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If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve been plagued with knee injuries (among other things) for the past few years.

When I first looked at braces, I decided on DonJoy, and I’ve stuck with their braces ever since. Specifically, I ended up with their $35 comfort knee brace, which I actually preferred over their more expensive options for my personal situation.

Since they seem to be highly regarded when it comes to braces for all sports, I thought it would be interesting to get an insider’s perspective on DonJoy and their products.

I was able to get Jason Zinn, the Director of E-Commerce for DJO Global, to answer a few of my questions.

Read through the interview if you’re interested in sports injuries and braces (that you’re bound to need at some point in your life).

Coach Levi: Any idea how many of your customers are endurance athletes? I’m curious to see who is more injured, runners and cyclists, or football and basketball players?

Jason Zinn @ DonJoy: ShopCompex is geared towards endurance athletes and is geared to football and basketball and other sports.

Coach Levi: What’s your most popular line of braces?

jzinn @ DonJoy: Knee and Ankle.

Coach Levi: How do you choose an ankle brace that you can run in?

jzinn @ DonJoy: One that will fit into a running shoe. The DonJoy Stablizing Pro Ankle Brace works great for runners.

Coach Levi: How do you choose a knee brace you can pedal in?

donjoy reaction knee sleeve

jzinn @ DonJoy: Look for one that has an open back or open popliteal area. The DonJoy Reaction would be a good choice.

[Note from Levi: That’s the DonJoy Reaction there on the left. It’s only $30. I want one!]

Coach Levi: I’m surprised just how well I can move when wearing some knee braces, even though they look big and bulky. How do they do that?!

jzinn @ DonJoy: Lots of engineering and field testing with top athletes!

Coach Levi: What are the main differences in knee braces for ACL tears and ones for overuse injuries such as chondromalacia patella?

jzinn @ DonJoy: The ACL braces have hinges to protect the ligaments whereas patella issues are addressed with compression and strapping.

Coach Levi: What’s the best way to decide on the right brace for you, when ordering online and you can’t try on the product?

jzinn @ DonJoy: The site does a good job of letting you shop by injury or sport. We also have athletic trainers on staff that can help recommend the best brace for your condition.

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Coach Levi: Endurance athletes tend to think they are safe from injury since running, cycling, and swimming are mostly no-contact sports. What’s the real deal?

jzinn @ DonJoy: Overuse issues and soreness are quite common in this group.

Coach Levi: What’s the first course of action when an athlete thinks they may have an overuse injury?

jzinn @ DonJoy: We defer questions like this to medical professionals, but Cold Therapy would be a good bet.

Coach Levi: What could be done for proper recovery in addition to cold therapy and wearing a support brace?

jzinn @ DonJoy: Compex Active Recovery is an amazing protocol to remove lactic acid and prevent soreness.

Coach Levi: Speaking of Compex, when it comes to these Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS), is this for athletes who are injured? Or can anyone benefit?

jzinn @ DonJoy: Anyone can benefit, but if injured we advise that you check with your medical professional.

Coach Levi: I noticed the Compex units have different modes to stimulate both fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers. Do you know if any endurance athletes try to build their fast twitch muscles using these devices? (Since most of their primary training would have a heavy focus on the slow twitch muscles.)

jzinn @ DonJoy: It varies from athlete to athlete.

Coach Levi: Like many cyclists and triathletes, I can get a bit obsessed with my training. Is it dangerous to overuse one of these devices?

jzinn @ DonJoy: Compex has protocols that they recommend depending on your sport, and we recommend following those protocols. As with anything, more is not necessarily better.

Coach Levi: Is it perfectly normal to get a little freaked out about attaching electrodes to your body and then turning on a machine?

jzinn @ DonJoy: At first, some people may have a concern but the treatment is usually painless and can the intensity can be adjusted up and down.

Coach Levi: Finally, what’s the difference between a Compex Edge and say, one of those infomercial “ab belts” that’s supposed to give you six-pack abs?

jzinn @ DonJoy: The Compex product is FDA cleared for use. The main benefit beyond strength and endurance of the muscle is the active recovery modes to remove lactic acid. There is really no comparison in the technology!


Thanks to Jason for participating and shedding some light on the topic. With over 20 years experience providing helpful solutions to improve the health of athletes and those with sports injuries, he has likely seen it all.

If you’re in need of a brace, I suggest finding one at, the official online store for DonJoy and other top brands.

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