5 Best Knee Braces for Soccer

James Cunningham
James Cunningham

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. Millions of soccer players worldwide, some play professionally, whereas most are just for fun. Being injured is a risk you should never take, regardless of who you are. You want always to play it safe – at least that is what I tell my players.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all about leaving everything on the field, blood, sweat, and tears. But if that’s going to put your physical integrity on the line, that’s a big no-no.

There is always a chance of getting hurt playing soccer, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you should play the odds. Instead, having the best support and equipment is the key.

Besides having good soccer shoes that everyone needs, those who tend to have weak knees also require proper support.

You would not believe how many injuries I have witnessed during my many coaching years. Taking such risks isn’t worth it and may ruin your potential career. I’ve seen tens of irresponsible players who ended up losing their soccer aspirations.

As a football coach, I’ve seen all types of knee braces and even used some myself. That is why I put together this list of the best knee braces for soccer currently on the market. I’d be glad to suggest these to my players any day of the week.

Let’s dig in!

Shock Doctor Hinged Knee Brace - The Best Knee Brace for Soccer

Hinged Knee Brace: Shock Doctor Maximum Support Compression Knee...
12,967 Reviews
Hinged Knee Brace: Shock Doctor Maximum Support Compression Knee...
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If you ask me, this Shock Doctor knee brace is the absolute best option for knee support. I have used it myself and couldn’t be happier with the results.

Of course, you can use it to prevent injuries, but I have mainly seen players use it for ligament sprains, meniscus injuries, or to minimize lateral instability. It can be used throughout an entire game since it facilitates airflow and has built-in antimicrobial tech. Your leg won’t sweat, and it does not hinder any movement.

The bilateral dual hinges on the brace give great support to the leg while allowing great movement freedom thanks to the four-way stretch spandex. I love that it has a pre-curved anatomical design that boosts therapeutic heat, which helps muscle repair.

All in all, the Shock Doctor brace is an excellent buy for both serious and beginner soccer players.

Pros

  • Multi-purpose brace
  • Minimizes instability in the knee
  • Comfortable for extended use
  • Speeds up muscle repair through therapeutic heating
  • Can be used on the right and/or left knee

Cons

  • Picking the right size is crucial if you want it to be efficient

DonJoy Tru-Pull Lite Knee Brace – The Best for Everyday Use

DonJoy Tru-Pull Lite - Right Sleeve - Large
222 Reviews
DonJoy Tru-Pull Lite - Right Sleeve - Large
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If you are a soccer player but feel discomfort throughout the day, you probably need to wear a support brace constantly. One of the best ones for that purpose that is currently on the market is the DonJoy knee brace.

This Tru-Pull Lite brace is the best option for anyone feeling pain or discomfort in the kneecap because of dislocations or injuries. It supports the patella for all activities, including simply standing.

This unit features good lateral and medial stability thanks to the removable plastic hinges. If you feel like you don’t want or need them, you can simply remove them. This brace helps to realign the patella by constantly pulling on the kneecap during movement.

I personally always felt this brace was rather too tight for my taste. However, I learned that it was the whole purpose. The tightness is actually what makes it so efficient. This doesn’t affect comfort since it features Breath-O-Prene which is a fabric known to be hypoallergenic, light and allows the skin to breathe naturally.

Really comfortable, even after using it for extended periods of time, I’d suggest this brace as an everyday brace for kneecap support.

Pros

  • Good for severe kneecap dislocations
  • Simple design, isn’t too noticeable
  • Provides good stability
  • Removable hinges

Cons

  • Asymetrical, a model exists for each knee

Bioskin Gladiator Knee Brace - The Best For Treating Ligament Damage

Wraparound Compression Supportive Knee Brace for Patellofemoral...
26 Reviews
Wraparound Compression Supportive Knee Brace for Patellofemoral...
  • UNIVERSAL: A multifunctional design allows this...
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Soccer players are prone to ligament injuries and damage, and this is why they need good knee support for that. In my experience, I found that the best and most effective unit for treating ligament damage is the Bioskin Gladiator brace.

This has proven to be the best ACL brace for soccer players, and it has proven to be a really decent knee support for soccer after ACL surgery for my players. It can treat ligament tears and sprains, as well as knee instability.

It comes at a really high price, but it is worth for the money because of various reasons. First, it is really easy to use, and it is comfortable after you find the right size for you.

Also, it has a 15-inch range of motion hinge that minimizes the pain while protecting your ligaments. What I really loved about it is that it has a Visco gel ring. This piece is found around the kneecap and it minimizes chances of swelling and pain. The material is overall pretty breathable, and it is hypoallergenic to ensure greater comfort.

All in all, the Gladiator is a great brace for ACL, MCL, LCL, PCL or simple knee support.

Pros

  • Offers incredible knee stability
  • Treats several types of ligament damage
  • Super durable
  • Minimizes pain
  • Good for long-term use

Cons

  • Quite expensive (but it’s worth it)

DonJoy Reaction Web Knee Brace - The Best For Knee Instability

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DonJoy Reaction Web Knee Support Brace with Compression...
1,906 Reviews
DonJoy Reaction Web Knee Support Brace with Compression...
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  • Universal fit allows the DonJoy Reaction WEB Knee...

The DonJoy Reaction Web knee brace is a unique-looking piece of equipment. Despite his bizarre design, it has helped quite a few of my players over the years.

The brace has a webbed design and can come in several colors. But, besides what meets the eye, the DonJoy brace was created by an orthopedic surgeon, serving its purpose nicely. 

I’ve seen people use it for hiking, jogging, and, most importantly – soccer. It offers incredible knee stability thanks to its elastomeric web design. This design also disperses energy across the knee and thus, reduces the pain there. The web can also absorb shock, which makes it the best knee support for soccer players.

All in all, it stabilizes the kneecap and gives it a good tracking position, which minimizes the pain.

Pros

  • Really comfortable
  • Effective relief of anterior knee pain
  • Breathable mesh backing
  • Enhances stability of the knee

Cons

  • Not very helpful for muscle or ligament injuries

TechWare Pro Knee Brace - The Best Budget Option

TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support - Relieves ACL, LCL, MCL,...
19,902 Reviews
TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support - Relieves ACL, LCL, MCL,...
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If you don’t like emptying out your wallet on knee support, I might have an option for you.

The TechWare Pro is a decent brace offering the best knee support for soccer players at this price range. It features an adjustable design, and it can be used for both feet too. If you have knee pain or injury, you’ll probably enjoy the support and compression it offers.

The fabric used in the brace is breathable neoprene, and to avoid slipping, the unit has silicone strips. These keep you comfortable while using the brace for extended periods of time. It decently stabilizes the kneecap and offers good protection against further injuries.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to get the best knee brace for soccer players, as I’ve seen that the TechWare Pro is a really effective brace.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Multi-purpose
  • Offers decent knee stability
  • Various sizes to choose from

Cons

  • Not a heavy-duty brace

Best Knee Braces for Soccer - The Only Buying Guide You’ll Ever Need

To get the best knee support for soccer, you’ll need to be particularly aware of the features it must include. By not getting the proper equipment, you are exposing yourself to a higher risk of injury than your initial one.

To help you avoid chasing wild gooses, I’ve compiled a list of the most important things you need to be wary of when buying knee braces.

1. Levels of Protection

There are different types of knee braces offering different kind of protection.

The first level ones are pretty basic– the flexible braces which are used for pain relief for soccer players who have mild injuries.

The second level ones aren’t too flexible, but they give you a decent amount of abilities to move. Examples of these are knee straps or wraparound braces. These are often used for tendonitis or ligament instabilities.

The most effective ones are the third level hinged knee braces. They offer incredible support, but don’t allow you a lot of movement.

2. Types of Braces

There are different types you can choose from:

Knee Sleeves – The best knee sleeves for soccer players are easily used and offer good compression for mild pain.

Wraparound braces – Great for moderate pain and offer greater support.

Hinged braces – Helpful for after surgery treatment. They keep your knee in the proper alignment.

Best Knee Braces for Soccer – Frequently Asked Questions

Can I play soccer with a knee brace?

There are different types you can choose from:

Knee Sleeves – The best knee sleeves for soccer players are easily used and offer good compression for mild pain.

Wraparound braces – Great for moderate pain and offer greater support.

Hinged braces – Helpful for after surgery treatment. They keep your knee in the proper alignment.

What is the best knee brace for ACL injury?

The knee braces for ACL injuries are usually hinged and treat different kinds of ligament injuries. One great example is the Bioskin Gladiator knee brace, but if you want a model especially for your knee, I suggest consulting an orthopedic surgeon.

Do you need knee pads for soccer?

Not necessarily, as they aren’t listed in the must-have equipment.

Do knee braces help prevent ACL tears?

Yes, some knee braces, especially hinged braces can prevent and minimize the chances of ACL and other ligament tears or injuries.

What sports use knee pads?

In fact, many athletes in many sports use knee pads for protection. More specifically, sports where falling on your knees happens quite often. I’m talking about sports like volleyball, hockey, cycling, roller-skating, handball and basketball. Basketball players also use knee pads because of the jumping and the stress it puts on the knees.

Final Words - Picking the Best Knee Braces for Soccer

All in all, you should be very careful when choosing the best knee braces for soccer, as this might save your whole career. If you want something with heavy-duty purpose, both DonJoy braces and the Gladiator are great options. The Shock Doctor will be a great support too. And, if money is an issue, you can always opt for the budget-friendly TechWare Pro.

I hope this article was able to guide you in the right direction and help you find the best knee brace for you. Do you have a good experience with another one? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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James Cunningham
James Cunningham
James lives in Chicago with his wife and three daughters. Originally from the UK, soccer has allowed him to travel the world. Now a youth coach, he fully enjoys teaching others about the game that he loves so much. His favorite team is Manchester United.