I am focused, determined to reach it first. My legs are moving quicker and quicker, and as I gaze to my right side, I see my opponent approaching. But, I know I can do it. As I extend my leg to bring the ball into my possession, I feel a sense of satisfaction. I got to the ball first. Dribbling, the goal is in site, but as I maneuver passed the defender I stumble. My knee locks, and the next thing I know, I am feeling the grass against my body as I watch the ball bounce out of my control.

Does this sound familiar? Trust me, I know the feeling. Knee injuries can feel like they are constantly getting in the way of your performance on and off the field. Luckily, there are knee braces out there that can help you avoid such situations.

Keep reading to discover the best knee braces for soccer players and my top 3 knee brace recommendations.

 

The 3 Best Knee Braces for Soccer

1. Total Range of Motion Hinged Knee Support Brace for Post Op or ACL Tears – Front Closure Gladiator By BioSkin

This brace provides a long frame for optimal structure and support. It features bilateral hinges which prevents hyperextension of the knee. Best of all, it is hypoallergenic with latex-free material!

Read Our In-depth Review Here!

2. Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Brace with Bilateral Hinges

This brace also has a long frame, although a bit shorter than the Gladiator, and provides optimal stability and support. However, it is not latex-free.

Read Our Shock Doctor Brace Review Here!

3. Donjoy Tru-Pull Lite Knee Support Brace

This is the ideal brace for those with patella injuries, as its primary goal is to prevent patella dislocation and alleviate that type of pain. It is the shortest frame in comparison to the other two, but it does contain bilateral hinges.

Read Our Donjoy Brace Review Here!

Which Type of Knee Brace is Best for You?

There are several factors to consider when choosing your knee brace. Of course, if you had a major knee injury your doctor will recommend which brace will best suit your needs and recovery process.

However, if you are looking for a post recovery brace, self treatment, or just some added support, then I would suggest taking the time to figure out which brace is best for you. Below is a list of injuries along with their suggested brace:

Dislocation: For patella dislocation injuries, I would suggest a brace that is focused on keeping your patella secured. The DonJoy Knee Brace is ideal for such injuries. In fact, this is the brace I used while playing soccer when I was recovering from a patella injury. It is short and compact, simply wrapping around your knee area with an open circle for your patella. It also does not require frequent readjustments as it tends to stay in place around the knee fairly well.

Fractures, Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries, Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries, Collateral Ligament Injuries, Meniscal Tears, & Tendon Tears: Due to the higher sensitivity of these injuries and the longer healing process, I would greatly suggest wearing a brace that provides optimal support and structure. For example, I would recommend a brace with bilateral hinges and a longer frame. After a long period of healing, you could then move onto a more flexible brace.

 

 

Common Types of Knee Injuries for Soccer Players

Dislocation

If you are an avid soccer player, I am 99% positive you know of at least one person that has dislocated their patella while playing. This is caused when the patella bone either partially or totally slips out of place.

Because of the quick and cutting movements you perform while playing soccer, this can be a common injury. It is especially recurring after you dislocate your patella the first time. At that point, you should definitely wear a knee brace while participating in sport, as you will be highly prone to reinjury and dislocation.

Fractures

Did you know that the patella (otherwise known as the kneecap) is the most commonly broken bone around the knee? Such fractures are typically caused by high impact falls in which you directly land on your patella.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries

Again, I am sure that unfortunately we all know someone that has experienced an ACL tear during their soccer career. This injury typically occurs to athletes that are quickly changing direction with their movement or landing incorrectly from a jump.

Furthermore, in about half of all ACL tears, you end up injuring other ligaments and the meniscus as well. These injuries usually require surgery and can take months to more than a year in order to recover fully. Therefore, protecting your knee after such an injury is crucial.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries

Luckily this type of tear can sometimes heal on its own as they are usually only partially torn. This injury occurs while the knee is bent and you receive a blow to the front of the knee. Unfortunately I have experienced this type of pain relatively often.

Think of a time when you are dribbling the ball or winding your leg back as you prepare to shoot. But then, rather than meeting the ball, your knee collides with your opponent’s knee or leg as they attempt to block your attempt. OUCH!

Collateral Ligament Injuries

These injuries occur when your knee is pushed sideways by physical contact. For example, a direct blow to the outside of the knee that pushes the knee inward would cause an MCL injury. Less common are blows the the inside of the knee that then push your knee outward, causing lateral collateral ligament tears. Certainly you can think of situations in which this could easily occur while playing soccer.

Meniscal Tears

This is a very common injury that affects many soccer players. Meniscus tears can be caused by even the slightest movements, such as twisting and pivoting. More intense movements like cutting and being tackled are also prone to causing a meniscus tear.

Tendon Tears

Just like the other injuries, tears typically occur during running, jumping, falling, direct force, and quickly changing directions with movement. In many cases, a knee brace can help the healing process and alleviate such pain.

 

 

Final Thoughts on Knee Braces for Soccer Players

All in all, choosing a knee support brace to aid with injury recovery and prevention while participating in soccer, is an important decision that requires careful thought and consideration.

Personally, I can relate to the importance of being able to get back on that field as soon as possible after an injury. Soccer is my passion, and I never want to prolong or worsen an injury healing process.

Additionally, it is essential to feel confident while playing, and after an injury, that can be a challenge, but hopefully with the right brace, you would have those worries!

We wish you the best of luck with your recovery and hope that this information helped you choose the right type of knee brace. Also, please feel free to let us know if you have any thoughts or suggestions!

 

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