The MCL is the ligament on the inner side of your knees. As such the cause for MCL injuries are usually hits from the outer side of your knees, skiing and football accidents.
The best braces for MCL injuries are dual hinged braces - these braces protect your knees from the side impact that can result in an MCL injury, and can help prevent the injury if you are prone to it.
They also lessen the load on your MCL if you are already injured.
If the injury is light, the RICE protocol - Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate - can help a lot.
Besides using braces, working on your quadriceps (front thigh) muscles can reduce the chance of an MCL injury.
If you have an mcl tear or sprain your absolute priority is to limit the side forces that could make your injury worse. For this purpose your best bet is to get a dual hinged brace - these will protect both sides of your knee, so both your LCL and your MCL. The downside is that these sleeves are heavy-duty and will limit your movement.
This sleeve is great for skiing, helps if you have acl, mcl, pcl or meniscus tear, and helps with runner's knee too. As the brace limits lateral movement and offloads your knee, it helps with arthritis too.
Unfortunately it has no warranty information. It comes as a single, so you'll have to buy two if you need support for both knees.
The sleeve limits how much your knee can bend, however it also protects against lateral bending so it's great at stabilizing your knee.
As it stablizes well it also helps with squats. Deep squats can be a bit of a problem as the back side can pinch a bit, however it does not bunch up, which is a great plus.
While you can jog in this brace it's not really suitable to high speed running as it limits the speed you can move with.
As for other sports, this brace is good when you do not need sustained, fast knee movements such as wrestling, weight lifting, zumba, skateboarding, or just doing the housework.
However it's not really good for basketball, tennis or football or cycling.
For swimming you may have to remove the hinges to let your leg move more freely.
As for patella support, this brace is adequate, however do not expect it to hold your patella rigidly in place - it was designed for lateral support.
The material is thick neoprene, so it can get sweaty on the inside, particularly if the weather is hot. Due to the neoprene it can smell a bit. On the upside it's latex free so you will not get latex allergy. The velcro is adequate, but not particularly strong, so do not overtighten it as that could make it wear out early.
The sizing can be tricky, as you have to get the correct size, and let it break in by itself. You can expect this brace to be a bit tight in the beginning. Just make sure you do not pull on the measuring tape when sizing your thigh - this way it will not become overly tight.
This brace will feel tight on your calves when you put it on first, but this is normal, and will fix itself as the sleeve brakes in.
When in doubt use this sizing chart:
|XS||11.5" - 12.5"|
|S||12.25" - 13.25"|
|M||13" - 14"|
|L||13.75" - 14.75"|
|XL||14.5" - 16"|
|XXL||15.75" - 17.25"|
|XXXL||17" - 18.5"|
For sizing measure the circumference of your knee 2" bellow your knee cap. Do not pull tight on the measuring tape.
The brace is thick and needs good fit, so you can't wear it above your trousers or pants. It will hide under your clothes as expected, unless you wear tight leggings.
As for washing, you can wash it in warm water or in the washing machine with "hand wash" program. Make sure you remove the metal hinges before washing.
The brace has quite an amount of metal in it, it will cause alert at the airport metal detector.
These sleeves provide moderate to mild support, without limiting your movements too much. As such these will not take over all the load from your MCL, if you need that you'll have to get a hinged brace. In short these sleeves make a good compromise between full MCL support and keeping your freedom of movement.
The Braco knee support brace is a one-size-fits-all brace, it fits knees between 12.5" .. 18" so it's really flexible. Make sure you measure your knee around your patella to know if your product will fit you.
The brace comes as a single so you'll have to buy two for both knee. Unfortunately the warranty for this product is a bit of a mystery.
The sleeve is good for skiing if you have bursitis or meniscus, and helps with ski injuries too. Besides this this brace tends to help with runner's knee and jumpers' knee, lateral meniscus tear. It stabilizes the knee, for maximum stabilization a hinged brace will be better though.
As for other sports, the brace is suitable for wrestling, basketball, weight lifting, zumba, running, cycling. It will give you support for doing your everyday chores such as walking up stairs too. It bunches up only rarely and rarely slips.
As for ligament problems, the brace helps with ACL, MCL and PCL problems. This brace prevents your knee from twisting so it's a good option if you are waiting for total knee replacement too.
The support and compression it provides is good for arthritis.
The brace adequatly supports your patella too, and it does not keep it in place too rigidly. However it's not a brace specialized for patella tracking problems.
The brace helps if you need to bend your knees often, however it's a bit bulky, so bending might be just a tiny bit harder. The brace is great for squats too, and even for sports which require quick movements such as running or tennis.
The brace is a bit hot so it'll probably get sweaty if you use it for intense movements is warm weather. However it's easy to wash - just hand wash it or use a light cycle in the washing machine.
The brace also survives in the pool, just make sure you wash it in running water to get rid of the chlorine.
This brace contains no metal so no problems at the airport security. It contains neoprene, so it has some smell initially.
It does not contain latex, still, take care if you have an allergy. The velcro is of good quality, still you may need to wash it sometimes to untangle it and extend it's lifetime.
You can wear this brace under your jeans, it will only show if you wear tight clothes as it has a bit of thickness.
The Blitzu knee brace is a great and comfortable all-rounder brace, which helps by reducing knee loading and pain, and increases endurance if you are sporting. It works well for pain caused by tearing, arthritis, injuries and surgeries. The brace comes as a pair, so it's more economical than other similar braces. The brace is essentially the same as the SB SOX brace. If you are looking for a thick sleeve for crossfit or lifting, check out the Bear CompleX sleeve.
|suitable for most light sports||not for swimming or lifting heavy|
|thin enough to fit under clothing||no padding, no protection in an accident|
|does not contain metal||no lateral support|
|works well against knee-pain||does not help everyone|
|fits well if sized well||sizing is a bit hard, XL not available|
|economical, comes as pair||only hand wash for best results|
|one year warranty||arrived damaged for some|
The sizing chart for the Blitzu brace is essentially the same as the chart for the SB SOX brace. You'll have to measure your thigh circumference four inches above the top of your patella.
|Thigh size||Size code|
|14.5 ... 17 inches||S|
|17 ... 19.5 inches||M|
|19.5 ... 22 inches||L|
If you do not measure 4 inches from the top of your knee cap you may get a too tight or too loose fit.
The length of this brace is about 10.5 inches from top to bottom, the rear side is slightly shorter.
XL size is not available.
The Blitzu brace is especially suitable for light sports which include lots of walking and running, for example basketball, soccer, football, tennis or dancing. The sleeve can also help with climbing too. The brace takes over some load from your knees, so you'll be able to run and walk more with the brace on.
If you had an ACL or MCL injury, you will find that it's easier and less painful to move around with the brace on.
The brace has a silicone strip on the top so it does not slip. It breathes very well so you will not get sweaty from wearing it.
If you are into weight-lifting or crossfit you may want to check the Bear CompleX sleeve.
The brace is not padded so it's not suitable for sports where you slide on your knee.
The brace was not designed for pool use, the chlorinated water may reduce it's lifetime. You can still use it in a pool just make sure you wash it thoroughly in running water once you are out of the pool.Helping your health
If you feel knee pain after overloading your knee, this brace is for you.
It's a good choice if you had a knee injury, or if your knees are damaged for arthritis. Wearing the brace for shorter times, for example during arthritis flare-ups works really well too.
As the brace works by taking over some load from your knees, it works well for ACL and MCL injuries, meniscus tears and runner's knee too. Wearing the brace will lower the chance of injury too - just make sure you do not push it too much.
The brace is very comfortable and helps if you had an accident or a knee surgery.
The sleeve stabilizes the whole knee, including the patella, so you'll feel less popping and clicking there.Wearing the Blitzu sleeve
This sleeve is suitable for wearing under and over your clothes too. The sleeve is not thick so it will not be visible unless you wear thin and tight pants.
The brace has a silicone strip on the top and bottom to prevent slipping, so it's better to wear them under pants as they are more likely to stay in place that way.Washing it
For best results simply hand wash the brace in your sink, and let it dry by itself. Do not twist, as this may damage the material.
According to Blitzu, the material is "POWER+ Premium Performance Fabric". In reality this is a mixture of nylon and spandex, with wavy silicone strips on the top and the bottom. The brace contains no metal, and probably no latex either, still it's better to be careful if you have latex allergy.Good to know
The brace does not have lateral side support, so if your knee is exceptionally instable it will not help. It's not FDA certified, however these knee braces are rarely FDA certified.
The brace comes only in orange color - if you want other colors you may want to check the SB SOX brace too.
The brace comes as a pair, so you'll get one for both knees. Other braces usually come as single.
The brace is overall well made and very comfortable. It's not padded so it will not protect your knee in an accident.The issues
The Blitzu and the SB SOX brace seem to be the same - make sure you go for the cheaper one. There is no XL size from this brace.
The EzyFit knee brace has the the standard 30 day return warranty. It comes in multiple sizes, and tends to fit large thighs really well.
Measure the circumference of your knee mid-patella:
|Size code||Knee circumference|
|M||9" - 14"|
|XL||16" - 24"|
The EzyFit brace comes as a single, so you'll have to order to if you need it for both knees.
As for sports this brace is good for squats and weight lifting, however bending your knee becomes a bit hard in it.
Running with this brace on can be a bit hard as sometimes it slips during intense movements. This depends on the size of your calves and thighs though. Still, most people use this brace successfully for basketball, zumba, cycling, tennis
The braces is good for ACL, MCL and LCL problems, and limits lateral movement effectively. As it has a hole for your patella, it improves patella tracking and runner's knee too.
It's also good if you have athritis in your knee. However putting this brace on with arthritic hands can be a challenge.
The velcro is strong, unfortunately it can bunch up and rub the back of your knee a bit which is an issue if your skin gets easily irritated.
The material is neoprene (no smell with this one!), and it contains no latex so it should not irritate your skin. Even though it's said to contain no metal it still triggers the airport metal detectors, so take care.
The brace fits well under your clothes, but you can wear it over them too. For best results only hand-wash this sleeve and let it dry by itself.
The PowerLix Compression Knee Sleeve is a simple sleeve which provides relief for many knee issues as almost every knee problem benefits from compression.
The sleeve comes as a single - you'll have to buy two if needed for both knees. The warranty is unfortunately unknown for this sleeve.
As for the sizing, measure your thigh circumference 5" above your kneecap:
|Size code||Knee circumference|
|S||11" - 12"|
|M||12.5" - 16"|
|XL||18.5" - 22.5"|
|XXL||23" - 25"|
The sleeve is great for tennis, skiing, running, jogging, hiking, soccer, basketball, cycling and and zumba too - so anything that requires fast movement and basic support.
It's good for wrestling too however it does not give you much lateral stability as it has no hinges.
This sleeve even survives in the pool, you can use it for swimming or for aquafitness.
It also supports your knee when squatting or lifting weight, however it's not the heavy-duty neoprene sleeve so it can't give that much support.
On the health side this brace is good if you need light patella support, it compresses and stabilizes your knee during the movements. It's also good for runner's knee, ligament issues (ACL, MCL, LCL and PCL sprains) and arthritis, as the compressions helps a lot.
The material is thin and breathes well. It contains neither latex nor neoprene. As a plus it does not smell - most braces tend to have some chemical smell initially, get this one if you hate the new-sleeve-smell.
It also rarely bunches up behind the knee and rarely slips, as it has an anti-slip strip.
It contains no metal hinges which means no airport security issues, and less lateral support.
The sleeve is thin, you can easily wear it under your clothes. If you wear it over your clothes expect less grip.
Sizing is not as good as it could be, if you have large thighs and calves you may find it compresses your calves and thighs more than your knees. If you are not sure if this sleeve will be a good fit get one with velcros.
For best results hand-wash this sleeve and let it dry by itself.