What to Know When Buying Volleyball Knee Pads
Volleyball players spend a significant amount of time falling to their knees. The impact created from the fall can damage the meniscus and kneecap, so you need to be protected. If not necessary, when playing volleyball. Knee pads function is to protect the knee, as well as support it and improve its function. The pads cushion the impact on the knees and provide support to the knees to prevent overextension or collapse. Selecting and buying volleyball knee pads can be an intimidating task. They vary in color, shape, and material. However, they all provide the same benefits of protection.
An important part of purchasing knee pads is making sure that they fit appropriately and comfortably.
This often requires opening packages and slipping the pads over your knee. Although knee pads may become more elastic and fit to your knee over time, they should fit well the first time you try them on. Walking around and mock-falling on your knees can demonstrate the durability and quality of the pads. The knee pads must fit appropriately to ensure proper protection- if they are too small, they will cut off circulation and press into the kneecap and if they are too big, they will slide off and provide no support. You can find knee pads in short or long varieties, which cause various levels of comfortability among different buyers. Many volleyball players prefer smaller, slimmer knee pads that do not inhibit movement or weigh heavily on the legs.
The player’s position should also be considered when buying knee pads.
Certain positions require more padding than others, as these players dive more. Front players often dive more and require excess padding for protection, whereas back players need more flexibility in a knee pad to navigate and react quickly. More padding may also be necessary for first time players of volleyball who are not used to falling on their knees.
The material of knee pads is another important to consider when choosing knee pads.
Most knee pads contain fabrics like cotton and polyester, but others may incorporate small plastic or rubber pieces and even leather. These materials vary in elasticity, quality, and appearance. Along with feelings of discomfort, bulkier pads may also look unattractive. Choosing materials that look good can provide confidence to players and enhance players’ appearance when they match team uniforms. More importantly when it comes to the materials of knee pads, however, is their functionality. Fabrics like cotton and polyester are often softer on the skin and more flexible to movement. Some knee pads even utilized Spandex-like materials for maneuverability. Leather, on the other hand, may be resistant to movement and plastic pieces may be irritable.
Foam is often used as the padding material and varies in quantity. Foam padding provides obvious protection and is more absorbent of impact. However, foam can shift against fabric and become a nuisance. Gels are also sometimes incorporated into knee pads to reduce impact and provide comfort.
Despite the daunting amount of variety in volleyball knee pads, the decision of which ones to buy is made easier by trying them on. Players must consider what materials and protection they need for their positions and find knee pads that are both functional and comfortable.