Futuro Dual Strap Knee Support
Reviewers Paid: $19.99
Tendon supporter for the knee that is easy to get on and off as it is a strap rather than a sleeve. Adjustable pressure is applied gently with materials that don't cause friction. Added gel pads above and below the patella provide front support without covering the knee cap.
- No friction burns!
- Dries moderately well
- Adjustable support
- Easy to put on and take off
- Strap attachments weaken over time
I'm aiming this at folks who are already using a brace and are looking for other options to explore. Personally I've been through a series of braces over the years that annoyed the heck out of me for multiple reasons and I'm sharing this one because it doesn't suck as much as most I've tried.
Construction & Durability:
Instead of a full sleeve approach, Futuro made this supporter effectively two individual straps joined together with a soft, breathable panel wrapping around the back of the knee. The strap is actually a single piece of material which is comprised of a neoprene blend which combines with a small amount of spandex to give it some flex. The ends of the straps thread through one another before being attached via a very fine velcro like patch that secures directly to the neoprene mesh.
The stitching was even throughout and remains so after a full season of heavy use. There is little sign of wear at all to the materials. There are a couple of creases which have formed in the panel that fits behind the knee which is common with neoprene as I recall from my surfing days. The one area that does seem to be wearing is the fine hook patches that attach the strap ends. It is still functional, but towards the end of the year I noticed that it would slide a bit at times if it was wet.
Ease of Use:
I really found the strap to be a big advantage over the sleeves I'd been using. Being able to adjust the pressure applied above and below the knee individually was a great thing. Biking, surfing, and hiking for all these years have gifted me with some oversized thigh and calf muscles. Finding a sleeve that would accommodate them while still applying appropriate support to my regular sized knee was a challenge. The dual straps let me get a good fit each time I put it on.
The other big advantage to the strap approach was that if I got dressed while breaking down camp and forgot to put the brace on I didn't have to take my boot off. Even if I'd already put my Hillsound Armadillo LT gaiters on I could still open the knee zips on my Outdoor Research Equinox Convert Pants and easily wrap the brace around my knee and secure it. I did that one morning with snowshoes on as I recall. In that case I put the brace on over my base layer which is another advantage of the strap. If desired you could wear it over your clothes.
Function & Comfort:
Straps lay flat against the leg without creating friction with pant legs.
On trail I found that the dual straps provided compression above and below the joint without as much pressure on the side of the knee as most braces. For me this worked well as I primarily wear a brace to deal with IT band issues I've had with my left leg ever since the first time I climbed South Twin years ago. There also was some compression on the front that seemed to secure the knee cap which felt nice even though I don't have any problems there. There are two rectangular gel pads, one above and one below the patella, which looked odd but felt a bit like shock absorbers for the knee cap.
Comfort is what really kept me on an endless search for a better brace. I've had several over the years that seemed great at first until on longer trips they'd give me blisters or scrape the flesh from the back of my leg. Trapped moisture was often a big problem as about the only time I'm not getting sweaty is when it's raining. The neoprene mesh combined with the open front made this brace different. It dried overnight and often didn't even get that sweaty during the day. The breathable material kept the brace and my skin drier and felt comfortable wet or dry.
I used the Futuro Dual Strap Support for most of 2019 on everything from day hikes to two-week toddles. Terrain included the wilds of Baxter State Park, the mighty Cohos from the Canadian border to Stark, another trip around the Grafton Loop and an oversized, six-day bigger Pemi Loop. If you're looking to test your knees or a knee brace you couldn't ask for much more heh.
Again, I'm not here to provide medical advice and I can't tell you if this brace will work for you. What I can tell you is that it worked for me. It kept my IT band issues in check and did so without tearing up my leg. On multi-week trips, even hot and sweaty ones, the neoprene material held the supporter in place without friction.
My only negative is that the attachment mesh is losing some grip over time. I have used and abused it no doubt and perhaps rolling around in the leaf litter of camp a few times might be part of the problem. If that does require me to replace it I'm pretty sure I'll buy another of this model. It does what I need without tearing up my leg.
I've been using a knee brace for six years or so. Many others have been tried over the years. This one was used for about 10 months.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $19.99