Do you wan to know EVERYTHING about volleyball knee pads? Read my guide to volleyball knee pads. You will get all answers to your questions about knee pads.
I am volleyball lover and volleyball is my passion. This article is about one of the most important piece of volleyball equipment you need. I know that many of you are using knee pads also in other sports, so I briefly cover also them.
- Your knees
- What is a volleyball knee pad
- Importance of knee pads
- Why you should use knee pads
- Where and how to use knee pads
- Volleyball knee pads materials
- Sizes and how to measure knee circumferences
- Knee pads vs knee sleeves vs knee braces
- Knee pads for kids
- Adult knee pads
- Volleyball knee pads colors
- TOP 5 volleyball knee pads
- How to care for your knee pads
1. Your Knees
You know the body part you rarely think of? Your knees! Yet, its importance is one that cannot be overemphasized. Think about it, ever thought of the number of times you make use of your knees? When you’re getting out of bed; When you head to the kitchen for breakfast; While you’re sitting at the table, or making coffee or washing the dishes. Think of how many times you just made use of your knees, and your day just started.
What makes your knees so important? It’s simple, because of what they do. Your knees support your total weight and help you acclimate quickly and keep your balance whenever you shift on your hips. If your knees aren’t functioning as best as they can, you’ll find even the simplest mobility tasks difficult to maneuver.
It all boils down to one simple truth. Your knees are one of the most complex joints in your body. It connects your tibia (or shin bone) to the femur (or thigh bone). It also holds the smaller bone that runs alongside the shin bone (the fibula), as well as the patella (or kneecap) in place. A lot goes on with your knees when you make use of them, and you put it use in almost every task you do apart from laying down flat in bed.
Due to how important your knees are, it is crucial that you take care of them. As an athlete or someone who enjoys physical activities that will lead to your knees taking quite a beating, knee pads are a necessary investment. One of those sports that require extra care for your knees is volleyball and kneepads are the best solutions. Not convinced yet? Then here’s some information on why you should invest in a good pair of knee pads when you’re going for your next sporting event.
2. What is A Volleyball Knee Pad?
Ever been on a volleyball court? Then you know the level of athleticism it takes to engage in the sport. Most of the game of volleyball is spent quickly dodging the ground. Ever seen a volleyball player throw themselves forward in a bid to keep the ball from hitting the ground? Then you’d have seen the kind of positions they end up in – with knees directly on the ground and backsides resting on their ankles. This position can cause the knees to strike the ground especially when carried out as quickly as they do it in other to save the ball from falling on the ground. Regardless of the surface, be it sand, outdoor court, grass, or hard gym floor, a strike like that will hurt the knees. If you were to ask an athlete, they’d tell you that the knees are always the first to go as a sportsman.
Knee pads aren’t restricted to volleyball alone; they can be used in other types of sports. In fact, any sport that requires jumping, extensive running, twisting, stopping, lunging or bending, requires some extra protection for your knees. This includes polo, tennis, skateboarding, dancing, rollerblading, baseball, basketball, calisthenics, and a host of other sports. In such sports, the amount of weight and movement the knees take is tremendous.
But what are they made of? Knee pads that is? All knee pads are made from cloth, so they’re comfortable against your skin. Usually, several factors are taken into account during production. You can find pads made of cloth – anything from polyester to neoprene, for that added level of comfort. This is because of the softness of cotton, as anyone who has ever worn it can testify.
It is gentle on the skin and is excellent when rubbing will happen consistently, as it is bound to do during exercise. A more advanced form of synthetic rubber is Neoprene. It is capable of maintaining its flexibility in almost any temperature. Neoprene is a perfect choice even if you’re heading to a hot beach or an ice rink.
All we’ve said so far is just for the outer part of the knee pad. The inner part that does the actual protection can be made from different things depending on the use you plan on putting it to. Some are made with gel while others are made from memory foam. The type used depends on several factors such as what activity you plan to engage in, the length of time you need them on, the intensity of the hits it’ll take, comfort, and of course where you need the most padding.
3. Importance of Knee Pads
The importance of knee pads cannot be overemphasized. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should consider getting knee pads:
- Injury Prevention
If you were to injure yourself today, you’d only be creating long lasting problems for tomorrow. The knees are an intricate part of the body. They involve a lot of functionality for the body. The knees are the center that holds your weight meaning that you can put them in harm’s way easily if you don’t give them the proper protection. If you were to ask any pro athlete who suffered from a knee injury, they’d tell you two things; a lot of therapy was required before they could get back on the field/court/gym. They always have to work to get back to the level of performance they put out prior to the injury.
- Confidence in Performance
It’s impossible to perform at your best in a game if you’re constantly worried about injury. Imagine you’re a baseball player on a baseball field and the ball is coming right at you. The opposing team’s player is running towards second base, and you need to catch the ball for the out.
Because the ball is just out of your direct reach, you’ll need to slide forward and probably throw yourself to the ground on your knees to do that. If your knees are not properly protected, you may hesitate. This hesitation may cost your team the out. But if on the other hand, you were wearing the proper safety equipment, you’ll most likely not contemplate the move and would instead lunge forward without hesitating.
Longevity is of utmost importance for those athletes who have a deep love for their profession as well as workers who use their knees a lot. Knee pads not only save your knees from experiencing discomfort, they also ensure that your career lasts much longer.
As a professional gardener who has to be on his knees in flower beds for long hours of the day, especially after having to lunge around heavy bags of soil, the proper knee protection will make sure you keep that job much longer.
Whenever you’re contemplating a career, you should always consider your long term goals. If you want to stay as long as possible in your chosen career, then you need to take the correct measures that will ensure your longevity.
- Investment Value
Most people will tell you that having the proper equipment such as knee pads, are an investment, and they would be right. It not only adds to your longevity and physical endurance, but it also costs less that the aftercare for an injury. If you consider that knee pads cost less than $100, and the cost of an injury (which involves the needed pain meds, the medical care co-pay, physical therapy, your insurance deductible, etc.), you’ll agree that your knee pads are earning more than their keep.
- Higher Performance
The more confidence you create in your performance, the more you’ll notice that you’re attaining a higher level of proficiency which of course only leads to better things. Athletes who can meet such high-performance levels usually earn the most. The same can be said for the highest paid workers. The proper protective equipment does not only save your body, but it also sets you up for good thing on all fronts.
4. Why You Should Use Knee Pads
The reasons why people use knee pads are not that varied. Firstly, people use them to protect themselves from injuries. Like it was previously stated, knees take a lot of repeated damage and bruising in all types of sporting activities. Here are some situations where knee pads are necessary:
- Volleyball – Consider the superb player who’s playing offense on your home team. The opposing team spikes the ball over the net. Both the rest of the home team and the fans know that this player will put in all her best and dive for that ball, and prevent the other team from gaining any points. She slides on the floor, crosses her wrist, and does what she’s best at; saving the ball from hitting the floor.
- Skate Boarding – skateboarding moves always looks awesome, especially when perfected. But before it gets to that level, skateboarders stay on the board for hours on end trying to hone their skills. And it takes constant practice to achieve the level of perfection needed to pull off those awesome skateboarding moves.
- Rollerblading – Rollerblading is another sport that requires the use of knee pads and wrist guards especially for those who plan to rollerblade on the streets at top speed. It only takes one hit on the hard cement for your knees to suffer irreversible damage.
- Polo – Although it may not seem like it’s happening, the knees can actually take a beating in polo. Just think about how the teams operate while they’re on their steed. Sure it may appear like they’re sitting, but if you pay attention, you’ll notice that they’re sitting, crouching, standing, and all this happens atop the horse. Such constant movement can cause the knees to experience a lot of stress.
- Tennis – Imagine playing in a heated game where you’ll have to run back and forth. Sure it’s likely that you’ll fall, but apart from that, it requires a lot of movement. Whenever a sport calls for a lot of movement while you’re on your fit, it’s an automatic knee injury waiting to happen.
- Dancing – You may not consider dancing a strenuous activity, but it can be difficult. Just think about all the movements required in a salsa dance, cha cha or a pasa doble. That’s before you even consider the male dance who most times perform movements while holding the woman aloft in the air.
- Calisthenics – Repeated calisthenics can cause a lot of stress to your knees. Picture a typical gym, with the dancers in the dance room. Most of the time they’re either stretching, leaping, jumping, doing jumping jacks, or using steps. Most of the time, they have classes that can last up to an hour usually several times a week. All of that is bound to put the knees in stressful positions for long periods of time.
- Baseball – Even professional baseball players make use of knee pads. Take a close look at some of your favorite baseball players, and you’ll see they’re wearing knee pads. Since they’re always rushing the field, there’s a high chance of a knee injury. One severe injury can put them out for an entire season or maybe even put an end to their career.
- Basketball – another sport that is also intense on the knees is basketball. A lot of the skills in basketball such as slam dunks and layups, and even basic running, require healthy knees doing a lot of sharp movements.
- Football – Just like with professional baseball players and basketballers, football players also take a lot of hits to their knees. They’re always running and jumping, and just like any other player, they require their knees to get it all done. Therefore, it is beneficial to them to protect their knees, and knee pads are just the way to go. You may be thinking that athletes are the only ones who make use of knee pads. Well, you’d be wrong. Here are some of the other uses.
- Military personnel
- Mountain bikers
Another reason people make use of knee pads is for added confidence (especially athletes). If anytime you hit the court floor in order to save the ball, you’re always thinking “Don’t hit too hard. You can’t afford to get hurt again!” you’ll more than likely hesitate each time. It’ll destroy your confidence and leave you timid – which is not the type of attitude you want to take to a game. The fact is that wearing proper equipment’s give athletes the confidence they need to know that they can go to a game and not worry about getting hurt.
5. Where and How to Use Knee Pads
You may be wondering where and how exactly you can go about using knee pads. Before you can figure that out, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions: may be asking yourself where and how to use knee pads. First, you need to ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have lots of leg impact during your exercise routine?
- Also, do you take leg impact all through your day generally?
- Are you already suffering from a knee injury?
- Do you experience soreness in your knees?
- Even though there’s no constant pain, have you suffered an intense “hit” to your knee?
- Do you often find yourself limiting your performance because of a morbid fear of injury?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then you may want to try getting some protection for your knees. If your typical exercise routine requires a lot of knee movement and jumping, you may start to experience some discomfort as time goes by. More than half of the time, knee pad usage is not required initially, but it can stave off future injury. The simple truth is that they protect your knees from injury, and also prevent old injuries from getting exacerbated.
Knee pads are not meant for strict athletes alone. A lot of people but their knees through a lot of stress throughout their day. The mom who has to lift her toddlers constantly. The woman who is on her knees always gardening. The postman who is delivering mail. They all carry a lot while going about their business throughout the day. You do not have to be a professional athlete to consider knee pads. A lot of people put general stress on their knees throughout their day. The difference that an extra amount of added weight places on your knees should not be discarded. Imagine carrying an 18-month old baby weighing anywhere from 22 – 30 pounds throughout the day. You know which part does most of the work? That’s right, your knees.
If you’ve already suffered a knee injury, then you need to protect yourself. People who have already been injured need to protect themselves. Let’s say you suffered a fall on the ice during one of those extreme winters. Even though your knees aren’t experiencing any pain, it doesn’t mean some lasting damage does not remain. While you can’t go back to fix that damage, you can take steps to avoid any further damage in the future. The best part is that knee pads have so advanced that you can now find the ones that are so comfortable, they fit under your everyday pants.
If you’re experiencing any soreness or any budding sigh of injury, it would be better for you if you err on the side of caution. Don’t forget; you can rarely reverse an injury. You hurt your knees once, and you can damage them for life. Additionally, because you can’t stay off them, you’ll find that they’re not healing properly. Remember that injuries are rarely reversible. Most people with a minor knee injury do one of two things – ignore it and keep going, or rest with ice on it for a few hours and then they return to their routine. It is important that you do not stop taking good care of yourself. After all, you want your knees to serve you for a lifetime, so why not treat them right.
It’s not too late to protect yourself if you already have an old injury. Although the damage can’t be reversed, you can still make better decisions for your future. Knee pads are something you should consider wearing – even if not full – at least whenever you engage in high impact activities.
Knee pads are can also be a mental gem. If as a player, you find yourself holding back because of an injury scare, then knee pads are just what you need. They absorb the impact normally meant for your legs, and that’s why they are so important for an athlete.
6. Knee Pad Materials
When you go shopping for knee pads, you’ll be face with a lot of options. Generally, the ones you’ll come across will have some type of thick, shock-absorbing padding similar to memory foams or high density foams and are held together by fabric.
The first element of a knee pad is the padding. If you ever come across a mattress made of either one (memory foams or high-density foams), place your hand on it and press down. When you bring it up, you’ll find that the foam retains the shape of your handprint. Why? Because of the makeup. Memory foam is polyurethane with added chemicals to increase viscosity and density. The high-density type is capable of molding itself to the body. The function of the padding is to provide stable production while maintaining its comfort and level of flexibility. If you’re going to be moving a lot or will be in one position for long periods of time, then you want something comfortable.
Think of a typical volleyball player. They stay on the court sometimes up to an hour. And this court is indoors with hard floors – hard enough to cause serious injury if you aren’t protected. Not only is the player faced with the potential for injury, he or she also has to be constantly moving for the duration of the game. Because of that, they’ll require comfortable equipment and not ill-fitting ones that will end up hampering them.
The second element of a knee pad is its fabric. Different types of materials are used as the fabric. You can find pads with mesh shells, cotton shells, and other types of shell. Don’t forget that the fabric is what will be in contact with your skin the entire time you have your pads on.
Before you leave a shop with your knee pads, always endeavor to try them on. You’ll find more information on how to fit them as well as sizing below. But because this is an equipment that is meant to cater for your body, you want only the best fit. For that reason, it is always advisable for you to test them out. Apart from the size, you’ll also need to consider how it feels against your skin since you’ll most likely be wearing it for long periods of time.
7. Sizes and How to Measure Your Knee Circumference
When getting your knee pads, it is always important that you get the right size. This is why you need to know how to measure your knee circumference properly and consider all the various sizes. Three areas of concern when measuring your knees include:
- The area above the knee where the pad will rest on.
- The middle part of the knee
- The lower leg where the lowest part of the pad will lay.
Once you’ve gotten all these measurements, you’re going to find the right knee pad using the second measurement (the middle of the knee). The manufacturer will hand you their sizing chart so make sure you select the middle number to them, so you’ll leave with the right size. If you’re making a purchase for a child, make sure you measure a few times a season, so you don’t have to end up buying the wrong size.
8. Knee Pads vs. Knee Braces vs. Knee Sleeves
When it comes to protection for your knees, you’ll find that a lot of options are out there for you to pick. Now you may be worried about picking one that fits your profession, lifestyle, or hobby. However, you still need to ask yourself the questions earlier mentioned to figure out your exact needs. After that’s done, then you can start comparing the various options out there.
Your first option is knee pads. Your knees have a very thin layer of protection, your skin. And while your skin is great at certain forms of protection, impacts are not one of them. With a knee pad, you get the protection you need. They protect from bruises and general abrasions caused by blows or direct impacts. Knee pads have cushioned cores fastened around your knee cap to absorb any shock. The cushioned core also helps to keep your kneecap (patella) safe. Most compact kinds of kneepads require that you wear some sort of knee protection, and kneepads can be the optimal choice. They are especially useful for extreme sports such as skateboarding, motocross or even BMX biking and any sport is risky.
The second option you can go for is knee sleeves. These are normally made from neoprene or some form of elasticized material, which compresses the knee area. The main purpose of knee sleeves is to offer support and stabilization. They are also great at helping to increase the blood flow to the legs while simultaneously reducing swelling and pain. They are best suited for sports that require a large amount of pressure on the knee joints such as weightlifting, basketball, walking, running, or tennis.
And finally, you have knee braces which are the most intense of all three knee support options. Knee braces are usually required by those already suffering from a knee injury. If you ever have the opportunity to hold a conversation with anyone that has a knee injury, they’ll tell you how hard the road back is.
A lot of them never return to their former performance levels with serious therapy and the use of knee braces. Knee braces stabilize and fix your knees in the proper position. They provide your knees with the added support needed to carry out the required physical tasks still. They are usually made from durable fabric and have a hole where the kneecap is located. Knee braces aren’t meant for protecting, but rather are meant to offer stabilization to your entire knee area. Such stabilization usually requires heavy manufacturing so don’t be surprised to see braces made with metal. In the world of knee braces, there are different options to try:
Each brace type has a slightly varied function from the other. You should always discuss with your physical therapist or doctor, so you’ll get one that best suits your injury.
9. Knee Pads for Kids
People often ask if children need knee pads. Considering the number of kids you see on their BMX bikes charging down the less-traveled path at the forest preserve, or those kids skateboarding down the street full speed dodging around public parks, then the answer is yes. Sadly, most of them don’t have the proper protective equipment. As a matter of fact, research has shown that only about 20% of kids wear protective equipment while engaged in unsupervised sport. This figure is quite startling especially when you consider how dangerous those sports can be.
Children don’t understand that one injury can have a long-term impact on their career and life and without the proper equipment, the risk of injury increases. One bad injury has the prop to take a child out of the sport they so love and even ruin their chances of ever going professional. Additionally, it can leave them with a long lasting injury for their entire teen and adult life.
When buying knee pads for kids, it is also important to pick knee pads that fit properly. Make sure you go through the right-sizing protocol, so you’ll get the equipment that properly fits your child. Two kids of the same age can have varying size requirements, so proper fitting is always necessary to give them the right protection. You should also tutor your children on how to properly wear knee pads. Wearing them too low or too high can compromise their efficiency.
10. Adult Knee Pads
There are several reasons why most adults don’t bother with wearing knee pads. Here are some of the most commonly used ones:
- “They are for people who aren’t exercising properly.”
- “They are for people who are injured.”
- “They cost too much!”
- “They are uncomfortable.”
- “They are constricting.”
While those are all relatively reasonable objections, here are some responses to consider:
- Proper exercise – with perfect form – does not reduce the impact your knees take during a game or a workout.
- Yes, they are used by people with injuries. But do you really want to wait or an injury before you get proper protection? Why not prevent the injury altogether?
- There are varying prices for the equipment if you carry out a store search. And no, they’re not high ticket items. In addition, if you make a comparison of the cost of co-pays, physical rehab, pain meds, the price on knee pads pale in comparison.
- There are plenty of comfortable knee pads available. It may require you to shop around for a bit, but once you get the right fit, you’ll be happy to have made an effort.
- Constriction isn’t always bad. Sometimes, it is a sign that your pads are giving you the support you need. You should, however, try a size up if they become too constricting.
11. Knee Pad Colors
You’ll be happy to note that knee pads come in a variety of colors. While some are monochromatic (black and white), several manufacturers do venture out and try other more fashionable colors. This makes it easier to get knee pads that can match your team color or your personal preference.
12. Top Five Volleyball Knee Pads
When it comes to knee pads, the world of volleyball gives you a variety that you can choose from. Each of the volleyball knee pads comes with its own advantage. They can all take an impact and help to protect the user from injury. What’s great about the best ones is that they are pre-installed with dri-weave technology to help keep plays cool and dry even during the rowdiest high-energy game. Here are a few of the best ones that you can find on the market:
- Mizuno LR6 – The Mizuno LR6 Knee pads are made from polyester, which is highly flexible and breathes well. They are also D.F> Cut so that the wearer has an even greater freedom of movement. The impact zone (directly atop the patella) has a special pad. In addition to that, it also offers protection to the lateral and medial areas. This knee pad focuses on movement and offers minimal restriction. It is available in different sizes; small, which is 13.5 inches or lower, medium, which ranges from 13.5 to 15. 5 inches and of course large, which is from 15.5inches and above.
- VolleyCountry Volleyball Knee Pads. These are pads that offer a lot of features the wearer will appreciate. They are made specifically for knee impact and hard landing on the court. They also are designed for durability, comfort and ease of mobility. What is also nice is their stay-dry and warm feature. They are made from bamboo and the material is known to breathe better than some other fabrics. This is a company that has specialized in volleyball equipment for more than ten years now, so the volleyball knee pads hold up to the hard court and are specially designed to do so.
- McDavid 6440 – These pads have a unique HEX pad running from the front side’s top to bottom. They are made from nylon and designed primarily for football and lacrosse. The good thing about this brand is that it comes in 18 fashionable colors so that matching with your entire team is easy. You can also get the ones that match the uniform used. They also come with a moisture management technology to help keep your legs cool and dry. The McDavid 6440 is made from compression fabric that grasps the wearer tightly for maximum comfort.
- Asics Unisex Slider – These unisex volleyball knee pads are made from an important blend for maximum efficiency. It is 15-percent rayon, 17-percent nylon, 29-percent polyester and 39-percent rubber. The high rubber content plays well with the fit and makes them fit enough, so you don’t have to worry about it. It also comes with an extra low-profile make for those players who aren’t comfortable with coverage higher up on the leg. The Asic unisex slider is also latex free, so it is perfect for those with allergies. It is also breathable because of the back mesh panel.
- Nike Essentials Volleyball Knee pads – The Nike brand comes in black and white. They also come with a low profile and are for players who want lower coverage. They also come with an interior core of high-density protective padding as well as an exceptional dri-fit liner. During game play, dri-fit offers players comfort and dryness they need to keep them pushing forward in the game. They usually come smaller than usual though, so it is best you go a size up when ordering.
13. How to Care for You Knee Pads
One thing you do need to be aware of for your or your child’s knee pads is how to care properly for them. You want your equipment to always be at its top performance, so you can be too. This is why knowing what to do after use is critical. Here are some care instructions that will help you to keep your pads ready for use and lasting as long as possible.
- Separate your wet things in your bag. Everyone has been there- they finish up an energetic and sweaty game and throw their things into the gym bag. It sits in the car or on the bedroom floor until you need it next. This is a great way from gaining two things: bacteria and smell. To stave both off, do yourself a favor and bring a plastic bag with you. When you take off your wet pads, throw them into a bag- alone. (Have a few plastic bags and separate everything wet.) When you get home, take everything out and let it dry.
- Don’t leave your pads laying in your bag long-term. This plays to the above problem. Bacteria loves damp and dark places. The last thing you want is to give them a place to breed and if you leave your bag unattended for long periods of time, that’s exactly what you’re giving them. After a game or after practice, be sure to let all of your wet equipment breathe by taking them out of your storage bag as soon as you possibly can. Give them a chance to dry. You also can turn them inside out to ensure that they dry in the areas where most dampness from sweat accumulates.
- Wash them frequently. You should gauge how often you use your pads and wash accordingly. You can easily throw them into your normal laundry, with no special care unless the manufacturer instructs. Parents should train kids to bring them to the laundry room so they are sure to be clean and ready for next use. After washing, they should be left to air dry and not put into dryer—this can damage the rubber and latex content and compromise snug fit. They also should never be returned to the gym bag until they are completely dry.
- Remember that it takes time to dry your pads. Speaking of dry…your knee pads have a lot of layers to them—the padding, the shell, the stitching and the extras. You want to be sure that all of them are thoroughly dry before you put them back into your bag and definitely before you put them on. Consider that a highly-padded pair can take up to 12-hours to dry! You likely can’t throw them into the wash on Monday night and expect to use them early Tuesday morning. If you find yourself in this predicament, you may want to invest in two and alternate.
- Hang outside for added protection. If the weather permits, consider hanging your just-cleaned pads outside in the sun. This can expedite the drying process and get you back on the court that much faster. The added benefit is that the sun’s heat will kill odor-causing bacteria that may be hanging around after the wash.
- Don’t put them on a heat source. Many people think that putting their pads on the heater or a direct heat source will dry them quicker. Granted, it might do that, but it also can damage the pads themselves. Remember that they are made of materials that don’t take well to high-heat. They easily can warp or lose shape with the wrong treatment.
- Hang them by a window. What you can do though is hang them by a window. Even if it is too cold outside, you can still take advantage of the sun via a window. The sun will do its job of cutting out the odor-causing bacteria and drying them. Just remember that bathrooms in general aren’t the best places to dry out anything. They tend to be too damp.
Always take care of your knee pads and teach your children the same. These practices will not only keep them efficient, but it will extend their lifespan and serve you for seasons to come.
When it comes to saving your knees from the repeated damage that work and exercise can cause, knee pads are the most important piece of equipment there is. Your legs do a lot of work for you, so you need to give them the support they require. Kneepads do not only protect your knees from future damage; they are also essential for those who have suffered an injury already. They will be crucial in the total healing process of your knees.
So this is all what you need to know about knee pads. In case you want good knee pads buy premium quality volleyball knee pads from VolleyCountry on Amazon. I guarantee you will love them.