It’s why we do, what we do right?
One that I will never hesitate to recommend to athletes are knee support. So what if you don’t have knee issues right now, you’re not going to want to develop any either. I didn’t have any when I first started working out, but over time the knees will take a beating, and that’s just with life in general. You might as well do your best to protect them and keep them pain free for as long as possible.
Otherwise, if you’re already in the boat that has some kind of knee aches, you probably already have a pair of knee sleeves. Chances are they slip down or bunch up and can become bothersome during an intense workout. I’ve tried just about all of them and nothing has been able to stay on my knees like the new Workt knee sleeves with their Ecoprene technology. That right there should be enough for you to stop reading and just buy them, but there’s so much more inside these knee sleeves; pun intended.
What is Ecoprene? Basically it’s an alternative neoprene, compared to whats currently being used in most knee sleeves. At some point in your life, you’ve probably come in contact with some kind of neoprene: wetsuits, beer coozies, laptop sleeves, it’s everywhere! Though abundant, how you acquire the petroleum to create most neoprene, isn’t the greatest procedure towards the environment and the material isn’t sustainable. Unlike traditional neoprene, Ecoprene is made of naturally occurring limestone. Not only will it last longer, it’s also a sustainable material. Do it for the Earth.
Overall build quality is excellent, as it always is with Workt products. Unlike the previous models, these are a single piece construction sleeve. The only point where it connects is the back of the sleeve. Starting wider at the top and tapering at the bottom, with a slight contour, the Workt sleeves fit very comfortably. Though the Ecoprene is a new type of neoprene, it still feels and moreso, smells the same. Maybe even moreso of the latter than normal neoprene. If you’re sensitive to the smell, you may want to wash the sleeves and let them sit out for a day or so.
Workt’s new sleeves feature a fabric outer shell, typical to most knee sleeves, but an “unfinished” interior. Since the new material doesn’t soak up sweat like old neoprene, it dries faster, lasts longer, and won’t start smelling like mildew. The outer is really mainly for looks, as the new Workt knee sleeves have some pretty badass colorways. A couple things to note with the bare interior: It can get a little “squishy” behind your knees, since the sweat doesn’t absorb, it just hangs out back there until you start moving around and it gets squeezed out down your leg. It’s weird and takes getting used to, but it’s actually not as uncomfortable as you would think. Another thing is that if you pull the sleeves down mid-WOD (as I like to for running and box jumps), pulling them back up can be difficult because of the grip that the bare interior has with sweaty skin. It’s a double edged sword, because it’s that same grip that keep the sleeves from slipping down or bunching up. Not a big deal, considering they stay in place better than any knee sleeves I’ve EVER tried.
The new Ecoprene material is excellent in the mobility department. These sleeves move with you and you’re never at a loss of support. Typical neoprene doesn’t stretch that much, causing it to bunch up when you start moving around, another common issue found with current knee sleeves. Fitment is excellent, but I want to say that the 7mm sleeves might fit a little bit on the tighter side. If you’re in-between sizes, I would recommend that you go up. Across my journey through fitness, I’ve worn smalls, mediums, and now larges. They fit similar to my last generation 7mm Workt mediums. If you’re a shorter athlete the new sleeves might feel long, but since they move well so you shouldn’t have an issue with the length.
Personally, I went with the 7mm sleeves just because I like the amount of support that the thicker sleeves give me for heavy lifts and I like the camo color. That being said, like all 7mm sleeves, they can constrict the blood flow in your legs during WOD’s where you’re doing a lot of moving around. If you’re looking for a “CrossFit™” sleeve or just all around one, I would recommend the 5mm variants. You can wear them for WOD’s and they should give you enough support for heavy-ish lifts either way. Each 5mm sleeve retails for $35 and each 7mm $38, not a huge difference in price so just get the one that fits what you do more of.
Simply put, there aren’t a better pair of knee sleeves out at the moment. For you, and for the Earth.