It’s really easy to underestimate the importance of a good pair of knee pads – that is, until you get a knee injury, which is extremely likely in volleyball.
No matter how well-trained you are for volleyball, constant jumping is going to heavily tax your knee health, inevitably leading to excessive stress and injury.
Like with many things in our life, it would be best to prevent knee injury in volleyball rather than try to deal with it after the fact. And the best way to do so is by wearing knee pads.
And even if you did get an overuse injury, knee pads could help you protect your knees and assist with recovery.
As a volleyball coach myself, one of the first things I advise my athletes is to get a pair of knee pads. They are cheap and rather easy to choose, but they offer tremendous value in the long run.
In today’s guide, I will feature the 7 best volleyball knee pads for you to choose from. Hopefully, you’ll know which knee pads are the best for you by the end of this post. Even if not, you’ll find dozens of helpful tips down the line!
1. Under Armour Unisex Knee Pads - Overall Best Volleyball Knee Pads
- Advanced moisture wicking material keeps you cool...
- Lightweight, form fitting terry cloth volleyball...
- Right & left knee specific delivers maximum...
- Embroidered UA logo shows your preference for...
- Customizable locker tag allows for customized...
These volleyball knee pads from Under Armour are the best overall knee pads, in my opinion.
The Under Armour volleyball knee pads are fairly pricey but are of excellent quality. Not only that, but they would be the right choice for the player that wants to stay more mobile on the court. In particular, the lightness of these knee pads would be great for front players.
The protection in the Under Armour knee pads is pretty thin, which is why these knee pads are light and minimally restrict mobility. But if you want maximum protection, then skip these pads and go to my #2 pick.
The Under Armour knee pads are made right and left knee-specific to “deliver maximum protection”, according to Under Armour. So though the protection level in these knee pads isn’t too high, it seems to be well-optimized.
What I also like about the Under Armour volleyball knee pads is that they are made of a moisture-wicking material that keeps you dry and cool on the court.
The particular knee pads I based this review on are sized Large/X-Large, so they are good for big guys. You should be able to find other sizes as well.
In conclusion, if you want something high-quality and unrestrictive, the Under Armour volleyball knee pads might work great for you.
- Excellent quality.
- Provides lightweight protection.
- Great for taller players.
- High-end so a tad pricier than other options.
2. Mizuno LR6 - Best Protection In Volleyball Knee Pads
- VS-1 padding in high impact zone
- Complete patella, lateral, and medial protection
- Low-rise, no-fold design
- 6" sleeve length
- DynaMotion Fit: Based on 3DCG research to create...
If you don’t think that the Under Armour knee pads’ protection will cut it for you, have a look at the Mizuno LR6 knee pads. These knee pads offer the highest protection level on this list.
Just have a look at the padding in the front of these knee pads. It’s really thick, promising excellent impact absorption. The padding covers the patella and the lateral side of the knees, so it should provide all-around protection.
The LR6 knee pads are surprisingly flexible for their protection level as well thanks to the grooves in the padding. These seem to make the knee pads more mobile.
These volleyball knee pads are very stretchy as well since they contain 28% elastic material (Mizuno doesn’t specify the name of this material). Aside from that, the LR6 knee pads contain 50% polyester and 22% rayon.
Mizuno also offers 3 color options for the LR6 knee pads – black, navy, and white. This isn’t that big of a deal on the court, but it’s still notable because many other knee pads on the list only come in one color – typically, black.
In the end, if you want excellent knee protection, Mizuno LR6 knee pads should be just right for you.
- Thick protection.
- Very stretchy.
- Surprisingly flexible for its protection level.
- 3 color options.
- Not moisture-wicking.
3. ASICS Setter - Best Low-Profile Volleyball Knee Pads
ASICS Setter knee pads are ideal if you want something low-profile.
The highlight of the Setterpads is their low-profile design – they are noticeably shorter than many other knee pads on the list. Thanks to their shortness, the Setter knee pads should be less restrictive than traditional knee pads.
Another important feature in the ASICS Setter knee pads is the GEL cushioning system. The padding here is based on the same GEL technology used in ASICS footwear. If you’ve ever worn ASICS GEL shoes, you’ll know how good their impact absorption is.
The padding in the Setter knee pads isn’t too thick, but it provides a good level of protection without restricting the knee joint much.
Needless to say, the protection in the Setter knee pads is going to be lower than in something like Mizuno LR6. However, if your playstyle or position mandates quickness, the tradeoff is probably worth it.
The quality in Setter knee pads is great as well – just like in ASICS products in general.
In the end, if you want to stay more mobile on the court, the ASICS Setter knee pads are an excellent choice.
- Low-profile and light.
- Employs the ASICS GEL cushioning system.
- Pretty nice knee protection.
- 2 color options.
- Nothing to complain about.
4. Nike Essentials Knee Pads - Best Value For The Buck In Volleyball Knee Pads
- Low profile ergonomic high density protective foam...
- Simplified outer design for a minimalistic and...
- Improved interior Dri-Fit liner is more...
The Nike Essentials knee pads offer the best value on this list. For what you are getting, these knee pads are surprisingly cheap. And despite the low price, the quality here is solid, and so is comfort.
For me, the most important feature in the Nike knee pads is their moisture-wicking Dri-Fit liner – it keeps you dry and cool during practice or competition. This is a big deal because not all knee pads out there are moisture-wicking – even those that are noticeably more expensive than these knee pads.
When it comes to protection, the Nike Essentials knee pads are really minimalistic. The padding here is thin, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend these knee pads for players in the back. If you have to jump a lot or are prone to injuring your knees, you’ll probably have a bad time with the Nike knee pads.
On the other hand, if you want to stay mobile and quick on the court, then these knee pads should work nicely for you.
All in all, I think that the Nike Essentials knee pads are great for experienced and beginner players alike thanks to their great quality and attractive price.
- Really cheap for what they offer.
- Great value for the money.
- Light and flexible.
- Lower protection.
5. Mueller Multi-Sport Knee Pads - Best Knee Pads For Low Budgets
- Extra-long high density pads help protect against...
- Elastic material provides easy slide on and a...
- Extra-long elastic sleeve and high density pads...
- You will receive 1 pair of knee pads with purchase...
- ONE SIZE FITS MOST
If you are a beginner or just have a very limited budget, the Mueller multi-sport knee pads are a nice option. These knee pads are really inexpensive, and although the quality is accordingly weak-ish here, they are a steal for the money.
What’s particularly impressive in these knee pads for me is their protection. The padding is pretty dense and thick here, and it also covers the entire front of the pads. But the padding is also going to somewhat restrict mobility in the knee.
Thanks to its one-size-fits-most design, the Mueller knee pads should work for most people too. But I don’t think that they are an optimal choice for really big or really small players.
In conclusion, if you aren’t that demanding and just want something cheap, the Mueller knee pads should work just fine.
- Great for beginners.
- Rather nice level of protection.
- The quality here is weak-ish.
- The one-size-fits-most design probably won’t work for really small or big players.
6. Bodyprox Knee Pads - Best Knee Pads For Youth & Juniors
- Unisex design. Sold in pairs. High versatile,...
- Made of good composition: high-density strengthen...
- Has ergonomic design suited for adolescents who...
- Proven effective in protecting and preventing knee...
- Kids and Junior Youths are naturally active. When...
If you are looking for volleyball knee pads for your child, then these knee pads from Bodyprox should be a nice choice.
Bodyprox offers two size options for these knee pads – for 8-13 years old players and 13-18 years old players. Aside from that, these knee pads are affordable and are great for beginners.
What I also like about the Bodyprox knee pads is that they are fairly breathable thanks to their mesh-like fabric. The rather thick padding in the front should provide plenty of protection as well, while the non-slip interior lining should keep the knee pads secure on the knee.
One problem with the Bodyprox knee pads is that they may run small, but this is expectable for a one-size-fits-all product. This shouldn’t be that big of a problem though since your kid is likely to want more advanced knee pads soon anyway.
In the end, if you are looking for junior or youth knee pads, the Bodyprox knee pads are nice for getting started.
- Excellent for beginners.
- Junior and youth sizes available.
- Rather breathable.
- Might run small.
7. Nike Streak - Most Comfortable Volleyball Knee Pads
- Nike Streak Volleyball Knee Pad. Protective knee...
- Dri-FIT fabric to wick sweat away and help keep...
- Extra soft brushed interior lining adds comfort
- Lightweight and slim fitting design allows for...
- I.D. tag allows for personalization
The Nike Streak knee pads are comfy and easy to wear during heated games.
The highlight of the Streak knee pads is the soft brushed interior lining intended to keep the knees comfortable without affecting your mobility. The Dri-Fit fabric is moisture-wicking as well, so it will keep you dry and cool.
The Streak knee pads have fairly thick padding for added protection as well, but the lightweight and slim design minimizes interference and should keep you mobile on the court.
Nike Streak knee pads are available in 3 colors too, of which I like the volt color the most.
These knee pads are very attractively priced as well, so they deliver great value for the buck. Combined with the added comfort, the pocket-friendly pricing makes the Streak knee pads an overall great choice for volleyball players.
- Great protection.
- Soft interior lining for added comfort.
- 3 colors available.
- Runs a bit tight.
The Only Buying Guide You’ll Ever Need For Volleyball Knee Pads
Volleyball knee pads seem fairly simple, but there is more in them to consider than you might be thinking. Below, let’s try to better understand what makes a good pair of volleyball knee pads.
Protection & mobility
The primary purpose of a volleyball knee pad is to support and protect your knee from impact. Besides, knee pads will protect your knees from bruises and scratches, though this is secondary to impact protection.
With that, protection is the first thing you should pay attention to in volleyball knee pads. And along with it, you should consider mobility.
You see, the more protective knee pads are, the less mobile they make you on the court. So you’ll have to find the right balance of protection and agility depending on your needs.
Most of a knee pad’s protection is situated in the front – around the kneecap. The thicker and larger this area, the more protection and better impact absorption you are going to get. But accordingly, you are going to become less mobile on the court.
You should choose the protection level based on the following factors:
- Knee health. If your knees are recovering from an injury or are prone to injuries, you should get more protective knee pads.
- Your position. Back players dive often, so they should have more protection. As for front players, speed is generally more important for them.
- Your preferences. Consider your preferences too – if you want to stay mobile, then get thinner and lighter knee pads.
In terms of protection, I think that Mizuno LR6 volleyball knee pads are the best. They have thick protection yet are surprisingly mobile thanks to their sectioned padding.
Breathability & moisture wicking
You’ll sweat a lot during the game, so also consider breathability.
Knee pads are typically made of polyester. This is a durable material, but it isn’t that breathable. More breathable knee pads have mesh panels throughout their surface, as well as may have vent holes in them. Aside from that, note that more protective knee pads will likely be less breathable.
Moisture wicking is a nice thing to have in knee pads as well. Moisture-wicking knee pads will draw sweat away from your body, making you feel cool and dry. This is a very nice feature if you want minimal distraction on the court.
In terms of coolness and general comfort, the Nike Streak pads were perhaps the best on the list. This is thanks to their soft moisture-wicking interior lining.
Size, fit, and stretchiness
Your volleyball knee pads should fit snugly but not so tightly that they cause discomfort or disrupt blood flow. On the other hand, they shouldn’t be too loose as well. Large knee pads won’t provide adequate protection and will tend to come off the knee all the time.
Brands typically provide size charts to make sizing knee pads easier. You’ll need to measure the circumference above and below the knee to make the right choice.
When it comes to fit, stretchiness is also important to consider. A stretchier knee pad will fit a wider range of knee circumferences, but it also will provide less support.
To make knee pads stretchy, manufacturers typically add elastane to them. Elastane is the same as spandex or Lycra. The more elastane your knee pads have, the stretchier they will be.
In my opinion, you should find a good balance of stretchiness for your own needs. Lack or excess of elasticity are both bad – the knee pads will feel too tight and too loose on your knees respectively.
How the knee pads are put on
The typical knee pads require that you step through them and pull them onto your knee. Some knee pads instead have Velcro straps, allowing you to more easily put them on.
Which knee pad style to choose comes down to personal preference, but in terms of durability, protection, and support, Velcro straps are the inferior option. However, what’s nice about them is that they allow you to adjust the fit of the knee pads. And they’re also easier to put on, as I mentioned earlier.
Finally, pay attention to the fabric composition of the knee pads. This is important not only in terms of performance but also in terms of allergies. If you are allergic to specific fabrics, basically make sure that your knee pads don’t have any such fabrics.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can you get volleyball knee pads?
If there are any sports stores in your area, then you should be able to find knee pads there. Alternatively, shop on Amazon or any other online retailer that has sports products.
Online shopping is nice since you have more options and get access to exclusive deals. But you can’t check the quality and fit of the knee pads before buying them. So you’ll have to decide what’s right for you – online or local shopping.
What size knee pads should I get?
This depends on the circumference above and below your knee. Each brand has its own size charts for knee pads, so you should consult them to make the right choice.
Is volleyball bad for your knees?
Knee injuries are very common in volleyball. In fact, it’s the most common injury in this sport – more than 40% of high-level players injure their knees due to overuse. Jumping is the primary cause of knee injury in volleyball.
Where should volleyball knee pads be placed?
The knee pads should be placed slightly below the kneecaps. The pads should only cover the bottom of the kneecap.
How tight should volleyball knee pads be?
The knee pads should be snug, but without any discomfort. Your knee pads also should be sitting on your knees securely, without you having to readjust them all the time.
If you have any experience with knee pads, then I’d like to hear more – leave your thoughts in the comments below!
No matter what, be sure to understand your needs and choose knee pads accordingly. If your knees are prone to injuries, then definitely buy something that offers more protection. On the other hand, if you need mobility, then go for as little protection as your knee health allows you.
In the end, remember – knee pads in volleyball are a must for long-term knee health. Make sure to buy knee pads as soon as you can to secure your knees and hopefully prevent injuries.