The knee sleeve market has been on the quite the boom lately! Since about when the RockTape Knee Caps debuted at the CrossFit invitational donned by team U.S.A., my search queries of which knee sleeves to buy skyrocketed. The most dominant searches tended to fall towards Rehbands, RockTape, and sometimes Tommy Kono. I try to be in the “know” about CrossFit gear, but sometimes I miss things, so I have a few guys at my gym to thank for pointing me towards another company that makes knee sleeves, Workt.
Upon arrival at the Workt website, you’re greeted with a picture of Chris Spealler wearing their knee sleeves. If you don’t know who Chris Spealler is, go away…j/k. But seriously, look into the testimonials section and there are some serious athletes backing these knee sleeves. Why knee sleeves? Well, if you haven’t read my previous reviews on RockTape or Rehbands, most of us normal human beings come across some kind of knee pain at some point in our lives. Along with providing a little bit of “bounce” to your lifts, knee sleeves are a good way to compress, add stability/lateral support and just keep your knees warm. You might not NEED them, but I would definitely recommend a pair just to keep you going longer and stronger.
What makes the knee sleeves by Workt different than the other two major brands, Rocktape and Rehband?
The sleeves by Workt are the shortest in length out of the three. I don’t mind this since it seems to help keep the sleeves on my knees without bunching up or slipping down too much. A problem that I had with the RockTape’s longer profile is that the part above my knee, even with size small, would slide down to my knee and bunch up; though the rest of the sleeve under my knee wouldn’t budge. It took me a little to figure out the best way to wear the Workt sleeves, but it seems like wearing them a little higher up than I would my Rehbands proves to be the most comfortable with the least amount of slippage. Yes, they still slip a little; though less than the RockTape’s, Rehband 7751, and just about as much as Rehband 7051.
Comfort is a non issue due to the Workt sleeve’s contoured design. Though, they’re very similar in design to the Knee Caps and 7751’s except that the stitching is colored and totally exposed. The stitching seems pretty solid and with about a month and a half of using these sleeves as my go-to knee support, I haven’t noticed any fraying at all. I’m not quite sure what makes Workt’s “sport specific” neoprene any better, but I do like it due to it being more scratch resistant. Do a few hundred burpees in either the RockTape or Rehband knee sleeves and you’ll know what I’m talking about; the outer fabric gets chewed up pretty bad on rubber gym flooring. I did 14.5 (21-18-15-12-9-6-3 Thrusters/Burpees) in my Workt knee sleeves and they came out looking brand new. One thing to note is that while the materials are imported, the assembly is done right here in the U.S. of A..
Workt’s knee sleeves come in a few different colors but only one choice for thickness, 5mm. All sizes come in blue and green but pink only comes with sizes XS-S, which might be off putting for some. I wear a small in Workt, RockTape, and Rehband 7051’s; they all fit my knees pretty spot on, but I also like a more compressed fit. I’ve tried a medium Workt sleeve and could get away with that, but I don’t know how the elasticity would fair in the test of time. Each sleeve is sold individually, but I must reiterate that I’m against only using singles due to the possibility of forming muscular imbalances, at $32 per sleeve with only $2 shipping makes the Workt sleeves one of the best deals in knee sleeves, and a small price to pay to preserve your knees health.
So, the question is: Are Workt’s knee sleeves better than RockTape or Rehband’s offerings?
As knee sleeves, they all do just about the same thing: compress, stabilize, support and keep your knees warm. For that reason alone I would recommend them. The fact that they fit better than the RockTapes (for me) and cost less than the Rehbands should seal the deal for all of you that don’t mind that they only come in a 5mm option.
I like them and I wouldn’t miss having my mainstay knee sleeves, Rehbands, as long as I have my Workt sleeves with me.