Best Knee Sleeves for Running

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

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 

Best Knee Sleeves for Running

Materials

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?

Non-Slip Features

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. 

Sizing

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.

Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeve

PROS

  • unique "no roll down" design for easy supported running
  • helps to reduce swelling, pain and inflammation from running
  • adjustable strap at the top of sleeve for custom fit

CONS

  • some customers say sizing can be misleading for larger sizes
  • no targeted compression
The Mava Sports Knee Compression Support Sleeve makes running feel effortless with the additional support and compression it provides to the knees. 

With a unique "no roll down" design, Mava claim to have solved one of the most common problems with knee sleeves.  They have cleverly designed this knee sleeve to have an adjustable strap at the top of the sleeve so each person can adjust the sleeve to their specific leg measurements.   This reduces any slippage of the knee sleeve while you are running, and leaves you to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. 

The Mava Knee Sleeve is made from a thin material that can be worn underneath clothes is required.  Mava boasts their sleeve is made from a anti-itch, anti-slip material that is comfortable to wear and provides the necessary heat to the knee joint for a quicker recovery.  

The knee sleeve is uniquely shaped to prevent bunching up behind the knee and is perfect for a range of activities, such as walking, running, dancing and climbing. 

Finally, we are happy to say Mava back their products with a 100% money back and happiness guarantee so you can buy with confidence. 

Vitavrio Fitness Compression Knee Sleeve

PROS

  • high quality compression sleeve designed for exercising
  • made from a breathable material with non-slip silicone strips
  • 100% guarantee that it will work for you or your money back within 30 days

CONS

  • limited sizing for smaller framed runners
  • no targeted compression
We love the Vitavrio because it is a knee sleeve that is specifically designed to be used for exercising.  The designers at Vitavrio have not spared any detail with this high quality compression sleeve. 

Made from a 3 Dimensional design of fabrics that include nylon, spandex and latex, it combines all the positives of each material into one cleverly made knee sleeve.  With the strength of nylon, flexibility of spandex and durability of latex, you will be using this knee sleeve for many runs to come. 

The Vitavrio includes elastic non-slip silicone gel strips to hold the knee sleeve in place while you are exercising.  And the compression of the sleeve helps to reduce any inflammation you may experience from the intense workouts. 

Finally, we are happy to report that Vitavrio include a 30 day money back guarantee for any issues that come up with the knee sleeve.  This is great for you because you can buy with confidence that if you are not completely 100% happy with your purchase, you can return it without any fuss.  

Incrediwear Knee Sleeve

PROS

  • different technology to compression sleeves, used for effective treatment of inflammation and pain
  • versatility for wearing all day - not just for running
  • has semiconductors that are naturally stimulated by body heat to improve circulation

CONS

  • only sold in packs of one (not a pair)
  • only sold in the United States
The Incrediwear Knee Sleeve has a technology unique to their brand which specifically targets inflammation of the knee.  It features semiconductors woven into the material that are naturally stimulated by heat from the body.  These semiconductors help with blood circulation and treats inflammation of the knee joint, along with any pain resulting from over use. 

The Incrediwear Knee Sleeve is great for runners that experience inflamed knees after a run.  The sleeves encourage the blood to flow through and lessen the effects of the inflammation.   This also helps to reduce recovery periods after an intense workout. 

The material is a blend of Lycra Nylon, which boasts breathability for reduced sweat and wicking properties to keep your knee joint dry. 

I recommend the Incrediwear Knee Sleeves to runners who experience chronic pains from long distance running and overworked knees. 

Final Verdict

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

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