Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Welcome to our big knee pad test 2022. Here we present all the knee pads we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best knee pads for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy knee pads.




Summary

  • Knee pads are especially recommended for beginners, as they offer effective protection against abrasions or fractures in the knee area. Professionals should also always make sure that they have adequate protective clothing.
  • In addition to the knees, the wrists, elbows and head should also be equipped with the appropriate protective clothing before you set off.
  • When buying, pay particular attention to the right size. Otherwise the protector will not fulfil its protective function. Knee pads are available for both adults and children.

The Best Knee Pads: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying knee pads

Why do I need knee pads?

As with any sport, roller skating involves a certain risk of injury. A fall can happen quickly and without the right protective clothing can quickly lead to painful abrasions of the skin or even worse injuries.

Gruppe beim inlineskaten

Knee pads not only protect against abrasions and injuries in the event of a fall, but also relieve the strain on the joints during sporting activities. Therefore, it is absolutely recommended not to do without knee pads during inline skating, for example. (Photo: tassilo111 / pixabay.com)

The knees are particularly in need of protection, as they are usually the first part of the body to take a fall.

Knee pads and other protective clothing are strongly recommended, especially for adults in the beginner’s stage or for children, as falls are not uncommon, especially at the beginning of training.

But even professionals should always make sure they have the necessary protective clothing. A fall can happen quickly and painful experiences can be easily and effectively prevented with the right protective clothing.

What is a knee pad and what is it for?

The knee pad is fastened around the knee and is intended to protect the joint from blows and the surrounding skin from abrasions in the event of a fall.

In addition, a knee pad can also act as a support so that the stress on the joint is minimised during exercise.

How do I find the right knee pad size?

As with roller skates, buyers of knee pads should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Some retailers and manufacturers provide size charts.

If no such chart is available, it is best to contact the dealer or manufacturer. Please include the circumference of your thighs so that they can help you as quickly as possible.

How much do knee pads cost?

The cost depends mainly on the quality and the brand. The cheapest knee pads start at around eight to ten euros. Top brand products or knee pads made of particularly high-quality material start at around 20 euros.

Knee pads for roller skating are usually available in sets. These protector packages usually include hand and elbow pads. The price of these sets also depends on the desired quality and the respective brand.

Who are knee pads suitable for?

Knee pads are suitable for recreational roller skaters as well as for professional athletes. The higher the degree of use, the more attention should be paid to quality and the materials used when deciding on a purchase.

Knee pads are available for both adults and children.

Decision: What types of knee pads are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between two types of knee pads:

  • Soft protectors
  • Hard protectors

Soft protectors consist of a supple combination of textile and padding that supports your knee, protects against impacts and can prevent burns or abrasions.

Hard protectors have a shell made of plastic or hard plastic in addition to the soft padding. This makes them particularly resistant and protects your joints even on hard and rough surfaces.

How does a soft protector work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Soft protectors are attached to your leg by a tight-fitting textile fabric. You can think of them as a sock for your knee that you have to slip on and that stays in place just because of its narrow fit.

Soft protectors are generally lighter and smaller than hard protectors. They interfere with your movements much less than the bulky plastic protectors.

On slippery surfaces, they protect you from bruises in the event of a fall. And the extremely painful rubbing of the skin on plastic surfaces can also be avoided with these practical helpers.

Advantages
  • Particularly small, therefore do not hinder movement
  • Supportive function due to tight fit
  • Adapt to movement
Disadvantages
  • Not sufficient protection on hard surfaces

Soft protectors are therefore particularly popular with indoor athletes. Especially in volleyball, where daredevil jumps and deep lunges are often necessary, many players resort to knee pads. But the protectors also help to protect your knee when playing handball, indoor football or indoor skating or in the halfpipe.

Thanks to special padding, the tight-fitting protectors can provide your knee with additional stability and thus prevent not only bruises and abrasions, but also injuries to the joint structure such as torn ligaments.

But be careful: Only orthopaedic bandages really support your knee and help prevent deep tissue damage.

How does a hard protector work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Many hard protectors have a textile tube that is very similar to a soft protector. Other models do without the fixation by the textile and instead use only Velcro straps to attach the knee protector to the leg.

What all hard protectors have in common, however, is the anatomically adapted shell made of solid plastic, which does not deform in a fall and thus offers a rigid protection zone for your knee.

You should use hard protectors if you play a sport on very hard and rough surfaces. Their classic application is outdoor inline skating; here they not only prevent abrasions, but also help protect your joints from dangerous bumps.

Advantages
  • Strong protection even on hard surfaces
  • Thick padding
  • Protection from sharp objects
Disadvantages
  • Relatively large
  • May interfere with movement

Just imagine how painful and long-lasting the injury would be if you were to fall with your knee on a sharp stone or an asphalt edge without a suitable protector.

Protectors are just as useful for inline skating as they are for other outdoor activities such as skateboarding, BMX or mountain biking.

In addition to knee pads for sports, there are also pads for construction work or gardening. These are also usually hard protectors.

The special work models are designed for long kneeling on hard or uneven ground and therefore have an extra thick padding layer.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate knee pads

In the following paragraphs we would like to show you which factors you can use as a guide when you want to buy knee pads. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a product is suitable for your needs or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Hard / soft protector
  • Breathability
  • Additional lateral protection
  • Closure type
  • Padding
  • Size

In the following text we would like to explain to you what the individual purchase criteria are and how you can classify them.

Hard / soft protector

If you skate outdoors, i.e. on the street, you should always make sure that your knee pads are hard protectors. Only these offer protection against abrasions and fractures.

Soft protectors usually only consist of padding and are therefore not made for rough and hard surfaces, as they wear out quickly and do not protect as well against impacts.

Soft protectors are generally more suitable for indoor sports, such as volleyball or dancing. Under certain circumstances, they may also be sufficient for roller skating disco.

However, hard protectors are usually recommended for roller skating. They are a little more uncomfortable to wear, but offer much more protection. A hard protector is characterised by the particularly firm outer shell, which is usually made of hard plastic and is attached in front of the knee.

Breathability

Many manufacturers use breathable materials for their protectors, which are air-permeable but still offer optimal protection.

This design prevents you from sweating too much under your knee pads. This is not only more comfortable for the wearer, but also prevents the pad from slipping.

Additional lateral protection

Most protectors are designed to protect your knee if you fall forward. However, there are now models that also protect the knee against blows from the side.

This is especially useful if you fall sideways or collide with an obstacle.

Closure type

There are many different types of closures for protectors. The most common is the Velcro fastener, because it allows you to put it on and take it off quickly and still guarantees a tight fit.

With knee pads, it is especially important that they stay in place and do not simply slip out of place in the event of a fall. Otherwise the protective effect is lost.

When buying knee pads, make sure that they fit tightly and do not come undone by themselves. However, the fasteners should not be so tight that they cut in.

It is also important for a good fit that the knee protector has at least one fastener above and one below the knee.

Padding

The knee pad should always be filled with enough padding material on the inside. Although the hard outer shell absorbs the impact, it is the padding that provides the necessary shock absorption.

In addition, good padding also ensures a comfortable fit and increased wearing comfort.

Size

Knee pads only offer effective protection if you buy them in the right size. When choosing a size, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Many manufacturers and retailers use size charts to indicate which size is ideal for whom. In most cases, the knee circumference is given. In this case, you should measure your knee circumference yourself and then compare it with the table.

Knee circumference Approximate body weight Size
less than 30 cm under 50 kg XS
30 – 35 cm 50 – 60 kg S
35 – 40 cm 60 – 80 kg M
40 – 45 cm 80 – 100 kg L
more than 45 cm over 100 kg XL

Some manufacturers also use weight classes in their size specifications.
If in doubt or if there are no tables, ask the manufacturer or dealer directly.

Facts worth knowing about knee pads

What other sports can I use knee pads for?

Knee pads are used in a number of other sports to protect the knee joint.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Basketball
  • Ice hockey
  • Ice skating
  • Cycling
  • Volleyball
  • Dancing
  • Skating
  • Snowboarding

Whether a knee pad is suitable for several sports or only one specific sport should always be clarified before purchase. Knee pads for indoor sports, such as volleyball or basketball, are usually not suitable for skating on the street, as they offer too little protection or slip too easily.

If there is no information about the intended use, always ask the manufacturer or the dealer.

Sport Type of knee pads Necessity
Skating Hard protector Since you reach very high speeds when skating, knee pads are necessary. In the event of a fall, they can prevent serious injuries. A combination of hand protectors, knee pads and hero is recommended here.
Volleyball Soft protector Knee pads are definitely an advantage in volleyball but not absolutely necessary. It depends on the playing style of the individual player. Women, for example, wear knee pads more often than men, as men tend to prefer the so-called dive (where you do not fall directly on your knees).
Basketball Knee bandage Since you don’t fall down on purpose in basketball, knee bandages are often used here. These are intended to stabilise and relieve the knee.
Ice hockey Hard protector Longer leg protectors are used in ice hockey. These protect not only the knee but also the shin.

Can I make my own knee pads?

No, knee pads should not be made by yourself.

Although there are instructions on the Internet for such self-constructions, they are not advisable. A homemade knee pad will never provide the protection and safety that a purchased product from a sporting goods manufacturer offers.

What additional protective clothing should I buy?

In addition to a pair of knee pads, you should also wear a helmet to protect your head from impact. Elbow pads and hand guards are also recommended in case you have to take a fall with your arms or hands.

Professional athletes on roller skates often need additional protection. For example, in roller hockey or roller derby, a mouthguard is often worn to protect the teeth.

None of these protective measures are required by law. However, they are always recommended because they are the only thing that effectively protects your skin and joints from serious injury.

How long can I use my knee pads?

It is best to quickly check the condition of your pads after every ride. Pay particular attention to deep cracks or breaks in the hard protector and damage to the fastening straps.

Most manufacturers do not specify a best-before date for their protectors. Therefore, you should at least check after every fall whether your protectors have any damage that could impair their protective function.

This includes, for example, deep cracks or breaks in the hard outer shell of the protector. It is also possible that the hard protector is detached from the soft padding of the protector. This also means that your knee is no longer optimally protected.

You should also always check the fasteners. If they are brittle, torn or so worn out that the protectors no longer fit tightly, you should buy a new pair of knee pads.

If you are not sure whether your knee pads are still usable, you can ask the manufacturer or your local sports shop.

Photo source: 123rf.com / 106906426

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