If you're weight lifting without knee sleeves...
You'll soon realize it can be one of the most useful tools for your lifts.
Weight training can be challenging on your knees.
Especially if you’re regularly maxing out on squats and doing other heavy weight lower body moves.
Knee sleeves provide the support you need to protect the joint, keeping it warm and lubricated.
In this article, we’ll shine a spotlight on the best knee sleeves on the current market.
The Inferno Knee sleeves are the best for the price.
If you want an option that's affordable but with the best quality, then this is the knee sleeve you should get.
The SBD sleeves is the best option if you're looking for the most premium knee sleeves.
These sleeves are not only high quality but they are the best for what you get.
The best knee sleeve that we have come across is the 7 mm SBD neoprene sleeve.
For stability, support, and performance enhancement you will not find better than this form-fitting, ultra-rugged knee protector.
Our second favorite is the Strength Shop Inferno, which represents the best value on the market for a powerlifting knee sleeve.
Rounding out our top 3 is the Stoic Inferno sleeve, with its double stitching, firm fit, and high level of comfort.
To help you to quickly compare the best knee sleeves, we’ve rated each of the Top 10 on the basis of price and durability.
We’ve then given each one an overall rating out of 5.
In the section that follows, you’ll find full reviews on each product.
The SBD knee sleeve is the knee sleeve of choice for competitive powerlifters.
It is made from a thick 7 mm neoprene, making it ideal for heavy lifting.
The extra thickness provides plenty of stability when squatting.
This sleeve features tapering around the calf and mid-quad.
This helps to push out of the bottom squat position.
Even though it’s very stable, this sleeve also feels flexible and comfortable.
While you won’t be able to move as freely as if you were wearing a 5mm sleeve, you will still be able to bend your knees with no problem.
You’ll never have to worry about these sleeves slipping.
They are very durable and secure.
Reinforced stitching in a triangle stitch pattern makes this sleeve stronger than most.
They also fit true to size.
SBD sleeves are approved for competition by both the IPF and the IWF.
They are 30 mm long, which is the maximum allowed for competition.
SBD sleeves have rightly been dubbed the gold standard among knee sleeves.
However, they are also among the most expensive.
The Inferno Knee Sleeve from Strength Shop is a 7 mm neoprene sleeve that is approved for IPF and USPA competition.
These are the best sleeves I’ve come across in the $50 price range.
This is a tight-fitting sleeve that is built to last.
They feel super comfortable and supportive and won’t slip while you’re training.
The Strength Shop Inferno Sleeve is 30 cm long, which is the max length for competition.
For the money, you will not find a better performer.
The Stoic Inferno knee sleeve is 30 cm long and constructed from neoprene.
This is a non-slip sleeve that provides you with a comfortable, secure fit.
This is a very durable sleeve, featuring double stitching at the top and bottom borders.
A vertical seam at the back also features patent-pending welds rather than punctures.
This makes the sleeve far less likely to tear.
Stoic knee sleeves give a high level of support, even when compared to other 7 mm sleeves.
I’m not sure why, but it may be that they use a special blend in their neoprene.
This high level of firmness will help you to pop out of the bottom squat position.
On the other hand, firmer sleeves like this are not ideal for Crossfitters
The Tommy Kono rubber knee sleeve first came out in the 1960s.
It has been brought back by popular demand because it provides a level of support, compression, and lubrication that you just can’t get from modern neoprene-type models.
The first thing you’ll notice about Tommy Kono sleeves is that they are longer than most, going all the way down to the mid-calf.
This provides better proprioception and patellar support.
Being made of rubber, these sleeves are a bit harder to get and off, but they will sit firmly in place and give you more stability than most of the competition.
You’ll have no problems with bunching or slipping when you wear your Tommy Konos.
The team at Gymreapers have recently entered into the gym knee sleeve market and have obviously put in their research.
They’ve come up with a very high-quality 7mm neoprene sleeve that offers a high level of compression without compromising wearer comfort.
They’ve also hit the sweet spot between providing rigidity to support the patellar and fluidity so as not to restrict natural movement patterns.
Gymreaper sleeves, while sturdy, are also lightweight.
They do a good job of wicking away sweat.
You can also easily roll them down when you want to perform exercises without knee protection.
The McDavid Hex Leg Sleeve has a longer than average coverage, providing more protection to the entire knee area.
Constructed from 9mm hexagonal technology, this sleeve is amazingly lightweight.
This gives it an ideal balance between knee compression and flexibility, making this an ideal choice for runners and cross-fitters.
The McDavid Hex has built-in moisture management technology, providing a means to prevent sweat build-up around the knee.
This will stop the band from slipping and improve overall fit and comfort.
You also get extra knee padding for fall protection.
The Rip Toned sleeve supplies you with 7mm thick neoprene support to keep your patellar firmly in position.
It is also fully breathable, has a built-in sweat-wicking system to prevent perspiration build-up, and is odor resistant, so you don’t have to contend with a stinky gym bag!
With an anatomical design that ensures a tight fit around the entire knee area, you’ll enjoy a high level of comfort and compression.
The Ripped Toned sleeve is a durable unit, designed to give you years of solid knee support.
Its combination of compression and flexibility makes it a natural choice for runners and cross-fitters.
The Mark Bell Slingshot 7mm sleeve is made from 100% neoprene fabric, providing a firm but breathable layer of protection to the knee.
The soft interior lining ensures a comfortable fit and your choice of 5 sizes ensures that you get just the right fit for you.
A soft inner lining helps to keep it in place, so that you won’t have to contend with the bunching up and slipping down that you get with lesser brands.
The Slingshot 7mm does a good job of wicking away the sweat that builds up under the pad.
It also provides a good mix between rigidity and flexibility, making it ideal for crossfitters who transition from power to plyo.
The HookGrip sleeve combines spandex rubber and nylon to provide one of the best blends of compression and flexibility that we have come across.
It provides a generous amount of heat insulation to generate the warmth needed to lubricate the joint.
At the same time, it affords the elasticity to allow you to perform plyometric type exercises.
The high quality of manufacture, as evidenced by double seam stitching, will ensure that the Hookgrip lasts for many years of training.
This model will not give you the amount of compression that you’d get from an SBD or Stoic sleeve, but it will provide more heat insulation than most competitors
Knee sleeves deliver compression and support to the knee.
They do this without limiting movement. Increased compression increases blood flow to the knee, helping with post-workout recovery.
Knee sleeves can be worn when doing squats and lunges.
They may also be used on other compound Olympic bar exercises, such as the snatch and clean and jerk.
Knee sleeves may be worn when doing sets of squats and lunges.
They will benefit trainers at every level.
Knee wraps are made from long elastic material in bandage form.
They are tightly wrapped around the knee before squatting to improve performance through the elastic response.
Knee sleeves are not as tight and are used primarily to prevent knee injury.
Go here for an updated approved list of knee sleeves by the International Powerlifting Federation.
The best knee sleeve on the market right now is the SBD 7mm sleeve, which is made from durable, yet flexible neoprene, and provides the best mixture of performance, firmness, and stability.
The Strength Shop Inferno is the best value sleeve you are likely to come across for heavy lifting.
Our third top performer is the Stoic Inferno knee sleeve, which delivers a great combination of support, firmness, and durability.