Although not every wrestler decides to wear knee pads, those who do have multiple options to choose from. Learn about the selection of wrestling knee pads available so you can make an informed choice when purchasing your knee pads for next season right along with your singlet and wrestling shoes.
The most common wrestling kneepad is the basic kneepad. It provides added protection to avoid knee injuries while you’re on the mat. It has a circular pad, sometimes more oval shaped, that keeps the kneecap safe. Wrestlers can choose to wear the basic kneepad on both knees or just on the leg they tend to shoot a takedown with. The basic kneepad is flexible, lightweight, and should fit at the top of the calf and bottom of the thigh when the correct size is worn.
Another option for your wrestling kneepads is bubble or dome kneepads. These are the most effective at minimizing direct harsh impact to the knees during matches. Usually constructed from cotton or nylon, these kneepads have a large, soft cushion that extends over the knee for additional protection. Bubble kneepads resemble those worn by volleyball players and are an excellent choice for wrestlers who have previous knee injuries.
You might also look into the possibility of purchasing knee sleeves. These consist of much less material than other kneepads, and they make sliding across the mat easier, but they don’t offer the protection that a bubble or even basic kneepad provides. You might choose this type of wrestling gear to avoid mat burn, but if you’re looking to guard against injuries from direct impact to the knee, this is not the best option for you.
When making your decision on what type of kneepad to use, or whether to use any at all, remember to think about the material the pads you’re considering are made of. Cotton does not slide as easily across a mat as a smoother material like Lycra, but neither does a bare knee. Think about your wrestling style and what will hinder your moves the least while still providing the amount of protection you feel is necessary for you.
If you keep these things in mind while making your choice for kneepads, you’re sure to be ready for an excellent season when it’s time to hit the mat again.