A Comprehensive Review of the Zensah Knee SleeveEverything you Need to Know About the Zensah Compression Knee Sleeve
All that pounding and striking that your knees have to endure can take it’s toll on them. Can the Zensah Compression Knee Sleeve take care of this problem?
In this review, we will cover:
- Who is Zensah
- Available colors
- Pros and Cons
- Technologies used
- How it affects your performance
- Some Video reviews
Let’s assess this brand’s compression apparel and get straight into it.
The Company – Who are Zensah
It is important to first have a look at Zensah as a company. They have been well established fun a long time, but there main focus is not in knee sleeves alone. They sell other products, like gloves, shorts, warm wear and other compression wear. They has a simple philosophy to help athletes perform at their best.
What Material is it Made From?
The Zensah Compression Knee Sleeve is made of 75% spandex and 25% nylon. It is not made of the conventional neoprene material found in most frequently used knee sleeves. However, spandex has its own benefits. Spandex is a stretchy material that can expand greatly without losing its shape (right away). Even if you stretch your extremities to the limit, spandex will be able to handle all that activity. Nylon, on the other hand, makes this knee sleeve breathable. What you have in this Zensah knee sleeve is an all-around breathable and durable material. The Zensah fabric is also anti-odor and moisture wicking, unlike most knee sleeves that accumulate odor and sweat. The fabric clings snugly to the skin so it doesn’t cause chaffing and discomfort. It also dries easily after washing.
Potential Drawbacks to this Material
The only drawback about the materials used in Zensah knee sleeves is potential allergies for some people. Although spandex is also used in other common clothing, there are unfortunate ones who break out when they wear spandex. Dermatitis is very common among people who are sensitive to spandex. Silicone is also a potential irritant, especially if the wrong size is chosen. In general, grip tops can get uncomfortable. If it gets too tight at the top part of the leg, it might cause rashes and constrict blood vessels. It’s really important to pick the right size – a snug fit without squeezing your legs out.
Also Read: How to Measure for a Knee Sleeve
The Technology – What makes these Knee Sleeves Amazing?
Zensah engineered a pin-point compression mechanism into their knee sleeves for targeted support to the patella. Targeted support means specific care and relief for knee pains, problems and injuries. And because the fabric is made of spandex and nylon, users get to enjoy full range of motion. The compression does not inhibit free movement. If you look at the pattern closely, you will notice that the front has a chevron (“v”) wide ribbing in front. This type of knitting is responsible for the gradient compression, which means that sleeves are tightest at the bottom or mid-calf part. The ribbing is tight at the back and wide at the front for maximum support. The compression and support reduces inflammation and swelling by enhancing blood circulation in the knee and leg area. It also reduces the “pooling” of blood so that it flows to the heart more quickly, thereby speeding up the elimination of metabolic waste (e.g. lactic acid) produced during a rigorous workout.
First of all, they love the moisture-wicking, breathable properties. A lot of people shy away from knee sleeves because they complain about the sweat soaking up their knee area. And for some, it causes itching and discomfort. But it doesn’t happen with the Zensah Compression Knee Sleeves. Another advantage of the Zensah fabric is how easy it is to wash, as it dries quickly. Plus, it doesn’t absorb odor unlike most compression sleeves. For people who use it as a running or recovery sleeve, there have been no major issues or complaints about the Zensah Compression Knee Sleeve.
There may be some complaints about the silicone grip though, particularly for the people who are allergic to silicone. It effectively keeps the sleeve in place during light runs though. Lifting is another story. Some users notice that it is not suited for heavy lifting. When you bend your knees down too low, the sleeve moves and gathers at the back of the knee.
Using these Sleeves in the Box
Our main focus on this site is to review sleeves for CrossFit Athletes, so I want to discuss a little bit about how these sleeves work in an everyday box. As a general rule of thumb, I would not recommend these for weightlifting of any kind. They are much more suited to general use around the box and running. Here are some exercises you can use these sleeves for:
- Box jumps
- Double unders
- Anything with a Kettlebell
- Any bodyweight movements
- and Running
If the weights you are using exceed over 20% of your body weight, I would suggest using a different product.
Read Also: Full Review of Tommy Kono Knee Sleeves
So What’s The Verdict?
In terms of recovery, it noticeably reduces swelling after workouts. It also provides much-needed stability during runs and most day-to-day activities. But for lifting, the support it gives leaves you asking for more.
So what do we make of this brand’s knee sleeve?
At $24.99 per sleeve, it costs half the price of top-rated knee sleeves. When you shop for your workout accessories, you always keep in mind your purpose in using them. This may not be your best friend for lifting, but these bode very well for running, jogging and even non-workout recovery days. This can, however, be reliable for light lifting and even some general Metcons (metabolic workouts). The fabric is thin enough to seamlessly wear under your pants without creating uncomfortable heat problems. It may fall short in providing support for lifting but for the rigors of running, this sleeve is very valuable. Because it’s breathable and moisture-wicking, you can even take this sleeve outdoors.
Some Video Reviews
I have compiled a few videos I think you will find useful to gain that little bit of extra information you need about these sleeves. Here’s a very informative review of Zensah by one enthusiastic user, who loves the full range of motion he enjoys with Zensah Knee Sleeves, unlike some other sleeves that pinch at the back of the knees when they’re flexed.