Choosing the Right Kneepads

Let me start out with a newer saying that I’ve been hearing with great regularity the last few years – “30 is the new 20, and 40 is the new 30”. Although I like the sound of this new upbeat attitude towards age, this saying does not really apply to those of us that have developed little or significant nagging injuries. For me personally, I felt 20 when I was 20, 30 when I was 30, I definitely feel the age that I currently am right now. Maybe the reason I don’t feel younger than my age is that I have the back troubles and knee peculiarities of a typical senior.

Anyhow, I’m hoping that this article will help the rest of you that has not experienced their 30’s and 40’s yet, feel 10 years younger when you get there by choosing the perfect knee pad.

Step one in choosing the right knee pads is to try them on!

I have gone through a multitude of kneepads and have found one thing in common. It turns out that the best predictor of the long-term satisfaction with various knee pads was recognized the 1st time I put them on! Before I started out testing various knee pads, I assumed that I would have to go through a break-in period before I could actually determine how the knee pads would pan out. This turned out not to be true, you’ll know right away.

Step two in selecting the right protective kneeware is to determine which type of knee pad is the most suitable for the project you’re taking on.

I also learned, through various forms of testing, that even though I could easily pick out a comfortable knee pad, that different types knee pads are good for specific types of jobs. One example was when I learned that hard-cap kneepads are great for sliding around when installing carpeting, but are not enjoyable knee pads for tile work. Maybe if I were a bit more flexible, the unexpected splits routine I performed installing some bathroom tiling would have not resulted in the embarrassing visit to the local ER.

Hard-cap knee pads – are great for swiveling on and sliding around. They are perfect for carpeted areas. I personally avoid hard-cap knee-pads on all other surfaces (except grass) for the obvious reason I spoke of earlier.

Curved soft caps – typically have a rubber cap that grips well and also allows for side-to-side rocking motions that’s common in flooring tasks. They’re a good all-around choice if you’re rocking around purposefully, but not my first choice when it comes to tasks that require stationary kneeling. For those tasks I prefer the flat soft cap knee pad.

Flat-cap knee pads – are flat and make contact with the entire surface of the knee pad; they are great for tasks that require stationary kneeling such as installing a garbage disposal or water filter under a sink and practically any plumbing work.

Step three in choosing your knee protection gear is with choosing the right straps.

Over the years every manufacturer has come out with their own theory as to how to cope with the problem of the strap. And over the years I have not found a single pair of straps on any kneepad that has solved this dilemma. Yes, there have been improvements, but straps still remain an issue to cope with. I have found a simple step of dealing with the straps this is yet another small improvement when coping with this uncomfortable issue. Kneepads generally have 2 straps. One strap is above the knee and the other is strapped below. I’ve found that the bottom strap is the strap responsible for most of the holding, and that by loosening the upper strap rather than making it snug, the better the overall feel. I’ve also found that I greatly prefer buckles over Velcro. Buckles typically allow the strap to pivot a bit while Velcro is relatively unforgiving and has a tendency to bunch up and irritate on your “kneepit” area more.

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Now for my personal favorites. There are hundreds of knee pads out there and I have not tested every one of them, so don’t take it to heart if I don’t mention your favorite pair of knee pads.

HARD CAP KNEEWARE

1st Place
Alta® Proline
They slide well on carpet and are comfortable, the downside is that they tend to slide off the side of the kneecap.

2nd Place
Craftsman® GelTek
They slide well on carpet and somewhat comfortable, the downside is that they tend to slide off the side of the kneecap.

CURVED CAP KNEEWARE

1st Place
Patella-T (Non-Wedge)
They’re super-grippy and they are comfortable too! They allow for rocking without giving up much support. These are my absolute favorite knee pads!

2nd Place
Patella-T (Wedge)
Not as grippy as the Non-Wedge but they’re just as comfortable. They’re a little bit more stable than the Non-Wedge.

FLAT CAP KNEEWARE

1st Place
Platinum Knee Pads
They’re as comfortable and as stable as any kneepad on the market. They’re somewhat grippy too!

2nd Place
KneeSaver Kneeling Mat
For some reason I can’t think of another knee pad to recommend. All the kneepads I’ve tried had Velcro straps and I can’t recommend Velcro to anyone. So instead I recommend the KneeSaver Kneeling Mat!

Notes:
I have not tested any professional floor rolling knee pads or roller benches. Someday I may have the opportunity to put a few to the test, so look for an update to this review.