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Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit

Sep 29, 2018

Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit - Dark Iron Fitness knee sleevesWhat are the best knee sleeves for CrossFit?

Well, the answer to that question relies on several things.

First, you must understand the necessity of knee sleeves and the sport of CrossFit.

CrossFit will push you to your limits until you become a better and stronger version of yourself.

If you want to do this program without causing your knee joints and muscles undue stress you need to get one of the best knee sleeves for CrossFit in the market today.

The high volumes of reps and sets are very strenuous and really work your body.

You might not realize how much pressure is being put on your knees as you run, jump, or lift weights.

Knee sleeves can significantly cut down the pressure being placed on your knees.

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Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit - CrossFit Competition

They will protect you from strain, swelling, during and after performances, as well as more painful injuries.

You want a set of knee sleeves that will make you better at CrossFit.

The best knee sleeves will help stabilize your joints and have you perform better during WODs and heavy lifts.


The Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit: What Are Knee Sleeves?

Think of knee sleeves as a hug for your knee joints.

They protect your knee joints and muscles.

The compression they provide also increases blood flow in your knee area during and after workouts.

This is something that you want to happen since it leads to better muscle growth and recovery.

The right pair provides compression, warmth, and stability during heavy lifts and workouts.


Why Use Knee Sleeves?

CrossFit requires their athletes to have strong, functioning knees for most movements.

It would be difficult to come up with a good WOD that doesn’t put stress on your knees.

Eventually, all those squats, dips, lunges, and steps can take a toll.

One way to decrease the stress on your knees is to wear knee sleeves.

The wrong pair of knee sleeves can get destroyed in only a few workouts.

Worse, they can limit mobility and decrease performance when you use them.


Knee Braces vs. Knee Sleeves

Just remember that knee sleeves are not a substitute for a knee brace.

Knee braces were meant to protect your body from further pain and damage due to a previous injury.

But knee sleeves were designed to prevent the occurrence of any injury in the first place.


What Can Knee Sleeves do for You?

Due to the nature of CrossFit, knee sleeves could be useful in one or more settings at your local box.

  • For extra knee support during WODS or heavy lifts
  • Better performance due to warmer, more fluid joints
  • Help lessen knee pain or discomfort during workouts


Why Do You Need the Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit?

Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit - Knee Sleeves: When Should I Wear Them?Think about how often a CrossFit athlete might squat in a week.

Remember Monday’s intense back squat session, Wednesday’s AMRAP with thrusters, and Saturday’s air squat assault?

Overall that week of programming probably had somewhere between 300-500 squats.

That’s a lot of work for your knees.

CrossFitters likely benefit the most from knee sleeves that are both supportive and versatile.

For WODs, you’ll want a pair that is strong enough to stabilize during heavy squats, but flexible enough so you don’t feel constricted when running or rowing.



The compression from your knee sleeves will keep your knees stable when squatting or performing other CrossFit movements.

This decreases your chance of injury so that you can perform better when doing heavier, more explosive lifts.

So, when looking for the best knee sleeves for CrossFit, be sure to factor in compression for stability.


Joint Warmth

Whether you are performing a 3RM squat or warming up with a PVC pipe, you don’t want cold joints.

Good knee sleeves will increase blood flow to your knees and keep them warm throughout your workout.

This makes you more fluid and powerful with your movements.


What to Look for When Buying the Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit

Comfortability and Compression

Though one of the most important features of a knee sleeve is how well it compresses, you must make sure that the knee sleeve is still comfortable enough to wear for an extended period.

This means that it shouldn’t be so tight that it makes your legs feel numb or give your skin rashes while wearing it.



Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit - Man wearing knee sleeves and pulling dumbbell

The durability of the knee sleeve should depend on how heavily it’s used and on how many times you work out in a week.

If you do three CrossFit programs a week, it would be smart to invest in heavy-duty knee sleeves that won’t get worn out after a couple of months of use.


Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit: Knee Sleeves vs. Knee Braces

It is important to emphasize that knee sleeves and knee braces are not the same thing.

Knee sleeves are meant to do the following:

  • To increase blood flow, which in turn speeds recovery.
  • They may help your form by giving you a better sense of where your knees are in relation to the rest of your body during a lift.
  • To keep your joints warm.
  • They keep patella movement to a minimum.

This list doesn’t include “treats a knee injury.”

This is because that’s what a knee brace does.

Knee sleeves improve recovery and performance.

They may even help prevent injuries, but they are not designed to treat injuries.



While researching you’ll see that you must choose the thickness of your knee sleeves.

Here are the three measurements you are most likely to see.

3mm– good for endurance workouts or endurance athletes.

5mm–for mixed activities, like a WOD in CrossFit or any other type of cross training.

7mm–designed for heavy lifting or any movement that requires extra stabilization.



It’s important to consider the material of your knee sleeves because each material has a different feel and different benefits.

For example, if you only plan to use them for heavy squats, you’ll want a pair that has less flexibility and more stability.

Knee sleeves are often made from one of these materials:

  • Cloth – for light support and joint warmth. With high volume exercise cloth will probably wear down more quickly, but will endure basic lifting.
  • Neoprene– this is a versatile, supportive, with a medium level of thickness. Knee sleeves made from neoprene is probably best for CrossFit workouts.
  • Knee Wraps– these are adjustable, supportive, but not always sturdy enough during workouts with a variety of movement. They are best for warming up joints before a workout or heavy lifts.

While neoprene sleeves will likely work best, they are usually the most expensive.

Remember that neoprene sleeves often acquire a very strong odor after a few months of use.

So be sure to wash your knee sleeves every few weeks.



Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit - Kettlebell and knee sleevesMobility comes down to personal preference.

Some people enjoy the mildly constricting feeling of a thick knee sleeve.

They like knowing that their joints are supported.

Others prefer the joint warming elements of a light sleeve and don’t like the idea of limited mobility.

Experiment to find what’s right for you.

Practice different exercises and see what feels good.

See what might decrease performance or helps you lift more effectively.


Other Factors to Consider

Something else to think about when choosing knee sleeves is maybe you need more than one pair.

While you certainly can buy one set and wash the sleeves when needed, frequent CrossFitters may want to buy two pairs and wear one while washing the other.

Most of this comes down to budget and preference.


Final Thoughts: The Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit

Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit - Dark Iron Fitness Knee SleevesAny equipment that increases performance or prevents injuries is worth looking at for CrossFit athletes.

Do your research, talk to other CrossFit athletes with similar workout routines, and try on a few pairs if possible.

This will help you pick a set of sleeves that will enhance your workout and last for years.

If you want comfort, durability, and support at a competitive price, check out Dark Iron Fitness’ Weightlifting Knee Sleeves for CrossFit, powerlifting and weight training.

Our knee sleeves are a new product and have already earned almost a 5-star rating.

The knees sleeves use breathable cotton spandex with strong stitching for long-lasting wear.

Side stabilizers, patella holder, and adjustable straps make it easy to tighten the knee sleeves for more bracing support and strength.

You will have enough support to lift over 600 pounds comfortably.

The strong material is thin enough so there is no annoying bunching of material behind your knees.

As always Dark Iron Fitness stands behind the quality of its products.

We’ll send you a brand new pair for free if yours ever fail.

You may be interested in our...


Our weightlifting knee sleeves never break, tear, or wear out like inferior knee sleeves wraps made from neoprene and bad stitching. oOr knees sleeves are made of breathable cotton spandex with enhanced stitching so they never fall apart.

View Product