If you’re a hooper you know that basketball is an intense and physically demanding sport that places a significant amount of stress on the knees. To reduce the risk of injury and maximize performance on the court, many players are turning to basketball knee pads.
These protective gear have become increasingly popular due to their ability to provide support, comfort, and prevent injury. They are essentially basketball knee compression sleeves with additional padding support on the knees.
Whether you’re a casual baller or play competitively, we’ll explore the benefits of basketball knee pads and see what are the best on the market that NBA players wear today.
Benefits of Basketball Knee Pads
There are many purposes and benefits to wearing basketball knee pads as they can increase a player’s performance and well-being on the court. Some of the main benefits of basketball knee pads include:
- Protection against Impact: Basketball involves frequent jumps, sudden changes in direction, and collisions with other players. Knee pads act as a cushion, absorbing impact and reducing the risk of injuries such as contusions, bruises, and abrasions.
- Enhanced Performance: Knee pads facilitate smoother movement by reducing friction between the knees and the court surface. This improved mobility enables players to execute quick cuts, jumps, and pivots with greater ease, leading to improved overall performance.
- Joint Stability: Knee pads provide compression and support to the knee joint, helping to stabilize the patella (kneecap) and surrounding ligaments. This added stability enhances a player’s confidence, agility, and overall movement on the court.
- Muscle Support: The compression offered by knee pads can aid in reducing muscle fatigue and soreness. This support allows players to maintain optimal performance for longer periods, reducing the risk of fatigue-related injuries.
- Injury Prevention: The main benefit of knee pads for basketball is their ability to prevent injuries to the body. By absorbing impact and providing stability, knee pads help minimize the risk of common basketball-related knee injuries, including sprains, strains, and tendinitis.
- Comfort and Breathability: Modern basketball knee pads are designed with comfort in mind. They are made from breathable and moisture-wicking materials, ensuring players stay cool and dry throughout the game. The snug fit and ergonomic design of knee pads also allow for maximum flexibility and freedom of movement.
- Versatility: Basketball knee pads are not limited to professional athletes. They are suitable for players of all skill levels and ages, making them a valuable accessory for recreational players and aspiring athletes alike.
- Confidence Boost: Knee pads not only offer physical protection but also provide psychological reassurance to players. The confidence gained from knowing that their knees are protected can enhance their focus and commitment to the game.
Best Knee Pads for Basketball
McDavid’s are known as top of the line knee pads for basketball, even commonly worn by NBA players. These popular knee pads feature a hexagonal and closed cell foam padding design that protects your knees from high impact activities. These basketball knee pads provides optimal impact protection while maintaining flexibility. They have moisture-wicking technology to keep the knees dry, and their extended length offers extra coverage.
Nike is known for its high-quality sports gear and their basketball knee sleeve offers light compression and helps warm muscles to reduce risk of injury. The lightweight and breathable fabric provide comfort while supporting joints, and the ergonomic design ensures a secure fit. There is supportive gel padding around the knee, where it’s needed the most.
Under Armour’s knee pads offer multipurpose Compression and HEX Padding for Protection. It includes Under Armour’s patented moisture transport system which wicks sweat and dries fast to prevent chaffing and uncomfortable chapping of skin. Great for tendonitis, joint inflammation, tennis elbow, golf elbow.
Designed with advanced compression technology, the Shock Doctor Maximum Support Knee Brace provides maximum support, while helping prevent and provide relief for ACL/PCL Injuries, medial/lateral instability, hyperextension, patella instability, meniscus injuries, ligament sprains, and more. The bilateral hinges offer additional support while the Airflow vented tech fabric reduces odor and moisture.
This highly rated, athletic knee brace uses spring knee support technology which features an anatomically contoured patella gel pad that surrounds your kneecap and double-sided metal spring stabilizers that fit tightly on your knee joint. Its fabric helps warm-up the knee, reducing stiffness, inflammation and swelling. This knee brace helps disperse pressure and improves circulation around the knee area to enhance the stability of the kneecaps and relaxing tendons to prevent muscle strain.
NBA Players Wearing Knee Pads
While some may consider wearing knee pads uncomfortable or see it as a bit ‘soft’, some of the greatest NBA players of the past and today frequently wear basketball knee pads. Whether to help provide support after an injury or just for performance purposes, wearing knee pads did not take away from these players’ game and there’s nothing soft about them!