Are you a big-knee skater with thick thighs and wonder if the Pro-Tec Street Knee Pads could be the answer? My Pro-Tec Street Knee Pads Review covers your question entirely and also answers others you didn’t even know you needed to ask!
BTW, would you like to ”meet” a bunch of wrist guards that many skaters love? Here’s a list of the best wrist guards for skating out there.
Who’s Peter? Why Should You Read This Post?
I’m an older inline skater, a 43-year-old father of three. I stand 5’3” tall, which means I’m pretty short in a world that glorifies height. I’m not whining, though. I’m happy, and much of this happiness comes from rollerblading, something I got into when 2023 showed up.
I’ve been practicing hard, and I consider myself to be an intermediate-level inline skater at this point. I actually bought the ProTec Street Knee Pads you want to learn about.
I’ve also skated with these pads a few times over the past two months. And I know a few little things about these heavy-duty knee pads that generic review writers online know nothing about. That’s why!
How I Chose and Tested the Pro-Tec Street Knee Pads
I have relatively thick thighs and somewhat big knees, and I hit the web in search of the best big-knee knee pad that’s not too expensive. I devoured tons of reviews on Amazon and other places, and the ProTec Street Knee Pads Men’s stood head and shoulder taller than the rest.
So I ordered them from Amazon and waited. I live halfway across the globe, and it took an incredibly slow two months for the logistics folks to ship the pads to me.
When the pads finally arrived, I happily got them out of the box and wore them. I decided I liked how comfy they felt and vowed to skate with them at least once a week for the next two months.
I must admit that at least two weeks passed without me using them. I was busy testing the Triple Eight Saver Series Pads, a skate pad set I recently reviewed.
Design And Construction Quality
Like the Triple Eight Saver Series Pads mentioned above, the ProTec Street Knee Pads are built in a butterfly-style design. This design allows you to wear your skates before or after wearing the knee pads.
Some pads come in a sleeve-style design, and you must slide them over your legs, finally positioning them on your knees before wearing skates. Convenience. That’s what you get.
4 Straps, 2 Shorter and 2 Longer Ones
These pads have four velcro straps, two longer nylon straps with a stretchy portion, and 2 shorter stretchy neoprene straps.
BTW, Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber designed to withstand temperature changes better than natural rubber.
I’ll let you in on a little secret concerning the length of the lower strap in the section titled ”Fit.”
The shorter straps are made of a soft, breathable neoprene. And while I can hook them into place without issues, I have to pull them a little too hard to use them. But once I work these straps, they never loosen up.
Thick EVA Foam Padding
The fabric on the back side or interior of the plastic is velvety, breathable lycra. This material covers the EVA foam padding entirely, unlike in the case of T8 Saver Series pads, which have a slit that lets you take out the padding if you ever need to.
I can’t say lacking an opening on this material is a limitation of the ProTec knee pads since T8 doesn’t sell replacement padding, or do they?
The fabric on these pads seems to be of good quality. Both the ballistic nylon plastic (see picture below) on the front side and the fabric that covers my knees feel like they’re of better quality than the ones on my Triple 8 Saver Series pads.
The Interior Fabric is Soft And of Good Quality
After wearing the T8 kneesavers for about 2 months, I’ve noticed that the fabric is beginning to get fuzzy in some places. When the rough part of the velcro touches the lycra fabric, pulling it away plucks some fibers, causing this situation.
Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to prevent the lycra from coming into contact with the hook. This hasn’t happened with the Protec Street knee savers, though, which means the material on these pads is tougher or of better quality.
The Slide Plates
These plastic slide plates attach to the backing through sturdy rivets. And the knee cups look remarkably bigger than those on my Saver Series pads. Every time I wear the Pro-Tec street knee pads, I feel like they’re dominating me—like they’re wearing me!
They’re big, but seemingly not the best fit for petite skaters like me. I honestly believe they were designed with the needs of big skaters in mind, but they forgot to make the lower strap long enough.
Coverage and Safety Certification
These plates offer my massive knees lots of coverage. The entire knee stays fully covered, even on the sides. Also, these pads are constructed to a recognized roller derby safety standard, the CE EN 14120:2003 + A1:2007 level C.
Using certified knee protection gives you peace of mind. You know for sure that the protective gear has been tested for impact resistance and passed the test.
The padding on these knee protectors is thick. It’s thick enough to make me agree that these are heavy-duty knee pads that are built for skaters who slide a lot.
Fit: Size XL Adult Pro-Tec Street Knee Pads Fits Me, But…
The lower strap isn’t long enough. While the strap still works for my thick calves, it’s not without a bit of struggle. The loop (the soft, felt-like part of the strap) sticks to the hook (the rough-ish part of the velcro) and stays there the whole time I’m skating.
However, the loop covers a small portion of the rough part. It clearly should be longer. I don’t know if there’s something ProTec pad designers were trying to achieve by keeping the lower strap shorter.
But some users with really thick calves may have to cut a piece of fabric and sew it in to extend it. If you have ample calves and feel like that would be too much extra work, definitely stay away from this pad and get better-fitting knee pads.
I have tested one alternative to the ProTec Street Knee Pads, the T8 Saver Series Kneesavers. And they have long enough straps that work well for my massive things and calves. In fact, my kneesaver pads are size medium. And they offer a more comfortable fit compared to the size XL of these ProTec knee pads.
My knees are 43.4cm or 17.09” in circumference. And my calves have a circumference of 43.5 cm/17.13” when measured at 4″ below the knee. And the straps wrap all the way around my 54cm thighs, whose circumference I measured 4” above the knees.
Pro-Tec Street Knee Pads Size Chart
The size guide requires the intending product user to measure calf circumference at 4” below and above the knee cap. Once you obtain these numbers for yourself, look up the right pad size on the size chart below.
Performance Results from Real-world Testing
I ordered the Pro-Tec Street pads at the same time I ordered the Saver Series pads. They reached me at the same time, but I soon took to favoring the Saver Series over their bigger, tougher nemesis.
For this reason, I haven’t worn the Pro-Tec ones every week. However, I’ve worn them enough times to comment on their overall performance.
They fit me well and feel pretty comfortable. They breathe reasonably well too, thanks to the neoprene and lycra materials. However, my pants end up a little damp around the knees, same as with the T8 saver pads. Not complaining, though.
Fortunately, I’ve yet to ram into the hard asphalt knee-first with these pads. But since they stay in place the entire time and cover more of my knees than my T8 Saver Series ever could. This convinces me that they could defend my kneecaps like a pro during a crash, probably even better than the T8 knee pads.
Protec Street Knee Pads vs Triple 8 Saver Series Kneesaver Pads
The Pro-Tec street knee pads are derby-ready. I guess that’s why they’re so thickly padded and bulky. They offer somewhat greater knee coverage compared to the Saver Series knee savers, but my seemingly smaller-coverage T8 pads haven’t failed me once.
Cost: Pro-Tec Street knee pads cost $36, and you will have to spring for elbow pads and wrist guards. There are many cheaper pads, but you likely won’t find anything cheaper that’s as well-made and durable. For the same price, you get a 3-pad set including kneesaver pads, elbowsaver pads, and wristsaver pads.
If you want great-quality and potentially long-lasting derby-worthy knee pads, stick with Pro-Tec Street. But if you’re seeking out entry-level pads and aren’t ready to spend too much as a beginner skater, definitely go with the Triple 8 Saver Series.