Top 10 Knee Support Running Sleeves Reviewed
Running obviously means your knees are going to take a pounding. Unless you ensure you're taking proper care of them, you are likely to end up with chronic ongoing problems. Can you say "flare-ups while running?"
Yeah, not a great picture. The right knee support while running (or not running!) will provide warmth, support, and stability to your knee; the wrong one will enforce too much rigidity, and trap moisture.
Moisture can cause rashes, blisters, and even more intense reactions. If it's too tight, it can restrict blood flow and that's the exact opposite effect you're looking for. You need at least a little range of motion.
We'll talk more about that below, however, where we get into the details of how these products were chosen. For now, we're just gonna get into the meat and cover the best knee sleeves for running on the market right now.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 25 hrs of research
Mesh ventilation zones
Polygiene Stay Fresh technology
Every pair tested for quality
10 Best Knee Sleeves for Running
Mesh ventilation zones
Polygiene Stay Fresh technology
Every pair tested for quality
May run small
The first product on our list... and absolutely unanimously the best. They're the pinnacle of everything right in the world of sports therapy and activewear. Rockay is a brand we've come to know and trust for their running socks. You'll love their style, flawless designs, and absolute dedication to perfection. All of their products require rigorous testing to ensure their quality... and their socks are made from recyclable materials!
This isn't about their socks, however. There are far more important things to get into that directly relate to this product.
This fairly recent addition to their product line up shows that they're getting better and better. But why do we love them so much? Read all about it in the full review!Read more
Rockay, rockay, rockay... What can we say? They're absolutely killing it in all areas. While they're new to the scene, they're already shaking up the game. And, of course, keeping you on top of yours. Don't stay behind the times- you gotta be fast to stay at the head of the pack.
The best part about this particular sleeve is its quality. The best materials possible come together in a symphony of athletic perfection. You can count on the moisture-wicking properties of mesh, added for extra ventilation. It's much appreciated during those long, strenuous runs in the summer.
Polygiene technology is also a huge factor. This cutting-edge methodology ensures that each and every sleeve is the best it can be. You won't miss a beat when Rockay keeps you on a perfect rhythm.
We could sing the praises of the brand all day, but we've got some more products to get it. If you haven't already made your decision (we wouldn't blame you), keep on reading for the rest of the best the market has to offer.
2. Venture Pal
Perfect for weightlifters
Multiple colors available
Top band uncomfortable at first
Are you an athlete on the go? Then you're gonna find your next adventuring best friend with the Venture Pal! There's no better way to make your way around the block, or up the next mountain... and back down it!
There are quite a few perks included- including a lifetime guarantee! You can't beat that. Any company that stands by their products is one that you can trust. A lifetime warranty is about as good as it gets!Read more
Aside from the warranty, there are several other attractive features. Venture Pal included quite a few of the basic ones that meet our expectations. This includes non-slip properties as well as ergonomic design. It fits like a glove and doesn't bunch up! Those are fantastic qualities all on their own.
In addition, you'll also find that it's moisture-wicking. This improves conditions for your skin and helps prevent blisters or bacteria. As a byproduct, moisture-wicking materials dry super fast in the dryer! That's pretty nifty in our books.
The Venture Pal is also designed to cup your knee. This gives weightlifters an extra layer of protection and a more stable squat. It's also a great design for runners! Treadmills are already better for your knees than pavement- these add a layer on top of it!
3. UFlex Athletics
4-Way stretch technology
Slotted knee for breathability
Silicone allergies beware
We love UFlex! This is one of those smaller brands that we just can't get enough of. While they don't top the list this time, they certainly have in other products! There's a good reason for all the fuss, too.
UFlex is another company that seems to meet our expectations just based off of their name! Weird flex, but alright. Let's see if they stand up to the test in the full review!Read more
The Uflex Athletics compression sleeve provides a longer length to provide more coverage. It extends well past the knee on either end, giving you both better shin coverage a little extra up to the bottom of your thigh. This provides you with a superior level of tightness, ensuring that the sleeve will neither slip down nor bunch up.
It also gives you a graduated compression with 4-way stretch technology. It also has a built-in odor wave and no-slip or slide technology. It is very lightweight and gives your knees a good level of protection. Double silicone anti-slip wave provides the best grip, meaning that you won’t have to readjust it halfway through your workout session.
A key feature of the Uflex sleeve is the moisture management technology which does a very good job of wicking away sweat and moisture build-up in the knee area. This adds to the compression, preventing slippage and enhancing durability.
4. SlingShot Strong
Offers highly visible colors
7mm thick neoprene
Great for weightlifters
Lacks double stitching
Slingshot sleeves are made from 100% neoprene and feature a soft interior lining. They come in five different sizes which means that you're going to find your perfect fit no matter what. We're pretty confident in their ability "slingshot" you into the joy success brings! We're just rolling with the puns today. They're irresistible!
There are several other reasons we're totally in love... but you'll have to keep reading to find out!Read more
The soft inner lining of the Slingshot sleeve ensures that they cling comfortably to your leg. That's right- no more distractions or annoyances! If you have an issue with excess sweat (or even normal levels of it) in that area, rest assured that this style has you covered. Hello, moisture-wicking!
Whereas many other brands of knee sleeve have a tendency to bunch up at the back, the Slingshot will retain it’s fit to no matter what. If you've dealt with that bunching problem before, then this will the best thing you've read all day I'm sure. Bunching is literally the worst.
The seams on the Slingshot are not double-stitched, however. That presents a potential problem in terms of durability. The experience of many consumers is that the stitching will start to give anywhere between six and nine months in the life of the sleeve.
Fits like a glove
Next on our list is the 7751 by Rehband. They're a company well known for its excellent products that are focused around joint health and support. Rehband has been around for over 50 years- they know what they're doing!
Overall, this is a solid choice that we think you'll love. The therapeutic properties produce the results that we know you need.Read more
The Rehband 7751 is a 5mm knee support made of 100% neoprene. It’s not quite as thick as 7051, which is both a good and a bad thing. It will allow for a freer range of running movement. However, you don’t get quite as much protection and compression. This is a great sleeve for people who have a mild amount of knee pain.
Rehband 7751 does a very good job of providing compression and support to your knee area. It is a very snug fitting brace that will bring warmth to the area. This will, in turn, allow for a free flow of the synovial liquid around the joint.
Rehband is well respected for the quality of its manufacture and the 7751 maintains that high standard. The double stitching around all the seams will ensure that these sleeves will last you well into the future.
Anti-slip silicone gel strips
Applies even pressure
Prone to bunching
This is probably one of the slickest styles presented today. Powerlix really went all out when it came to aesthetic! Their packaging is absolutely gorgeous... and the sleeve inside is even better. The attention to detail doesn't stop that, however. They diligently designed their sleeves with sleek athletes in mind. They're pretty slick!
So, yeah, they're beautiful... but do they stand up to the test?Read more
The short answer: of course! We included them on this list, didn't we? We're all about long, informative answers here at GGB, however, so let's break it down further.
They feature gorgeous mesh accents that add a pop of color- or not if you choose the flat black pair! You just have to love fashion and function in perfect harmony. The color options include baby blue and bright pink- both great for visibility! This is a great sleeve for a night-time run or workout.
7. Cambivo 2-Pack
Includes 2 sleeves
Bright colors available
Double-lined anti-slip strips
Includes a free e-book
Weak seams in some pairs
Don't make the mistake of thinking most of these come in 2-packs. It's normally not the case! If you're looking for the most bang for your buck, this is a great way to go. Cambivo offers stylish, safe designs that people love. They're also a helluva bargain because Cambivo sells them in a 2-pack. You can't go wrong with more bang for your buck.
We're pretty sure you're gonna love these as much as we do!Read more
Whether you've torn your meniscus, are treating an old injury, or recovering from surgery, Cambivo has you covered. Their sleeves are fit for almost any athlete or patient. They're proven to reduce inflammation and promote healing after sports-related injuries.
Even if you haven't been injured before, you should still seriously consider wearing these. A great compression sleeve will do wonders for injury prevention just as much as it will promote healing after an injury.
They also offer these in several different color options- six, to be exact. This wide range means you can find the perfect style to suit your tastes.
8. Mava Sports Pair
Comfortable enough to wear for long stretches
Offer excellent support
May wear after washing
Another 2-pack! You know we love a good bargain- that's the ultimate goal! You really shouldn't sacrifice quality for a low price, but sometimes the two can exist in perfect harmony. Mava Sports offers you a deal and a half here, folks!
We're a pretty big fan, but there are some drawbacks we should go over. More on that below!Read more
Mava Sports has done quite a bit correctly with this design. For starters, it has an excellent sense of style. Athleisure is popular these days to the point where even rehab tools and general health tools are getting into it.
You shouldn't have to sacrifice style for comfort, just like quality for the price!
Mava Sports has always designed this pair to be especially supportive of weightlifters. It also has a lovely, soft material. There are some customers that say it wears out super quickly, especially after you wash it. It's concerning, but not entirely common.
9. Physix Gear
Lightweight allowing for ultimate comfort
Offers perfect support for long-distance runners
The elastic grip may wear over time
This is absolutely a brand we've seen before. Physix Gear is pretty well known! It would hardly be complete without at least one of their designs added in. We're overall pretty impressed by this style!
Don't get us wrong, they produce some of the highest-quality products on the market. We just feel like they're not as solid all-around as the designs that have beat them out and ranked higher on the list.Read more
They boast quite a bit about the resistance this sleeve has against wearing out. They talk a big talk, but it seems like overall they do score quite a few points in this area.
We're also a big fan of the overall style. Again, just because you have to wear knee support it doesn't mean it has to look ugly.
The material is lycra-based which lends quite a bit of flexibility. It's also thin enough to fit comfortably underneath pants, so winter workouts aren't a problem! Some customers question the actual support it provides, however. Keep in mind that these complaints are minimal. It's a pretty swell deal overall!
Helps reduce swelling
Won't slip during movement
Offers perfect comfort
Sizing might run larger than expected
RiptGear seems like they take themselves a little too seriously, but that's not necessarily bad. It really comes down to taste! They have their name stitched somewhat sloppily, but it does seem to fit into their general aesthetic.
It's a mixed bag, but still a solid product.Read more
RiptGear definitely crafted this product so that it appealed to weightlifters. It absolutely has that rough, raw feel that you expect from people who squat serious pounds. It might not be a design everybody loves, but we're sure it appeals to many.
It's made with a blend of materials meant to add an extra boost to it overall. However, that blend means that there's a higher chance for it to irritate your skin. If you're particularly sensitive or have allergies, we recommend that you steer clear.
Luckily, there are many athletes who would be good to go. Everybody else gets the green light! They fit like a glove, offer superior protection and stabilize you perfectly.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Generally speaking, compression is the best thing for inflammation. But why? What does compression even do? Is it effective? The answers will shock you! ... Or, they probably won't. This isn't ground-breaking stuff- it's tried and true! Compression is your best defense against long recovery times.
It aids your entire body even when it's centralized on one area (say, the knee). When you slip on a sleeve it gives your muscles a little squeeze. That encourages blood flow that is so incredibly necessary for your body to function. We made sure that every sleeve here has been rigorously tested for their abilities.
You also want to keep in mind that compression is a double-edged sword. If there's too much "squeezing" going on, you'll actually end up doing more damage than good. The middle ground is a sweet spot that you have to hit when you're talking about sleeves.
Always make sure you aren't hurting yourself in the process of trying to get better. That's just counterproductive! All the styles we've put on the table today are fantastic for hitting that previously mentioned sweet spot.
Why should visibility matter? How does that even come into play with compression sleeves?
Well, that depends on what you're going to be using them for. Runners really need to keep visibility in mind if they're going out and about in low lighting. We love seeing extra measures taken for safety- you never know when reflective material will save your life! While running outdoors is highly rewarding you want to avoid getting hit by a car. I mean, you want to avoid that at all times, but it's especially true when you're literally a moving target. If you plan on just hanging out in your home gym then it may not be quite as necessary.
Bright yellow is the best, but any neon color will do. While they don't necessarily have to be "reflective", it does help. Try bright colors at the very least! Pink, yellow, orange, and green are all great shades so long as they're "loud". I'm sure you know what I mean by a "loud" color- y'know, the ones that are practically screaming "Look at me! I'm here!" Those are the ones!
A proper fit can save you a world of pain- literally. There is nothing worse in the world than having a sleeve that's too lose- or, worse, too tight. We already went over compression earlier and how important it is that it isn't squeezing you too tightly. On the other hand, a loose sleeve isn't going to do anything for you.
Most of these brands offer measurement-driven sizing charts. This is fantastic for getting that perfect fit you crave. It can be a huge pain, but taking your measurements ensures that you're getting the right product. Nobody wants to have to exchange a product because it's a hassle. Save yourself the hassle- just take the measurements, guys!
You also want to take into account your general stature. How is that area shaped? Are you thicker at one place than the other in such a way that it would throw off the fit? There are definitely people who are kind of "between sizes", which complicates things. In this case, you want to go with the size a little too big, and then move to the size that's a little too small. Get used to the feeling of the compression and just move slowly to the higher level of it!
How does having little to no movement in your knee area sound? Terrible? Yeah, that's what we said. It's no secret that a big complaint in the athletic community. Having a full range of motion is crucial for keeping yourself safe and moving properly during exercise.
That doesn't mean that some loss of motion is a bad thing, however. They're designed to give a little resistance so you're moving in a more controlled manner. Again, there is a middle-ground here that is really important to find. This is also something that varies depending on activity.
Runners will want a sleeve that will move with them with less resistance being given. Weightlifters are going to want a sleeve that gives them a little more support. Just make sure you're taking your level of activity, and the type of activity, into account.
And, of course, we always kept comfort in mind. When you're miserable while exercising you just don't get the same results. "No pain, no gain" is a lie, folks! Doing damage to your body on purpose isn't going to help you in the long run (get it? "Run"... I'll see myself out).
There's way more than just proper sizing that determines comfort. For example, the material goes a long way to keeping you cool and comfy.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Compression works by putting some pressure on your veins. This pressure increases blood flow by increasing your overall blood pressure. This keeps blood circulating to your heart more quickly- which promotes healing!
There's a full range of treatments that use compression... and not just for athletes! Anybody who suffers from chronic knee pain can absolutely benefit from wearing a knee sleeve.
Other Factors to Consider
While the brand isn't a huge, huge factor in the decision-making process, it certainly is a factor. There are just some brands that are better known for quality than others.
Don't get us wrong- we're huge fans of undiscovered, indie companies that produce stellar products! But at the end of the day, a company you can trust will give you products you can trust.
If you see a name you don't recognize on this list, it's there for good reason! We only include the best of the best, so if it's a brand you don't know, maybe it's time to find your new best fit!
Support ties in with most of our criteria! The overall support of a product is essential to its efficacy. We kept overall support in mind during the process and based most of our decisions on the general level of support offered.
Having good motion control, for example, means that your knee is being securely stabilized. Compression also offers an element of extra control because it's keeping the entirety of that segment of leg stabilized. Essentially, overall support won us over and we required the elements of the designs to fully support your legs.
Style isn't exactly the biggest priority when it comes to picking out the hottest designs on the market. But, strangely enough, the best sellers tend to be the ones that also feature killer aesthetics.
We specifically kept an eye out for brands that took extra care in making their sleeves appealing to a wide variety of people. Having several different styles means that you can pick out exactly what fits your needs. Athleisure is such a popular style and we are huge believers that you shouldn't have to choose between safety and style.
Essentially, we didn't base our decisions solely on style, of course. We did, however, take it into heavy consideration when it came down to the bottom line.
Speaking of which...
When it comes down to it, compression sleeves are an essential part of any healthy athlete's safety precautions. You have to take care of your body if you want it to last you a long lifetime, after all. Your knees are incredibly important to your overall mobility. If you put them through enough damage you'll really start to feel it once you're older.
Don't make the mistake of causing damage early on in your life- or during the rest of it. If you haven't already made the investment it's highly recommended for preventing continuous strain and the injuries that follow.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do compression sleeves work?
This is a question often asked. It can be hard to fully understand just how certain rehab tools work. Luckily, we're going to go over the specifics! It isn't too difficult to understand.
Essentially, the calf compression sleeve works to tighten everything up. This increases your blood pressure which gets your blood flowing stronger. This circulates it through your heart more quickly and increases overall oxygen flow. It has an incredible healing effect on your muscles!
On top of that, they also provide more stability. This keeps you from twisting around too much and keeps your patella firmly in place.
q: Are they safe to use?
Absolutely. In most cases, they are entirely safe for you to use. You just need to keep in mind that using a sleeve that's too small for you can cut off blood flow. This is absolutely something you want to avoid as it can cause damage rather than help you heal.
Always take your measurements as instructed by the brand. Pay close attention to what they say about being between sizes. Most say, however, to go for the size down fit a snug fit and the size up for comfort.
q: Do they work?
Absolutely! They're recommended by many surgeons and sports therapists. Rest assured that they're entirely safe and they totally work. They're a great addition to any home gym.
q: How soon can I use them after surgery?
Before you use them you should always consult your physician or surgeon. If you're in sports rehab then you can always ask your physical therapist. You don't want to use them too soon without permission from a medical professional.
Even for simple sprains, you should always reach out to somebody who's an expert on the matter. Any time you implement a treatment after an injury there should be a general inspection, preferably by a physical therapist.
q: How do I take care of them properly?
Most of the brands will include instructions with their products. You'll find that each one has a slightly different care routine, generally speaking. Some might be the same but you have to keep in mind that most have a blend of materials. Different materials have different care plans.
It's important to look for hypoallergenic designs, too. This ensures that they don't have to be washed quite as often. The longer you can go between washes, the longer your sleeve will last!
Moisture-wicking materials are great for keeping the sleeve out of the dryer. The properties of moisture-wicking materials will help them dry way quicker!