I never actually intended to buy a pair of Ethos knee sleeves. I have a pair of Rehband Original 7mm Knee Sleeves that I have had for years now and still love them. However, when you leave your knee sleeves at work and you’re wanting to get a lift in your garage gym you have to figure out a Plan B.
My knees are too old to be snatching, cleaning and squatting without knee sleeves so I found myself at a Dick’s Sporting Goods hoping they had something that would get me through a lift. This isn’t the first time I’ve left my sleeves at work and the last time I grabbed something in a pinch it was Harbinger Knee Wraps from Academy Sports. They got me through, but I wasn’t a fan of them.
That’s where I found the Ethos 5mm Knee Sleeves. They didn’t have XL, so I grabbed a pair of Large, crossed my fingers and headed back to the house.
What I ended up with was a pair of knee sleeves that were barely big enough for me to slide on, but I have to be honest – I really liked them. I’ll be keeping them for sure and they may end up being my permanent sleeves for at the house.
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Table of Contents
Why Wear Knee Sleeves?
Before we get into the full review, I want to briefly go over why you want to wear sleeves in the first place. If you already wear sleeves, then you can just scroll down to the Grade Sheet below.
Knee sleeves perform two major functions for a lifter. First, sleeves help trap heat through the knee and help warm up the joint and keep the knees warm throughout the lift. The compression also helps increase blood flow which also helps with keeping the joint warm. This becomes more and more helpful as you get older as a lifter.
Twenty years ago, my warm-up could consist of walking into the gym and I’d be ready go. Nowadays it takes at least 15 minutes to get my muscles and joints anywhere close to warmed up. Anything that can help this process along, like knee sleeves, is a tremendous help.
Second, sleeves help add a sense of stability through the compression they provide. How much of this is real and how much is placebo is debatable, but once you get used to having them it’s like cuddling up with your favorite blanket – they just make you feel better.
In fact, this entire review came to be because instead of lifting without knee sleeves I decided to get in my car, drive to a sporting goods store and try to find a pair of sleeves that could get me through one lift. Yes. They become that important.
ETHOS Knee Sleeve Grade Sheet
Now for what you came for! Here is my ‘grade’ for each category for the knee sleeves. Below I’ll go into detail about each one.
Score – (Out of 5)
Let me start off by saying I probably should have a pair of XL and not a Large. However, they didn’t have any XL in stock, and the combination of me having no patience and wanting to start squatting ASAP led me to cross my fingers and grab a large. So my pair fit a little tighter than what is ideal.
Having said that, I love the fit of the Ethos sleeves. They are a 5mm length (different than the 7mm length of my Rehbands) and I thought would take some time to get used to. It really didn’t. I noticed the difference when I put them on, but by the time my warmup was done, I never thought about it again.
For me, if sleeves are comfortable and stay in place then I consider that a great fit and they check both boxes. They’re comfortable even considering how snug they are on me. They also stay in place great. In fact, they stay in place better than my Rehbands. That could be partially because my Rehbands are older and the Ethos’ are newer and tighter and therefore stay in place better.
Whatever the reason, I am really happy with the fit of the Ethos Sleeves.
The design is really simple. It’s a simple black design with the ETHOS name printed across the top. Personally, I like simple. I don’t need any crazy designs or colors on my knee sleeves. So for me, the look is just fine. I will admit, however, that there are definitely more visually appealing knee sleeves out there.
$49.99 is really an amazing value when it comes to knee sleeves. With many brands, you can expect to pay almost that for a single sleeve. I believe I paid $40 EACH for my Rehband sleeves and after doing a quick internet search this price point seems to be pretty standard.
For a few bucks more you get a pair of these Ethos Knee Sleeves.
Because of the price, I honestly didn’t expect much from them.
I thought if I could get a pair of sleeves that could serve as a backup for the times I forgot my normal sleeves I’d be happy. They have far exceeded those expectations already. The fact that I’m considering just leaving my Rehband Knee Sleeves at work and using these sleeves exclusively at the house says a ton because I do the majority of my lifting at the moment in my garage gym.
It doesn’t seem to me that you’re having to sacrifice quality much, if at all, in exchange for a great price.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how good these sleeves are. I wouldn’t have expected a ‘low-cost’ knee sleeve from Dick’s Sporting Goods to be such good quality. If you’re looking for your first pair of knee sleeves to try and don’t want to spend a lot of money, I’d highly recommend these Ethos sleeves.
For that matter, even if you already use knee sleeves as I do, I think you’d be impressed like I am with how good they really are.