How to Find the Best Rollerblade Knee Pads
Rollerblading is the perfect exercise. It builds lung and muscle strength at the same time while strengthening your core and improving your balance. As a result, when you rollerblade, you can more easily lose and maintain weight, and you're just healthier overall.
But rollerblading comes with one downside: injuries. Adults, in particular, are prone to more than just the skinned knee when they don inline skates. Knee pads can save your joints and keep you on your wheels.
Studies have shown wearing knee pads reduces the number of knee injuries by 32 percent.
This makes sense. Adults are farther away from the ground than kids are, and our joints have more mileage on them. This combination makes us more prone to knee injuries.
Keep reading to learn all you need to know about rollerblade knee pads.
Should You Use Knee Pads for Roller Skating?
Anytime you put your knees at risk, you should consider using knee pads.
Not all knee pads are made the same, though. When looking for knee pads, look for rollerblade knee pads. These are not the same as the knee pads your carpet layer wears or the volleyball knee pads you just bought for your tween.
Even if you do not blow out your knee, wouldn't you rather save yourself the pain of an ugly bruise? Wear the knee pads.
What Knee Pads Are Best For Roller Skating?
Knee pads for skating have specific properties that make them perfect for landing on concrete at a fast pace. They will be breathable, elastic, snugly fit, and made of any one of many materials specific to falling on a hard surface.
For example, some knee pads are made with extra-wide, high-density EVA foam padding. This type of pad will cover your whole knee and not just your knee cap.
EVA Foam Padding
EVA foam stands for ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer foam. So, in laymen's terms, it's a great combination of vinyl and foam. Scientists use this synthetic material as a substitute for natural rubber, vinyl, neoprene, PVC foam, felt, fiberglass, and wool.
EVA foam works well for knee pads because of its resistance to stress cracking. Neither low nor hot temperatures compromise its integrity, meaning that you can forget your knee pads in your car, and the material will not breakdown. Scientists also designed it to absorb vibration and impact well, again, making it a great knee pad material.
Dual Density Foam
Dual Density Foam usually refers to furniture. Manufacturers laminate high-density and low-density foam to create dual-density foam. When the foam receives an impact, the high-density side will spread out the blow while the soft, low-density foam absorbs the shock.
This type of foam has worked well for years in furniture, and now manufacturers are seeing its benefits in knee pads. When you fall, the foam will disperse the shock of the impact.
As far as knee pads go, you will find the dual-density foam inside the pad itself.
A high-quality rollerblade knee pad will have a solid plastic exterior. Many are made from high-quality polypropylene or PP material.
The pad should mimic your knee with a hard outer shell over your knee cap and then a soft backside like the tender backside of your knee. This will mean you have a breathable sleeve on the back with the knee-protecting shell of plastic on the outside.
The combination of a soft back and hard front makes the knee pad both moveable and functional.
Molded Knee Pads
Molded knee pads take the plastic protection up a notch. These pads, as indicated by their title, mold to your knee. Manufacturers work hard to make these knee pads fit like a glove so they have a knee-shape exterior.
Manufacturers create a hard-injection molded outer shell which then disperses the shock and protects your joint. That is just the outside of the pad. The inside of the pad will typically have high-impact energy-absorbing foam.
Great knee pads will have that hard exterior to protect your knee and then a soft, shock-absorbing foam interior.
As you search for the perfect knee pad, look for the package deal. Many times you can find both knee and elbow pads for skateboarding or skating as a single package.
When you get the most bang for your buck, you find knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist pads all in one purchase.
Ironically, your knee is not the most frequently injured body part when skating. The wrist is.
In fact, wrist injuries make up 37 percent of skating injuries. And two-thirds of those injuries are fractures.
Wrist guards look a bit different than a knee pad. They do not have the high-density foam to disperse the shock. Rather, they keep the wrist straight so that when you fall, you do not break it.
Wrist guards have been proven to reduce injuries by up to 87 percent. Elbow pads reduce elbow injuries up to 82 percent. So the package deal of elbow pads, wrist pads, and knee pads make sense.
Recreational Skate Pad Qualities
As you look for your perfect knee pad, consider what type of skating you will do. If you're starting to skate or plan on hitting the sidewalks for some exercise, you can qualify yourself as a recreational skater. Look for these characteristics in your knee pads.
You want your pad to breathe. You should be able to see that air can pass through upon first glance. If you cannot see light through the material with the naked eye, read the product description.
Breathability makes your knee pad comfortable. If you're a recreational skater or starting out, you want to be as comfortable as possible so you can fully enjoy skating.
Sweat-wicking material literally pulls the sweat off your skin and into exterior layers of the material where it then evaporates. The material wicks the sweat away rather than just absorbing it. This process means less smelly funk and fewer skin problems because of sweat.
Plus, sweat-wicking material keeps you cool. So if you plan on enjoying your leisurely skate, you need sweat-wicking material in your knee pads.
Pick the right pad for your particular knee. Men and women have different stresses on their knees because of their hip shape and angle. They need different types of knee pads.
Men's knee pads are typically bulkier and wider. Women's knee pads are more streamlined and sleek to fit a narrower knee.
Do not automatically assume you need a woman's knee pad if you are a woman, though. Look at the shape of your knee and your own build. This should determine the size of pad you need.
For example, slender skaters in general will want a sleeker, narrower pad. Stockier skaters may need a wider pad. Be aware that gender-specific pads come with narrower and wider sizes in mind.
The older we are, the harder we fall. You need adequate shock absorption, especially for recreational skating.
Recreational means "amateur." Aggressive skaters know better how to fall without hurting themselves because of their experience. A recreational skater does not have this advantage and thus needs as much shock absorption as an aggressive skater.
Pads with good shock absorption will have a gel or harder foam type inserted between the padding and the cloth cover. This will lessen the impact of your fall and protect your joints.
Aggressive Skating Pad Qualities
Aggressive skaters take more risks than recreational skaters. These are the people with helmets on the half pipes in the skate park. They may also be the ones who just zip by you on the side walk, attempting to move as quickly as they can on wheels.
If you've been skating for a while and plan on trying new tricks, you need different pads than when you first started skating. Look for a bulkier pad with more absorption.
Visible or Invisible
You have the option of wearing your pads either under or over your clothes. Bulky, protective pads will go outside your pants. Knee pad manufacturers also make sleeker pads that you can wear under your pants.
If you're a beginner skater, go with the bulkier pads. If you're experienced and have that extra confidence, then slip the sleek pads on under your jeans.
Sweat Wicking And Breathability
When you skate aggressively, you skate hard. You build up a sweat, and you need sweat-wicking and breathable material more than ever.
Not only will sweat-wicking and breathable material make you more comfortable, but it will prevent uncomfortable chafing, rashes, and offensive funk. Look for a skate pad with sweat-wicking material on its backside to keep yourself healthier and cleaner.
Do not judge a knee pad just by its width when looking at shock absorption. Material technology has helped manufacturers create lower profile thinner pads with a dense foam or gel that still disperses impact and shock well. Aggressive skaters need adequate shock absorption because of the velocity at which they skate.
A great skating knee pad will have a hard plastic shell on the outside but then a soft gel or foam inside. The outershell takes the beating while the inner layer disperses the impact across the knee. No single part of the knee should feel the impact of a fall.
Price matters. If you're looking at a cheap pad, make sure it is not cheaply made. Cheaper pads can break down more quickly and lead to you having to replace them more quickly.
Consider the long run when you look at the pads. Do they fit well? Do they have solid construction?
How Roller Skating Knee Pads Should Fit
When you're looking for roller skating pads, you need a pad that fits adequately. You do not want your leg to go numb from too tight of a pad, and you definitely do not want the pad sliding off.
To figure out which size you need, you should measure around your knee cap. Knee pads come in five different sizes:
- Extra Small, or 10-12 inches
- Small, or 12-14 inches
- Medium, or 14-16 inches
- Large, or 15-17 inches
- Extra Large, or17-20 inches
Weight is also a factor when considering knee and elbow pads for adults or for children. If you weigh anywhere from 100 to 140 pounds, you're generally going to need a small pad. If you weigh between 140 and 180 pounds, look for medium pads. Large pads are for individuals weighing 180 to 220 pounds, and extra-large pads are for people weighing more than 220 pounds.
Height also matters. If you're over 6 feet 2 inches tall, you'll most likely need a large knee pad to cover the real estate of your knee.
Ergonomic Rollerblade Knee Pads
As you look for the perfect knee pad, look for ergonomic pads. These are pads that fit your knee so well they feel molded to your knee.
Often welders, floor layers, mechanics, and any worker who has to be on his knees will look for an ergonomic pad. Skaters can use these too. You want something that will fit ergonomically to protect your knee while not restricting your movement.
How Should Rollerbade Knee Pads Feel?
Knee pads and elbow pads both should fit snugly without cutting off circulation. When you try on a knee pad, move around in it. Does it stay put even when you bend your knee?
Look for the pad that covers as much as you need to be protected. Some pads cover just your patella. Others will stretch over your ACL and LCL.
Make sure you have a knee pad that protects you fully and does not just feel good.
Pad Up and Skate On
There's no doubt that knee pads protect your knees. Rollerblade knee pads are an essential part of a positive and long rollerblading hobby.
You will fall. No one executes rollerblading and skating perfectly. You can prepare yourself for the fall and a longer career of skating by protecting your most prized assets: your joints.
Contact us for all your knee pad and knee brace needs.