Top Five Knee Sleeves

Rehband 7mm Nordic Ultra Flex ActiveGear Rehband Core Line
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Best For Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Crossfit, Running, Hiking, Basketball Powerlifting, Weight Lifting, Bodybuilding, Crossfit, Running, Hiking, Basketball Powerlifting, Weight Lifting, Bodybuilding, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Football, Hiking, Skiing, Tennis, Cycling, Baseball Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Crossfit, Running, Hiking, Basketball Crossfit, Strongman, Powerlifting, and Olympic Weightlifting
Anatomical Shape
Preventive Effect
Recovery Effect
Stability
Warmth
Material Neoprene Neoprene Neoprene Neoprene Neoprene
Thickness 7 mm 7 mm 7 mm 5 mm 5 mm
Length 27 - 42 cm 29-46 cm 36-55 cm 27-50 cm 31-43 cm
Available sizes XS – XXL XS – XXL Small-Large Small – XL XS – XXL
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We are intended to be your personal guide to choosing the best knee sleeves for your sport, whether that be powerlifting, bodybuilding, crossfit, olympic weightlifting, running or hiking. All the reviews you’ll find in this article are based on my personal experience and feedback gathered from other athletes. The last thing any serious athlete wants is a knee injury which could severely hinder their training and set them back for weeks, months or even years. Knee sleeves are designed to protect the knee joint from the risk of injury or damage associated with squatting, running and jumping. They achieve this by lightly compressing the knee which increases blood flow and reduces pain.

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Types of Knee Sleeves

The most common type of knee sleeves that you might have seen people wearing around the gym are made from neoprene and simply slide over the knee. However, there’s a wide range of knee sleeves on the market made from different materials which offer different benefits. It’s important first to identify exactly what you’re looking to get out of your knee sleeves before jumping in and purchasing a pair:

Neoprene: Neoprene knee sleeves provide warmth, injury prevention, and mild compression to the knees during physical activity/
Cloth sleeves: compression and warmth.
Knee wraps (not technically knee sleeves): heavy compression, typically worn for performance.

Benefits of Knee Sleeves

  • Compression and warmth
  • Promotes blood flow
  • Helps recovery
  • Reduces pain
  • Provides added senses of security
  • Increased performance
  • Reduces risk of injury or damage

As someone who has suffered the pain and setback of patellar tendonitis from running and powerlifting, I can’t overemphasize the importance of investing in a good quality pair of well fitting knee sleeves for any athlete serious about their knee health and performance, no matter their goals.

The right pair will not only keep your knees warm but also help keep annoying injuries like tendinitis at bay and prevent those annoying aches and pains. Personally, I also find that wearing knee sleeves gives me a mental edge and added the sense of security when I’m in the gym.

Since regularly wearing knee sleeves during training my knee pain went from constant to almost non-existence in a matter of months. Of course, knee sleeves are not some miracle cure for serious knee conditions. If you’re suffering from serious knee conditions such as a tendonitis, it’s important to identify the main source of your pain. Knee sleeves, in this case, will only act as a temporary band-aid fix.

Here’s my top picks for the best knee sleeves. With so many high quality models of knee sleeves on the market offering a number of different benefits it’s impossible to pick just one best pair.

Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeve

The Rehband 7mm knee support is one of the best knee sleeves on the market. An extremely versatile and premium quality knee sleeve from Rehband that has become the gold standard by which most other knee sleeves are judged. The blue Rehband knee sleeves offer the Goldilocks sweet spot for compression and warmth and come with the added bonus of being able to be pulled on and off with relative ease. Made of high-grade neoprene, they’ll last multiple years provided they’re cared for correctly. One of the best knee sleeves on the market.

Best for:

Most sports including powerlifting, bodybuilding, crossfit, running, hiking, basketball etc.

Specs:

  • Thickness: 7mm
  • Length: 27 – 42 cm
  • Available sizes: 6 (XS – XXL)
  • Colour(s): Blue

Pros: Provides just the right amount of compression and warmth to the knee joint without inhibiting movement too much. Simple to pull on and off. High grade neoprene means they’ll last the test of time.

Cons: Price. A pair will set you back relatively at a high price (these are sold as singles so make sure you factor this in when purchasing online). However, you do get what you pay for here.

Last update was in: May 22, 2017 2:57 pm
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Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves

A good quality alternative to the bigger brand name knee sleeves. Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves are a good quality alternative to the more popular Rehband and SBD knee sleeves if budget is your number one priority. They will provide some level of support for your knees, however, they just seem too easy to slide on and off, meaning they do lack some of the compression of the bigger brands. They won’t last quite as long either, but they’re still a fairly solid knee sleeve for the price point.

Best for:

Most sports including powerlifting, bodybuilding, crossfit, running, hiking, basketball etc.

Specs:

  • Thickness: 7mm
  • Length: 27cm
  • Available sizes: 3 (small -large)
  • Colour(s): Black

Pros: Cheaper than Rehbands. Fairly good quality neoprene and comes with a With 1 Year Free Replacement Guarantee.

Cons: Not as supportive as bigger brands. Only comes in 3 sizes – small, medium and large.

Last update was in: May 22, 2017 2:57 pm
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Ultra Flex Knee Sleeve

Nothing quite compares to Ultra Flex when it comes to support and coverage. Ultra Flex knee sleeve are big in powerlifting circles for a good reason – they’re designed with strength and power in mind. These knee sleeves are made from the same high-quality neoprene as Rehband with the added advantage of offering slightly more coverage than Rehbands. There’s also the benefit of more sizing options which is especially beneficial for powerlifters who are looking to size down for competition.

Best for:

Stable compression during gym time, squats, weightlifting, yoga, fitness, crossfit, basketball, volleyball, MMA, soccer, football, hiking, skiing, tennis, golf, cycling, baseball,
Specs:

  • Thickness: 4″
  • Length: 35-55 cm
  • Available sizes: Small – Large

Pros: High quality neoprene. Available in 11 sizes from small to large enabling lifters to have more control over the fit.

Cons: Price. Prepare to shell out for these top of the line knee sleeves.

Last update was in: May 22, 2017 2:57 pm
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ActiveGear Knee Brace

The Active Gear Knee Sleeve is another great budget knee sleeve. Another fairly solid choice for those of you looking for a cheaper alternative to the bigger name knee sleeves on the market. For around the same price as the Nordic Fitness Sleeves, you can pick up a pair of Active Gear Knee Braces. But what’s the difference I hear you ask? Well, firstly, being 5mm thick these knee sleeves won’t restrict your movement as much as thick 7mm sleeves. Secondly, the extra padding inside the sleeves will help to reduce slipping and increase comfort.

Best for:

Most sports including powerlifting, bodybuilding, crossfit, running, hiking, basketball etc.

Specs:

  • Thickness: 5mm
  • Length: 27-50 cm
  • Available sizes: 4 (Small – XL)
  • Colour(s): Black

Pros: Cheaper than the more popular brands on the market, with more flexibility than thicker knee sleeves. Good quality neoprene with added padding to reduce slipping and increase comfort.

Cons: Not as supportive as thicker knee sleeves. A few reviewers online have stated that the sizes run a little small and sizing isn’t always 100% accurate so keep this in mind when working out your size.

Last update was in: May 22, 2017 2:57 pm
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Rehband Core Line Knee Support

The go-to knee sleeve for Crossfitters. Also, the first knee sleeve I ever owned. The Crossfitters go-to knee sleeve. Why? The newer Rehband 7751 knee support is 2mm thinner than the original blue model, which allows for maximum mobility of the knee joint. This comes at a cost, though; they don’t offer the same level of support. These were the very first pair of knee sleeves I ever purchased. I still have them today after over two years of grueling workouts, and they look as good as the day I bought them (albeit much smellier).

Best for:

Most sports, but especially suited to Crossfit, Strongman, Powerlifting, and Olympic Weightlifting.

Specs:

  • Thickness: 5mm
  • Length: 31-43 cm
  • Available sizes: 6 (XS – XXL)
  • Colour(s): Gray

Pros: Thinner material allows for more freedom of movement. Same high grade neoprene as the Rehband 7051s.

Cons: Less support and protection than thicker knee sleeves. I find that these knee sleeves also absorb a lot of sweat quite quickly and start smelling terrible pretty foul after a couple of intense workouts.

Last update was in: May 22, 2017 2:57 pm

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