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Best MCL Knee Brace For Soccer

Best MCL Knee Brace For Soccer

Although soccer is a fun and entertaining game to both play and watch, it can also hurt if you engage in it without adequate protection.

Soccer might be safer than high-contact sports like American football and boxing, but it still has its fair share of fractures and torn ligaments. These happen to be the most prevalent injury among soccer players.

Before going into full discussions about MCL injuries in soccer and suitable knee braces for them we have to, first of all, understand what this injury means and how it affects soccer players.

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is a thick tissue located at the inner layer of the knee. It runs from the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone) approximately 4 to 6 inches from the knee joint.

The major function of the MCL in the leg is to prevent it from moving too far inward and it also enables the knee to remain stable and rotate easily. Your MCL can get injured or torn from a blow to the knee’s outer region or a high impact hit from an opponent.

Young soccer player getting knee injuried

When the MCL is torn or injured, you may first experience tenderness, pain, and swelling around the knee. The pain may not be apparent at first but it is likely to get worse after a couple of hours, especially when you continue to play, regardless of the injury.

MCL knee injuries can be classified into 3 grades which include mild tear, partial tear, and complete tear, depending on the severity of the injury.

Although knee braces are the most suitable and effective means of managing this ugly experience, finding a good quality knee brace for yourself from the many options available can often be very demanding.

There are several features that you need to pay attention to when making your choice. We will highlight all that you should look out for from a knee brace for adequate protection of your knees.

How to identify good MCL knee braces for soccer players

A knee brace is made using a combination of materials including metal spring stabilizers and gel pads. They are made to support patients that are suffering from or susceptible to osteoarthritis, meniscus injury, patellar tendonitis, an ACL tear or sprain, and patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Knee braces come in different designs depending on the purpose of their manufacture. For example, a knee brace made for patellar tendonitis will be different in shape from the one made to support osteoarthritis.

The 5 popular designs of knee braces include;

  • Braces with open patella (where the kneecap sits)
  • Wraparound braces (has 2 straps that wrap around the knee)
  • Strap braces (has a strap that fits under your clothes)
  • Sleeve braces (worn like compression sleeve)
  • Unloader braces (made to shift pressure from the knee joint)

Buying and using the wrong brace can further complicate your injury or extend your healing time. A longer healing time can hurt your soccer career.

To make sure you don’t buy products that will further complicate your injury, we have compiled a list of things you must look out for before buying a knee brace for your MCL injury.

Soccer player wearing knee brace run on the field


A good knee brace must be able to effectively protect the knee from further injuries so that it can properly heal. If a knee brace isn’t offering adequate protection, then its aim is defeated.

Keenly observe the straps and the gel layer to check if it can keep your knee joint stable and comfortably wrapped. It should be tight enough to provide support for the knee but should not be too tight to restrict blood flow.

Braces with straps are usually better because it allows you to adjust the tightness of the brace for optimal results.

For MCL injuries, always search for knee braces that offer a decent level of movement. Wraparound braces are very good for ligament and tendon injuries.


Limiting the knee’s movement to enable a knee injury to heal properly shouldn’t make walking difficult for the injured soccer player.

A good knee brace for MCL injuries must permit free movement of the legs and flexing of the knee by up to 45 degrees. When a knee brace makes walking or running difficult or impossible, it is not the right one for you.


When looking for a suitable knee brace to purchase, look out for products made with nylon, spandex, and neoprene. These products are preferable because they are softer, stretch more for a better fit, and don’t fold down or itch.

Avoid knee braces designed with latex—if you are sensitive to latex. Lycra and perforated neoprene are usually breathable and durable which makes them a good consideration too.

Design and fit

Good MCL knee braces for soccer players must have an ergonomic design and properly fit the contours of your knee. While keeping the joint stable, the curved edges close to the patellar region should aid free movement.

Wearing the right-fitting knee brace is paramount because a smaller size would obstruct blood flow and a larger size would always slip and won’t provide the needed support.

For the best result, always stick to the knee braces recommended by your health practitioner.

Brace Type

There are different types of knee braces for diverse injuries. Selecting the one that fits properly and addresses your issue is what you should have in mind.

Some popular types of knee braces include rehabilitative braces, prophylactic braces, unloader braces, open/closed patellar braces, wrap-around braces, slip-on braces, strap braces, and hinged braces.

Soccer player wearing knee brace dribbling the ball

Best MCL knee brace for soccer

Every soccer player that has played the game for over three years must have gotten injured at least once—unless they don’t get playing time. Some soccer players have ended their careers prematurely because of recurring knee injuries.

Something as simple as not stretching adequately before training can increase your chances of sustaining injuries like a sprain or a torn ligament.

The treatments for an MCL injury vary based on the level of the injury. Some mild MCL injuries can be adequately taken care of by simply taking anti-inflammatory drugs, applying ice, and elevating the knee.

Compression with warm water and adequate rest can also help in reducing the pain and swelling that may come with an MCL injury. Grade 2 MCL injuries usually require the use of a hinged knee brace over a specified period.

Grade 2 MCL injuries in soccer usually demand a longer period of recovery even with the right kind of treatment and adequate care.

With the right kind of treatment and the use of the recommended MCL knee braces in this article, you can fully recover and return to the soccer pitch with your teammates within four to six weeks. Check out our recommendations!

1. Best overall MCL knee brace: Men’s Ultra Knee Support by Shock Doctor

Shock Doctor Compression Knee Brace for Men & Women, Maximum Support, Adjustable Dual Hinges
  • PREVENTS AND PROTECTS - Helps prevent and heal medial and lateral instability, minor patella...
  • MOISTURE AND ODOR PREVENTION - Airflow vented tech to reduce odor and moisture, so you can stay...
  • BOOST MOVEMENT AND COMFORT - Heavy duty bilateral dual hinges provide support while allowing you to...

Last update on 2023-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Shock Doctor is a brand you can hold accountable for upholding quality and high standards when it comes to manufacturing performance and protective sports equipment.

The men’s ultra-knee support is top on our list, not because of the brand name (Shock Doctor), but because it contains many suitable features that help victims of MCL injuries recover faster.

This knee brace has bilateral support hinges for increased performance, protection, and stability. It also comes with an N-Tex air flow vented neoprene which helps in providing moisture-wicking compression for healing and therapeutic warmth.

The open patella helps to keep your knee cap locked. Its X-fit strap system is very easy to adjust for a snug fit while the aluminum stays integrated into it and is securely fastened with Hypalon sleeves adding stability to the knee.

Hinged Knee Brace: Shock Doctor Maximum Support Compression Knee Brace - For ACL/PCL Injuries, Patella Support, Sprains, Hypertension and More for Men and Women - (1 Knee Brace, XXXLarge), Black

Another smart feature of this product is that it has heavy-duty bilateral dual hinges which increase the range of motion, it also increases performance and support.

Even though this product is easy to use, it is advisable to seek professional medical advice when using it for your MCL treatment to avoid incurring further irritation, injury, or pain.


  • Aluminum stays for stability
  • The x-fit strap system gives a snug fit
  • N-Tex vented neoprene for enhanced airflow
  • Heavy-duty bilateral dual hinges
  • Lightweight and comfortable


  • The sizing is inaccurate
  • It feels bulky and stiff which may restrict movement

2. Best for knee support: Knee Brace by Doufurt with Patella Gel Pads and Side Stabilizers

Doufurt Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers for Meniscus Tear Knee Pain ACL MCL Injury Recovery Adjustable Knee Support Men and Women
  • This is a great knee brace and is perfect as a gift. It's time to show your love to someone you...
  • knee brace is suitable for meniscus tear, and also the best knee compression sleeve for knee...
  • 【Professional medical knee brace, Innovative design】Curved design is adopted on both sides of...

Last update on 2023-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Chronic knee injuries are common among soccer players, and managing the effects requires the use of the right knee brace. This knee brace by Doufurt is suitable for soccer players struggling with an MCL injury.

The moisture-wicking nylon and durable neoprene built into the brace both contribute to providing unbeatable support which reduces stress on injured knees.

Unlike most of the knee braces on the market, the Doufurt patella gel pad feels light and gives a snug fit, thanks to the wraparound straps. The straps cross above and below the knee to help stabilize the knee and offer extra relief.

It is easier to run or walk in this particular brace without the fear of exacerbating your MCL injury.

DOUFURT Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers for Meniscus Tear Knee Pain ACL MCL Injury Recovery Adjustable Knee Support for Men and Women

The dual springs located at both sides of this knee brace absorb pressure while engaging in daily activities. It also has an anti-slip lining at the top which prevents the brace from slipping while in use.

The open patella design reduces the pressure on the knee joints. The soft gel pad found in this knee brace moves synonymously with the contours of your knee to provide maximum protection and stability.

This is one of the few braces we found that was able to balance performance and weight. We bet you will find great relief with it too—as long as you purchased the right size.


  • Has flexible stabilizers
  • The wraparound straps ensure adjustable/customized fit
  • Contain patella gel pads for comfortable movement
  • Sweat-absorbent and breathable
  • Lightweight and portable


  • The Velcro wrap comes loose sometimes
  • Often irritates the skin

3. Best for knee injury:  Knee Compression Sleeve by PowerLix

POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve - Best Knee Brace for Men & Women – Knee Support for Running, Basketball, Weightlifting, Gym, Workout, Sports, (Black, Large)
  • Phenomenal Protection: PowerLix knee brace applies stable pressure across your knee joint. Perfect...
  • Push Yourself to the Limit! Our knee support is perfect for any activity that involves a great...
  • Premium Quality: Our knee sleeve is manufactured to provide superior support and comfort without...

Last update on 2023-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This knee brace manufactured by PowerLix is perfect for soccer players affected by an MCL injury. It has an ergonomic design and a closed patella that can adapt to the knee joint.

Instead of straps (which are usually hard to keep up), it makes use of an elastic band fitted above and below the main knee brace. The knee brace was also built to improve compression in the muscles above and below the knees.

POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve - Best Knee Brace for Men & Women – Knee Support for Running, Basketball, Weightlifting, Gym, Workout, Sports, (Black, Large)

Soccer players run a lot and sweat just as much during a game which makes breathability an important feature in a brace. This knee brace is good at absorbing sweat and keeping your knee well-aerated and odor-free.

Its sleeve-like design reduces bulk and makes it feel almost like you are wearing a pair of tight soccer socks. Interestingly, this brace can help you to keep warm during the cold season. You can also use it as a protective gear during training.


  • Double silicone anti-slip wave for better grip
  • Designed for injury prevention and enhanced performance
  • Offers optimal muscle support
  • Specially knitted technical design for distinct joints
  • Uses compression sleeves instead of straps
  • Ergonomic sleeve design enhances comfort


  • Sleeves make it harder to find the right size unlike adjustable straps


Those who actively engage in competitive soccer will make you understand that soccer causes numerous strains and injuries to your knees.

Some of the most common injuries in soccer include anterior cruciate ligament tears, muscle strain, meniscus injury, and sprains. These injuries are often caused by incorrect landing after a jump, hasty change of directions, and rapid pivoting.

Before purchasing an MCL knee brace, it would be a good idea to check with your football association to know if you would be allowed to use it during the game.

Also, check with your physician to know if it is OK to play with braces to avoid straining your knee and delaying the healing process.