Powerlifting Gear And Equipment Reviews

Knee Wraps vs Knee Sleeves

Questions about knee wraps vs knee sleeves are not uncommon. Knee wraps and knee sleeves are even, understandably, mixed up often. While both of them are used by lifters during squats, they actually serve quite different functional purposes.

Let’s shed some light on the matter and go into a quick and dirty overview of the differences.

Powerlifting Knee Sleeves

Design: Knee sleeves are structured as a fixed tube, and are typically made of neoprene. Sleeves must be put on over the foot and slid up the leg before a lifter’s shoes.

Function: Sleeves primarily function to provide extra support and warmth to knees during squats. These qualities help with preventing injury and also boost performance slightly.

In Competition: It is legal to wear knee sleeves when competing raw.

Powerlifting Knee Wraps

Design: Knee wraps are structured as long rectangular strips, and are typically made of dense, elastic-like material. Wraps must be put on by wrapping around a lifter’s legs to ideal tightness and then fastened in place.

Function: Wraps primarily function to provide extra pop during squats to significantly boost the amount of weight a lifter can move. They are applied so there is an extreme amount of tension around the knee joint.

In Competition: It is not legal to wear knee sleeves when competing raw. Knee wraps are only to be worn by equipped competitors.

More Information On Knee Wraps vs Knee Sleeves

I hope this brief breakdown was useful in highlighting the differences between knee wraps and knee sleeves.

If you’d like more details, feel free to check out our individual articles focused on powerlifting knee wraps and powerlifting knee sleeves. Each of these articles offer some guidance for finding IPF approved options for the respective gear. Happy lifting!