The Best Basketball Knee Pads of 2020

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No matter how you take in basketball in the 21st Century, you will notice high school, college, and professional athletes wearing knee pads of some sort. With seasons lasting for months, many athletes must protect themselves from danger. The best basketball knee pads can make this happen. Luckily for you, the same great pads are made amateurs up to professionals.

The best basketball knee sleeves are not just about style. These pads have more to do with limiting chronic pain that the knees take with all the stopping and starting in basketball. Additionally, knee pads protect you against falls and collisions with other players on the floor. ACL tears can be prevented as well, so you do not have to rehab for months to get back into playing shape. 

In this post, we’ll detail the best basketball knee pads to protect yourself on the court this year. 

If you want to get back to playing basketball, get our top pick for best basketball knee pads here.

Our Top Favorite
Hinged Knee Brace: Shock Doctor Maximum Support Compression Knee Brace - For ACL/PCL Injuries, Patella Support, Sprains, Hypertension and More for Men and Women - (1 Knee Brace, Large)
Our Top Runner Up
Nike Pro Combat Knee Sleeve
Our Top Value Pick
Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads Compression Leg Sleeve for Basketball, Volleyball, Weightlifting, and More - Pair of Sleeves, BLACK, Adult: MEDIUM
Basketball Knee Pads
Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Support
Nike Pro Combat Knee Sleeves
McDavid 6446 HEX Knee Pads
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
Hinged Knee Brace: Shock Doctor Maximum Support Compression Knee Brace - For ACL/PCL Injuries, Patella Support, Sprains, Hypertension and More for Men and Women - (1 Knee Brace, Large)
Basketball Knee Pads
Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Support
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Nike Pro Combat Knee Sleeve
Basketball Knee Pads
Nike Pro Combat Knee Sleeves
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads Compression Leg Sleeve for Basketball, Volleyball, Weightlifting, and More - Pair of Sleeves, BLACK, Adult: MEDIUM
Basketball Knee Pads
McDavid 6446 HEX Knee Pads
Prime Eligible?

Our Favorites for the Best Basketball Knee Pads Our Favorites for the Best Basketball Knee Pads

Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Support

Ranging in sizes from small up to 3XL, the Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Support will do the trick for you. To start, this knee pad for basketball gives the best protection that money can buy. With lateral stability and healing aspects medially, you will never deal with patella, meniscus, or ligament issues again. 

The Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Brace will not stink up the joint either. With odor and moisture blocking technology, the airflow vents its way through the knee pads, allowing for a reduction in bacteria. This way, you can stay focused on the task at hand: basketball. Even during the heat of competition, you will stay cozy and snug with this padding. 

If you are looking to increase your movement, this leg brace for basketball is made with an anatomical design. What this allows is for the brace to fit securely around your knee, giving you that added boost to chase after that loose ball or dunk on your opponents. 

You can expect the pads to bend no matter the direction with their very flexible stabilizers. Made without any latex, you can expect the best stitching and great easy-to-use tabs. When it comes to compression, your blood flow will be improved, so you can expect your muscles and tendons to stay healthy game after game.

Additional features of the Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Support include:

  • A video to help you figure out the correct measurements for your knee
  • Tempered aluminum
  • Velcro adjustments for slip-on brace
  • Extra-light fabric
  • Lives up to the highest protection with level 3 performance

Whether you are looking for the small or the XXL size, the Shock Doctor N-Tex wicking technology will keep your therapeutically warm for the duration of your basketball game. You can even use it for other sports like soccer, baseball, and tennis. 

What Makes Shock Doctor Unique:

Why You Should Choose These Knee Pads:

  • They’re perfect for basketball players looking to protect themselves from a re-injury
  • You will not sweat in these knee pads

Sale
Hinged Knee Brace: Shock Doctor Maximum Support Compression Knee Brace - For ACL/PCL Injuries, Patella Support, Sprains, Hypertension and More for Men and Women - (1 Knee Brace, Large)
  • PREVENTS AND PROTECTS - Helps prevent and heal medial and lateral instability, minor patella instability, meniscus injuries, minor ligament sprains, hypertension, arthritis, and more
  • MOISTURE AND ODOR PREVENTION - Antimicrobial and airflow vented tech to reduce odor, bacteria, and moisture, so you can stay comfortable through the toughest days and workouts
  • BOOST MOVEMENT AND COMFORT - Heavy duty bilateral dual hinges provide support while allowing you to move comfortably with four-way stretch Lycra mesh and pre-curved anatomical design, fits left and right knee.


McDavid 429X Knee Brace

The McDavid 429X Knee Brace is the ideal knee support for basketball. With extra support, you can expect great stability for your knee. First, check out the sizing options from small to X-large. Once you have your size in place, it is time to help stop any knee injuries from happening again. If you are recovering from an injury, this brace can help with that as well.

The compression crossing straps are amazing, too. With rotational support, all your ligaments will be covered in the knee. You can even adjust the bottom and top straps to give you the best fit that is specific to you. 

Made of neoprene material, which is different from Shock Doctor, the McDavid 429X Knee Brace is latex-free. Because of this, your muscles will stay warm when competing to keep injuries at bay. All around the patella, you will get the full 360-degree range of support. There will not be any irritation to your skin either. 

Additional features include:

  • Perfect for the left or right knee
  • Level 3 performance compatible
  • Simple tabs to take the brace off and put it back on
  • Amazing value due to the inexpensive price
  • Can be used for other sports than basketball like running and tennis

What Makes the McDavid 429X Brace Unique:

  • The brace uses form fit technology that will be the exact size for you after three hours
  • McDavid 429X Knee Brace can be worn over fabric

Why You Should Choose These Knee Pads:

  • Ideal for assisted recovery from ACL injuries because the brace is meant to help you get back into the game quicker with the help of excellent stability from the brace
  • Looking for improving knee stability

Mcdavid 429X Knee Brace, Maximum Knee Support & Compression for Knee Stability,
  • This Knee Brace provides high level support to improve knee stability, help reduce knee injury and assist in recovery
  • COMPRESSION Elastic crossing straps for enhanced rotational and collateral ligament support
  • SUPPORTIVE- Geared side hinges add stability and free movement


Our Runners-up for the Best Basketball Knee Pads The Runner-Ups for the Best Basketball Knee Pads

Nike Pro Combat Knee Sleeves

Nike basketball knee pads are great options on the market as well. With Hyperstrong knee technology, this lightweight product is perfect for supporting your joints. By using Ariaprene material, your muscles will stay warm as you fly around the court. Also, you will never have to worry about overheating because there is an easy heat release, which aids in breathability. 

One thing that you will get from Nike that you will not get anywhere else is the customization of your basketball knee supports. With three color options to choose from (metallic, white, and volt) as well as multiple sizing options, Nike has you covered. Just make sure you take into account that these pads run large on most people, so keep that in mind. 

Freedom of movement is thought about with these knee pads as well. With a molded design and great elastic bindings, you should feel safe with these pads on whenever you play using your Nike Pro Combat Knee Sleeves.

Additional features include:

  • This Nike Pro Combat Knee Sleeves is durable enough to be used in Crossfit
  • Will never restrict your movement when going after a loose ball
  • Circulation will not be cut off when playing basketball because the sleeve is loose around the knee
  • Made with nylon, polyester, spandex, and silicone for extra-breathability
  • Limits the discomfort in the knee after an ACL injury

What Makes the Nike Pro Combat Knee Sleeve Unique:

  • The colors that are offered up with these knee pads
  • #1 company in the world when it comes to basketball products

Why You Should Choose These Knee Pads:

  • Not as bulky as the Shock Doctor
  • More inexpensive option


McDavid 6440 HEX Knee Pads

Another knee protector for basketball comes in the form of the McDavid 6440 HEX Knee Pads. This padding has a plethora of sizes (youth to XXL), as well as 8 wonderful color options to choose from. McDavid uses Hex Tech, which comes in the form of cell padding made of foam. This technology allows for protection, strength, and durability for any athlete on the market today. 

The knee pads from McDavid are the most adaptable product because they can be used for more than knees. McDavid knee pads can also work for shin and elbow protection as well. Wherever you decide to wear them, these pads use Moisture Management Technology. This technology will keep you cool, but also dry on the hardwood. 

After each game, you can throw these pads in the wash to clean them up, and dry them off in the dryer for best results. Then, they will be ready to go whenever you play next. The pads will not shrink on you either, but make sure to pick the right size of pads out because they run small. 

Additional features include:

  • An updated sizing chart for the best knee fit allows pinpoint accuracy for you
  • Uses odor-free technology
  • Elastic bands are located on the top and bottom of the padding
  • A sensational range of motion to cut and run down the court because the brace allows for movement without sacrificing protection
  • Can be used for a variety of sports other than basketball like soccer and volleyball

What Makes McDavid 6440 HEX Knee Pads Unique:

  • McDavid 6440 HEX Knee Pads come in a pack of 2 with competing brands only selling one at a time
  • McDavid has been in the athletic business for over 50 years

Why You Should Choose These Knee Pads:

  • Excellent price point
  • Has a wide coverage area of protection

McDavid 6440 Hexpad Knee Or Elbow (Black, Large)
  • Hex Technology is superior, closed cell foam padding that gives every athlete, in any contact or collision sport, the remarkable advantages of protection, durability and confidence.
  • Can be used for the knee, elbow or shin
  • Moisture Management Technology is all about cool and dry


Our Value Picks for the Best Basketball Knee Pads The Value Picks for the Best Basketball Knee Pads

McDavid 6446 HEX Knee Pads

If you are looking for even more valued protection from McDavid, check out its McDavid 6446 HEX Knee Pads. Ranging from youth basketball knee pads to adults, there is something for everyone here. Let’s start with the fit and color options. The majority of people who own these pads say they fit perfectly, so you will not have to worry about the pads fitting too small or too large. When it comes to color options, there are 7 choices like pink and scarlet. 

Just like the McDavid 6440, these pads use Hex protection with a cell foam core to defend against knee issues. There is also the best wicking technology to keep moisture at bay. Even when wearing daily, you can rely on the durability you will receive from this technology. 

The fit and comfort cannot be matched in this day and age. With extensions that reach up to the quads and down to the calves, you will be protected from cuts, bruises, and scraps. This material will also stay in place, so you will not have to worry about slippage. Chaffing will not be an issue either. 

The compression fit cannot be beaten as well. Your muscles will stay warm and happy no matter how long you play in a game. This means you can kiss fatigue away and cramping will not happen again, even if you go into double overtime. On the other hand, you will not lose circulation to your precious legs.

Additional features include:

  • Pads will stay odor-free
  • Comes in a pair
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Gives great support to any athlete
  • Stabilizes your knee in place

What Makes McDavid 6446 Hex Knee Pads unique:

  • The McDavid 6446 HEX Knee Pads have the best coverage around
  • Will refund you if you are not completely satisfied with their product

Why You Should Choose These Knee Pads:

  • Lasts longer than other competitors
  • Have a sizing option for any individual

Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads Compression Leg Sleeve for Basketball, Volleyball, Weightlifting, and More - Pair of Sleeves, BLACK, Adult: MEDIUM
  • PATENTED HEX PROTECTION - Closed cell foam padding protects your knees from high impact activities and sports
  • MOISTURE WICKING TECHNOLOGY - Keep Cool & Dry with advanced hDc Moisture Management Tech. Machine washable/dryable
  • DURABLE FOR DAILY WEAR - 9mm Hex technology is a favorite among pro and collegiate athletes for its reliable durability


Shock Doctor 864 Knee Compression Sleeve

The last ACL brace for basketball comes from the Shock Doctor. Support and relief are what the Shock Doctor prides themselves on. If you are looking for instant relief, this technology will surely help you out. With a pre-curved design and a compression element to boot, your knee will be stabilized as you run 90 feet in either direction. 

Preventing injuries is also something the Shock Doctor wants for all of its customers. Increased blood flow will help lower swelling and any pain you are experiencing. This all works without the use of Latex. The snug protection comes from neoprene technology that is ideal for healing and warmth to your body. This is not a bulky product, and neither is it hot or stiff for you to suffer with. 

When choosing your Shock Doctor product, know that the sizing chart is meant for a close-fitting. This way, you will get the best protection around. The Shock Doctor recommends that you pick the next size up for the best results. If the size does not work for you the very first time, here is what you can do. Send it back and contact customer service to send you out a new size for no additional cost to you. It is service like this that is unparalleled in the world of blind save knee pads.

Additional features include:

  • Has several braces options for different needs of protection
  • Created with finger tabs for the easiest of grips
  • Protects against sprains, strains, and pain
  • Range of motion is spectacular with this product
  • Sizing chart helps you pick the right one for the job

What Makes Shock Doctor 864 Knee Sleeves Unique:

Why You Should Choose These Knee Pads:

  • The Shock Doctor has been in business for over 20 years
  • Comes with a 100% money back guarantee on their products if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase

Shock Doctor Knee Compression Sleeve with Closed Patella Coverage (Black, Large)
  • SUPPORT / RELIEF – Get instant relief thanks to the compression and Pre-Curved design support. Our brace will stabilize your knee, preventing injury and help healing. The compression increases blood flow which lowers swelling and pain.
  • LATEX FREE COMFORT – Extremely breathable and low profile snug fit. N-Tex neoprene for therapeutic warmth and healing. Don’t settle for the bulky, hot and stiff braces.
  • SHOCK DOCTOR GUARANTY – We have been a leader in the protective gear and sports therapy field for 20 years. Our continual innovation is trusted by professional athletes, college athletes, and most importantly, by millions of users around the world.


FAQs on Basketball Knee Pads

Do Knee Pads Help in Basketball?

It seems in the 21st Century that professional basketball players wear gear all over their bodies as more as a fashion statement. However, this could not be further from the truth. Knee pads do protect knees for injury in the contact sport that is basketball. This means bruises, scraps, and scratches will be no more. 

Also, if you have had trouble in the past with ACL tears or other knee injuries, knee pads will certainly give you the stability you need to play the sport you love. Chronic pain will also go bye-bye as well. 

How to Stop Knee Pads from Slipping in Basketball?

When knee pads slip, there are a few reasons for this. First, you may have too big of a size. Since a lot of people worry about cutting off circulation to their leg, they usually get a size that is too big for their legs. There are two things that you can do to fix this problem.

Turn in your pair for a smaller size, so they will not fall as you run back and forth. Of course, you will have to give the shipping some time, but having the right sized pair will help with slipping issues. 

Secondly, you can try wearing basketball tights underneath your pads. Basketball tights seem to be all the rage in every level of basketball. They keep the pads up around your knee for ultimate protection. 

What’s the Difference Between Knee Sleeves, Braces, and Pads?

There are some major differences between knee sleeves, braces, and pads. Instead of confusing yourself, let’s dive into the intricacies of each. First off, know that each item for the knee involves protection, but in very different ways. 

Knee Sleeves:

When it comes to knee sleeves, they are meant to be tight. With the help of flexible material, you will give your knees some great compression. Some of the benefits include the reduction of pain, added blood flow, and an improvement in the proprioception factor by the central nervous system. 

If you are looking to stop future injuries in its tracks, knee sleeves are for you. Even chronic pain can be minimized in your knees. However, knee sleeves should not be used for people who are recovering from an ACL tear. 

Knee Braces:

Knee braces are next on the list. Think of braces as a step up from knee sleeves when it comes to protecting you from injuries. Knee sleeves look to have additional compression, while knee braces will give your knee greater stability. Extra support can also be given to the patella and the anterior knee. This sewn-in technology will eliminate hyperextensions all together. 

After an injury, knee braces are key. To aid in the recovery process, athletes will be able to stay away from re-injuring their knee. Furthermore, it will give athletes confidence knowing they have added protection around their knee. If you have gone through an injury before, you know how scary it can be when you come back to play basketball. Physically, the injury takes time to heal, but your mental game can take even longer to recover. That is why having added protection can go a long way to change your psyche. 

When deciding on the right knee brace for you, make sure to consult your doctor. This is essential before you make a big purchase. As you look towards total healing, braces like these will aid your knee and your mind.

Knee Pads:

As it pertains to knee pads, you have to change your line of thinking based upon what you just learned about knee sleeves and braces. Knee pads are very different. The focus of knee pads has everything to do with softening the blow of jumping up and down on the court. In turn, knee pads should not be used as a preventative matter for tendons and ligaments. 

Knee padded individuals give athletes a security blanket of sorts as they fly into the paint looking to score. With added protection, knee pads ease the blow of knee to knee contact with an opponent, as well as floor burns if you start to mop up the gym with your lower body. NBA players who are relentless to the rim, like Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook and Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, never are seen without knee pads ready to roll. 

What Size Basketball Knee Pad Should You Get?

Whether you are looking for some Adidas basketball knee pads or youth basketball knee sleeves, you must figure out the right size to fit around your knee. Without the right size, you could be prone to injuring yourself or not getting the protection you deserve. Luckily for you, all manufacturers on this list have a chart that shows the size you need for your specific knees. 

How to Choose the Best Basketball Knee Pads for You

Instead of thinking about what knee pads do NBA players wear think about what knee pads you should wear. Knee pads can be personalized for each individual. This customization can be key for any basketball player who is looking to take things to the next level. 

Start thinking about what you specifically need and what sleeves, braces, and pads could do for you. Remember that knee sleeves are for chronic pain, improving your recovery time, and looking for added stability. 

Knee braces are to help you after you have had an injury to your MCL, ACL, or other knee-related problem. This is a piece of technology a medical professional should give their thoughts on before you buy your own. Lastly, knee pads prevent issues in the knees. Contusions and other negative impacts on the skin are protected with knee pads.

Summary of the Best Basketball Knee Pads

Putting everything together, in this guide we reviewed the following:

Our Top Favorite
Hinged Knee Brace: Shock Doctor Maximum Support Compression Knee Brace - For ACL/PCL Injuries, Patella Support, Sprains, Hypertension and More for Men and Women - (1 Knee Brace, Large)
Our Top Runner Up
Nike Pro Combat Knee Sleeve
Our Top Value Pick
Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads Compression Leg Sleeve for Basketball, Volleyball, Weightlifting, and More - Pair of Sleeves, BLACK, Adult: MEDIUM
Basketball Knee Pads
Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Support
Nike Pro Combat Knee Sleeves
McDavid 6446 HEX Knee Pads
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
Hinged Knee Brace: Shock Doctor Maximum Support Compression Knee Brace - For ACL/PCL Injuries, Patella Support, Sprains, Hypertension and More for Men and Women - (1 Knee Brace, Large)
Basketball Knee Pads
Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Support
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Nike Pro Combat Knee Sleeve
Basketball Knee Pads
Nike Pro Combat Knee Sleeves
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
Knee Compression Sleeves: McDavid Hex Knee Pads Compression Leg Sleeve for Basketball, Volleyball, Weightlifting, and More - Pair of Sleeves, BLACK, Adult: MEDIUM
Basketball Knee Pads
McDavid 6446 HEX Knee Pads
Prime Eligible?

Check out brands like McDavid, the Shock Doctor, and Nike for all your knee pads needs. Since knee pads are for fighting against contusions, scraps, and bruises, find a pair that can protect you and your style of play. 

You may be called reckless or someone who has no concern for their body. But, deep down, you know that it is just your passion and drive that wins out on the basketball floor. With this in mind, get a pair of knee pads to make sure you are ready for future games ahead as well. Stay safe during the basketball season and use knee pads to give you the confidence you need to take control of the ball night after night. 

If you found this post helpful, check out our other basketball gear reviews here.

Because you read this post, you may also enjoy our post on how long can you wear a knee compression sleeve and our other basketball gear reviews here.

> The Best Compression Pants

> The Best Thumb Braces for Basketball

> The Best Ankle Braces

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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