Ow! Another sharp rock!
October 31, 2009 9:19 PM   Subscribe

How can I keep my kneepads on my knees while sprinting, sliding, crawling, and kneeling? Or, recommend some kneepads that would work better.

I play paintball. In the course of play, I spend a great deal of time sliding around on my knees, crawling, slinking, and kneeling. Not only is it hard on my knees to begin the slide, but it also hurts to kneel on pebbles as I shift around for better position.

I've tried two different varieties of kneepads. Soccer-style kneepads with an elastic cuff don't work: the cuff rolls into a skinny, knee-strangling snake of elastic in the crease of my knee. They go on fine, but the moment I flex my thigh, they roll up. And then they don't really do their job.

I have a pair of tile-laying kneepads with a pair of straps: these simply don't stay in place. They seem designed for kneeling only, not for a mix of sprinting and kneeling. But they do work better than the soccer-style ones... barely.

I've tried wearing the pads on the outside of my pants, on the inside of my pants but outside my baselayer, and against my bare skin. It doesn't seem to matter where I put them, they won't stay put. I even tried big honkin' safety pins. That experiment ended in blood.

If it matters, and I believe it does, I am kinda fat. I've asked around at the field, but most other players are skinny kids whose legs are more cylindrical than my conical ones. They seem to have no trouble with whatever kneepads they wear, simply strapped or slid on in the usual manner.

Any suggestions?

Price is not an issue. But paying $150 for professional tactical kneepads only to find they suck too... that would be an issue.
posted by Netzapper to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Duct tape, wear them outside of your pants and tape them to your pants.

Go to a sewing shop and get some thin webbing and sew yourself some straps to put under your heels and onto your belt to hold the knee pads in place. Then cut the elastic off and just use the velcro straps I am assuming they have to secure them around your knee.

In general I've found that knee pads just suck when running.
posted by 517 at 9:29 PM on October 31, 2009

Skater knee pads! I wore Rector Fat Boy knee pads when I played roller derby. The stayed in place well on my fat legs, both for skating and falling. Find a well stocked skate shop and try a few pairs on. Under the pants!
posted by mollymayhem at 9:37 PM on October 31, 2009

Best answer: Consider trying caving knee pads. Caving is relatively gymnastic (depends on the cave) and we spend a lot of time abusing our knees. I have these Gonzo Guano Gear Knee Armor pads, which are neoprene inside super-tough nylon. They rock. They go outside your pants, and protect the upper shin as well as the front and sides of the knee. Gonzo's a small shop; I'm sure they would make you some black or camo ones.
posted by mindsound at 10:33 PM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Perhaps some velcro would stabilize them - superglue some of the hook side to the pads, then sew some pile side onto the appropriate place on your pants. Otherwise, the, um, conical nature of your legs will tend to slide the kneepads lower no matter how they're strapped on.
posted by squorch at 1:38 AM on November 1, 2009

I need to use knee pads everyday at work and I hate them so. I think I've come up with a good solution: I'm going to sew pockets (or hire someone to do it for me) on the front of my pants that will hold a foam knee pad. I'll leave the bottom somewhat open to allow dirt to fall through. Perhaps that can work for you. It's really the strapping that is most annoying, so fixing the pad to your pants could work. Also, there are pre made pants with knee pad pockets made by Duluth Trading Company (here). Happy shooting.
posted by recurve at 1:04 AM on November 1, 2009

I don't know if you have special pants you need to wear, but Duluth Trading makes work pants with built-in kneepads.
posted by miss tea at 5:53 AM on November 1, 2009

Was going to suggest workpants with the pockets built in for pads too. You could also just sew in pockets on the inside of the pants for them if they are your "gaming pants".
posted by Iteki at 6:32 AM on November 1, 2009

You needs for knee pads sound just like what is needed in the military. When I was an infantryman, we were hardcore stupid and didn't wear them, but the Alta tactical pads seem to be the ones of choice these days.
posted by procrastination at 7:02 AM on November 1, 2009

Football pants might work- my son's have interior pockets for the knee and thigh pads sewn in. The pads are removable for washing. The pants have elastic gathers about halfway down the thigh.

Seems like an easy thing to add into your own pants, if you have a pair that fits you well- just sew in some mesh pockets at the right spots.

Maybe check out the football pants at your local sporting goods store for inspiration?
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:35 AM on November 1, 2009

Best answer: Get some dirt jump armor. Something like these which are made to stay on while the user pedals/crashes/slides. They work pretty well, and can fit under pants if that is necessary.
posted by chuke at 6:24 PM on November 1, 2009

What you want are professional-grade skater pads (mine are the Oxygen brand) that have big comfortable multi-layered velcro fastenings both above and below the knee. These are best because they are specifically designed for sliding on - with big flat smooth plastic plates over the knees.
posted by allkindsoftime at 1:03 AM on November 2, 2009

Response by poster: After trying on every adult kneepad in Kitsap County (literally), I eventually bought a pair of these SixSixOne kneepads. These (also from SixSixOne) looked like they'd stay in place better, given that the shinguard would prevent them from falling. But they weren't available in my size, and nobody would order me a pair to try on without the obligation to buy them. All the other shin+knee armor I found had rigid plates, and a premolded bend in them, making them uncomfortable to wear while standing upright--which makes sense, given that your knees are rarely straight on a bike.

The skater kneepads all seemed like they'd stay in place alright, but it also seemed like the exposed edges of the plastic caps on them would dig into the mud and wind up a mess. Not to mention that they'd totally screw up my slides. If I were on a hard surface, they'd be awesome. But most days, I play in the mud.

I really would have preferred to buy the Gonzo Guano Gear armor mentioned above, but they failed to reply to email or to return multiple phonecalls. Maybe they're on vacation or something, but no indication was given that they'd be back in any reasonable timeframe.
posted by Netzapper at 9:45 PM on November 6, 2009

Response by poster: I spoke too soon. The Gonzo people called me back. So I ordered a pair of the behemoth knee pads (in black). The other kneepads are going back to the store.

I'm real lucky that I chose not to play yesterday, despite my plans... you can't return muddy kneepads.
posted by Netzapper at 10:44 AM on November 9, 2009

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