Runner’s Tech: BRD Sport G18 Knee Brace Review
Contrary to popular misconception, running is not bad for your knee – at least no worse than other sports. But knee injuries are still common in runners regardless of what researchers may say. For runners, one way to add structural support to the knee – particularly in rehabilitating from ligament injuries- is the use of a knee brace. I received a free G18 Knee Brace from BRD Sport recently as a review sample. This product is meant to offer compression on the tendons around the patella (knee cap), namely the quadriceps tendon (above knee cap) and the patellar tendon (below knee cap) to speed up healing and allow exercise during recovery.
- 3-dimensional knit offers anatomically contoured fit even compression
- 4 way stretch combined with anatomically designed pattern minimizes bulk and bunching behind knee for a more comfortable long- time wear.
- Viscoelastic insert redistributes pressure away from patella to surrounding soft tissues
- Knee activity moves silicone resulting in massage to soft tissues
- Stainless steel spiral stays offer medial and lateral support
- Latex free, lightweight, and made in USA
The G18 is well constructed. It is a stretchy yet sturdy knee brace that offers ample support where it’s needed. The most noticeable feature is the doughnut-shaped medical grade silicone surrounding the patella – it is almost the size of a regular doughnut. There are metal inserts on both sides of the knee, offering medial and lateral stability. Flat-seam stitches can be found on the interior for added comfort and minimal irritation.
It took some effort for me to slip on the G18 because it was quite form-fitting. But once I put it on, the knee brace stayed in place with just enough compression to keep away from sliding and moving. This is why it’s important to follow the instructions precisely when measuring your size.
The 3-dimensional knitting in addition to the 4-way stretch allows the G18 to conform to the bending of the knee joint while fortifying the knee cap. The functional doughnut hole works well in terms of locking the patella in its relative position, especially when the knee joint is bent at a large angle. Not that this large angle of knee bending occurs often in running, but it can occur more frequently in other activities such as hiking or basketball.
The support on the sides (medial and lateral) felt like a piece of thin metal – it’s light, flexible, and hard. Without too much bulk, it just enough to support the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL).
Although not overly restricting in terms of movement and blood circulation, the G18 was still very tight when I tried it on at first. However, after some light running it did not bother me too much. The material felt a tad thick in my taste. But I suspect the thickness is necessary to maintain support and compression that are crucial in a sports knee brace. The good news is that G18 is made with breathable and wicking fabrics that can keep your skin dry and happy.
I have never had to use any knee support (fortunately) in all my years of running. While I tried to be as objective as I could while conducting this review, I had no prior experience upon which to base my comparison. My goal for this review is to check all the claims in G18’s advertisement using my knowledge in orthopedic devices. So although I am unable to verify the efficacy of this particular product, I must say that, from materials to craftsmanship, the BRD Sports G18 Knee Brace upholds the quality that I expect from its price tag.
What’s your experience with knee injuries? Have you used a knee brace before? What are some other effective methods for knee injury recovery and rehabilitation?
(Kevin Lu is an engineer, currently working in the field of orthopedic devices. He received his B.S. and M.S. in biomedical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Science, technology, and running are Kevin’s passions. In his spare time, Kevin trains for and participates in races of various distances. His recent personal records include 20:58/5K and 5:48:22/50K. Follow him on Twitter (@SweatEngine) and check out his blog Beyond Distance.)