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Zamst RK-1 Knee Brace Gear Review

Zamst RK-1

Zamst RK-1 Knee Brace Review
By Sam Burridge
Images © Functional Running

One of the more common injury complaints runners seem to bump up against is Iliotibial Band Syndrome (IT Band Syndrome or ITBS for short, and not to be confused with IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome). You might feel IT Band Syndrome as pain around the top and behind the knee. If you’ve experienced IT Band Syndrome or currently under strain from it, Zamst has their RK-1 knee brace that claims to directly assist this problem.

In their words, “The Zamst RK-1 is a functional and biomechanical brace that corrects issues that contribute to IT Band Syndrome. The dual density pad anchors the spiral strap below the knee, this strap keeps the lower leg from rotating internally while maintaining proper alignment. Resin stays increase proprioception to keep the leg in a neutral position while ROM-Tech butterfly shape pattern on the backside of the brace assists in knee flexion and extension.”

Fortunately for me but unfortunately for this review, I’m currently running injury free! Unfortunately for runners but fortunately for Zamst, a running friend of mine has had ongoing on-and-off issues with his ITB. Here’s what he had to say about the Zamst knee brace:

The Review

“After suffering a left knee patella fracture in 2011, I was quite apprehensive about trying a new knee brace and had been using Kinesiology tape for knee stabilisation and patella tracking. I had tried several comparable products and had been disappointed in their fit and overall wearability. However, after being diagnosed with runners knee and IT band syndrome, I thought I would give the Zamst RK-1 (brace) a shot.

The small Zamst RK-1 was relatively easy to put on, yet you do need to pay attention. I suggest that incorrect application could result in reduced benefit or adverse effects.

After putting on the brace for the first time, the brace did not restrict or inhibit movement and full range of movement was available.

The brace provided good stability and as designed assisted with IT Band Syndrome. No pain was noted during or after each run was noted.

Whilst wearing the brace and running for upwards of 20km, I expected the brace to rub and overheat, however happy to report that it was very breathable. I suggest this is due to the lightweight and flexible material used in construction of the brace.

The foam pads did mildly push into skin at the point where the quad strap secures, however, this did not inhibit the use or function of the brace.

I have used also use the brace for walking and stair climbing with positive results.

After using the brace for around 10 runs, the brace has not begun to smell.

Overall the brace was very effective, I will continue to use the brace and have begun recommended the brace to friends with ITB Syndrome.”

Tech Specs

If it’s of interest to you, some of the tech spec claims from the Zamst website state:

  • a-Fit
    Anatomically correct support for right or left body part
  • Flyweight Tech
    Advanced material fabrication with lightweight construction
  • ROM-Tech
    Pre-curved design to provide full Range of Motion for maximized performance levels
  • V-Tech
    Ventilated flow through design keeps you cool while in motion

Verdict

Obviously the Zamst RK-1 isn’t a cure for IT Band Syndrome but we do have some strong anecdotal success here in getting someone up and running. Get the all clear to run from a running specialist physiotherapist to begin with, but if IT Band Syndrome is your current running nemesis, the Zamst brace could be the game saver.

At $74.95 the Zamst RK-1 is a little on the more expensive side for a knee brace but conversely, it’s a small price to pay to be out on your feet and running.

More information about the Zamst RK-1 Knee Brace can be found on the Zamst website.

Have you tried the Zamst RK-1 Knee Brace? Let us know your thoughts below.

Will Lind
About Will Lind (168 Articles)
A minimalist runner that otherwise doesn't discriminate, Will Lind is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Functional Running. A true run lover, Will's passion encompasses the full spectrum of running and lies in the soul of the run. A Personal Trainer, Run Coach and romantic at heart, Will enjoys flipping from heartfelt run reflection to critical analysis on a whim.
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