The struggle is real, for most.
The typical way to put on a knee sleeve is just go over your foot and pull the sleeve up over the knee cap with it centered on the patella. The basic way of pulling on a knee sleeve will work in most instances but there are a few where you may need to employ a bit of ingenuity. Whether you have hairy legs or you are trying to go a size or two smaller for a competition putting on knee sleeves can be a pain in the butt. Here are a few tips and tricks to getting them on without ripping out hairs or straining some other muscle just trying to pull with pure force.
The inside out method
Turn the knee sleeve inside out. Grab the bottom (smaller diameter part) with your finger tips and pull it up your leg to the proper height, usually just above the middle of the calf. Now grab the large end and roll it up over the knee putting it into place. This method will save you on pain and leg hair. It works much better than just trying to grab the top of the sleeve and dragging it up your leg.
You can find these online, they are very similar to suit slippers for powerlifting suits. A slipper is a piece of soft material usually polyester or rayon with a silk like finish that let other materials slide over it easily. If you don’t have or want to buy a sleeve slipper then you can use a garbage bag or grocery store plastic bag. Cut the bag down to a piece that is roughly as long as your lower leg from foot to knee cap. Slide the bag over your lower leg then pull the knee sleeve on the standard way over top of it. Once the knee sleeve is in place pull the bag out from the bottom. Wallah. The slipper method works better for downsized knee sleeves. Typically in competitions people will go up to 2 sizes smaller to try to get rebound out of the knee sleeve. It is almost impossible to get a sleeve that size on your leg without a slipper or almost a 20 minute workout.