Which are the Best Knee Sleeves? October 06 2014
Back in our previous post, we addressed the two main types of questions that we get regarding knee sleeves. Aside from these queries, we also receive a lot of questions regarding the SBD knee sleeves. Today’s post compares 3 popular brands of knee sleeves – SBDs, Rehband and Titans – based on several considerations like material, sizing and length.
Knee sleeves can be made of cloth or neoprene. Cloth knee sleeves can generally provide more compression, but not much warmth. On the other hand, neoprene sleeves provide some mild compression, but a lot of warmth. All three sleeves are made from 7mm neoprene, which is the maximum thickness allowed in competition. All three sleeves provide a lot of warmth to the knee joints. Compression levels differ largely due to different sizing variants provided by each brand.
From L to R: Titan, Rehband, SBD (Front & Back)
The SBDs are longer than the Rehband and Titan sleeves, measuring at the maximum allowable competition length of 30 cm (based on most federations' rules). The Rehband sleeves are about 26 cm, and Titan sleeves are 22.5 cm in length. As such, the SBDs would provide more coverage and support, thus allowing a higher carryover in the squat.
With regards to the sizing variation, the SBDs have the most options out of the bunch. Compared to Rehband which has 6 sizes, SBD has 9 sizes available, whilst Titan has 7 sizes. This larger variety of sizes means that SBDs and Titans allow the lifter to have more accuracy in sizing a knee sleeve that would fit the individual. In fact, it is not uncommon for us to receive orders where individuals size their SBD knee sleeves 2 sizes down!
The ability to down size the SBD sleeves means that if chosen correctly, the SBDs can give a larger carryover to the movement, though sizing too small would make it a nightmare to get on. The lack of sizing options on the Rehband means that you will not get much carry over from them into the actual lift. If you are planning to use these sleeves for competition, then our suggestion here at Ferocity is to get the SBDs and size them one to two sizes down from the sizing chart from the normal fit (click here), and only put them on for actual competition phases or the last few weeks leading to a competition.
However, if you are just purchasing them for normal training use, then the regular sized SBDs or Rehbands will serve you well. The best way to figure out which is most suitable for your needs would be to set up a meeting with one of our consultants so you can try the sleeves on and decide for yourself. A disclaimer: do be cautioned that SBDs are a nightmare to get on and a workout in itself if you size down too much.
Unfortunately, with regards to the colour, the SBDs only come in red and black, whereas the Rehbands only come in a bright blue. Titan's sleeves are a basic black, but with the piping coming in pink/purple, red, or blue, it provides fun options for those who are looking for stylistic variety.
Overall, all these three brands of sleeves are of good quality, but the huge sizing variety that SBD has puts it slightly over the other two with regard to getting a more specific fit for your particular training needs. Getting a downsized fit for the SBDs would also be the perfect tool for helping you overload your squats, although one has to learn how to put them on effectively, which is an art in itself. Once again, the most important thing is to evaluate your training goals, which will then help you determine which are the best knee sleeves for you!
By Twain Teo