When it comes to squatting, many people find that knee wraps can help improve their performance. However, with so many different brands of knee wraps on the market, it can be tough to know which ones are best for you.
What are Knee Wraps?
Knee wraps are long pieces of fabric around the knees when performing heavy lifts, especially squats. They are commonly used in Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and bodybuilding. They are a step up from knee sleeves in the support, compression, and power they provide to the knees.
Why It’s Hard to Choose Knee Wraps for Squats
For many of you, it may not even be clear whether or not you should be using knee wraps. If you’ve never used knee sleeves, it might be a good idea to start there first. However, if you’ve already become accustomed to knee sleeves and seek a more rigid and supportive structure that adds more to the rigidity of your legs throughout a squat, knee wraps are the next logical step. There are many different kinds with two main types, traditional and hook & loop.
Top 10 Knee Wraps for Squatting
For nearly all intents and purposes, modern hook and loop wraps will be your best bet. They are much less likely to come undone mid-lift, and they’re easier to wrap in general. All of the top 10 knee wraps we’ll recommend will be the modern hook and loop (velcro-like) design.
Gymreapers Knee Wraps
A hyper-affordable option for knee wraps is the Gymreapers brand. They are only 72 inches in length, but for $20, they will get you through heavy training. There are many colors available, but the stiffness and size are not customizable. They may be allowed in some lower-level competitions, but the brand is not IPF-approved, so they’re best for beginner and intermediate lifters who are just getting into them.
Mava Sports Knee Wraps
A brand similar to Gymreapers, Mava, offers some 72-inch options at an affordable price. Again, there are several customization options, but no compromise in size or stiffness. Mava’s wraps have a massive collection of positive reviews, however, so they’ll probably fulfill their purpose quite well.
IronBull Strength Knee Wraps
IronBull’s knee wraps are 80 inches in length, making them great for lifters on a budget who aren’t planning to compete at a high level. They have some color customization options and are slightly higher in quality than cheaper wraps. However, they only appear capable of accommodating thinner lifters due to the short area between the hooks and loops, so for anybody with large legs, Rogue will be a much better option. Realistically, though, Rogue’s styles are just a better option at this price point in general.
Inzer Iron Z Knee Wraps
Inzer is a mainstay in the powerlifting world, creating some of the best belts, sleeves, wrist wraps, and more. However, their options are only better than some of the budget brands. They’re very comparable to Rogue’s wraps, but the cost, unfortunately, scales with length. The standard 2-meter wraps are IPF-approved, but they’re the only ones cheaper than $30.
Rogue Knee Wraps
Rogue makes black and red knee wraps three inches wide. They are available in 2-meter and 2.5-meter lengths. The wraps are made with 40% elastic, 10% polyester, and 50% cotton. This is one of the most affordable options if you need a pair for under $30. They also offer a significant step up in quality from the previous entries.
Titan THP Powerlifting Knee Wraps
Titan Support Systems’ cheaper pair come in at a level of quality quite a bit higher than Rogue’s options. However, unless you’re opting for the 2-meter pair, they’ll cost much more. Titan’s brands scale up in price with size, which is unfortunate. However, for IPF competition, you’ll only be allowed to use the 2-meter length anyways. The biggest drawbacks to these wraps are that longer lengths are more expensive than higher quality wraps like Mark Bell’s, and only ten more dollars can get you a better Titan pair.
Titan Signature Series Gold Knee Wraps
The most supportive variety Titan has ever made swiftly beat the Titan THP options. They come in at a price of around 10 dollars more for each size, 2 meters, 2.5 meters, and 3 meters. They’re much stiffer and more supportive, so they’d be great for competition. However, IPF will only allow the 2-meter pair, which is very comparable in price to Mark Bell Sling Shot knee wraps.
Mark Bell Sling Shot Knee Wraps
The types touted by Mark Bell are somewhat stiffer than others in the same price range. They’re a level 3 elastic material, meaning they’re flexible but give significant support and rebound. These prioritize protection but provide performance benefits as well. They are also offered in two-meter and 2.5-meter lengths.
SBD Knee Wraps
SBD is a powerlifting behemoth, offering some of the best gear, like a patented lever belt design. Their styles are no exception. Costing three times as much as Rogue’s styles, these are definitely on the higher end. They offer the same two and 2.5-meter lengths as many other brands, but they also have two flexibility levels. One is a training type and is more flexible, while the competition style is much stiffer.
Anderson Powerlifting KLA Knee Wraps
Anderson Powerlifting offers even more customization than SBD while only costing about twice as much as a pair from Rogue. The KLA wraps come in four different stiffness levels, KLA 1000, 2500, 3000, and 4000. The KLA 4000 and the KLA 3000 offer 3-meter lengths, while all four stiffness options offer the standard two and 2.5-meter lengths. It’s important to note that only two-meter-long options can be IPF-approved, regardless of brand.
Tips For Choosing Knee Wraps
The main considerations for a pair of knee wraps are style (traditional vs. hook & loop), stiffness, and length. Here are the things you need to know when looking at a pair.
Style (Traditional Vs. Hook & Loop)
Traditional varieties are long pieces of durable material from about 70 to 80 inches in length that need to be wrapped around the knee many times. They stick to themselves and can be cumbersome to wrap and unwrap. However, a more modern version is the hook and loop wrap. It still wraps around the knee, but instead of finding its grip by stretching along another piece of the wrap, it has a velcro-like attaching mechanism. This reduces some of the hassle of traditional styles and is recommended for lifters new to knee wraps.
Stiffness of Knee Wraps
There aren’t generally standards for stiffness that make it easy to compare the stiffness of multiple brands of wraps with each other. However, you’ll generally want more flexible material if you’re a beginner or new to them. In competition, you’ll want stiffer wraps because they provide more power and support. It’s a good idea to examine the reviews of any knee wraps you’re considering purchasing.
Length of Knee Wraps
Length may not play a massive role in the option you choose if you’ll just be using them for training. However, longer wraps will generally be more supportive at the same flexibility level. It’s important to note that the IPF only allows 2 meters of length or 78.74 inches. This means any 2.5-meter, 80-inch, or 3-meter wraps will be disallowed in IPF competitions. If you plan to compete in the IPF, get a pair of stiff, 2-meter wraps specifically for that purpose.