Now, knee pads might sound like something your mom only made you wear when you were rolling blading as a kid but, believe it or not, they’re actually a useful investment as an adult, with all kinds of diverse purposes. Whether you need them for protection at work or just to cushion your aching joints when you do physical activity at home, they’re worth the money if you get the right ones.
We find that the best options we can usually rustle up are available for purchase online, which lets us to all kinds of research and feature comparisons beforehand. That’s why we’ve been gathering links to the nest knee pads we could find.
What kinds of knee pads are there?
Depending on what you’re purchasing your knee pads for, there are all kinds of different types that might work for you. Some are hard shelled around the knee for surface protection while others are more flexible and better for movement. Some knee pads are made with comfortable foams and gels for comfort and cushion while others feature strong straps and more leg coverage to provide your leg with more steady support when you’re moving of lifting things.
What are the best knee pads?
If you’re feeling like you could use some help determining which knee pads are the best option for you, check out this pros and cons style outline of the nine best options we found in our search.
If you’re looking for a pair of durable pads that would work for doing heavy home improvements or simply kneeling in your garden, then you might like this set from Ce’ Cerdr. These are made from extremely durable materials, feature gripping but easy to work straps that sit tightly, and contain a soft gel core in the centre of their durable, foam backed pads that gives you a little extra support right at the hardest point of pressure.
Because the hard shells on the outside are made of hard plastic and not a gripping rubber, it’s worth noting that the material might slide a little on certain hard, shiny surfaces. This can influence their ability to give you lots of support in those circumstances.View price on Amazon
- Easy to use, adjustable, well gripping straps
- Foam backings for comfort
- Gel core at the centre of the inside for extra impact support
- Hard plastic outer shell is good protection but might also slide around on some surfaces, reducing solid support
Are you looking for a kind of knee pad that’s a little lighter and more flexible for movement than what you’ve seen so far, but you still want effective protection at the impact spots for safe comfort? Then this ultra-flex design from Sellstrom might appeal to you the most. The primary difference between this design and others is the flexibility and freedom of movement provided by the hinged knee joint. This lets you bend your knees with more ease while still being protected.
Some previous buyers have noted that, after prolonged use, the place where the two halves of the pad overlap at the knee joint can separate a little when your knee is fully bent. If you’re working around something like small gravel, this can let rock or debris get inside the pad.View price on Amazon
- Soft but protective outer foam
- Steady, durable plastic at highest outer contact point
- Lined with soft, supportive foam inside
- Joint at knee allows easy movement
- Seam at knee joint can separate and let debris in after lots of wear
If you’re looking for a design that will give you a little more thigh support but without completely restricting movement around the backs of your legs, then you might have a better experience with this knee pad set from Thunderbolt. Its thick and supportive band around the top in combination with its adjustable straps ensures extra lift for your thigh while a foam and gel combination keeps your knee comfortable behind a hard plastic and rubber non-slip protective outer shell.
Although the straps are reported as being comfortable and having great grip, some previous buyers found them a little too short, which was limiting since they are not extendable past a rather normatively sized point and the brand doesn’t sell extenders.View price on Amazon
- Non-slip rubberized front contact points
- Pressure absorbing foam and gel
- Non-slip straps
- Increased thigh support
- Straps are on the shorter side even at their fully adjusted length and therefore only fit some leg sizes
Have you actually never liked the feeling of tight upper and lower straps around your legs, nor ever had any luck with “non-slip” straps, so you’ve been holding out for a design that doesn’t involve straps at all? Then we’re pretty sure Bodyprox has just the design for you. These thick foam knee pads come encased in a strong, stretchy, and flexible neoprene that slides around your lets and up to your knees like a sock, cushioning and supporting the fronts and backs of your legs.
Despite the extreme comfort these knee pads provide, some people who have tested them out found that they were restricting on some leg sizes and slipped down pants material on others.View price on Amazon
- High comfort and pressure absorption
- Freedom from constricting straps
- Good flexibility
- Though the sleeves on the foam pads are comfortable, they’re also not adjustable and therefore might slide on some people
If you were almost convinced by the design above for its flexibility and materiality but you’re also pretty intent on having at least a little bit of adjustability, then maybe you’d prefer this similar bit slightly altered design from JYSW. These pads give you the same kind of neoprene and absorbent foam combination but this time, you’ll also be able to adjust the tightness of the pads’ grip thanks to Velcro straps located at the back, making them a little more adjustable.
Despite the convenience of adjustability as far as these straps are concerned, some people found that if they weren’t very careful taking them on and off, the clingy side of the Velcro often stuck to the neoprene at the back and damaged its texture.View price on Amazon
- Soft and impact absorbent foam
- Flexible, breathable neoprene
- Adjustable straps
- Velcro grips can cause fuzzing of neoprene texture around the back
Are you an active athlete who is looking for protection at the fronts of your knees but also as much support as you can get for the muscles all up and down your legs around your knees as well? Then we think you might enjoy the way McDavid built these slide-on, super supportive knee pads that give you durable support down the front thanks to rubberized foam and extra muscle-boosting all the way around thanks to micro-neoprene that provides compression.
It’s worth noting that some previous buyers found the sizing options offered by this brand to run on the small side, not allowing for as much stretch and give as purported by their sizing charts. You might consider upping a size or two before purchasing.View price on Amazon
- A perfect balance of flexibility and supportive compression
- Protective foam pads protect both the knees and shin tops
- Gripping material on the inside keeps the pads from sliding down
- Inaccurate sizing has resulted in many cases of exchange, since sizes fit smaller than average scale
Is your interest in knee pads a little less work and industrial based and quite a bit more casual because you’re hoping to use them to ease the pressure in your knees when you’re gardening? Then these simple foam and elastic pads from NoCry might really be all you need. They’re made from a kind of foam that’s strong enough to prevent bruising but soft enough to give you comfort, while the elastic straps around the back give you adjustable flexibility.
Although it’s tempting to strap the elastics very tightly indeed around your legs to prevent the pads from sliding down, we’d caution you against overdoing it. Some people have found that, because the straps have such a tight elasticity, they tend to pull uncomfortably if you strap them on too tightly.View price on Amazon
- Soft, impact absorbing foam for comfort
- Durable surface to withstand use around the house or in the garden without cracking or punctures
- Non-slip elastic of the straps prevents sliding
- Very tight elasticity of the straps can become uncomfortable quickly if you fasten them too tightly
Are you actually still scrolling through our list thinking about how much you liked the idea of investing in a set of knee pads that offers a little bit of extra thigh support but you never like settling for the first brand you see, so you’re hoping to check out more than one version of that similar design? Then this offer from Rexbeti is a great one to analyze. It gives you hard but rubberized, non-slip outer pads, comfortable gel and foam inner pats, and a reinforced padded strap at the top for extra support.
Although the pads are sewn with a bend seam between the hard fronts and the reinforced top strip, some people still found these pads a little bit chunky and slightly hampering in their movement.View price on Amazon
- Non-slip fronts
- Reinforced thigh strap for extra support
- Gel core and foam inner combination for extra comfort
- Slightly stiff and bulky design can inhibited easy knee bending
Did we really catch your attention when we talked about things like thigh support because you need knee pads at your construction job and you’re looking for something even more durable and stabilizing to benefit the heavy lifting you do? Then you might prefer this longer, more full coverage design from Gelfit. While the hard plastic of the front absorbs texture and pressure and the rubberized layer stops sliding, the gel and foam inner layers take on some of the weight for your pressure points and the upper and lower straps give your muscles above and below some supportive compression. The hinge at the knee also helps you bend with more comfort.
Despite the helpful hinge we’ve just mentioned, occasional previous buyers have found this knee pad design a little bit heavy and cumbersome. Their durability and protection is remarkable but maneuvering in them can take some getting used to.View price on Amazon
- Durable, protective, non-slip outer layers
- Comfortable, pressure absorbing inner layers
- Compression based thigh support and a hinge for easier knee bending
- Bulky design and weighty materiality makes moving in these pads a learning experience despite the knee hinge
Why buy knee pads?
Durable, all-purpose knee pads are made with comfortable, supportive materials that cushion your joints against hard surfaces and give them support when you’re kneeling for long periods of time in order to reduce pain. They can also protect you from scratches and bruising if you’re kneeling to work on a hard or very textured floor. Knee pads are useful for people who are:
- Working in construction sites
- Doing their own home renovations
- Playing sports or doing other high impact activities like paintball
- Kneeling to garden
Wearing your knee pads
Most high quality knee pads come with instructions for properly putting them on and wearing them, and we’d definitely suggest following those closely the first time you put the pads on. This way, you’ll know where, how, and how tightly the straps should sit on your leg to get the most protection and support out of the pads. You’ll also see where on your knee the pads should actually sit to provide you with the most comfort.
Cleaning your knee pads
If you’re only wearing your knee pads sometimes and for short periods of time, they might just need a wipe down here and there on their outer surfaces when they get dusty. This is easily done with a cloth, a wet paper towel, or something like a Lysol wipe. If you wear them often and for long hours at a time, however, you’ll want to air out the insides as well, and think about giving them a light spritz with anti-bacterial spray. This will stop them from getting musty if you sweat while you wear them. It will also help them last longer.
Do you know a busy DIY enthusiast whose jobs or hobbies are tough on their body, so they’ve been thinking about investing in a new pair of durable knee pads?