The Best Knee Compression Sleeves for Running - including Buying Guide
It’s that time of year again. Time to start training for that next marathon or half-marathon. Time to get out that old pair of running shoes and start logging miles.
But what about your knees?
Most runners have experienced the anguish of knee pain at one point or another. Whether it’s a continual nagging pain from Iliotibial band syndrome, or a sudden sharp pain from a meniscus tear, it can be a nightmare.
Luckily, there are a few ways to take the edge off.
The most popular option is to purchase some knee sleeves, which are a super-supportive compression sleeve that helps reduce pressure on your patella.
In this article I aim to help two types of runners.
- The first type are runners who like to do their own research and make an informed decision of the best knee sleeves for their personal needs. I recommend stepping through the buyers guide to ask yourself the right questions to identify the features that matter to you.
- The other type of runner I want to help, are those that just want to get on with it and want to kit the running track as quickly as possible. I recommend these runners to jump straight to our list of the Best Knee Sleeves for Running. There you can quickly run through the pros and cons of our favorite knee sleeves and get what you need straight away.
Complete BUYERS GUIDE to Finding the Best Knee Sleeve for Running
If you are keen to do a bit more research into the types of knee sleeve options available, this buyers guide will be a valuable resource for you to use along your journey. Below I am going to discuss the different features that you should consider when choosing the best knee sleeve for running FOR YOU.
Sweating is inevitable when you are running. So when it comes to knee sleeve material, you want to consider ones that have breathable material.
It is also advisable to look for a knee sleeve that has wicking properties. Wicking is the ability of a material to draw moisture away from your skin, leaving you with a dry feeling while you are enjoying an intense workout. This is particularly important with a knee sleeve as it helps to reduce any itching and skin irritation that results from heat and excess moisture.
If you live in a hot climate, you will want to look for a knee sleeve that is a lightweight design and thin. Wearing a knee sleeve that is made out of thick material may be comfortable in colder regions of the world. However, in warmer climates it can feel like you are running with a bear hugging your leg.
Ultimately, the material that a knee sleeve is made out of can have a big impact on how comfortable you feel while wearing it.
Other questions to may ask yourself BEFORE committing to your next knee sleeve are:
- are you allergic to any specific materials?
- Will you be wearing the knee sleeve on its own or underneath clothes?
With the advancement of technology, and creation of new materials, knee sleeve designs have progressed to include a varying amount of non-slip features. Which is fantastic news for you and me!
Some knee sleeves contain additional ribbing (or silicone gel strips) around the upper and lower edges of the sleeve to help grip onto the leg muscles. This helps the sleeve stay in place and avoids the continuous slippage while you are running.
Other forms of non-slip features include anti-slip silicone grips that look like little bumps on the knee sleeve. The silicone bumps effective give the smooth material texture to form friction with your skin. This prevents the sleeve from slipping and keeps it in place.
I cannot emphasize how important non-slip features are with knee sleeves. Take it from me when I say there is nothing more annoying than interrupting your momentum while running, just to readjust your knee sleeve.
This is an obvious one, however it isn't necessarily something that everyone knows how to do themselves.
A good visual guide to choose a knee sleeve is it should reach about a third of the way up your thigh, as well as a third of the way down the top of your calf.
Knee sleeves are generally longer than a standard knee brace and are designed for compression benefits, such as increased blood flow to the knee joint.
In terms of tightness for compression, a knee sleeve should feel tight when been worn. However, not so tight that it cuts off your circulation. It is a bit like a Goldilocks situation, where you want it to be not too tight, but not too loose and you don't receive any benefits from wearing it. You want it to be just right.
Additional Targeted Support
Knee sleeves can come with additional support features that can help address other ailments and joint pain of runners. One common feature is additional support in and around the patella (knee cap). This helps to support the patella and prevents it from moving around too much - a common issue for runners called 'runners knee'.
You can often find silicone implants at critical points in the knee sleeve that help to support other components of the knee, such as weakened ligaments and worn or torn cartilage.
The Best Knee Sleeves for Running - My Favorites
Now let's get into the good stuff (and probably what you have been waiting to discover)! Let's take a look at my favorite knee sleeves for running and why you should give these a go for your training.
Finding the Best Knee Sleeves for Running isn't the easiest of tasks with such a wide range and when you don't know what to look for.
Fortunately I have put together a comprehensive buyers guide to help you along your journey. I highly recommend taking the time to read through each of the features you should consider when BEFORE purchasing your next knee sleeve for running.
For those runners out there that just want a quick and easy solution, so they can hit the track again, check out my top list of the Best Knee Sleeves for Running. I have included a quick reference for each sleeve's pros and cons. As well as a quick summary of why I consider it to be a great knee sleeve.
Happy running and don't forget to leave us a comment on your favorite knee sleeve.