On my AT section hike this summer I used a couple knee braces to help me out, one of which was a Mueller jumper strap. One afternoon an older hiker going NOBO shouted out, “love those little Muellers!” I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but after getting home and continuing hiking with the braces I realized they’ve become a central part of my gear.
I purchased my first one at a Duane Reade (Wal-Greens) for about $16, but later got another on Amazon for $7.
They’re small, light weight, and incredible easy to clean: just hand wash in and leave out to dry. While there’s plenty of expensive and even high-tech muscle and bone supports, I like to keep it simple. These strap right on and when I don’t want to wear them will fold up and fit just about anywhere.
These little guys get some serious mileage. I’m only now looking to replace them and they’ve been with me for all my urban hikes (including the 32mi Great Saunter), my AT section hike, and all the Hudson Highland day hikes. In total I’ve put about 350mi on them and am just now buying a second set.
If you have serious knee issues, you’ll probably need something a little more heavy duty, but these braces keep my hamstrings feeling good and prevent any trip ending injuries. As a section hiker, they’re a nice luxury especially when I’m regaining my trail legs at the beginning of every hike.
For any hikers out there who suffer from stiff or even uncomfortable knees after a couple miles of walking, I definitely suggest picking these braces up and giving them a try. Young or old a little extra knee help can be the difference between a pleasant hike and a grueling march.