Which Knee Sleeves are Right for Me?

by Ryan Stinn

Do your knees ache during or after training legs? You aren’t alone, and knee sleeves could be the answer for you. A lot of people report that knee sleeves significantly reduced knee pain during and after training. Whether it’s the added warmth or compression that helps I can’t tell you which it is, but I do know it’s true for me as well.

Okay, but which knee sleeves? We sell two brands of knee sleeves. SBD Apparel, a brand that started in the Powerlifting world and has since moved heavily into Strongman/Strongwoman and now into the Olympic Weightlifting world.  Rehband, a brand that started more in Strongman/Strongwoman and has since moved more into Crossfit and Olympic Weightlifting. 

SBD Apparel is the hands down leader in the Powerlifting and Strongman/Strongwoman world. They burst onto the scene in 2013 and have been leading the way in Powerlifting since. The sleeves are known to be extremely high quality, all manufactured in the UK, and long lasting. 

Their classic sleeve is 7mm thick and 30cm long, representing the maximum allowances in the International Powerlifting Federation. It is quite stiff and only minimally stretchy, providing maximum support for heavy lifting. It is available in 11 sizes to fit from the very small to the very large. These are the best choice if you are looking for the most support and compression.

They have since come out with their Weightlifting Knee Sleeves. They are 5mm thick and the length varies from size to size with the smaller sleeves being shorter. These sleeves are also covered in an abrasion resistant material designed to stand up to the bar scraping across them time and time again while training the olympic weightlifting movements. They are also available in 11 sizes and are a great all around choice for general strength training, crossfit, or weightlifting.  Both styles of SBD Knee Sleeves are sold as a pair, so you will receive one right and one left sleeve if you order ‘1’ from our website.

Rehband had long been the “blue sleeves” that all the Strongman athletes would wear. From there they have also become very popular in olympic weightlifting, as well as crossfit. They have been making braces and supports since 1955 so they have a lot of experience in the supports game. 

We carry the RX Knee Sleeve in 7mm (7751) by Rehband. They are a 7mm sleeve with a variable length based on the size. They don’t provide the same level of compression as the SBD 7mm knee sleeves but as such are easier to get on and off, especially mid workout.

We also carry the thinner RX Knee Sleeves in 5mm (7751) by Rehband. These sleeves are quite popular for Crossfit athletes as well as weightlifters. They are a thinner sleeve, again making them a bit stretchier and easier to get on and off. They provide less compression but still plenty of warmth.  All Rehband Knee Sleeves are sold individually and are not sided left and right. If you want one for each knee, you need to order a quantity of ‘2’ from our website. 

If you are a Powerlifter, Strongman, Strongwoman, or just want the maximum support, then we would suggest the 7mm original SBD Knee Sleeves. They are excellent quality and will last you a long time with proper care. The only downfall is that when sized properly, they are tough to get on (though you will get better with practice), and are almost impossible to get on if you are already sweaty!

If you are a Crossfit athlete or Olympic Weightlifter, and you’ll be wearing the sleeves for movements where you need to move a bit faster or through a larger range of motion, then give the SBD Weightlifting sleeves a try.  They are the new sleeves on the block, and have a lot of great features for those doing the olympic weightlifts. The 5mm or 7mm Rehbands can also be a good choice for this need.

What if you aren’t even a gym goer but you just need a knee sleeve for tennis, hiking, or some other sport?  The knee sleeves we sell can help with this too!  In this case we’d recommend either the SBD Weightlifting Sleeve or the Rehband 5mm sleeve.  If you only need a sleeve for one knee that gives you trouble, the Rehbands will be the best option as they’re sold individually.

As always if you have questions let us know!