SBD knee sleeves can be a great way to protect your knees. The question is, are they right for you?
A knee sleeve is a wearable support device that goes over the knee. It is typically made from neoprene. Neoprene is synthetic type of rubber that is used in wetsuits.
Knee sleeves can be extremely helpful when working out. They are used frequently by weight lifters and bodybuilders to support the knee joint while lifting heavy loads.
Additionally, they are also used by runners, joggers, and people who play recreational sports such as golf. Furthermore, they can also be used while playing basketball or help nurse a weakened knee in a baseball game.
Knee sleeves can make a critical difference in protecting the knee. Without a knee sleeve being worn for certain sports, you could be at a much greater risk of knee injury. The last thing you want is a torn ACL or ripped cartilage in the knee joint.
Cartilage does not typically grow back on its own. So, you want to keep it safe and functional.
For this reason, knee sleeves are a common sports accessory. For certain types of sports, such as weight lifting, they are not optional but quite necessary once you get to the professional level. More on that later.
What are SBD Knee Sleeves and How Do They Work?
Knee sleeves are not the same thing as a brace that is used to rehabilitate the knee. A sleeve for the knee is designed to protect the knee and prevent it from becoming injured.
The compression offered by a snug knee sleeve can also improve blood flow as well as keep pain at bay. This can also help improve recovery time for the knee area and reduce the potential for swelling.
Knee sleeves are particularly important in heavy weight bearing sports where the knees are put under tremendous strain during powerlifting squats.
SBD Knee Sleeves: A Premium Option for Professionals
SBD Knee Sleeves are advertised as the “market leading knee joint support for strength sports and strength training, used by world class powerlifters, weightlifters and strongmen.”
These sleeves are generally thicker than the average knee sleeve, which is what most athletes involved in heavy lifting want. These knee sleeves provide added support and stability, which is important when weight lifting.
SBD brand knee sleeves come in three different color options:
- Original Black and Red
- Summer Navy and Red
- Winter Red and Black
Sizes run from 3XS to 5XL. You can find a knee sleeve sizing chart on the SBD website. The great thing about this sizing chart is that it has two options:
- Standard Fit
- Tight Fit
Some athletes and power lifters may prefer a tight fit to help provide even more support for their weight lifting.
Also, SBD recommends that if the calf size is 3XL or more, that you size down by one size.
For newbies to knee sleeves, they do not recommend going for the tight fit but starting with the standard fit, especially for people who need a medium or smaller size.
People who are just starting out with weight lifting do not necessarily need to use knee sleeves because the weight being born isn’t that heavy compared to experienced weight lifters.
Still, if you have any concerns about your knees, and especially if you have had a knee injury, using knee sleeves when doing weight lifting requiring squatting is a good idea.
For anyone who is performing weight lifting at an intermediate or above level, having proper knee sleeves should be considered part of the essential equipment you need to get the job done safely.
What Makes SBD Knee Sleeves Unique
SDB knee sleeves have been approved by the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF). They are also compliant with International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) guidelines, which include a maximum allowable 30cm length.
If you are interested in weight lifting competitions, you will need to use IWF-approved knee sleeves.
Other knee sleeve features boasted by SBD:
- A unique patented design
- High grade neoprene with a thickness of 7 millimeters
- Reinforced seam construction
The thickness of the neoprene is the key to the durability and stability of the knee sleeves. It might not sound like a lot on paper, but 7 millimeters is pretty thick for neoprene.
For comparison, a standard full wetsuit used by surfers would have a thickness of 3 millimeters. The winter version of a surfer’s wetsuit would be 4 millimeters. The thickest winter wetsuits for the most frigid, artic waters only gets up to 6 millimeters.
So, a whopping 7 millimeters is a lot when it comes to neoprene.
Why so much thickness with the material? Well, the thicker the neoprene. The more stability the knee gets when it is encased in the material.
The downside, of course, is that you get less movement. With a thicker neoprene material wrapped around your knees. But, then again, that is precisely the point for certain sports. You simply do not want a lot of movement when you are squatting down with a big heavy weight you are lifting up over your head.
Despite this excessive thickness, the SBD brand of knee sleeves still manages to provide comfort for the wearer. The inside of the knee sleeve has a soft layer that helps to keep the legs and knees comfortable and warm while exercising.
It is this combination of extra stability along with comfort that makes these premium knee sleeves a good option for the professional weight lifter who needs added knee protection.
SDB knee sleeves retail for $82.50 per pair. This is pricier than most of the knee sleeves you will find at online retailers such as Amazon, which can be $20 or lower. (And, as of this writing, we could not find SBD knee sleeves available at Amazon.)
Even the prices for SBD knee sleeves is high on eBay, averaging around $60-70 per pair, not including shipping.
SBD is going for a more professional market with these knee sleeves, which is why the price is so much higher than other knee sleeves.
The high price of SBD’s super thick 7-millimeter knee sleeves does make some customers balk. However, many satisfied wearers of these hefty knee sleeves feel that the cost was worth it. In fact, these knee sleeves by SBD have such a fantastic reputation, that some athletes will save up some money to get a pair.
That speaks volumes about the quality of these neoprene support sleeves.
Public Perception (Other SBD Knee Sleeves Reviews)
Despite the higher price, SBD knee sleeves almost universally get rave, 5-star reviews from customers. People seem to really love their SBD neoprene knee sleeves. Among the other positive comments, these support garments are prized for their durability, quality, and stability.
Overall, the athletes who use SBD brand sleeves for the knees truly love them. Many swear they will never use another brand again. They are apparently more than worth the money, according to the reviewers who truly love them.
One of the features mentioned by reviews is ta taper on the calf side of the knee sleeve. While this may not make sense to people who do not lift weights, apparently this taper is important. What it does is allow for a little bit of a “pop” when coming out of the “hole” of the squat.
If this doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry about it. However, this can be critical for people who need knee sleeves for stability during a particularly heavy lift.
While some have questioned whether this “pop” feature can last over repeated uses, apparently the consensus is that the pop still does work even after a lot of lifting and usage.
The comfort of the SBD sleeves is apparently pretty good despite the thickness of the neoprene. As with any knee sleeves, wearing them for an extended period of time might cause a little bit of irritation, but the SBD design apparently maximizes comfort while ensuring a lot of stability.
How It Compares
SBD knee sleeves are definitely thicker than the average “cheapo” brand you might find at a discount sporting goods store or on Amazon.
This thicker feel may not be so great for people who are wearing a knee sleeve for warmth but want mobility.
However, if you need a lot of stability during a dangerous heavy lifting session, you do not want to be wearing some bottom of the barrel knee sleeve set that rips easily and falls off at crucial times.
These are knees we are talking about, which are two massive joints that take a lot of abuse just in our daily lives. The more wear and tear they get over a lifetime, the more likely they are to need a knee replacement in the future.
Anyone who does heavy weight lifting involving squats is at risk of permanently injuring the knee joints.
This is why having high quality support in the form of thick neoprene knee sleeves can be especially important.
Since most cheap brands of knee sleeves do not have the level of thickness of SBD (7 millimeters). They will not provide as much stability during a squat. For this reason, the SBD knee sleeves are preferred among serious powerlifters and athletes. Who know that protecting their knees is very important.This heavy knee protection becomes even more critical the more weight you are lifting. So, if you are a serious weight lifter, and especially if you are thinking of entering into weight lifting competitions. You will not want those less expensive but thinner knee sleeve brands.
What We Think
We think that SDB knee sleeves are really high quality. And may in fact be the best high performance knee sleeves on the market. This comes with a caveat, however. These knee sleeves simply are not for everyone.
For example, if you are a runner, and want some support while going out for a jog. The ultra thick SBD brand knee sleeves will be a bit much for you. They will restrict your mobility instead of just offering some light support.
So, depending on your needs, you may want to get a thinner (and ultimately cheaper) set of knee sleeves. That will provide a little warmth and lighter support.
The good news about SBD’s set of premium knee sleeves is that they are quite sturdy. Despite the higher price, these thick knee sleeves should last a lot longer than thinner brands that are cheaper.
If you use knee sleeves several times a week or more for weight lifting. You will probably get more value from using these more expensive sleeves for the knees. In other words, by spending more money up front, you will save money down the line.
And, when you factor in the potential medical costs of bad knees as you age. You could be saving more than just the cost of the knee sleeves. You could be saving your knees themselves.
For this reason, we highly recommend SBD knee sleeves for any athlete who is doing heavy lifting. And needs that reliable, sturdy support from a pair of neoprene sleeves.
Coupons and Deals
As mentioned above, SBD knee sleeves are a higher end product.
Designed for professional weight lifters and other athletes. For this reason, they are more expensive than the non-professional alternatives. You could potentially find cheaper pairs of SBD brand knee sleeves on eBay.
But can you find the exact size you want? Also, do you need to worry about counterfeits?
For this reason, if you are a dedicated weight lifter or athlete. You should not wait or hope for any special deals to get these premium knee sleeves. For some athletes, the price of these high-end knee sleeves is well worth it. And since they are quite sturdy, they should last you a long time.