If you have watched an official basketball game, you will know that basketball is a fast-paced and demanding sport. Although most of the basketball players are provided with lots of skills and energy, they can still get injured due to the numerous movements and practice.

If you have experienced chronic limbs pain due to falling or while having contact with the opponents, you will understand it can affect your performance to a large extent.

Basketball Sleeves

Benefits of Sleeves

There are various compression gears in the market when it comes to protecting our body. Yet, compression sleeves are by far the most effective ones for a few reasons:


While players are driving toward the basket through defenders, the compression sleeves can absorb and reduce the contact, preventing injuries when we fall to the ground on our limbs. Also, by the compression on our injured area, it can help us to get relief from chronic pain. So it can be of great use during a basketball game if you’re currently suffering from injuries.

Helping Blood Circulation

If athletes get injured, the injured area will cause bad blood circulation. With bad blood circulation, the blood flow rate will decrease, make them more fatigued during games as a result. Besides, the adjacent joints and muscles will have a higher chance to cramp, highly affecting their performances during the game.

In this situation, because of the compression features of the sleeves, blood circulation can be improved and prevent swelling in those areas.


As we mentioned, compression sleeves can increase your blood flow. Since the quicker your blood circulates, the quicker you will be healed from your injury. So, compression sleeves can actually help your muscles to heal quicker from the previous injury.

Types of Sleeve

There are 3 main types of sleeves in basketball, ankle sleeves, arm sleeves and leg sleeves.

Ankle Sleeves

Everyone who plays basketball has been through an ankle injury, whether it is an ankle sprain or a fractured ankle bone. Regardless of the severity of the injury, it will affect our performance in varying degrees. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for us to treat our ankles well in order to recover fully.

As a basketball player, I’ve also suffered from a severe ankle injury once. In spite of the fact that I’m not fully recovered, I urged to play basketball again. Unfortunately, I injured the same spot again. This time, it takes me months or maybe even years to recover fully.

Therefore, if you have not fully recovered, I really recommend you to have an ankle sleeve to prevent from repeating the same mistakes as me.

Most ankle sleeves have straps or laces that provide adjustable compression in order to have both flexibility and protection.

The ankle sleeves are used when players are suffering from an ankle sprain. It can stabilize your ligaments and prevent your ankle to hurt again from jumping and landing.

Arm Sleeves

Arm sleeves are good for basketball players for many reasons. But the most important one is to enhance our performance.

As we all know, shooting is regarded as the most important skills in basketball. However, if you are suffering from chronic pain, it is difficult for you to shoot a consistent jump shot. With the arm sleeves, your injured muscles will be supported and your blood circulation will be improved, lessen your pain while you’re in game-time.

Besides, in a physical game, excessive body contacts are inevitable. As a result, there is a high chance that you may absorb hard hits or fall to the ground imbalance. To reduce the risk of injury, some arm sleeves will add a pad on the elbow or forearm position for extra protection.

Leg Sleeves

We all know that compression sleeves can accelerate our blood flow rate. Yet, it can also improve our endurance. While exercising, our blood will circulate faster and create more muscle vibrations, which will tire our muscles. With the leg sleeves supporting our muscles and decreasing the amount of muscular vibration. The muscle fatigue rate will be highly reduced, meaning that we will be more endurable and improve our athletic performance.

How to Choose the Best Sleeve

There are a couple of things you should pay attention to when choosing the best sleeves for basketball.


First things first, you have to choose which one fits you the best. Regardless of how protected or how cool the sleeve is, if it’s not comfortable, then it is not the best for you.

So, how do we know if it suits you?

First and foremost, choose the right size. If you don’t know how to measure, just go to a basketball store and ask for help, you don’t want the sleeve to be too tight or too loose that you have to adjust it all the time.

Second, you should be comfortable when dribbling and shooting with the sleeve on.

Last but not least, choose the sleeves that can wick and dry sweat fast to avoid you from being sweaty and being uncomfortable throughout the game.

With Pad or Without Pad

There are some significant differences between padded or non-padded sleeves. If you are a player who always dives on the floor to get the loose ball or a player who always drive in through lots of contacts, then padded sleeves can be beneficial to you.

The padding is usually designed around the elbow, the forearm and the knee, mainly focusing on absorbing contacts and impacts from the situations I’ve just mentioned.

Although the padded sleeves can give you more protection, some players think it may affect their shooting. So, try both of the sleeves and choose the one that fits you the best.


Sleeves are great equipment that can really step up your game, whether is improving our performance or to increase our recovery speed. On top of that, it can add more protection and boost our confidence on the court.

If you have any questions about basketball sleeves or any other topics, please comment below to let me know so I can get back to you as soon as possible.

2 Replies to “Basketball Sleeves: All You Need to Know”

  1. When I played high school and college ball back in the day, we did not have a lot of these kind of protective products like these sleeves.  We just got beat up and had to deal with it with mostly with ice and hot baths.

    The effectiveness of compression sleeves to absorb the contact and reduce chronic pain is simply amazing.  Fortunately although I got beat up quite a bit during my career, I didn’t get any makor injuries as a result of all that contact.  

    Just with the feature of better blood circulation, it would have helped me recover from many aches and sprains much more quickly.  

    Ankle, arm and leg sleeves definitely get you well protected in many vital areas.  This is certainly some good stuff which I wish was available when I played ball.  We are all grateful for innovation.  Appreciate your article as it brought back many good memories.  

    1. Hi Joseph,

      I’m glad that you enjoy this article and gave you a chance to reminisce the good old days.

      It is very fortunate that you didn’t encounter any major injuries as having arm and leg sleeves can be useful to protect our limbs and prevent injuries. 

      Thanks for the appreciation:)

      Best wishes,


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