If you’ve ever had a knee injury, then you’ll agree with me when I say that they are always on the back of your mind, especially when doing physical activities like squatting or playing sports.
According to OrthoInfo, there were roughly 10.4 million patient visits to doctors’ offices because of common knee injuries such as fractures, dislocations, sprains, and ligament tears in 2010 – making a knee injury one of the most common reasons people see their doctors .
“Your knee is a complex joint with many components, making it vulnerable to a variety of injuries. Many knee injuries can be successfully treated with simple measures, such as bracing and rehabilitation exercises”, says OrthoLife.
Like I mentioned above, knee injuries are a constant concern for people who frequently play sports or go to the gym. Protective knee sleeves can be used to reduce the severity of the injury, or more importantly, prevent the injury from occurring entirely.
As you can imagine, numerous lifts can damage the knee and make the joints weaker and vulnerable including deep squats, leg extensions, and lunges . But with knee sleeves, users are given the support they need both physically and mentally, without any apparent disadvantages whatsoever.
There are hundreds, probably even thousands of unique knee sleeves out there, so it would be impossible for me to know for certain which knee sleeves are best for squatting. But with that said, here are ten of the best knee sleeves for squatting that I’ve tried, been recommended, and read raving reviews about across the web:
Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves have made my list. Every pair of Nordic Lifting knee sleeves uses premium quality neoprene and reinforced stitching, hand-made by professional craftsmen.
Whether you’re a recreational or professional athlete, these sleeves optimize your ability to do various movements and exercises. How you ask? Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves reinforce the body’s weaker joints, helping you avoid injury and pain. Due to their compression properties & warming effect, these sleeves alleviate join and muscle pains. If there is one thing for certain, it’s that these sleeves will definitely take the beating – no matter how heavy you lift.Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves are suitable for virtually every user as well, man or woman – just make sure to check the size chart before making your purchase.
Nordic Lifting was created in 2013 to fill a void in the fitness industry. They felt that the current big brands in the industry were selling overpriced products that didn’t match in quality versus value and price. They took it upon themselves (in true Nordic spirit) to change that, with better and more innovative product offerings they’ve become a force to be reckoned within the fitness space. From day one their priority has been quality products and 100% customer satisfaction; if you’re not happy, they won’t be happy either! 
If you ever feel like you didn’t get full value from your Nordic Lifting purchase, contact them immediately and they’ll work with you until you’re completely satisfied.
Rehband Knee SleevesRehband7051 Knee Sleeves provide reinforcement all the way around the knee, allowing for an optimal range of motion in any activity – whether you’re going for a scroll around the park, or competing in a Spartan Race. It’s the perfect knee sleeve to help prevent strain or injury, while also ideal to use for faster recovery and rehabilitation. This knee sleeve also improves blood flow through compression and keeps knee joints warm to reduce overall joint pressure, and swelling – perfect for people who enjoy strength training exercises like sumo squats and elevated lunges.
I’ve used many of the best knee sleeves for squatting in my day, but this is the one that I recommend to my friends with knee pain. Just picture someone putting both hands around your knee, like in a chokehold. That’s how secure your knee will feel when inside a Rehband Knee Sleeve – your knee isn’t buckling or shifting in any direction unless you tell it to.
With 60 years of know-how, one foot in medical science and one foot on the sports field, Rehband knows how to help you enable your full potential. Wherever you push your limits, wherever you strive for greatness, Rehband will be there supporting you, today and tomorrow. They know what you don’t settle for anything but the best when it comes to your choices in life. 
Slingshot Strong Knee Sleeves
The Slingshot Strong Knee Sleeve is a rigid, yet comfortable knee sleeve perfect for lifting very heavy, but not much else. Looking for a knee sleeve that you can wear throughout your entire workout? The Slingshot Strong Knee Sleeve is probably not what you are looking for. This knee sleeve is comparable to a light knee wrap, but isn’t ideal to wear for long periods of time.
Slingshot’s Strong Knee Sleeves has a very reactive, yet extremely stiff 7mm neoprene that pops back to into shape when you put any form of stress into it. Their knee sleeve’s stitching is also reinforced down the side, so it’s very unlikely that it will fray. Needless to say, this knee sleeve for squatting is as durable as it comes.
The Slingshot Strong Knee Sleeves is quite pricy when compared to many of best knee sleeves for squatting on my list, but that shouldn’t deter you from it by any means. When a knee sleeve claims that it can add between twenty and fifty pounds out of the hole of your squat, you can be assured that you are paying for a quality product.
SBD Knee Sleeves
SBD is a lifting company that makes high-end supportive lifting gear for world class strength athletes. Based in the United Kingdom, SBD is a household name in the powerlifting and strongman communities.
SBD Knee Sleeves provide a tight fit great for powerlifters who are looking to keep their joints warm throughout their workouts. Further, there is no slippage whatsoever, even as you start to perspire during your workout. The neoprene material is also reactive to your joints, so the sleeves fit every part of your knee like a glove, but also provide the stability you need when you are at the bottom of a squat.
Additionally, SBD Knee Sleeves have a patented design with high quality, double-hooked reinforced stitching and 7mm neoprene. It is for this reason that numerous competitive athletes agree that SBD Knee Sleeves are an excellent option for powerlifters looking for a long lasting knee sleeve for squatting.
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SBD Knee Sleeves are priced around $90, which is considerably higher than many of the other best knee sleeves for squatting on my list, but is actually quite a fair price when you consider the people who are buying a knee sleeve like this. Just to be clear, you won’t see your elderly neighbor wearing an SBD knee sleeve when he’s going for his morning walk – this knee sleeve is for top-tier competition athletes, looking to execute top-tier lifts. The SBD knee sleeve is an IPF/IWF competition approved after all. 
If you are getting serious about strength sports, like “ready-for-competition” serious, then look no further than SBD.
Knee Sleeves For Squatting Design
- Material — The materials used in a knee sleeve can vary greatly between two brands. Not only that, the manufacturing standards between an expensive and an inexpensive brand can vary as well – ex. one company’s neoprene material might be superior to another’s neoprene. That said, the most common knee sleeve materials are nylon, spandex, and of course neoprene.
- Competition Approval — Can you wear this knee sleeve in competition? Check to make sure that your knee sleeve is IPF/IWF approved here.
- Stitching — The type of stitching incorporated into a knee sleeves design can make all the difference in the world when it comes to stability and durability. Long story short, the best knee sleeves for squatting will have reinforced stitching.
- Thickness — Knee sleeves come in a variety of thicknesses, but the vast majority are either 3mm, 5mm, or 7mm thick. The 3mm thick knee sleeve benefits athletes in endurance and long distance training. It is lighter, and ideal for endurance sports when you want to carry as light equipment as possible. This 5mm thick knee sleeve benefits the athlete in a varied training where both agility and support is required. The 5mm knee sleeve can be used for most sports, ranging from long distance runners looking for extra support to the knees to gym fitness. This 7mm thick knee sleeve offers powerful stabilization for heavy lifting and extra support during rehabilitation. Historically, the 7mm has been most used by weightlifters needing extra support during a lift, but today it is also common in gym fitters for those doing heavy lifting. 
Best Knee Sleeves For Squatting
As you’ve seen from the list above, there are several knee sleeve brands for squatting to choose from – each with it’s own strengths and weaknesses. My personal favorite knee sleeve for squatting is the Rehband 7051 Knee Sleeve, but I strongly encourage serious powerlifters to consider either the Slingshot Strong Knee Sleeve or the SBD Knee Sleeves – you really cannot go wrong with either. Did I leave your favorite knee sleeve for squatting off my list? Leave us a comment on Facebook or Instagram and let us know.