It is very important to use knee pads or knee guards in sports like football, basketball, volleyball as well as in different action and extreme sports like skateboarding, rollerblading, BMX, MTB etc. But even though we need to use the knee pads it doesn’t mean that it is easy to choose the right ones because not only there are pads and guards made from different materials, but they also come in variety of styles and sizes. So to make your decision a little easier let me tell you about what you need to look for when you are choosing your knee guards.
The first thing you need to determine when choosing new knee pads is for what you will be using them as this will probably be the most important thing that determines which knee guards you need. If you need the pads for playing sports like basketball, football, rugby or any other similar game then you need to think about buying pads without a hard shell in front of them. Although the hard shell does add extra protection to your knees it also can cause problems when you perform certain motions so choose soft fabric knee pads for contact sports. When it comes to action sports or should I say extreme sports like skateboarding and biking where the knee injuries usually happen because of falls here you should think about knee pads with hard plates in front of your knee caps. These hard plates that most often are made from plastic will prevent you from scraping your knees but also will prevent you for breaking your bones as they have padding on the inside of them that is specially made to absorb large shocks. But if you need knee guards for things like construction work or gardening for example then you can chose the pads that best suit your style.
So the next category that you need to consider is the material that is used to make the front of the knee pad. There are four main materials that manufacturers use to cover the front of the knee pad – some kind of fabric, plastic, leather and metal. I am talking about the material used to craft the outer layer of the knee pad because this too can determine where you will use your knee pads. If the outer layer of the pad is made from fabric then the knee pad will be softer and will be fitted to your leg. Knee pads with plastic plates won’t be as fitted but will provide better protection to your knees. The leather knee pads too give quite good protection but also add a certain style to the person who is wearing the leather knee pad. And lastly knee pads with metal plates are geared more towards those who drive motorcycles and who can experience a situation when their knees not only receive a blow but it happens at a larger speed diving the impact added force because metal knee pads are highly durable and abrasion resistant. So think about the purpose your knee pads will serve and then choose the material of the knee pads accordingly.
Next up is the padding or cushioning of the knee pad. There are many different knee pad and knee guard paddings available but let me tell you about the few of most common ones. The first padding that is very often used in knee pads of different kind is foam padding. This type of padding is firm and can very efficiently absorb blows however because foam padding usually is uniform it can also be inefficient if you manage to fall so that the foam padding shifts and doesn’t absorb any of your fall. Then there are knee guards with padding that is made from specially formulated gel. This gel is more efficient that foam because gel not only is able to shift with your movements and adjust to the way your knee bends but it also won’t restrict you movements as much as foam padding would so you won’t feel like you have something on top of your knees but they will still be protected. And lastly there are different kinds of regular padding made from fabric type material. Although this type of padding might not be the most efficient at absorbing shocks they are a lot softer on your knees which will be great for those who need knee pads as cushioning when they have to do something kneeling as well as those who need to be able to move freely. And even if you use these knee pads in sports like volleyball or basketball they will still you give a lot of support and protection so that you can prevent injury.
Then you might want to also think about the style of knee pads you want. Because there are so many knee pad manufacturers now and they each offer a bit different style of knee pads you really have a huge choice in this department. There are shorter knee pads with multiple different designs that will cover just your knee and the immediate area around it and then there also are longer knee pads that in addition to covering you knee will also cover your shin, thigh and maybe even your calf if it is long enough. And then these longer knee pads will give additional support to your leg so that you can do different activities even better and not worry about pulling a muscle in your leg. Of course the style of knee pads also are determined from the type of padding and protection plate the knee ad has but I already briefly told about this in previous paragraphs. And also different style knee pads use different base materials from polyester to neoprene so you can also fit this aspect of knee pads to your liking.
And lastly you also need to choose the right size of knee pad so that it fits to your leg just right because if the knee pad will be too loose or too tights it can actually not protect your knee properly. A common trait in knee pads is that they tend to come in a one size fits most sizing meaning that the same knee pad should fit many different people. Although knee pads with this sizing can be great for those who use the knee pads for everyday or lighter activities because in this case you don’t need the perfect fit, if you are planning to use the knee pad for sports then I would definitely recommend buying knee pad that comes in multiple sizes and then chose the size that best corresponds to the measurements of your leg. This way you will ensure that all parts of the knee pad fits snuggly to your leg and will stay in place to protect your knee when it will be needed.