What Volleyball Knee Pads are Made From? (Explained)

what are volleyball knee pads made out of

Sliding and diving are extremely common in volleyball and they usually have a direct impact on the knees if they are not protected enough …

In fact, in volleyball, knee pads are the main piece of gear that can protect your knees. However, this won’t be 100% possible if those are made out of poor quality materiel.

That’s why I’ve chosen to put together this short article to breakdown the most important materials used to make volleyball knee pads and what kinds of materials you should look up for to make sure you’ve chosen the highest quality pads possible!

List of materials volleyball knee pads are generally made of …

A knee pad’s fabric is made from several types of materials. There are pads with:

  • Cotton shells
  • Mesh shells
  • As well as other kinds of shells

The used cloth will obviously be in contact with your skin the entire time … Usually it should be thick

Also it should have a shock-absorbing padding that look like memory foam or high-density foam.

Quick Tip: While choosing knee pads for any sport including volleyball, the most important factor you should check is the padding and how much shock it can absorb. This is what will promote your knees protection. For example these quality volleyball knee pads have a good padding that you can actually rely on.

The structure of the knee pad is made from two different polymeric materials

  • The first material makes up the outside knee shell of the knee pad and is both flexible and strong. The device’s basic structure is provided by the knee shell. An insert made of a different, softer substance is inserted into a cavity in the knee shell.
  • The second one offers a soft area for the user’s knee. The newly developed knee pad contains no blown foam. Instead a thermoplastic elastomer which is specially formulated to be used in combination with polyamide or polyurethane for applications where hard and soft combinations are required, is the preferred material for the knee insert.

Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, which is specially formulated for molding flexible objects, is the best material for the knee shell …

It is worth mentioning that lower quality knee pads tend to stretch after several usages … In the next section I address that composition of higher quality pads!

Materials used for higher quality volleyball knee pads

High quality volleyball knee pads ought to be made of breathable, moisture-wicking material

A gel or foam shock-absorbing material found in high-quality pads will cover and safeguard your patella.

What makes quality knee pads is usually as described below:

  • Have the ability to drain away moisture to keep your knees dry
  • Are not bulky but still provide adequate protective cushioning
  • While you’re playing, won’t slide down your legs

Reputable sporting goods retailer usually offers products made out of the best materials out there. These include, and not limited to, Asics, Mizuno, Adidas, Nike, and Mikasa.

Personally, my favorite brand is Nike (Check this example here at Amazon)

Materials used for lower-quality volleyball knee pads

Lower-quality knee pads use materials like:

  • Foam
  • Polyester
  • Spandex
  • Rubber
  • And nylon

In such a case your knee protection depends mainly on the foam, which usually not that good compared to higher quality pads made out of gel for example.

This kind of knee pads should do a fine job for a shorter period of time if you practice very frequently (4 to 6 times a week)

Most of these materiels used in volleyball knee pads are used for wrestling knee pads!

Materials that could represent allergic issues

This is not a very common use case, yet I thought I probably should include it, as some players might have some kind of allergy to materials used for knee pads manufacturing.

The type of allergy that I am addressing here is the skin one. Indeed, some people might have a skin allergy to fabrics like polyester.

This could manifest is so many ways. The most common ones are skin irritation or itching.

You can even have some kinds of allergy to some chemicals that are added to the fabric to process it. Laundry detergent is a very common one.

Sometimes these kinds of allergies don’t manifest right away, they might do so when you start sweating.

So, it is very important to make sure that you check thoroughly the materials the knee pads are made from and make sure you’ve got no allergy to any of those materials before making your purchase choice.

Finally, I highly invite you to learn about the right way to wear volleyball knee pads for better protection for you knees!

Is it possible to make volleyball knee pads by yourself?

Yes, it is possible, and it is pretty easy too. Here is step by step on how to make your pair of volleyball knee pads.

  1. Set of foam craft sheets and two knee supports. The thinner foam sheets offer better protection than thick sponges.
  2. Cut the package in half to use each half for one of your knees.
  3. The knee support has a larger end, as you can see. Your calf should use the narrower end.
  4. The foam sheet stack should be folded in half lengthwise. Embrace knee support.
  5. For the second knee pad, repeat the process with the other stack.
  6. Now that they’re on, they’ll function properly. They will not be able to move since the support will enclose them.
  7. The foam sheets should be sandwiched between the knee supports once you insert a second one.
  8. Since your legs won’t sweat a lot for a long time, it is a little easier to slide on and off.
  9. More sheets can be added to provide protection. I did not require them to be any thicker to clean my wood floors, but if I had been kneeling on concrete, perhaps I might have.

This is an easy and fun way to make your own pair of knee pads, at home all by yourself. I hope you liked it and enjoyed it.

Final Thoughts …

Not many volleyball players know about the information I’ve shared in this article, even semi-pro and professionals (some of them) don’t know about that …

However, this information is extremely helpful to make an educated choice about the right knee pads you should pick …

That’s why many players end up injuring themselves even if they are supposedly wearing knee pads, simply because they’ve made a poor choice.

Finally, I highly invite you to check the equipement you need for volleyball as well as the typical clothing that volleyball players wear!

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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