As someone with bad knees (multiple meniscus tears and a partially torn ACL) I have used many a knee brace. The issue I’ve always had has been their bulk and restrictiveness which granted is their design purpose. I had been looking for a set of neoprene sleeves to try for squatting and other movements where some added knee support would be beneficial. I picked up a set of RockTape Kneecaps at my box and gave them a good work in through various types of WODs (even a couple other activities like road biking too just to see how they did). I will say that despite a few faults, I love them.
The kneecaps come in 5mm or 7mm neoprene (I have the 5mm) and are advertised with the key features:
Keeping your knees stabilized is essential when it comes to lifting. Knee Caps are specifically designed to provide compression, warmth and lateral stability when performing functional movements such as dead lifts, pistols and squats.
Unlike other supports, Knee Caps are ‘extra tall’ and designed to compress the VMO* at its insertion point above the patella to help ensure proper stability and tracking. Knee Caps also provide compression and warmth to promote blood flow.
Heat sealed seams for better contouring
Added height for VMO* support
Available in 5mm or 7mm neoprene thicknesses
Sold as pair (two Knee Caps per package)
I like to keep my reviews concise so here is is my breakdown of good and bad about these sleeves
– They do an excellent job of warming up your knees. I found even wearing them during warm-ups helped get my knees loose and ready to work
– Material on the inside of the sleeve grips well meaning very limited sliding and bunching even during an intense WOD
– Added stability is noticeable but not restrictive. On many other knee sleeves and braces I’ve used there is a point in the squat where it feels like its bunched behind your knee and digging into you. I did not get that with these.
– When I take them off i leave them inside out to dry (Yea I sweat a lot) and so far the material seems to resist the “gym bag smell” issue.
– Their style is not my cup of tea. Personal choice but neither of the patterns are really to my taste. Would love a “tamer” pattern LOL
– Seams seemed quite well bonded when first inspected however after a dozen or so WODs in them the seam on one started to go. Unfortunate but this could be the design issue that kills my love for this product.
Overall, they are a solid product and less costly than Rehbands. I like them so much I may even reach out to RockTape to see if the seam issue is something they have seen before and/or if they warranty the product. They do provide comfortable and supportive wear and are versatile enough to wear during virtually any WOD.
Overall Score: 8/10
The seam issue was just the worm in an otherwise perfect apple.
UPDATE: So…..as mentioned in my review above, the seam on one of my sleeves had started to come apart. I contacted RockTape and not only did they stand by their product (with no real pressure from me) but they replaced them for me no questions asked and quickly. One of the best customer service experiences I’ve had in quite a while!
New score based on their stellar customer service:
UPDATE #2!!: I will stick with the fact that their customer service was good but unfortunately after 2 months with the replacement sleeves the seams started splitting again. I sewed them up so they were usable again but I wont buy them again or recommend them to anyone strictly due tot he seams issues.