How to Keep Volleyball Knee Pads From Sliding Down?

knee pads sliding down

By keeping your volleyball knee pads firmly in place, you will significantly reduce unnecessary distractions, thus help your overall performance in the court …

In this short Post, I address the common reasons behind having knee pads sliding down with some effective suggestions to fix it.

Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Knee pads usually slip because they don’t fit well and also because of the wrong positioning.
  • Choosing the right volleyball pad size is the most effective way to avoid the sliding issue in the future.
  • Proper maintenance is another important factor to enhance stability and reduce slippage.

Why Do Volleyball Knee Pads Slip?

Volleyball knee pads can slip for couple of reasons …

  • Improper fit – if knee pads are too large, they will eventually lack the required grip to stay up. Before buying a new pair, double check carefully the fit and make sure it fits you perfectly.
  • Wear and tear – over time and after so many practices, knee pads lose their elasticity and fit loosely. You can minimize that by proper maintenance.
  • Sweaty skin – This also can make knee pads slide down due to reduced friction.
  • Positioning – Even some seasoned players miss this element … Indeed, knee pads should be worn over the knee, not above or below it … Otherwise, they just won’t fit.

Below, I go through some practices you need to consider so you can avoid this issue.

Choosing the Right Volley Knee Pads for your need …

Choosing the right volleyball knee pad is critical to prevent them from slipping while playing … Below couple of recommendations …

Important Tip: Always choose knee pads with the highest possible elasticity materials. You can notice that immediately when you wear them as they will instantly take you knees shape. For example, these high-quality knee pads have high standard elasticity material.

  • Size and Fit: The knee pads should fit snugly and comfortably around your knees. Make sure they are not too tight to the point where it restricts the movement or too loose. Most brands offer sizing charts for reference.
  • Material and Elasticity: Knee pads should have a good balance of elasticity and firmness.
  • Design: There are some knee pads in the market that feature non-slip interior linings or even adjustable straps for a more secure fit. These designs can help to prevent slippage.
  • Player Position: Choose knee pads that are adapted to your position. For example, if you occupy a defensive role where you have to dive often, then you may prefer knee pads with extra padding and secure fit to minimize slipping.
  • Try Before Buy: If it is possible, try on the knee pads before buying. Don’t hesitate to move around and kneel to test their stability.

Adjusting Your Knee Pads (Best Practices)

Don’t forget to properly adjust volleyball knee pads before games and practice sessions. This is crucial to prevent them from sliding down and to ensure optimal protection. Below some useful tips:

  • Position Correctly: Make sure knee pads are well centered over knee caps and they cover the knee entirely. This should not restrict your mobility though.
  • Right Tightness: Knee pads should fit snugly around your knees but not to the point where they feel too tight. Otherwise, this might cut off circulation or even impede movement.
  • Use Straps If Available: I am not a big fan of straps, yet there are some players who prefer them. Indeed, some knee pads come with adjustable straps. They help to secure the knee pads in place and prevent slippage. Make sure that they are not causing any sort of discomfort that would compromise your movement or your performance.
  • Regular Adjustments: While playing, you may need to adjust your knee pads periodically. Indeed, after many movements this can cause them to shift. Make sure to do so whenever necessary for continuous protection.

Keep in mind that some volleyball players prefer to wear their knee pads so low!

Maintaining Your Knee Pads to preserve their elasticity …

This is another point that many players fail to do. Below some maintenance tips that would help preserve volleyball knee pads elasticity for longer than usual:

  • Proper Cleaning: It is important to follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions, especially avoiding things they mention you should avoid. In most cases, hand washing with cold water and a mild detergent is more than enough to keep them clean without impacting their elasticity. It is better to avoid washing machines as much as possible. You can learn how to get your volleyball knee pads dry in a safe way!
  • Avoid Heat: High temperatures is devastating for elastic materials. Instead of using a dryer, air-dry knee pads in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight is a much better and safer option.
  • Store Correctly: To prevent permanent creases, it is better to store knee pads flat or hang them without folding.

It is worth mentioning that regularly rotating between two pairs also allows each pair a chance to recover … further preserving elasticity.

Accessories for Knee Pad Stability!

You can rely on additional accessories to strengthen your knee pads stability … Below some interesting suggestions:

  • Knee Pad Sleeves: These are worn under the knee pads to provide an extra layer of grip. This is highly effective to prevent them from sliding down. The sleeves also provide some additional benefits like compression and muscle support which significantly reduce fatigue.
  • Knee Straps: These ones go around the knee pad for an additional security. They’re usually adjustable to a snugger fit, ensuring the knee pad stays in place.
  • Compression Shorts: These kinds of shorts are made of stretchy fabric and can provide a grip surface for the knee pads.
  • Anti-slip Tape or Bandages: You can use this in some extreme cases when knee pads are very loose. You can, indeed, wrap these around your knee or over the knee pad.
  • High Socks: They can give you an extra friction … Keep in mind that you need to wear them under the knee pads.

Expert Tips on Preventing Volleyball Knee Pad Slippage …


I would also love to include some ninja tips that you might not find elsewhere to prevent knee pad slippage …

  • Chalk or Rosin: Are used mostly by gymnasts and rock climbers. You might rely on chalk or rosin to improve grip. Just apply it on the area where the pad meets your skin.
  • Custom-Fit Pads: Consider investing in custom-fit knee pads. I know that they will cost more, but they’ll fit perfectly!
  • Multi-Pad Strategy: Some pros prefer to layer a smaller, tighter knee pad under their main one. This inner pad helps the outer one to remain perfectly stable.

Final Thoughts …

Lastly, I would like that you stay patient, because it might take some time to find the perfect fit and routine that would work best for you …

What might work for your teammates might not necessarily work for you!

But please don’t take this subject for granted. Knee injuries can really hold you back, so you better prioritize their protection to ensure you career longevity!

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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