We looked at several volleyball kneepads to find the ones that deliver the best fit, comfort, value, and provide enough padding and protection for your knees. We kept the different requirements and positions players and parents may have in mind, such as the best kneepads for liberos, setters, and youth players.
Best Volleyball Knee Pads
- Best Overall: Mizuno LR6, “Takes the award for best knee pads due to their combination of protection, fit and design.”
- Runner-Up: Nike Essentials Volleyball Knee Pads, “If you’ve struggled to find a pair of kneepads that are comfortable to wear on court, the Nike Essentials may just be what you are looking for”
- Best for Setters: ASICS Setter Knee Pads, “As their name suggest, the ASICS Setter Knee Pads are particularly great for setters.”
- Best for Youth: Mizuno T10 Plus, “Designed with smaller players in mind with an adjusted sleeve length and width to accommodate shorter and thinner legs.”
4 Top-Rated Knee Pads for Volleyball
Top Pick: Mizuno LR6 Volleyball Kneepad
Great protection, fit, and design without limiting movement
The Mizuno LR6 takes the award for best knee pads due to their combination of protection, fit and design. They provide great protection not only on the front, but also on the sides. If you need to dig and dive a lot there will be no hesitation as you will feel safe in the knowledge that you will be protected as you go for the ball.
They are also designed to allow greater freedom of movement in mind without requiring constant adjustment like other kneepads might. This is another reason why these kneepads have proved popular with all players, but especially liberos.
Mizuno is one of the most trusted names in volleyball, and the LR6 provides everything a player needs while also being able to withstand lots of impact and frequent use.
Runner-Up: Nike Essentials Volleyball Knee Pads
These knee pads are all about comfort with their soft padding and Dri-FIT liner
The Nike Essentials Volleyball Knee Pads are all about comfort. If you’ve struggled to find a pair of kneepads that are comfortable to wear on court, the Nike Essentials may just be what you are looking for.
The Dri-FIT liner allows moisture to escape, keeping you cool and helping to avoid bad smells, discomfort, and rashes. Their low-profile design enables you to move around with court without any restriction in your movement.
Protection is also great due to being made out of high-density foam that is also soft to further enhance comfort.
Best for Setters: ASICS Setter Knee Pad
A great option for setters
They utilize a Gel Cushioning system that is placed in high-impact areas to better absorb shock and impact for better protection.
The kneepads are anatomically designed for the left and right knee, which isn’t always the case with other manufacturers where a kneepad can be worn on either side. This enhances fit, comfort, and performance.
One thing to note is that ASICS take a one size fits all approach with these.
Best for Youth: Mizuno Youth T10 Plus Kneepad
Designed specifically with youth in mind for a better fit
If you’re specifically looking for a pair of kneepads for kids look no further than the Mizuno T10 Plus. They are designed with smaller players in mind with an adjusted sleeve length and width to accommodate shorter and thinner legs. The cut-off point is players who are no older 12 years old.
The T10 pads feel soft on the knees so your kid won’t complain about comfort while offering great coverage for protection in all areas.
Important Features to Consider
The amount of padding is one of the most important aspects to consider. The whole point of buying knee pads is to protect your knees, so make sure that there is a suitable amount of padding to get the job done.
Depending on your position, your needs may be different. If you dive more you will require more padding than other players on the court. Also think about how this might affect whether you need protection for the entire knee area or just the sides or front.
Durability ties in with the position you play and the amount of padding. You will of course want your knee pads to last a long time, be able to hold up after many practice sessions and games, and last for at least an entire season.
You don’t just want your knee pads to be highly breathable to prevent funky smells, but also to minimize the likelihood of any nasty rashes occurring. Some are designed with ventilation to allow moisture to escape while others are made of moisture wicking material – sometimes a knee pad incorporates both in its design. Either way, this is a key factor to consider.
Make sure you buy the right size kneepads. You don’t want them to be overly tight or loose, which will require constant adjustment in game. The best way to know which size you need is to measure the circumference of your knee. This is easy to do. Just grab a tape measure, wrap it around the leg at the middle of the kneecap while standing, and note the measurement. Generally, under 13.5” is small, 13.5”-15.5” is medium, and over 15.5” is large. Some manufacturers also offer x-large and xx-large sizes to cater to larger legs.’
Another way to determine the correct size is by your height. Nike, for example, recommend that XS/S is for 3’11” – 4’7”, M/L for 4’7”-5’3”, and XL/XLL for 5’3-5’11.
Are Kneepads Necessary for Volleyball?
Most Common Volleyball Knee Injuries
You may have been playing volleyball for a while and have been fortunate enough to not suffer any injuries. You may think what all the fuss is about and why bother to buy a volleyball ankle brace, pair of volleyball shoes, and knee pads. Well, here are some of the most common injuries in particular that can occur directly and indirectly to the knees if you don’t wear knee pads.
- Chondromalacia Patella: Suffering from chondromalacia patella is just about as fun as it is trying to spell. This occurs from injury or overuse. You won’t be able to play volleyball but more frustratingly every time you squat, kneel or generally just bend the knee pain will occur. This includes doing something as simple as using the stairs. Even surgery may be required.
- Jumper’s Knee: Patellar tendonitis, also more simply known as jumper’s knee, occurs when the stress of jumping causes the patella tendon to experience a rupture. After exertion, including playing volleyball, stiffness and aching may be felt.
- Meniscus Tears: A tear in the meniscus can occur from one of two ways: twisting the knee when squatting or after a direct blow to the knee. The latter can easily be prevented by buying a good pair of volleyball knee pads. Symptom may include the knee locking up, swelling and stiffness, the feeling that your knee will buckle, and a limited range of motion.
- Torn ACL: The most important knee ligament is the ACL – anterior cruciate ligament. This can occur when the knee has twisted or bended too far. You definitely don’t want to tear your ACL because it can keep you out for a long time and may require surgery depending on the severity.