Looking to take your squats to the next level? Check out our list of the best knee sleeves for squats!
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced lifter, finding the right pair of knee sleeves can make all the difference in your squat performance.
I have listed a variety of different brands and styles, so you can find the perfect pair for your needs. This list is also updated to include the newest A7 Hourglass sleeves which are the stiffest sleeves ever made.
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What Are The Best Knee Sleeves For Squats?
Here are my top picks for the best knee sleeves:
- Rehband RX Knee Sleeves
- A7 Hourglass Knee Sleeves
- A7 CONE Knee Sleeves
- Inzer ErgoPros
- SBD Knee Sleeves
- GymReapers Knee Sleeves
- Rogue Fitness Knee Sleeves
The Rehband knee sleeves are a popular choice among athletes and fitness enthusiasts for their quality and durability. These knee sleeves are made from 5mm thick neoprene material and are designed to provide excellent support, compression, and protection to your knees during workouts and activities.
The patented knee sleeve design of Rehband knee sleeves enables you to move the way you’re supposed to, ensuring that your knees are safe and supported throughout your workout. These knee sleeves are available in different sizes to ensure a perfect fit for all users.
Pros and Cons
The Rehband knee sleeves are endorsed by world-class athletes, such as Josh Bridges, and trusted by both elite athletes and weekend warriors alike.
These knee sleeves are perfect for a range of activities, including CrossFit WODs, Olympic weightlifting, and other high-intensity workouts. The tight fit and lightweight design of the Rehband knee sleeves provide a perfect blend of support and range of motion, making them both platform and WOD ready.
In summary, the Rehband knee sleeves are a top-quality knee support product designed to help you perform at your best while keeping your knees safe and supported. Whether you are a pro or a recreational lifter, Rehband knee sleeves are a reliable and effective choice to help you achieve your fitness goals
Thickness: 5mm (~0.2in)
Length: 25,4cm (10in)
Colors: Navy, Red, Carbon Black, Black, Camo, Burgundy, Black/Pink
Sizing: XS – XXL (31 – 46cm)(12.2 – 18.1in)
Approval from IPF: Yes
These are the newest knee sleeves on the market. They are the most stiff and rigid knee sleeves ever made, beating even the Inzer ErgoPros. This means that they are currently the best powerlifting knee sleeves.
The Hourglass knee sleeves have a double seam along the back to keep greater tension on the knee joint and are 7mm thick, which is the maximum allowable thickness in most powerlifting federations.
They are 30cm in length, which is also the maximum allowable length in most powerlifting federations. The hourglass-shaped center taper fit applies greater tension and compression at the knee joint.
If looking for the most rigid knee sleeves, then keep in mind that there are 3 stiffness options. Flexi, Stiff and Rigor Mortis. The first two options are the same as you see in their CONE knee sleeves.
The latter is the option you want to go with if you’re looking for the most stiffness, density, and support possible. The downside is that there will be a significant increase in cost.
As expected, they are also approved by all the major powerlifting federations such as the IPF, USAPL, USPA and IPL.
Length: 11.8” (30cm)
Colors: Black/Grey, Black/Red
Sizing: Depends on Stiffness (See below)
Approval from IPF: Yes
The sizing chart differs slightly depending on the stiffness option you decide to go with.
Flexi and Stiff:
A7 is a popular brand amongst powerlifters, competing with the likes of SBD and Inzer. Their CONE neoprene knee sleeves are a popular product for athletes looking for added support and compression during intense workouts or competitions.
These sleeves are designed to provide ultimate compression at the knee joint while allowing light stretch at the top and bottom of the sleeve.
They are approved for use in all USPA and IPL Competitions and meet the technical specs of USAPL and are allowed in IPF competitions. The A7 CONE knee sleeves feature double seams along the back to keep greater tension on the knee joint and come in a 7mm thickness.
The tapered design applies greater tension at the knee joint and allows ease of putting the sleeve on while maximizing the amount of tension on the knee joint without overly compressing the calf and keeping the knees warm.
Colors: Black, Pink, Blue, Stealth
Sizing: 2XS – 6XL (24.50 – 54.75cm)(9.75 – 21.5in)
Approval from IPF: Yes
The Inzer ErgoPro Knee Sleeves are a premium product designed for powerlifting competitions and training sessions. These knee sleeves are designed to provide maximum stability, comfort, and safety during use, making them a popular choice among powerlifters.
The sleeves are 7mm thick, which makes them nearly indestructible and durable for long-term use. They are double-stitched on top of welded seams, which increases their durability further.
Pros and Cons
The ErgoPro™ Knee Sleeves are patented and ergonomically designed to fit your knees and stay in place throughout a competition or training session, making them a comfortable option.
They snap back to their original form for long-lasting use, ensuring that they will last through multiple workouts. The sleeves are easy to use, making them a convenient option for powerlifters of all levels.
A feature that backs up the previous claim and separates them from other knee sleeves is the range of sizes that they offer. Their smallest sleeves are 11” – 12.5” (28 – 32cm) and their biggest sleeves are 20”+ (51cm+).
The Inzer ErgoPro Knee Sleeves are manufactured in Texas, USA, ensuring that they are made to the highest quality and durability standards. They are approved by all powerlifting organizations worldwide, including the IPF.
Sizing is important for proper fit, and customers are advised to measure around the knee cap while the leg is straight. If you really want to maximize your squat performance, going a size down might be beneficial.
Overall, the Inzer ErgoPro Knee Sleeves are an excellent option for powerlifters who want durable, comfortable, and safe knee sleeves for their training and competition needs.
Colors: Black, Navy Blue, Red
Sizing: XS – 4XL (28 – 51cm)(12.2 – 18.1in)
Approval from IPF: Yes
Relied on by strength athletes around the world, the SBD 7mm knee sleeves are ideal for powerlifting and heavy training.
They are a heavy favorite amongst powerlifters. Their high-quality construction and longevity sets them apart from other knee sleeves. However, because the standard is so high, so is the price.
Another reason could be that SBD has become such a reputable brand that their products now cost more just because of that. Kind of like Air Jordans.
At this point, I think there are better knee sleeves out there like the ones by A7. It’s hard to differentiate between the two in terms of the compression and support they provide, but because SBDs are more expensive, they are behind A7 knee sleeves on this list.
All in all I think they are still one of the best knee sleeves for squats.
They also offer 5mm knee sleeves which are a good choice for weightlifting and activities that require more mobility and movement.
Thickness: 7mm and 5mm
Colors: Black/Red (Classic), Grey/Navy (Storm), Black/Beige (Defy), Dark Red/White (Phoenix), Black/Black (Phantom), Olive Green/Black (Endure), Black/White (Eclipse)
Sizing: 3XS – 5XL (23 – 51.5cm)(9 – 20.3in)
Approval from IPF: Yes
Featuring reinforced stitching and flexible neoprene material, the GymRreaper 7mm knee sleeves are made to endure. Gymreapers Knee Sleeves are a popular choice for those looking for knee compression sleeves that provide warmth and support during and after a workout.
Made with neoprene material, these sleeves are designed to reduce knee strain and discomfort while still allowing for a full range of motion. The Gymreapers Knee Sleeves are approved for use in all IPF and USPA competitions, making them a great choice for powerlifters and other strength athletes.
There’s no need to worry about injuring yourself while lifting heavy weights as the sleeve acts as a sort of knee brace for your knee cap.
Pros and Cons
In addition to the Knee Sleeves, Gymreapers also offers a Sleeve Kit on their website that includes Knee Sleeves, Elbow Sleeves, and Wrist Wraps. The Knee and Elbow Sleeves are made with the same neoprene material and are designed to improve blood flow and reduce strain on joints. The kit is available in various sizes to fit a range of users.
Gymreapers Knee Sleeves have received positive customer reviews on Amazon, with many users praising their effectiveness. The sleeves come with a gym bag for easy transport and storage.
According to Barbend, the Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves are “designed with the strength athlete in mind” and are “versatile” enough for a range of exercises and workouts.
Overall, Gymreapers Knee Sleeves offer compression, warmth, and support during workouts, making them a great option for powerlifters, weightlifters, and other strength athletes.
Length: 25.4cm (10in)
Color: Black/White, Black/Red, Ranger Green/Black
Sizing: S – XXL (30 – 47cm)(11.8 – 18.3in)
Approval from IPF: Yes
The Rogue 5mm Knee Sleeve is a top-quality product designed to provide superior support and protection during your weightlifting or CrossFit training. The sleeve is made from a durable, high-quality neoprene material that offers excellent compression and support to your knees.
The knee sleeve is 5mm thick, providing a perfect balance between flexibility and support, making it ideal for a range of activities such as squats, lunges, and other weightlifting exercises
A great thing about rogue knee sleeves is that they also offer 3mm and 7mm variants with all the color variants, which can be useful depending on the activity you plan on partaking in.
They take the 7th spot because they don’t offer as big of a size range as other knee sleeves and they are also more expensive.
Thickness: 5mm, 3mm, and 7mm
Color: Black, Navy, Red, Royal, Camo
Sizing: XS – XL (31 – 43cm)(12.2 – 16.9in)
Approval from IPF: Yes
How The Items Were Ranked
While not affecting the effectiveness of the knee sleeves, multiple color options are good for variability.
The reason why some of the otherwise great knee sleeves were pushed down the list was their unavailability on big retailers like Amazon.
Knee sleeves can be made from various materials, including neoprene, spandex, and polyester. The best material for squat is undoubtedly neoprene.
Knee sleeves should provide adequate support to the knee joint. The level of support provided by each knee sleeve and its ability to prevent injury and aid in recovery is a massive factor in its usefulness.
Since knee sleeves are something a person would be using on a regular basis, they should also be comfortable to wear during training sessions. When ranking the items, I assessed the level of comfort provided by each knee sleeve, including the fit, thickness, and ease of movement.
A big part of differentiating between the knee sleeves was looking at customer reviews to gauge the overall performance of each knee sleeve and consider the opinions and experiences of other users.
What Are Knee Sleeves?
Knee sleeves provide extra knee support and stability for your knee joints to help you lift heavy weights more safely.
They help to prevent knee injuries by adding compression and keeping your knees warm. The best knee sleeves will be made from durable, breathable materials such as neoprene or nylon.
They should fit snugly around your knees and provide ample support without being too tight or restrictive and preventing proper blood flow.
The Benefits Of Wearing Knee Sleeves
Knee sleeves are an essential piece of equipment for any serious weight-lifter.
The main reason people wear knee sleeves is that they provide support and compression to your knees, but they also help to keep your knee joints warm during long training sessions.
Additionally, wearing knee sleeves can help you train through an injury. This can be useful in a situation where you might have a little knee pain, but by putting on a knee sleeve you can avoid the pain but still train.
It’s a high-risk/medium-reward transaction. The total load on your knees will be higher with sleeves because it allows you to lift more weights. This will increase your risk of injury as the room for error decreases.
When working with clients, I always tell them not to take such risks unless they are competitive athletes, especially professional.
What To Consider Before Buying Knee Sleeves
When shopping for knee sleeves, there are a few factors to consider.
First, make sure you choose a pair that provides maximum support and stabilization to meet your needs.
It’s also important to find a pair that fits well – they should be snug but not too tight or restrictive. Additionally, look for knee sleeves that are made from a breathable, durable material such as neoprene or nylon.
Now if you are a powerlifter, then you also need to consider the rules of the federation you’ll be competing in. For example, the IPF requires the lifter’s knee sleeves to be no more than 7mm in thickness and 30 cm in length.
They also only allow you to wear certain brands that have been approved by the federation. A list of brands, that will be valid as of the 1st of January 2023 can be found here.
Finally, make sure to consider the price of the knee sleeves you are looking to buy. While they can range in price, investing in a quality pair of knee sleeves is worth it in the long run.
Knee Sleeves VS Knee Wraps VS Knee Braces
Knee sleeves provide extra stability for your knee joints, but they do not offer the same level of support and compression as knee wraps.
Knee wraps are used in equipped powerlifting competitions due to their heavy-duty construction and ability to offer more support and compression than knee sleeves.
Knee sleeves, on the other hand, are best suited for everyday training and are more comfortable and easier to put on. You can also use knee sleeves for RAW powerlifting training.
Overall, knee sleeves offer more comfort and mobility while allowing you to lift heavier weights, making them the best choice for most lifters.
One other thing to keep in mind is that with knee pain, using knee wraps might not be a good idea because the compression from the knee wraps will be so high that it might cause even more pain.
There are also these thing called knee braces. They are devices worn on the knee to provide support and stability to the joint. They are commonly used by people who suffer from knee injuries or conditions such as arthritis, ligament or meniscus tears, or patellar instability.
They come in different types, such as prophylactic, functional, and rehabilitative braces, each designed to address different knee problems and provide varying levels of support.
It is important to note that knee braces should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional and are not a substitute for medical treatment or rehabilitation.
You should only consider using knee wraps in training when you want to
- Prepare for an equipped powerlifting competition or;
- Lift the absolute maximum weight you possibly can
How To Wear Knee Sleeves
When working with people new to powerlifting, I often get a question about how to put on a knee sleeve.
There are a few variations, but the most popular goes like this:
- Put the knee sleeve around your shin
- Fold it over from top to bottom
- Hook your fingers around the bottom of the knee sleeve
- Pull the sleeve and extend your leg to get it up to your knee
- Adjust so that it’s in the center of your knee joint
- Move on to the other leg
Another option would be to fold both ends of the knee sleeve to meet in the middle of the sleeve.
Then again, hook your fingers around the bottom of the knee sleeve and pull it up to your knee cap.
There’s no wrong way to do it, everyone just prefers different variations. Try both and see which suits you best!
Here’s a video demonstrating the second variation:
The right knee sleeve will provide you with the support, stability, and protection you need to safely perform your workouts. I hope that this list of the best knee sleeves helps you make an informed decision when choosing the right knee sleeves for your training needs.
Take time to consider each of the factors mentioned above before making your purchase. Investing in a quality pair of knee sleeves can boost your confidence and help to ensure your squats are done more safely and effectively.
But remember, always consult with a healthcare professional before deciding on wearing knee sleeves, especially if you have an existing knee injury or a condition.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are knee sleeves good for squatting?
Yes, knee sleeves are a great addition to any squatting program as they provide extra support and stability for your knee joint, therefore helping to prevent injuries. They can also help you to lift heavier weights more safely.
Which knee sleeves are the best for squatting?
There are many different brands, styles, and materials available on the market so it is best to do some research before making your purchase.
I recommend looking for a pair that is at least 5mm thick, provides ample support and is made from a durable, breathable material such as neoprene or nylon.
How thick should knee sleeves be for squats?
Anything between 5-7mm should do the job. However, there are other brands and styles available that have a thicker material which can provide even more support, but they might restrict your knee mobility.
When should I wear knee sleeves?
If you are a beginner to squatting, then it might be best to wait until your form is more established before using knee sleeves.
However, if you’re an experienced lifter or a powerlifter, then knee sleeves can help to provide extra support and stability for heavy lifts.
When should you start using knee sleeves for squats?
You can wear knee sleeves during lifting, running, hiking, or even walking. They are designed to provide your knee with maximum support to help you during those activities.