Best Knee Sleeves for Squating, Running and Crossfit December 2018

Best Knee Sleeves Knee Wraps

updated December 1, 2018

You train heavy in the gym - and nothing taxes you more than the squat rack. Your knees bear the brunt of the pressure, so if there’s a training aid that will give them support, you want to know about it. 

The great thing about knee wraps is that they’ll not only give you that much-needed knee support, but they will also actually allow you to lift more weight. The elastic rebound effect can add up to 10% on your lift.

Squats are the king of exercises. They are also the number one exercise for torn ACL, PCL and cartilage injuries. That is why knee sleeves are absolutely essential when you’re squatting 80% or more of your one rep max.

Your knees can take a pounding under the heavy iron. Weightlifting sleeves provide you with the support to push more weight for more reps. To find the best leg protection, you’ve got to check the stitching, compression, and heat insulation.

As a weightlifter, you need to have confidence that your joints can perform. The knees are the most vulnerable of all body parts when you’re under the heavy iron. Training wraps and sleeves are the types of products that all look the same. However, unless you know what to look for, you could easily end up with a dud. 

In this article, we’ll review the best knee sleeves on the market today, and we’ll identify the best knee protection for running, squatting and weight lifting.

How to Pick the Best Knee Sleeve

There are different thicknesses involved when it comes to the several knee sleeves you can choose. Every thickness is used for a different reason and targets a specific area. There are 3MM, 5MM, or 7MM knee sleeves that are available.

If you are a long-distance runner, then the 3MM knee sleeve will be suitable if you are looking for additional stability and support while you are running or participating in any other type of endurance sport.

The 3MM knee sleeve is lighter because it is not as thick as the others, which makes it more comfortable during running.

The 7MM knee sleeve is best for weightlifting and other shorter and heavier activities, especially when you are required to lift extra weight and put more pressure on your knees. It will add the additional support you will need to lift.

It is best for shorter durations because it is the thickest and therefore will be the heaviest. It is often used in gyms as well for additional stability and support during weightlifting training.

The 5MM knee sleeve is suitable for use with all other sports and activities. The 5MM knee sleeve is considered more of a general knee sleeve and can be used for all activities, including the activities already listed for the other knee sleeve thicknesses.

To find the best knee sleeve, you should consider how the knee sleeve will feel as you participate in your particular activities. It is recommended that you try each of them on to help you determine how the compression would feel and if you will need more thickness and support.

How Do Knee Sleeves Work?

The best knee sleeves are able to provide your knees with warmth and compression that they need during workouts and other sports and activities.

Knee sleeves can be worn during different physical activities to help alleviate pain that can occur because of conditions like shin splints and calf cramps and can offer additional knee support.

When worn by weightlifters, the best knee sleeves can allow weightlifters to lift more weight during squats, and the knee sleeve will reduce any stress that may be placed on the quadricep tendon which attaches the quadriceps to the patella, or kneecap.

A Quick Look at our Top Rated Knee Sleeves for Weightlifting 2018 

Our favorite weightlifting sleeve is the Emerge 5mm neoprene sleeve. Emerge has produced a durable, elastic, and form-fitting sleeve that does a great job of compression and warmth retention.

Emerge offers two options on their premium knee bands - the KX1 (7mm) and the KX2 (5mm). Select the KX1 for your heavy lifting work and if you have pre-existing knee problems. The KX2 is the sleeve of choice for CrossFit, running, plyometrics and sports.

We also love the Rehband range, with the 7051 being our second best sleeve. The Rehband 7051 features a unique contoured 3-D design which gives great joint compression.

Rounding out our top 3 knee sleeves is the Sable sleeve, which provides you with anti slip technology and a very secure compressive fit.

To make it easy for you to compare the premium and best knee wraps on the market, we’ve given each product a rating for price and durability and then provided an overall rating out of 5. In the following section, we go into depth on each knee wrap.

The Top Products Up Close

Now, that you’ve got an overview of the best knee sleeves on the market, let’s zoom in on each of them for an in-depth look at what makes them the best.

Knee Compression Sleeve

The 5mm KX2 sleeve is the premium choice if your primary focus is on CrossFit, running and plyometric exercises. These knee sleeves will allow for ultimate protection of your patellar joint, boosting the flow of blood to fast track nutrients to the synovial area.


At the same time, these best knee sleeves will allow for a free range of movement so that you can run, jump and lunge without interruption. Emerge have created a very durable leg sleeve. It features double stitch cross weaved seams that run diagonally for greater strength.


The sleeve fits snugly and stays in place. Even if you’re doing multiple reps, it will not slip down or bunch up. The close fit that you get with this sleeve will make sure that the heat is retained in the joints and surrounding areas. This will reduce the risk of injury and post-exercise soreness.


The most impressive feature with the Emerge is its price - it’s almost half the cost of the big-name brands like SBD and Rehband.


In fact, many users of both SBD knee wraps and Rehband knee sleeves are now Emerge converts, having realized that they can improve the same quality at a much-reduced cost.


Emerge KX1 and Emerge KX2 Knee Sleeves Comparison

Emerge have recently expanded their range with the release of the Emerge KX2 workout sleeve. The KX2 features the same high specifications that have made the KX1 our top performing workout knee sleeve on the market today.


The big point of difference is that the KX2 is not as long as the KX1. Whereas the KX1 comes down to your mid-shin, the KX2 limits its coverage specifically to the knee area.

So, which Emerge knee sleeves should you select?
Knee Sleeves Compression

The Emerge 7mm sleeve provides an easy fitting, durable sleeve that is molded to the patellar area for a custom form. It provides a comfortable inner lining that won’t snag or cause itching. Compression is top notch, providing the support that the patella needs to perform safely.


If you have pre-existing knee problems, then you need all of the compression and protection you can get. The KX1 will deliver maximum heat compression in order to increase circulation and blood flow.


The KX1 is also a great option if you are focused on doing heavy squats. It will give you the maximum level of support and guidance to allow you to track in the ideal plane as you are performing the exercise.

PROS

  • Extremely durable with reinforced cross stitching
  • Elasticity will improve your squat poundage
  • Double inlay cross stitching
  • Cost effective
  • No need to wrap knees

CONS

  • The interior lining may cause slight rubbing to the back of the knee in extreme heat.
Knee Sleeve

The Rehband name is the most respected in the knee sleeve market. They have built a reputation on custom fit, ergonomically molded, durable sleeves that stand the test of time.


The 7mm Rehband knee sleeve in its distinctive original blue is their flagship model and it lives up to the reputation. It provides a snug fit, does a great job of compressing the patellar and retains the warmth needed to lubricate the joint.


The insulation around your joint keeps it heated, allowing it to move a lot better. The 7051’s come as individual purchases, making the double investment quite expensive.


For sizing, you measure around your patellar, with the recommendation that you go a size smaller to get the best fit. They fit very snugly, providing the stability and safety you need when going heavy on the squat.


The 7mm does a great job of adding compression to the knee area. The tighter the area around the patellar, the greater the stability you are going to have.


It will also give you a mental confidence booster when under the heavy weight. The Rehband 7mm features a unique 3-D contoured design that moulds to the shape of your leg. This allows for a tighter, more comfortable fit than virtually any other sleeve that is out there.

 

Another thing that sets this band apart is the quality of the stitching. While other brands tend to come undone after a few months of hard and heavy use, or even tear, the Rehband 7mm will stand the test of time.


Rehband knee sleeves are among the priciest on the market. Be aware that you buy these sleeves singly, with one 7mm almost being as expensive as a pair from some other suppliers.

 

PROS

  • Very durable construction
  • Anatomical form fitting design
  • Comfortable, tight fit

CONS

  • Sweat build up within the sleeve
  • Expensive
  • Rapidly absorbs odor
Compression Sleeve knee

The Sable knee brace is made from a spiral elastic weaving. The brace stretches above and below the knee to provide complete protection. The brace fits tightly around the knee to give a good level of compression.


The anti slip design ensures that you won’t have to put up with slippages or bunching up, even when you’re active. The Sable Knee brace provides just the right mix of patellar compression and looseness to allow the joint to track through your exercise range of movement.


It also retains the warmth to the joint, ensuring that the entire area is thoroughly warmed up and ready for action. You also get great breathability with this brace.

PROS

  • Excellent insulation
  • Waterproof
  • Strong yet lightweight

CONS

  • No sweat removal system
High Performance Knee Sleeve

The Iron Bull Knee sleeve is made from 7mm neoprene flex material which is designed for maximum support, compression and stability for CrossFit, weightlifting, powerlifting and bodybuilding.


You’ll find the Iron Bull knee sleeve hard to get on, but it’ll give you the best form fit of any knee sleeve out there. These knee sleeves will also give you the best heat retention of any product on the market right now


Iron Bull sleeves bans are the go to and best knee sleeve for people with pre-existing knee complaints who are looking for maximum heat generation while lifting. The upper of the sleeve features double silicone gel strips to lock it in place during intensive activities.


This means that you will never have to reposition the sleeves again while working out.

PROS

  • Superior level of knee warmth
  • Double silicone gel strips
  • Tight fit providing excellent compression

CONS

  • Hard to get on and off
Compression Knee Sleeve

The Powerlix Compression Knee Sleeve provides extra patellar padding with four way compression. It is also a lot longer than most other sleeves, both above and below the patella. This sleeve is better suited for running and CrossFit movements rather than powerlifting.


Its long length offers compression while also providing a free form flow of movement. The Powerlix Sleeve has a very effective built-in moisture and odor evaporating system.

 

It will wick away sweat and build-up in the knee area so that the knee sleeve doesn’t slip around and there is a minimum of discomfort while training. It also improves the compression of the sleeve, allowing to fit more snugly to the skin.

 

Although there is extra padding over the patellar, the fabric covering it is very thin.

PROS

  • Full length 16 inch sleeve
  • Superior sweat and moisture removal
  • Compact fit
  • Extra hex knee padding

CONS

  • A little too tight in the thigh area
  • Fabric covering the padded area of the knee is very thin
Knee Sleeves Support & Compression

Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves are an affordable, premium quality compression band that is designed for protection and performance. They are constructed from 7mm neoprene with double reinforced stitching.

 

They are about half the price of the leading competitors in the protective sleeve space. It will provide your patellar with great support when squatting.


This makes the Nordic knee sleeve a relatively thick band, which is better suited for heavy lifting than for running. Ergonomically designed for a form fit, the Nordic knee band is comfortable to wear, allowing for a natural knee bend.


They will also provide you with a lot of assistance if you have knee pain. These bands are sold as a pair. The Nordic band is very similar in look and design to the Rehband 7051. The Rehband, however, is a little longer, providing more lower thigh coverage.

 

Still, the Nordic band will give you a good level of support, providing compression and warmth. Double stitching is used on the seams of these sleeves to provide an extra level of strength and durability.


Nordic bands have an impressive level of in-built elasticity. This will allow you to make maximum use of the spring loading effect when coming out of the squat ‘hole’. The result is that you can lift more weight. The Nordic sleeve is not approved for competition lifting by the IPF and IWF.

PROS

  • Form fitting
  • Well priced
  • Thick construction
  • Don't slip or bunch up
  • Effective level of compression

CONS

  • Strong odor
  • Not a lot of padding and protection to the knee
  • No moisture eliminating effect
Knee Sleeve for Fitness

The Rehband RX Knee Support is a very popular band that is especially loved by CrossFitters. It features a patented anatomic construction to deliver a superior level of muscle coordination.


The Rehband knee support will also enhance the stability of the patellar joint while eliminating wasted movement during exercise performance. This band brings together the three key components of warmth, stability, and compression.


The result is a device that reduces injury while enhancing your body’s natural muscle memory. The Rehband RX Knee Support prevents the joints and soft tissue around the knee from getting injured.

 

This allows for a quick, efficient warm up, followed by a safe, protected exercise performance and this product comes in either a 3mm, 5mm or 7mm option.

PROS

  • Patented anatomic construction
  • Enhances patellar stability
  • Three thickness options

CONS

  • Could be a little tighter
Knee Sleeves Compression & Support

Exous Bodygear Compressions Supports are a 7mm thick neoprene sleeve designed to provide maximum support while going heavy on the weights. The length of this sleeve is longer than the average on the market, providing a superior level of guidance, support, warmth, and protection.

 

The extra 2 cm of length provides you with a greater surface area of protection. Rather than the standard SBR neoprene, Exous have upgraded to NCR neoprene. The result is better thickness, quality, and density. It is triple stitched for maximum strength and durability.

 

Exous have also placed their labeling on the outside of the band to prevent skin irritation. Exous offer a full 12-month guarantee on this product.

PROS

  • Longer length
  • Higher grade neoprene material
  • Triple stitched

CONS

  • May loosen over time
Knee Compression Sleeve Support

The MAVA Sports knee compression sleeve has been anatomically to prevent training injury and speed up recovery after heavy squatting sessions. It features an anti slip silicone which stops the sleeves from sliding down half way through your workout.


The elastic support material offers stable compression and there is no danger of these sleeves rolling off or sliding down. The MAVA sleeve provides a high level of heat compression to allow for enhanced blood circulation and faster nutrient supply to the knee area.


The fabric used in the manufacture of this sleeve is anti-itch, anti- odor and anti-moisture, ensuring the ultimate in wearer comfort.

PROS

  • Anatamonically designed
  • Anti slip silicone
  • High level of het compression

CONS

  • A bit tight around the lower thigh

Workt provides both a 5mm and a 7mm knee band. These sleeves will not slip down, which is a common problem with many lesser models. Neither will they bunch up while you are wearing them. They are very comfortable throughout your workout.


This means that you won’t have to waste any of your workout time pulling your protective sleeves up. The interior of the Workt training band is made from unlined ecoprene, which is a neoprene alternative. It looks and smells like neoprene, but is more environmentally friendly.


It is naturally occurring, being made from limestone rather than petroleum. This material is more comfortable and snug fitting than neoprene. It also means that Workt bands are waterproof and able to provide better insulation.


The Workt band offers enhanced stretchability, yet will not lose its basic shape over time. Because of the Ecoprene fabric’s tight cellular structure, the band is extremely strong and durable. It will last longer than most other brands on the market.


The Workt band slips on easily yet provides a tight, compressed patellar fit. This traps​​​​​​​​ in the warmth, allowing for lubrication fluidity through the synovial joint. The rigidity of the Ecoprene fabric ensures that the patella is tracking correctly as you push out of the bottom squat position.


Workt bands are coated with a hyper composite coating. This makes them 98% bacteria and moisture resistant. That means you don’t have to worry about moisture or bacteria related odor when you use this product.

PROS

  • Excellent insulation
  • Water proof
  • Ecko friendly
  • Strong yet lightweight

CONS

  • No swear removal system

The Tommy Kono TK Knee Band is one of the few sleeves that is made completely of rubber. This is according to the design of the original knee band produced by Tommy back in the 1960’s.


Rubber provides the greatest insulation, making this ideal band to provide max heat insulation. That’s great if you’ve got a pre-existing patellar injury. The TK knee band will provide you with a tight fit that does a really good job of compressing the knee joint.


This ensures that your patella tracks the right way when you’re squatting or pushing out Oly lifts. One downside is that the rubber band is hard to peel on and off. Tommy Kono bands have been around for 50 years.


Their permanence is due to the durability and reliability of a basic product that works just as hard as you do.

PROS

  • Superior of knee warmth
  • Constructed from Rubber
  • Tight fit providing excellent compression

CONS

  • Hard to get on and off

The McDavid Hex Padded Knee Sleeve is a little longer than most other brands. This provides greater warmth and stability. However, they are a little too tight in the thigh area.


The McDavid features an advanced moisture management technology to remove sweat and keep your patellar joint well lubricated. The McDavid sleeve is constructed from neoprene, incorporating HEX technology.


This provides a closer cell structure that makes the sleeve more resilient. That means that this pad will last longer, powering you through weight workout after weight workout. The McDavid sleeve doesn’t provide a great deal of compression.


It is not designed to be used with max lifts, but is a great choice to provide the rigidity and support to guide your patella through multiple rep set exercises.

PROS

  • Full length 16 inch sleeve
  • Superior sweat and moisture removal
  • Compact fit
  • Extra hex knee padding

CONS

  • A little to tight in the thigh area
  • Fabric covering the padded area of the knee is very thin

The CAP Barbell elastic knee wrap is the best value wrap that we came across. You can pick up a pair for less than ten bucks. They have a great deal of stretch to provide an effective rebound on exercises like the squat.


With the CAP wrap, you don’t need to chalk up your knees, because the CAP wraps cling to your knees for a no slip experience. CAP wraps are relatively light. In that way, it delivers all of the benefits of a wrap without having the hassle of wrapping and unwrapping.


They are not as stiff as most other brands, which offers more flexibility in the knee joint. They do a good job of keeping the knee warm, which helps to keep the synovial fluid moving. These wraps provide you with all of the features of the top names brands without the big brand price!

PROS

  • Durable construction
  • Less stiff than most brands
  • Geat value for money
  • Excellent gripping ability

CONS

  • After repeated use, the wrap tends to lose its elasticity
  • Not very stiff, so provide less compression around knee joint

MAVA Sports knee wraps are extremely comfortable to wear.​​​​ They will not slip while working out and are easily adjustable according to your compression needs. This knee wrap is 72 inches in length. They are very malleable and will stretch to almost double their original length.


They also come with a velcro strap. This helps the wrap stay firmly in place and avoids the problem of the wrap unraveling. You can adjust the MAVA wraps as tightly or as loosely as you want to.


MAVA offer a very functional knee wrap which has the added benefit of a secure closure by way of the velcro strap and has superior compression to fully lubricate the knee joint. These are very effective knee wraps for deadlifting.

PROS

  • Comes with velcro strap for easy, secure attachment
  • Easliy adjustable for tension
  • Excellent level of knee compression
  • Very comfortable

CONS

  • May shrink after repeated washes
  • Tendency to bunch up behind the knee

Rogue knee wraps come in 2.0 and 2.5 meter lengths. They feature a velcro locking system. The velcro is high quality and will stand the test of time. The wraps are made from a lightweight material which will stretch to double its original length.


The Rogue wraps are a little too elastic to provide for serious rebound. That means that the amount of extra weight that you can lift is limited.


As a result, we feel that the Rogue knee support for squats would be better suited to a new lifter rather than an experienced athlete intent on upping his squat max. They are constructed from 40% elastic, 10% polyester and 50% cotton.


The Rogue wrap is a favorite for Crossfitters, as it provides just the right balance between compression to power you through your Oly lifts and flexibility to allow you to transition directly into plyo moves.

PROS

  • Greate for range of gym exercises
  • Velcro locking system
  • Hook and loop fastening
  • Very durable celcro ends

CONS

  • Not enough support for max one rep lifts
  • Too much elasticity for strength rebound effect

The Slingshot knee wrap is made from a reactive type of material that is a lot stretchier than a lot of the other brands out there. That makes this type of knee wrap great for beginning lifters and anyone who’s doing repetitions in their training.


The Slingshot Strong Knee Sleeve by powerlifting legend Mark Bell is a quality knee protector that fits snugly and offers a good deal of insulation to the joint. They feature a soft inner lining to provide leg comfort and to avoid itchiness.

If you’re going for a heavy set of 4-5 reps, using a Slingshot wrap will give you better performance. We believe that these are the best knee wraps for rebound. It’s really important that novice lifters graduate the stiffness of their wraps.


If you just start out with a cast iron type wrap, you are not going to be able to learn the proper mechanics of the squat.

However, when you start with the Slingshot 7mm sleeves, you are able to push into the wrap, driving your knees out and staying in the natural groove of the squat movement.


The Strong band has a vertical slit seam up the side. This is in contrast to brands such as SBD and Rehband which have diagonal seams. The vertical seam is less intrusive when you are going into heavy lifts.


The stitch used on these sleeves is cross-over double stitching, which provides extra strength. The Strong bands provide an effective slingshot effect out of the bottom squat position. This will have the effect of increasing your squat poundage.


The marketing material for the Strong band claims that you will get an extra 20-50 pounds on your squat max from wearing these sleeves!


PROS

  • Very stretchy material
  • Ideal for high rep training 
  • Keeps your patellar locked into proper alignment
  • Not to stiff
  • Durable construction
  • Soft inner lining for enhanced comfort
  • Sweat soak up ability
  • Good level of compression

CONS

  • Not suitable for max lifts
  • Too much elasticity for strength rebound effect
  • Not for advanced lifters
  • Hard to get on and off

The Hookgrip knee sleeve is a combination of nylon, rubber and spandex. This allows for an adequate amount of compression while providing the flexibility and elasticity to perform plyometric and deep knee bend movements. This sleeve is not designed for single max lifts.


But it is a great option if you want to go straight from a set of 10 squats to box jumps. The Hookgrip sleeve offers an excellent level of heat insulation to keep the entire knee area warm and well lubricated. It provides a tight but comfortable fit and is easy to put on and take off.


The stitching on the sleeve is high quality along the seam. This Hookgrip Knee Sleeve is not designed to offer a whole lot of support to your knee, but it will give you the best heat insulation of any product we came across, except for the Tommy Kono rubber sleeve.

PROS

  • Offers great warmth to the entire knee area
  • Very good flexibilit,y and elasticity 
  • Tight, comfortable fit

CONS

  • Not a lot of support to the knee joint
  • Not very thick

The Meister heavy duty elastic training knee wraps provide a very tight hold that will provide maximum support while doing a squat and powerlifting exercises.


The super tight, extreme strand design provides the ultimate in a rebound effect, allowing you to lift heavier on squats and power cleans. In fact, Meister training straps will add an average of about 10% to your one rep max on both of these lifts.


The Meister knee wrap provides a loop and wrap and has a sturdy Velcro closure. These knee wraps add more flexibility and elasticity to the patellar while keeping the area warm, thus providing a greater level of overall protection.




PROS

  • Velcro closure
  • Maximum elasticity
  • Three inches thick

CONS

  • Lots of sweat build up

Inzer Z knee wraps are a very sturdy and resilient elastic knee wrap that provides the needed solidity and support without being overly thick and cumbersome.


They provide a great deal of warmth around the knee joint, providing the lubrication you need you need for ideal mobility during a workout. The great strength of this knee wrap is its durability. You will get normal wear and tear, but they will remain functional year after year.


Inzer Z knee wraps for gym use are best used when you’re going for your max lifts. They are tightly stitched to enhance their wearable strength. You should be able to lift your max lift by 5-10% when using Inzer Z wraps. They are a very well-priced knee wrap.

PROS

  • Sturdy and resilient
  • Extreme durable
  • Well priced

CONS

  • A little tight fitting

Harbinger Red Line wraps feature the distinctive red line, which has come to be seen as a symbol of quality and performance. They are made from competition grade elastic, providing for a buildup of kinetic energy to power you out of the hole when you are doing a squat.


Harbinger Red Line wraps are available in a 78-inch length, which is considerably more than the industry standard; this allows you more flexibility in the amount of leg coverage and the tightness of your wrap.


Harbinger sells their red line knee wraps as a pair; this is a solidly performing knee wrap that won’t slip or unravel while you are pumping out your reps during your workout. Wrap it tight, and you can get up to an extra 10% on your squat max.

PROS

  • Competition Grade Elastic
  • 78 inch length option
  • Well priced

CONS

  • A little tricky to take off

Fit Active Sports knee wraps come in a distinctive blue and black design. They are made from stretchable, high-performance elastic fabric that provides an elevated level of compression and support while being extremely flexible.


The unique hook and loop design of Fit Active Sports wraps ensure that they will fit tightly and will not come loose or slip down while you are doing a squat. The 72-inch length allows you to wrap several times and get a full coverage of the entire knee area.


Your purchase includes two 72-inch-long Fit Active knee wraps. You also get a 30-day money back guarantee on this product. While not the best for running, these knee wraps are very effective aids for heavy lifting.

PROS

  • Very stretchable
  • 72 inches long
  • Hook and loo fastening design

CONS

  • Quite bulky

Pro Fitness knee wraps come in a stylish grey and black design. They are constructed from a soft, breathable elastic material, providing comfort while ensuring maximum compression and elastic rebound ability.  


The breathable nature of these straps gives them a very good moisture wicking ability, ensuring that you don’t have to contend with sweat slippage. Pro Fitness knee wraps are 72 inches in length and have a very secure Velcro fastening.


You can have confidence that your knee wraps will not slip down or begin to unravel when you’re in the middle of a set. They come in a range of attractive colors, are machine washable and can be used by both men and women.


Your purchase is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.

PROS

  • Soft, breathable elastic construction
  • Moisture wicking ability
  • Secure celcro fastening

CONS

  • A little to much elasticity

RockTape Knee Caps come in both 5 and 7mm options. They are very thick and supportive, keeping your joints very warm as you squat. They are very good value in comparison to the name brands.  


They are 90% neoprene and 10% nylon, whereas more expensive brands such as Rehband will be 100% neoprene. The 10% difference is not a big deal unless you are a hardcore powerlifter. RockTape Knee Caps are very durable.


They use the latest in stitching technology, known as double Mouser stitching to provide much greater seam strength. A four way lycra liner provides greater wearer comfort, preventing itchiness and scratching.


RockTape Knee Caps come in distinctive designs. They provide complete patellar coverage, being slightly longer than many other brands. They are easy to get on and off and will not bunch up when in use.

PROS

  • Thick and supportive
  • Double Mouser stitching
  • Four way lycra liner
  • Distinctive designs

CONS

  • Not 100% neoprene


Primal Elite Knee sleeves are made from 100% high quality neoprene. They are uniquely contoured to fit snugly to the leg, providing the best protection and compression possible. The ergonomic design makes these bands easy to pull on and off, yet very secure fitting.  


That means that you’ll never have to worry about the sleeves slipping or bunching at the back of the knee while you’re training. The double reinforced stitching on the seams of the Primal Elite adds to the strength and durability of the product. This is no cheap knock-off brand.

 

Even though it is almost half the price of the leading brand names in the space, it is built to last! The Primal Elite will keep your patellar tight and lubricated, while the compression factor will help ensure that squatting movement patterns follow the proper squat trajectory.


The built-in elasticity will also help you push more weight.

PROS

  • Double reinforced stitching
  • Ergonomically contoured design
  • Free gym bag

CONS

  • Not inner lining

The people at Grim Reapers have spent a lot of time, money and effort through research, product testing and fine tuning to produce their entry model into the fitness band category.

 

The 7mm thick neoprene sleeve impresses with its level of comfort, large size and compression of the knee. It does a very good job of keeping the point tight enough to offer safety to the patellar while free enough to ensure proper squatting technique.


Reinforced stitching complements the thick neoprene padding to give you a hardy yet lightweight knee protector that will stand the test of time. Grim Reapers will not bunch up. Yet they are easy to roll down while you’re wearing them.


This makes the Grim Reaper training band ideal for use while deadlifting, doing RDL’s or performing box jumps.

PROS

  • 7mm thick neoprene
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Good level of compression

CONS

  • Not competition approved

ThruFit knee bands are anatomically designed to hug your leg, providing a good level of compression. It will insulate the heat to keep the joint warm and malleable.

 

The reinforced seams and unique seam layout provides extra strength to ensure that these sleeves will not come apart after a few months of regular use. The ThruFit knee sleeve has a soft inner lining to add comfort to the fit.


It will not snag on your leg hair or cause itchiness. Neither will this model slide down your leg while you are squatting, as some other brands are known to do. The tight fit of the ThruFit band ensures a tight fit around the knee.


This will provide a good level of compression around the joint, keeping the patella in place while squatting and also ensuring that the joint is war and well lubricated.

PROS

  • Soft inner lining
  • Competition approved
  • Effective joint compression
  • Reinforced seams

CONS

  • A little tricky to put on and remove

Knee Sleeves vs Knee Wraps 

Many people are confused about the difference between sleeves and wraps. Let’s break it down, so you can make sure you have the right tool for the job. The purpose of a knee sleeve is to provide warmth around the joint.

When you start working out, the synovial fluid in the knee joint starts to warm up. That’s good, but when you stop working it cools down and this will tighten up the entire knee area. The best knee sleeves will lock in the warmth, keeping the synovial fluid in a liquid state.

It will provide a little bit of support by keeping your knee locked into a position. Knee sleeves, however, will not add to the strength of your lift. Knee wraps create artificial pressure and elasticity on the knee joint that allows you to push more weight.

When you put the strap on, it pulls tight around your knee. When you squat down, the elastic stretches, allowing you to explode out of the hole a lot more easily. The problem with a knee wrap is that it puts pressure on your knee cap.

If overused, they can cause damage to the joint. That’s why you should only wear your knee wraps when performing maximum squat attempts.

How to Use / Put on Knee Wraps  

Now that you know where to find the best knee wraps, it’s time to learn how to put them on properly. If you don’t they will not only NOT be effective; they may actually be a cause of injury.

You can do a great deal to prevent and reduce knee pain and joint pain by learning how to use knee wraps properly. In doing so, you’ll also learn just how tight your knee wraps should be to help alleviate the knee pain. So, here’s how to properly wrap your knee.

Start wrapping from just below the knee joint, placing a finger to support the wrap before wrapping around once and pulling nice and tight to lock it into place. Continue wrapping, going up the knee with each revolution. Make sure to pull tight after every revolution.

You should now be at the end of the knee wrap, which you can fold into the strapping to lock everything into place. You’ll probably have a little portion of material left over, which is less than enough to get a final revolution out of. To release the knee wrap, simply pull the flap out.

In terms of tightness, you want the knee wraps to feel almost cast like. The tighter the knee wrap, the greater the level of support will be on your patellar and quadriceps tendons on either side of the knee cap. This provides a thick wall of support when squatting.

At the same time, of course, you should still be able to squat in them. It may take a little trial and error, but pretty soon you will have figured out the ideal knee wrap tightness for you.

Best Knee Sleeves for Squats Reviews 2018   

Squats are probably the hardest exercise in the gym. They are especially tough on the patellar. When you’re ready to go heavy on the squat, you need to be wearing a quality pair of protective knee sleeves.

In terms of durability, compression, rebound effect and heat insulation, the best product on the market is the Emerge 7mm sleeve. This versatile sleeve outperforms the big names and comes in a whole lot cheaper.

If you want to get into the total breakdown of the best knee sleeve for squats, check out our article on what the best protective sleeves for squats are. I know you’ll love it.

Honorable Mention    

Knee Inferno wraps can help to enhance your body’s natural healing power by delivering oxygen, nutrients, and antibodies to the injury. The Inferno wraps are flexible which means they can shape to the contours of your body for a more comfortable fit.

The Inferno wraps contain a patented Energy Web that emits electromagnetic energy over the surface of the site and then targets the muscles and soft tissue to enhance the blood flow. Once absorbed, the electromagnetic waves are converted into health therapy.

Can Knee Wraps Make You Stronger?     

Many people are confused between knee wraps vs. knee sleeves regarding adding to your lifting power. Knee sleeves are for support and compression, while knee wraps can add to your lift.

Technically, knee wraps will not make you stronger, but they will allow you to lift more weight. The elastic makeup of the knee wrap builds up potential energy as you descend into the bottom position of the squat.

This is similar to the potential energy that builds in an elastic band when you pull it back. When you push out of the hole, the elastic energy is released, helping you to power your way back up. Depending on the quality of your knee wrap, you can increase your lift by as much as 10%.

Freezie Wrap for Effective Cold Compression Therapy      

A Freezie Wrap is a therapy wrap that can be used on either an arm or leg and is FDA registered as a medical grade device.

It is often used to help reduce knee pain and joint pain that is associated with injuries such as a hamstring injury, calf pain, bicep tendonitis, IT band syndrome, and bursitis.

A Freezie wrap is commonly used by regular people with moderate activity and exercise levels, as well as medical professionals, and pro athletes. After your workout, there may still be pain and tenderness in the knees, even if you were utilizing a knee wrap.

A Freezie wrap that provides cold compression therapy can help reduce any inflammation and swelling while minimizing any tissue damage you might be experiencing.

Cold compression therapy lowers the overall temperature of the tissue that has been injured which also aids in reducing the metabolic and help the tissue to survive.

Conclusion

In this article, we have found and compared the premium, most popular that the current market has to offer as far as knee sleeves go. Our search led us directly to the Emerge 5mm compression sleeve.

This amazing product provides all of the support, compression, and insulation that you get from the market leaders, but for a whole lot less money.

The second most popular wrap among our team was the Rehband 7051, which comes with a unique contoured 3-D design that provides an elevated level of compression and support.

We were also extremely impressed with the Workt 7mm compression sleeve, which uses Ecoprene fabric to provide superior compression, warmth, and rigidity.

When it comes to knee wraps, the CAP Barbell wraps, which provide all the high end features at a very good price point, was our number one choice.

Our second favorite wrap was the MAVA sports wrap which uniquely features a velcro strap to keep the wrap extremely secure and sturdy. Rogue knee wraps were our next best option, providing the right combination of compression and flexibility for Crossfit movements.

Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves


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Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves

jim roose

My name is Jim Roose. I'm a former competitive power lifter and gym owner. I've bought millions of dollars of fitness equipment over the last 20 years. This site is my way of giving back to the fitness community that's done so much for me. Every article on here is carefully researched and written by me. Leave a comment if you have any questions.

Best Knee Sleeves Knee Wraps
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