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  • Writer's pictureCompression Athlete

The Best Compression Sleeves for Basketball Players 2024

Top arm, leg, and ankle sleeve picks to assist your game.

Basketball players wearing compression sleeves in competition.

It’s no coincidence that all those professional athletes of nearly every sport are wearing compression sleeves while performing at the highest levels of competition.


In other words, those sleek and stretchy sleeves do a lot more than look stylish.


They help to boost performance and recovery, as well as provide key muscle support and stability to their applied areas.


And basketball, of course, is no exception.


Compression sleeves and compression garments are a perfect match for the sport and worn from practically head to toe by players.


The most common types of compression sleeves in basketball are arm sleeves and leg sleeves in both padded and non-padded varieties, as well as ankle sleeves and braces.


Here, we’ll cover how and why basketball players implement compression sleeves into their game, as well as provide our top picks for compression arm sleeves, leg sleeves, and ankle sleeves.


If you know what kind of compression sleeve you're looking for, feel free to jump ahead.


Why Do Basketball Players Wear Compression Sleeves?


Let’s start with some of the basics that compression sleeves offer every athlete, regardless of their sport.

When worn during activity, compression sleeves provide improved circulation and increased muscle support and stability to the applied area thanks to their snug and stretchy fit.


Improved circulation means better blood flow and more oxygen to your muscles, which in turn boosts muscle endurance and overall flexibility.


In addition, this boost in circulation can aid muscle recovery, as blood flow helps to clear out lactic acid buildup and repair damaged muscle tissue.


Basketball player dribbling wearing compression leg sleeve.

And whether you’re wearing a compression sleeve to assist an injured muscle or as a preventative measure, the additional support offered by the sleeve can boost your performance and focus.


So, you can probably see how these benefits translate so well to the sport of basketball and why so many basketball players integrate compression sleeves into their attire.


Basketball players wear compression sleeves to assist their in-game performance, protect against injury, and improve muscle recovery between games.


What makes compression sleeves such a perfect fit for basketball is that they offer stability and support to key muscles without limiting the player’s range of motion.


This is key for a sport like basketball that requires a high degree of skill, precision, quickness, and strength.



Note: Featured products are independently selected and reviewed by Compression Athlete. If you purchase through our links, we may earn commission.



The Top Basketball Shooting Sleeves for 2024


Likely the most recognizable compression sleeve used by basketball players is the aptly named shooting sleeve, which is essentially a full-length compression arm sleeve.


There are a number of reasons why basketball players opt to wear a shooting sleeve, or compression arm sleeve, while playing.


Some use the compression sleeve to help with the effects of Shooter’s Elbow (elbow tendonitis), which is a painful sensation that can develop from overuse of a repetitive motion.


Basketball player shooting basketball wearing shooting sleeve.

While other players wear a compression sleeve on their shooting arm to increase proprioception, which is your ability to perceive the position and movement of your body.


Note that while it often goes by the name shooting sleeve, or shooter sleeve, basketball players commonly wear compression arm sleeves on both arms (not just their shooting arm).


Not only does this extend the compression benefits of the sleeve to both arms but many players like how the sleeves minimize and contain sweat from reaching their hands, providing a better feel and grip on the ball.


Here are our top picks for the best shooting sleeves for the 2023-2024 basketball season.



1. McDavid Compression Arm Sleeve


Basketball player wearing McDavid Compression Arm Sleeve.

Available on Amazon: McDavid Compression Arm Sleeve


The McDavid Compression Arm Sleeve features superior compression support in a sleek performance design that’s available in 4 sizes. This compression arm sleeve has sweat-wicking moisture management, 6-thread flat-lock seam technology, and is also sold in pairs.



2. Sleefs Arm Sleeve


Basketball player wearing Sleefs Arm Sleeve.

Shop at Sleefs: Sleefs Arm Sleeve


The Sleefs Arm Sleeve features a durable double-stranded fiber in a comfortable and stretchy design. This compression arm sleeve keeps muscles warm while remaining breathable and is available in a variety of colors.



3. Under Armour Team Arm Sleeve


Under Armour Team Arm Sleeve

Shop at Under Armour: Under Armour Team Arm Sleeve

Available on Amazon: Under Armour Team Arm Sleeve


The Under Armour Team Arm Sleeve features lightweight HeatGear fabric that wicks sweat and dries quickly. This compression arm sleeve has a snug compressive fit for superior muscle support and comes in two different length options.



4. Jordan Basketball Shooter Sleeves


Jordan Basketball Shooter Sleeves


The Jordan Basketball Shooter Sleeves feature sweat-wicking technology and a stretchy mesh fabric to keep you dry and comfortable. These compression arm sleeves utilize a breathable mesh panel and abrasion-resistant material with flat seams for a smooth fit.



5. Nike Pro Dri-FIT Sleeves


Nike Pro Dri-FIT Sleeves


The Nike Pro Dri-FIT Sleeves feature smooth, sweat-wicking fabric in a stretchy design to keep you dry and comfortable. These compression arm sleeves are NFHS compliant, come in a pair, and have a stay-put band that keeps them in place.



6. 2XU Compression Arm Guard


Athlete wearing 2XU Compression Arm Guard.


The 2XU Compression Arm Guard features powerful PWX fabric that’s quick-drying, lightweight, flexible, and sports comfortable flatlock seams. This compression arm sleeve utilizes a graduated compression fit for quick warm-ups and fast muscle recovery.



Note that while the shooting sleeve tends to be the most popular, it isn’t the only type of compression arm sleeve that a basketball player can utilize.


Also check out compression sleeves for the elbow, forearm, and wrist.


The Top Padded Arm Sleeves for 2024


A variation of the shooting sleeve that offers additional protection, padded compression arm sleeves are another popular choice among basketball players.


Padded arm sleeves offer all the same benefits that a shooting sleeve does with the addition of protective padding at the elbow.


Basketball players compete in physically demanding seasons that can put quite a bit of wear and tear on the body.


Basketball player wearing padded arm sleeves.

The padding helps with injury prevention and reducing the impact of all those bumps and bruises that can add up over the course of a season.


And the snug and stretchy fit of the compression sleeve makes it the ideal way to add padding while still retaining flexibility and a full range of motion.


Here are our top picks for the best padded arm sleeves for the 2023-2024 basketball season.



1. McDavid Elite HEX Shooter Arm Sleeve


Basketball player wearing McDavid Elite HEX Shooter Arm Sleeve.


The McDavid Elite HEX Shooter Arm Sleeve features superior elbow protection with innovative HEX padding that anatomically wraps the joint without restricting movement. This padded arm sleeve utilizes a breathable knit compression and moisture-wicking technology.



2. Under Armour Gameday Armour Pro Shooter Sleeve


Under Armour Gameday Armour Pro Shooter Sleeve


The Under Armour Gameday Armour Pro Shooter Sleeve features performance HeatGear fabric that wicks sweat, dries quickly, and has 4-way stretch. This padded arm sleeve sports McDavid HEX pads for distraction-free comfort and superior impact absorption.



3. Sleefs Padded Arm Sleeve


Basketball player wearing Sleefs Padded Arm Sleeve.

Shop at Sleefs: Sleefs Padded Arm Sleeve


The Sleefs Padded Arm Sleeve features a durable double-stranded fiber in a comfortable and stretchy design with soft elbow cushioning. This padded arm sleeve keeps muscles warm while remaining breathable and is available in a variety of colors.



The Top Basketball Leg Sleeves for 2024


If you’re looking for additional support for your knees or are experiencing any minor muscle soreness or tightness in your legs, a compression leg sleeve is the best on-court option for basketball players.


Just like with the shooting sleeve, a compression leg sleeve applies additional support and stability to the muscles and joints where it’s applied.


Basketball player wearing compression leg sleeve.

The slight degree of pressure applied by the sleeve also promotes blood circulation for better muscle oxygenation, which in turn improves muscle flexibility and endurance.


Here are our top picks for the best compression leg sleeves for the 2023-2024 basketball season.



1. Sleefs Leg Sleeve


Basketball player wearing Sleefs Leg Sleeve.

Shop at Sleefs: Sleefs Leg Sleeve


The Sleefs Leg Sleeve features high-quality 4-way stretch compression knit fabric in a comfortable and stretchy design. This compression leg sleeve keeps muscles warm while remaining breathable and is available in a variety of colors.



2. Zensah Full Leg Compression Sleeve


Basketball player wearing Zensah Full Leg Compression Sleeve.


The Zensah Full Leg Compression Sleeve features a stay-put performance design with full-leg compression from thigh to below the calf. This compression leg sleeve utilizes specific compression zone support, as well as sweat-wicking and anti-odor technology.



Just like as we mentioned with arm sleeves, the full leg sleeve isn’t the only type of compression leg sleeve available to basketball players.


Also check out compression sleeves for the knee and calf.



The Top Padded Leg Sleeves for 2024


Just as with the padded arm sleeve, padded leg sleeves help with injury prevention and reducing the impact of bumps and bruises that occur on the court.

A lot of the contact basketball players take is on the lower body, whether this is contact with the court, contact that occurs driving in the lane, or contact at the rim.


Basketball player wearing padded leg sleeve.

Maintaining the health of your legs is obviously crucial for a basketball player, and padded compression leg sleeves offer a highly flexible and mobile form of leg protection.


Padded leg sleeves can be used to protect a current injury or used to prevent injury from occurring.


Here are our top picks for the best padded leg sleeves for the 2023-2024 basketball season.



1. McDavid Hex Padded Leg Sleeves


Basketball player wearing McDavid Hex Padded Leg Sleeves.


The McDavid Hex Padded Leg Sleeves feature streamlined graduated HEX protection that contours around the knee for a full range of motion. This padded leg sleeve utilizes moisture management technology to keep you cool and dry and is available in multiple color options.



2. Under Armour Gameday Armour Pro Padded Leg Sleeves


Athlete wearing Under Armour Gameday Armour Pro Padded Leg Sleeves.


The Under Armour Gameday Armour Pro Padded Leg Sleeves feature performance HeatGear fabric that wicks sweat, dries quickly, and has 4-way stretch. These padded leg sleeves sport McDavid HEX pads for distraction-free comfort and superior impact absorption. Available in 4 classic colors and sold in pairs.



3. Sleefs Padded Knee Pad


Basketball player wearing Sleefs Padded Knee Pad.

Shop at Sleefs: Sleefs Padded Knee Pad


The Sleefs Padded Knee Pad features high-quality 4-way stretch compression knit fabric in a comfortable and stretchy design. This padded leg sleeve sports durable knee padding with an ergonomic fit and is available in multiple color options.



The Top Basketball Ankle Sleeves and Braces for 2024


Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in basketball, which is no surprise with all the quick cuts, jumping, landing, etc. that occurs over the course of a game or practice.


For this reason, compression ankle sleeves and ankle braces are a common sight on basketball players.


Basketball player wearing ankle braces.

Compression ankle sleeves provide support and stability to your ankles while still allowing you to retain your mobility and make those quick and crucial moves on the court.


Here are our top picks for the best compression ankle sleeves and braces for the 2023-2024 basketball season.



1. Zamst A2-DX Sports Ankle Brace


Athlete wearing Zamst A2-DX Sports Ankle Brace.

Available on Amazon: Zamst A2-DX Sports Ankle Brace


The Zamst A2-DX Sports Ankle Brace offers a strong level of ankle support without limiting mobility. Used by Steph Curry, Tray Young, and more, this ankle brace stabilizes and reduces excessive inward and outward high ankle movements.



2. McDavid Active Comfort Compression Ankle Sleeve


McDavid Active Comfort Compression Ankle Sleeve


The McDavid Active Comfort Compression Ankle Sleeve features an innovative tech print for superior compression support and stability in an extra lightweight construction. This compression ankle sleeve is moisture-wicking, breathable, and has comfortable 4-way stretch.



3. McDavid Phantom Ankle Brace


McDavid Phantom Ankle Brace

Shop at McDavid: McDavid Phantom Ankle Brace

Available on Amazon: McDavid Phantom Ankle Brace


The McDavid Phantom Ankle Brace features advanced strapping with flex-support stirrup stays and non-slip straps ideal for basketball. This ankle brace utilizes a comfortable and supportive lace-free design with a lightweight and low-profile fit.



4. Shock Doctor Compression Knit Ankle Sleeve with Gel Support


Shock Doctor Compression Knit Ankle Sleeve with Gel Support


The Shock Doctor Compression Knit Ankle Sleeve with Gel Support features a breathable and contoured compression fit with elastic knit that forms to your ankle. This compression ankle sleeve has gel inlays for targeted support and an expandable heel pocket.


Note: Also available in classic compression knit without gel support.



5. Shock Doctor Ultra Ankle Brace


Shock Doctor Ultra Ankle Brace

Shop at Shock Doctor: Shock Doctor Ultra Ankle Brace

Available on Amazon: Shock Doctor Ultra Ankle Brace


The Shock Doctor Ultra Ankle Brace features a figure-8 and vertical tension stirrup strap design for maximum support and advanced stability. This ankle brace sports a comfortable and lightweight lace-free design with a low-profile fit great for basketball shoes.



6. Nike Pro Knitted Ankle Sleeve


Nike Pro Knitted Ankle Sleeve


The Nike Pro Knitted Ankle Sleeve features 4-way stretch with targeted support and foam padding over the ankle for comfortable cushioning. This compression ankle sleeve utilizes sweat-wicking Dri-FIT technology and an easy on/off design.



Tips For Choosing a Basketball Compression Sleeve


If you’re interested in utilizing a compression sleeve for basketball, there are some key things you’ll want to keep in mind as you search for the best option.


You may have noticed from a cursory search that there are quite a few different compression sleeve brands and styles that are available out there.


But not every compression sleeve is the same when it comes to measuring durability and performance, which are two essential features to prioritize when choosing a compression sleeve for basketball.


You’ll find that most high-quality compression sleeves are constructed with durable performance fabric, designed for athletic activity, and produced by a reputable fitness brand.


Basketball player wearing compression arm sleeve.

Cheaper alternatives end up costing more in the long run, as these sleeves tend to come apart, require replacements, and don’t provide the same level of benefits.


Another key to success when choosing a basketball compression sleeve is paying attention to size.


In some cases, you’ll notice that brands offer only a one size fits all option, which is typically fine thanks to the stretchy nature of compression that offers plenty of leeway.


However, if there are a variety of sizing options available, pay close attention to their sizing guide and take any recommended circumference measurements.


A properly fitting compression sleeve is key when it comes to attaining all the available compression benefits that your sleeve has to offer.


Remember, your sleeve should have a snug, second-skin fit but should not be so tight that it restricts any of your movements on the basketball court or causes any discomfort.



Check out our complete guides for more on compression arm sleeves and compression leg sleeves.

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