Who Should Wear Knee Sleeves And Why?

As it turns out, athletes aren’t the only people who should wear knee sleeves for protection and support for the knees that keep you active.

When it comes to athletics, knee injuries are always a problem and a possibility. Blowing out a knee or tearing cartilage can get you out of action for a long time.

But, you don’t need to be an athlete to wear knee sleeves. They are for anyone with sore, aching, injured, recovering, or troublesome knees.

By no means, do I think they cure, correct, or heal joints that should be at a physician’s office. But they might just keep you up and going and prolonging a knee replacement?

Who Should Wear Knee Sleeves?

  • Anyone putting excessive stress on their knees
  • People with arthritis in their knees
  • Athletes who are stressing their knees with running and twisting
  • Weight lifters doing squats
  • Anybody involved in high impact sports such as Crossfit, basketball, powerlifting, rugby, soccer, volleyball
  • Runners, joggers, walkers

The first 2 items in that list really sum up the answer to the question! However, let’s talk about what knee sleeves do and how the compression and support could help you.

Why Wear Knee Sleeves?

Both knee sleeves and braces are designed to provide knee support.

However, sleeves and braces are used for different purposes. Braces are designed for mobility with existing injuries, and to prevent more damage.

The main point of a knee sleeve is for protection from future injuries.

But you’ll learn in this post that people are using them for healing and support for weak and unstable knees, and loving them.

Once you learn what knee sleeves do, and that they are safe to use, you will know more about how to choose your own style.

How Do Knee Sleeves Help?

1. Compression

The elastic type of tightness is intended to cause an increase in blood flow that warms both the joint itself, and the surrounding muscles.

Did you know that cold muscles, tendons, and joints injure more easily than warm ones because they can’t contract properly in cold temperatures?

2. Support

Support varies depending on the purpose of your purchase and the quality of the product.

Neoprene knee sleeves come in three different thicknesses:

  • 3mm for when you need a lot of agility and endurance in your activities. Runners often use the 3mm
  • 5mm when you need both high agility and or endurance workouts
  • 7mm is generally thought of when you need strong and powerful stabilization along with extra support. The 7mm thick sleeves are common for heavy weight lifting, especially squats, and are used for extra support during periods of rehabilitation.

But that’s just part of the story!

Compression knee braces also come in various types of cloth.

The Bauerfeind GenuTrain is a high-quality product made from a beautiful knit material. Bauerfeinds are designed to relieve pain and swelling from arthritis and provide superb comfort and support for any active lifestyle or sport.

Fabric style sleeves provide different levels of comfort and support based on the quality of the product you choose.

And don’t forget that compression means some degree of tightness around your knee.

So if you choose a size that’s too large you will lose the compression, support, and any other benefits.

3. Injury Prevention

Injury prevention is the main function of knee sleeves.

Knee braces, on the other hand, are mechanical devices and are designed to protect an injury from more damage and better stabilize the joint.

Sleeves are more than a mechanical device.

They are designed to add warmth, increase blood flow to the area, and limit patella movement.

They’re worn when you have an injury that doesn’t limit your mobility, for protection from injury, and to improve proprioception.

4. Proprioception

Proprioception may be a word you haven’t used, but proprioception is important to all your mobility functions.

Here’s what it means in a nutshell: Being able to feel where your joint is at in relationship to the rest of your body.

Proprioception is directly related to balance and is especially important in sports of any kind. It comes into play with arthritic knee joints and learning new sporting activities.

Wearing knee sleeves helps your brain have a greater sense of where your knees are and what’s going on with them at all times.

Wearing a sleeve on your knee gives you a sense of confidence and control over what your joints are doing whether you’re involved in sporting activities or walking for exercise for high blood pressure.

5. Powerlifters

Powerlifters use 7mm neoprene sleeves when their knees are involved.

Putting such extreme weight and stress on knees when lifting heavy can grind on the kneecap and cause severe tendonitis.

They provide the much needed support for squats, snatches, and clean and jerk. Anyone putting knees at risk of damage and injury can benefit.

6. Arthritis sufferers

People of all ages with arthritis in their knees use both neoprene and cloth knee support to stay active.

Both devices are extremely helpful for people with osteoarthritis. People with arthritis should exercise regularly to keep joints, muscles, and tendons from atrophying.

It’s easy to give up the lifestyle you love and are accustomed to when your knees are affected.

But these quality knee braces can keep you exercising and participating in all the activities you love even with arthritis.


I don’t know about you, but I only have two knees, so I try to take care of them so they’ll last a long time.

In fact, it’s never too late to show them the love and protection they deserve.

The list of applications and who could benefit from wearing knee sleeves could go on and on.

Some people naturally assume they are strictly for athletes and sporting activities?

However, you can see that compression knee sleeves are for anyone needing more support, and control over their legs and knee joints.

The snug fit helps anyone who needs additional support and stability during any physical activity at all.

They will aid in reducing swelling and pain in injured knees to keep you on your feet.

The compression is going to keep muscles, tendons, and joints warm while increasing blood flow.

They will add support, injury prevention, balance from good Proprioception, and make life much easier with arthritis in your knees.

I really could go on and on about who should reap the benefits of wearing knee sleeves, but you get the point, right? No matter who you are, if you are on your feet — put on some knee sleeves — you’ll love wearing them.

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