or muscle injuries.

It also a features a thumb-wheel dial so you can adjust the unloader abilities to match your activity levels.

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You might be interested: Knee Sleeves vs Knee Wraps vs Knee Braces – What is the Difference?


The market presents an array of different unloader kneecaps with different features and price points and these are the best of the bunch. Settle for the unloader that best fits your budget while still providing value and matches your comfort requirements.

Matt Rollans

Matt Rollans

Matt has been doing Crossfit since 2015and is the founder of Rxdsleeves.com. He has competed in multiple competitions throughout his community. He has made it his mission to provide the best, high quality and honest reviews of crossfit products out there on the market.
Matts PRs can be found on the about page http://www.rxdsleeves.com/about/
Matt Rollans