Finding Your Size and Fit: Measuring for Knee Sleeves
If you feel unsure about what the perfect knee sleeve size is for you, you are not alone. Feeling unsure about knowing the right size are perfectly normal. It is very important to make sure your sleeves fit you snuggly. Anything too tight or too loose will practically make your knee sleeves useless.
This article will explain one method of measuring for your knee sleeve size along with some pointers about how to find the right fit for you. You’ll also read some insights on how other brands – like Rehband, Titan, Tommy Kono, Zensah, SBD, and Viper – all tend to have different sizing methods. Very annoying for the average user like you and I.
Basic Measuring Instructions
To begin looking for your size, watch this very helpful video by WODSuperStore.com. It shows you how to measure your knee properly before picking out your size. It applies to pretty much any sleeve you end up going with.
To summarize the instructions, identify where the middle of your knee cap is and use that as a starting point to measure 5 and 7/8 inches (or 15 cm) down to your calf. It’s important to flex your knees at around 30 degrees while you’re doing that. Mark the end of this measurement. From this point, measure the circumference of your leg. That measurement can be a solid basis for your size across various brands.
Another great Read: Why NOT to wear knee sleeves
Your Knee Sleeves MUST be Snug
Now that you know how to measure your leg area for your knee sleeve size, it’s important to know two things:
- It is recommended to go down a size lower than the size that corresponds to their measurement. This is because you want a snug fit for support and your sleeves will eventually become looser over time. Always go for the smallest size that fits tightly enough but doesn’t interrupt your blood flow and without compromising comfort.
- As I mentioned earlier, each brand tends to have it’s own sizing chart. You need to make sure you look at these before buying to ensure you pick the right size.
Comparing Across Brands
Unfortunately, there is no standard sizing chart for all brands. In this guide, I will share seven brands as examples.
First cab off the rank are Rehband. Shown below is their sizing chart:
Titan’s sizing chart closely resembles Rehband’s, with a few units (inches and centimeters, depending on the type of sleeves):
3. Tommy Kono
Tommy Kono sizes are different from the others, they are based on body weight and not on the circumference of your calf:
They also only have three sizes, which I still don’t really understand… Be very weary of this, if you are still unsure, read some reviews on these sleeves to find out what others have gone with.
Zensah has streamlined sizing guidelines, clumping together measurements for small and medium under a single group and large and extra large in another group:
Zensah also measures around the center of a slightly bent knee, as opposed to the video instructions above, where you measure 5 and 7/8 inches below the knee. These sleeves are very flexible which is why they can get away with only 2 sizes.
SBD is one of what many people would consider an “elite” brand of knee sleeves offer so much more with their sizing. They have all sorts of small and large! Below is the table and guidelines behind their 9 sizes:
SBD is very, very specific when it comes to their sizing. You can either measure with your knee cap, or with your calf circumference if you have prominent calves. As you can see, the range of measurement for each size is smaller (only one to two inches) compared to other brands. There’s less room for error here and a greater chance of getting a snug fit. This is perfect for those who think that their knee sleeves have an awkward fit despite following the sizing guidelines of other brands.
6. Tommy Copper
Another brand worth highlighting when it comes to sizing is Tommie Copper. See the sizing table below:
Notice two things here:
- They don’t have extra small but they have up to 6XL
- They use the upper thigh circumference as sizing reference unlike most brands, which use the knee cap or calf.
This shows how important to read the sizing chart and instructions thoroughly because not all brands share measurement standards.
Another brand that has very detailed sizing guidelines is Viper. Although Viper only has the standard S-M-L-XL, they make up for it by being very precise with their parts and measurements. Since their knee sleeves cover almost the full length of the leg (from the upper thigh all the way to the ankle), they have measurements for the top, middle and bottom parts of the leg. Look at the photo below:
The Universal Problem of Buying Online
If you can, the best way to pick a size is to actually go to a store and try on different sizes to see which one fits you best. However, if you have done your research and figured out which sleeve you want to buy, it can be very difficult finding that exact sleeve to try on in the shop. Most shops (even specialty ones) don’t have all brands of knee sleeve in stock.
So what to do? Seriously, your best bet is to read through the above, find your measurements and then go for whichever option you think works for you. If you think you have the wrong size when you get them in the mail, you can always return them. Amazon is fantastic about returns, so it’s not really a big deal if you do get it wrong. Hopefully my guide here will give you enough information so that you will be able to get by without needing to return them.
Size Does Matter
Compression and support are the most important things about knee sleeves. If you end up getting the wrong size, too big or too small, this completely goes out the window. If you’re not wearing the right size, your knee sleeves will be useless.
Make sure to follow your brand or supplier’s specific instructions before making your purchase. Even if you have to switch to another brand of knee sleeve to find the right fit, that is better than sticking with one that will not serve you properly.
If you’re going to spend your money on knee sleeves, it is worth investing some patience and time into looking for the perfect size for you.