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Best Arm Sleeves for Basketball – Top 5 Shooting Sleeves

Basketball arm sleeves have been growing in usage over the last few years. Some are compression sleeves and others are used mostly to wick away moisture build-up or cover up unsightly or potentially offensive tattoos.

Players in the NBA practice and play ball often enough that they sustain injuries to their elbow joints from repetitive use and from falls during a game too.

Wearing a compression sleeve over their elbow helps to keep the joint warmer to reduce the level of fatigue and keep the muscles warm to help them work better.

Some sleeves also have padding on the underside which helps when sliding on the court or falling.

Fewer bones get broken or elbows put out of alignment when supportive padding is provided. The padding even has rubber grips sometimes to prevent sliding too.

For regular players, the protection offered by compression arm sleeves for ballers is useful.

They also have different designs that add a new element to the game outfit when playing a game of pickup or a full basketball match at a local court.

Basketball Coach Rob Willemse mentions below the benefits of wearing sleeves during matches.

Why Do Basketball Players Wear Arm Sleeves?

Wearing an arm sleeve is done for one of several reasons. Sometimes the reasons overlap and other times they do not:

  • Fashion:- Wearing a sleeve for fashion can be because they look cool to your eye or your teammates or friends are all wearing them, and you don’t want to be the odd one out.
  • UV protection:- Protecting from the sun when playing on an outdoor court is a real concern. For anyone with fair skin who burns easily or wants to spurn the risk of skin cancer, then wearing a sleeve on both arms helps avoid getting a tan.

Many sleeves are pre-treated with UV absorption to prevent the arm from heating up or being affected.

  • Tattoos:- Some schools and scheduled matches do not permit players with a full-arm tattoo because it breaches their rules.

To get around this, a player can wear a basketball arm sleeve to cover their arm from below the t-shirt short sleeve down to just above their hands.

  • Post-injury:- Anyone who’s strained an elbow, or a ligament or even gotten a skin burn from sliding on the court can benefit from wearing an arm sleeve.

It protects the affected area and keeps the ligaments and muscles warmer.

  • Compression:- When compression is needed to avoid pain or injury, an arm sleeve can achieve that result.

Wearing a sleeve even before any injury has occurred avoids developing a problem after hours of play or regular basketball matches. Compression also helps when the muscle fibers are pushed down because they respond more quickly to movement.

  • The cold:- Playing outside when the sun goes down or on a cloudy day can get chilly on the extremities when you don’t have a suitable long-sleeved t-shirt or basketball top.

Wearing an arm sleeve prevents getting the chills during play and possibly getting ill as a result.

5 Best compression Arm Sleeves For Basketball Players in 2024:

Mcdavid 6500 Hex Padded

The McDavid 6500 Sleeve slips over either arm easily and fits snugly. It has a padded elbow to prevent scraps from hard falls with padding in a hex shape for better traction and early sliding arm sleeves

This basketball arm sleeve is suitable for basketball, but also American football, soccer, and baseball.

The sleeve is sold in small, medium, and large sizes to suit different arm sizes, along with a youth size.

There are 10 color choices which are mostly solid color designs except for the grid one which looks dark and very high-tech.

The product is made from a combination of spandex to give it stretchiness and cinching capability and nylon in an 80/20 mix.

Moisture control via wicking is present to prevent the arm and elbow from getting too damp. The slide on the sleeve is easily washable and dries in no time.

The hex-shaped padding is 9mm per hex symbol and is positioned right below the elbow for maximum protection.

  • Nylon and spandex arm sleeve
  • Breathable and wicking with hDC technology used
  • Suits both arms
  • 4 sizes include youth
  • 10 color choices
  • Hex-patterned padded elbow support
  • Arm compression technology to keep muscles warmed and joints supported
  • Wash in the machine and dry quickly
  • A fashionable plaid design on most versions
  • Good enough to cushion displaced nerves and still play ball without much discomfort
  • Not designed well for people with slender arms who haven’t built up additional muscle
  • The tight fit is something that new wearers of this type of product need to adjust to initially, so there is
  • some mild discomfort until getting used to the level of compression

Nextgen Sports

The Nexxgen Arm sleeve for compression is designed to suit just about everyone! It comes in 40 different color combinations/styles with either two-color or three-color designs.

Often, there is one solid color and a boxed pattern along the side of the arm which is arm compression sleeves

While reviewed for use during basketball play here, these arm sleeves are intended as general apparel sleeves to be worn by men or women while playing American football, soccer, cycling, baseball, volleyball, or cycling.

They’re also long enough to cover over most of a full-sleeve tattoo if you have one that rules you out of playing ball at school or on a local court. For suffer from lymphedema, these sleeves also work for that condition.

Each of the designs is vibrant and colorful. They certainly help you stand out on any basketball court.

There are three sizes currently available: Youth medium, youth larger, and large. However, small, medium, and XL are sometimes available too.

  • Use while playing basketball, volleyball, soccer, American football, golf, walking, jogging, and more
  • Protects sufferers of Lymphedema
  • Youth sizes from medium and adult sizes too
  • Bright, colorful color choices
  • 40 color combinations
  • Fabric aims to compress down on the arms and elbows
  • Will keep elbow joints and muscles warmer
  • Requires higher size level when arms are more muscular
  • Not all sizes are available or in stock at all times
  • Limited compression or support compared to other brands for injury sufferers looking for increased protection
  • No elbow pad to protect from slips or falls during sporting activity

Buchwald Sports

The Buchwald arm sleeve provides compression for the elbow and arms both for youth players and adults alike.

There are scores and scores of different color combinations all mostly with a digital camo appearance. Very trendy and cool-looking too.shooting sleeve for basketball

There’s a full range of sizes on offer too. These run from youth size in small, medium, and large, to adult ones also in small, medium, and large.

There are no XL sizes for people with bigger arms. However, the largest supported bicep for adults is 17 inches, and the smallest, 10-inches. For the youth market, the largest bicep size is 9 inches, and the smallest, 6-inches.

The material is made from 20 percent Spandex and 80 percent polyester which makes for a stretchy yet comfortable fit.

There’s also a convenient silicone band around the top and bottom of each sleeve to ensure it stays in place during energetic use.

There’s moisture-wicking technology deployed here too, so the sleeve doesn’t cause your arm or elbow to get overheated during sports. It also has UV protection built-in too.

The sleeve is not only designed for basketball but also can be used for tennis, bowling, volleyball, cycling, running, walking, soccer, and baseball. Golf is included in supported sports too.

  • Colorful digital camo style to most versions of this product
  • Many color combos are available
  • Hides the arms from the damage of the sun
  • Youth sizes from small to large
  • Adult-sized from small to large
  • Spandex 10% and Polyester 80%
  • A silicone band at either end of the sleeve to keep the sleeve in place during sports
  • Wicks moisture successfully
  • Decent compression
  • Can be used to play tennis, bowling, volleyball, cycling, running, walking, soccer, baseball, or golf
  • No XL sizes for adults
  • Doesn’t support adult biceps larger than 17-inches
  • No discernable elbow support with extra padding

Aegend Arm Sleeves

The Legend Arm Sleeve is a full-color UV protective product that is available in medium, large, and XL sizes (one of the few that have an XL size).

It doesn’t come with a fancy design – most color choices are on the darker side – but it’s more discrete which certainly will suit some buyers no shooting sleeve

The fabric used is a little different from other products too. There’s 12 percent Spandex (not the more usual 20%) and polyamide fiber makes up the other 88%.

This creates a softer feel for people with sensitive skin or skin conditions who also would like to use this kind of product.

The sleeve is elastic enough to stretch and adjust to the size of the bicep. There’s no pilling from use over time either. It breathes well and while trapping moisture initially, it wicks it out quite well too.

Machine washing is not suggested; hand washing is a better idea. Bleach will damage this fabric. They will dry on the line and to preserve both the coloring and branding at the narrowed part of the product, reverse them to protect it.

There is extra attention paid to the stitching here to hold up better. Gels have been sewn inside the sleeve at either end to prevent it from slipping on the arm.

The sleeve comes pre-treated for UV with an absorber that keeps the sun away from your arm when playing on outdoor basketball courts.

The level of compression is good, but not excessive around the elbow, forearm, and bicep areas. It’s likely to keep the muscles in those places warmer, promote better blood flow, and avoid swelling.

  • UV-protected sleeve for indoors and outdoors
  • Play sports, run hike, or cycle without difficulty
  • Keeps muscles and joints in better condition
  • Single-color, simpler design
  • Improved stitching
  • Different fabric mixes of Spandex 12% and Polyamide fiber 88%
  • Medium, large, and XL sizes
  • Can be damaged by machine washing
  • It May not provide enough compression for players who need that especially
  • No children’s sizes
  • Shorter than McDavid branded sleeves

Nike Men’s Pro Combat Elite Sleeve

The Nike Pro Combat Elite for the gentlemen is available in small, medium, large, and XL sizes. There are five color choices including a couple of bright ones and mostly darker choices after arm sleeves youth

The design has a boxy pattern down the side of the sleeve to give it some differentiation from a plain sleeve.

The soft fabric uses Nike’s Dri-FIT moisture-wicking feature to avoid it getting overly hot during use. There’s no elbow padding or specific support in this area.

The arm, elbow, and muscles will benefit from feeling warmer and more secure. The compression support is present, but it shouldn’t be expected to be as strong as with some other branded arm sleeves on the market.

This sleeve can be washed in the machine without damaging its fabric and hopefully, the design on the side of the sleeves won’t wear off too quickly when doing so.

  • Basketball arm sleeve from Nike
  • Covers an arm from above the hand to below the T-shirt
  • Uses Dri-FIT from Nike to avoid the sleeve getting hot and sweaty
  • Warms up the joints, skin, and muscles
  • Can be machine-washed
  • Light when putting over your arm
  • Doesn’t stay in the right position all the time and needs re-adjusting from time to time
  • Limited compression provided
  • No padding to protect the elbow from falls

What to Look for When Choosing the Leading compression Arm Sleeves?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a shooting sleeve.

  • Design:- How does it look, and will you feel happy wearing it?
  • Compression:- Does the sleeve have enough compression for your needs?
  • Fit:- Will it fit snugly to your arm and isn’t too large or too small for the size of your bicep?
  • Secure position:- Does it have silicone or another material at the top and bottom to help keep the sleeve in place?
  • UV Protection:- Will it shield your arm from the sun’s rays when playing outside?
  • Injury:- Does it have enough support and comfort to protect you when you already have an injury to the affected areas?
  • Elbow padding:- Do you need a padding elbow to provide extra protection when slipping and falling on a hard, court surface?
  • Wicking:- Does it successfully wick moisture away or get hot and uncomfortable during sports?
  • Washable:- Can it be machine washed or does it have to be hand-washed and drip-dried? Special fabrics sometimes need hand washing to avoid damaging them.
  • Brand:- Is it a dependable brand you can trust?

Please note that basketball arm sleeves are usually sold individually, not as a pair.


When buying the best arm sleeves (or one to use for another sport) you should first decide how much the compression technology matters to you.

Some people only buy these sleeves to cover up a full-arm tattoo or for a fashion statement during play. Other people require medium to full compression support from a sleeve and need to prioritize this aspect.

A padded elbow to protect a little from falls on the court is another important factor too. Few products provide this at all, so when you require this feature, it makes picking the right sleeve for you pretty easy.

If you choose the kind of arm sleeve to suit your needs, it’s hard to go wrong.

Related Gears & Training Tips:-

Why you should trust us

Rob Willemse has been a professional basketball player for 13 years. He has written extensively about basketball tips for multiple publications. For most of the past decade, he has been a digital nomad, doing basketball tips and sports for outlets such as The New York Times, Forbes, and CNET, He also has his own YouTube channel, which features lots of vlogging footage.

Rob Willemse is a senior updates writer for a big publisher and has contributed to our guides to basketball tips and training programs. He is also a professional basketball player at Arkansas State Red Wolves men’s basketball, where he works as a senior basketball coach.

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