10 Best Knee Pads for Outdoor Activities in 2017

Your knees are some of the most active and most important joints in your body. No matter what you do, your knees are almost constantly in motion. Those of us who have suffered knee injury know how awkward life becomes when you can’t move your knees properly.

Since knees carry the load of the body, particular care should be taken to keep them healthy and functional. Even minor knee problems can greatly reduce your quality of life.

Therefore, if your occupation or leisure activities require you to put your knees in danger of impact or prolonged contact with hard surfaces, knee pads are a guaranteed way to keep your knees out of harm’s way. You’ll be needing your knees for years to come.

In order to help you keep your knees safe, we have prepared a list of the 10 best knee pads currently on the market, and a guide for buying knee pads that are tailored to your particular needs.

10 Best Knee Pads for Outdoor Activities

1. KP Industries Knee Pro Ultra Flex III Knee Pads

KP Industries Knee Pro Ultra Flex III Knee Pads - Gray and Orange
  • Hard Plastic outer shells are extremely strong. Manufacturer's Warranty.
  • Non-Marking Grip-Strip on any surface. Speed clips snap easily into place for quick on-off.
  • 1/2 inch closed cell inner foam pad offers the ultimate in comfort and protection.
  • Hinged for ease of movement while kneeling or walking.
  • Soft elastic woven straps with reinforced sewn ends are placed well above and below the knee

These heavy-duty knee pads are made of strong and flexible plastic, which makes them practically indestructible. These knee pads are sturdy, lightweight and comfortable. They will protect your knees in any environment while making you forget that you are wearing them.

Features and Specifications:

Non-Marking Grip Strips – Grip strips on the front of the shells, where your knees contact the floor, will grip to almost any surface. However, they will not leave marks on your floor.

Shell – The plastic outer shell is incredibly strong and chemically resistant. It can withstand the stresses of any job site environment.

Padding – 5/8” closed cell foam pads will offer the greatest protection and comfort for your knees.

Speed Clip – The comfortable elastic woven straps will not get contaminated by dirt and lose their grip like Velcro. The pads can be easily put on, removed or adjusted while you are wearing them.

Jointed – The KneePro UltraFlex III pads are hinged with metal rivets, allowing them to move as your knees move. Regardless whether you’re running, jumping, or simply kneeling, they will stay in place and will not fall to the side or bend out of shape. This makes them the perfect choice for activities such as airsoft or paintball.

Sizes – Adjustable elastic straps will fit most sizes.


Will stay in place at all times
Lightweight and comfortable
The straps are placed above and below the knee, preventing them from winding up behind it or cutting off your circulation
Closed cell foam pads will not absorb moisture and are resistant to odor


The hard plastic outer shell doesn’t breathe well, so your knees can get hot and sweaty


2. DEWALT DG5204 Professional Knee Pads

The fabled DeWalt DG5204 knee pads are the perfect choice for a multi-surface knee pad. Made from a ballistic poly material, these knee pads are sturdy and durable, while their combined gel and closed foam inner padding makes them comfortable in any situation. Especially recommended for individuals with knee problems and those on the heavy side.

Features and Specifications:

Caps – The DeWalt DG5204 has non-skid, heavy duty caps, which are suitable for any surface.

Lining – The pads are made from the ballistic poly material that is extremely durable and provides long lasting strength and protection.

Padding – Gel padding layered over closed cell foam padding provides exceptional support and comfort. Extra padding around the knee area ensures comfort regardless of your position.

Straps – The large neoprene lower strap is durable and stretchable. The upper strap allows you to easily reposition the pads if needed.

Heavy-Duty Stitching – All seems of the pads have extra stitching for added durability.

Sizes – The neoprene straps will fit most sizes.


Extremely durable material
Will not slip down your leg
Exceptionally comfortable, even if you’ve previously suffered knee injuries


The Velcro bottom strap tends to loosen after a while
The pads will sometimes rotate on uneven ground or while crawling


3. Fiskars Ultra Light Knee Pads

Fiskars Ultra Light Knee Pads (9418)
  • Ideal for preventing sore knees when you're kneeling in your garden
  • Moisture-proof outer shell offers excellent durability to protect you from rough terrain
  • Soft foam liner provides generous padding and comfort
  • Straps adjust easily to fit small and large users snugly and comfortably
  • Lifetime warranty

Fiskars Ultra Light Knee Pads, as their name implies, are extremely light weight. Their tough moisture-proof outer shell makes them the perfect choice for gardening and cleaning the house. Once you’ve put them on, you’ll never remember you’re wearing them.

Features and Specifications:

Shell – The rubber outer shell of the knee pads is moisture-proof, making these the perfect pads for work in the garden. It will protect your knees from moisture, cold and rough surfaces. They will not leave marks on your floor if you use them to clean the house.

Padding – The soft foam inside the pads provides plenty of cushion for your knees.

Ultra Light – Fiskars Ultra Light Knee Pads weigh only 4.8 ounces. Without looking at your knees, you’ll never know you’re wearing them.

Sizes – Elastic Velcro straps will fit most sizes.


Comfortable during long hours of work
Moisture-resistant shell makes sure your knees stay dry
Very affordable price
The knee pads come with a lifetime warranty


The single Velcro straps won’t hold the pads in place so well if you need to crawl a lot
The straps might be too long for smaller users


4. McDavid 6446 Hex Padded Compression Leg Sleeve

Mcdavid 6446 Extended Compression Leg Sleeve with Hexpad Protective Pad (Black, Small) - One pair
  • Our products will provide in protecting and helping reduce the incidence of injury
  • Supports your return to activity and enhance performance
  • Made using the highest quality and most innovative technology and materials
  • Product Alert: This product is intended to be close fitting for the best support and protection. Although, If the customers measurements are close to the maximum size range, we recommend they select the next size up for comfort.
  • Leg sleeves featuring 9mm HEX Technology is a favorite among pro and collegiate players
  • Extended length for better fit as well as added protection against cuts and scratches
  • hDc Moisture Management Technology is all about cool and dry; Wicking moisture away from the skin

These leg sleeves are versatile enough to be used for both sport and work protection. They are made from comfortable, highly elastic fabric that wicks away moisture, keeping the skin cool and dry. They are perfect for work that requires a lot of movement and short amounts of time spent on the knees.

Features and Specifications:

Fabric – McDavid 6446 leg sleeves employ hDc™ Moisture Management Technology. The fabric of the knee pads is designed to wick away moisture from the skin and distribute it over a large area. This keeps the skin dry while making the moisture evaporate more quickly.

Padding – 9 mm Hex™ Technology features hexagonally shaped, closed cell foam padding that is bonded to the fabric. That ensures the highest mobility and comfort.

Extended Lenght – The knee sleeves reach well above and below the knee, providing a better fit and ensuring that the sleeves will stay in place at all times.

Compression Support – McDavid 6446 leg sleeves provide compression support to the knees, reducing the pressure to the joints. Since they prevent injuries that result from great pressure on the knees, the sleeves are ideal for sports such as basketball, weightlifting or running.

Sizes – The sleeves come in sizes: Small (10-12″), Medium (12-14″), Large (14-16″), XL (16-19″), 2XL (19-22″). The knee should be measured around the largest part of the knee, directly over the knee cap, while the leg is bent at 45 degrees.


Very light and comfortable to wear
Will not slip down your leg
Cools the skin while keeping it dry


The thin fabric over the protection pads isn’t designed for rough surfaces, so it will tear if you abuse it


5. ALTA 50420 AltaFLEX NOMAR Knee Protector Pad

ALTA AltaFLEX Knee Protector Pad, Universal (ACU) Cordura Nylon Fabric
  • Flex feature for kneeling comfort and stability
  • Trusted protection
  • Maximum flexibility
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Tested to highest standards

AltaFLEX NOMAR knee pads are an excellent choice for construction environments. Their strong and flexible rubber caps provide ample protection for the knees and will grip to most surfaces. Sturdy buckle fasteners will keep the pads in place during long work hours.

Features and Specifications:

Cap – The rubber caps of the knee pads are strong and flexible. They will protect your knees from injury and will provide good traction on most surfaces. They are connected to the lining with metal rivets which will not give way even under strong pressure.

Lining – The AltaFLEX NOMAR knee pads are made from strong and durable DuPont Cordura® Nylon. This material has a long history of military application and can withstand heavy abuse.

Padding – The foam padding is comfortable and designed to wick away moisture and keep out dirt and debris. These pads will cause no sweating or overheating to your knees.

Straps – Original AltaLOK™ Easy On/Off Fastening System allows the pads to easily be put on or off and adjusted. Unique Alta Strapkeeper System allows the excess straps to be secured and not flap around.

Sizes – Adjustable straps will fit most sizes.


Soft, comfortable padding
Lightweight and easy to transport
The excess straps don’t flap around as you move


They tend to slip down your leg if you use them for more dynamic activities such as airsoft or paintball


6. Troxell USA – Original Super Soft Knee Pad

Troxell USA - Original Super Soft Knee pad
  • Patented Front Fastening Velcro Strap
  • Comfortable & Washable Neoprene
  • Wear With Short
  • Durable

Troxell USA –  Original Super Soft knee pads are lightweight and comfortable. Their machine washable neoprene fabric and thick wraparound Velcro fastening straps will not pinch or cause skin irritation when worn on bare legs. They are an excellent choice for gardening and housework.

Features and Specifications:

Fabric – Troxell USA Original Super Soft knee pads are made from sturdy and durable neoprene fabric, which can withstand any weather and is completely machine washable.

Padding – Thick closed cell foam cushions provide comfort on most surfaces. Perfect for house cleaning, gardening and work on relatively flat surfaces such as concrete.

Front Fastening Velcro Strap – Extra wide Velcro strap sits below the knee and fastens at the front. It will not pinch or cause rashes, so the pads can be worn on bare legs.

Lightweight – The pads are lightweight and comfortable, making you forget you’re wearing them.

Sizes – They come in sizes: Small, Regular/Medium and Large.


Lightweight and comfortable
Can withstand wet weather


The pads tend to slip off


7. ASICS Unisex Slider V. Knee Pad

ASICS Slider, Black, One Size
  • Wide coverage and low profile PU pad
  • 9 1/2" sleeve length
  • One size fits most adults (measure around center of knee): 12"-18"
  • Sold in pairs

ASICS Unisex Slider V. Knee Pads are highly versatile and can be used for both work and sport. The soft, stretchable fabric allows the knee pads to be worn both over or on under the pants and is machine washable. While they lack the hard outer shell, their thick Polyurethane pads provide ample cushion for kneeling on any surface.  This particular feature makes them the ideal choice for any work environment that requires mobility.

Features and Specifications:

Fabric – The ASICS Unisex Slider V. Knee Pads are made of a stretchable polyester, nylon and rubber fabric. The fabric is easy on any skin and is machine washable.

Padding – Wide coverage Polyurethane foam pads are sewn into the fabric. The foam pads are extra wide, covering the entire kneecap and the area around it. This ensures that the pads will protect your knees from impact in any situation.

Extended length – Although not as long as the McDavid 6446 pads, these pads also reach well above and below the knee for added comfort and protection.

Sizes – One size fits most


They fit comfortably and stay in place
Bulky pads will absorb strong impact to your knees


Might be a bit tight for some users
The material can lose its elasticity over time, making the pads slip


8. Custom Leathercraft 302 Medium Shock Absorption Kneeling Pad

CLC Custom Leathercraft 302 Medium Shock Absorption Kneeling Pad, 14 x 21-Inch
  • COMFORTABLE: Excellent shock absorption and cushioning properties
  • SAFETY: Beveled, diagonally striped perimeter to reduce tripping hazard
  • USEFUL: Unique handle location is more useful while kneeling
  • SAFE: Lead and Phthalate free

The Custom Leathercraft 302 Shock Absorption kneeling pad serves the same purpose as knee pads, keeping your knees dry and comfortable on rough surfaces. It is the perfect tool for quick tasks when you don’t want to bother with putting on knee pads, or for tasks where mobility is paramount.

Features and Specifications:

Material – The Custom Leathercraft Kneeling Pad is made from NBR (Nitrile Butadiene Rubber) foam. This material is highly resistant to oils, fuels and other chemicals, as well as extremely low and high temperatures. This makes the pad perfect for work in the garage or other environments where oil or chemical spill is a possibility.

Comfort – 1-inch thick NBR foam provides excellent cushioning and shock absorption, keeping your knees comfortable on any surface.

Diagonally Striped Perimeter Lines – Diagonal lines around the edges of the mat increase its visibility and reduce the hazard of tripping.

Sizes – The pad comes in sizes: ( 301) Small: (8″ x 18″), (302) Medium: (14″ x 21″), (303) Large: (16″ x 28″) and (305) Extra Large: (18″ x 36″).


Grips to most surfaces
Comfortable on any surface


The price gets a bit steep for Large and Extra Large pads


9. Mizuno LR6 Volleyball Knee Pad

Mizuno LR6 Volleyball Kneepad, Black, Medium
  • D.F. CUT pad for greater frredom of movement
  • 6" sleeve length
  • VS-1 padding in high impact zone
  • Complete patella, lateral, and medial protection
  • Poly/Cotton/Spandex blend

Mizuno LR6 is another highly versatile Volleyball Kneepad on our list. Its VS-1 padding technology ensures ample cushioning and protection for your knees while providing maximum freedom of movement. Perfect for sport or jobs where mobility needed.

Features and Specifications:

Fabric – Mizuno LR6 Knee Pads are made from a mixture of polyester, rayon and spandex. The fabric is comfortable, but stretchy enough to keep the pad in place during sport or work activities. It is machine washable.

Padding – The knee pads include strategically placed VS-1 padding that is sewn into the fabric. The padding covers the entire kneecap and its surrounding area, protecting the knee from frontal or side impact. DFcut (Dynamic Function Cut) technology ensures that the pad will stay in place while providing an unrestricted range of motion.

Mizuno Intercool® technology – The fabric of the pads uses a lightweight micro yarn knit, ensuring superior moisture management and evaporation. It is designed to enhance air flow, keeping the skin cool and dry.

Sizes – Small (under 13.5″), Medium (13.5″-15.5″) Large (over 15.5″). The Measurements should be taken 1” above the knee.


Comfortable, do not slip down your leg
The pads are specifically cut to provide the highest freedom of movement


The size chart is not accurate, as the pads tend to be smaller than stated. Even Large pads could be too tight for some users
The fabric isn’t very durable


10. NoCry Professional Knee Pads

NoCry Professional Knee Pads with Heavy Duty Foam Padding and Comfortable Gel Cushion, Strong Double Straps and Adjustable Easy-Fix Clips
  • EASY TO ADJUST FOR A TIGHT, SECURE FIT. Flexible neoprene straps and an ergonomic design keep the knee pads snugly in place all day long. Plus, the quick release slip buckle clips make putting on and taking off your pads a snap
  • DESIGNED FOR COMFORT AND SAFETY. Soft gel core and durable EVA foam padding cushion your knees for hours on end. A heavy-duty thick poly shield protects against cuts or scrapes on any terrain
  • USE AT HOME OR ON THE JOB. Ideal for working on concrete and hardwood floors, construction work, flooring and carpet installations, welding, stocking shelves, gardening, cleaning, and more
  • BUILT TO WITHSTAND HEAVY USE. Heavy-weight nylon thread ensures long-lasting durability. 600D polyester mesh breathes for all-day comfort
  • BACKED BY THE NOCRY GUARANTEE. NoCry stands behind every item we make. If there's an issue with your knee pads, we'll make it right by replacing them or giving your money back

No Cry Professional Knee Pads are some of the most comfortable knee pads currently on the market. Their padding is made of EVA foam with an added extra thick gel cushion, making your knees fell as they’re surrounded by pillows. These pads are perfect for any job that requires long hours spent on the knees.

Features and Specifications:

Cap – The non-skid PVC caps of the NoCry Professional Knee Pads will grip most surfaces and will not leave any signs on the floor. They are textured and flat at the center to prevent rolling or slipping and ensure stability on any surface.

Lining – The inside of the pads is made mainly of heavy-duty 600D polyester fabric, which provides maximum durability.

Padding – The pads are made from EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) closed cell foam with an extra thick gel cushion. This makes the pads exceptionally comfortable, allowing the user to kneel for hours on end without difficulty.

Straps – The pads are held in place by flexible neoprene straps, which are connected by slip buckle clips. The clips allow for easy on/off, while the breathable neoprene straps prevent heat buildup.

Sizes – The stretchable neoprene straps will fit most sizes.


Exceptionally comfortable
Stable on any surface
The product has a one year warranty


The straps are a bit too stretchy, so the pads tend to slip down your legs


How to Choose the Perfect Knee Pads?

Generally speaking, knee pads are protective gear designed to prevent knee injury and keep the knees healthy. Choosing the right knee pads will depend on your personal preferences and the purpose of the knee pad.

If you’ll be using them for house activities and gardening, then something simple, comfortable and cheap will be perfect. However, if you’re doing heavy-duty construction work, where kneeling onto a pile of nails is a distinct possibility, then you would want high-quality knee pads with a hard plastic shell and straps that will make sure your knee pads stay in place during long work hours.

If you plan to use your knee pads for sport or outdoor activities, then your choice will depend on the type of activity. If you use knee pads for activities such as basketball or volleyball, where mobility is of paramount importance, then soft, comfortable, sleeve type pads are the way to go. On the other hand, for extreme sports or activities such as paintball, where knee impact is likely or even expected, you would choose knee pads with a hard shell and plenty of cushioning to soften the blow to your knees.

Here are the most important points you should consider when choosing the appropriate knee pads:

Material for the Front Part of the Knee Pad

Find out what front material every best knee pads should have to protect your knees effectively.

You should choose the material for the front part of the kneepad (the cap or shell in case of heavy duty knee pads) according to the level of protection you require.

Knee pads are made from several materials, but the most common for work, sport or household purposes are fabric, plastic and rubber.

Fabric – Fabric knee pads, such as the ASICS Unisex Slider V. or Troxell USA – Original Super Soft Kneepad, are usually flexible, lightweight and comfortable. They can be worn on bare legs and will not pinch or cause skin irritation.

Fabric knee pads are an excellent choice for household activities such as cleaning the floors or gardening. They are also perfect for indoor sports since they are lightweight and will not impede your mobility.

Additionally, when looking for sports knee pads, you should choose those with fabric that is designed to wick away moisture and keep your skin dry and cool, such as the McDavid 6446 knee pads.

Fabric tends to rip when confronted with rough surfaces such as concrete or gravel. Also, the padding alone might not provide enough protection for your knees in case of forceful impact.

If you need knee pads for heavy-duty protection, then plastic would be the material to go with.

Plastic – Plastic kneepad caps, such as the DeWalt DG5204, or shells, such as the Knee Pro Ultra Flex III, will withstand pretty much any abuse you can put them through. They are sturdy and durable and are often not intended to be worn on bare legs, although this will depend on the kneepad.

Plastic knee pads will provide ample protection from rough surfaces. They are ideal for construction environments where you need to spend long hours kneeling on surfaces that might be hazardous to your knees.

An additional point you should consider when buying knee pads for work are non-slip features. Caps of work knee pads are usually flat at the center and textured to provide stability and traction.

Although somewhat restrictive to your movement, hard shell kneecaps are a necessity for extreme sports or outdoor activities such as paintball. You should not make compromises with your health, so choose plastic pads if the situation requires.

Rubber – Rubber knee pads, such as the Fiskars Ultra Light Knee Pads, are quite resilient, although not as tough and durable as plastic pads. The main advantage of rubber knee pads is that they are almost 100% waterproof, which makes rubber the material of choice for gardening knee pads.


Padding of your knee pads is very crucial from comfort and safety perspective.

The choice of padding (cushioning), for your knee pads, is mostly a matter of personal preferences and needs. There are, however, certain advantages to different materials, and we will look at them briefly here. The most common types of padding are foam padding and gel padding.

Foam Padding – Polyurethane foam padding is firm and can absorb impact very efficiently. It is the most often used type of padding in knee pads, as it will provide comfort for your knees while keeping them safe. However, since foam is firm, it will restrict your movement somewhat.

Gel Padding – Usually used in combination with foam padding, the gel will shift to conform to your knee, providing exceptional comfort while not restricting your movement.

The safest and most comfortable knee pads have a gel cushion on top of one or more layers of foam, such as the No Cry Professional Knee Pads. This provides maximum comfort and safety for your knees.

If you’re using knee pads for sports or occasional housework, foam padding will provide plenty of protection and comfort. But if you have to spend hours on end working on your knees, or if you have knee problems in general, gel cushioned knee pads would definitely be for you.


Knee pads are usually designed to open at the back, like protective knee pads, or sleeves, like volleyball knee pads. A third option is kneeling pads.

We will briefly examine the different types of kneepad design.

Open Knee Pads – Open knee pads do not cover the back of the knee, and are held in place by straps. They most often have one or two straps which are either elastic, adjustable, both or a combination (one strap being firm and adjustable and the other elastic and adjustable). The straps usually have either Velcro or click closures at their end.

A point to consider regarding the straps is whether to go with Velcro or click closures. While Velcro straps are slightly more practical and don’t tend to get caught on stuff, Velcro can lose its grip over time and doesn’t hold the pads as firmly in place as the click closures.

Another point would be the placement of the straps. If the straps are too close to the crease of the knee they can wind up in it, cutting off your circulation.

There are many different knee pad designs and it's up to you to choose the one that suits you the best.

As for the elastic vs. firm straps, this is a point of personal preference, although the elastic straps do tend to be a bit too stretchy sometimes, causing the knee pads to slip down your leg. Therefore, if possible, you should go with elastic Velcro straps for lightweight housework knee pads, and firm, click closure straps for the heavy-duty protection pads.

Sleeve-Type Knee Pads – Sleeve type knee pads are usually tight fit and wrap around your entire knee. They are usually designed to be worn on bare skin since they’re often too tight to pull over normal pants. Sleeve type knee pads are lightweight and flexible, so they will not impede your movement.

Apart from impact protection, some sleeve type knee pads, such as the McDavid 6446, offer the additional benefit of compression support. These knee pads will prevent the risk of knee damage by supporting and stabilizing your knees, which increases blood flow and reduces any swelling and pain. They are useful for sports such as basketball or weightlifting, where the great load is put on the knee joints.

Although primarily designed for sports,  sleeve type knee pads are an excellent choice for work environments where it is necessary to move around a lot and kneel once in a while.

Kneeling Pads – Kneeling pads, such as the Custom Leathercraft Kneeling Pad, are basically cut out sections of thick rubber foam. They are more practical than knee pads in situations where you need to spend a prolonged amount of time kneeling in one place and occasionally move about. An added benefit is that you can sit on them if needed.


Finally, you should choose the right size of your new knee pads.

Many knee pads come in one size that should fit all users. That is ok for open type knee pads since they normally have adjustable straps. However, sleeve type knee pads of the wrong size can either be restrictive or constantly slide down your leg.

Therefore, when ordering knee pads measure carefully and consult the size chart. Be mindful of product specifications, since different size charts require you to measure at different places.

Particularly specific is the McDavid size chart, which requires you to measure the widest part of your knee while the leg is bent at approximately 45 degrees!


Now you have a knee pads guide in front of you so you know every information that is crucial for picking the best pair.

Whether you’re a professional athlete, a construction worker or a paintball enthusiast, protecting your knees should be one of your main concerns.

As we said before, since your knees are involved in almost any movement you make, even the smallest knee problems will cause you great discomfort and reduce your quality of life. Knee pads are a guaranteed way to keep some of the most important joints in your body safe, and you should not compromise your health for the sake of work or sports.

There are plenty of different knee pads to choose from, and with the help of our guide, you shouldn’t have any problems to find a perfect pair that perfectly suits your needs and fits your knees.

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