Volleyball knee pads are not only about protection, they are also about comfort. A big part of that rely on their ability to resist stretching over time …
However, the big question is whether they actually stretch over time? In this article, I address the stretching properties of volleyball knee pads and how to deal with them to ensure the best fit for optimal performance & comfort.
- Factors like material type, intensity of use and lack of care can all contribute to knee pads stretching.
- There are several signs of overstretching … These include loose fit, reduced protection as well as constant need for adjustment.
- Proper washing and correct usage are critical to maintain their shape & elasticity.
Factors and Materials that cause knee pads to stretch
There are several factors that can cause knee pads to stretch. I include below couple examples:
- Quality: If you use knee pads of average or low quality, then you should notice a quick impact on their propensity to stretch. Higher-quality knee pads (Check My favorite Ones) tend to maintain their shape much better over time.
- Material Type: Most knee pads in the market are made from elastic materials like neoprene and rubber as well as other stretchable fabrics. These materials bring a certain level of flexibility and ability to conform to knee shape. Nonetheless, over time & after several uses, these materials do actually overstretch causing them to lose some of their original shape. You can learn more about volleyball knee pads materials.
- Use intensity: Frequency & intensity of use make knee pads actually stretch. This will be more significant within high-intensity volleyball matches.
- Improper Care: Washing your pads in hot water can seriously affect their elasticity, leading to all sort of damage including stretching. Keep in mind that leaving your knee pads stretched out when not in use is also a big factor.
- Size & Fit: If you don’t use the right size, your pads may be prone to overstretching.
Signs that knee pads have stretched too much …
It is very important to pay attention to the signs that might indicate that your volleyball knee pads have stretched too much. Some of these signs include …
- Loose Fit: Most obvious & common sign is when your pads no longer fit snugly around your knees. While playing (especially intense games) you should notice they slip & don’t really offer the same level of support as before.
- Reduced Protection: Impacts on your beloved knees will feel more pronounced and even more painful than before. This is generally due to overstretching … Indeed, the stretched material can affect the padding by making it less effective.
- Visible Deformation: Once they appear to be out of normal shape or display noticeable sagging when not being worn. Then you probably should start thinking to switch them.
- Discomfort: You should start feeling that the knee pads are not as comfortable as they used to be. This is generally caused by the overstretched materials that does not distribute pressure evenly, creating discomfort and in some rare cases causing skin irritation.
- Need for Constant Adjustment: If you notice a need to frequently adjust your knee pads during games or practice sessions, then that’s a sign you should consider.
- Material Deterioration: You might start noticing signs of material fatigue such as thinning, fading, or the elastic material pilling.
By noticing these signs ‘early’ you need to decide asap when it’s time to replace your knee pads to make sure you are not risking to hurt your knees.
Tips for maintaining the shape and elasticity of knee pads …
Below I share some useful tips to help maintaining the shape and elasticity of your volleyball knee pads. As this can actually extend their lifespan …
- Proper Washing: Always follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions. If machine washing is allowed, use a gentle cycle with cold water … However, I personally recommend hand washing as this is generally the safest option. You can check those important cleaning guidelines.
- Avoid Heat: High temperatures can damage elastic, so avoid using a dryer. Instead, air-dry your knee pads in a well-ventilated area, just make sure they are out of direct sunlight.
- Correct usage: Avoid using your pads for other activities. Only when you are actually practicing volleyball.
- Store Properly: After use, lay your beloved knee pads flat or hang them up to maintain their shape. Don’t fold them, otherwise, you might cause permanent creases.
- Use a Protective Bag: If you don’t have time and have to machine wash your knee pads, then use a laundry bag. The latter is a great way to protect them from excess stretching.
- Rotate Pads: If you practice volleyball very frequently, then you probably should have 2 pairs of knee pads so you can rotate between them. This allows each pair to get a chance to fully recover.
Remember that taking care of your knee pads not only extends their lifespan but also ensures they can provide the protection you need while playing.
Final Thoughts …
Hopefully this article has given you some helpful insight to protect your knee pads from stretching. Keep in mind that by applying the tips & guidelines above, you might double or even triple your knee pads lifespan!