Volleyball Knee Pads

Volleyball Knee Pad

Volleyball is typically played on a hard surface where players are often forced to dive and slide. Volleyball knee pads help protect one of the most vulnerable body parts from repeated physical contact with the ground. Read on to learn about the most important piece of protective gear in the sport of volleyball.

What Are Knee Pads Used For?

Knee pads provide protection from these high speed impacts by having thick built-in pads. These pads also serve as compression sleeves that help support ligaments and muscles around the knee, offering injury protection in multiple ways. A study in 2005 showed that there was a 56% percent decrease in knee injuries when athletes wore knee pads, which is proof that knee pads are instrumental in protecting the knees.

Since volleyball is a non-contact sport, the biggest source of injury is going to come from a players’ own behavior, whether that is in the form of ligament tears or a bruised patella. Knee pads can have a far bigger impact on the court than just preventing injury though. These knee pads actually tend to inspire better play amongst players, as it gives them more confidence to play with a lower risk of injury. 

Things To Consider

When looking for volleyball knee pads, you'll want to consider the following:

  • What are you going to use the knee pads for?
  • What position do you play?
  • Have you suffered a knee injury?
  • How much money do you have to spend on knee pads?
  • Are you playing indoors or outdoors?
  • How much of your knee do you want to cover?
  • Do you have a favorite brand or color?


Like most pieces of equipment, volleyball knee pads come in different styles, so let’s look at the three different types of volleyball knee pads.

Short Knee Pads

volleyball short knee pads

Short knee pads are a smaller knee pad that covers only the kneecap and a small area surrounding it. These knee pads allow for protection of the knee, while allowing for a wider range of motion. The lack of a surrounding sleeve makes it easier for the knee and muscles around the knee to move. This sleeve offers greater mobility, but less support for the ligaments surrounding the knee.

Mid-Sized Knee Pads

Volleyball Mid Sized Knee Pads

Mid-sized knee pads are longer than short knee pads, which means that both the pad and sleeve are longer. The lengthened pad allows for greater coverage of the knee, and the extended sleeve allows for increased support for ligaments. The larger pad is also more durable, which allows more of the knee to stay protected for longer.

Long Knee Pads

Volleyball Long Knee Pads

Long knee pads are the largest style of knee pads that you can purchase. These knee pads have a large pad, but their distinguishing factor is having an extended sleeve. The long sleeve provides more support and compression to the ligaments, but it also provides a greater hindrance to mobility. These pads can be used for other sports, as they provide so much additional protection compared to smaller pads.


There are a number of different brands that produce volleyball knee pads, so we’re going to take a look at three of the largest producers in Mizuno, Asics, and Nike.


Mizuno produces knee pads that are typically on the lighter side in terms of padding. These light weight pads protect the knee, while still allowing for a wide range of motion. They tend to mold quickly and are some of the more affordable knee pads on the market.


Asics is a premier volleyball brand, so it’s no surprise that they produce some of the highest quality knee pads on the market. These knee pads tend to be tighter than most, so if mobility is your primary focus it might be best to look another direction.


Nike produces some of the lightest knee pads on the market, but that lack of protection lends itself to a wide range of mobility and a cooler body temperature. They produce a variety of products for beginners and experienced players, which means they have a wide price range for their products.


What size knee pads do I need for volleyball?

If you are an adult you are going to need to choose adult sized knee pads, while youth players are going to use youth pads. The proper size pads can be found by taking the measurement of the circumference of the knee, and then using that to find the proper size of the pad. Ultimately, the best way to size a pad is going to be by trying it on and seeing how it feels to move around in it.

Why do volleyball players have knee pads?

Volleyball players use knee pads in order to protect their knees from high-speed impacts with the court floor. Regardless of the material of the court, it is going to hurt to dive or slide on it, and knees are one of the most vulnerable parts of the body. Knee pads are worn in order to provide protection from things like bruises and cuts from dives. They are also worn as they can help support ligaments and muscles around the knee, so they’re less injury prone during the game.

How long do volleyball knee pads last?

Volleyball knee pads typically last for a single season, but that depends on the frequency with which they are worn. The number of times that a player dives onto them is the largest factor. The durability of the pad also depends on the thickness of it, as thinner pads have less material to wear through. Thicker knee pads are both going to last longer, but they tend to come at higher prices and reduce mobility even more.