“The Ultimate Warrior” was a pumped up WWF wrestler with bands tied around his massive arms and ridiculously aggressive war paint. I sometimes think of him as I put on my knee bands, and for me and many others the Patellar Knee Band is required playing equipment.

Technically the problem and the pain is something commonly attributed to Patellar Tendinitis. Some call it “Jumpers Knee” or even the nasty sounding Osgood Schlatter’s disease. It’s a common problem for those active in basketball, volleyball and many other sports that require jumping or rapid changes in direction.

This condition creates pain in the when the patellar tendon undergoes heavy use and/or stress. For a basketball player and especially a streetballer this problem will most certainly relegate you to the sideline.

The good news is that a Patellar Tendon Strap can drastically reduce the pain and will allow you to extend your chosen sport for years. Personally, I credit these straps with extending my personal highlight reel (which only exists in MY HEAD) to greatly reducing knee pain to tolerable levels.

This simple device works by applying pressure to the Patellar Tendon and improving the stability and tracking movement of the knee. It is also reported to decrease the stresses experienced by the tendon by spreading and limiting the load it experiences.

With such a simple device there are numerous versions of these straps available. We selected 5 of the most common to review and enlisted some basketball players to try them out.

Here’s our roundup and review of each.

McDavid

This strap one size fits all strap is made from a thick strip of neoprene with a Velcro fastener. The simple design limits the pressure available for strap to apply on the tendon even with the hard rubber compression pad. Over time these straps became loose and they tended to slip out of position during play. This made them ineffective and even a bit annoying. This strap will function for some, but due to it’s simple clasp the required pressure was often not applied.

Mueller

Another “one size fits all” design similar to the McDavid (above). This strap comes in a wide variety of colors but is of a lower quality construction. Once again the velcro attachment does not allow for sufficient pressure to be applied, and the strap tends to slip down out of position. I find this strap to be more of a toy or a fashion statement than an actual sports accessory.

NEO G

We were excited to try out this new strap from NEO G as it featured a couple of promising features. One, it uses the wrap back buckle design so that the desired pressure can be customized and adjusted and two a specially shaped rubbery compression pad to specifically target pressure on the tendon. The overall construction of the strap is of a high quality, except for the binding strap, which we found to be flimsy and thin. A fatal flaw. This flaw caused the strap to bunch up in the back of the knee making it uncomfortable for many to use.

Procare

This knee strap features a unique clasping system that allows the compression to be customized to the wearer with a pair of additional side tabs. A bit gimmicky, and this design leaves two loose ends at the back of the knee which were found to be mildly irritating during use. A nice high quality construction, but it was also the most expensive of the straps we tested.

Pro-Tec

This strap uses a wrap back buckle design with a built in air compression pad. The wrap back design allows increased pressure to be applied to the tendon as required. A built in air tube compression area ensures that the band feels comfortable feel when torqued up to high pressures. The strap is built with high quality neoprene and can be washed. Proper sizing will ensure effectiveness over a fantastic lifetime of over two years of active use!

.

Cost Comfort Ease of Use Looks Quality Effectiveness Overall
McDavid €13 6 8 7 5 6 31/50
Mueller €10 6 8 7 4 4 29/50
NEO G €22 5 7 8 6 7 33/50
Procare €25 7 6 8 7 8 36/50
Pro-Tec €18 8 8 8 8 9 41/50
* Combined result of  five testers

Results

With our testing the Pro-Tec strap comes out as the best Patellar Knee Band with an overall score of 41 points out of the possible 50. It’s simple but effective design, high quality construction and the best overall effectiveness give it the easy win.

We had a hard time finding a shop for these bands in Europe so we contacted the nice people at Pro-Tec and are proud to feature Pro-Tec Knee Bands in the web shop.

Pro-Tec Patellar Knee Band

Buy ProTec