Motocross knee guards and knee braces look quite similar, but their purposes are very different. It’s important to know their specific functions so you can get the exact support and protection you need when riding. Below are the differences between knee guards and knee braces and who should wear them.

Which One – Knee Guards or Knee Braces?

Motocross Knee Guard

Motocross Knee Brace

 Picture of Alpinestars Bionic MX Knee Protector  Picture of EVS Axis Pro Knee Brace
Knee guards provide basic protection for the knees when riding a dirt bike, ATV or dual sport motorcycle. They have a hard protective plastic shell, inside padding and adjustable straps. Knee guards typically cover the shin and patella, and today’s form-fitting technology allow them to stay put while still moving freely with the knee. A knee brace is made to function like a human knee, providing targeted protection to the joints and ligaments. In fact, many knee braces were developed with insight from orthopedic surgeons to ensure they support the knee in all the right places. Knee braces are more expensive than knee guards because they offer some protection from the stresses a knee might be subject to as well as impact protection.
Common uses:

  • Protection against direct impacts such as crash protection, roost protection and branch/brush protection
Common uses:

  • Support for a knee that has undergone surgery or has otherwise been injured
  • Protection against direct impacts to the knee
  • Prevention of the leg from moving unnaturally (twisting of the leg, hyperextension of the knee, etc.)
Who should wear knee guards?

  • Any rider who wants basic knee protection
Who should wear knee braces?

  • Aggressive riders looking for the most protection

Whether you choose a knee guard or a knee brace, wearing knee protection is important regardless of where you intend to ride or for how long. It’s also important to wear knee protection that has been designed for riding a dirt bike. For example, medical knee braces are available, but while these may provide adequate support to a recovering knee, they are not designed for the rigors of motocross.

Do you wear a knee guard or knee brace?  Tell us which one you prefer and why.