Knees play a significant role in your everyday activities, whether you are just walking, running, playing sports and even doing simple things like going up and down stairs. Sometimes these activities can put a real strain on your knees, especially if you have injured them at some point or another. If your knee pain is on the milder side, sometimes you can get enough relief during those activities with a simple knee sleeve. However, if the pain or injury to your knee is significant enough, a knee sleeve may not be enough and it might be time to consider going a step further. Further down in today’s article, we’ll cover some amazing and cheap hinged knee braces that can help. (Just to be clear, we do not mean “cheap” in the sense of material or design, we just mean that they are affordable and a good bang for your buck when it comes to the benefits they give you). But before we do that, here is some information on hinged knee braces that you should consider before buying one.
What Are Hinged Knee Braces?
A hinged knee brace is a knee support designed with rigid bars on each side of the brace with a “hinge” in the middle of each bar. Here’s an example of what the hinge looks like:
The main purpose of the rigid bars is to prevent excess left/right movement, and in some cases, they also limit front to back movement (e.g.: in case of a knee hyperextension injury). This design provides a lot more support and stability to your knees compared to a regular knee sleeve. If you’ve been shopping around for a knee brace, you most likely noticed that there are different types available and sometimes it can be confusing as to which one you should get. Here’s a quick overview of the main types of hinged knee braces:
- Standard – These are more day-to-day braces that don’t perform any specific function other than what we mentioned above (i.e.: limit the side to side and front to back movement).
- Functional – Typically, functional braces are hinged knee braces that are designed with a specific function in mind, which is to prevent and support specific ligament issues (ACL, MCL, PCL and LCL). For example, if you have previously torn and sprained your Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), then you should look into getting a brace that specifically supports your ACL. If this is something you are interested in, have a look at our ACL knee brace recommendations.
- Rehabilitative – Sometimes called “post-op knee braces”, these braces generally have a locking mechanism built into the hinge, which allows you to lock the brace at a certain degree. For example, immediately after knee surgery your surgeon will most likely recommend that you lock your leg in a straight position to limit knee movement. As you are going through the recovery process, you will eventually lock the brace at lesser degrees, which allows you to bend your knee but only to a certain degree.
- Arthritis / Osteoarthritis – Again, these are often hinged knee braces with one specific purpose in mind, which is to unload some of the weight from your knee to your thigh. This takes a lot of pressure off your knee which should give you a significant amount of relief.
Top 3 Cheap Hinged Knee Braces
The purpose of today’s article isn’t to recommend what type of hinged knee brace you should get (i.e.: arthritis vs functional, etc.). That should be discussed with your doctor or physician, since they know and understand your situation better than anyone else. Our goal today is to explain what they are, which we’ve just done, and to introduce some fantastic cheap hinged knee braces that are not only affordable, but have worked extremely well for many people. Keep reading to see what those are.
McDavid 422 Knee Brace with Dual Disk Hinges
- No Gears; each sidearm is independently articulated with cushioned hyperextension stops
- McDavid's lightest hinge: Made with wider arms to aid in maintaining strength.Engineered straps assure personalized fit
- Latex-Free neoprene provides compression and therapeutic heat.Open 360 degree padded buttress isolates and supports the patella
McDavid is a well-known brand when it comes to the knee brace industry. They are famous for producing high-quality comfortable knee braces and offer a full line of knee supports, and the McDavid 422 Knee Brace with Dual Disk Hinges is no exception. When it comes to protecting your knee, this knee brace does a great job. Right from its padded buttress to its lightweight dual-disk hinges, it doesn’t disappoint.
Unlike other knee braces out there, the McDavid 422 Knee Brace with Dual Disk Hinges does not have any gears – each side arm is solely articulated, meaning any accidental hypertension is kept under control. Additionally, each side is cushioned which gives you a non-restrictive fit.
The McDavid 422 Knee Brace is extremely lightweight and features two adjustable hook and loop straps (one at the top and another at the bottom) – this enables you to adjust the knee brace depending on the level of support you need. It is also extremely breathable, which is great for people who tend to get heat rashes from wearing knee supports for too long. Normal moisture build-up caused by excessive sweating is minimized thanks to its perforated back panel.
Mueller Hg80 Hinged Knee Brace
- Upper strapping system locks brace in position
- Triaxial hinges provide maximum protection with near-normal knee motion
- Anti-slip inner grip slips help prevent brace migration
The Muller Hg80 Hinged Knee Brace is another outstanding cheap hinged knee brace worth considering. This product is a slip-on brace with adjustable straps at the top as well as at the bottom helping you secure it as much as you want – hence ensuring it does not slip off during physical activities and sports. Also, the Muller Hg80 Hinged Knee Brace features triaxial hinges on both sides, allowing you to bend and flex your knees smoothly. It also offers medial / lateral support.
This knee brace is made of comfortable Hydracinn material – making it extremely breathable and lightweight. This makes it an excellent choice if you are normally irritated by standard neoprene or latex material. Additionally, the Hydracinn material shapes and forms flawlessly around the leg, hence making it a perfect fit. Mueller also claims that the material is antimicrobial which makes it capable of preventing the build-up of fungus and bacterial growth – making it quite easy to clean. Click here for our full Mueller HG80 hinged knee brace review.
Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Supporter with Bilateral Hinges
- PREVENTS AND PROTECTS - Helps prevent and heal medial and lateral instability, minor patella instability, meniscus injuries, minor ligament sprains, hypertension, arthritis, and more
- MOISTURE AND ODOR PREVENTION - Airflow vented tech to reduce odor, bacteria, and moisture, so you can stay comfortable through the toughest days and workouts
- BOOST MOVEMENT AND COMFORT - Heavy duty bilateral dual hinges provide support while allowing you to move comfortably with four-way stretch Lycra mesh and pre-curved anatomical design, fits left and...
The 875 Ultra Knee Supporter is the most advanced hinged knee brace from Shock Doctor. The bilateral support hinges and the tempered aluminum stays that come with this product offer maximum stability, knee protection, and improved performance so you can carry out your physical activities or sports with a lot of confidence.
Additionally, the 875 Ultra Knee Supporter features N-Tex high airflow neoprene, which helps minimize odors. With two adjustable straps, at the top and bottom of the knee brace, you will be able to adjust it to as tightly as you want. When wearing this knee brace for the very first time, you’ll be surprised by the great support offered by the X-straps used on the back of the brace. Additionally, Shock Doctor has a great lineup of knee braces which offers knee protection for skiing or about any kind of injury, and they are all designed around an identical slip-on style. Click here for our full Shock Doctor 875 knee brace review.
Nowadays, there are so many options available and selecting the right one is critical not only for preventing injuries, but to avoid aggravating existing issues as well. That is why it is extremely important to consult your doctor or physician before going down this road. They know and understand your situation better than us and probably better than you, and only they can tell you what type of brace you need.
Disclaimer – I am not a doctor and I am not qualified to provide medical advice. The information on cheap hinged knee braces provided today was posted for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Read full disclaimer.