Best Knee Pads for Roller Skating

Also read: Best roller skates for new skaters

Roller Skating Knee Injury Statistics

  • A 2018 study on female roller derby athletes reported that knee injuries accounted for 21 percent of the most common roller skate injuries.
  • Further, a 20-year epidemiological study published in 2023 on roller skating injuries found that lower extremity injuries (those affecting the knees, legs, and ankles) were prevalent among roller skaters.
  • According to the above study (the 2023 one), you’re more likely to get knee injuries when roller skating than when inline skating.

These two studies underscore the importance of using knee protection while roller skating.

Also read: Rollerblades for beginners

6 Best Roller Skate Knee Pads

It’s time to interact with some of the best roller skating knee pads out there. But before that…

How We Picked Our Roller Skating Knee Pad Recommendations

Peter from and I have personally tested most of the quad skate knee gear reviewed in this post. We’ve bought and tested some of the gear we’ve reviewed and borrowed some from fellow skaters. I inline skate a lot, but I also roller skate, ice skate, and longboard.

The opinions expressed here are our combined personal experiences with the quad skate knee pads we’ve taken spills with. In instances where we’ve not personally tested a product, we always make it clear to our fans…because we value honesty and transparency.

Peter and I joined forces to put together this resource. So he’s chimed in to share personal insights.

*Affiliate Links Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

1.187 Killer Pads Slim Knee Pads: Best Overall

187 Killer Roller Skate Knee Pads
These are sleeve-style hard-shell knee pads built to do only one thing and do it exceptionally well: knee protection. They're probably the most squishy knee pads out there. They're a tad blocky, so they may not be the best for recreational cruising. Also, they're a bit bulky, but less so compared to Pro-Tec Street Knee pads. While they're somewhat bulky, they provide great knee protection. Not surprisingly, many roller derby players love 187 Killer knee Padss.

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Peter writes: TBH, I’ve not worn these 187 Killer pads slim knee pads, but I’ve researched and asked around and learned a bunch about them.

The 187 Killer pads are well-constructed, and the ballistic nylon used to make them doesn’t look cheap. Unlike the Pro-Tec Street, these ones are a sleeve-style design that must be worn before skates.

If you love skate gear that looks and feels like premium quality, look no further than the 187 Killer Pads. They’re fashioned from well-engineered materials that scream longevity.

The material covering the back of the knee is made of high-quality material that stretches and breathes well. The fabric seems like better quality compared to the material on our JBM Pad Set’s knee pads.

By the way, these two pads have the same design (sleeve-style) which you won’t like much if you value convenience. If you forget to wear the knee pads before the roller skates, you’ll have to take them off!

Quality-wise, the Killer guards are nothing like the budget-friendly Triple 8 Saver Series and JBM knee pads. You likely won’t see pilling on the fabric, and the gear will probably last long.

Compared to most hard-shell quad skate knee protectors, the 187 Killer Pads are lighter and have a slimmer profile. The more streamlined design translates to a more snug fit that feels super comfortable.

The plastic sliders are shaped similar to kneecaps and fit better than most, They’re smooth and nicely riveted, plus you get a nice range of motion. I guess that’s why many jammers love them.

I’ve noticed that most jam skating enthusiasts wear either Smith knee pads or 187 Killer pads. Also, many skaters have found that once they wore the 187 Killers for the first time, there’s no going back! I hear even the legendary skateboarder, Tony Hawk, loves the 187 Killer Slim Pads!

The pads provide lots of memory foam, and this padding conforms to all kinds of knee shapes and contours.

Skaters like the nicely done, industrial-grade stitching on the durable ballistic nylon. You’re looking at highly protective and durable roller skate knee pads, ones that will hold up to constant abuse.

I voted the 187 Killer my #1 roller skate knee pads because they have tons of impact-absorbing foam for knee protection. Also, they slide nicely during impact, and the fit is great.

And the best part? Easy returns and customer support that wows customers at every interaction.


  • Tough, riveted plastic cap that offers complete protection
  • A stream-lined design that looks great
  • Design offers a good range of motion
  • Memory foam for more comfort and mobility
  • They fit better than most and are made from high-quality materials
  • Long-lasting: they handle abuse like a champ
  • Easy returns


  • Pricey
  • No elbow pads and wrist guards provided
  • \

  • Expensive but of great quality

I bet you won’t regret this purchase. We at intend to order a pair soon for testing purposes. And we’ll update this review once we learn anything new about the gear.

2. Pro-Tec Street Knee Pads: Best for Big Knees (Way Cheaper than #1 Pick!)

Pro-Tec Street Knee Pads
Their hard, flatish caps have really thick EVA foam padding sitting behind them. Great for skaters with beefy upper legs and thinner calves due to the lower strap being shorter, but you can always lengthen it. Ideal for big skaters who do park roller skating and a lot of sliding around. Affordable, too.

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Below is a detailed Pro-Tec Street Knee Pads video Review that Peter put together a bunch of months ago. He mostly inline skates, but the review is still relevant, huh?

Video review of Pro-Tec Street Pads

Bujie takes over…

Want heavy-duty roller skate knee pads that are so thickly padded that you’ll never feel fall impacts? Get the Pro-Tec Street Knee pads.

Under the riveted plastic caps is a layer of certified, protective EVA foam designed to take impact from small and hard falls.

They slide like butter on different kinds of surfaces. I once tripped over a nasty pebble that stuck out on a sidewalk and went down fast, on my knees. It was like falling on a 5-foot-thick feather mattress! I bounced back up and rolled away, as if nothing happened.

I haven’t taken a spill yet while rhythm skating in Nairobi’s Skate City rink with my buddies. But I’m 100 percent certain my knees would thank me for getting the right gear if I tumbled. They’d slide on wood beautifully, I imagine.

Pro-Tec is best known for its skateboard helmets, but the company also makes decent knee protection. The Pro-Tec Street provide the best coverage of any hard-shell protective knee gear I’ve tested.

The padding on the Pro-Tec Street knee guards is significantly thicker than that on the Triple 8 Knee Savers and JBM knee protectors. And thicker foam means better shock absorption, right?

We’ve bought and tested these three knee savers, and these reviews are our real-world experiences speaking to you.

Protec street roller skating knee pads
Protec street roller skating knee pads on Peter’s knees.

How do the Pro-Tec knee pads fit?

Peter and I have skated with the Pro-Tec Street knee pads for at least six months. But we use them less frequently than the JBM and Triple 8 pad sets because they are costlier.

They fit me beautifully and comfortably and stay in place throughout. My thighs and calves are pretty thin, and these hefty knee guards look a little too big on my lean physique.

And they look ridiculously big on Peter’s 5’3” frame! If you’re diminutive, I wouldn’t recommend the Pro-Tec Street. Also, they’re pretty bulky. You won’t forget they’re on your knees the whole time; they’re comfy nonetheless.

While somewhat more restrictive than the BM and Triple 8 Saver Series knee pads, the Pro-Tec Street allows a nice range of motion. They never get in the way when I’m practicing roller skate tricks.

Peter, an intermediate-level skater, has way thicker thighs than me. His thighs are 54.3cm/21.38 inches thick when measured at 4 inches above the knee. His calves are pretty thick, too.

While these knee pads feel somewhat tighter for him, he says he’s comfortable enough in them. He falls more often than I do; but Peter says they protect his knees better than any other pads we’ve tested.

What We didn’t Like About the Pro-Tec Street Knee Pads

The lower strap isn’t long enough. You may have to extend it in some way. Well, that shouldn’t be too hard, especially if you’re a die-hard fan of the brand, but it’s still extra work.

Sizing: We used Peter’s measurements when ordering, and bought Extra Large. They work reasonably well for him, and they could fit a tad better if he lost a few pounds. He hopes skating will help him achieve that. Here’s the Protec Street Knee Pads size chart.


  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Fit thick-thighed roller skaters better than most
  • Work great for thick calves provided you extend the lower strap
  • Pretty wide and beefy padding for extensive coverage
  • Well constructed and durable
  • ABS outer plates offer decent protection


  • No extras like elbow pads and wrist guards
  • Lower strap may need lengthening if your calves are extremely thick
  • A bit pricey for what they are: only knee pads

Overall, the Pro-Tec Street are durable, well-designed roller skate knee pads for roller derby, park roller skating, and outdoor roller skating/street skating. You won’t find beefier quad skate skate knee pads, I daresay.

3. Triple 8 Saver Series Knee Pads: Best for Smaller Skaters

Triple Eight Saver Series
12,132 Reviews
Triple Eight Saver Series
Decent-quality Triple 8 knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. A hard ABS plastic shell joins forces with reasonably thick EVA foam padding to provide comfort and protection. Pretty easy to put on and off thanks to their butterfly design. Hook-and-loop fasteners help you create a snug fit. They're low profile, fit nicely, and aren't bulky like the Pro-Tec Street. Ideal for beginners and anyone else seeking out budget knee gear.

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Watch our video review of the Triple 8 Saver Series Pad Set. We review skate gear from time to time to help skaters choose the best options. Consider subscribing to our YouTube channel so you won’t miss out on anything going forward.

A video review of the Triple Eight Saver Series Pad Set

If you’re hunting around for a best-value deal, consider the Triple 8 Saver Series pad set. With this gear set, you get elbow protection, wrist protection, and knee protection in the same package.

Picking this 3-in-1 offer instead of collecting the 3 gear pieces separately would not only save you time, but also money.

Triple 8 Knee Savers: The riveted ABS-plastic caps are tough and behinds sits a decently thick layer of EVA foam or impact absorption. 

These knee protectors have a more curved look while the Pro-Tec pads appear somewhat flatter. I suspect that’s why they cup my knees nicely and feel somewhat more flexible in comparison.

Triple 8 saver series pad set including knee pads, wrist guards, and elbow pads
Triple Eight knee pads, elbow pads, and elbow pads

I landed on my knees recently after landing an imprecise jump, and these knee guards saved my knees. The padding isn’t as ample as what the Pro-Tec Street Knee pads offer, but I happily got up and skated away. That test revealed that the Triple 8 knee savers work even though they’re not as thick as others.

The Triple 8 Wrist savers: the wrist guards (view the picture below to see what the Triple 8 wrist guards look like) are a thumb-hole design. It takes me no more than a minute to get these wrist protectors on and off.

They feature two tough, ABS splints that provide much-needed support for the palms and back of the wrist.

I’ve taken one spill with these wrist guards, and they literally saved my limbs. Well, the fake leather on the wrist guards got a lick of wear, but the splints stepped to the plate and saved me from healing a pair of broken wrists!

Elbow pads: They’re open back and stay in place. I’ve not fallen once on my elbows, but there’s enough foam there, and that’s reassuring.

What about sizing issues? The size chart says to measure one’s palm circumference (knee and elbow measurements not required) around the knuckles when sizing this pad set.

Peter’s knuckle circumference was 21.5cm or 8.46,” and this gear seat fits him OK. But the strap closest to the palm could be a skosh bit longer. Here’s a detailed written review of the Triple 8 Saver Series Pad Set we wrote.

I love how nice and small these knee pads and the other pieces look on me. Peter says the same thing. They’re not bulky at all, and I sometimes forget they’re there! I recommend these for every small roller skater.

Longevity: The net-like material on the wrist guards promotes air circulation during skating, but it makes me question the longevity.

When I took a forward fall one morning with these pads, the faux leather on the wrist guards tore a little. Open the review article above to see what the pads looked like immediately a after the fall.

Well, the guards are still in decent condition, but don’t expect them to last more than a year if you’ll roller skate frequently.

Also, the thin, breathable fabric concealing the padding on the knee and elbow pads seems to be of poor quality. It’s noticeably of lower quality (it’s pilling) than the material on the JBM and Pro-Tec Street knee pads.


  • Attractive price tag
  • Great for shorter or smaller skaters
  • Comprehensive protection: knee, elbow, and wrist guards
  • Relatively think Eva foam absorbs impacts well
  • Straps are long enough
  • Great reviews online
  • Good entry-level guards


  • Not the cheapest 3-in-1 deal out there
  • The Material concealing the padding isn’t good quality
  • Wrist guards aren’t long-lasting

The Triple 8 Saver Series Knee Pads, Wrist Guards, and Elbow Pads are a good buy for anyone wanting affordable, lightweight, low profile, protective hard-shell knee pads.

4. JBM International Knee, Elbow, and Wrist Guards: Also Budget, Most Popular

We’re putting together a JBM Pad Set video review and will embed it here once done.

JBM Knee Pads, Wrist Guards, and Elbow Pads
The kneecaps seem somewhat flatter compared to Triple 8 Knee Savers but more curved than Pro-Tec Street. They fit most knees well, and the plastic shell boasts some embellishments. Padding is reasonably thick, thicker than Triple 8 Knee Savers, but thinner than Pro-Tec Street. Multiple color options. Not open-back design, so you MUST wear them before putting on your roller skates.

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We bought the JBM 3-in-1 pad set a few months ago, and Peter and I have skated with them for a while now. The JBM International knee pads, elbow, and wrist guards are on the cheaper side of things, but they don’t feel embarrassingly cheap.

The construction is sturdier compared to Triple 8 Saver Series Pad Set. Also, they look a lick nicer, IMO. There are these little details on the curved impact-resistance shell that add to the overall aesthetic appeal.

Besides that, the foam is a tad thicker than the Saver Series, but we’ve not noticed a difference protection-wise.

Sizing and fit: The JBM pad set is available in two sizes, kids’ size (Small) and adult size (Large). We ordered the adult size, and the pads fit both Peter and I reasonably well even though I have thinner thighs and his are pretty thick.

One thing we gripe about is the pads being sleeve-style instead of open-back. I have to get the skates on before wearing the pads. I can’t say we’re bummed by that, but nothing peeves me more than realizing I wore the skates before the pads and now have to take them off.

Here’s another quibble we have: The upper strap seems to have been made from a material that pills quite easily.

JBM knee pads roller skating on my knees
This is how the JBM roller skating knee pads fit my 14” skater knees. The pads hug Peter’s thicker thighs (54.3” when measured at 4” above knee) more tightly, but they’re not uncomfortable.

If this helps, my thighs boast a circumference of 35.6cm or 14 inches when measured at 2.8” or 7.1cm above the knee.

Pad profile: These ones look slightly bigger than their Triple 8 counterparts but not as beefy as Pro-Tec Street knee pads.


  • Available in a bunch of nice colors
  • Wrist guard Longevity questionable due to fake leather

  • No need to buy elbow and wrist guards
  • Tough protective plates that slide nicely
  • Embellished slide plates
  • Adjustable Velcro straps for a snug fit


  • Wrist guard Longevity questionable due to fake leather
  • Slightly bulkier than Triple 8 Knee Savers
  • Pilling noticed on the straps after a while

These knee pads are ideal for beginner kids and adults without gobs of money to throw at protective gear.

5. Triple 8 KP 22 Heavy-duty Knee Pads: Best for Thinner Legs

Triple Eight KP 22 Heavy-duty Roller Skate Knee Pads
These knee pads are called heavy-duty for a reason: they come with thick EVA memory-foam padding so that even the worst spills won't wreck your knees. Super easy to get on and off. With all the cushy padding behind the hard plastic shells, you can take the nastiest wipeouts and still get back up to skate another day. Like 187 Killer, they're great for Roller Derby.

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Triple 8 KP 22 Roller Skate Knee Pads pack a massive amount of durability and comfort in an affordable product designed ergonomically. It features a simple practical design complete with tough, flat-ish, riveted high-density plastic caps for knee protection.

KP22 roller skate knee pads

I’ve skated with these knee pads (borrowed from a friend for testing). And while I didn’t take a hard fall during testing to comment helpfully on their effectiveness, I feel they’d save my knees in a dire situation.

The riveted caps cover a layer of heavy-duty EVA foam so you can bounce off the ground in a wipeout. These are perhaps the flattest option on this recommendations list, but not in a way that restricts movement much.

Like all of the knee pads in my reviews, these ones come with adjustable straps so you can customize the fit.

The Neoprene butterfly-style design has adjustable straps to help you create a good fit, but the straps could be a tiny bit longer. Also, the flaps have a hard time wrapping around the knees to connect at the back for beefy legs.

The Triple 8 KP 22 knee pads are for when you need extra padding so you can try the most daring tricks. And they’re not the priciest pair I’ve seen.

Like the Pro-Tec Street, these knee pads don’t come with elbow pads and wrist guards. But many roller derby players swear by these pads.

Sizing: I found that the sizing is somewhat off. If you have beefy legs and try to size up, you’d get bigger caps, but the straps and flaps for the back of the knee wouldn’t get any bigger. These seem to have been designed for people with average-sized and thinner legs.


  • Reasonable price tag
  • Work well for normal-sized and slimmer legs
  • Pack more EVA padding than most
  • flatter sliders that glide smoothly on skating surfaces


  • Cheaper pads offering greater value can be had
  • Restricts movement a tad, just like most hard-shell pads
  • The flaps and straps won’t work for meaty legs

Overall, these are decent pads for beginners and seasoned skaters. But the sizing isn’t accurate, and they don’t work great for people with meaty legs.

6. G-Form Pro-X2 Knee Pads: Best Sleeve-style Knee Pads

G-Form Pro X2 Knee Pads
1,002 Reviews
G-Form Pro X2 Knee Pads
These lightweight sleeves rely on silicone grippers to stay up during rides. They're comfortable because they're made of highly breathable material. The Smartflex pads covering the knee caps harden upon impact, keeping your knees fully protected. Not great for Downhill and Enduro, but they're a good bet for general trail riding and recreational roller skating. *Buy a size larger since they run small.

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The G-Form Pro-X2 is a low-profile, lightweight, sleeve-type knee pad with an eye-pleasing appearance. These MTB-focused knee pads have the SmartFlex technology to thank for their ability to stay super flexible during use.

Here’s how the SmartFlex tech works. During a wipeout, the molecules in the rubber pads crowd and stiffen up for impact resistance.

G-Form X2 Pro Roller Skate Knee Pads

When ordering the G-Form Pro X2 knee pads, Peter made a mistake and ordered the G-Form elbow pads instead!

A fellow skater let me test these knee pads for a month, fortunately. To reciprocate their kindness, I let them use my speed skates, something they’d never ridden before.

One thing that stood out to me was how lightweight these soft-shell knee pads are; plus, they’re not bulky at all. I wore them under my pants several times, and not one skater could tell I had them on. I actually slept with them on one night!

They’re also quite breathable. I presume that the tiny holes on the flexible SmartFlex pads are there to help with air circulation. But while they wick sweat away from the skin, my calves and lower thighs weren’t exactly dry after removing them.

The pads’ UPF 50+ fabric has good moisture-wicking ability. UPF is an abbreviation for Ultraviolet Protection Factor.

This number measures the ability a material’s ability to protect you against the sun’s UV rays. Well, no one wears a knee pad mainly to avoid UV light, but it’s a benefit nonetheless.

These pads lack the Velcro straps that their contenders have, so how do they stay on? They have silicone grippers that turn them into compression sleeves that hug your knees, thighs, and calves snugly but without cutting off circulation.

If you also mountain bike, these would be a good option for you. They’re the most versatile recommendation I made, but their durability is questionable. How do I know this?

I haven’t used the G-form elbow guards Peter ordered, yet, but he has skated with them a couple of times. And they’re already showing signs of wear even with that light level of use.

That fact led me to assume that the knee pads aren’t the best bang for the money. However, they’re reasonably protective, plus they’re stylish and incredibly lightweight.


  • Protection from UV rays
  • Most stylish pick
  • Lightweight and can be worn under pants
  • Versatile: Can also be used for mountain biking
  • Provide 100-percent unrestricted range of movement
  • SmartFlex pads with body-mapped impact-absorption ability
  • Pretty breathable and comfortable


  • A little pricey for what they are
  • Not great for rough use
  • Not the most long-lasting

These nice-looking breathable pads are ideal for recreational roller skating. They’re not the best bet for aggressive roller skating or landing the gnarliest quad skate tricks.

How to Choose Good Roller Skate Knee Pads

Good knee pads for roller skating are comfortable, lightweight, flexible, easy to use, and easy to clean. They’re also breathable, comfortable, and durable. And who says knee pads don’t have to look good? You can easily find stylish guards that complement your style.

When shopping for roller skating knee pads, consider the following factors:

1. Materials Used And Pad Fastening System

Roller skate knee pad manufacturers use different materials to make them. Some of these materials include neoprene foam, nylon foam, PVC foam, polyvinyl, carbon fiber, and polyurethane.

Get knee pads that’ll absorb impacts nicely during a wipeout, guards that’ll get you back up in no time. The best ones typically have thick padding; check out the likes of Pro-Tec Street or 187 Killer. Well-padded protective gear makes it feel like you landed on a mattress stuffed with soft feathers!

I remember falling off my bike in the woods as a teen. Did I get hurt? No. No bruises, no pain — nothing. I picked myself up and burst out laughing — like a little idiot.

If the guards you’re looking at lack plush padding, they’re not worth buying. Each of our recommendations offers decent cushioning so your knees can stay protected throughout.

How the pads stay on: Some pads need you to pull them on pretty much like socks. With options like these, fit-related issues are common. I prefer knee protectors with adjustable straps so I can fit them as snugly or as loosely as I want.

sleeve style vs open style design
The blue JBM knee pad is a sleeve-style option while the black Pro-Tec piece is an open-back or butterfly design. The latter offers more convenience; you can wear your quads before or after putting on the guards.

Most knee pads use Velcrotype fasteners, so make sure that the straps are long enough. If you have spindly legs you’ll appreciate how beautifully strap-style knee pads work for knees like that. And if you have really thick thighs and calves, you can always extend the straps.

2 Main Types of Roller Skate Knee Pads

  • Hard-shell/military-type knee pads
  • Sleeve-style knee pads

1. Hard-shell/military-type knee pads

Hard-shell knee pads look like what you see in the image below. Hard-shell pads are in my opinion the best option for roller skating, especially where tricks are involved.

hard shell knee pads for roller skating
See, here’s what knee pads with Velcro closures look like.

Hard-shell roller skate knee pads:

  • are tougher and more durable compared to those stretchy sleeves
  • have smooth plastic protective caps that make sliding on the ground easier
  • have thick padding and are the best choice for protecting against the hardest of roller skate falls
  • tend to be more affordable compared to the sleeve-style ones
  • don’t fit as beautifully as sleeves with the exception of those that swivel
  • are the best bet for high-impact riding styles and are the favorite choice for roller derby players.

When it comes to potentially dangerous sports such as roller skating, it’s best to go with military-type knee pads.

Why? They boast way thicker padding and are more durable than other types of pads. Plus, they come with impact-resisting plastic shells made of high-impact ABS plastic.

If you hit the concrete, the plastic caps slide right off the surface because they’re smooth. Well, they’ll get scratches or even break if it’s a really hard fall. But it’s better to end up with broken pads than broken knees!

Riveted vs. Swivel Knee Pads

Some hard-shell knee pads have the knee caps riveted on while others come in a swivel design. The riveted type tends to be harder and more restrictive than the swivel type.

One advantage of the swivel-type pads is that you can easily replace them (the plastic caps) when the need arises. Below is how a military-style roller skate knee pad looks like.

riveted caps
Military-style pad with a riveted kneecap

2. Sleeve-style Roller Skate Knee Pads

Compared to hard-shell options, sleeve-style pads:

  • Look nicer
  • Fit better and bend with ease
  • Are comfier
  • Are easier to clean
  • Tend to be pricier (at least the best ones)
  • Aren’t suitable for risky roller skating styles such as aggressive roller skating

You wear these ones the same way you put on socks. And you must put them on before you strap on your roller skates.

Also, they breathe better (and are comfier) than their hard-shell counterparts. What’s more, they’re easier to clean because you can toss the sleeves in the washer. But many have this annoying habit of slipping down the leg during skating.

sleeve-type roller skate knee pads
These ones you slide into just like you do with socks.

There’s a special kind of sleeve known as the honeycomb-type knee pad. These ones ae designed to conform to the shape and contours of your knees.

They look like honeycombs, hence the name honeycomb style. The G-Form knee pads are a good example.

Sleeve-style knee pads
Sleeve-style knee pads

2. Durability: Will These Roller Skating Knee Pads Last?

Nobody wants roller skate knee pads that rip in a day. The best ones are made from tough materials that don’t tear or break easily. Generally, hard-shell skate knee guards outlast sleeve-style ones.

3. Knee Pad Design: Does It Allow a Nice Range of Movement?

Knee pads that restrict movement as you learn new roller skate tricks can’t be good. Go for knee pads whose overall design and construction allow you a comfortable range of movement.

My recommendations are ergonomically designed so that you have nothing to blame for lackluster performance. The last thing any skater wants is protective guards that fit awkwardly.

I once received knee pads that fit awkwardly (pad set) because the protective part sat somewhere to the side of my knees. I knew they couldn’t protect me if I took a spill, but I couldn’t return them because the gear set cost close to nothing. And I couldn’t give them away, bummer!

4. Moisture-wicking Ability: Do the Knee Pads Soak Up Sweat?

You’ll sweat, especially when you start pushing past your comfort zone. If all the sweat stays trapped inside, you won’t be comfortable. The best ones are made from a fabric that wicks moisture away.

Polyester and nylon are moisture wicking, which explains why they’re widely used in the protective skate gear industry. But guess what? No pad keeps perspiration out 100 percent.

5. Knee Pad Size and Fit

Some pads run small, others big. While you may be able to return poorly fitting ones free of charge, it’s still inconvenient.

When you wear well-fitting pads, you experience greater comfort and less restriction to movement while skating. And a guard that stays precisely where you need it will protect you better.

However, pads that are too snug not only feel uncomfortable, but they can also make it that much harder to bend your knees.

And if they’re too big for you, they will keep shifting position, forcing you to adjust or pull them up the whole time. So, size your roller skating knee pads properly from the get-go.

How should roller skate pads fit? Roller skate pads fit snugly and cover the entire knee as well as the sides for maximum side-impact protection. They also feel comfortable during use and don’t move around an awful lot when you’re striding or bending deeply.

The best pick on my list of recommended roller skate pads comes with really thick foam around the knees.

“Falling on the 187 Killer Pads feels like landing on a mass of cottony clouds,” said roller skating coach, Kelvin, from Nairobi when I sought his opinion on these popular quad skate knee guards. To be clear, this instructor also writes for skating magic from time to time.

How to Measure Your Legs for a Perfect Knee Pad Fit

Sizing knee protection that come as part of a pad set is often different than sizing options sold individually. With the former, you typically measure the palm circumference or wrist circumference and pick the corresponding size.

When buying knee pads sold separately, follow the brand’s sizing instructions. Most size guides require measuring the circumference around the center of the knee.

Others may require you to measure thigh circumference at a certain distance from the center of the knee. The rest may have you measuring calf circumference a specific distance below the knee.

When sizing the Triple 8 Saver Series Pad Set, the size chart required me to measure palm circumference around the knuckle. No knee or elbow measurements were required.

The JBM pad set size guide instructed me to measure my wrist around the center, elbow circumference at 2” above the elbow, and thigh circumference at 2.8” above the knee. But it’s a 3-in-1 set at the end of the day. You either order the kids’ size or adults’ size.

Where to Buy Roller Skate Knee Pads

Your local skate shop is a great place to buy roller skate protective pads. Inside a store, you get to try on different knee pads and pad sets for fit. And you’re less likely to go home with poorly fitting gear.

Alternatively, head over to Amazon (see the links above) or any other reputable online store that sells skating gear such as Triple 8, Protec, OutdoorMaster, JBM, S1, Smith, and a few others.

Measure your wrists, elbows, and knees as directed by the brand’s sizing guide for correct pad size calculation. Also, read customer reviews on Amazon and other places to form an opinion on how different options fit and perform.

Best Roller Skate Pad Brands

JBM, Smith, Pro-Tec, S1 (many roller skaters love their helmets), Triple Eight, OutdoorMaster, and 187 Killer are all good brands. For me, nothing works better than 187 Killer pads and Pro-Tec Street, but to each their own.

Best Knee Pads for Roller Skating: Final Thoughts

The 187 Killer Pads are, in my opinion, are the best knee pads for anyone yearning for great protection when roller skating. They’re well-constructed with durable material, come in an ergonomic design, and aren’t too bulky.

And the best part? They’re comfortable and offer great kneecap coverage because the padding is pretty thick. However, they’re expensive, costing twice the price of the next best bet, the Pro-Tec Street Knee Pads.

What if you want to get into quad skating for the first time and are looking for a budget choice? The Triple 8 Saver Series and JBM 3-in-1 gear sets took the crown for the best budget roller skating knee pads.

With these two options, you get knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. Only the helmet is missing, and you can grab one here.

1 thought on “Best Knee Pads for Roller Skating”

  1. Yea, you’re right about the Triple 8 KP 22. These pads are tough as heck. I once fell off while biking, and the experience felt like landing on a pillow stuffed with the softest feathers on Earth! Love em.


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