If you ever risk injuring your knees, you will effectively endanger your ability to train BJJ. On top of that, recovering from any knee injuries takes a lot of time, which means that you aren’t going to be able to train for a while. To prevent this from happening, we recommend getting the best BJJ knee pads. After doing extensive research, we concluded that the first model that you should consider is the Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads. If you go for this option, you will get one pair in a unisex design. Every pad is made of a mix of EVA, rubber, and polyester, so it’s perfectly capable of offering you the protection that you need. The high-density strengthened foam will keep you safe at all times. If this unit is no longer in stock, we suggest going for our next choice, the ASICS Slider.
Venum Kontact Gel Knee Pad - Black/Black, Medium/Large
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Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads, Thick Sponge Anti-Slip, Collision Avoidance Knee Sleeve (Large)
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ASICS Super Sleeve, Black, Medium
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- 1 Best BJJ Knee Pads [Reviews]
- 2 BJJ Knee Pads Buying Guide
Best BJJ Knee Pads [Reviews]
Getting good BJJ knee pads nowadays can be a little more complicated than you might think. You have to pick the right size, the right type of density and you also have to go through as many models as possible, as well as the reviews they’ve acquired. Check out our selection if you have little to no time on your hands.
1. Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads
With the help of this option, you can fully protect your knees and also prevent injuries as you train. The excellent impact resistance ensured by the design of this model is definitely something worth writing home about. If you have problems with your blood circulation, this one might be worth taking into account, as well.
The model features a lightweight and ergonomic design and it can provide you with plenty of freedom in terms of the moves that you can make. It’s equipped with high-density foam and it is elastic enough for you to feel at ease.
In addition to everything, it is made from a mix of polyester, EVA, and rubber, but it doesn’t contain any latex.
2. ASICS Slider
This product is another pair of BJJ knee pads that you should bear in mind, especially since it is affordable, and therefore, it also speaks to the needs of those that are just getting into the sport. The model is crafted using 45% polyester, 39% rubber, and 16% nylon, so it doesn’t contain any latex whatsoever.
Every sleeve has a length of nine and a half inches and the height is 3.5 inches while the width measures 5.9 inches. It does come in a one-size-fits-all design, so some sizing issues could be expected.
Some of the customers who were kind enough to provide feedback with regard to the quality of this product say that it is slightly bigger than they expected.
3. Nevertap Knee Guard
While some knee pads aren’t necessarily marketed for contact sports, the manufacturing company that designs this product specifically says that it is recommended for such sports. This means that you can wear the guards when you train in wrestling, BJJ, MMA, or grappling.
Naturally, since it’s also a little more expensive compared to the budget-friendly choices that we came across, this one comes with military-grade nylon springs located on both sides of the guard. You can use your joint without being restrained and benefit from excellent protection.
Additionally, you might want to know that this one is anatomically designed, which means that it can contour to your knees.
4. Combat Sports Advanced
While you might think that the design of these knee pads can be too bulky for you to train properly, if you are a beginner, these are highly recommended for you. They have an injected molded foam technology which absorbs the force of every impact, keeping your joints safe and sound.
The pads are easy to put on and take off since they are made out of neoprene, which is known to be a rather flexible material. The leather striking surface effectively diminishes the force of every blow.
Every pad measures 13 by 5 by 4 inches and weighs in at just 8 ounces. These pads seem to be the perfect choice for sparring based on the reviews that they have acquired.
5. JBM Adult/Child Knee Pads
Even though this type of product is highly recommended for sports such as cycling, inline skating, skateboarding, as well as any other outdoor activities, it can definitely be utilized by kids who are getting into BJJ, as well.
The model is manufactured using durable and soft EVA padded material and it also features touch and rugged plastic plates. The best thing about it is that it comes with multiple adjustable straps that are elastic, which means that you can customize the fit as best as possible.
The breathable material is something to note, as well, since you aren’t going to become uncomfortable due to all of the sweat buildup.
6. RDX Knee Support Brace Protector
If you are not a big fan of big and bulky knee pads, perhaps this model is right up your alley. It is made with a unique Dri-Fit sweat management system ensured by the soft synthetic that went into its construction. This means that the sweat is going to be wicked away effectively.
The cross-over hook and loop strapping system boasted by this design makes for easy locking down of the pad. There is light carbon fiber padding in the build, as well, and it ensures that the unit stands the test of time.
Last, but not least, it’s worth adding that these guards can spring back even after you wash them time and again.
7. Cliff Keen The Wraptor 2.0
The minimalist design of this choice is one of the reasons why you should bear it in mind. The product has a sleek profile which brings an extra amount of function and comfort. Plus, it even has stretch mesh panels on the back, which means that you don’t have to worry about breathability.
Moreover, the Cliff Keen alternative comes with an anatomical wrap-around padding for lateral support, high-impact absorption, as well as a comfortable and slim fit. There are air vent holes added to the design for superior ventilation.
This one has actually received reviews from BJJ fighters who say that it has prevented their knees from getting banged up.
BJJ Knee Pads Buying Guide
Jiu-jitsu places a lot of stress on the knees and that’s actually more alarming than you might think. The amount of stress is considered ore compared to that which you might get when training in standing combat sports. It might be true that the knees don’t actually carry too much weight, but they are constantly under tension. They also have to perform well in positions which are awkward or mechanically inferior.
Let’s look at several things that can make the difference between a pair of BJJ knee pads that you need and one that you can do without. Check out our comprehensive guide below.
Why should you wear knee protection?
In MMA and BJJ, collisions with your partner or even with the mat can be a quite common thing. In most cases, a collision cannot be avoided, but you can lasses the impact by making sure that you’re wearing an appropriate pair of BJJ knee pads. These have to be made with material that can effectively protect you from hard blows.
If you do not protect your knees, you run a risk of injuring your patella or any of the ligaments that offer it support and keep it in the correct anatomical position. By the way, in case you didn’t know, wearing knee pads while grappling or BJJ is associated with a 56% decrease in the likelihood of getting a knee injury.
If you have ever injured your knee while sparring or while you were competing, you probably know how much agony you have had to go through. After these kinds of injury, it’s quite likely that you are looking to be a little more cautious to the point that you can even experience anxiety on the mat.
The fear of getting injured again can stop you from doing some types of techniques or can prevent you from taking more risk. Naturally, if you never sustain a knee injury, this is not going to happen.
Consider the type
One knee pad can vary from the next in terms of design, but also based on the material that it is manufactured of. There are also different lengths of knee pads, some which only cover the knee cap, and others capable of covering crucial areas such as the upper knee or the shin area. Longer knee pads are, however, considered to be more restrictive.
From what we have gathered by doing our research, it seems that there are two basic variations in terms of the design. One of them comes with actual padding, allowing you to rest assured that you aren’t going to sustain an injury while fighting. The other is more like a compression sleeve rather than a pad per se, so it doesn’t do that much when it comes to offering a lot of protection.
The essential element of a knee pad is its padding. This is basically the cushioning which surrounds the kneecap, mainly with the purpose of preventing injuries, but also reducing bruises. There are many types of materials for the padding. Let’s look at some of the common ones.
Neoprene foam is a material that’s specifically made to be soft, flexible, but also durable. It’s one of the most common types of materials currently used in the construction of knee pads. It’s highly resistant, but the models that are made with it are usually more expensive.
Lycra spandex is an innovation that’s basically an elastic synthetic fiber. It has revolutionized the clothing industry in the past and it is now entering the knee pad manufacturing industry, as well. It is comfortable and elastic.
Polyurethane or polyester foam is the least expensive alternative and also the most common form of cushioning. This material can typically be found in models that cost less than twenty bucks and that aren’t necessarily expected to last for a very long time.
How are you going to put the knee pads on and take them off? There are different types of closures boasted by many models. Some can be lighter, others can fit more precisely, and each comes with pros and cons.
The sleeve type design doesn’t have any closures at all. This is a great option for people who are getting into BJJ and don’t want to invest in something more expensive. However, with the one-size-fits-all design, you always run the risk of the product not fitting you properly.
The other type of closure is ensured by elastic or adjustable straps. Some knee pads even come with velcro, but since this type is not known for its durability, we don’t necessarily recommend. On the other hand, elastic knee pads are heavier, but they often fit properly. They can also offer a lot more stability and have different features included such as lateral and balance support.
If the unit that you are eyeing does come with a cap design, you should know that there are knee pad caps that can either have soft padding or could come with a hard shell.
Shell cops are hard and solid and they are typically crafted using rubber, plastic, or carbon fiber. These types are particularly good when it comes to reducing the shock of a blow right to your knee. They can be harder to maneuver and heavier, but they do offer a lot more protection compared to their counterparts.
Hex pads are a type where the pad cap is made of hexagon cells. The cells can be manufactured using rubber or other materials. Hex pads tend to cost a pretty penny, but they are elastic, as well as flexible, and they also take the cake when it comes to a lightweight design.
Padding caps are made of protective and durable material such as neoprene, EVA, or polyester. These ones don’t absorb impact as well as shell caps, for example. However, they are breathable and light, and they also offer you a wide range of movement.
Lightweight knee pads are made for fast-paced combat where you have to sacrifice protection for freedom of movement, flexibility, as well as breathability. Many lightweight models don’t incorporate any extras or adjustability features. They are often manufactured polyester padding or nylon and they very rarely incorporate hard shells.
Both midweight and heavier knee pads come with features such as adjustable straps, hard shells, shock absorption, as well as grippers. They can offer a good deal of protection both in the front and in the lateral parts of your knees. In general, heavier knee pads are capable of protecting your knees better.
Long knee pads can offer protection to more than just your knee cap. Unfortunately, that also means that they are more restrictive. By contrast, short knee pads can be less restrictive, and they are also capable of giving you better freedom of movement. They do lack protection to any other areas besides the patella. They are commonly used in sports such as Muay Thai and BJJ, though, since that’s where bruising and scratching on the knees can be one issue.
Frequently asked questions about BJJ knee pads
How long do knee pads last?
It usually depends on what they are utilized for. The majority of the quality models that we have come across can last for around 2 years when used constantly. The design and the fabric of the product can also impact its durability, in the end.
How can you clean knee pads?
Most of the units currently available for sale can be cleaned in the washer. It would be quite inconvenient to have to wash your knee pads by hand, but you can also do that if the fabric is sensitive. We recommend getting two separate pairs of knee pads so that you always have a clean one for any BJJ session.
How can I know if the knee pads will fit?
Try to opt for a model that doesn’t come in a one-size-fits-all design. You can’t know for which types of physical attributes it was created in the first place. It might also be a good idea to check some reviews of knee pads to see whether there were many complaints regarding the sizing of the product. Look at the measurements provided by the manufacturing brand and try to measure your knee area as best as possible. Then match your measurements with the size available on the company’s website, for example.