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Best Wrestling Knee Pads and Knee Sleeves

best wrestling knee pad

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Choosing the right wrestling knee pad does not seem like a huge deal from the outside looking in but in all seriousness, kneepads in a sport like wrestling are crucial. It is not uncommon for many wrestlers to get a bad case of mat burn on their knees from all the shots that they are taking. Finding something that is both comfortable and durable enough to make it through the season is a big deal breaker for a lot of the items that we were able to test.

Here at Grapplers Graveyar,d we cover all things related to grappling-based sports. For other essential wrestling items be sure to check the posts below:

Wrestling Kneepads

Wrestling is easily one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. It requires a combination of strength, agility, athleticism, and high levels of technique. As a wrestler, one of the most vulnerable places on your body is going to be your knees.

To both protect your knees and ensure optimal performance, wrestlers need high-quality knee pads specifically designed for the sport.

Not all knee pads are the same. Some will focus on maximum protection, while other provide more flexibility and support. The following paragraphs are our personal takes on some the best brands of wrestling knee pads that you should consider buying for wrestling season.

Best Wrestling Knee Pads

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best wrestling knee pads, mcdavid

McDavid Knee Pads

McDavid is a classic brand. I remember when I was a kid and they were just getting hot in the market. McDavid is most notably known for their protective gear but one thing to keep in mind here it is not specifically designed for wrestlers.

Many basketball players and volleyball players wear this gear for their respective sport. This is not necessarily a big deal breaker for those who are more hobbyist of grappling sports but for those who really want something built for their sport of choice (in this case wrestling and grappling), this may not be the best option on the list.

All-in-all, we love McDavid’s knee pads. The good thing about this is that is comes with two in the packaging (not all on this list do) and the knee pad is both supportive and covers the entirety of the knee.

Pros

    • Comes with two knee pads in your purchase

    • Looks cool when worn

    • Hex knee pads completely cover the knee and will protect you

    • Cross-functional for a lot of different sports

    • McDavid is a reputable brand

Cons

    • Does not have sticky elastic at the bottom to keep the sleeve from sliding

    • Hard to gauge sizing without a proper measurement of your legs

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best wrestling knee pads, cliff keen

Cliff Keen Knee Pads

Cliff Keen is up there when it comes to some of the most reputable wrestling brands on the market. Their headgear and now kneepads have made it onto our list of products that we trust recommending. Nothing is ever perfect in our eyes so lets dive deeper into what we saw when wearing this knee pad.

Comfrt wise, this knee pad is at an elite level. I personally loved the way it looked and felt while getting some grappling sessions in. The bubble knee pad is super supportive and makes me feel extremely comfortable shooting.

It is hard to gauge the sizing if you do not properly measure out your leg so be aware you may get something bigger (or smaller) than you need. From online reviews we see that some people had issues with tears happening relatively quickly after getting these. Obviously since we bought these a week ago, we did not experience that for ourselves.

Pros

    • Comfortable

    • Length of the knee pad is perfect

    • Best Knee protection of all the brands listed

    • Reputable and reliable brand

    • Minimalist design

Cons

    • May experience slipping and may have to adjust a bit

    • Potentially has durability issues

    • Longer delivery times

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best wrestling knee pads, rudis

Rudis Knee Pads

If you know us, we love everything that is offered by Rudis for anything grappling-related. If you check out our Top Wrestling Shoes article you will notice that they currently hold a top spot for their shoes. The knee pads do not fall far from the tree.

We are not sponsored by Rudis so our opinion is completely unbiased here. The design of all their products is great and the feel of the material is second to none. The only thing I would say I do not like about this is how short the knee pad is.

Unlike the McDavid pair, Rudis Knee Pads only really cover the knee with little to no fabric above of below. If you do not care that your knee pad is acting as a sleeve as well, it may not be a big deal to you but we like the stylistic approach behind McDavid’s gear a little better than the ones over at Rudis.

Pros

    • Great feel

    • Cover and protect the knee very well

    • Built by wrestlers for wrestlers

    • Minimalist design wit little to no slippling

Cons

    • Smaller than we would like

    • No sticky adhesive to solidify on the leg

Knee Pads | RUDIS

The RUDIS Supreme Cushion Black Single Wrestling Knee Pad is built for the toughest of wrestlers.

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best wrestling knee pads, matman, wrestling gear

Matman Knee Pads

Matman knee pads are probably going to be our least favorite on the list. There is no grip on the top of bottom of the knee sleeve so it is constantly falling down and making us adjust. The knee pad itself is nice and comfortable but the annoyance of having to adjust it every time we get done with a roll is annoying.

Pros

    • Knee pad is decent

    • Cheap

Cons

    • Slides off easily

    • Will end up buying a new knee pad after you get annoyed from sliding down

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best wrestling kneepads, asics

Asics Gel Knee Pads

AISCS is a staple brand for anything related to wrestling but their knee pad is mid-tier at best. Personally, I believe there are better options on this list (Amazon, McDavid, or Rudis) but none the less we tried this one out for size and came back with it being right in the middle of the pack.

Pros

    • ASICS

    • Reliable brand

    • Comfortable and supports stability

Cons

    • No sticky at the top or bottom so slides off easily

    • On the shorter side in terms of length

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best wrestling knee pads, knee protection, wrestling gear, wrestling kneepads

Amazon Knee Pad

Amazon’s brand of hex knee pad compression sleeves is something we also tested out for you in this best-of list. It holds up pretty well compared to majority of the knee pads on this list and would definitely say you won’t regret the purchase.

It is more of a knee sleeve so it will cover the entirety of your leg and leave room (both top and bottom of knee) to add some style points to your mat presence. This knee sleeve does have elastic rubber at the top so it should keep the sleeve in place even with intense levels of movement.

One thing to keep in mind is that the white pair is a bit see-through. This knee pad does come with two for both left and right knees.

Pros

    • Best price

    • Not branded so it is clean looking

    • Has elastic at the top to keep it from slipping

    • Knee pads are great and protective

Cons

    • See-through

    • Cheaper quality (one wash and the elastic will start to fade)

    • Not specifically built for wrestling

Our Pick
Hex Knee Pads Compression Leg Sleeve
$22.99

#1 rated knee sleeve from Grapplers Graveyard. Extremely comfortable and stylish without breaking the bank. Comes with two leg sleeves with purchase.

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02/18/2024 08:47 am GMT

Wrestling Knee Pad: Buying Guide

When choosing a wrestling knee pad for this season be sure to identify the following before making a purchase:

    • Materials and durability

    • Sizing and fit

    • Padding and protection

    • Breathability and flexibility

All our of these key features should be front of mind before buying your gear. Be sure to wash all gear frequently because you will be susceptible to infection if not done otherwise. It may be advised to buy two knee sleeves or just to buy one for the leg that your wrestler shoots majority of the time.

Material and Durability

Look for knee pads made of high-quality materials like neoprene, nylon, or Lycra. These materials are known for their durability and resistance to tearing or slipping during intense wrestling sessions.

Size and Fit

Our personal opinion on sizing and how the knee pad should fit may differ from others but we will give you our personal preference. When you are wrestling, you are obviously moving around a lot. When there is a lot of movement equipment on the body tends to move with it.

With that being said we recommend getting the longer knee sleeves that cover more surface area on the leg as a while. While the padding on the knee should still be there and be held to the highest quality standard, we just believe through our time on the mats that short knee pads always end up being less comfortable and more annoying than the ones that cover a longer area of the leg.

The leg sleeves and knee pads that you get should cover the entirety of the knee cap and fit snugly to the body. Much like spats or compression shorts, knee pads should have a comfortable fit.

Padding and Protection

The whole point of buying a knee pad in the first place is to protect yourself from mat burn or to prevent further damage to the knees. The padding and protection of the knee pad is the biggest factor for us in our suggestion for which knee pad is considered the best for wrestlers this season.

Breathability and Flexibility

If you have read our other reviews on wrestling products (listed at the top) you will know that this is a big factor for moving one brand above another. At the end of the day as grapplers we have be able to be comfortable and able to move around freely, if what we are wearing is hindering our ability to be athletic on the mats it should be avoided like the plague.

Looking for knee pads that are both breathable and allow for free movement is crucial. Knee pads with moisture-wicking material and mesh panels are typically the way to go here.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can you use a basketball or volleyball knee pad in wrestling?

It is not necessarily advised to wear a basketball knee sleeve or even a volleyball knee sleeve while wrestling. While is may not be the biggest deal breaker in the process, some companies specialize in this type of gear so just stick with that. Again, it is not the end of the world if you go with that option.

How do knee pads benefit wrestlers?

When you have a severe case of mat burn or knee protection is a huge concern for you, knee pads will be your saving grace. Wrestling kneepads offer maximum protection from serious injuries and help keep wrestlers’ performance at a high level. Unprotected knees can be a detriment to your wrestling career.

What are the best wrestling knee pad options for youth wrestling?

The best option to go for with wrestling knee pads for youth is the McDavid knee sleeves. McDavid is a well-known and established brand that has been around since we were youth wrestlers, I know and trust their products and believe that they are the best on the market. The next best would be Rudis, Cliff Keen, or ASICS.

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