Best Knee Sleeves for Basketball [2021 Review]

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As a basketball player, one of your assets is your knees. Sometimes, during the game, injuries might happen and may affect your play. The best knee sleeves for basketball will help you protect your knees from game injuries. This review article will help you find the best knee sleeves for you.

Our Top Knee Sleeves for Basketball Reviews

Knee sleeves are designed not just to protect your knees from basketball injuries and bruises because of falls. It is also created to provide support and reduce pain caused by previous injuries. Here are the top three best knee sleeves for basketball to protect and support your knees. 

Brand
Best Overall
McDavid Hex Knee Compression Leg Sleeve
Best for the Money
Shock Doctor Knee Brace Compression Sleeve
Best Cheap Pick
UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve
Product
Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads...
Shock Doctor Knee Compression Sleeve with Closed...
UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support...
Size
S - XXL
S - XXL
S - XL
Material
Nylon
Spandex
Nylon
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
McDavid Hex Knee Compression Leg Sleeve
Product
Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads...
Size
S - XXL
Material
Nylon
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Shock Doctor Knee Brace Compression Sleeve
Product
Shock Doctor Knee Compression Sleeve with Closed...
Size
S - XXL
Material
Spandex
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve
Product
UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support...
Size
S - XL
Material
Nylon
Rating

Best Overall Knee Sleeves for Basketball: McDavid Hex Knee Compression Leg Sleeve

Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads...

On the top spot, the McDavid Hex Knee Compression Leg Sleeve. It has a closed-cell foam padding to protect your knees from great impact. With its moisture-wicking ability, it will keep your knees and legs from irritation. It has an enhanced fit and extended length to make sure that your legs are also protected from bruises and cuts.

It is made of a non-slip material that stays in place and does not roll. It also provides enough compression to the leg muscles, similar to UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve, which reduces cramps and fatigue, allowing you to stay longer in the game. Make sure that you get the right size for proper fitting, support, and protection.

Its hexagonal padding on the knee cap provides more protection compared to the Shock Doctor Knee Brace Compression Sleeve and UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve. On the downside, if you ordered a size that is too tight, it may too uncomfortable since it is a long knee sleeve for basketball.

Pros 

  • It has a much-improved fit and compression compared to McDavid 6440
  • Performance may improve because of the durability and comfort that this knee sleeve can offer

Cons

  • Sizes run small and incorrect sizing cannot provide good protection and comfort for you.
Sale
Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads...
  • PATENTED HEX PROTECTION - Closed cell foam padding protects your knees from high impact activities...
  • MOISTURE WICKING TECHNOLOGY - Keep Cool & Dry with advanced hDc Moisture Management Tech. Machine...
  • DURABLE FOR DAILY WEAR - 9mm Hex technology is a favorite among pro and collegiate athletes for its...

Best Knee Sleeves for Basketball for the Money: Shock Doctor Knee Brace Compression Sleeve

Shock Doctor Knee Compression Sleeve with Closed...

Second on the list is the Shock Doctor Knee Brace Compression Sleeve. It is the best knee sleeve for preventing and recovering injury. Similar to the McDavid Hex Knee Compression Leg Sleeve, it provides compression that allows blood to circulate properly. This compression applies enough pressure on the affected knee to reduce swelling and pain.

This knee sleeve is breathable, allowing moisture to be released immediately, through its spandex and neoprene materials. If you prefer a non-bulky knee sleeve for basketball, this can be a good choice for you. 

Similar to the first one on the list, to ensure proper protection, comfort, and support, you must get the right size for you. It is not intended for severe injuries, however, yet it can still help with minor ones such as arthritis, meniscus tear, and tendonitis.

Pros 

  • It is thin and lightweight, yet still durable and efficient
  • You can choose between an open or closed patella style of knee sleeve
  • It has an ergonomic design to keep you more comfortable
  • For additional support, it has a flexible side stabilizer

Cons

  • It is not highly recommended for severe injuries
  • It is not as long-lasting as the first knee sleeve for basketball on the list
Sale
Shock Doctor Knee Compression Sleeve with Closed...
  • SUPPORT / RELIEF – Get instant relief thanks to the compression and Pre-Curved design support. Our...
  • LATEX FREE COMFORT – Extremely breathable and low profile snug fit. N-Tex neoprene for therapeutic...
  • SHOCK DOCTOR GUARANTY – We have been a leader in the protective gear and sports therapy field for...

Best Cheap Knee Sleeves for Basketball: UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve

UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support...

Lastly, the UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve for basketball has a unique design that helps reduce swelling, stiffness of the leg, and soreness of the knee after long hours of practice or games on the court. Similar to the Shock Doctor Knee Brace Compression Sleeve, it provides warmth for the muscle to help with the recovery.

The UFlex Knee Sleeve for basketball is made of high-quality materials that provide comfort for the injured leg. Just like the Shock Doctor Knee Sleeve, it also helps in blood circulation for faster knee and leg healing. You can also wear these knee sleeves during basketball practice or workouts.

It has an anti-slip silicone to prevent it from slipping and rolling up or down which allows you to play basketball without needing to pull it up from time to time. It has shorter leg coverage that can be an advantage if you don’t prefer long knee sleeves

Pros 

  • It provides protection on the knee joint and leg muscles which is an advantage in the basketball game.
  • It also has an ergonomic design, the same as the second one on the list, at a more affordable price
  • If there are any issues with your purchase, customer service will attend to you immediately.

Cons

  • You may have some trouble with the sizing. It’s better to get your size correctly and communicate with the seller for proper sizing.
  • The stitches may run after several uses of the knee sleeve.
Sale
UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support...
  • REDUCES INFLAMMATION & SWELLING: This state-of-the-art knee compression brace is designed to reduce...
  • PAIN RELIEF: Our unique design combines the newest technology with the highest quality materials to...
  • INCREDIBLY COMFORTABLE: Adjustable strap ensures a comfortable fit for anyone who needs pain relief....

Features to Consider for the Best Basketball Knee Sleeves

Knee sleeves for basketball are supposed to give protection, support, and comfort to your legs and knees during practices, workouts, and games. Before deciding which one to buy, here are some of the features that you need to consider in order to receive the best one. Provided below is a table for a quick features guide.

ProductMaterialMoisture-WickingCompressionLength
McDavid Hex Knee Compression Leg SleeveNylon, FoamYesYesLong
Shock Doctor Knee Brace Compression SleeveSpandex, NeopreneYesYesLong
UFlex Athletics Knee Compression SleeveNylonYesYesShort

Fit and Size

The secret to having the best knee sleeve for basketball is getting the right size for you. The wrong size of knee sleeve will not perform its purpose and will not give enough comfort to your injured knee. A small-sized knee sleeve will keep on sliding down your knee and leg and will be distracting during the game. 

Consequently, if the knee sleeve is too tight, it will put too much pressure on your knees and legs. So, instead of allowing the blood to flow properly, it will be constricted and may even cause damage to the veins. Too tight knee sleeves will also be irritating and painful. 

Woman wearing knee sleeves while playing basketball

All of the knee sleeves for basketball on the list are suggesting to get the right size to achieve proper comfort and protection. Do not just follow the sizing chart. Measure your leg properly and communicate with the seller as necessary.

Material

The stretchability and flexibility of a knee sleeve will depend on the materials used to make it. If the materials used in the knee sleeve are elastic enough, then it will provide more stretchability and adjustability. This feature is extremely important because it can determine if you will be able to move freely.

If the materials used in the knee sleeve for basketball is not as elastic and flexible as it should be, chances are your movement on the court will be restricted. The knee sleeve may even get ripped if forced too much.

An example of an elastic material yet still providing great grip and comfort is that it is made with a combination of neoprene and spandex. On the list, we have the Shock Doctor Knee Brace Compression Sleeve. The other two knee sleeves on the list are also stretchable and flexible enough.

Comfort and Support

A comfortable knee sleeve for basketball is not just soft nor filled with foam. A comfortable knee sleeve for basketball should allow easy movement. It should also result in an improved performance since you don’t have to worry about your injury or being injured in the game.

A comfortable knee pad should also be nonslip, just like the UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve on the list. A non-slip feature will help you play comfortably without having to stop and pull up the knee sleeve. In addition to that, a knee sleeve that needs pulling up, again and again, will not ensure full protection for your knee.

A supportive knee sleeve is also an important consideration. If you are enduring an injury on the knee, your knee sleeve is supposed to ease the pain and provide support so that it will not get any worse. If the knee sleeve does not provide enough support, then it can still worsen the condition of your leg or knee.

Players trying to grab a basketball mid air

Durability and Quality

The durability and quality of the knee sleeve for basketball can also be based on the fabric used and the way you are using it. A quality and durable knee sleeves do not always mean a known brand. You have to know its features and know if it will hold up for long games and practices.

An example of a quality knee sleeve for basketball on the list is the McDavid Hex Knee Compression Leg Sleeve.

Cost and Value

We know that you have already spent some dollars on your basketball shoes, or perhaps a treatment and medicine for your injury, and you should also consider the cost of your knee sleeve. You can find some knee sleeves at an affordable price without compromising the quality.

Consider what you need based on the condition of your knee and decide based on the features that each knee sleeve is offering. One example from the list that can be the best value for your money is the Shock Doctor Knee Brace Compression Sleeve. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Tight Should My Knee Sleeve Be?

The knee sleeve for basketball should be tight enough not to slip up or down your leg even if you are doing some fast movements. A loose knee sleeve may not be able to support and give enough comfort to your injured knee. Likewise, if it’s too tight, it can add up to the pain and even create more damage.

Are Knee Sleeves Good for Basketball?

Knee sleeves are good to wear in a basketball game because they can protect your knees and legs from impact and fall during the game. A good knee sleeve for basketball should provide enough compression without killing the blood circulation. It should also help in the recovery of an injured leg or knee.

Conclusion

The best knee sleeves for basketball is the one that makes you comfortable while playing and forget that you are injured because of the support and protection that it gives. However, wearing or not wearing a knee sleeve, you should still be careful during each game. This is to protect yourself from long-term damages.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.