Kneepads serve a protective and sometimes functional purpose in sports and professional work. They protect the knees from crashes, collisions, and falls in basketball, bicycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, or rollerskating. And they allow indoor volleyball players to slide to the ball with diminished risk of injury. Get the proper fit for optimal performance.
How to Measure for Knee Pads
To get knee pads that fit well and stay put during activity, you must take accurate measurements of your legs. In addition to your waist size, you need three other measurements — your thigh circumference just below the buttocks, your calf circumference at its widest point, and the distance from your waist to the floor.
Once you have these numbers, refer to a knee pad size chart to find the right fit. Most companies categorize sizes by Small/Medium/Large or similar designations. If you fall between two sizes, always choose the larger size, so the pads don’t slip down your legs during use.
You can use small strips of athletic tape around each leg at the appropriate measurement points to help you visualize where the pads will fall on your legs when worn. This is especially helpful when shopping online.
Should I Size Up Or Down For Knee Pads?
Deciding whether to size up or down for knee pads can be tricky. On the one hand, you want the knee pads to fit snugly so that they stay in place, but on the other hand, you don’t want them to be so tight that they constrict your movement.
The best way to determine the right size is to take your measurements and then consult the sizing chart of the brand you’re interested in. Keep in mind that every brand differs in its sizing, so it’s important to find one that offers a good fit for your specific body type.
If you’re short (shorter than 5’4″), you may want to size down so that the knee pads don’t come up too high on your thigh. Conversely, if you have large thighs, you may want to size up so that the knee pads have enough room to fit comfortably. Ultimately, it’s important to try on different sizes and styles until you find the perfect pair of knee pads for your needs.
Knee Pad Styles
Knee pads come in several different styles, each with pros and cons. If you play multiple sports or want a versatile set of pads that will work for several activities, look for a pair with detachable straps so you can adjust them as needed.
Wraparound knee pads offer good coverage and support but can be difficult to put on quickly. Slip-on knee pads often have an elastic sleeve that helps keep them in place but may ride up during use. Some athletes prefer hinged knee pads for maximum flexibility and mobility while providing good protection against falls and impacts.
Tips for Wearing Knee Pads
Whether you’re playing basketball, cycling, or just enjoying a game of tag with the kids, you can do a few things to ensure your knee pads stay in place and provide the level of protection you need. First, make sure the pads fit snugly but aren’t too tight — you should be able to bend your knees and move around freely without the pads slipping or bunching up.
Second, if your pads have straps, adjust them, so they’re tight enough to keep the pads in place but not so tight that they cut off circulation or are uncomfortable to wear. And finally, take a few minutes to get used to the feel of the pads before you start your activity. Once you’re moving around, they should feel like a natural extension of your legs.
Knee Pad Care
Proper care of your knee pads will help them last longer and continue to provide the protection you need. After each use, wash the pads with soap and water to remove sweat, dirt, and other debris. Allow them to air dry completely before storing them in a cool, dry place.
Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight or a hot car, as this can cause the material to break down and degrade more quickly. If your pads show signs of wear or no longer provide the level of protection you need, replace them with a new pair.
Your knee pads can provide years of protection and support with proper care and maintenance. You can enjoy your favorite activities without worry by taking the time to find the right fit and style for your needs.
By taking accurate measurements and referring to a size chart, you can find knee pads that protect your knees without sacrificing mobility or comfort. Choose a style that fits your needs and budget, and don’t forget to adjust the straps for a custom fit.
Whether you’re playing basketball, skateboarding, or putting tiles on the floor, knee pads can help reduce your risk of injuries so you can enjoy your favorite activities worry-free.