Couch to 5K

Knee supports-How helpful are they? Any experience in wearing them?

I was told that knee supports help when you do longer runs. When I did my first 10K two days ago I had the first feeling of ‘knee pain’ for a day and it is still a bit ‘annoying’ after a day, but not annoying enough to stop me from going for a shorter run today. I was told by a runner colleague that knee supports help. I just wonder how many of you wear them when running and what support you get and any suggestions with regard to the subject. Does it help not to get a sports injury when you do longer runs? Any suggestion on a particular brand? I don’t want to spend too much money but then if it helps, I rather buy a good one than a cheap one.

Many thanks and any answer on the subject is really appreciated.

6 Replies

I don't wear supports myself but am fortunate not to have had any significant aches or pains. However, my point in replying is that Lidl has a lot of running gear on offer this week (starting today, so there is still some left!) and it includes knee, back and ankle supports. Performance tops and shorts, etc too. I woudn't be tempted by their shoes, but the rest of their running items have a really good reputation. I have a few of their tops, and they're just perfect.

I guess my thought about the brace is that, even if you doubt the integrity of cheaper brands (and I would agree with than in general), it might be worth trying one to see if it helps. Better than buying an expensive one only to find there's no improvement ...


Thank you very much Malcy, I will go to Lidl tomorrow and have a look around. I hope we have them in oxford Lidl too, some times what I see in Brighton is not available in Oxford! I do agree with that you say, if I buy an expensive item and it is not of a use, the money I spend is a waste. I am not sure whether I should use them though as I do not have a sports injury as such, it is just a little pain after a 10K race, that's all. Thank you for your answer and good luck to you for your runs!


No, I only bought the ankle support at lunchtime. I do get a slight ache in my left heel from time to time but it seems to be at times of "overtraining" - trying to do too much too soon. I suspect that's also the cause of your discomfort. I'm not a medic though :)

From what I read, the problem of overtraining is that, as we start to exercise more, we put extra stress on our bits & bobs. They become stronger but if we do too much, we can stretch or strain them just a little bit too much. Then the tendons (for example) stretch past their normal point of elasticity and start to tear. That's not as bad as it sounds - our bits & bobs are always tearing (that's why we can be a bit sore after a longer run) but they are 'micro tears' that heal quickly - a couple of days is normal ... possibly one reason why we should have a recovery day between runs. If they get a more serious tear, that's when we get into trouble.

Sounds to this non-medic like you're having the normal aches associated with stretching yourself that bit extra. But it might be handy to have a brace in a drawer in case you do need one. That's why I bought my ankle brace - I don't need it right now, but ...


Many thanks Malcy, yes, as you said I got a bit 'carried away' and did a bit too much I suppose, but it is not a major pain as such, a pain that I did not have before, that's all. I rested yesterday (did the 10K only on Tuesday) and did a 5K today but slow-just below 36 minutes, that is pretty slow for me. So if I have a 'major' pain I would not be able to do that I suppose. I did not want to push myself today as I am planning to do my Park Run on Saturday. I am going to pop into Lidl tomorrow and buy that knee support if they have and if it is cheap enough for me. Thank you very much. Good luck to you for your runs!


I tore the cartilage in my knee over 35 years ago while skiing and sometimes feel minor pain in that knee cap. I was at a physio for a running injury (unrelated) a few months ago and asked pretty much the same question as you have. The answer I was given was don't wear supports unless you absolutely have to. That I would be better doing muscle strengthening exercises to build up the muscle above the knee which would help support them. I did these exercises along with others she had given me for the running injury and have had no further problems since. If you Google Knee strengthening exercises for runners you will get good advice on which would help you.


Thank you Oldgirl, my right knee always had bit of a problem ever since I remember. I think as a kid when I played Hockey, I got a big whacking! I may not have taken it that seriously as we all do when we were young. I always had a bit of a 'click' sound when I used to bend my right knee and my right leg anyway is a bit 'bendier' than the left (!!), but it had never been a problem. Even now, after my slow run of 5K today, my left knee is fantastic and back to normal but right knee is 'not so fantastic'. I think I will also try doing some knee strengthening exercises and not use the knee support unless I have to. I will buy them if they are available for a cheap enough price though, just to keep with me, just in case.


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