Basketball knee pads are a type of protective equipment that are worn on the player's knees during practice and games. Knee pads, also called knee sleeves, protect against bruising on the knees. Since the knees are exposed during games, they are also exposed to the possibilities of dislocation and scratches. Knee pads keep the knees secured so there is less of a chance for injury. In different basketball situations, players may end up falling, so the knee pads act as a barrier between the knees and the ground.
Knee pads are also said to improve circulation. Similar to arm sleeves, knee pads, depending on the size, keep the player's legs warm and limber. On top of the protective benefits, the knee pads provide warmth and better circulation for players. Knee pads vary in length and the amount of support cushion.
Players looking to invest in knee pads should decide if they are comfortable with a longer or shorter type of pad. The knee pad should cover the entire knee but should not be restricting. Players should have full range of the knee and should not be in discomfort when bending.
Knee pads are a popular choice in the NBA today. However players no longer wear individual knee pads without the tights. As shown in the above picture, the pad is woven into the tight. This is the style most players wear as it has more coverage to reduce floor burns. In previous years players would wear pads that only covered their kneecaps.
Knee pads are available for purchase at just about any sporting goods store. Dicks Sporting Goods carries knee pads in a variety of colors and sizes. You can get a pretty good pair for around $40-$50. Cheaper and more expensive options exist as well, but the mid tier option is a good choice.