In depth Rocktape Knee cap ReviewAn Allrounder Sleeve, Perfect for Crossfit
Best for: General use. Running, lifting, squats – almost anything!
These sleeves were designed for CrossFitters, they have the looks and can be used for anything from lifting to running. If you’re a serious lifter though, you might want to get something more heavy duty.
Go for the 5mm if you are a cardio junkie and 7 mm if you are into weight lifting.
The durability is questionable, but Rocktape have made efforts to improve this with the 3rd Generation and most recent version.
Be Sure to read my Full review Below
The Rocktape knee sleeves (aka knee caps) are without a doubt the prettiest sleeves on the market. They have put a lot of focus on designing them to look amazing. Although it is nice to look awesome, your purchases should always come down to the main function of the product.
Here’s an objective and thorough evaluation of the Rocktape knee caps, which will hopefully help you decide if they’re the right pair for your knees.
Winning Design Made to Look Awesome
Rocktape is leading the pack when it comes to look and design of these. CrossFitters are well known for wanting to stand out from the crowd and wear the brightest and coolest gear out there. These sleeves get a big tick in that box. They come in fours designs (see below for images):
- the red sleeves with blue-gray stripes in front
- the Manifesto design
- the US flag (star and stripes) – Limited addition
- and the pink camouflage.
In the aesthetics department, Rocktape is nothing short of badass. The designs are packed with character allowing a more personalized touch.
Material Quality and Thickness Options
Rocktape isn’t just made of any neoprene. SBD neoprene is a high-grade material, which protects the knees with 90% neoprene and 10% nylon. You’ll feel the neoprene quality the moment you slip them on.
They are available in two thickness:
- 5mm – Better for general use, like running, metcons and light weight lifting for a bit of additional support and warmth.
- or 7mm – Best for heavier lifting and squatting.
They are also lined with a 4-way lycra liner, which really helps in minimizing the irritation that’s usually associated with neoprene. The liner also helps to keep the skin around the knees comfortable even when you’re sweating a lot, since the thick neoprene keeps your knees really warm and lubricated.
Also Read: Pros and Cons of wearing knee sleeves
Picking the Right Size
The sizing is pretty straightforward too – XS, S, M, L, and XL – based on the circumference of your patella. They also added a few centimeters to cover the vastus medialis oblique (VMO), which we will discuss in a while. Below is the Sizing chart that will help you to make the right choice:
You want them to be tight but not too tight so that they cut off circulation. I have a guide about measuring yourself for your knee sleeve, so check that out if you need some advice on what to consider.
Mobility Not Compromised: Easy to Move Around and Do Almost Anything
Even Rocktape’s thickest Knee Caps (7mm) do not restrict movements. You can comfortably squat, do countless burpees, and even running without worrying about limited range of motion.
A lot of guys in my box use these for a lot of workouts, not just the lifting. They can move around a bit (especially if you didn’t go small enough), which can can a bit annoying during workouts.
A Great Deal of Compression and Support
As always, this is the most important function of knee sleeves. Rocktape knee caps often get two thumbs up for support and compression. You can push your knees a little down further for squats minus any bothersome pain.
If you compare Rocktape with other knee sleeves (see a video below on this), they are designed slightly longer to extend the compression to the Vastus Medialis Oblique (VMO). This muscle can be found in the inner part of the upper thigh and is very instrumental in keeping the patella stable.
Read this one too: Complete review of the Tommy Kono knee bands
Supporting the VMO means extra support for the patella as well. This can be your best friend when you want to power up on those deadlifts and lunges. It will keep your knees warm and pain-free all throughout.
A Little Issue on Durability Though…
There are mixed reviews on Rocktape’s durability. To a lot of people, the knee caps are only good until they start to rip apart, which (reportedly) happens after a few months (around 3-6 months) of regular use (2-3 times a week). In some cases, the stitches fall apart and the lining comes off. In worse scenarios, the neoprene material weakens and so does the support and compression it promises.
Luckily, it comes with a 12- month warranty so if problems arise, you can always contact Rocktape to address them. On top of this, the newer stocks of the knee caps have already improved in durability, thanks to the “double” Mouser stitches that keep them together. Naturally, they will also last a little longer with extra TLC (tender loving care).
Another Great Read: Braces, Sleeves and Wraps… What’s the Difference?
These sleeves are a good deal at $60.00 (RRP) a pair, and being designed for CrossFitters they will serve their purpose well inside the box.
OK, You have heard from me… What About Others?
If you are like me, you like to actually SEE them in use and look at some other reviews before buying them.
Brian Tamayo’s video review of Rocktape knee sleeves gives you a good idea of who will appreciate these sleeves the most. He says these are best if you are:
- on a college budget and
- not a professional powerlifter
It’s a great all-around knee sleeve that will support your knees throughout any activity in the box.
Next up is a video from Jason Khalipa, a well known top CrossFitter. This review is super helpful and comes from a guy with more experience than pretty much anyone, especially about CrossFit. Just keep in mind, he was most likely paid to do this review (I have no proof of that, it’s just a hunch… Gotta pay the bills somehow!)
The last video I found to share with you is a comparison between the Rocktape caps and the Rehband sleeves from a guy named Justis Cousins. I don’t know much about his history, but a lot of what he says is very useful.
Some Final Thoughts
While durability may be a common issue among the Rocktape users, they’re all praises for the fact that the quality is that of Rehband and SBD but at a fraction of a price. That in itself is already a good reason to grab a pair. A little caution won’t hurt when using it to prolong its lifespan. Being mindful of how you put it on will also reduce wear and tear of this product.
Besides, Joel of CrossFit 805 guarantees that Rocktape has been really responsive with the customer complaints. They’ve also updated their products and are now more durable than the first few batches that came out. If you want reassurance, you can see what he has to say about Rocktape. He definitely knows what he’s talking about.
But aside from the durability problem, Rocktape knee sleeves are perfect for CrossFit and general use around the box. They give you good compression, warmth and support. Not to mention, they look awesome too ; )
Matts PRs can be found on the about page http://www.rxdsleeves.com/about/
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