I’ve been playing volleyball for 10 years, so I know a thing or two about knee pads and their durability.
How long do volleyball knee pads last? With proper care, volleyball knee pads will last you well over a season and – depending on what position you play – might last your entire career. Factors affecting the lifespan are how clean you keep them, what they’re made out of, and the court type. Also, some brands are more durable than others.
But let’s remember: at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how long your knee pads last. The fact is, they are cheap, easy to replace, and designed to take impact after impact and lessen the friction transferred to your knees as much as possible.
Don’t be upset if, eventually, they get destroyed.
Today, I’m discussing how long you should expect your knee pads to last, as well as some insights on company warranties towards them. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, let’s dive in!
8 Factors That Affect The Lifespan Of Your Knee Pads
A variety of factors contribute to the lifespan of your knee pads. While they will normally last a couple years when taken care of properly, several differing factors can affect the wear and tear of your knee pads and necessitate replacement.
The 8 factors that influence the lifespan of volleyball knee sleeves are:
- Material Type
- Court Type
- Training Schedule
- Level of Competition
1. Cleaning (Wash Them)
Like I discussed in my other article – “How to Wash Knee Pads Without Wrecking Them” – it’s very important to clean your knee pads.
This will not only keep you looking good on court, but also prevent them from accumulating excessive sweat and dirt, both of which will expedite the deterioration of your knee pads.
Regular cleaning (even two weeks or so) with warm-cold water will help maintain your knee pads and keep them looking and feeling great as long as possible.
Something people don’t talk about enough is letting their equipment “air” – or simply taking it out of your bag.
Everyone has a gym bag that they stuff their shoes, socks, shirts, knee pads, and anything else you might possibly need into, and not many people take the time to wash it regularly.
As a warm, dark, and humid environment, the bacteria just accumulates and seeps into your things if you leave them there overnight. This bacteria will make your knee pads feel soggy and weak.
Wash your bag, but also get in the habit of taking your things out to air overnight. This will keep your bag clean and protect your knee pads (among other things) for longer.
3. Material Type
Material type is an obvious factor that contributes to your knee pad lifespan. Most knee pads are made of cotton or polyester, both of which slide well on wooden floors and are resistant to tearing. Knee pads with these materials will last longer.
Nylon (or similar products) is the only competing material that you may possibly come across in knee pads, and this rips horribly.
Also, avoid wearing knee pads with sweat pants at all costs, or you’ll be replacing your things every week to keep up with the holes (not literally weekly, but a lot more frequently for sure).
4. Court Type
It might not be obvious, but volleyball knee pads are designed to be used indoors only on hardwood floors (or official volleyball court material).
Using them outside on concrete, sand, dirt, clay, grass, or even inside on carpet will wear them down very quickly and shorten their lifespan.
5. Training Schedule
If you train regularly, between 3 – 5 times a week, you should expect your knee pads to wear down faster than a casual player.
This is totally normal and comes from the increased activity you do.
If you’re worried about them lasting, don’t be: they should still last you at least one season.
Consider your position in volleyball if you’re worried about knee pad lifespan. If you’re a middle blocker, setter, or opposite hitter, chances are you will have the same knee pads for years before they even look like they need replacing.
For outside hitters though, you will see regular wear and tear as you play, since your position requires more diving, passing, and general defense.
Liberos, eat your heart out: knee pads were made for your position. Chances are you already have two or three pairs kicking about your house, and maybe even invested in elbow pads if you’re a serious roller. You probably go through pads every couple months; it’s an occupational hazard.
7. Level of Competition
If you play at a higher level, expect a higher rate of wear and tear on your equipment.
This goes for shoes, sleeves, and knee pads alike.
Lastly, the climate where you live directly affects the lifespan of your equipment, including knee pads.
Pretty much any sort of exposure to the elements outside of an indoor gym is bad, so keep them safe while travelling and they will last much longer.
Which Volleyball Knee Pad Brands Are More Durable?
Mizuno. Having tried four or five different brands, I’ve found that Mizuno’s knee pads simply feel the best and last the longest.
If you want my full breakdown of the Mizuno knee pads, then check out my article: Best Volleyball knee Pads.
Which Volleyball Knee Pad Brands To Avoid?
My advice? Avoid any non-volleyball or “multipurpose” branded knee pads.
Other manufacturers might make good pads for skateboarding, yoga, or yard work, but most usually have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to volleyball.
Here’s a link to an Amazon product when you search for “volleyball knee pads” that I’m sure some people might buy.
However, the padding is spaced ineffectively, the large amount of sleeve can be limiting, and overall it will not last as long as proper volleyball knee pads.
Again, go with Mizuno, or any of the knee pads that I recommend here.
Do Volleyball Knee Pads Come With Warranty?
Most volleyball knee pads come with “Limited Warranty” to ensure quality and replace them if damaged, which covers a specific amount of time or situations that may occur. I’ve addressed the two main brands of volleyball knee pads, Mizuno and Asics, below for your convenience.
Once again, I’d like to point out that knee pads are very cheap and easy to come by. Rather than messing around with the companies, it might just be better to buy a different pair, but it’s up to you.
TLDR: Must provide written notice of any damage to knee pads within 28 days of buying them to be refunded/provided with a new pair.
“14. QUALITY, CONDITION AND DESCRIPTION OF GOODS 14.1. The company warrants (subject as after mentioned) that the goods manufactured by it will be of good material and workmanship and that reasonable care will be employed in assembling or incorporating items not manufactured by it, so that upon the buyer giving written notice to the company that the goods have not been supplied, as aforesaid, if the same be established, and provided the buyer or user has not tampered with the goods, the company will at its own expense, at its option, replace or repair such detective goods or give the buyer credit for the cost of such goods. The foregoing warranty shall not apply unless the buyer has within 28 days of delivery or replacement or repair of goods to which it relates given the company written notice of any claim with respect to such goods.”
TLDR: Must provide written notice of improper manufacturing damage or flaws within 6 months of purchase. Asics is not responsible for normal wear and tear after using.
“ASICS America Corporation (“ASICS”) warrants to the original consumer purchaser (“Consumer”) in the United States and its territories that ASICS’: (i) footwear products will be free from manufacturing defects for one (1) year from the date of original purchase; and (ii) apparel and accessory products will be free from manufacturing defects for six (6) months from the date of original purchase unless a different warranty period is specified for the product […] This warranty does not cover any defects due to improper fit, normal wear and tear, damage due to improper use, misuse, improper transportation or storage, failure to follow product instructions, modification or alteration to the product, unauthorized repair, or negligence.”
What To Read Next
- How to Wash Volleyball Knee Pads Without Wrecking Them
- Volleyball Knee Pad Sizing (Do They Stretch?)
- The Ultimate Volleyball Drills Guide
- Volleyball Positions, Roles + Formations (Easy to Understand Guide)
- Volleyball Rules + Regulations (Easy to Understand)
- How Much Do Volleyball Knee Pads Cost? (Breakdown Per Brand)
- What Are Volleyball Knee Pads Made Of? (Materials Explained)
- Volleyball vs Basketball Knee Pads: Differences, Pros, Cons
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.