The 7 Best Knee Sleeves For CrossFit

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Knee sleeves…those gym accessories that are somewhere between “nice to have” and “must use or knees will disintegrate” for all of us!

Knowing how much we have relied on knee sleeves over the years, it seemed fitting to put together a compilation of the best knee sleeves for CrossFit workouts. Through our personal experiences and the high praise of countless users and reviewers online, we were confident in our compilation of the 7 best knee sleeves out there.

That being said, if you’re in a hurry and don’t really want to sift through our extensive analyses and commentary, let it be known that Rehband knee sleeves are the best knee sleeves for CrossFit!

🏆 Best Overall

Rehband Knee Sleeves

88

Uniform Contour Compression
Effective for CrossFit or powerlifting
Promotes blood flow and coordination
Buy on Amazon

Best Multifunctional

Rogue Knee Sleeves

88

Unrivalled functionality
Composed of unique SBR/neoprene hybrid materials
Produced in the United States
Buy on Rogue

Best for Style

Bear Komplex Knee Sleeves

88

11.5-inch length for fuller coverage
USPA approved for competition
Multiple style and color options available
Buy on Amazon

Best 7mm

GymReapers Knee Sleeves

86

Advanced orthopaedic support
Designed and engineered by fitness competitors
IPF & USPA approved
Buy on Amazon

Best Affordable

Hookgrip Knee Sleeves 2.0

86

Excellent flexibility and mobility facilitation
Provides sufficient compression
Very budget friendly
Buy on Rogue

Rehband Knee Sleeves

⭐️ Verdict: Best Overall

There isn’t much not to love about Rehband knee sleeves. They are very high on overall functionality, comfort, and are adored by ~9 out of every 10 people who have ever slipped a pair on.

Rehband knee sleeves might also be the most popular sleeves on the market…and they know it; they have priced them (quite highly) to meet these demands!

Pros

Uniform Contour Compression

Effective for CrossFit or powerlifting

Promotes blood flow and coordination

Con

Expensive

Overall

88

Functionality

95

Comfort

95

Price

70

Customer Reviews

92

Buy on Amazon

How we test & score products

Rehband has a special place in my heart. The Rehband knee sleeves were my first knee sleeves…and all these years later, they’re still my go-to sleeves.

I loved them so much that even after losing my first pair (I left them in a hotel in Mexico…some maid has been hitting squat PRs left and right!) I immediately ordered a replacement.

These sleeves provide everything you want in a knee sleeve. Compression, support, warmth, and a feeling of stability.

Almost all of my squat PRs have come while wearing these bad boys and they’ve helped me to gut through a number of CrossFit WODs as well.

CrossFit Open WOD 19.3 started with 200-feet of dumbbell overhead walking lunges. The Rehband knee sleeves softened every step on the wooden floor (I did it on some B.S., quasi-lifting platform floor). They also didn’t bother me during the step-ups and handstand push-ups that followed, feeling almost like a second skin.

These sleeves never feel like they’re going to slip out of place and with all things considered, they could be the ideal accessory…i.e. the best knee sleeves for CrossFit.

Rogue Knee Sleeves

⭐️ Verdict: Best for Multi-functionality

Like most of Rogue’s products, there is a large degree of research, design focus, and general effort applied to the production process. The culmination of this is highly rated and highly functional knee sleeves.

Also like most of Rogue’s products, the knee sleeves aren’t the most affordable and some users have expressed sizing and overall comfort concerns

Pros

Unrivalled functionality

Composed of unique SBR/neoprene hybrid materials

Produced in the United States

Cons

Sizing concerns

Overall

88

Functionality

95

Comfort

85

Price

80

Customer Reviews

94

Buy on Rogue

How we test & score products

Rogue doesn’t mess around with its proprietary products and its knee sleeves are no exception. Offering up a unique blend of multi-sport functionality, a hybrid material construction, and a guarantee that their sleeves are “Made in the USA”, it’s no surprise that they have received so much love from hundreds of satisfied customers…

…I mean, how often do you get a CrossFit newb and a powerlifter with tree trunks like this guy’s agreeing on anything?

The unique SBR/neoprene material is a slight contributor to overall sizing and comfort issues that select users express but, in true Rogue form, any questions or concerns are swiftly addressed. It’s pretty hard to “miss” with Rogue.

Bear Komplex Knee Sleeves

⭐️ Verdict: Best Stylish

Bear Komplex presents an interesting combination of style and functionality. This is especially the case for those who appreciate a longer, half-leg covering knee sleeve and wild designs.

For those who don’t appreciate the longer, fuller coverage, these could be quite uncomfortable and some have raised concerns about durability.

Pros

11.5-inch length for fuller coverage

USPA approved for competition

Multiple style and color options available

Cons

Durability concerns

Overall

88

Functionality

95

Comfort

90*

Price

80

Customer Reviews

88

Buy on Amazon

How we test & score products

Most well known for their CrossFit grips and palm protectors, Bear Komplex has developed a pretty legit knee sleeve.

At 5 millimeters, Bear Komplex’s knee sleeves are not the thickest (although they do produce a 7 millimeter sleeve, as well), but are still a go-to item for powerlifters. The knee sleeves are approved for use in all USPA (United States Powerlifting Association) meets.

By giving up a few millimeters of thickness, the Bear Komplex knee sleeves provide increased mobility during tough CrossFit WODs.

The sleeves’ bamboo charcoal fiber construction creates a unique feel. Athletes appreciate the familiar support they expect in knee sleeves along with the added comfort this construction provides.

With a number of color options to choose from, it isn’t difficult to find a pair that will look the best on you. You might even opt for a few pairs to coordinate with the training day’s outfit. After all, these are the most stylish knee sleeves for CrossFit.

GymReapers Knee Sleeves

⭐️ Verdict: Best 7mm

Gymreapers knee sleeves, in addition to being considered “the peoples’ champ” also provide better-than-adequate functionality and mobility for a 7mm sleeve.

7mm sleeves can take some getting used to and none of Gymreapers stuff will normally be found on a “most affordable” list.

Pros

Advanced orthopaedic support

Designed and engineered by fitness competitors

IPF & USPA approved

Cons

Not inexpensive

Overall

86

Functionality

90*

Comfort

85

Price

75

Customer Reviews

94

Buy on Amazon

Oh, man is that logo awesome! Gymreapers is one of those companies that seemed to come out of nowhere, but you now see everywhere!

For those suffering from chronic knee and related pain, the emphasis on orthopaedic support in these sleeves is a game-changer. While not rehabilitation tools in themselves, the Gymreapers sleeves pride themselves on “reducing knee pain and swelling for improved rehab and recovery.”

If you’re into powerlifting ventures (on the side, of course…), the Gymreaper knee sleeves are gonna work since they are sanctioned in USPA and IPF (International Powerlifting Federation) meets. 7mm knee sleeves are better suited for heavy squatting and these are the best of the bunch.

Hookgrip Knee Sleeves 2.0

⭐️ Verdict: Best Affordable

The Hookgrip Knee Sleeves 2.0 are very easy on the wallet and provide a surprising amount of compression and overall warmth for a budget piece of equipment/apparel.

Don’t purchase these expecting the type of coverage and protection from any of the other knee sleeves on the list. Their functionality in these areas, particularly for heavy lifting, is more limited.

Pros

Excellent flexibility and mobility facilitation

Provides sufficient compression

Very budget friendly

Cons

Not overly significant protective support

Overall

86

Functionality

75

Comfort

80

Price

100

Customer Reviews

90

Buy on Rogue

How we test & score products

Sometimes you just want something to warm your knees up, keep them warm, and to provide just a bit of compression throughout your workout.

If this is you, well, congratulations: you’ve unwittingly selected not only a legitimate pair of knee sleeves (the Hookgrip 2.0s), but also the best affordable knee sleeves on our list as well.

The Hookgrips are great at what they are designed to do and I even feel pretty comfortable with the slight protection from floor abrasions they provide during movements like lunges. However, be mindful about what you’re getting with these and don’t expect the AC (armor class…duh) of thicker, more intentionally designed knee sleeves.

Murgs V2 Knee Sleeves

⭐️ Verdict: Contender!

Murgs V2 knee sleeves are renowned for their comfort, especially those emphasizing heavy squats, cleans, and snatches in their training.

At 7mm, these are more functional for certain types of lifters/athletes than they are for others. They also aren’t the most budget-friendly of all of the knee sleeve options out there.

Pros

Combination of compression, support, and flexibility

Patella tracking to prevent deviation during heavy lifts

Engineered for joint stability

Cons

Few color options

Overall

85

Functionality

80*

Comfort

95

Price

75

Customer Reviews

90

Buy on Amazon

How we test & score products

Murgs’ V2-7mm knee sleeves are the company’s bread-and-butter product in regard to overall knee compression.

They provide the flexibility to allow athletes maximum mobility and comfort during CrossFit and other high-intensity workouts. They also provide a tight enough, compressive fit to accommodate even the heaviest compound lifts and PR attempts.

The V2-7mm are stable on the leg. The neoprene material ensures that slippage doesn’t occur and that readjustment during a workout isn’t necessary.

The flatlock stitching and quad-panel provide the comfort of a legging, making the knee sleeves wearable for long periods of time. This stitching also adds to durability, ensuring that they’ll hold up for a bit.

Picsil Knee Sleeves

⭐️ Verdict: Contender!

Picsil offers a well-rounded knee sleeve that is almost equally functional, comfortable, and favorite of athletes everywhere. There is a large stable of CrossFit Games athletes ready to attest to this.

The unique polyester material may be less appealing to some lifters and the overall price is not overly competitive.

Pros

Numerous sponsored CrossFit Games athletes

Waterproof/water resistant polyester

Multiple color/design options

Cons

International brand/can be some communication issues if problems exist

Overall

86

Functionality

85

Comfort

90

Price

75

Customer Reviews

92

Buy on Amazon

How we test & score products

One of the unique selling points of Picsil’s knee sleeves is their double-protective layer. This added layer provides additional compression while shielding bone and muscle from collisions (I needed these for box jumps, like, years ago…)

Picsil knee sleeves are accommodating enough to allow complete flexibility and movement for all types of exercises. Dancers and soccer players feel as comfortable in them as CrossFitters and Olympic weightlifters.

In the last couple of years, Picsil has extended its operations to the United States so you’ll probably start seeing them around a lot. You may as well be the first at your gym to get a pair of their knee sleeves (especially if, ya know, you work out in your own home or garage).


What to Look For in Knee Sleeves for CrossFit

There is always going to be a degree of subjectivity when putting together lists like this one. I mean, how does one really develop a universal definition of “comfort”?

As it is, taking our own experiences with knee sleeves into consideration (as well as the experiences of literally thousands), these are the four main criteria necessary to identify top prospects.

Functionality

As simple as “they make my knees hurt less when I squat” to “3mm are better for compression, but 7mm are better for powerlifting” functionality ultimately comes down to the knee sleeves doing what they’re supposed to do. For us, this involves providing warmth/compression, protective support, and facilitating the lifts themselves.

You will notice a few *s in our reviews, mainly when rating the 7mm sleeves as some lifters will appreciate the help these provide with heavy lifts while others will bemoan them for somewhat limiting mobility during CrossFit metcons.

Comfort

Knee sleeves are pretty pointless if you can’t bear to wear them for more than a few minutes; pain or discomfort caused by the knee sleeves pretty much kills the point! Additionally, if sleeves have trouble remaining in place or are overly compressive, comfort is affected.

Different materials, thickness, and stitching styles have an impact on how sleeves’ overall comfort is impacted.

Price

Cost is going to be an important factor with any type of fitness gear or equipment. The world’s greatest knee sleeves wouldn’t be too impactful (for most people at least) if they cost $5000. Thankfully, most top out at ~$75 so won’t totally break the bank.

Customer Reviews

We sure would like to think that you would immediately take what we say as the undeniable truth…

…however, we know better. What better way to develop social proof than brining in the opinions of our ~7,000 closest gym bro friends?

Shopping tips for CrossFit Knee Sleeves

Looking at all of the rad designs while dreaming of squat PRs is the most fun part of shopping for knee sleeves.

But “7 millimeter”…”knee circumference”…”Neoprene”…?

What does it all mean?!

Let’s take a look at some of the key terminology and specs to help you decide which company makes the best knee sleeves for CrossFit for your needs (and knees!)

Thickness

In this rundown of the best knee sleeves for CrossFit, most of the knee sleeves were 5 millimeters while a select few were 7 millimeters (our best, affordable knee sleeves were thinner). Knee sleeves can go as thin as 3 millimeters, but most will fall in this 5-7-millimeter range.

Generally, the thicker the knee sleeve, the more intense the compression is.

Depending on what you’re doing this can be perceived to be beneficial or detrimental.

When shifting heavy weights for low-rep sets or PR attempts, thicker sleeves are oftentimes preferred. The large amount of compression thicker knee sleeves provide adds to the stability felt throughout the lift.

This stability isn’t simply perception, though. Many of the thicker sleeves are designed to keep the patella regions of the knee in place and to promote consistent movement patterns.

The downside to this support is the impact on mobility that thicker knee sleeves often create. The added compression can make the muscles and joints feel as though they are “locked” into a specific range of motion.

Thinner knee sleeves are preferable when you desire support for your knees, but not at the expense of mobility. These sleeves do not provide as much compression, but better allow for dynamic movements, such as those required in CrossFit.

Thankfully, knee sleeve engineering has advanced to the point where even 7-millimeter knee sleeves are pliable enough for plyometrics. So many of them made our list of the best knee sleeves for CrossFit because they are perfectly suited for plyo exercises!

Material

Speaking of engineering, while many of the knee sleeves reviewed had unique panelling or were double stitched, almost all were made of Neoprene.

So, what exactly is Neoprene and why is it so popular with all of the best knee sleeves for CrossFit?

According to the oracle of the Internet (just kidding, this is from Wikipedia), “Neoprene resists degradation more than natural or synthetic rubber. This relative inertness makes neoprene well suited for demanding applications.” 

Also, “(It is a) very pliable rubber-like material with insulating properties similar to rubber or other solid plastics.”

With qualities like that, Neoprene is definitely up for the task of securing your knees. When the time comes, I think I’ll opt for a Neoprene space suit!

Sizing

Sizing can be a little tricky with knee sleeves. As you probably noticed looking at the size charts for each of the brands reviewed, there is a bit of variance in sizing. When in doubt, it is generally advised to order a size lower.

How we Chose the “Best” Products

We try to get our hands on (or, in this case, our knees in) as many products as possible. We use our personal experiences, as well as the hours of research we’ve conducted on each category of product to come to our conclusions and to make our suggestions.

While we aren’t able to test every product, we take what countless of others have said into consideration when reviewing and recommending products. Click here to find out a lot more about how we test and review products.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of good 3mm options, but none of them really make sense for CrossFit (at least compared to the options on our list). CrossFitters should generally either opt for 5 or 7mm knee sleeves or something like the Hookgrip Knee Sleeves 2.0 which are closer to pure "compression" sleeves.

In most cases, yes. However, if you plan on wearing knee sleeves for powerlifting or other competitive ventures, you should check with the governing body to ensure they meet all standards and requirements.

There are definitely people who live in their knee sleeves while their are many others who only slip theirs on for the heaviest of lifts. If you're considering life as the former, you may want to look into knee mobility work to get a better idea about your current knee health and the extent to which you want to become, for lack of a better term, "reliant" on knee sleeves (as opposed to them simply being appreciated accessories).

I know that knee sleeves aren’t the biggest investments, but you definitely don’t want to miss with these. After all, you want your knees to thank you…not hate you! As such, we’re gonna cover a few more questions you might have on the topic.

Gift Yourself some of the Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit…You Deserve it!

I’ve given a lot of knee sleeves a try, but still love my Rehbands. That being said, I’d feel comfortable getting low in any of the sleeves covered today.

My advice:

  • Measure yourself (a few times…just to be safe)
  • Pick a pair from our list
  • Hit a front squat PR
  • thank me (or go straight to “profit”, instead!)

Alternatively, if you happen to be the wife (or husband!) of a CrossFitter, buy them a pair…just…because I can assure you they make a great gift!

🏆 Best Overall

Rehband Knee Sleeves

88

Uniform Contour Compression
Effective for CrossFit or powerlifting
Promotes blood flow and coordination
Buy on Amazon

Best Multifunctional

Rogue Knee Sleeves

88

Unrivalled functionality
Composed of unique SBR/neoprene hybrid materials
Produced in the United States
Buy on Rogue

Best for Style

Bear Komplex Knee Sleeves

88

11.5-inch length for fuller coverage
USPA approved for competition
Multiple style and color options available
Buy on Amazon

Best 7mm

GymReapers Knee Sleeves

86

Advanced orthopaedic support
Designed and engineered by fitness competitors
IPF & USPA approved
Buy on Amazon

Best Affordable

Hookgrip Knee Sleeves 2.0

86

Excellent flexibility and mobility facilitation
Provides sufficient compression
Very budget friendly
Buy on Rogue
Photo of author

AUTHOR

Tom, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, ISSA-CPT, PN1-NC, DPA, CAPM has been CrossFitting for over 10 years. He has participated in a number of team and individual CrossFit competitions across Europe and the United States. He was the 2012 Chick-fil-A Race Series champion (North Georgia Circuit) and has put together a few gnarly garage and basement gyms in his time!

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