SBD Vs. Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves — Which Is Best for Squats?

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The SBD and Slingshot STrong knee sleeves come with multiple similarities and differences between them. For a newer lifter, or someone who’s questioning the use of sleeves, it can be a tough task differentiating between similarly designed sleeves.

One of the major similarities of the SBD and STrong Knee Sleeves lies in what type of athlete will reach for each of these sleeves. Another similarity is that both of these models come from big name brands with solid reputations, so the sleeves are similar in durability and material. In terms of differences, one of the subtle sleeve nuances is the rigidity between them, and how stable they support the joint in heavy movements.

With similar purposes and stability, it only made sense to compare and contrast their differences. Which sleeve is best for training, and which is best for competing?

SBD Knee Sleeves
SBD Knee Sleeves

These knee sleeves are both IWF and IPF approved and offer a supportive 7mm neoprene construction.

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Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves
Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves
A very supportive pair of knee sleeves that are IPF approved and constructed with a heavy 7mm neoprene.MoreLess

Comfort & Fit

SBD Knee Sleeves

SBD’s sleeves provide a strong, stable fit, which is great for powerlifters who are in-between sets and need their joints to stay warm. Additionally, this is a tighter fitting sleeve, so there’s no slippage, even as you get progressively sweatier during a workout.

The neoprene is also reactive to the joint, so it hugs every aspect of your knee well, but provides the stability you want for heavy lifts. On SBD’s site, they provide options for both a “tight” and “standard” fit, and having used both, I think each option is great for general training and competing.

[Read our full UPDATED review on SBD Knee Sleeves. How did the two sizing differences feel in powerlifting meets?]

Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves

The STrong knee sleeve is possibly the most rigid sleeve I’ve worn, but still remained pretty comfortable. If you’re choosing this sleeve, then you should have an understanding of how rigid it is. This sleeve is designed to support very heavy lifts, not versatile workouts, or functional fitness movements.

Their site states that this sleeve is comparable to a light knee wrap, which I found to be true. Granted, it’s comfortable for a stiff sleeve, but isn’t ideal to wear for long periods of time. For those going heavy in their training often and don’t want to wrap their knees, then this sleeve would be a good bet to provide support.

Overall Winner: SBD Knee Sleeves

SBD Versus Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves
SBD Versus Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves

Stability

SBD Knee Sleeves

The SBD sleeves are stable, and won’t disappoint you when it comes to providing a supportive feeling at the bottom of the squat. They utilize a high-grade 7mm neoprene, which provides them with a little pop out of the hole without completely hindering mobility.

For a competition approved (IPF/IWF) sleeve, I felt this sleeve did a good job at providing the joint with stability, while giving you confidence in your lifts.

Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves

Slingshot’s STrong knee sleeves are ranked as a level three product on their site, which puts them on the more stable end of strength equipment Slingshot offers. What does level three mean? Basically, that’s Slingshot’s way of referencing the rigidity their sleeve’s use. On their site they say these sleeves can provide you with around 20-50 extra lbs out of the hole of the squat, and I found that to hold true.

[Read our full review of the Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves.]

The stability of these sleeves make them a solid choice for those who need rebound during heavy lifts, but don’t want to wrap up their knee every set.

Winner: Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves

Material

SBD Knee Sleeves

SBD’s 7mm neoprene is a high quality and snaps back when you put flex into it. Their sleeves also have double-hooked reinforced stitching, which make them a tight form fitting sleeve for the knee. For the competition oriented lifter, I felt the SBD sleeve’s material was one of the best picks for the competitive athlete.

SBD Knee Sleeve
SBD Knee Sleeve

Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves

Slingshot’s STrong Knee Sleeves have an even more reactive 7mm neoprene compared to SBD. Their sleeve pops back to its original shape when you put any form of stress into them. Similar to SBD they use a reinforced stitching, but have it running up the side, so there’s never a chance of them prematurely fraying.

Winner: Tie 

Price

SBD Knee Sleeves

The SBD Knee Sleeves start around $82.50, which is a little high for sleeves, but I feel is fair for the type of athlete buying them. What makes these sleeves price justifiable is their IPF/IWF competition approval. If you’re not a competitive lifter, then $82.50 may be a little high.

Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves

Similar to SBD, the STrong knee sleeves are a little higher in price and start at $80.00. These sleeve’s price can also be justified by their unique purpose. The athlete buying these sleeves is most likely looking for an extremely stable sleeve for heavy movements, which make these sleeves price worth it.

Winner: Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves

Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeve
Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeve

Durability

SBD Knee Sleeves

The SBD sleeve has a patented design with double-hooked reinforced stitching, which we found to make them resilient to pre-mature fraying and stretching. Also, the stitching of the sleeve is on the inside compared to the outside like most sleeves, so there’s never a chance of it making contact with knurling.

Additionally, the 7mm neoprene does a good job at maintaining its form over time. I’ve competed in these sleeves twice over the span of a year and a half, and they’re still holding strong. I have no doubt about the SBD Knee Sleeve’s durability if you take good care of them.

Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves

The 7mm neoprene used in the STrong sleeve is extremely stiff, and we found that even after heavy workouts these sleeves maintained their form well. Their sleeve’s stitching is reinforced down the side, which is great for avoiding any point of metal on neoprene contact.

Similar to the SBD Knee Sleeves, this sleeve’s construction and material made it another durable option. The biggest breakdown feature of knee sleeves comes with fraying or stretching, and neither of these options truly displayed either.

Winner: SBD Knee Sleeves

SBD vs. Slingshot STrong Sleeves Comparison
SBD vs. Slingshot STrong Sleeves Comparison

Overall Winner: SBD Knee Sleeves

Both of these sleeves are great options for the serious lifter in need of a stable sleeve. The SBD sleeve edged out the Slingshot STrong sleeve because of their competition approval, which make them a great option for the competitive strength athletes who want a stable sleeve for training and competition.

Keep in mind, both of these sleeves aren’t designed for versatility, so some weightlifters, recreational lifters, and functional fitness athletes may want to reach for a different pair.

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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.