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7+ Best Knee Sleeves For Powerlifting & More [2023]

by Nader Qudimat
Updated July 20, 2023

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 for crossfit.

BEST VALUE
7mm Inferno Knee Sleeves by Strength Shop USA

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.

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PREMIUM OPTION
Storm Knee Sleeves – SBD Apparel

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.

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What Are The Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit

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 crossfit knee sleeve.

Our top 3 is the Stoic Inferno sleeve, with its double stitching, firm fit, and high comfort level. 

To help you to quickly compare the best knee sleeves, we’ve rated each of the Top 10 based on price and durability.

We’ve then given each one an overall rating out of 5.

In the following section, you’ll find full reviews on each product. 

  • SBD Knee Sleeve: Price  4/5; Durability  5/5; Overall  4.75/5
  • Strength Shop Inferno: Price  5/5; Durability  4.5/5; Overall  4.5/5
  • Stoic Inferno Knee Sleeve: Price  4.25/5; Durability  4.75.0/5; Overall  4.5/5
  • Schiek Tommy Kono: Price  4.0/5; Durability  4.75/5; Overall  4.5/5
  • Grim Reapers Knee Sleeve: Price 4.5 /5; Durability  4.5/5; Overall  4.5/5
  • McDavid Hex Leg Sleeve: Price  4.0/5; Durability  4.5/5; Overall  4.25/5
  • Rip Toned Knee Support: Price  4.25/5; Durability  4.25/5; Overall  4.24/5
  • 110 Percent Play Harder Blitz Knee Single Compression Sleeve: Price  4.0/5; Durability  4.5/5; Overall  4.25/5
  • Mark Bell Slingshot 7mm Sleeves: Price  4.25/5; Durability  4.25/5; Overall  4.25/5
  • HookGrip Knee Sleeve: Price  4.25/5; Durability  4.5/5; Overall  4.25/5

The Top 10 Up Close

PREMIUM SLEEVES

SBD Knee Sleeves

ÂŁ64.99
on sbdapparel.com
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7mm thick, 30cm long, high quality neoprene

The SBD knee sleeve is the knee sleeve of choice for competitive crossfit.

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 can still 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.

Reinforced stitching
Very durable
Calf and quad tapering
Expensive
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TOP AFFORDABLE OPTION

Strength Shop Inferno Knee Sleeves

$54.99
on strengthshopusa.com
CHECK IT OUT 
7mm Thick, 30cm length, Inferno Knee Sleeves

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.

Great price
Very supportive
Double stitching
May be too tight for some people
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FAIR PRICE

Stoic Inferno Knee Sleeve

$69.99
on amazon.com
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7mm Neoprene, 30cm length, Inferno Knee Sleeves

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

High level of support
Very firm
Extremely durable
Not suitable for Crossfitters
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REPUTABLE BRAND

Schiek Tommy Kono Knee Sleeves

$44.95
on roguefitness.com
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7mm Neoprene, 30cm length, Inferno Knee Sleeves

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.

Rubber
Very good warmth retention
Tight fitting
Hard to get on and off
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GREAT SUPPORT

Gymreapers Knee Sleeve

$49.99
on amazon.com
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7mm Neoprene, 30cm length, Inferno Knee Sleeves

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.

Thick neoprene
Lightweight
Wick away sweat
Not competition approved
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versatile 

McDavid Hex Leg Sleeve

$39.99
on amazon.com
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7mm Neoprene, 30cm length, Inferno Knee Sleeves

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.

16-inch length
Extra knee padding
Moisture removal
Too tight around the thigh
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GOOD OPTION

Rip-Toned Knee Support

$39.95
on amazon.com
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7mm Neoprene, 30cm length, Inferno Knee Sleeves

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.

Good level of compression
Durable
Flexible
Itchy
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DECENT CHOICE

Mark Bell Slingshot 7mm Sleeves

$91.00
on markbellslingshot.com
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7mm Neoprene, 30cm length, Inferno Knee Sleeves

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.

Soft inner lining
Wicks away sweat
High compression level
Not overly durable
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FLEXIBLE

HookGrip Knee Sleeve

$14.00
on roguefitness.com
CHECK IT OUT 
7mm Neoprene, 30cm length, Inferno Knee Sleeves

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

Flexible
Great heat insulation
Comfortable fit
Not very thick
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FAQs about Knee Sleeves for CrossFit

  1. Do knee sleeves help with squats? Yes, knee sleeves can enhance your squat performance by providing support and enhancing proprioception.

  2. What's the difference between knee sleeves and knee wraps? Knee sleeves are slid over the knee to increase awareness, warmth, and blood flow, while knee wraps are tightly wrapped around the knee to lift more weight.

  3. How do I choose the right size knee sleeve? Each manufacturer has a measuring guide. Measurements are usually taken around the upper calf, knee cap, or lower thigh. For a tighter fit and more compression, size down from your measurement.

  4. Can I use knee sleeves for other workouts besides CrossFit? Yes, while this article focuses on CrossFit, knee sleeves can be beneficial for a variety of workouts including weightlifting, running, and more.

  5. How often should I replace my knee sleeves? This depends on how often you use them and the quality of the sleeves. However, if you notice they're becoming less supportive or are showing signs of wear and tear, it's time to replace them.

  6. Can I wash my knee sleeves? Yes, it's recommended to hand wash your knee sleeves every few weeks with a gentle cleanser to mitigate smell and keep them in good condition.

  7. Are knee sleeves necessary for CrossFit? While not mandatory, knee sleeves are highly recommended for CrossFit. They provide support, reduce the risk of injury, and can enhance performance.

  8. Do knee sleeves help with knee pain? Yes, knee sleeves can help manage knee pain by providing support and warmth, which can help reduce pain and inflammation.

  9. Should I wear knee sleeves all the time? No, knee sleeves should be worn during workouts for support and protection. Wearing them all the time can cause the knee to become dependent on the support.

  10. Do thicker knee sleeves provide more support? Yes, thicker knee sleeves generally provide more support and are better suited for heavy weight training.

Conclusion

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.

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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