How Long do Volleyball Knee Pads Last? (Explained with Tips)

how long do volleyball knee pads last

Volleyball knee pads usually get deteriorated after a while of consistent usage, simply because of the nature of the sport that includes lot of jumping, squatting and even diving (for the ball).

That’s why it is very important to have a clear idea on how long those knee pads could potentially last! Indeed …

Depending on the intensity of playing and the consistency of practice as well as on the quality of the volleyball knee pad, the latter could last from one season, up to 3 full seasons. It could be even less than one season if they are used in a brutal way of if they are low quality.

In this article I breakdown the most important factors that could impact knee pads durability. This will also help you keep using them for as long as possible.

What makes volleyball knee pads last longer?

As I’ve mentioned above, knee pads could last from one to 3 seasons. Indeed, any knee pad that will last less than one season is definitely (9 out of 10) a low quality one.

The most important deciding factor when it comes to durability is the materials they are built from …

For example, if it is made mostly from leather it would last longer comparing to if it is mostly made from rubber!

Another thing that impacts durability is also the knee pads ability to properly breathe!

It is common for pads to be made from durable polyester, which can cause inflammation and allergies.

That’s why I usually recommend opting for knee pads with mesh pads on the back. Instead of getting rid of relatively good knee pads because of non-breathability.

Example: There are some good models in the market that offer both good breathability as well as solid material composition. These Volleyball Knee Pads is a good example that you can check.

Finally, the lifespan of a pair of knee pads also depends on the players commitment to do proper maintenance …

Proper cleaning and care will help them last longer for sure. Later in this article I give you more ideas on how you should approach pads care efficiently.

You can learn more about what volleyball knee pads are made out from!

Does washing knee pads impact their durability?

When it comes to washing your knee pads, there are 3 things that could badly impact their durability:

  • Too much washing
  • Too little washing
  • Incorrect washing

Many knee pads come with instructions on how to wash them correctly!

Indeed, many of them can be washed in a washing machine in cold water, since they are made from cotton and polyester.

You can also wash them by hand with two methods:

  • The first is to submerge them in warm water and add a cup of detergent and leave them for a short period of time soaked in water, after that wash them by hand by scrubbing.
  • The other one is basically the same, but you will leave them in water for the whole night.

Do not use drying machines, fabric softeners and dryer sheets since they can weaken the fabric of the volleyball pads, and in worst case scenario tear fabric.

Bottom line, washing your pads does not impact their lifespan, if done properly!

When it comes to the washing frequency, it is recommended to wash them every 2 weeks, of course depending on the intensity of use supposing that you are using them at least 3 times a week.

I invite you to learn more about the right way to clean volleyball knee pads, without damaging them!

How to wear knee pads properly for better durability?

First you need to consider buying the right knee pads number (or size)!

Indeed, knee pad numbers (sizes) are represented in a chart, which is located in any sports store. You get the number by measuring your knee in a special way, and adding and multiplying numbers so that you get the number of your knee.

Knee pads need to fit well on your knee for you to feel comfortable and for them to last longer.

They still need to fit well even if you squat, jump, walk or run with them!

If the knee pads are tight however there is one more price to pay besides low comfort while playing … your circulation can be impacted which could cause some bad consequences!

Also, wearing tight pads would cause fast enough material tissues deterioration. Thus they won’t last as much as you would like to.

Also, make sure that they cover the knee, and that they do not slide from one side to another, they need to fit perfectly.

They should not be too loose either, this might not impact their durability, yet this would definitely impact your performance.

Keep in mind that it is quite normal to have knee pads stretching after so many usages. Indeed, when that happens, this probably mean you should replace them!

Does a reputable volleyball knee pad brand means it would last longer?

In most cases it is true, a reputable volleyball knee pad brand means more durability, but that does not mean that it requires less care!

Care & maintenance is important regardless of their quality …

Here are a couple of good brands that I would recommend. They are of high quality and bring very good durability.

  • Mizuno LR6 – it is made from polyester and it protects the patella, the lateral and medial areas. It is designed to give the best possible freedom of movement.
  • VolleyCourt volleyball knee pads – made to be durable, comfortable and to ease mobility as much as possible. The fun part is that they are made from bamboo which helps them breathe really really well.
  • Asics unisex slider – made from rayon, polyester, rubber and nylon, they give the best breathability, flexibility and durability, since rubber is the main component (39%).

So in conclusion, there is a significant correlation between the durability and a good brand.

How to choose volleyball knee pads (Tips)?

Before choosing good volleyball knee pads you need to consider the volleyball position you will be occupying!

Front players dive often which is an indicator that their knees are in danger of injury. They require more padding and better knee protection. Back players however need less padding and also dive less.

If you are a beginner you would need more padding since experienced players know how to dive without injuring their knees.

If they do not fit properly, as we have mentioned before, they might slide down, or up, or rotate if they are bigger, but if they are smaller, they might cut off your circulation.

You can also learn how to choose other volleyball equipement!

What about knee sleeves?

Knee sleeves usually offer special protection, they have the role to hold the knee in place, or tight if you will, and also protect it during dives, so they have a dual role if you will.

As knee pads, knee sleeves should last one season minimum. Again, their durability depends on the intensity of gameplay, on proper use and on maintenance.

The same materials are used to make knee sleeves and knee pads, so their maintenance is basically the same.

Most of them come with instructions on how to wash them, so you would not have to worry about that, but watch out for some things that might impact the fabric and reduce their durability.

Do not use drying machines, fabric softeners and dryer sheets, just regular detergent, wash them in cold water by washing machine or by hand, do not forget to air them frequently.

Recommendation: If you are looking for knee sleeves instead of pads with decent quality and good enough durability, then I recommend you to have a look at this model. It is also comfortable even within intense playing.

When it comes to wearing knee sleeves properly there are a few thing you should know.

Knee sleeves come in different shapes and sizes it might be a bit trickier to choose them but the principle is the same as with pads.

Knee sleeves need to fit you perfectly and comfortably in order for them to fulfill their role. However, they will feel tighter than actual knee pads.

Volleyball movements that impact knee pads the most?

Diving in volleyball

Certain intense volleyball moves are considered to be one of the most crucial durability tests for knee pads.

One of the most common ones is diving!

There are a few techniques that can make diving possible, and all of them have an impact on your pads, especially if you execute them badly or with high intensity.

There are a lot of ways to perform a dive:

The running swan dive – the most basic dive, you toss your body with your arm in front of you, with your body as close to the ground as possible. You begin your slide on your upper body but you finish with your entire body on the ground, with your pads sliding behind you.

The superman – For newbies the superman is a first step to a dive, if executed poorly it can hurt not only your knees but also yourself. If you are new, there is a high chance that your pads durability will be impacted.

One arm one step superman – This move can impact the durability of your pads severely. It is a step to learning the swan dive. Usually this move will cause strong rubbing of your pad with the ground.

Final Thoughts …

The information I’ve shared in this article is really important not only for your knee pads durability. But also, for your own comfort and protection …

There are some people who buy a new pad every couple of months simply because they don’t follow those guidelines!

And of course you don’t want to do that, especially if you are on a limited budget!

One last thing, you can learn about these solid tips to choose your volleyball knee pads!

Carissa Harmer

Carissa Harmer has over 6 years of volleyball experience between playing the sport at a semi-professional level, following the biggest volleyball teams & leagues out there as well as helping beginners to get started on the right path.

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