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Stoic knee sleeves are a relatively new brand, but they’re making big waves in the world of powerlifting.
In this Stoic Knee Sleeves review, we’ll discuss how these sleeves combine affordability with exceptional performance. Thanks to their patent-pending stitching technology, I’ve used them or a few months without noticing any tears or fraying, which isn’t the case for all knee sleeves in this price range. Best of all, they are legal to use in competitions if you’re a powerlifter.
If you don’t have enough time to check the full review, you can suffice by reading the following list of pros and cons.
- Reasonably priced
- Provide tons of rock-solid support
- Equipped with non-slip lining to prevent slippage
- True to size
- Approved for professional competitions
- Come in only one color
Before You Buy a New Pair of Knee Sleeves…
All knee sleeves can drastically improve your workout quality by warming your joints and improving the blood flow. Nevertheless, they could be way more beneficial, only if you pick the right pair.
First of all, pay attention to the material and thickness. Professional powerlifters should opt for 7mm neoprene sleeves to provide enough protection during heavy reps.
On the contrary, CrossFitters will like the dynamic range of motion offered by a 3mm or 5mm neoprene model. They may also like sleeves built from spandex and latex.
Afterward, it’s important to evaluate the seam design and stitching quality. Because this is the first part that fails in any pair of knee sleeves, it should be well reinforced with double stitching.
And lastly, if you’re planning to participate in professional powerlifting competitions, make sure your knee sleeves are approved to avoid the risk of disqualification.
Stoic Knee Sleeves: Detailed Review
Now that we’ve covered the basics, we can start seeing what these sleeves have to offer.
Design and Overall Build
Stoic knee sleeves sport a high-quality 7mm neoprene build, which is featured in almost all of the commercially famous knee sleeves.
Unlike the others, Stoic produces only one color — black. I don’t have a problem with that, though. However, color variety could’ve been a valuable perk, especially that it wouldn’t have cost Stoic that much.
The top and bottom borders are reinforced with double stitching rows, ensuring better durability.
Toward the back, there’s a vertical seam that features patent-pending welds that don’t puncture the neoprene. Although this might seem insignificant, it’s actually quite rare. Most, if not all, brands infuse their sleeves with an endless number of needle holes, thinking that this will improve the durability, when in fact, this increases the likelihood of tearing.
Thanks to this unique build, the neoprene core will probably wear out way before the stitching does, which is no mean feat!
When compared to other 7mm sleeves, Stoic reigns supreme in terms of firm support. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think Stoic uses a special type of neoprene that takes a long time to fully break in.
Is this necessarily good? Well, it depends.
Avid powerlifters would be truly happy with this unparalleled rigidity. When you reach the deepest point in your squat, the Stoic sleeves will have stored a considerable amount of energy. When you’re ready to stand up, this energy will “pop” you into the erect stance, thus allowing you to reach your full weight potential and max out your reps.
On the downside, if you’re interested in the dynamic weightlifting and CrossFit workouts, you’d better search for other sleeves since Stoic would feel too limiting.
If you want more support, check out the differences between knee sleeves vs knee wraps.
Women lifters who prefer to wear yoga pants at the gym will know the struggle — most sleeves don’t stay in place! The inner lining is often made from a smooth material that slides over fabrics pretty easily.
Lucky for you, this isn’t the case with the Stoic sleeves. If you take a look at their lining, you’ll see more than 20 vertical non-slip panels that stabilize the sleeves over the smoothest fabrics.
And of course, these panels are placed only on the top part. If Stoic had placed them at the bottom, it would’ve been pretty impossible to wear these sleeves.
The Stoic knee sleeves are available in seven sizes. To figure out your ideal size, get a flexible tape measure, and wrap it around the middle of your knee joint. Keep in mind that your knees should be straight but relaxed — tightening your muscles might leave you with loose sleeves.
Ideally, you should pull the tape measure around your knees until it feels tight, but don’t allow it to dig into your skin. Otherwise, you might get a tight pair of sleeves.
If your calf is visually larger than your knees, bring the tape measure down to the girthiest point. This way, you’ll be able to wear the sleeves high enough on your legs without hassling to slide them past your calves.
Regardless of the measurement you recorded, head off to the following table and pick the size accordingly.
|XX-Small||27.5 – 30|
|X-Small||30.5 – 33|
|Small||33.5 – 36|
|Medium||36.5 – 39|
|Large||39.5 – 42|
|X-Large||42.5 – 45|
|XX-Large||45.5 – 48|
Naturally, the previous sizes expand in width to accommodate girthier knees. On the other hand, the length remains unchanged at 30 cm.
Approval for Competition
As you might already know, you can’t participate in official powerlifting competitions with any gear you have lying inside your gym bag. Each federation/association has a set of rules that your equipment must follow.
But technicalities aren’t the only important factor. Some federations periodically release a list of approved brands. If your gear isn’t produced by one of these manufacturers, it won’t be allowed, even if it’s technically compliant.
The Technical Rules for Knee Sleeves
Here are the technical requirements that any pair of knee sleeves must meet in order to be allowed in IPF and USAPL competitions.
- Knee sleeves must be built from 1-ply neoprene with a width of 7 mm and a length of 30 cm.
- They have to be continuous cylinders without any holes.
- Any velcros, straps, drawstrings, and paddings won’t be allowed.
- When worn, they have to be centered over your knee joints.
- They shouldn’t touch your suit or socks.
- Muslim females can now wear knee sleeves over a full-body suit with the Hijab (valid from 2021).
- You can’t combine knee sleeves with wraps.
Luckily, Stoic knee sleeves meet all of the previous rules. Plus, the trademark is approved by IPF, USAPL, and USPA.
What Alternatives Can I Buy?
Do the Stoic sleeves fall short of your expectations? Don’t fret! Here are three of the best alternatives on the market.
If the Stoic sleeves weren’t supportive enough for you, I’m pretty sure you can’t find a product stiffer than the Titan Yellow Jacket Knee Sleeves.
These knee sleeves took my top spot for the Best Knee Sleeves. The unique X-seam build doubles the support while lifting.
How do they differ from Stoic knee sleeves?
- More expensive
- More supportive
- Best for serious powerlifters
The Mava Sport Compression Knee Sleeve is built from latex and spandex, which is a softer, more flexible material.
Of course, you should never use such a light build to lift heavy weights, but if you’re looking for a budget knee sleeve this is your best bet.
How do they differ from Stoic knee sleeves?
- Way more affordable
- Weaker build
- Suitable for recovery
- Come in multiple color patterns
What if you don’t want sleeves that strangulate your knees, but you also don’t want a pair that’s too loose? That’s where the Bear KompleX sleeves come in handy. Even though they’re built from neoprene, they’re flexible enough to allow for dynamic workouts.
How they differ from Stoic knee sleeves:
- More affordable
- Come in multiple color patterns
- A bit lighter build
- Flimsier durability
The Final Word
If you want something to increase your workout efficiency, protect you from injuries, and alleviate any existing medical conditions, the Stoic knee sleeves should be perfect.
I absolutely love the impeccable support offered by these sleeves. This gets especially helpful when you’re standing up from 400+lbs squats. I only want to see Stoic releasing more colors in the future, just to fit even more lifters.