For any athlete who has suffered from chronic knee pain, you know just how debilitating it can be. And at least two of us here at AeroGeeks feel that pain on a regular basis—especially when it comes to pain related to IT band syndrome. Fortunately for us, Zamst has a solution for that.
The Zamst RK-1 knee brace is specifically designed to relieve pain associated with runners knee and IT band syndrome—all too common injuries in endurance athletes. So, how does it work? As anyone who has endured IT band pain knows, the pain itself is the result of the IT band compressing against the side of the knee during motion. That’s what causes the dreaded sharp, burning pain on the outside of the knee. The RK-1 is engineered to keep the lower leg from rotating internally, while maintaining proper alignment.
Speaking of alignment, this is probably a good time to bring up the fact that the RK-1 is an anatomically fitted brace, which means you’ll need to purchase a different brace for the right and left knee. It’s this fit that helps the RK-1 provide the support and stability needed to relieve ITB pain. In other words, don’t try using a left brace on your right knee—it won’t work out well.
The brace is constructed of a lightweight, breathable fabric. And we can say that the brace was in fact very light and ventilated, even after a couple hours of use. Zamst calls this fabric technology Flyweight and V-Tech ventilated flow. And even with it’s lightweight material, the RK-1 stayed put and didn’t slip or slide.
The other great thing about the RK-1 was the fact that we never felt restricted when wearing it. Thanks to Zamst’s ROM-Tech design, we were able to not only run and walk comfortably, but we also wore the brace while climbing stairs, lifting, and performing squats. Never once did we feel like the brace held us back. We also found the RK-1 to be helpful during recovery as well. If our knees were painful after a challenging run or ride, we slipped on the RK-1 and felt relief.
There is one thing to note here, however. When putting the brace on, be mindful of how the brace should fit your knee. If we were in a rush and carelessly slipped on the brace without paying attention to placement on our knee, we ended up not feeling the benefits. That was quickly corrected when we readjusted the brace to fit our knees properly. So if you’re not one to read instructions that come with a new product, we highly recommend you do this time. Taking just a couple minutes to get to know the RK-1’s fit is worth it. Zamst even provides a handy try on video on their site, too.
As for sizing, we found our braces to fit perfectly. But be sure to pay close attention to the sizing chart found on Zamst’s website. And if your measurements fall between two sizes on the chart, go ahead and size up. The RK-1 is available in sizes ranging from Extra-small up to Large.
Overall, we’ve been very happy with our experience with the RK-1. It’s provided relief right where we’ve needed it to during activities, and we’ve actually looked forward to slipping it on when we’ve felt pain post-workout (which isn’t always the norm when it comes to knee braces). At $59.99 per brace, this isn’t the cheapest option you’ll find in the world of knee support. But in this case, we think the old adage, “you get what you pay for,” is certainly true. The RK-1 goes beyond simple IT band compression wraps, providing you with full anatomical support. So if you’re like us and struggle with knee issues, give the RK-1 a try—we think your knee will thank you.