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With all the diving, rolling, and sliding inherent with volleyball, injuries can be deceptively common. Whether young or old, investing in shorts with hip pads to wear while playing can give you the confidence to do your best and protect your body from bumps, hits, and bruises on the court.
So, what is the best volleyball shorts with hip pads? The best volleyball shorts with hip pads are the Storeli Women’s New 2.0 for their elite hip padding placement, molded thigh pads, tailbone protection, and breathability. Despite their labeling (‘women’s), these shorts can be used unisex and features a pocket for a protective cup. Just remember to size up for men’s.
Not using shorts with hip pads can lead to bruising and in the worst cases, broken hips. While this is uncommon for younger players, older players may find the addition of shorts like the Storelis – with compression qualities that additionally help support your muscles – almost invaluable. Remember: injury prevention is always better than the cure.
In this article, I’ll discuss:
- Four of the best shorts with hip pads for volleyball
- What to wear with padded undershorts
- How to determine if you might need padded shorts
4 Factors to Consider When Buying Padded Shorts
Padded shorts typically come in two styles: “undershorts” (worn under shorts or other clothes) or “overshorts” (which function as outerwear). To avoid any mix ups, remember to check the intended style of your product before ordering. Usually though, it will be obvious.
It might be embarrassing if you turn up to a match wearing what is essentially underwear. At the end of the day, both styles will give you good protection for what you need, and while I personally prefer the undershorts style, it’s just personal preference.
The next big factor to consider is padding.
Everybody knows about kneepads and how useful they are, but they have a very easy job as padding goes: they just cover the whole knee. Hips (and by extension, thighs) are a much bigger area though, and necessitate a different approach.
The arrangement of padding matters.
The most protected shorts would be the ones that simply pad the entire garment in layers of deep, soft foam, right? Perhaps, but that would restrict your movement and not support the areas that actually need it. While some companies use this approach, the best options target specific areas to protect and reinforce to provide the best performance.
Consider what parts of your body you want to protect: your hips, tailbone, thighs, or all of the above.
Different options exist to cater to the needs of different individuals, and the padded shorts that you need may be different from someone else’s. Bear this in mind while searching for the ones you want, or if you just want an excellent all-around one, follow my best recommendation (the Storeli’s)!
Durability for volleyball is important. The running joke is that volleyball is a contact sport . . . with the floor. There’s a lot of truth to that.
Our bodies are going to get a beating when playing volleyball, and that impact and friction force will directly translate to any clothes we’re wearing. While volleyball jerseys accommodate this by being very thin and having very low friction, padded garments need to be more durable to bear the brunt of the forces we endure.
It’s worth noting that undershorts style padded shorts typically last a little longer than overshorts, since their material is protected from the floor by a layer of your actual shorts on top. Their pads will still take a beating though, so a tough, molded padding matrix is preferred.
Last but not least, comfort! This is more of a sizing thing than anything for this kind of product, but if you’re going to wear something to prevent your body from hurting in other ways, you might as well enjoy wearing it as well.
I find that the most comfortable kinds of undershorts have compression short qualities woven in, which offers additional benefits to the padding protection.
4 Best Shorts With Hip Pads
The four best volleyball shorts with hip pads are:
- Storeli Women’s New 2.0
- Bodyprox Men’s Protective Undershorts
- Zoombang Female Volleyball Shorts ZB with Pelvic, Hip, and TB Pads
- TUOY Men’s Cycling Shorts
It has elite hip padding placement, molded thigh padding, and breathability.New: $64.99
The best shorts with hip pad protection for volleyball overall are the Storeli Women’s New 2.0 shorts for their elite hip padding placement, molded thigh padding, and breathability.
These shorts are everything that a player may need for comprehensive hip, pelvis, and thigh protection while playing. With professional strength pads that absorb up to 90% of impact force, protecting against cuts, bruises, and contusions as well, these shorts can be used for many other sports and activities beyond volleyball, such as soccer (their featured sport).
The molded thigh padding on the Storeli’s is a real game changer in my opinion, making them sleeker and more natural-feeling than other brands or options on the market. The placement of padding is also perfect: minimalistic so as to not get in the way, but aptly reinforcing the key areas of upper thighs and tailbone to prevent undue damage to those areas.
It’s easy to forego comfort when playing up protection, but these shorts do not and provide great breathability and compression qualities, supporting your leg muscles and joints while you play. If you’re self-conscious about wearing pads, the Storeli’s are sleek enough to wear basketball shorts on top too.
If that wasn’t enough, the Storeli’s are safely machine washable, so there’s no uncertainty on what to do with them when dirty, or putting off the unsatisfying task of cleaning. Just throw them in the wash with your other kit (and kneepads!) and you’ll be good to go. For someone like me, who doesn’t have a lot of spare time or energy to handwash things, this aspect is a definite winner.
One area to highlight, though, is while these shorts are labeled towards women (on Amazon), they are truly unisex. Because of this, they run small as men’s sizes go, and any prospective male buyers should look to size up before purchasing. Check the included chart to confirm sizes though.
- Great protection
- Sleek, molded padding
- Compression short qualities
- Machine washable
- Good breathability
- Conspicuous padding
- Confusing sizing (for unisex)
Known for their shock-absorbing EVA foam cushions, high level of durability, and lightweight breathability.New: $34.99
The best shorts with modular hip pad protection for volleyball are the Bodyprox Men’s Protective Undershorts for their shock-absorbing EVA foam cushions, high level of durability, and lightweight breathability ideal for wearing under normal shorts.
The coolest thing about these shorts is that all of the EVA foam cushions – some of the most comfortable padding out there – are removable. This is mainly done to aid washing and cleaning, but can be taken advantage of to customize the padding placement for you as an individual.
Not a fan of the lower thigh pads or comprehensive tailbone cushion? Not a problem – just remove them. Finding the hip pads too bulky? Replace them with a slimmer pad. The customization here is at the highest useful level that I’ve seen in functional shorts, and is really exciting to see. I would definitely recommend this to someone with a history of hip injuries or who is generally afraid of falling in volleyball.
The Bodyprox shorts are designed for undershorts style, and their material composition reflects that. The nylon and spandex weave make the shorts skin-friendly and precisely designed for comfort, while the “Vent Mesh” materials keep them breathable.
While these shorts are marketed towards outdoor, all-action sports, this should not dissuade one from purchasing them due to their padding being designed to withstand concrete, stone, and other harder surfaces than the wood we play on indoors. In short: padding you can trust, in customizable modular pockets.
- Modular padding
- EVA foam cushions
- Machine washable
- Bulky padding
With Pelvic, Hip, and TB Pads for its unique placement of hip padding on top of the iliac crest.Check Amazon for Pricing
The best shorts with hip pad protection for volleyball are the Zoombang Female Volleyball Shorts ZB with Pelvic, Hip, and TB Pads for its unique placement of hip padding on top of the iliac crest (or hip bone).
Short but sweet, the Zoombang shorts took the concept of hip protection and simply did it. With better placed pads for true hip protection than many of the other products on this list, the entire purpose of the Zoombang shorts is to prevent the hip bones from hitting the ground and cushion them as much as possible. I would recommend this type of shorts to older players or anyone with prominent hips that may need extra padding.
While this product does provide good amounts of hip protection, the fact that it does not provide any additional benefits that other products on this list offer lower its value as general volleyball shorts in my eyes. However, as far as hip pad shorts go, this remains an excellent choice.
- Unique hip-centric padding
- No other benefits
They are sleek and comfortable for extended period of movement.Check Amazon for Pricing
The best shorts with low-key hip pad protection for volleyball are the TUOY Men’s Cycling Shorts for their sleek design, temperature regulated fabric, dense pads, and compression shorts design.
For players looking for a low-key shorts design that is unobtrusive and feels like it isn’t even there, the TUOY shorts are for you. Intended originally as cycling shorts, they are sleek and comfortable for extended period of movement, and the pads are thin enough to fit beneath any pair of shorts or sweatpants that you might want to wear over them.
An elastic waistband with a cinch-tied string keeps the shorts seated in place, while the high performance fabric ensures you stay cool (or warm) while playing, minimizing muscle injuries through the aid of its compression shorts design. This promotes muscle recovery and blood circulation, meaning you can play harder and recover faster.
The pads on the TUOY shorts, while not as prolific or large as other options on this list, are incredibly dense and well-placed, elevating the hips from areas of impact and safeguarding the tailbone against any unlikely accident.
I would recommend these shorts for the average player as an additional line of defense against injury. While normal compression shorts provide a great deal of benefits to the player, the added protection of hip pads that the TUOY shorts provide is exceptional.
- Dense padding
- Compression shorts
- Less padding than competitors
Are Shorts With Hip Pads Really Necessary?
While popular belief may suggest that good technique and proper form while diving, passing, and rolling can eliminate the need for shorts with hip pads or other preventative equipment, the fact is that for some players, these products are extremely beneficial and at some levels, necessary.
Good technique can take you far, but injuries are inevitable if you put your body on the line to recover a ball. Age and other conditions can weaken our bones, raising the risk of injury and necessitating the addition of a barrier to take the place of our vitality. For this reason, shorts with hip pads are an important part of the game, allowing access to those who might otherwise avoid the sport entirely.
I believe that it’s always worth trying new things, and if you’ve never played volleyball with hip pads before it might be worth giving it a shot. True, they can change the way we dive, and for some that might be uncomfortable: that’s ok too. Everyone has a different style. But it’s never a bad idea to be safe, and like I always say: prevention is always better than the cure.
The best volleyball shorts with hip pads are the Storeli Women’s New 2.0 for their elite hip padding placement, molded thigh pads, tailbone protection, and their breathability. While shorts with hip pads might not be for everyone, they are a useful asset to the game and an underrated product that may help improve many players’ game.
About The Author
Ailan Samuel is a writer and athlete who has played volleyball at the university, club, and national level since 2012. He has competed successfully in both beach and indoor competitions, resulting in four silver and two gold medals, and was awarded the Half-Blue while playing in Scotland. He received his MA in English and Medieval History from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, and is currently studying for his MA in Publishing and Creative Writing at Bournemouth University.