There’s no doubt that volleyball can be hard on the body, especially on the elbows and forearms. A pair of volleyball elbow pads and arm sleeves are therefore a must.
What makes a great pair of volleyball elbow pads and arm sleeves, though?
Well, they should of course provide enough protection so you can comfortably go for those all-important plays with confidence, but also be comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time, even while you’re sweating away on court.
After plenty of evaluation, here are your best options.
3 Top-Rated Volleyball Elbow Pads
Top Pick: Mizuno MZO Elbow Pads
If there’s one name that you can trust in the world of volleyball, it’s Mizuno. Manufacturing everything from volleyball shoes and shorts to socks and backpacks, Mizuno has always been a brand volleyball players of all ages have relied on. The Mizuno MZO Elbow Pads are no exception.
Measuring 7.25″, the Mizuno MZO Elbow Pads provide full elbow coverage, are very well-padded, and give you the confidence to go for that important defensive play as you know that you will be protected every time.
Made from 85% polyester and 15% spandex, the elbow pads are breathable to enhance comfort and also move with you as you go for plays.
Best Soft Foam Elbow Pads: Tandem Sport Elbow Pads
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What separates the Tandem Sport Elbow Pads from other volleyball elbow pads is that they are made from soft foam. Not only does this make them lighter and more comfortable, but it also means that they are arguably a better choice for players who want the maximum amount of mobility to make plays.
There isn’t much tradeoff in terms of protection either, with players of all ages agreeing that they deliver enough padding to prevent bruising.
Most Sizing Options: HiRui Elbow Pads
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Due to their extensive sizing options, the HiRui Elbow Pads are suitable for everyone from young boys and girls all the way up to well-built, adult males.
The number of sizing options isn’t just what these elbow pads have going for them, though. They are generously padded, wick away moisture well, and conform to your elbow to allow for greater flexibility.
3 Top-Rated Volleyball Arm Sleeves
Best Overall: Mizuno Arm Sleeves
If the Mizuno Arm Sleeves are good enough for the U.S. National Volleyball Teams, then they’re probably good enough for you, or your son or daughter.
As the sleeves extend from the biceps to forearms, they are longer than others and therefore offer additional protection whether you’re blocking, digging, or passing.
Made from moisture-wicking material, they are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, and are great at regulating the temperature for better comfort on court.
Best for Kids: FitsT4 Volleyball Arm Sleeves
Available in either 10″ or 12″, the FitsT4 Volleyball Arm Sleeves are a particularly good choice for younger volleyball players and/or kids just getting into the sport.
The sleeves offer enough padding to take the sting out of the ball, are easy to put on and take off, and deliver a high level of comfort due to their stretchy and breathable design. Parents will also appreciate how the sleeves are easy to clean too.
Best for Training: Tandem Sport Passing Sleeves
Due to their printed target to help with proper ball contact, the Tandem Sport Passing Sleeves are a great choice for players who want to improve their game, especially for those who are just starting out.
Made of nylon and spandex, the sleeves aren’t as well-padded as other options, but should still provide enough protection for most young players. They slide on easily and are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
What is the Difference Between Volleyball Elbow Pads & Arm Sleeves?
Elbow pads and arm sleeves may look similar but they serve different purposes.
Elbow pads are generously padded to soften the impact of landing on your elbows. For liberos and defensive specialists, a good pair of elbow pads are a must as they will be spending a lot of time on the floor for those all-important digs and saves.
Arm sleeves aren’t as well-padded as elbow pads, and often don’t even cover the elbow either. They are primarily designed to help soften the impact and sting from repetitive ball contact, but are also useful for diving, as well as for sweat and temperature control, thereby enhancing comfort on court.
What to Consider When Buying Elbow Pads and Arm Sleeves for Volleyball
For elbow pads, the padding at the elbows is inevitably going to be important; the same applies to padding at the arms for arm sleeves. However, a good pair of elbow pads or arm sleeves shouldn’t be overly or under padded and should strike just the right balance between padding and mobility to allow a full range of movement on court.
- Age & Sizing Options
A one-size-fits-all approach can often work, but the most comfortable fit for a small kid and tall adult will inevitably be different. Therefore, having a selection of sizing options to choose from can be useful, especially if you’re buying online and not in person.
Volleyball elbow pads and arm sleeves aren’t the most expensive pieces of volleyball equipment, but you still want to make sure that they will hold up under frequent use.
In this article, we have made sure to only list products that have a proven track record of being well-made and are known to last.
Any volleyball player will tell you that elbow pads and arm sleeves that deliver excellent protection but restrict movement aren’t much use.
The best volleyball elbow pads and arm sleeves, therefore, allow for a full range of flexibility while also keeping your arms and elbows well-protected from bruising, while also taking the sting out of the ball.