Best BJJ Knee Brace [2023] – Complete List

Injuries are inevitable in any sport, let alone one like BJJ, where we simulate murder and mutilation. The knees are among the most common injuries in grappling, second only to minor joint problems.

While the doctor will always tell you to completely recover from an injury before getting back to training, we all know this will not happen.

Thankfully, equipment such as knee braces can help you get back on the mats quicker after a knee injury. They can be used pre-emptively to prevent injuries, make reinjuring more unlikely, and aid recovery.

There are different knee braces suitable for BJJ, and the main factor in choosing is the level and type of protection you need, so there isn't a single model that is the best for every problem.

We've researched and tried some of the most popular knee braces to help you make a good choice and not lose mat time more than necessary.

Key Takeaways

  • Baurefeind is the gold standard knee brace and has a protective gel pad for your knee cap.
  • If you're on a budget, NEENCA make a knee brace similar to Baurefeind. 
  • If you're only looking for compression to keep your knees warm and secure, Modvel is your solution.
Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Brace

Best BJJ Knee Brace

NEENCA Professional Knee Brace

Best Budget Knee Brace With Stabilizers

Modvel Knee Sleeve

Best Knee Sleeve



‎Knit blend

Lightweight air knit fabric w/ anti-slip gel

Nylon and latex blend


Padded knee cap

Padded knee cap

No pad


Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Brace

Baurefeind is the gold standard for knee braces and offers many models with different levels of protection.

For BJJ training, the Genu Train is the perfect fit for most people and helps with all kinds of injuries, from instability to strains, tears, and ligament damage.

The brand is German, and the products are made there, which is a guarantee for excellent quality. 

The ultra-soft fabric features a special Bauerfeind knit, breathable, and moisture-wicking properties.

The patella pad is called Omega+, and it holds the kneecap in place and reduces edema and swelling.

Meniscus Wings provide targeted massage and pain relief to the joint space. Hoffa Pads stimulate the infrapatellar fat pad to promote the body's natural healing mechanism.

The only downside is the price, which is higher than most other competitors. But if you want the best quality and protection, Baurefeind is the answer, and more than a few high-caliber fighters and BJJ athletes trust the brand.


  • Fabric is light, super comfortable and breathable
  • It offers great lateral stability thanks to the plastic bars
  • Is light and comfortable despite having so much protection
  • The pad is excellent and provides cushioning, patella stability, and meniscus support


  • Quite expensive

Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Brace

Best Budget Knee Brace With Stabilizers

NEENCA Professional Knee Brace

NEENCA Professional Knee Brace

If the price of the Bauerfeind is too steep, the Neenca Professional knee brace is a comparable product at a fraction of the price.

The air-knit fabric is soft, comfortable, and breathable. In addition, there are anti-allergic, non-slip gel strips, which is great news for those with more sensitive skin.

When you get the right size, the knee brace can relieve ACL, MCL, and PCL pain and prevent ligament injury, meniscus tear, swelling, and inflammation.

A key feature for lateral stability is the double-sided metal spring stabilizers. The patella pad is anatomically contoured and great at stabilizing and protecting from bruising.

Overall, the Neenca professional knee brace is very similar in design to the Bauerfeind GenuTrain but much cheaper.

Of course, the materials are not at the level of the German product and will likely not be as durable, but in terms of functionality, the Neenca offers great value for the price.


  • Side spring stabilizers offer excellent lateral support
  • The patella great pads are great for stabilizing the knee cap
  • Breathable, light air knit fabric
  • Great value for the price


  • Not as durable as more expensive models

NEENCA Professional Knee Brace

Best Knee Sleeve

Modvel Knee Brace

Modvel Knee Sleeve

Sometimes compression is enough support, and there Is no need for stabilizing bars or patella pads.

For these occasions, a good quality knee sleeve will do the job, and there are plenty of options on the market, but the Modvel 2 pack is an absolute favorite on Amazon.

The nylon and latex blend makes this knee sleeve lightweight, comfortable and durable. Additionally, the fabric is moisture-wicking and won't hold sweat or bad odors. You get a pair for the price, so one knee does not get left behind.

As I said, there are dozens of great options for a quality knee sleeve, but when you pick the most well-reviewed product on Amazon, you can be sure of its quality.


  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Fabric is moisture-wicking
  • Comes in pair


  • Not as much support, but this goes for all knee sleeves

Modvel Knee Brace

Best Knee Brace With Hinges

Shock Doctor Maximum Support

Shock Doctor Maximum Support

Knee braces with hinges provide optimal support when you need it. If you are recovering from surgery or a bad tear, a product like this may be required, and Shock Doctor offers one of the best braces on the market.

The heavy-duty bilateral dual hinges provide exceptional support while allowing you to move comfortably with four-way stretch Lycra mesh and pre-curved anatomical design.

The material is breathable and comfortable, with two big adjustable straps for the best fit.

Unlike the other models on the list, this knee brace will not allow you to train without obstructions. The overall size, hinges, and straps limit the movement and can be dangerous for training partners.

If you wear this brace, you won't be able to roll freely, but drilling specific things is still possible, and if you are badly injured but still want some mat time, the Shock Doctor brace may allow you to have it.


  • Full stabilization and support
  • High-quality materials and craftsmanship
  • Great for recovery from serious knee injuries


  • The brace is not suitable for sparring and redistricts movement

Shock Doctor Maximum Support

Best Wrestling Knee Pads

Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads

Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads

If your main issue is bruised kneecaps and not sprained ligaments, simple knee pads like those used by wrestlers and volleyball players will be enough.

The Bodyprox protective knee pads are the top product in the segment on Amazon and will be your best friend if you are on a mission to develop a killer double-leg takedown.

There is nothing fancy about these knee pads, but this is part of the design. You get great knee cap protection, breathable fabric, and light compression for just a few bucks.

It's a great idea to have a pair of solid knee pads in your gym bag should the need to use them arise.

Remember that these will likely not offer enough support and stability for injuries, though they are intended to give you surface protection only.


  • Gel pad offers great knee cap protection
  • Gel pad offers great knee cap protection
  • Cheap


  • Not enough stabilization to help with ligament issues

Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads

How To Choose a Knee Brace For BJJ

A knee brace supports and protects the whole knee joint system while providing adequate mobility. The more protective a brace is, the more it restricts movement.

A full brace will completely protect the knee, but you won't be able to train at all, so the most important choice is to pick a brace that corresponds to the level of protection you need.

Based on this, there are different knee brace categories. Technically, a knee brace, a knee pad, and a knee sleeve are different products, but all serve a similar purpose, and we are grouping them under the name knee brace for this article. Here are the different BJJ knee brace types you can get:

  • A compression knee sleeve without patella cushioning
  • A compression knee pad with patella cushioning
  • A compression knee brace with patella cushioning and sidebars for support
  • A knee brace with sidebars and metal hinges
  • Full post-surgery orthopaedic knee brace

As you can see, the level of protection and support vary greatly, and for BJJ training, we usually use compression knee pads with patella cushioning.

These braces provide enough stabilization and protect and support the knee cap while letting you move freely.

If you are returning from an injury, a model with sidebars will be necessary for extra stability.

A simple knee sleeve can be used, but only as a preventive measure. On the other side of the spectrum, the braces with hinges become too bulky and rigid and can hurt a training partner, so they are not usually used during training.

Mostly, if you need a BJJ knee brace for training, it will be one from the second and third categories.

There are braces with great support and an open knee cap, but for BJJ, it's best to go for patella cushioning to help when doing takedowns or in the many positions where you are on your knees on the mats.

The materials used in knee braces can be from neoprene or a cotton polyester blend, and the choice between the two is a matter of feel.

What's more important is picking the correct size. Too tight will restrict blood flow and movement, and if it's too loose, it becomes pointless to wear.

Knee Injuries in BJJ

Best Budget BJJ Knee Brace

The knee is a complex joint commonly injured in most sports, including martial arts and BJJ.

Small joint injuries to the fingers and toes are the most common, according to some studies and simple observations in the gym, but knee injuries are close behind.

When it comes to knee injuries, when we grapple, we can deliver trauma to every possible structure of the knee.

Sudden inward or outward movements can easily tear the collateral ligaments (LCL and MCL) on each side of the knee.

Twisting motions under pressure and unusual angles, both of which are common in Jiu-Jitsu, are the primary causes of ACL/PCL injuries to the ligaments on the inside of the knee.

The meniscus also takes a beating in jiu-jitsu and can easily be damaged in movements like triangle chokes and others, which put the knee in a similar position.

Last but not least, the patella can be damaged by hits or one too many penetration steps. It can also get misaligned and painful, so a good knee braces usually stabilize the knee cap.

The hard truth is if you do BJJ for any meaningful period, you will experience knee pain sooner or later.

The good news is that knee braces can help prevent injuries, recover from an existing one faster, and give you much-needed support and confidence in the knee.

Frequently Asked Questions About BJJ Knee Braces

Should You Wear a Knee Brace in BJJ?

While a knee brace also has a preventive role, usually, you will start to wear a brace only after you've had some knee problems.

A perfectly healthy knee and its surrounding muscles do not need a brace. But a knee sleeve is a good option if you want extra stability and a calm mind from knowing your knees are better protected.

If you suffer from chronic knee pain or arthritis or are recovering from a diagnosed injury, knee braces are a must and will make your time on the mats more pleasant.

Are Knee Braces Allowed in BJJ Tournaments?

In most BJJ tournaments, you can wear knee sleeves small enough that they don’t change the grips applied around the knee region. This means knee braces with hinges or other bulkier products will likely not be permitted.

Hard shell knee braces are also always forbidden, but if you use knee sleeves, chances are they will be allowed in competition.

Can I Do BJJ With an Injured Knee?

Sooner or later, you will have knee pain from jiu-jitsu. The severity of it will determine if you will be able to train or not.

The doctor will give you the best advice, but they usually recommend resting longer than we would like.

This is where knee braces come into play. They provide stability and compression to the whole structure of the knee and can help you train with an injured knee much sooner than without a brace.

But always remember that when you train with an injury, the healing time increases and the chance of making things worse is not small.


Many people train jiu-jitsu with knee braces because they do a great job of making the knee more stable in all directions.

Different knee braces are required depending on the severity of your injury and pain and the protection you need. This roundup includes the best products in each category, so your choice should be narrowed down and much easier. 

Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Brace