How to Stop Your Knee Brace from Slipping Down October 4, 2018 20:07

Stop knee brace migration sliding with bracelayer compression pants

Bracelayer Compression Gear fits comfortably under custom knee braces and stops them from sliding down the leg during activity and limits skin trauma caused by knee brace straps. 

Use promo code KNEEBRACE to save 15% off your first order.

When you’re an athlete who is already dealing with the frustration of having a knee injury, the last thing you want to be doing is constantly tugging up a custom knee brace. Even if you’re not back in the gym yet, struggling to keep your knee brace where it belongs—around your knee, stabilizing it—can be a real problem.

As is so often done nowadays, you have probably gone online to find some sort of solution—anything but duct tape to keep your knee brace in place while you go about your daily life or physical therapy.

Let’s look at how to keep knee brace from slipping down.



Why is Your Knee Brace Slipping?

To understand how to stop your knee brace from slipping, it’s a good idea to understand why your knee brace is falling down in the first place.  Even when you are wearing your knee brace correctly, more often than not, there will be distal migration or sliding of the knee brace down the leg. This is a very common problem. 

Fundamentally, you’re fighting gravity. All the straps on your knee brace are desperately battling against that constant force that only those who have experienced outer space-like environments have escaped. All day, every day, gravity is doing its best to pull your knee brace down.

Another major issue that causes knee braces to slip is that the circumference of your thigh is greater than the circumference of your calf. If you think of strapping your knee brace to an upside-down traffic cone, it’s pretty easy to imagine why it’s prone to slip down.

Bracelayer DonJoy Defiance Knee Brace Combo

Thankfully, when it comes to your conical-shaped legs, there is the gastrocnemius muscle. This muscle is what creates that little “shelf” on the back of your calf. Ensuring that your brace fits correctly and a strap can be snugged down right above the gastrocnemius muscle is essential in your battle against a migrating brace.

Another major and fundamental issue you face with your brace is the hinge. Many companies use a polycentric hinge, which centers the hinge over the center of the knee. Unfortunately, this does not allow for the roll and glide movement of the knee. If you’ve not gotten your brace yet, or are looking for a new brace, make sure you talk to your physical therapist, orthopedic specialist, and doctor about the exact kind of hinge in the brace—push to get a roll and glide hinge.

Not The Best Ideas from the Internet

One person seeking advice for how to keep knee brace from slipping down through the Knee Guru forum wrote: “I have tightened it so much that I have pressure ridges all up and down my leg--and I can't even walk from the bedroom to the living room before the things fall down around my ankle and the opening for the patella is on my shin!”

Ideas started tumbling in, with people suggesting everything from an ace wrap under the brace to self-adhesive tape. In other places on the internet, you’ll find people building makeshift solutions. One video blogger suggests using sticky-back, hook velcro and attaching a thin rubber material to the back of it. The velcro part can then be attached to the inside of the knee brace, while the rubber will have more grasp on your pants or skin, preventing the brace from migrating.

Another suggestion floating out there is the idea of wearing a compression sleeve over the top of your knee brace, with the hope of pressing it tighter against your skin or clothing to cause more friction and prevent gravity from tugging it down.

There is also the idea of combining several options, such as using a compression wrap or wearing tights or a compression sleeve over the top. Though everyone seems to be trying to develop a solution, nobody seems particularly happy with what they were doing.

Yes, the compression wrap is much better than a knee brace around one’s ankle, but it was far from ideal. It might seem inevitable that a knee brace will start slipping down your leg as you go through physical therapy or when you are back out on the field, it’s not.

A Real Solution to Distal Migration

With the right compression pants, you can prevent the distal migration of a custom knee brace.

The right compression pants mean that it will no longer be necessary to tug up you brace mid-stride on your morning jog. Additionally, the right compression pants can limit skin trauma caused by the friction of knee brace straps.

With the mission “to improve athletic performance, speed recovery, and reduce pain through the targeted compression and stabilization of key muscles and joints,” Bracelayer has designed exactly those compression pants. Pants that provide support for your knee, while also preventing your knee brace from slipping.

The innovative Bracelayer compression pants are designed with a supportive layer around the knee, which also insulates your IT bands, hips, and lumbar. The layer is made from the compression fabric and has a thin layer of medical grade perforated neoprene on top, which is then covered with a compression mesh.

The pants are thin enough to comfortably sift under DonJoy, Ossur, Generation II, CTI, and any other custom knee brace.

Final Thoughts: how to keep knee brace from slipping down

The solution for how to keep knee brace from slipping down is simple. Before Bracelayer was founded in 2015, things might have been more complicated. You might have had to use a compression wrap below your brace and pulled sleeves over the top. Now, with a variety of styles of Bracelayer compression pants, you can save your wraps etc. for another occasion.


Bracelayer Compression Pants are the ultimate solution to stop your custom knee brace from migrating down your leg. Use promo code KNEEBRACE to save 15% off your first order.