Best Knee Sleeve For Running: Give Your Knees The Support They Need

After the initial recovery period is over, and you’ve done your fair share of physical therapy for sprained knee, you’re probably wondering:

What’s the best way to ease back into your running routine?

I have to be honest, it won’t be easy, but if you take the time to find the best knee sleeve for running, it could help you tremendously.

Interested in learning more?

Then keep on reading!

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*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Benefits Of Getting The Best Knee Sleeve For Running: Why You Need One 

Before we proceed, I wanted to make sure you understand that this isn’t just some scheme to make you spend money on useless sportswear. This list sums all the benefits of owning the best knee sleeve for running perfectly:

  • Aids in reducing swelling after extensive workout routines.
  • Keeps the knee warm and improves blood flow.
  • Limits the sideways movements that often result in an injured patella or ligaments.
  • Reduces the risk of re-injuring your knee and speeds up the recovery process.
  • It provides the knee support to those suffering from osteoarthritis.

Pick the best knee sleeve for running, and you’ll notice the difference the minute you put it on, I promise!

Picking The Best Knee Sleeve For Running: The Ultimate Buying Guide 

Running with knee arthritis is a pretty uncomfortable ordeal – unless you buy the best knee sleeve for running, and get the support you need, that is. That’s why today I’m focusing on helping you find the right knee sleeve, starting with the most important features and factors to consider when you’re trying to decide which one to get.

Read through this section carefully, and use these tips for finding the best knee sleeve for running later on, when we dive into the actual reviews. I’m sure you’ll find the perfect fit somewhere on my list.

Let’s begin!

Make Sure To Get The Right Size 

It’s time to put your tape measure to work.

What are we doing now?

We're going to measure out your leg's circumference, of course. I can’t even begin to explain how essential it is to know which size to get when you’re buying a knee sleeve. It might as well be the best knee sleeve for running in the entire world, but if it doesn’t fit - it doesn’t fit.

You can expect to find these three standard sizes available, but keep in mind some manufacturers will offer more:

  • Small (S): 14 to 15 inches on average
  • Medium (M): 15 to 17 inches on average
  • Large (L): 17 to 19 inches on average

A good rule of thumb is to always go for a size that is a bit smaller than your knee's size – a snug fit and minimal chances of slipping are a huge plus when it comes to knee sleeves for running.

Thickness Should Match The Type Of Activity

As the title already says, the density of your knee sleeve should match the type of sporting activity you're involved in regularly.

Since my goal today is to help you find the best knee sleeve for running (as well as performing some knee tendonitis exercises), the thickness of your sleeve shouldn’t exceed 5 millimeters – 3 to 5 mm is considered to be the „ideal“ range for runners.

It Has To Be Comfortable, Yet Able To Stay In Place

Contrary to popular belief, these two features don’t have to be mutually exclusive – when it comes to the best knee sleeve for running, you can have your cake, and eat it, too.

Why is this so important, though?

Because to work, the knee sleeve has to stay in place no matter how long – or versatile – your exercise routine might be. On the other hand, since you’ll be wearing it while you’re working out, sweating, and putting a lot of strain on your body as it is, comfort shouldn’t be something you’re willing to sacrifice.

To ensure getting the best of both worlds, make sure the sleeve fits snuggly, but allows for a lot of ventilation, and doesn’t cause any irritation or chaffing.

Pick The Right Material

There’s not a wide range of options you can choose from regarding materials since best knee sleeves for running are usually made using one of the following two:

  • Neoprene – Considering the user feedback, it seems like neoprene would probably be the better option – it’s able to keep your knee warm, as well as to prevent any future injuries. On top of that, it’s a material known for its high compression feature.
  • Cloth – Cloth sleeves are commonly known for excellently combining support and warmth. If you tend to go on your daily runs in the morning, while it's still somewhat chilly outside, I'd recommend you go with a cloth knee sleeve.

Buy One That’s Built To Last

As with any other sportswear (take best walking shoes for bad knees as an example), durability is one of the critical aspects to consider.

But how can you make sure the sleeve you picked out is durable?

The answer is almost always in the stitching, but the material plays a significant role, too. You need a knee sleeve that's able to withstand frequent use, as well as regular washing. In that aspect, check if the model you're interested in has reinforced stitches – you don't want your knee sleeve to rip after just a couple of weeks of heavy use, do you?

Consider How Much You’re Ready To Spend

The last thing you need to remember before we move on to the actual candidates for the title of the best knee sleeve for running is that expensive doesn’t always equal better. Here’s why I’m telling you this:

The focus should be on the fit and the comfort, not on buying the most expensive model you could find. Just because you can’t afford to spend a small fortune on the best knee sleeve for running, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get a good one.

But, of course, if budget isn’t an issue, you should probably opt for custom-made sleeves.

Best Knee Sleeve For Running: 2018’s Most Wanted 

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.



The most important thing about knee sleeves is the compression to comfort ration. It has to stay in place, but it has to feel right, as well. So, how does this sleeve perform in that regard?

Excellently!

Thanks to the 4-way stretch, it will give your knee all the support it needs, without making it stiff or restrictive. You don't have to sacrifice flexibility for compression, which is something I highly value in the best knee sleeve for running.

You'll notice the double silicone waves inside the sleeve – they're there to make sure it stays in place at all times, without you having to re-adjust it now and then.

However, I did notice something:

It does bunch up behind my knee from time to time, which, as you might imagine, isn’t a very comfortable feeling, especially when it happens during a run. It seems like there is some minor slipping, after all.

Another issue I’ve had with this sleeve is its durability – after just a couple of months, it started coming apart at the seams, which shouldn’t be the case at this price point.


Pros

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    It uses 3D technology for the perfect fit
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    It’s very lightweight and comfortable
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    It features a 4-way stretch for excellent compression
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    Double silicone wave ensures it stays in place
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    It has a heating effect 

Cons

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    It’s prone to bunching up behind the knee
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    It started coming apart after a couple of months 



It's always nice to find an affordable product suitable for a wide range of users – men, women, and even children, and Fokey's knee sleeves are precisely that: a perfect example of versatility. In my opinion, this makes them an excellent gift idea, too, so keep that in mind.

Another huge plus is the manufacturer's lifetime return policy. Are you not entirely satisfied with your knee sleeve? Contact their customer support, and you'll get a new one – no questions asked!

Featuring the new 3D technology for knitting, the construction of the sleeve feels comfortable and breathable, without sacrificing the level of compression. It will provide support to your knee and improve your blood circulation, without causing that unwanted feeling of stiffness that's commonly reported by many runners. Amazing, right? 

One thing I've noticed – it's essential, so pay attention – is that the sizes run small. I'm pretty sure I've measured my leg circumference correctly and chose the size accordingly, but the knee sleeve felt a bit too tight anyway. What's up with that?

I was able to replace the knee sleeve, thanks to their outstanding customer service, though, so everything turned out okay.


Pros

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    3D knitting technology ensures a comfortable fit
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    It allows your skin to breath
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    It enhances blood circulation
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    Double silicone waves keep it in place
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    The manufacturer offers a lifetime return policy

Cons

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    It runs small and can be too tight because of that



If buying an FDA registered knee sleeve is something you feel strongly about, then you're at the right place. In addition to being incredibly affordable (you practically get two for the price of one), these Sable knee sleeves are the only ones on my list approved by the FDA.

Going well above (and below) your knees, they cover a broad surface, distributing the pressure on your joints evenly, making the entire work out a lot more comfortable. Add the breathable fabric into the mix, and you get the best knee sleeve for running on the market!

I know you're waiting to hear what's wrong with them, so let's talk about the disadvantages. First off, be prepared for the awful smell once you open the box. Of course, it will go away once you wash them (which you should do before you first use them, anyway), but it's an unpleasant surprise, anyway.

Also, I'm not entirely sure these will be able to stand up to frequent use most runners would put them through. Of course, it's entirely possible I'm wrong, but that's just the impression I got while I was wearing them.


Pros

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    The fabric is breathable
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    It has an anti-slip design to keep the sleeves in place
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    Equal pressure distribution due to broader coverage
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    The product is FDA registered

Cons

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    They smell awful when you first take them out of the box
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    I’m not sure they’ll last a very long time 



I saw this SB Sox knee sleeve is on sale, and I just had to include them in my round-up.

When you're shopping online, it's important to know whether the product is true to its size or not. And I can guarantee you that this one is; measure your knee as instructed, and follow the size guide, and I'm sure your knee sleeve will be a perfect fit.

The fabrics used are breathable and lightweight, which is a fundamental feature in knee sleeves that are meant to be worn during exercise routines and excessive sweating. Trust me; your skin will be grateful!

There are two things I'd like to point out, though. The first one is more of a warning than an actual flaw, depending on how much support you're looking to get out of a knee sleeve. I'm not going to lie to you: this is a sleeve that doesn't offer much in that regard. So, if you're looking for higher levels of support, move along – this one isn't right for you.

Also, it's incredibly tight at the top, and it will cut into your thigh; not only does it feel uncomfortable, but it looks awkward, as well.


Pros

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    The fabric used is lightweight and breathable
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    The silicone grip makes sure it stays in place
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    It stimulates blood circulation
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    The size chart is right
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    It’s budget-friendly 

Cons

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    It doesn’t provide the needed support
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    The top of the sleeve is way too tight 



I know our goal today is finding the best knee sleeve for running. However, I understand that many of you like to alternate between walking, jogging and running, and in that aspect, these Mava knee sleeves are probably your best bet – they're suitable for all of these activities.

If you're looking for a pair of knee sleeves you can wear all day, without them looking bulky or feeling restrictive (there's nothing worse than a couple of knee sleeves that make your knees stiff), look no further.

I don't care much about having a logo on my knee sleeves – I bought them to ease the discomfort, not to turn my legs into walking ads for the brand. But I completely understand that some of you like to have the logo intact, which is why I'm telling you this:

The logo is nothing more than a sticker, and it will come off after just a couple of washes.

Another issue – and this one is fundamental – is that these things just can't stay in place. It can be pretty distracting (not to mention annoying) having to stop mid-run just to adjust your knee sleeve.


Pros

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    They fit very well without causing a feeling of stiffness
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    The fabric is breathable
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    They don’t feel bulky
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    Excellent price for a pair of knee sleeves
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    Unisex design makes them suitable for men and women 

Cons

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    The logo came off after a few washes
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    They’re prone to sliding down 


Final Verdict: What’s The Best Knee Sleeve For Running?

Okay, it’s time to announce the winner! I’m not going to lie, it was a hard choice to make, but I’ve made my decision:

The FOKEY Knee Brace Compression Support Sleeve, Knee Wrap Fit for Sports – Single is the most deserving of the title “best knee sleeve for running.” It feels and looks right, it’s affordable, and their customer service is practically unmatched!

What do you think? Can we agree that this one is the best, or do you have another favorite in mind? Let me know in the comments below!

Bella Williams
 

Hi! I'm Bella. I love running. I write this blog to share everyone about running.

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