5 of the Best Knee Sleeves for Running

Regular exercise and a clean diet are no doubt the best things you can do to keep your body in pristine condition. However, did you know that you can expose your body to a large range of injuries during a workout? From muscle strains to torn ankles and dislocations, if you don’t use the right protection, you can spend months nursing a workout injury.

Knees are especially prone to injury, notably runner’s knee, iliotibial band syndrome, jumper’s knee, and ligament tears.

No matter which workout plan you choose, using the right knee protection goes a long way in preventing knee injuries.

Knee Sleeves VS Knee Braces

When it comes to protecting your knees from injuries, there are two main types of protection gear – knee sleeves and knee braces. These are totally different types as they’re designed to achieve different goals and for different situations.

Read more: The Most Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide to Knee Sleeves

Knee sleeves are designed to prevent injury by providing extra support to the knee while leaving room for the joint to move freely. The extra support provided by sleeves gives excellent protection from potential injury. If you lift heavy weights or do long runs on a regular basis, it is in your best interests to wear knee sleeves.

On the other hand, knee braces are designed to provide stability to unstable knees. To some extent, knee braces may limit joint movement in order to prevent the risk of further injury to the damaged area or to provide enhanced injury protection to a vulnerable joint. Needless to say, wear knee braces if you’d had knee surgery before or if your knees are unstable (from years of exercising) and therefore more prone to injury. Veteran athletes and weightlifters are more likely to appreciate and experience the relief provided by knee braces than newer athletes.

Also read: Are Knee Sleeves Worth the Money?

Who Should Wear Knee Sleeves?

You don’t need to wear knee sleeves every time you work out, especially if the knee joint is not directly involved in the workout. However, if you’re doing exercises that put a great amount of stress on the knees, then you absolutely must protect your knee joints from potential injury.

For instance, lifting heavy weights while progressively adding more weight will literally grate your kneecap onto itself. Tendonitis is a common result of kneecap grating, in which case you’d need ‘artificial’ knees.

If you’re a runner, knee sleeves must be part of your gear. Running imparts a lot of stress on the knees, causing increased grinding of the kneecap.

Knee sleeves might also be useful for people with arthritis in their knee joint.

Best Knee Sleeves for Running

Knee sleeves are not made the same. The main difference is thickness and type of material used. Every thickness is designed for a specific function and targets a specific area.

Knee sleeves with 3MM thickness are ideal for runners including home treadmills as they’re not too thick to inhibit movement. You can go for a thicker sleeve so long as it works for you.

Here are the best knee sleeves for running that actually do work.

5mm Neoprene Knee Sleeves from Athlos Fitness

5mm Neoprene Knee Sleeves from Athlos Fitness

These premium neoprene sleeves from Athlos Fitness are designed to give maximum support and compression for top athletes and ultra-active people. The sleeves are made from neoprene material to provide just the right compression to boost blood flow to your knee joint while maintaining the much-needed warmth at the knee joint for smooth performance.

They’re backed by a solid one-year warranty and come in three designs – including one featuring the American flag.

While these neoprene sleeves are designed for top performers, they’re equally good for regular runs and daily workouts.

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Uflex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve

Uflex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve

Uflex Athletics is renowned for its use of 3D technology to design superior athletic gear. These stylish knee sleeves are no different as they feature 4-way stretch capability, which means that you get all-round support and protection while running.

These Uflex Athletics knee sleeves are multipurpose and can be used for a variety of sporting applications including running, soccer, golf, weightlifting, football, and cycling, among others.

Made from nylon and lycra blend, the Uflex Athletics knee sleeves provide superior compression to enhance blood flow, hence improving muscular endurance.

According to the official description of their key features, these knee sleeves can also offer moderate pain relief and support for injured knee joints. Of course, they’re not a replacement for an actual medical device for injured knees.

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Copper Compression Knee Sleeve

Copper Compression Knee Sleeve

Copper Compression boasts some of the best protective gear for high performance sports. It’s no wonder that the Copper Compression knee sleeve is designed for very active people who are at increased risk of knee injury.

Read here: How to Measure for Knee Sleeves – Finding the Right Size and Fit

The copper-embedded nylon sleeves come in 5 custom sizes to cater to various leg sizes, including Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, and 2XL. For the right size, these sleeves will fit snug to the leg but they’re flexible enough to allow for unhindered movement. Due to their snug but flexible fit, the Copper Compression sleeves are perfect for running.

These knee sleeves come with a 90-day warranty as with all Copper Compression products.

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McDavid 4-Way Seamless Knee Sleeve

McDavid 4-Way Seamless Knee Sleeve

The McDavid 4-Way Seamless Elastic is one of the best knee gear you can buy. The McDavid features superior materials and advanced design that not only prevents future injury but also offers mild pain relief especially in the case of runner’s knee.

Full Review: McDavid 5mm Knee Sleeve Review

The McDavid is made from nylon and elastane materials and features easy-on knee support and compression for improved circulation around the knee.

The streamlined tubular knit design ensures comfort and flexibility, allowing for a full range of motion.

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Iron Bull Strength Knee Sleeves

Iron Bull Strength Knee Sleeves

These premium 7MM knee sleeves are obviously not your first choice as a runner as they’re undoubtedly thick. However, if you’re an avid runner and need a little bit of extra support than you can get from 3MM or 5MM sleeves, then you should definitely try these ones out.

Iron Bull Strength knee sleeves offer the best knee support and compression to help your knees cope with heavy loads and stress. If you’ve been running for a long time, there’s a high chance that your knees are starting to give way, in which case these 7MM sleeves would go a long way in preventing further injury.

These sleeves are made from high grade Neoprene flex material, ensuring utmost comfort and durability.

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View More knee sleeves for Running here

RXD Sleeves is designed with the intention of making your decision making simpler. If you’re considering a pair of knee sleeves to buy and would like our experience on the sleeve, check our reviews.

If you have any requests or questions, feel free to visit the contact page.

Matt Rollans

Matt Rollans

Matt has been doing Crossfit since 2015and is the founder of Rxdsleeves.com. He has competed in multiple competitions throughout his community. He has made it his mission to provide the best, high quality and honest reviews of crossfit products out there on the market.
Matts PRs can be found on the about page http://www.rxdsleeves.com/about/
Matt Rollans