The best knee supports for football depends on how much support you need and whether you have any specific injuries you are recovering from. Also, the level you play at is a factor, because some knee braces are prohibited in competitive games for safety reasons.
In general a knee support for football should provide enough support, yet still allow a good range of knee movement. There is likely to be a trade off between range of movement and support level. So what do we recommend?
General Football Knee Supports
We recommend the following for general knee pain or support when playing football.
Knee Compression Sleeve
This is one of the best football knee supports because it is comfortable to play in but does not restrict movement significantly. It is ideal for general knee pain associated with mild arthritis or tendon injuries. It is also the perfect support to wear immediately after injury to help reduce swelling.
If you prefer little more support, or you have a chronic tendonitis then go for the Neoprene Knee Support. Neoprene is thicker than elastic compression and retains far more of the body's natural heat. As a result, the joint is kept warmer. Tendons (join muscle to bone) work better when they are warm.
Stabilising Knee Support For Football
The best knee support for footballers that are heavier, or need that little bit of extra support is the advanced compression knee support.
The Advanced Compression Knee Support provides a higher level of support for the joint due to the additional adjustable elastic straps which wrap around the sides.
Hinged knee braces
The Ultimate Compression Hinged Knee Support provides the highest level or protection and is usually recommended for knee ligament injuries. If you are just playing with friends then this is fine.
However, the solid metal supports down the sides may not be allowed in competitive games. Likewise a brace with hard exposed buckles might also be against the rules. Check with you referee or organising body if in any doubt.
Football Knee Supports For Specific Injuries
If you have a specific knee injury then one of the following knee supports may be more suitable. Always check with your physio and never play with a painful or acute knee injury.
Knee joint injuries
These include knee ligament sprains and cartilage tears. The Advanced Compression Knee Support gives the most support but without any solid metal parts or exposed buckles. This makes it safer to play football in, especially for the other players.
If you are just having a kick about with friends and want maximum joint support then the Ultimate Compression Hinged Knee Support is the one to choose.
Iliotibial band friction syndrome
This is a common running injury causing inflammation of the iliotibial band on the outside of your knee.
The iliotibial band strap helps relieve symptoms of ITB syndrome. It is fine for playing football because it does not restrict your knee mobility at all.
Patella tendon injuries
Patella tendinopathy and Osgood Schlatter disease cause chronic pain at the front of the knee. Osgood Schlatter in particular is very common in young footballers.
The best knee support for football if you have patella tendon injuries is a Patella tendon strap. It wraps around your knee, applying pressure over the tendon.
Patellofemoral pain (also known as Runner's knee) occurs when your patella (kneecap) rubs against the femur bone underneath.This is probably more common in female players but affects anyone.
The patella sits in a groove and moves up and down over the front of the femur. If it is out of alignment for any reason then this results in irritation and damage to the cartilage underneath.
The Runners Knee Strap aims to help control the position of your patella and encourage it to track normally. This versatile support also applies pressure to the iliotibial band on the outside of the knee and the patella tendon.
So whether you are recovering from a specific injury, or just want a little bit more support and confidence when running, we have the right support for you.