We hope that you love our articles and find them useful and informative! In full transparency, we may collect a small commission (at no cost to you!) when you click on some of the links in this post. These funds allow us to keep the site up and continue to write great articles. Click here to learn about our review process and affiliate structure.

Best Arm Sleeves for Running in 2022

 

Arm sleeves are a great addition to any runner’s gear closet.

The best arm sleeves for running protect your skin from the sun, help boost circulation and performance, and also keep you warm.

They also work well in shoulder seasons when you want something warm on your arms at the start, but that can be easily removed as you get going.

Our favorite arm sleeves are the 2XU Flex Compression Arm Sleeves. They provide 15 to 20 mmHg graduated compression, UPF 50+ sun protection, and Polygiene antibacterial and odor protection.

But there are many other good options for different budgets, thickness, and compression level.

Take a look at our reviews of the best arm sleeves for running to see which product is a good fit for you.

Top 4 Best and Favorites

 

2XU Flex Compression Arm Sleeves

 

  • Soft, seamless fabric
  • Lightweight with graduated compression
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
Check Price

 

Under Armour Performance Heatgear Sleeve

 

  • HeatGear technology
  • Sun protection of up to UPF 30
  • Compression fit design
Check Price

 

Compressionz Arm Sleeves

 

  • Provides UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Breathable and moisture-wicking fabric
  • Rubber strip keeps the sleeve in place
Check Price

 

Rockay Ignite Arm Sleeves

 

  • Made from recycled materials
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Breathable and seamless construction
Check Price

Best Overall

1. 2XU Flex Compression Arm Sleeves

These compression sleeves are light and easy to wear when you’re on the road or trail. Mild compression makes them comfortable yet supportive.

What We Like

The 2XU Flex Compression Arm Sleeves offer 15 to 20 mmHg of graduated compression, which is less compression than most sleeves but still perfectly adequate for runners.

The knitted design is compressive enough to keep blood flow stimulated as you run or after during recovery.

A flexible elbow area allows a nice range of motion, and the fabric is soft and seamless to prevent chafing.

The sleeves feature UPF 50+ sun protection to keep you safe out there. They also have Polygiene antibacterial and anti-odor technology to keep you fresher for longer.

Why We Like It

These sleeves are comfortable, hygienic, and offer more than adequate compression for most runners to use every day.

PROS:

  • Soft, seamless fabric that moves with you
  • Lightweight with graduated compression
  • Polygiene antibacterial and odor protection
  • UPF 50+ sun protection

CONS:

  • Some may find that the compression isn’t strong enough
 

Top Value

2. Under Armour Performance Heatgear Sleeve

This arm sleeve from Under Armour is temperature-regulating, better in warm weather than cooler temperatures.

Take note that these sleeves are only sold as single sleeves, so you’ll need to buy two to have full coverage.

What We Like

This sleeve’s polyester and elastane blend offers equal parts stretch and compression.

The sleeve’s tightness helps increase blood flow to the muscles, improving performance when you wear it during your run. When recovering, it brings oxygen-rich blood for faster recovery.

This sleeve is ideal for warm weather. HeatGeat technology built into the fabric helps with moisture management, pulling sweat to the surface for evaporation, and keeping your cool

The sleeves also help protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun with UPF 30 sun protection.

You should take note that these sleeves are sold as single sleeves only. However, this can be handy if you need to replace one sleeve that accidentally gets torn or damaged.

Why We Like It

These sleeves are protective, supportive, and also affordable. We like that if you need to replace a single sleeve, you don’t have to buy a complete set.

PROS:

  • HeatGear technology helps to regulate your body temperature
  • Comfortable compression fit doesn’t restrict your range of motion
  • Sun protection of up to UPF 30
  • Compression fit design

CONS:

  • This is sold as a single sleeve only
 

Best UV Protection

3. Compressionz Arm Sleeves

If you regularly run in direct sunlight, you need an arm sleeve with powerful UV protection.

The Compressionz Arm Sleeves come with strong UPF protection built-in, so that you don’t have to worry about sunburns when you’re out running.

What We Like

Compressionz Arm Sleeves feature strong UPF 50+ protection, ideal for wearing out on a hot day to protect your skin from the dangers of UV rays. They also wick away moisture, keeping you dry and cool.

The compression offered in each sleeve also supports the muscles and joints, which can help those with elbow tendonitis or DOMS after a workout.

It also helps stimulate circulation to the muscles, helping you recover faster after workouts. The 4-way stretch material allows you to keep your full range of motion.

Their lightweight nature makes them very easy to carry around with you, in a bag, car, or even in a pocket. Their design also means it’s easy to take on and off mid-run.

There’s a thin rubberized strip at the cuff of this sleeve, so it won’t slip or slide down as you’re running.

You should note that the sizing is unisex, but the sizing is more appropriate for men than for women. Women should order a smaller size than the measurements suggest if they want a tight, compressive fit.

Why We Like It

These arm sleeves are sufficiently protective for wearing in summer to prevent sunburn and heatstroke. UPF 50+ sun protection is strong enough for almost any day out.

PROS:

  • Provides UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Supportive, 4-way stretch material doesn’t restrict your movement
  • Breathable and moisture-wicking fabric keeps your comfortable
  • Rubber strip keeps the sleeve in place

CONS:

  • The unisex sizing could result in incorrect sizing for women
 

Most Environmentally-Friendly

4. Rockay Ignite Arm Sleeves

Rockay is an eco-friendly company, and their arm sleeves are the ideal choice for runners trying to be sustainable in everyday life.

What We Like

The Rockay Ignite arm sleeves are made from 100 percent recycled materials, including Econyl, polyamide, and elastane. This blend gives them a comfortable stretch and good compression.

Breathable mesh zones allow the material to regulate your body temperature in all weather. They’re also seamless, so there’s no need to worry about chafing.

A reflective logo and markings on the sleeve help to keep you visible in low-light situations.

There’s Polygiene technology built into these arm sleeves. This is part of Rockay’s eco-friendly construction, which keeps odor away and means you only need to wash your arm sleeves every few wears, rather than after every single wear.

Note that these sleeves are slightly expensive but made to last and come with a lifetime guarantee!

Why We Like It

Investing in an excellent quality product with a lifetime guarantee and helping the planet at the same time – great!

PROS:

  • Made from recycled materials
  • Treated with Polygiene to prevent odor-causing bacteria
  • Regulates body temperature in both hot and cold weather
  • Breathable and seamless construction

CONS:

  • They are slightly pricey but made to last
 

Best Compression

5. CEP Compression Arm Sleeves

These arm sleeves offer moderate compression that supports the muscles and joints and encourages blood flow.

What We Like

These arm sleeves deliver moderate, graduated compression without being uncomfortable or restrictive.

You can use them for performance while you’re on the road or trail. They’ll offer increased blood flow while running and support if you are recovering from an arm injury.

They’re also great post-run to stimulate blood flow and bring nutrient-rich and oxygen-rich blood to the muscles that need healing.

An anatomical fit moves with your arm and doesn’t limit your range of motion.

Extra padding in this sleeve increases comfort but may make the sleeve run a little warm.

Why We Like It

The 15 to 20 mmHg of compression these arm sleeves offer is more than enough for most runners. It’s excellent both for support and injury prevention while running and for recovery purposes.

PROS:

  • Provides 15 to 20 mmHg graduated compression
  • Extra padding and anatomical elbow design reduces joint pressure
  • Fabric feels soft and smooth against your skin without causing irritation
  • Anatomical structure provides a snug, secure fit

CONS:

  • These sleeves may run a little warm
 

Top Moisture-Wicking

6. New Balance Arm Sleeve

This second-skin arm sleeve is exceptionally moisture-wicking thanks to New Balance’s fast-drying NB DRY fabric, which wicks moisture to keep you cool.

What We Like

These New Balance arm sleeves are made from NB DRY material, which has superior moisture-wicking properties that help to keep you cool and dry in hot weather.

They’re thin and easy to get on and off, and provide light compression to support the muscles of your arms as you run. The stretchy design moves with you and doesn’t hamper your range of motion.

Note that they won’t keep you warm in colder weather, as they’re specifically made to keep you cool.

Why We Like It

These arm sleeves have light, comfortable compression. They’re excellent for keeping you cool and dry, thanks to their moisture-wicking properties.

PROS:

  • NB DRY fast-drying material wicks sweat away from skin
  • Lightweight with a stretchy design that moves with you
  • Great for those looking for light compression
  • Easy to put on

CONS:

  • These arm sleeves won’t keep you warm in cooler weather
 

Best Arm Warmer

7. Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Arm Warmer

Those who run in cold weather may be looking for arm sleeves that provide both compression and warmth.

The Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Arm Warmer uses technology to perform optimally in all weather, especially the cold.

What We Like

These Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Arm Warmers are ideal for runners who stay in cold areas and need extra coverage without the bulk.

Instead of wearing a jacket to keep your arms warm, you can wear these sleeves. They use PI Dry technology in their thermal fabric, so heat is kept in, and rain is kept out.

They’re designed with an anatomical fit with a left and a right arm sleeve for a better fit.

There’s also a wide elastic cuff with silicone grippers to prevent the sleeve from falling while you’re running.

Why We Like It

These arm sleeves offer protection from cold and light rain, so they’re an essential part of your kit if you live in a cold, rainy place.

PROS:

  • Thermal fleece fabric insulates and regulates your body temperature
  • PI Dry technology sheds light rain
  • Wide elastic cuff with silicone strip holds the sleeve in place
  • Great for those chilly mornings or early spring runs

CONS:

  • These arm sleeves are a bit expensive
 

Top for Light Compression

8. Zensah Arm Sleeves

If you only need light compression but want a sleeve that protects you from the sun, the Zensah Arm Sleeves are a good choice.

What We Like

The Zensah arm sleeves provide gentle support and light compression. The material is thin and flexible, allowing you to move freely and comfortably.

They’re also breathable, so you should stay cool and dry while running. As a bonus, they have UPF 50 sun protection, so you should be well protected if you run in the sun.

These sleeves come in a wide range of different colors, so you can choose one that suits your personality or buy more than one to suit every outfit.

However, you should note that the smallest-sized sleeve may still be too small to provide compression on thin arms.

Why We Like It

The compression is light but comfortable and the sleeves also have built-in UV protection for warm days.

PROS:

  • Provides gentle support
  • Made from durable, breathable, and flexible material
  • UPF 50 protection
  • Available in a variety of colors

CONS:

  • These sleeves may be too big for thin arms
 

Top Sleeve With Thumb Holes

9. Brooks Dash Arm Warmer

If you’d like some extra coverage for your hands, the Brooks Dash Arm Warmers are the ideal choice as they have a thumb hole and cover the palm and back of the hand as well.

What We Like

These arm sleeves are comfortable and soft, and the material helps to insulate your body temperature and keep you warm in cold weather.

They’re extended to cover the hands, with thumbholes for easy use. Unlike many similar items, the thumbholes are anatomically-designed and don’t chafe or hurt the part of the hand between the thumb and forefinger.

Each sleeve is thin enough to wear underneath regular sleeves as an extra layer of protection. If you wear them alone, they have UPF 50 protection so that the harsh winter sun can’t damage your skin.

A silicone gripper at the top of each sleeve holds it in place against or just above the bicep. If you are between sizes, size down for a better fit.

One thing to note is that it may be difficult to use your running watch with these sleeves. You either won’t be able to access it if you wear it under the sleeve. Or, if you wear it over the sleeve, it won’t track your heart rate.

Why We Like It

These sleeves are warm and offer extra coverage for your hands, but they’re slim enough to fit underneath shirts and gloves as an extra layer as well. They offer a bit more warmth if you have to take your gloves off for any reason.

PROS:

  • Extend coverage for your hands
  • Slim design allows it to be worn under gloves if necessary
  • Soft material insulates and regulates body temperature
  • Seamless construction

CONS:

  • This sleeve can make it challenging to use with a running watch
 

Best for Recovery

10. Zensah Ultra Compression Arm Sleeves

Wearing compression sleeves for recovery is a common practice and can help to stimulate blood flow and bring oxygen and nutrients to healing muscles.

These sleeves offer strong compression that’s great for recovery, although some may find it uncomfortable if they’re not used to it.

What We Like

This is a heavy-duty arm sleeve with targeted high-compression zones to stimulate blood flow to the muscles of the arms.

You’ll find strategically-placed ribbing across the sleeve, which provides compression and also has a massage-like effect on sore muscles.

If you choose to wear these sleeves while running or doing other exercises, they provide adequate support for the muscles.

They are also moisture-wicking and antimicrobial, keeping you dry, cool, and fresh throughout your session.

Sun protection is also built into the fabric. They come in four sizes so you can find the right one for you.

Why We Like It

The strong, targeted compression helps to encourage blood flow and speeds up recovery. They’re also soft and comfortable, perfect for wearing while relaxing.

PROS:

  • Targeted compression zones
  • Thick, flexible material allows for full range of motion
  • Breathable, quick-drying fabric
  • Available in four sizes

CONS:

  • The strong compression may not be comfortable for some

Buyers Guide – Arm Sleeves for Running

Size

Arms sleeves often come in multiple sizing options. You’ll measure your arm around the bicep when it’s relaxed and not flexed to get an accurate idea of what size arm sleeve to get.

The sleeve should be half an inch to a full inch smaller than the measurement of your relaxed bicep. This will help the sleeve to stay up when your arms are relaxed.

Material and UV

Most arm sleeves are made of a blend of materials, often including lycra or spandex for a stretchy, compressive fit. Most of them also have built-in UV protection. Make sure that they offer enough protection for your needs.

Cooling Arm Sleeves

Some sleeves have moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating properties designed to keep you cool while you run. If you overheat easily, consider investing in a pair of arm sleeves with cooling properties.

Arm Warmers

If you’re looking for arm sleeves to keep you warm in winter, they should also be able to wick away moisture effectively so that you don’t get wet and cold. Merino wool is the ideal fabric.

Compression Level

The higher the compression, the more effective the support and circulatory effects. However, it also means the sleeve will be tighter.

Most standard sleeves range from 20 to 30 mmHg, considered mid-level. Between 15 and 20 mmHg is considered to be light compression.

FAQs

When Should You Wear Compression Arm Sleeves?

Not all arm sleeves are compression sleeves. But if you are looking for a pair of compression arm sleeves, they can help with increasing blood flow in the arm muscles, speeding up muscle recovery, and supporting the muscles and joints to prevent injury.

Arm sleeves—not only the compression sleeve types—can also help protect the arms from sunburn while running in summer or keep you warm without the bulk when you’re running in winter.

Do Arm Sleeves Help With Pain?

If the arm sleeves you choose have light compression features, they may help with mild pain in the muscles as they apply gentle pressure and stimulate circulation of oxygen-rich blood.

What Are The Benefits of Arm Sleeves?

Arm sleeves provide compression, which aids in improving circulation. Better circulation means better muscle performance and less swelling after a workout. They are particularly useful for runners going on longer runs or an intense workout.

Sleeves also reduce the jarring and vibration of exercise, letting your arms recover faster while still improving performance and support. Yes, your arms do affect your running.

Are There Additional Benefits?

Of course, not everything is about recovery and performance. Sleeves also protect your skin, can keep you scratch-free on overgrown trails, and help with heat management in both summer and winter.

They also help with moisture-wicking and sweat prevention. Many even have anti-microbial properties that keep them scent-free.

Ben Drew

Ben Drew

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.

The Wired Runner
Logo