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One of the easiest areas to break down in your body while working out are your knees. Whether you are focused on cardio conditioning or weight training, your joints in your legs take abuse at every point of the day. Once you get in the gym, you’ll be subjecting them to even more work.

Using knee sleeves is a huge boost to keeping your knees in shape and healthy for continued activity in the gym. If you’re planning on squatting, running, or just lifting weights in general, a quality set of knee sleeves will keep you on your feet.

Why Should I Use Knee Sleeves?

While you work out, your knees absorb much of the shock put on your legs with impact and stepping on the ground. The best kind of sleeves gives you the compression and warmth that you need when you’re in the middle of a sport or other kind of physical activity. The great thing with knee sleeves is that you can wear them during many different types of workouts as well as a time when you aren’t physically active.

If you have problems such as calf cramps or shin splints, it helps you deal with the pain and discomfort that arrives with working on your lower body. It will also let you put more weight on your legs while lifting weights. This lets you pack on more powerful squats and alleviates some of the stress on your quadricep tendon.

What Kinds Of Knee Sleeves Are Available?

person seating on bench while holding knees

Image Source: Pexels

When you are searching for the right kind of sleeves, you’ll need to know what kind of activity you’ll be doing. Different kinds of sleeves exist for various parts of physical activity. The best thing for you to do is try all of them and see how they feel.

That being said, there are definitely some sleeves that are better suited for a specific kind of workout. To determine which kind of knee sleeves you should purchase, let’s check out the three categories below.

Rehband Rx Knee Support 3mm - Expand Your Movement + Cross Training...
  • ENABLE YOUR POTENTIAL - MOVE BETTER - GET STRONGER - TRAIN HARDER - Feel more confident and secure in any activity, from...
  • PATENTED TECHNOLOGY - The Rehband knee support pattern construction is built on an anatomical fit so unique that it has...
  • ANY ACTIVITY, ANY AGE, ANY SKILL LEVEL - The Rehband knee sleeve provides reinforcement all the way around the knee, and...

For those of you who engage in long-distance running, the 3MM knee sleeve is perfect. These are great when you need added stability and support during particularly long runs. In fact, these are great for any sport that involves endurance. Thanks to the lack of thickness, the 3MM sleeve is much more comfortable during longer exercise periods. You’ll be amazed how comfortable this size feels when running.

Iron Bull Strength Knee Sleeves 7mm (1 Pair) - High Performance Knee...
  • PREMIUM 7MM KNEE SLEEVES (1 Pair): Featuring 7mm Neoprene Flex-Material designed for maximum support, compression and...
  • KNEE COMPRESSION & SUPPORT: Our 3-D design provides a contoured fit for perfect joint compression and warmth with...
  • ANTI-SLIP TECHNOLOGY: The knee sleeve upper limit features double silicone gel strips to lock it in place during...

To focus on weightlifting, you should search for the 7MM size in knee braces. Any short and intense workout involving heavy activity is going to add pressure to your knees. This is when you want to find a set at the 7MM level. Once you put these on, you’ll find the necessary added support for putting on more weight in the gym.

You won’t want to keep the 7MM sleeves on for too long at once. They’re best used for shorter sessions, especially since these are the heaviest kind of sleeves you can find. The stability found in the 7MM sleeves is unmatched, making these the perfect choice for weightlifting exercise.

FOG Fitness Gear Knee Sleeve - 5MM Compression Knee Support Brace for...
  • KNEE PROTECTION AND INJURY PREVENTION: 5MM thickness neoprene provides optimum support and compression without reducing...
  • RECOVERY FROM KNEE PAIN AND INJURIES: Snug fit of thermal-effective neoprene material provides warmth, compression and...
  • SLEEK DESIGN: Advanced and streamlined design optimized for maximum support and comfort for daily use. Seamless behind...

For everything else and in between, you can go with 5MM knee sleeves. This is the most well-rounded of the three categories, balancing the leverage you get from 3MM with the stability of 7MM. If you can’t find either category and the 5MM is all that’s available, it will still work fine for you in a pinch.

Choosing The Best Knee Sleeves For Your Workout

We’ve uncovered the best options and compiled a list for your convenience. When you look through this list, you’re sure to find something that fits into your exercise program. Remember that each knee sleeve is created with an activity in mind, so don’t be discouraged if your favorite brand doesn’t have a model included here.

Rehband Rx Knee Support 7mm - Medium - Black - Expand Your Movement +...
  • ENABLE YOUR POTENTIAL - MOVE BETTER - GET STRONGER - TRAIN HARDER - Feel more confident and secure in any activity, from...
  • PATENTED TECHNOLOGY - The Rehband knee support pattern construction is built on an anatomical fit so unique that it has...
  • FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH FOR YOUR KNEES - ANY ACTIVITY, ANY AGE, ANY SKILL LEVEL - The Rehband knee sleeve provides...

Rehband is one of the most well-known and reputable makers of knee sleeves in the world today. Mention the name to any workout guru and they’ll sing the praises of Rehband’s durable sleeves that fit anyone and stand up to wear and tear for a very long time.

The 7MM Rehband is the bread and butter of the company’s knee sleeve options. You’ll recognize the sky-blue color immediately, identifying this as one of the sleeves you should immediately consider for purchase.

You’ll feel a tight fit around your knee while wearing the Rehbrand, a sign that the 7MM is doing its job perfectly. The sleeve retains all the necessary warmth inside your joint, helping to give your knee the strength it needs to carry on the workout. Even with a tight squeeze on your knee, you won’t feel any irritation or chafing after you have finished.

The only drawback for the Rehbrand is the price – you’ll be paying as much for one knee sleeve from this company as you would for a pair from others. While this might be a bit of sticker shock, it’s totally worth it for all you weightlifters who need quality sleeves.

Tommy Kono TK Knee Bands
  • Simple to put on, just slide up over your knee or elbow
  • Sleeves are washable.
  • IWF Approved for Weightlifting

The Tommy Kono name has been around for quite a while. Go all the way back to the 1960s and you can find the same label floating around. Thanks to being made out of rubber, these are going to last you for a very long time. The material makes the Tommy Kono knee sleeves tight and form-fitting so you won’t have to worry about any extra slack.

Of course, that tightness is going to cause you to have trouble slipping these on and off. We’re not going to give a thumbs down for this set completely, but there’s a very noticeable amount of time it took for us to put on and remove these. Of course, thanks to the tightness, you’ll feel the maximum possible amount of heat retention.

If you already have problems with your knees, Tommy Kono is a name you’ll want to remember. The heat you’ll generate during a workout is retained inside the sleeves and will help fend off any unwanted swelling.

You’ll find that the bands on these are longer than what you might have seen in other models. You get complete support from the bottom of your thigh, extending to the top portion of your calf. With a stable patella, you won’t have to worry so much about the amount of weight you’re stacking on the bar. If you can get past the struggle of putting on the Tommy Kono knee sleeves, they come highly recommended.

Knee Sleeves (1 Pair) Support & Compression for The Best Squats, 7mm...
  • KNEE SLEEVES - Provides "Next Level" Results - by Premium Weightlifting Brand Nordic Lifting
  • THE BEST SUPPORT - 7mm Neoprene Unlocks Your Potential, Please see Listing Images for Sizing Chart
  • PROVEN RESULTS - Compression is proven to promote Muscle Recovery and Prevent Injury

Aside from a really cool name, the Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves are great for another reason: a combination of price and performance. These are among the lower-priced sleeves we have on this list, but that’s not the only reason we chose them.

These 7MM knee sleeves are made of double-reinforced neoprene. This is the perfect choice for those of you with knee problems who still insist on putting your lower body through a rigorous weightlifting workout. It’s incredibly form-fitting but flexible and conforms to the shape of your knee with no trouble.

There’re no gimmicks involved and no taglines on the packaging that make you think you’re getting anything other than a great pair of sleeves. If you need warmth and compression when doing a lower body workout, this is a solid choice. As a nice bonus, these sleeves slide on and off with no effort at all. If you have trouble bending down and struggling with your sleeves in the past, consider these as an option.

Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeve Support
  • PAIN RELIEF from arthritis, joint pain relief, tendonitis, post-surgery, swelling as well as strains and sprains. The...
  • ANATOMICALLY SHAPED to prevent injuries and accelerate your recovery. Its heating effect improves circulations and...
  • ANTI-SLIP SILICONE and elastic support material to offer stable compression. No slipping, no rolling off, no sliding...

When you’re in the market for sleeves that are meant to prevent injury, you need a name that knows what they’re doing. The MAVA knee sleeves prove that this company backs up what they claim. These are constructed to stop training injuries from happening before they occur.

Thanks to an anti-slip silicone agent felt throughout the MAVA knee sleeves, you won’t be readjusting these each time you run through a set of squats. This also means you won’t need as much recovery time after your gym session. You’ll feel right at home with the elastic support material contained inside the MAVA sleeves.

This model features an amazing amount of heat compression, allowing your blood to flow freely throughout your knees and gaining the needed oxygen for a continued workout. The fabric that MAVA uses for these is a pleasant sensation against your skin, leaving you with no irritation. We did feel a bit of tightness around the lower thigh, but it’s nothing you’ll notice by the time you’re deep into your workout.

Iron Bull Strength Knee Sleeves 7mm (1 Pair) - High Performance Knee...
  • PREMIUM 7MM KNEE SLEEVES (1 Pair): Featuring 7mm Neoprene Flex-Material designed for maximum support, compression and...
  • KNEE COMPRESSION & SUPPORT: Our 3-D design provides a contoured fit for perfect joint compression and warmth with...
  • ANTI-SLIP TECHNOLOGY: The knee sleeve upper limit features double silicone gel strips to lock it in place during...

The aesthetics of the Dela Strength knee sleeves take nothing away from their careful construction. Everything about these sleeves says, “you’re going to enjoy working out with us,” from the double-reinforced stitching to the simple black-and-white color scheme. You won’t find many with this kind of durability and strength.

If you’re concerned about the amount of warmth for your knees, don’t worry. The material in the Delta Strength knee sleeves allows your patella to breathe and rejuvenate at the same time. They’re so flexible that you’ll feel like you can do your pre-workout stretches with no resistance at all.

The Delta Strength knee sleeves let you shift from weightlifting to running without moving to another type of knee support. No matter what kind of workout you have planned, this is a great choice to keep with you.

What’s The Best Set Of Knee Sleeves On Our List?

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better set than any of the entries we have mentioned here. It doesn’t matter what kind of physical activity you have planned, whether it’s in a gym, at home, or somewhere on vacation. You’ll find something to fit your weightlifting or running schedule and give you the added support you need for your knees.

We would fully recommend the Tommy Kono knee sleeves to anyone looking for an all-around option. There’s a reason the TK initials have withstood the test of time and lingered for over half a century. You simply cannot go wrong with a name like Tommy Kono, which has proven they know exactly how to manufacture knee sleeves.

If you have the extra cash, the 7MM Rehband knee sleeve will hold your knees in places like they are nuclear missiles ready to launch. We can’t emphasize the comfort felt in the Rehband sleeve enough – it’s like someone is personally holding your knee wherever you go.

Conclusion And How To Use Knee Sleeves Properly

athlete wearing knee sleeves

Image Source: Pixabay

As we stated at the beginning, you need to know exactly what kind of exercise you intend to do before investing in a set of knee sleeves. Whether you plan on squatting a ton of weight inside your gym or hitting a new personal best on the elliptical machine, the correct knee sleeves can make a massive difference.

Don’t be afraid to try out a couple different sleeves before you commit to a set. You might find that a certain brand feels more comfortable on your leg than others, and your body may disagree with other reviews that insist one set of knee sleeves is better than another.

The biggest thing to remember is how your body has adjusted to exercise in the past. If you have any history of injuries or surgery on your knees, make sure you consult with your doctors before engaging in any kind of training program. It provides a great level of support, but they won’t stop you from hurting yourself if you aren’t careful.

We hope you enjoy your workouts even more when you find the right set of knee sleeves to supplement your exercise regimen. Be safe, and have a great workout!

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