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Best Running Knee Sleeves Reviewed & Rated for Comfort

last updated May 06, 2019

After shoes and shorts, you might want to think about a knee sleeve. The reason you might want to think about a knee sleeve is that it's going to keep you healthy. The knee is a big stress point on runners’ anatomy. From torn cartilage to ligament injuries. In fact, knee injuries are a major problem in many sports and around the world. Knee sleeves are usually made from synthetic materials like neoprene, nylon, and spandex. They slide over the knee and limit the kneecap while allowing for the mobility and range of motion that an athlete needs. In colder weather, they keep the knee warm and help reduce muscle strain. Here's our list of the best.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research

icon
  Ultra Flex Athletics
95/100 our score
Adjustability
95
Breathability
96
Compression
94
Style
95
Materials
95
Ultra Flex Athletics
Why is it better?

Comfortable to wear.

Effective compression and good support. 

Strong, tight but not restrictive.

Stays in place even with long distance running.

Thin enough to wear jeans over them.

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
  Ultra Flex Athletics
Test Winner: Ultra Flex Athletics
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
12
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
12k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
10
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Adjustability Breathability Compression Style Materials By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Adjustability
95 %
Breathability
96 %
Compression
94 %
Style
95 %
Materials
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$14.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Adjustability
93 %
Breathability
94 %
Compression
92 %
Style
93 %
Materials
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$39.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Adjustability
91 %
Breathability
90 %
Compression
92 %
Style
90 %
Materials
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$19.51
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Adjustability
89 %
Breathability
90 %
Compression
91 %
Style
88 %
Materials
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$14.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Adjustability
87 %
Breathability
85 %
Compression
84 %
Style
83 %
Materials
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$44.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Adjustability
85 %
Breathability
84 %
Compression
84 %
Style
82 %
Materials
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$19.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
Adjustability
83 %
Breathability
82 %
Compression
81 %
Style
81 %
Materials
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$84.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.2
Adjustability
80 %
Breathability
79 %
Compression
81 %
Style
81 %
Materials
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$19.97
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.6
Adjustability
79 %
Breathability
78 %
Compression
81 %
Style
80 %
Materials
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$12.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76
Adjustability
77 %
Breathability
75 %
Compression
74 %
Style
76 %
Materials
78 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$39.37

Best Knee Sleeves

1. Ultra Flex Athletics

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
  Ultra Flex Athletics
Amazon Link
Adjustability
95
Breathability
96
Compression
94
Style
95
Materials
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.99
Pros:

Comfortable to wear.

Effective compression and good support. 

Strong, tight but not restrictive.

Stays in place even with long distance running.

Thin enough to wear jeans over them.

Cons:

The sizing could be more precise. 

Get one sleeve per package, not two.

Using 3D weaving technology, together with superior materials, these stylish sleeves have an amazing fit. Just the right amount of compression and support to protect knees and enhance endurance. Also, they feature four-way stretch capability for added comfort. Incredibly lightweight, they have a double silicone anti-slip wave to prevent slippage. They are well-suited for runners, weightlifters, hikers, basketball players and other athletes.

Professional-Grade Quality By Design
Three-dimensional weaving technology can strengthen spacecraft and race cars. Ultra
Flex uses the same technology in its knee sleeves to strengthen athletes’ workouts. It allows the sleeve fabric to stretch in all four directions. Maximizing fit and comfort. In fact, they’re fit for the pros!

Ideal Compression
It’s in the science of the design. The Ultra Flex Knee Compression Sleeve is made to
hug you just right to keep the patella comfortably in place and with the maximum blood flow. In that way, you get exactly the right amount of compression that you need to guard against knee Injury and promote muscular health and fitness.

Cost and Value
For a moderately priced all-around knee sleeve, Ultraflex does a good job delivering
comfort and support -- for a variety of sports activities. And they make some of the more fashionable looking ones on the market.

2. Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
 Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves
Amazon Link
Adjustability
93
Breathability
94
Compression
92
Style
93
Materials
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$39.99
Pros:

Tops in style, performance, functionality, and comfort.

Great compression and stability.

Fits like a warm glove.

Effectively stabilizes the knee.

Protects vulnerable joints.

 

Cons:

Some issues with durability.

Occasional slippage.

This line of compression knee sleeves is designed for a variety of heavy fitness workouts including cross training and weightlifting. Seven millimeters in width, they are made from 100 percent neoprene. They provide great support for all body types, too. Expect them to take your workout up a notch or two. Each pair comes with a one-year manufacturer’s guarantee.

Improves Athletic Performance
Whether you’re newer to a regular workout routine or a professional, these sleeves give you the optimum performance no matter what kind of exercising you’re doing. What’s more, these sleeves support weaker joints to prevent problems or discomfort in the region. In fact, the sleeve’s level of compression can actually reduce joint and muscle pain.

Speeds Up Muscle Repair
After a serious workout, we all know that it can take time for muscles to repair themselves. Ergonomically designed with reinforced stitching, the Nordic Knee Sleeve provides the support and flexibility needed to reduce muscle strain and joint stiffness. That means a speedier recovery overall. They are available in different sizes and colors to suit your body type and taste.

Cost and Value
A newer manufacturer in the industry, Nordic strives to bring big-brand quality to athletes without the big price tag. In large part, they seem to have succeeded. Overall the quality is very good and there are many satisfied customers.

3. Mava Knee Sleeve

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
 Mava Knee Sleeve
Amazon Link
Adjustability
91
Breathability
90
Compression
92
Style
90
Materials
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.51
Pros:

Lightweight and comfortable.

Provide excellent support.

Don’t slip.

Durable.

Cons:

Tight at the top and bottom bands.

Can roll down after the moderate amount of wear.

These compression knee sleeves are designed to precisely conform to the anatomy. This feature can help reduce inflammation and pain caused by injury in the knee area. They are specially designed with a silicone lining to prevent slipping down during a workout. In addition, they’re comfortable enough for everyday wear. Recommended for any activity that may put exertion on the knee. Wear them for running, cycling, tennis, cross-training and more.

Helps to reduce pain and discomfort
Even people with arthritis and tendonitis can benefit from the pain relief Mava Knee Sleeves offer. They follow the contours of the leg and knee for full support but they’re not restrictive. Complete mobility is assured. By reducing inflammation and swelling, imagine how they can help during a regular workout.

Easy to wear all day
Mava Knee Sleeves are made from a lightweight fabric that is soft and resilient -- the whole day long. They don’t feel stiff and won’t bind. In fact, as they do their job, you will almost forget they’re on.

Cost and Value
The primary function of Mava Knee Sleeves is to provide healing and recovery after a workout. In addition to giving pain relief from common athletes’ complaints. The quality is decent. Designed for athletes of all ages and skill levels and priced accordingly in the mid-range.

4. Sable Knee Brace Support

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
 Sable Knee Brace Support
Amazon Link
Adjustability
89
Breathability
90
Compression
91
Style
88
Materials
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.99
Pros:

Extra Knee Support

Breathable

Reduces Strain

Cons:

Might Cause Allergic Reaction

No matter what sports activity you’re into, you can count on Sable Knee Brace Compression support sleeves. They are specifically designed not to slip. They stay where they’re supposed to stay. And because you get wider coverage above and below the knee, you can expect even pressure distribution throughout. In addition to jogging, they’re tough enough to handle very physical sports including football, basketball, and weightlifting.

Support You Can Count On
Made from a spandex/nylon blend, these sleeves get the FDA seal of approval. An anti-slip design helps keep sleeves in place, even with the most rigorous exercise regime.

Reduces Shock To The Knee Area
The weave of the sleeve’s fabric is scientifically designed to assure that there is an even and necessary amount of pressure around the kneecap and joints. So any impact on the knee is minimized.

Cost and Value
Sable Knee Braces are designed for maximum comfort and flexibility. They provide a lot more support than the typical sleeve can. As an FDA approved brace, you assured of good quality. Given it is one of the least expensive braces on the market, it’s an excellent buy.

5. Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeve

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
 Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeve
Amazon Link
Adjustability
87
Breathability
85
Compression
84
Style
83
Materials
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$44.99
Pros:

Solid Construction

Provide Terrific Support

Long-Lasting Use

Well Worth The Extra Cost

Cons:

Too Hot While Working Out

Not Enough Compression

Developed by a team of experts who worked with textile engineers. Its design is unique and so special it’s patented. The sleeve closely follows the contours of the anatomy. Like a second skin that supports where you need it when you need it. For even the most intense physical activity.

Made With Their Patented Design
Together with athletes and textile scientists, Rehband’s research and development group have created a masterpiece in sleeve design. For over sixty years, Rehband has been at the forefront of joint support technology. So you can rely on them for an important part of your workout gear.

Get The Optimal Range Of Motion You Need
You can expect awesome compression and equally amazing flexibility -- for just about any activity -- regardless of age or athletic ability. In addition, sleeves help to prevent unnecessary strain and knee problems.

Cost and Value
As an important maker in compression wear, Rehband has been creating handcrafted products since 1955. During that time they have established a loyal following. Working with athletes and textile engineers, they take their products very seriously. They are widely popular for their terrific quality. A little pricier than many, but a great value for all the quality you’re getting.

6. ActiveGear Knee Brace Support

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
 ActiveGear Knee Brace Support
Amazon Link
Adjustability
85
Breathability
84
Compression
84
Style
82
Materials
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.95
Pros:

Outstanding support.

Helps to relieve knee pain.

Holds up after regular washing.

No problems with slipping.

Cons:

Restrictive movement at times.

Can stretch out over a short period of time.

Running for your health is a no-brainer. The benefits are huge. We all know it’s good for us. But sometimes we can get too much of a good thing. As in joint pain and aches. ActiveGear is designed to help relieve pain and discomfort. Their 3D contouring means you get maximum comfort and fit. No matter what the activity may be.

Even for the most intense workout
Really the only brace you’ll need to own. For everything from running to heavy weightlifting. The neoprene material provides just the right amount of compression and warmth. Soothing away sore joints and muscles.

Designed to be durable.
Made from 5mm neoprene and boasting high-quality construction. Foam padding and top-notch stitching mean you get a comfortable and long-lasting knee brace. So strong, you can even wear it during rehab.

Cost and Value
This knee brace is effectively used for post-surgical pain relief. To meet those standards, it has to pass some pretty stringent quality control testing. It’s newer to the market as a sports compression sleeve, but in the mid-price range, it’s a great buy.

7. Bauerfeind Knee Support

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
 Bauerfeind Knee Support
Amazon Link
Adjustability
83
Breathability
82
Compression
81
Style
81
Materials
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$84.99
Pros:

Widely prescribed by orthopedists.

Attention to quality and detail.

Doesn’t slide around.

Great comfort.

Cons:

Too much readjusting.

Stretchy fabric loses its tautness.

These knee sleeves are specifically made with the athlete in mind. The Bauerfeind Sports Academy works closely with the top echelon of athletes to design compression wear that really does what it’s supposed to do. That is, give you reliable knee support with maximum flexibility. So you can work out confidently and with peace of mind.

Industry-leading design
With an emphasis on technology, their AIRKNIT(™) design provides medical-standard compression. That’s important because it promotes healing blood circulation and faster muscle repair. Most other brands don’t come close to this quality and attention to detail.

The perfect layer of protection
Lightweight and breathable, Bauerfeind sleeves target joints and ligaments -- keeping them stabilized. At the same time, you get all the flexibility you demand even during the most strenuous routine.

Cost and Value
The Bauerfeind brand is made in Germany. And it appears that they have made a science of compression wear. While one of the more higher-priced sleeves, its comfort is unbeatable and its quality endures and endures. Making it an excellent value in the long run.

8. CopperJoint Knee Sleeve

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.2
 CopperJoint Knee Sleeve
Amazon Link
Adjustability
80
Breathability
79
Compression
81
Style
81
Materials
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.97
Pros:

Comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

A lifesaver for knee pain.

Effective compression.

Little difficulty in taking on and off.

Easily washable.

Cons:

Inconsistent quality and wear.

Very thin and loose in the wrong areas.

These sleeves are manufactured with copper-infused nylon and spandex fabric. This feature provides unmatched support and freedom of movement. In addition, they are lightweight, breathable and resilient for the quick recovery from even the most intense workouts.

Improves your overall performance
Form-fitted to the natural contours of your knee. It moves how you move and it still stays in place. So you don’t have the hassle of adjusting and readjusting. There’s no interrupting your quality time at the gym or wherever you’re engaged in sports activity.

Speeds recovery from pain and achy knees
Supports your knees all day. Graduated compression throughout means the complete range of motion. With no worry about blood clots. You also get just the right amount of warmth for enhanced blood circulation and accelerated muscle repair and recovery.

Cost and Value
The CopperJoint brand offers a line of compression wear that is suitable for people of all ages and all athletic abilities. Their copper-infused fabric gives great articulation and support for muscles ligaments and tendons. That said, for the money CopperJoint sleeves will do the trick for the everyman athlete and at a very good price.

9. Bracoo Knee Support

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.6
 Bracoo Knee Support
Amazon Link
Adjustability
79
Breathability
78
Compression
81
Style
80
Materials
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$12.99
Pros:

Very comfortable and supportive.

Remains well in place.

Precise fitting.

Helps knee pain.

Cons:

Can roll down.

It doesn’t breathe much.

With Bracoo it’s all about craftsmanship and technology. The Knee Support is made from extra thick but breathable neoprene so it keeps your knee warm the way you want. Not sweaty. Its open-patella design assures that the kneecap moves properly when you’re in motion. Again and again. What’s more, the three-strap feature allows you to fine-tune the fit for superior protection against injury.

Meets the highest standards in the industry
You get the durability of neoprene with the breathability of the fabric. That’s a win-win for you. And their innovative open-patella design reduces pressure and increases comfort for longer wear.

Adjustable to your specs
Equipped with Velcro straps, they can be affixed to just about any spot for as snug or as loose a fit that you want. That kind of flexibility accommodates athletes with a wide range of special needs.

Cost and Value
An all-purpose brace, the Bracoo performs well for extended periods and provides pain relief from the instability of the kneecap. It is less than half the price of many like braces, making it an extraordinary value.

10. McDavid Knee Support

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76
 McDavid Knee Support
Amazon Link
Adjustability
77
Breathability
75
Compression
74
Style
76
Materials
78
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$39.37
Pros:

Lots of cushion and support.

Well-made.

Keep knees warm.

Great for sore knees.

Cons:

Itchy material.

Thin and flimsy weight.

McDavid offers a latex-free neoprene sleeve that is helpful in relieving pain from problems associated with tendonitis as well as arthritis. An exclusive feature, it’s manufactured with a five-needle seam stitch. Giving is not only a flat and clean look but a stronger seam. And for added durability, sleeves have an outer layer of nylon fabric.

Great for injured knees
For those with temporary or chronic knee issues, wearing McDavid knee supports can help mitigate the pain. The wonderful support and their added warmth can alleviate many common knee problems.

Strong and supportive
The McDavid Sleeve gives exceptional knee support. It provides the right amount of compression for a comfortable fit. Also, it has a seamless back of the knee for added comfort. It keeps in place, too.

Cost and Value
McDavid not only sells athletic performance apparel but also has been a pioneer in sports medicine and sports protection products. A lot of effort goes into the research and design of their products. The result is high-quality gear at a moderate price.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Adjustability

Not all knees are made the same. And knee sleeves need to fit snugly around the knee. So we're making sure the materials that our sleeves are made some have just enough give to keep you stable but will move in a way that fits your knee.

Breathability

This is going to be incredibly important when you're running in the summer. You're going to need to wick moisture away from your leg, or even the best run is going to turn into an uncomfortable slog. Sweat on the back of the knee and on the leg is a constant when running in hot weather so we're making sure every sleeve we choose is going to move that water away from your body.

Compression

These criteria go hand in hand with comfort and adjustability. The goal here is to provide maximum compression without too much tightness that could affect circulation to the lower leg. We don't have to tell you that any circulatory restriction is going to be bad. So, we're going to make sure that the level of compression and the sizing are going to show up and provide exactly what you need, that includes making sure that customer assistance is going to work for you when it comes to sizing, as well as just making sure the sizing is on target.

Style

We know that you're not one of those runners that is obsessed with looking good while you're hitting the pavement. But hey we're not against it so we're going to keep an eye out for some cool styles and colors that'll not only make you look awesome during your run but also let people know that you're coming.

Materials

Materials matter, not only when it comes to wicking water away from the body, but also in regards to toughness, and flexibility. There are so many exciting new fabrics, and composite fabrics out there it's fun to dig through all the options, so that's what we did, always on the lookout for what's going to work best for you.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

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expert tips icon
Why Do I Need A Knee Sleeve Again?

You need a knee sleeve because in spite of the fact that humans are running machines the knee can only take so much of a beating without wearing down a bit so you need to take care of it. Especially if you're carrying a bit of extra weight, or getting a bit older, those knees are what is going to go first.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What are the benefits of wearing a knee sleeve?

a:

Simply put, knee sleeves are going to help protect against future injury, they provide joint compression, and they help keep down post-run swelling.

q: How do they work?

a:

Knee sleeves do what they do by keeping the knee area warm and limiting the movement of the patella, or the kneecap. And the compression element promotes circulation and keeps the blood running through the leg area. Also, the compression element actually helps you feel the knee as you run, so you can be more aware of any pain or unusual movement.

q: Can I wash my sleeve?

a:

Of course! If you can't, no one is going to want to run with you. So feel free to throw the sleeve in the washer. Don't dry it, but hang it to dry and that'll keep it from shrinking and keep it supple.

q: Can I wear them all the time?

a:

Well, we guess we could but we don't recommend it. First of all, it's going to get smelly quickly. But secondly, if you feel like your knee needs support all the time, go see your doctor because something worrisome might be going on, and a compression sleeve isn't going to fix it.

Sources

  1. Emerge, Knee Sleeve FAQ, Website
  2. Incrediwear, FAQ, Website
  3. Better Braces, FAQ's About the Knee, Website